6 Tips For Your First Ever RV Vacation – A Beginner’s Guide
Heading out on vacation with an RV for the first time can be a daunting experience, especially if you are renting one for a few weeks and have had no experience using one before.
So, assuming you do not lack confidence driving a large home-on-wheels, let’s look at some of the tips you can follow to have a fun time on the road, without any problems.
1. Arrive at your campground before it gets dark
I got this one wrong on my very first day of an RV holiday. My family and I arrived late to the campsite, nerves were strained after a long day on the road (I had under-estimated the time we would need, and the number of stop-offs required), and it was difficult setting everything up in the near dark.
First, just seeing the number of your booked camping spot is a task; following that, as a newbie, it was tough knowing if I had parked safely or not.
Then I was struggling with hook-ups and all the rest of it, for an RV I had only been using for a matter of hours, (we were renting).
And this was all within a proper campsite.
Should you decide to park your RV in the woods for a night, you will definitely want to arrive in daylight. So plan your trip with plenty of time to spare.
2. Use leveling blocks
One of the safest ways to have your RV parked at a camp spot is to use leveling blocks. You cannot always guarantee a level spot and these cheap and easy-to-use blocks will help ensure a more comfortable vacation.
A spirit level in the tool-box (more on that below), will help determine which wheel needs to be lifted slightly. Wedge the blocks in place and your RV will be level.
Not only will your morning coffee sit nice and level on the dining table, but it could also prevent your appliances from functioning incorrectly.
For instance, some fridges utilize gravity to stay cool. If they sit wonkily the HVAC fluid doesn’t flow correctly. The result is warm food that perishes quickly.
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3. Bring an adequate toolbox
Although you hope not to have to bring out the toolbox too often when on your RV vacation, having some tools on standby will bring peace of mind, and can easily get you out of a small fix.
We already mentioned a spirit level for seeing if your RV is level when parked at the camping spot, so make sure you pack one of these.
A set of hex wrenches and screwdrivers will also come in handy for situations you can’t predict for.
Allen Keys, duct tape, cable ties, and a good cutting knife are all really handy things to have on an RV trip. They are all small, easy to get hold of, and extremely versatile.
Having the means to fix things on the fly, will really help reduce stress on your first RV vacation.
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4. Work out how to deal with the black water
Before you set off on your vacation you should be aware of how the poop storage container works on your RV.
Whether you watch YouTube videos, study the user manual, or ask someone that knows the deal, getting your head around the black water is important.
First, you should ensure that the dump valves are closed before you open the sewage storage compartment. Otherwise, you could end up with s^&t on your shoes.
Then, to dispose of the excrement, you will need to remove the cap of the compartment and connect the sewer hose.
If all goes to plan, the sewage will be pumped from your container and the job will be complete with no leakage.
5. Bring RV friendly toiletries
A bit of a theme running here I know. Sticking within the toilet arena, bringing paper that can easily dissolve in your RV toilet will help reduce the chance of any blockages.
Things can get smelly, even if you have a large container that you are able to empty regularly. To prevent pongy aromas, pack some scented toilet capsules.
These can be dropped into the tank so that odors are kept at bay.
And where possible, dispose of items using bins rather than the toilet. For instance, just like at home, do not put baby wipes, sanitary towels, or make-up remover pads into the pan.
Use the RV toilet for what it is designed for, along with flushing with plenty of water every time and you should have no issues.
But should a problem arise, make sure that you’ve got some rubber gloves packed so you are ready.
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6. Take time to enjoy the trip
One final tip and maybe this is the most important. Try not to cram too much into your itinerary.
Getting up at the crack of dawn to pack up and hit the road for your next location is missing the point a little.
If you are spending all of your time driving from one camp spot and scenic site to the next, you will get stressed out and will not enjoy the trip as much as you could if you just relaxed.
Wake up, enjoy a coffee in the morning sunshine before the kids rise. Arrive at your new site and embrace its surroundings; take time to watch the sunset, cook a nice meal, pop open the wine.
The vacation should be about enjoying the moment, not rushing to experience the next one.