There is nothing quite like taking to the open road and anticipating all the adventures that await you. Sometimes in our haste to “get out there,” we might forget some of the simplest tasks that make RV’ing easier and more enjoyable. Whether you’re new to RV’ing or a seasoned pro, here are five tips you should always have top of mind when using your vacation home on wheels.
Tip #1: Look before you park.
Whether you were able to choose your campsite or had one assigned to you, it’s important to take a moment BEFORE you pull in to get a lay of the land. Look for uneven areas that could make stabilizing your rig a challenge. Also, consider the size and make sure there’s ample room for your RV and anything you might want to set up on your “patio.” Look for low-handing branches or dead wood that could fall on your RV and damage the roof. Make sure that the site fits your expectations. If you’re looking for peace and quiet and are assigned a slot in the busiest part of the park, you might not enjoy the experience as much as you thought.
Tip #2: Do a “walk-around” before you leave.
Before pulling away, take time to do a thorough check of the area and your RV. Consider creating to-do lists for both settling in and packing up, and follow that list to the letter. Make sure all the slideouts, awnings, and antennas are back to their locked in positions and ready for the motion of the road.
Tip #3: Pack light.
Despite how much room your camper may have, you still won’t be able to pack everything. If you’ve already started packing, you’ve probably realized how quickly your stuff takes up space. You only have so much storage room and trying to fit all the things you might use is probably going to be very difficult. Not to mention, it’ll get very cramped, very fast.
Start by packing only the most essential items without including those “just in case” supplies. You should also try to consolidate in every way you can. For example, instead of packing clothes for every single day you’ll be camping, consider packing fewer clothes and taking advantage of onsite or local laundromats. Only after you’ve packed the essentials should you consider if you have room for luxury items.
Some important issues you’ll want to keep in mind includes weight. There are legal limits to how much your motorhome can weigh overall, including the rig itself, any towed vehicles, passengers, and cargo. Not only can overloading your RV be unsafe, but it can lead to hefty fines, so be careful about how much you pack. Also keep in mind that just because you have extra storage space, doesn’t mean you have to fill every inch of it.
Tip #4: Keep a repair kit on hand.
Keep a toolbox in your RV that contains the basic essentials for a quick fix while on the road. It should include jumper cables, a lug wrench, a tire gauge, spare tire, extra fuses, nuts and bolts, connectors, screwdrivers, hammer, and even spare phone and tablet chargers. It might save you the expense of calling a mobile mechanic or tow truck.
Tip #5: Make reservations.
Campgrounds, especially the most popular ones in desirable locations, can fill up in a hurry. Don’t ever assume that a place will be waiting for you. Instead, plan your journey well in advance and make reservations to ensure a spot will be waiting for you, and that it will be in the part of the park you want to be in.