If you just bought your first RV or thinking about renting your first one, then saddle up, you are about to get addicted. The freedom of going anywhere you want and take all the modern conveniences of a home with you is going to encourage you to go on incrementally longer RV trips in the future. If you are like many RV owners, you may even ditch your conventional “bricks and sticks” home and start living in a motor home full time.
As much as you would love to believe it, RV trips are not about spontaneously heading out without any planning. You need to think about parking spots, approach roads, electrical and water hookups, and most importantly the availability of RV camping parks.
Before you get addicted for life and become a veteran RV owner, these 10 tips are going to prepare you for your first RV camping trip.
Get Used to Driving an RV
Driving an RV is not difficult, but there is no denying there is a learning curve. Breaks and steerings feel a bit different and you have to get used to using your side mirrors. Overtaking and maneuvering the RV into a tight spot also demands a bit of practice.
If you are planning to buy an RV, make sure to drive it a few times to get the hang of it. You can even rent the exact model and go on a road trip before making a big investment.
Pick a Destination That Has Multiple RV Parks and Campgrounds
There are some destinations that have more RV parks than others. For example, RV camping in Oregon is quite popular and you will find plenty of RV parks near Oregon coast and national parks. With competition comes great service and the option switch campgrounds if you are not happy.
Take Local Warnings Seriously
From wildlife warnings to weather warnings, you need to read every sign carefully. Some bridges and roads are not for heavy vehicles or have low-hanging obstacles. Take each and every warning seriously when out on the road.
Practice How to Setup Your RV
Setting up an RV properly when at the campgrounds takes a bit of getting used to. You need to make sure your RV is level, properly hookup the electrical line, attach the sewer connection, securely attach the water connection, place wheel chocks to keep your RV in place, and others.
As you get the practice, you will be able to do all this within 10 to 15 minutes, but it may take you a bit longer the first time.
Reserve a Campground in Advance
RV Campgrounds in Oregon and other high-traffic areas tend to get full during touristy seasons. Be sure to always call ahead to book a spot.
Create a List of Alternative RV Parks
This is tip is kind of an extension of the second tip. If you are going to a place where you think Wi-Fi or internet is going to be a problem, then make a list of alternative RV parks in the locality. Always have a plan B when it comes to RV parks as you might not be fully satisfied with your original booking. Some RV parks have faulty electrical connections, bad or inadequate service, or simply located poorly. With a list of alternative RV parks, you can always find a better spot to park your RV.
Check the Weather
While you can work around an afternoon shower or drive through it if you are feeling brave, but you need to keep a tab on major weather events. Before heading out, make sure to check the weather sites for storm warnings.
Pack a Basic Tool Kit
A basic tool kit that has jumper cables, fuses, and a few basic tools can prove to be invaluable on the road. It’s also important to have insurance and check out road service companies that provide towing services for RVs.
Make a Checklist of Daily Essentials to Avoid Detours
Imagine this. You are out on the road and you suddenly run out of toilet paper. This simple problem can cause you to take huge detours when driving in remote locations. Create a checklist of all the necessary items to avoid spending time in gas station convenience stores.
Check Road Conditions and Closures
Width of approach roads, weight capacity of bridges can force you to take alternative routes. Make sure to check out the RV park or any destination where you plan to park on Google Maps to see the conditions of the road. Federal Highway Administration also releases reports on road closures, be sure to check that out.