What to Know Before Your First RV Trip

2020 and perhaps 2021 as well may very well be the years of the RV trip. It’s an incredibly popular way to travel right now, as we’re still grappling with the effects of the coronavirus pandemic. Hitting the roadways, in general, is a good way to travel and satisfy your sense of adventure, even when the world looks a little different. 

You might rent an RV for a girls’ trip or a family trip, or perhaps you’re thinking about buying one, and you’re wondering what to know. 

Along with things like staying safe on the roadways when you’re on a road trip, the following are a few other things to know about taking an RV trip. 

Adequate Planning and Preparing Are Important

You may feel eager to head out on your road trip, but for an RV trip to be successful, you need to plan it properly and prepare for it. You want to make sure you bring everything you need but don’t overpack because you simply don’t have the space. 

Think about meal prep as well, if you’re going to be cooking in your RV. 

If you’re renting an RV, ask the owner what the kitchen is already stocked with, versus what you need to bring. 

Once you get on the RV for the first time, you should unpack everything all at once. Then you don’t have to worry about it again, and everything will have a place. 

In general, while it’s tempting to just hit the road and wing it during an RV trip, it’s better all-around to plan as much as you can’t. For example, you should think about your budget for overnight stays, food, and activities. You should plan your primary route and give yourself some alternate options. Think about what you want to see, and pick the campgrounds where you’ll be staying. 

During certain times of year, campgrounds can fill up fast, so you should try and book in advance if possible. 

Get Familiar with the RV

Whether you’re renting or buying, it’s critical to get familiar with your RV before you hit the road. You should figure out how to spot any potential problems and how to fix them if they’re simple. 

You also want to give yourself a crash course on all things operations so that you’re not running into issues while you’re on your trip. 

You can also take a practice drive. 

You need to get a feel for what it’s like to go up hills, switch lanes, and park. 

Know How to Set Up When You’re at the Campground

When you arrive at a campground, there are a certain set of things you’re going to have to do each time. You might create a checklist and bring it with you when you travel, to make it easy on yourself. 

A few of the things to include on that checklist are:• Locate the electrical, sewage, and water hookups• Check for any obstacles on the ground of your site or low hanging branches• Pull your RV up to the hookups and level it if needed• Secure the rig by chocking wheels• Connect to hookups• Set up your campsite and awning

If you need to level your RV at your campsite, you can do so with leveling blocks which you can purchase at a hardware store. In case you are worried about your trailer being unhitched and simply towed away by another vehicle, make sure to protect is with a trailer lock. This way you keep your personal property securely locked to your vehicle.

Try to get your campsite before it’s dark. It’ll be much easier to get everything set up when you’re not trying to do it in the dark. 

When you’re searching for campsites, you can do a basic Google search. Another option is to use an app like Campendium, which offers detailed information and reviews for campsites. Harvest Hosts is another app that connects you with free places to stay overnight. 

Download maps before your trip because there may be times when you don’t have internet access. 

Bring a Toolkit

There are manythings that can happen on an RV trip that you may not initially anticipate. Prepare by bringing a toolkit. You should make sure you have wrenches, scissors, duct tape, and zip ties and rubber bands. Bring plenty of towels around as well. 

Finally, if you aren’t to this point yet, ensure that you choose the right kind of RV for you. You’ll base it on the amenities you want, how far you’ll be traveling, and how many people you’re traveling with. For example, a Class A motorhome will give you the most space, but if you’re a first-timer, a Class C is easier to drive.

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