Hey, it’s no coincidence that RV stands for ‘relaxing vacation’ just as much as recreational vehicle, right?. Because a holiday in one can be a peaceful, pleasant one, indeed. On the flipside, if the proper preparation hasn’t gone into the trip, an RV holiday can be a treacherous affair, dominated by bumps in road both physical and metaphorical. We’d prefer that relaxing rendition, thank you very much. Here’s how to go about it; our 5 IDEAL tips for your first trip in an RV.

PLAN A TRIP FOR BEGINNERS

Sorry for diving straight in, but we’re going to assume that you’ve already been shown how to fill the water tank and empty the dirty water tank in the RV. You should have been taught how to fill the gas tank and maintain the batteries, too. You have been shown that, right? 

But there are likely a few elements of an RV trip you might not be familiar with. Firstly, it’s essential you park in campgrounds with water and electricity instead of boondocking. Choose routes that are easy to navigate and don’t have steep inclines; you don’t want to be getting to grips with driving an RV on the most challenging roads. 

Pick a destination that’s less than a three-hour drive, so that you don’t get tired or bored on a long stretch of road; this is a holiday, after all. Skip the popular destinations on your first trip, because you don’t want to fight to park in the only available campsite. Instead, enjoy the freedom of the road, first and foremost.

PLAN ON COOKING

One of the best tips for your RV trip is to make the most of the cooking, al fresco and on the move. Too many people blow their budget eating out for every meal when really, there’s a lot of joy to be found in cooking for yourself on such a holiday. Barbeques under the stars, with family and friends…what could be better? Not only is this one of life’s simplest pleasures, but it’s also a great money saver when on the road, too.

PLAN REGULAR STOPS

Many new RV owners expect to drive pedal to the metal from point A to point B without taking the time to really saviour the vistas (and have a little pit stop, too). In reality, you need to plan regular stops. Indeed, it’s wise to plan on stopping every two to three hours, at a minimum, at a location that has both gas and bathrooms. 

This allows you to top off the gas tank, pick up supplies you didn’t realize you lacked and spend a penny or two, if necessary. Though we acknowledge our previous tip, if you really don’t want to cook, these pit stops allow you the chance to get a snack or lunch. If you have children, try to plan at least one or two stops a day where the kids can run around.  

TAKE YOUR TIME

It’s crucial you take your time when you’re on your first RV trip. Don’t create a tight schedule; everything takes longer than you think on the road. Indeed, don’t box yourself into a tight timetable; create a driving schedule with lots of leeway so that you aren’t trying to drive an ambitious number of miles each day to reach the next booked campsite. If you arrive sooner than expected, you have more time to unpack at the campsite and enjoy the sights. 

A good rule of thumb is 300 miles or 3 PM. That means you won’t drive more than 300 miles or around 5 hours per day, and you should plan things so that you arrive by 3 PM at the destination. That sense of unbridled freedom depends on it.

PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE

Because it makes perfect, right? So, before your trip, practice levelling the RV before you’re at a campsite. Practice (tired of the P word, yet?) hooking up fresh water and emptying black water tanks before your family’s ability to use the bathroom depends upon it. Learn how to turn on the generator and manage power consumption before you turn on the AC and blow the breaker. 

Consider creating checklists on daily routines related to the RV. That way, you’ll always empty the black water tank and secure your belongings before leaving the campground and do so correctly.