Did you know that camping is one of America’s favorite outdoor activities?
If you’ve not embarked on a camping trip yet, you’re missing out. 40 million American campers every year can’t be wrong, after all.
If you want to explore the great outdoors, RV camping is an awesome option. But how can you go RV camping like a boss? Read on for 8 RV camping tips for beginners and you’ll be ready to hit the road!
Top 8 RV Camping Tips for Beginners
Are you a newbie or a well-seasoned camper? Maybe you’ve never been the “camping type”. But even if you’ve camped in a tent or towed a caravan before, motorhome camping is quite a different experience.
While there’s no “RV Camping for Dummies” book, we have all the tips you need right here.
1. RV Camping—Getting Started
The first step to RV camping is actually buying an RV. If you’re not sure whether you’ll love the experience or not, try hiring instead. A dummy-run will help you to get the feel of RV camping without splashing the cash.
If you decide motorhome camping is for you, think about these questions before buying:
- What’s your budget?
- How often do you plan to use your RV?
- What size do you want?
- Do you prefer gas or diesel?
While buying a brand new RV gives you a great start, many of the best deals on motorhomes have previous owners. But if you’ve found the perfect motorhome and you don’t have cash on hand, what can you do? This article will reveal all.
2. Test Drive Time
One of the most important RV tips for beginners is to take a test drive. Why? Because driving an RV (or any big vehicle for that matter) is a totally different experience to driving a car.
As an RV is a lot taller and wider than usual vehicles, the driver will need time to get used to the new dimensions. A test drive will give the driver the chance to practice driving under bridges, low-hanging branches or down narrow roads. After, they’ll feel like a total pro.
Passengers also need to feel comfortable in the RV. Because a white-knuckled backseat driver or rowdy kids and pets can be a dangerous distraction to the driver. Passengers should know that although they have more space to stretch out, they need to stay seated at all times when the RV is in motion.
3. Grab Your Tool Box
Make sure you have all the tools you need for your motorhome camping trip. Especially if you’re heading to a far-flung place with fewer service stations. Some of the basic tools you should keep on hand include:
- Tire Guage
- Jumper cables
The list goes on, but try not to overdo it. You don’t want to be a moving auto-parts store after all.
On top of having the tools, you also need to know HOW to fix things. For instance, how to inflate your tires. Or how to jumpstart a tired RV.
4. The Bare Necessities
Tent camping in the wild can give you that Bear Grylls experience. But RV campsites have more than just the bare necessities. While the amenities are all there, you need to know how to connect to them.
For instance, prepare for different electrical outlets. There is no real standard when it comes to the type of outlet used, you need to be ready for anything.
The same goes for your “black tank”. You need to know how and when to hook it up to the campground septic system.
5. Goodnight, Sleep Tight…
Don’t let the bed bugs bite! Make sure everyone gets a good nights sleep by planning sleeping arrangements.
Some motorhomes are so huge there is enough space for your whole family to snuggle up and sleep. In others, there’s limited space, and you may have converted dinettes or couches to sleep on. If you have a big crowd, you may opt for a tent extension.
6. Pack to Perfection
RVs come in all different shapes and sizes. While you have more room than a traditional suitcase, make sure you don’t overpack. Only pack what you need and be careful not to clutter your space.
When you arrive, you’ll no doubt forget some essentials you didn’t know you needed. But after a few trips, you’ll have a collection of all the gear you need. And don’t forget to make sure to strap everything down before you start driving!
7. Get Booking
Now your RV is ready to run, it’s time to start booking. While you may be able to drive up to any campground without planning, booking ahead of time is better. Remember that some campgrounds become fully booked a year in advance!
If you’re heading out during RV season or you have a specific spot you want to visit, book ahead of time. And don’t forget to ask these questions:
- What are the check-in and check-out times?
- What are the facilities available? (Water? electric hookups? Dump facilities?)
- Are generators permitted or is there a noise curfew?
- Are their RV dimension limits?
- Are pets allowed?
Find out as much information before you go, and your trip will run smoothly.
8. The Early Bird Gets the Worm
Arriving at your chosen RV campsites may feel like the end of your journey. But the adventure has only just begun!
To set up your camp, hook up to electricity and get your amenities in order, arrive while there is still daylight. Setting up camp in the dark can be a total nightmare, especially for a newbie.
Arriving early also gives you and your camping crew a chance to explore your surroundings. You could even head fishing, hunting or go on a walk before you settle down for the night. Arriving early will give you the chance to start off your vacay with a bang!
Time to Hit the Road
Now you know the 411 on RV camping tips for beginners, your first trip will be a huge success. So, are you ready? It’s time to hit the road!
If you love the great outdoors as we do, you’ve come to the right place. Check back on our blog regularly for tips and ideas on how to make the most of the great outdoors.