7 Quick Tips for RV Beginners

Have you recently purchased your first RV? Congratulations! RV ownership opens up a whole world of travel possibilities, and you are almost certainly going to enjoy many great trips in the years ahead. As you will soon find out, however, there is a lot to learn about the world of RV ownership once you take possession of your very own rig. With that in mind, this article offers up seven quick tips that can help RV beginners get started on the right foot. Have fun and safe travels!

Dirt road through the forest#1 – Find a Friend

One of the best things you can do when you first purchase an RV is to travel with someone who has experience in this area. If you know a friend or family member who is experienced in the world of RV travel, ask them to tag along for a short trip so they can show you the ropes. There is nothing quite like having first-hand experience available in order to speed up your learning process.

#2 – A Checklist is Your Friend

At first, it can seem like there are a ton of things to remember when getting ready to take your rig out on the road. Did you put the awning up? Did you disconnect any hookups that you used while camping? To make sure you don’t make an embarrassing and expensive mistake, put together a checklist that you can use to confirm you are ready for the road.

#3 – Bring Some Basic Tools

An RV is basically a house on wheels, meaning there are plenty of things that can go wrong along the way. By bringing some basic tools along for your journey, you may be able to address any minor mechanical problems that happen to come up.

#4 – Plan Plenty of Travel Time

You aren’t going to make the same kind of time in your RV as you do in your regular car, so plan plenty of time for your trip each time you head out for a destination. Trying to rush your way to your destination in a large RV is a bad idea, so give yourself plenty of time and take it easy on the road.

#5 – Pay Attention to Sunset

For an experienced RV owner, arriving at the campground after dark is really no big deal. For a newbie, however, trying to set up in the dark can be a bit of a nightmare. Take note of what time the sun is going down and do your best to plan the trip such that you can set up camp before darkness arrives.

#6 – Don’t Overpack

This is a point that you will see on nearly any list of RVing tips, and for good reason. It is easy to get carried away with your packing when you have a whole RV at your disposal, but you don’t want to load the rig down to the point where it struggles up hills to your destination. Think carefully about what you really need to bring and what can be left behind.

#7 – Plan Your Trip in Great Detail

After you have gained some experience with RV travel, you may be more-able to travel spontaneously – but it is best to stick with well-planned trips when first getting started. By knowing exactly where you are going, and how long it should take to get there, you can operate well within your limitations. Once you have a handful of trips under your belt, you may decide that you are ready to just head out without having built a detailed itinerary.

 

10 COMMENTS

  1. You should do a story on fueling up your tow vehicle with your trailer hooked up. For first timers this can be a BIG challenge.

    • Great idea . Richard and know the range of your RV so you have a chance to find a suitable station to refuel that will accommodate a RV before you end up running on fumes.

  2. Yes, this is a nightmare! Trying to get fuel, our truck is a diesel, and trying to get in to a gas station!!! Anyone with stories out there? We’re new to the RV life, would appreciate stories!!

    • Maggie, do not ever run your Diesel out of fuel!! You could end up with a repair bill in the thousands replacing injectors and fuel pumps. This is from a Truck Driver friend. You could carry one or two yellow 5 gallon fuel contains with spare fuel in them. Also use the internet to look for suitable stations. Flying J and other truck stop places that cater to big rigs are good to use for RVs.

  3. These are really great pieces of information for newbies. I literally sat in my camper and went through an entire day of what I would be doing from cooking, cleaning, showering, etc. and I would write down everything that I would be using at those times. Even still, we camped the first time close to a Dollar General and we went there every day because of items we forgot.

  4. Our first trip was a half hour from home so we could get things we forgot and amy tools we needed. That was helpful. If you have children it is helpful to give them one tote each to pack toys and games. They can be put outside once you are at campground. Another time saver is a crock pot. Camping on an open fire is fun but I don’t like spending all my time cooking- so that was a super remedy for us. Def talk to rv friends- even forums or FB pages. Rv people are extremely helpful and a very nice community of people 🙂

  5. When I see I’m getting close to 1/4 tank, I start looking for a gas station. Also, I have pots, pans, dishes and stuff that stay in the RV. Less unpacking and easier not to forgot important essentials. Crockpots are great. I also make stuffed shells, lasagna ahead (before trip) as they freeze well and taste fantastic in a gas oven. Cuts my time down drastically. We have a good friend that happens to be a mechanic. We always let him do a once over for any big trips. Don’t want to be stuck on the side of the hwy with 2 kids and 2 dogs. Very dangerous situation. Not to mention, a break down can put a damper on a trip that has a limited time schedule.

  6. The biggest headache is getting fuel for our diesel while traveling with our RV. Finding a station with diesel, one with enough room to maneuver is not easy. At first my job was to make sure they had diesel, looking for the “green” pump. Watch for BP stations, their diesel is the black pump. I now use Gas Buddy, and the headache is now if there is enough room. We have been in some scary situations!

  7. i have 3 tanks on my truck that i call Billy Big Rig. He is a 1995 ford f350 dually diesel with the 7.4 l engine. i use the big bed tank for most of the time. i switch to the second tank when the big one is close to empty. When i get to the 3rd tank i go find fuel at a truck stop. a full third tank gives me plenty of time to find diesel. also quite a few of the diesel pumps at other stations are placed at the ends so you dont have to pull clear in to fill the truck. happy camping!

  8. Recommend”The Next Exit” (from Camping World). Lists all exits on interstate highways with facilities for fuel, food, lodging etc. Also gives hints for big rigs, most of us with trailers, even small ones. Especially good for diesel users.☺

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