Guest post by RoverPass, an online booking site for RV parks and campgrounds.Your first time driving and traveling in an RV is a big deal, and being prepared is the best way to ensure that your first experience is a good one. Knowing how to pack for a journey, how to adjust to your new vehicle and where to go in your first few times out gives you a starting point as you plan your first trips. These tips will help you during your first experiences as an RV owner, from simply becoming comfortable with driving your vehicle, to learning to find the best RV parks and campgrounds anywhere you go.
1. Familiarize Yourself with Your RV
Before leaving on your first trip, get to know your RV and all of its parts. Practice hooking up and disconnecting your RV from your vehicle. Drive your RV around town and through the nearby countryside to get used to the way it handles.
Make a meal in the kitchen, hook the RV up to power, test the air conditioner, and spend a night in your driveway. If you’ll be traveling with children, have them spend some time in the RV with you, and ask them to do all the same activities they would do on your upcoming trips.
Using the RV in an environment close to home helps you adjust to using an RV. These practice runs also give you a chance to trouble shoot your vehicle and work out kinks before you’re on the road.
If you have a friend who has an RV and is familiar with the way they work, make a list of questions to ask your friend next time you’re together. Better yet, bring your friend with you on exploratory journeys, so your friend can show you what it takes to make your RV work.
2. Get Organized Before Trips Occur
Make a list of everything you’re going to need on your trip. Having spent time testing your RV will help you create a list that is accurate and thorough. Break your list down into categories like “kitchen” and “bedroom” and “bath.” Categorizing your list will help you think through your list in an organized way, and can prevent you from forgetting anything.
3. Have A Plan
Knowing where you plan to go, routes you want to drive and where you’ll be staying when you arrive can reduce stress on your first several journeys. For example, if you’re traveling to Seattle in your RV, know which freeways you plan to drive. Look up in advance which RV parks and campgrounds near Seattle will have space for your vehicle. Call ahead if possible. When you become a more experienced RVer, you may become more spontaneous and adventurous.
4. Start Small
Traveling short distances and staying near home in your first several trips simplifies everything. Knowing that you can go home if you forget something or if something goes wrong with your RV can help reduce pressure and encourage relaxation.
5. Travel in Small Chunks Each Day
If you do plan to drive a long distance, plan to cover small distances on each day. Driving in short spurts makes it easier to enjoy your journey and take fun pit stops. Driving in chunks also helps ensure that you’ll arrive at your destination during daylight hours. It’s always better to drive during the day time rather than at night when you’re first learning to drive your RV.
6. Avoid Problematic Roadways
Changing lanes and navigating an RV on a crowded roadway is a special kind of challenge, especially for new RV drivers. Avoiding crowded highways, freeways and interstate roads makes driving easier and reduces the chances of an accident.
Many first-time RVers also avoid driving on winding mountainous roads. If possible, stick to relatively uncrowded highways and major roads for your first few trips. It helps to know the roads from personal driving experience, because you can’t always tell from a map what it will be like to drive on a roadway.
Following these tips can help you have great adventures in your new RV. Enjoy!
Author: Kaspars Misins
Kaspars is a long term traveler and a travel blogger from Latvia. He loves going on long walks, reading non fiction books and spending time outdoors. Together with his girlfriend Una they have been traveling – volunteering – working abroad since 2013. On We Are From Latvia they share their experience and things learned along the way.