Important Things That First Time RV Owners Should Know
Owning an RV is a big lifestyle change. It requires commitment and sacrifices, in time, effort, and costs. Life on the road is a worthwhile endeavor, but anything worthwhile requires considerable sacrifices.
If you are considering buying an RV for the first time, or if you have already bought one, take some time to consider whether you’ll be able to handle several items.
Here are several important things that first time RV owners should know. These will help prepare you for anything that may come your way.
What You Should Know
LIfe on the road is a convenience. However, it also puts you in a drastic spot if you don’t have everything you need. You may be somewhere far away from civilization without what you need. Better have some items and not need them, than need them and not have them.
- Food and Water
First on the list is drinking water and food. If you have an RV with a kitchen, ensure that you have all the food that you may need for your trip. If you don’t have a kitchen, then try and plan your trip by placing your routes near places where you can grab a bite.
Water is essential as well. Make sure you have ample supply or a place to stock up on it. Add a drinking water hose to the list. This hose allows you to connect your RV to a water hookup. You can use this for showering, drinking, and your toilet.
- Maintenance Items
If you are living full time on the road, chances are that something may happen to your RV. We can cross all the fingers we want, but we at RV Family Life think that being well prepared is a better way to go about it.
Ensure you have the right maintenance items for any of your needs. These include things like a flashlight, duct tape, a tire pressure gauge, emergency road kits, a full fire extinguisher, extra motor oil, and transmission fluid.
Read your manual so you understand the ins and outs of your RV. Before any trip, prepare as much as you can. For instance, if you don’t know how to change a tire but you are heading out for a while, it may be best to learn the skill beforehand.
- Appropriate Clothing
No, we don’t mean turning in sandals or slippers for socks and formal shoes. When we say appropriate clothing, we mean that you should prepare for extreme weather and certain situations.
For starters, bring a hat that can protect you from the sun. If you are taking a trip during summer or heading to places with hotter climates, the hat is a minor convenience, but a welcome hat.
Match your clothing with the expected climate. If it is hot, light materialed shirts and shorts would help you out a lot. If it is cold, jackets and coats are appropriate to help warm you up.
Also make sure you bring certain pieces of clothing for specific activities. These can include bathing suits, hiking shoes, and running shoes. You never know when you may need them.
Mind Your Tires
When you head out on a trip in your very first RV, make sure to mind your tires. Specifically the date on them. A new RV means new tires. However, it may pretty soon need some maintenance. Check the back of your tires for four digits. This is the date when they were made.
Keep this date in mind and see when it is time to replace them.
At the same time, after loading your RV with all the items you may need, also take into consideration the weight of your RV. Afterwards, match the RV weight with the tire PSI chart so you can prep your tires correctly.
Slow Down and Enjoy the Moment
Next up, ensure to slow down on the road and just enjoy the moment. This piece of advice is way more than philosophical advice. It actually lends more to safety.
If you are driving fast or rushed, you are more likely to make some mistakes. These could lead to some accidents which can affect you and your family’s health, as well as your finances.
Know Thy RV’s Measurements
It may sound like a commandment, but there is wisdom in knowing the measurements of your RV. This will come into play many times when you are on the road.
In understanding the height of your RV, you can see whether you’ll fit in certain bridges or areas which have a clearance limit.
If you know the length of your RV, you’ll know if you’ll be able to fit in certain parking areas or just general locations.
Finally, you should even pay attention to the distance between your tires. This distance changes roughly due to the leaf springs. However, a general understanding will allow you to see if there is a problem or not. If the gap is severely widening, there are problems with some parts like the axle.
Do’s and Don’ts
Here are a few do’s and don’ts that go hand in hand with the list above.
First, you shouldn’t be afraid of asking too many questions when at the dealership or if you are around knowledgeable people. Knowledge is power and it will dramatically help you down the road, literally.
Dealerships seem like a trusted source. However, don’t just rely on all the information that the dealership provides you. Reach out to people, groups, and even seminars on the RV life. Be sure to find the right people and learn as much as you can about RVs and the lifestyle.
You should also mind your expenses. It is true that living in an RV full time takes away some of the strain from things like owning a house. This doesn’t mean though that you should just blow through your cash.
You need to save some money for things like emergencies, maintenance, insurance, and more unforeseen things.
The next tip is an important one: expect that something wrong will happen. This is an inevitability when living on the road. When it does though, don’t panic. Just stay calm and keep your ears and minds open for people’s advice and wisdom. It could prepare you for something that will happen down the road.
Know More and Share More
We hope that these have helped you learn some important things that first time RV owners should know. It is true that the more you know, the better prepared you will be.
This is by no means a definitive list. People have various experiences, and we are sure that many other pieces of wisdom are out there waiting for you to learn. When you do, make sure you pass it on and share it with other owners.
The last tip we have is to enjoy the process. The road is out there, waiting to bring you to exciting locales and unforgettable experiences. Enjoy the journey and the trip will always be worth it.
You might also wanna check BUYING AN RV: EVERYTHING THAT YOU NEED TO KNOW.