People decide to test the waters of RV travel for a number of different reasons. Maybe they’ve reached retirement age and are finally getting a chance to do some of that traveling they’ve been meaning to do for years. Maybe they’re homeschooling their children and think it would be the perfect combination of learning experience and family togetherness. Or maybe they just want something different than the annual summer beach trip. Whatever their reason for jumping into the world of RV travel, their excitement is likely to be tempered by a certain amount of trepidation.
Let’s face it: The world of RV travel can be a bit daunting to the newbie.
While a certain amount of nervousness is to be expected, a lot can be done to ease those fears with some reasonable preparation before you take that beauty out for her maiden voyage. (Or her 824th voyage if you bought her used, but who’s counting?) Safe-T-Plus is here with a few road trip tips for those just joining the rest of us in the RV lifestyle.
1. Know Your RV
Possibly the most important thing you can do to prepare for RV travel is to familiarize yourself with the operation of your vehicle. If you’re only used to driving the family automobile, sitting behind the wheel of a 40-foot behemoth can be a nerve-wracking experience until you get used to it. Your first big trip is NOT the time to get used to it. Well in advance of your trip, get comfortable driving the RV. Become comfortable parking it and backing it in.
It’s also important to familiarize yourself with all the RV-specific features. Learn how to hook up to campground utilities, how to remove the waste water, and the ins and outs of all the functions and capabilities your particular recreational vehicle possesses.
2. Know Where You’re Going
“But wait,” I can hear you saying. “The whole reason I wanted to GET an RV was so I could be more spontaneous!” Relax! Nobody is trying to rob you of your adventurous spirit here; freedom from many of the travel constraints other forms of transportation are shackled with is one of the best reasons to own an RV. But having a basic itinerary and schedule can give you a basic outline of your trip and remove a lot of the logistics hassles in advance, not to mention save you money.
Do your research well in advance of your trip. Plan a general route and know where you’ll be parking for the night (and have some backups ready in case those don’t pan out for whatever reason). Have the location of and directions for the places you KNOW you want to visit (This is where GPS can really come in handy), and leave yourself as much wiggle room as you want for all those “Oooh, we just HAVE to check THAT out” moments.
3. Know How Much You Have to Spend
Yeah, there’s not a lot to say here. Have a budget. Stick to it. Nobody wants to live on crackers and water for the last third of their trip.
4. Know You’re Prepared for Emergencies
Put together an emergency kit — or several — with items to meet first aid needs. Or if you prefer, buy one that’s been pre-stocked to eliminate the guesswork. In addition, other non-medical items like a disposable camera to take pictures if you’re involved in an accident (What if your camera or phone are damaged?), batteries, extra cell phone chargers (Can you have too many?), etc.
What other road trip tips do you veteran travelers have for RV newbies? Leave them in the comments!
For extra peace of mind and safety, install the Safe-T-Plus product that’s right for you.