The keys are in your hand, adventure in your heart, and your new RV in your driveway, but hold up. Before you drive off into the sunset, there are several things you need to keep in mind for your RV experience. Our handy guide below will give you all the tips and tricks you need to know before you turn that ignition key.
1. Make Sure You’re Fully Prepared for Towing
If this is your very first RV (and even if it’s not) you need to make sure you’ve got all the proper equipment for towing. The last thing you want to happen is to get to your destination only to realize your trailer parted ways like a bad divorce two hours ago on the side of the highway. Head to your RV dealer and they can provide you with a hitch mount, torsion bars, sway control, chains, an emergency brake, and test your brake lights and blinkers.
2. Where Are You Going to Put It?
RVs aren’t exactly small things, you’re going to need somewhere to store it. Well, once you’ve finished your forest adventure of saving the tree people from their tyrannical leader and making s’mores (not necessarily in that order). If your home already has space in your driveway then perfect! But for everyone who bought their big new camping home, the best options are either storing it at fields farmers often rent out, or vehicle storage facilities.
3. Pour Over Every Inch
Your RV dealer will likely go over all the features of your travel trailer when you purchase it, but if they don’t it’s a good idea to ask. Plus, try out everything yourself once you get home. Maybe have a stay-at-home camping trip and make sure all settings and organization of the trailer are to your liking. If your RV has a kitchen use the stove and burners to find out the best temperature to cook meals at. That way, you don’t have to learn on the fly while camping and overcook your spaghetti. Oh, and read that thick book that says “owner’s manual.” It might not be an engaging read, but it will be helpful in the event of an emergency or breakdown.
4. Buy Accessories That You’ll Probably Need
While your travel trailer comes with a lot, it doesn’t come with everything. There are plenty of useful accessories you should have on hand for everyday use and in case of breakdowns. Some of the most common items include:
- A toolkit with tools like a hammer, screwdriver with all bit types, and socket wrenches.
- A sewer and drinking water hose.
- Tire chocks to make sure your travel trailer doesn’t move when parked (a good idea even if your RV is on flat ground).
- A trailer hitch lock (so no one can steal your most recent investment).
- Extension cords, and 30 AMP to 15 AMP adapters (among others for phone charging and the like).
5. Practice Driving
Finally, you’ve got your travel trailer set up the way you like, secured all the licences to be road legal, and are absolutely metaphorically itching (pre-mosquito bites) to get out and drive onto the open road. But one last thing, driving or towing an RV is not the same as other smaller trailers. You won’t be able to make tight turns and reversing with your trailer will take some getting used to. Head to an empty or low traffic parking lot to practice those skills until you can confidently park and turn corners (and impress your friends). If you’re able to practice getting on and off the highway as well, that’s also a good idea. That way, you’re able to get experience with how your vehicle handles at high speeds towing a larger trailer.
What tips do you have for new RVers? Looking to buy your own travel trailer on a budget? Check out our blog on the SylvanSport Go to learn about this compact camping solution.