Table of Contents
Approximately 18.9 percent of Americans over the age of 35 own an RV. Are you getting ready to join this group?
An RV is a great vehicle that will help you to see the country in style. As a first-time RV owner, though, there’s a lot you need to keep in mind.
Read on for a detailed outline of all RV needs you ought to know.
Always Take a Test Run
When you get your first RV, there’s always a bit of a learning curve when it comes to driving it. Make sure you feel comfortable maneuvering in the new rig before you take it out on the open road.
In the days or weeks leading up to your trip, plan on taking your RV for a few test runs. This will help you get a feel for how to drive it and ensure you can handle things like steering and parking with ease.
Gather the Basics
Next, make sure you have all the basics ready to go. When it comes to packing for your trip, there are some essential items that every RV owner ought to have at the ready, including the following:
- A sewer hose
- A freshwater hose
- Wheel chocks
- Leveling blocks
- Toilet paper that’s septic safe
- A water pressure regulator
- A 15M/30F power adaptor
You’ll also want to have cleaning supplies on hand, too. This includes things like a bucket, sponges, a ladder, and soap.
Pack with Care
The items listed above are non-negotiable. They should always be in your RV. As for the rest of the packing process, err on the side of less instead of more.
Remember, you need to keep the weight of your RV in mind. If you bring a bunch of useless items, you’ll weigh it down and won’t have enough room for yourself and your family.
Do your best to limit what you bring and use your RV trip as an opportunity to practice minimalism.
Not All Campgrounds are RV-Friendly
It’s important to research campgrounds and make reservations before you leave for your trip. Not all campgrounds are RV-friendly, and not all RV-friendly campgrounds can accommodate every type of RV.
Do your due diligence beforehand and find a campground that will work for your specific RV. That way, when you arrive at your destination, you can set up camp and relax instead of scrambling to try to find a place to sleep.
Learn Your Measurements
Make sure you know the specific measurements of your RV. These numbers will be important when it comes to finding a place to stay and making sure the RV will fit in tight spaces (such as under overpasses and bridges).
There are three measurements you need to memorize or write down:
- Distance between your tires
This last number will be especially useful when it comes to checking that your RV is in good shape. Changes in the distance between your tires can be an indicator of a problem with your tires’ axles or center pins.
Fluids Should Stay Low
Carrying tons of fluids will weigh down your RV. This, in turn, will have a negative impact on your gas mileage and could cause your tanks to crack if they become overloaded.
To avoid this, empty your gray and black water tanks before you hit the road. Only fill your freshwater tank 1/4 of the way, too. You can always refill when you reach the campground.
Get an RV-Specific GPS
You’ll save yourself a lot of headaches and frustration if you invest in a GPS designed specifically for RVers.
Remember, you can’t always take the same routes with an RV that you can with a car or truck. An RV-specific GPS will help you ensure you get to your destination in the fastest way possible without running into any potential obstacles or driving through areas that could cause damage to your RV.
Test the Tires
Always test your tires before you leave, too.
Remember, even if your rig is brand new, your tires might not be. Check their age and ensure they’re filled all the way before getting on the road.
If you find that you have old tires, you may want to replace them as an extra precaution. It might be irritating to have to pay for new tires before a big trip, but it’s better than ending up with a flat in the middle of nowhere.
Maintain the Exterior
It’s important to keep the exterior of the RV clean and in good condition, too.
If the exterior is worn down, you’ll be more likely to have bugs or other pests inside of your RV. It’ll make it harder for you to maintain a consistent temperature inside as well.
You should also consider installing vent covers. This will help you to air out the RV without letting bugs, rainwater, or anything else in.
Check Your Systems Before You Leave
Before you leave on your trip, always check that all of your RVs systems are working properly. This includes things like the water, the engine, the brakes, and the air conditioner.
Leave no stone unturned. It might seem tedious now, but it could save you a lot of time and money later in addition to keeping you and your family safe on the road.
Remember, too, that these checks get easier with time. The more you learn about RV water systems, electrical systems, and other systems, the less time-consuming this process will be.
You Know About All RV Needs: Now What?
There you have it: a detailed breakdown of all RV needs that first-time RV owners should know.
It’s okay if you’re feeling a little overwhelmed at this point. Don’t let these details stop you from pursuing your RV travel goals, though.
If you remember this information moving forward, you’ll have an easier time maintaining your RV and will be able to travel without any major problems.
Do you need more travel tips? Check out the Travel and Entertainment section of our website today to keep learning.