Your first RV is exciting, and will open a whole world of exciting and new travel experiences. Although you may be eager to get started on your first trip, please heed the tips below to make sure you don’t make a ‘newbie’ mistake. Here are a few RVing mistakes which are common to newbies.
(1) Failure to Educate Yourself
Your new RV has several systems which you will need to know how to use, before you go on your first trip. Before you even buy your first RV, spend some time on RV forums and groups, reading posts and asking questions. When you do bring your new RV home, read the owner’s manual, to get to know the layout of your rig’s systems as musch as possible. Spend a couple of hours, or more, walking around and through your RV to make sure you know what and where everything is, and how it works. If the owner’s manual doesn’t explain the specifics to your satisfaction, go back to the dealer to ask your questions.
(2) Underestimating Your Size
Your new RV is likely the biggest vehicle you have ever driven down the road. The size can be scary at first, and it can make it challenging to drive your rig safely. Rather than making a big mistake, such as hitting an overpass which you thought you could clear, memorize or write down the dimensions of your RV before you set out and always proceed with caution. Also, carefully research your planned route, for steep grades, narrow roads, and low overpasses, to avoid hazards in the first place.
(3) Over Loading the RV
Only pack what you think you will really need. Even if you have plenty of storage in your RV, it doesn’t mean you have to pack every square inch. Packing everything from your “sticks and bricks” home is a sure way to clutter up the RV, and go over the maximum recommended weight. Overloading the RV with unnecessary stuff will not only make your RV inconvenient to live in, it can also make your rig too heavy when going over steep grades.
(4) Wasting Electricity, Propane and Water
Your RV may feel like a real house when you’re out there boondocking in the wild, but it isn’t, and you don’t have a unlimited supply of essentials such as propane, water and electricity. Be careful with your resources. Monitor your battery levels, and minimize your electrical useage. Monitor your water levels, and realize, you won’t be able to take long, luxurious showers every day. Use paper plates, and devise a low water method to wash your cookware and dishes. You will have a better chance of seeing your supplies last through to the end of your camping adventure.
(5) Driving Off in a Hurry
You may be in a hurry to get out on the road, to avoid the crush after a holiday weekend, or to cut short the time between your next destination. But rushing to get out of camp and on the road can lead to mistakes, which could have expensive consequences. Before you leave, do a full walk around to make sure everything has been disconnected and put away. If you drive off with your awning extended or your electric cable still plugged in, you can quickly find yourself in an expensive, dangerous and embarrassing situation.