How to Avoid These 5 RV Newbie Mistakes

Buying your first RV is an exciting experience. You will have a whole new world of travel opened up to you as an RV owner, and you will likely be anxious to get started. However, before you put rubber to the road for your very first vacation, you should review the tips below to make sure you don’t make a classic ‘newbie’ mistake. There are a few RVing mistakes which are common to new owners, but hopefully the content below will help you steer clear of these issues.

#1 – A Lack of Education

Your new RV has a number of different systems which you need to know how to use before you head out for your first trip. Spend some time at home with the owner’s manual getting to know your rig as carefully as possible. While you might not need to read the owner’s manual for some of the purchases you make in life – this is not one of those cases. Take some time to walk around and through your RV to make sure you know what everything is, and how it works. If the owner’s manual doesn’t explain a specific item to your satisfaction, head back to the dealer to ask your questions.

#2 – Driving Away Prematurely

When your trip has concluded, you may be in a hurry to get out on the road. After all, the highways can get crowded at the end of a holiday weekend, so beating the rush could shave hours off of your drive. However, rushing to get out of camp is a mistake which could have expensive consequences. Before you leave, do a full walk around to make sure everything has been put away and disconnected. If you drive off with your awning extended or your sewer hose in the ground, you will quickly find yourself in an embarrassing situation.

#3 – Underestimating Your Size

Most likely, your new RV is the biggest vehicle you have ever piloted down the road. That size can be intimidating at first, and it can make it difficult to operate your rig safely. Rather than making a huge mistake – like hitting an overpass which you thought you could clear – write down the dimensions of your RV before you set out and always proceed with caution.

#4 – Over-packing the Rig

It is great that you have plenty of storage in your RV – but that doesn’t mean you have to use every square inch of your storage space when you head out for a vacation. As is always the case when you take a trip, only pack what you think you will need. Bringing everything from inside your home along for the ride is a sure way to clutter up the RV in a hurry. Not only can this mistake take away from your enjoyment of the RV, it can also make your rig awfully heavy when heading up a mountain pass.

#5 – Wasting Energy

When sitting inside your RV, you might feel like you are at home. However, you aren’t at home, and you do have a limited supply of some energy sources – such as propane. Rather than pretending like you have an unlimited supply, be careful with your energy usage throughout your trip. You will save money in the long run when you only use what you need, and you will have a better chance of seeing your supply last through the end of the vacation.



  1. Thank you for making it so simple for a first timer like me! Q, any tips for picking the right travel trailer?? I am overwhelmed by the options.. o.0

    • Look at a few units to see what you like….I like a bedroom in the back…Has to have a bathroom….Lots of Windows for light…No leaks…..

  2. Look at a lot! We looked for a couple years before finally purchasing. This gave us a chance to decide which floor plan would work best for us – although we did have to settle on a couple items.
    Kitchen on drivers side – this way your windows are facing your own camp site vs your neighbors.
    Bed with a slide – this gives you more bedroom space.
    Bunk house – only if you have kids – why waste the usable space if you don’t need it.
    Kitchen & bathroom with enough storage.
    Outside kitchen or LP quick connect.
    Large back window – this allows you to enjoy the view esp if you are backed up against water (river, lake, bay, etc.)
    Bike rack or other large toys.
    Door placement. Can you access all you need if the sofa bed was being used? This is why we opted for rear living and a center door.

  3. Hook up the RV to water and that at home, give it a trial run in your yard if possible, or take it to a very close to home campground for the first try, then if something needs repaired or forget something you are close to home to take care of it before going a long distance away, then will be familiar with it before the trip, will make trips a whole lot better, being totally fimiliar with the new camper before setting out.