For many people, the “perfect holiday” is one that doesn’t involve plane travel, as they’d prefer to hop in a vehicle and hit the open road, allowing themselves the freedom to explore whatever catches their eye along the way. If this sounds like your style of holiday, then RVing could be the way to go. With an RV, you are traveling within your accommodation, so hotels, resorts, motels, and inns aren’t something you need to worry about. Instead, you have the freedom to take your time, explore all kinds of hidden gems, and stay in some fabulous RV parks along the way.
If you are convinced that an RV trip is the best way to go for your next vacation, then these tips meant for beginners such as yourself can prove to be invaluable.
Start with a Rental Rather Than a Purchase
No matter the style or size of the RV, it is a fairly large investment to buy one flat out. As a beginner, you really don’t know if this will be the best method of travel for you, so it’s often a good idea to start with an RV rental rather than a purchase.
There is no shortage of companies out there that offer fabulous RV rental options that give you a chance to experience RVing first-hand. Take, for example, the Cruise America RV rental company. You can choose from a wide variety of sizes such as a compact RV rental, which is relatively easy to maneuver, all the way up to a large RV. It’s not just the driving experience that changes between the sizes, as the number of people they sleep and the amenities also vary.
A rental also gives you a chance to figure out what size makes the most sense for you and your holiday needs. Maybe you find out you need something bigger than you originally thought, or the complete opposite and that you can in fact downsize when it comes time to make a purchase.
Take a Few Practice Drives Before Your Vacation Starts
It’s also a good idea to familiarize yourself with how the RV handles, so a few practice drives are wise. You can even bring the kids and pets on the practice drive if they will be on the trip. It just gives everyone a chance to get used to things before the holiday begins.
Set Down Some Basic Rules for Passengers
Because you are new at driving an RV, there are bound to be some white-knuckle moments along the journey. You’ll be able to handle these a lot better if your passengers are respectful of you, the driver. It’s a good idea to set down some basic rules for your passengers before the journey begins.
This can include things like pets needing to be in a crate while the RV is moving, no running around, no yelling, no distracting the driver, no loud music, and the need to have a passenger upfront with you to help you with navigation whenever needed.
Bring a Tool Kit
You also want to be prepared in case anything should happen with the RV while you’re traveling. It is recommended you bring a well-stocked tool kit and spare parts such as light bulbs, fuses, nuts and bolts, jumper cables, and connectors. Chances are you won’t have to use these items, but at least you will be prepared just in case.
Plan Your Itinerary
While it can seem really romantic to just hit the open road and go wherever it takes you, it’s best to plan out your itinerary in advance as a newbie. Planning should include route information, where you plan to stop for the night, what RV parks you will be staying at (you can call and make reservations in advance at most of them), where you plan to eat (food stops), rest stops along the way, attractions you want to visit, and, of course, your budget.
You can always chat to friends and family who RV on a regular basis to get some tips on routes to use, the best RV campgrounds and highlights along the way. Plus, you can do some internet research on your own.
Practice Setting Up the RV for When You Arrive at the Campground
Once you arrive at the campground, you may be surprised to learn there’s more than just pulling into your lot. There will be a number of steps you need to do in order to prepare your RV for camping. You can go over all these steps in the RV’s instructional manual, plus it may be helpful to watch some how-to videos online.
It certainly wouldn’t hurt to try this routine at home in the driveway, with as many steps as possible, so that you aren’t left in a panic or sheer confusion at the campground. If it makes the process easier, you can write out a checklist that you can follow along with. Over time, it will become second nature, and you won’t even have to worry about the list.
Some of the things you’ll need to do is a visual inspection of the campground to ensure there are no obstacles on the ground, hook up the water, sewage, and electric, secure the wheels, use stabilizing jacks (depending on the campground), switch on the appliances in the RV once power has been hooked up, open the awning, and attach the sewer hose.
The final tip is to go easy on what you pack. It’s quite tempting to pack your entire house in the RV, but, in reality, you really don’t need that much. Leave behind as much as possible, otherwise, the RV will be packed to the gills, unorganized, and far from spacious.
You’re Ready for Your Big Trip
By following all these tips meant for newbies renting an RV, you’ll be ensuring that the holiday is successful and one that you’ll want to try again.