9 Essential Tips to Know Before Hitting the Road in Your RV

Published on 8/25/2021
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  1. Get Insurance

Make sure you have insurance. Insurance is required for RV usage, and traditional insurance doesn't cover it. Every state and insurance provider is different. Investigate the options.   Liability? Collision? Roadside assistance? Theft?  

2. Practice Driving

 An RV license or a special license or endorsement is not required. But you should test yourself.   Whether it's your first time RVing or just your first time driving a particular model one should practice before hitting the road. You want to be comfortable with the basics -- stopping, parking, reversing, turning, and entering/exiting expressways. The first day on the road should be short and close to home.  Do not start a trip the same day as it's picked up.

3. Understand the Equipment

Familiarize yourself with the various options available when booking spots, as well as the terminology associated with RVing. What is a full hookups vs partial hookups vs dry camping/. Get educated from the various on line sites and videos.   There are tool kits specifically for beginners to get acclimated and learn the lingo.

Know the specs of the specific RV. Can your vehicle haul the weight of a trailer? The height, weight, and dimensions are  essential to know before crossing bridges, fitting under overpasses, and/or finding parking. You’ll be very unhappy if you tear off an air conditioner in a drive-thru on one of your first RV outings.

4. Plan Your Route

Weather conditions, terrain, road construction, and accidents can make RV travel more difficult, especially for a newbie. Research the route ahead of time. Look for things like bridges, overpasses, and steep roads that the RV can't accommodate or that you are not comfortable driving. There are apps which can take into account your specific RV's characteristics to offer appropriate real-time navigation.

Determine good places to stop along the route. Rest stops often have RV parking, and Google Earth lets you look around restaurants, stores, and other attractions to help determine if you feel confident navigating the area.  Where are the truckers parked? Where do they eat?  Truckers have been there, done that. They are great mentors for RV newbies. 

5. Arrive Before Dark

Situating and hooking up your RV the first few times can be a challenge—and it's even harder if you're doing it in the dark. 

Consider the following:

  • Do not rush to get somewhere during daylight.  

  • Do not travel more than about 300 miles each day. 

  • Aim to arrive at your destination by 3 p.m. 

It is much easier to stop, relax and set up camp in the day vs in the evening or dark.

 

6. Prepare Your Pets

Pets also need to prepare. Pack copies of vaccination and health records, as required by many campgrounds.   Make sure your pets collar has w phone number on it in the event your pet gets lost.   

7. Don't Overpack

Less is better in RV travels. Kitchen supplies, clothes and gear. DO not over pack.  It is easy to clutter a small space and your RV will get better gas milage.   Remember the essentials.  Thermometers, medications, bandages—even toilet paper! RVs can be challenging to park, therefore think ahead.

8. Plan for Wi-Fi

Make sure you'll be covered on the road and at camp for internet and/or cell connections and coverage as you will be navigating unfamiliar areas. Confirm with campsites if they offer Wi-Fi and which spots have better connectivity before booking. A Wi-Fi booster would be a great investment. Make sure you check the campground online reviews.     

9. Be Flexible

Book a trip in advance. RV rentals and camping spots are in short supply thanks to increased popularity due to COVID-19. But part of the appeal of RVing is hitting the road when the travel bug calls is great, but be flexible with your timing and overnight locales. Summer weekends are peak times. Midweek travel offers more options and travel flexibility.  

Book outside of traditional campgrounds. Consider staying at wineries, open-air museums, and other memorable locales, provided they stay without water, sewer, and electricity hook-ups.

 

If your travel takes you leaf peeping in New England and you want to take a winter break, the folks at Central Maine RV Storage in Corinna, ME offer safe, secure, and reasonably priced indoor storage facility for your RV. The newly upgraded 17,400 facility has a clearance of 13’6” and offers 24/7 camera security and of course rodent control so your unit does not take on any uninvited winter visitors.  They can be reached at 207-278-2789. CLICK HERE FOR THEIR WEBSITE