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Tips For First Time RV-ers

Susan J

RV-ing can be tricky for first time RV-ers, and a lot of lessons are learned through experience.  However, here are some tips to help you make the most out of your first trip.

Renting

Many first time RV-ers decide to rent for their first trip in an RV.  This is a good idea so that you can see if you like RV-ing before spending a lot of money on buying an RV.  To decide what type of RV is right for you, talk with the renting company about your needs.  You will need to consider how many people will be going, where you plan to take the RV and what you plan on bringing with you.  Don’t make the mistake of getting an RV that is too big for your needs.  Remember, most of the time spent in the RV will be spent driving and sleeping, so you don’t need a ton of space.  The larger RV’s will be harder to drive and handle, especially for people new to RV-ing.  Also, if you don’t have a tow vehicle, you will need to go with either a class A, B, or C RV.

Driving

Practice

Once you have rented your RV it is a good idea to get a feel for how it drives, especially if you have never driven one before.  Find an empty parking lot and practice driving around.  The back will swing out wide, so it is good to get used to that before you leave for your trip.  Also try to practice parking.  Have someone be your spotter.  Agree on some hand signals to use and then have them guide you into a spot.  You can click here to read our article on parking an RV.

Driving Tips

Driving an RV can be tricky for first time RV-ers.  Make sure you pay extra attention to your surroundings and be aware of what is going on around you.  Make sure you drive at a safe speed and give yourself extra room to stop.  Also be aware of your RV’s dimensions and pay extra attention to the heights of overhangs, bridges, tunnels, and gas stations.  Also make sure to never go down a road that you don’t know there is a way out, to avoid getting stuck in a tricky situation.  An RV specific route planner or GPS can greatly help with this.  They factor in clearance and a number of other factors to help you plan the safest and easiest route.

Boondocking at Walmart

Boondocking

While traveling to your destination, you may need to stop somewhere for the night to rest.  Wal-Mart will often times allow you to stay in their parking lot overnight.  Just make sure to ask permission from the store manager first, and park on one of the outer edges of the parking lot.  Also be sure to practice good etiquette.  You can click here to read our article on boondocking etiquette.

Transportation

Once you arrive at your campsite, you will need a way to get around.  Driving the RV to nearby attractions just isn’t practical, especially if you are already hooked up.  Often times there may not be a place to park either.  If your RV is one of the towable varieties, you can just use the tow vehicle.  If you are using a class A or C, you may be able to tow a small car behind the RV.  Other than that, you can bring or rent bikes to get around.

Dumping Holding Tanks

Knowing how to dump your holding tanks is also important for first time RV-ers.  Here is an article that goes into some detail on the subject.

RV water tank valves close up

We hope these tips help you make the most out of your first RV trip.  Feel free to browse around on our blog and read more helpful articles.

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