An Introduction To Being A First-Time RV Owner

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Introduction

Going on spontaneous road trips does not come easy for most, especially since we have to worry about who will take care of the house when we are gone… unless you bring your home on the go with you! This may sound ludicrous, but that is exactly what people with recreational vehicles (RVs) do –– they bring their homes to different locations whenever and wherever they might be.

If you’re looking to rent or searching on how to rent out your rv, this guide is perfect to help first-time buyers find their footing. 

The Six Types Of Recreational Vehicles

Travel Trailer

You might have seen this one on the roads sometime.  A travel trailer is a non-motorized vehicle and acts as a detachable compartment. Owners often hitch this trailer onto a car or pickup and drive down the highway with it. Travel trailers can come in several different sizes; from tiny 13-inch jellybeans to larger trailers that can span 40 feet. 

Fifth-wheel Trailers

The fifth wheel offers more stability and space than the typical travel trailers. Nicknamed the Fiver by RV lovers, this vehicle is popular amongst those who love going on long road trips or are always on the go. 

Fifth-wheel trailers can be used as a tow truck, and most owners use the overhang as the living room, kitchen, and bedroom. Some of its advantages include having a spacious living space for bulky items, a well-equipped auto-leveling system, a high ceiling for tall cabinets and headspace, and lastly, several slide-outs for bedrooms and kitchens.

Lightweight Trailer

As opposed to the above two options, this trailer is more for those who prefer to travel light. Just as its name states, materials used to make the trailer are lighter which makes it easily attachable and transportable.

Many owners tow this trailer with an SUV, crossovers, sedan, and a light-duty truck. This vehicle is faster, more fuel-efficient, and has an innovative design that has all the amenities the modern camper needs.

Class A Motorcoach

If you don’t want to tow around a trailer too much, you might want to consider purchasing a motorhome. A Class A Motorcoach is similar to large buses or trucks, so you’ll probably have seen this driving down the highway. 

This is suitable for those who prefer spacious areas for sleeping, cooking, and relaxing –– perfect for those patio and barbecue nights! It also has several well-furnished amenities, such as bathrooms and a kitchen. Lastly, it also has a high towing capability to accommodate a large cargo trailer. 

Class B Motorhome

Compared to Class A, a Class B Motorhome is smaller, agile, and fuel-efficient –– ideal for those traveling with smaller groups. Although they don’t have slideouts, these motorhomes still offer spacious galleries, bedrooms, a kitchen, and restrooms. 

Furthermore, because of its smaller size, it is suitable for narrower and more congested roads. You’re able to maneuver and park easily whilst in transit! It also has a hitch to tow trailer but doesn’t have the same capacity as Class A and C motorhomes. 

Class C Motorhome

Class C is well suited for large families who are looking for an outdoor getaway. They are best known for their raised storage and sleeping areas which extend over the motorhome’s cab. It has a larger living area compared to Class B motorhomes, but is smaller than Class A and has better gas mileage. 

They come in three types: full-sized, compact, and supersized. Compact Class Cs often feature a Mercedes and Ford Transit cutaway chassis.

The Seven Tips For Recreational Vehicles

Once you’ve familiarized yourself with the different types of RVs, here are some tips and tricks to help you better prepare for your journey.

Create A Checklist

Before you embark on your trip, you must have a procedure checklist: especially if you opted for non-motorized RVs, such as a fifth wheel or a travel trailer. Begin your preparation a day or two before departure and fill up your tow vehicle with gas to avoid having to make emergency pit stops. 

Here are some common items in our checklist: putting up the stabilizer legs, closing all windows and vents, checking brakes and signals, turning off the water heater and pump, checking the tire pressure, and ensuring that the tailgate is up. Remember to tick the item that’s off your list once it’s been completed.

Understand What You Need

Unlike a stationary home, trailers and motorhomes lack certain things that most people tend to overlook. Hence, it’s important that you ensure every need and want is covered to avoid unnecessary over-panicking. For example, items such as toilet chemicals, extension cords, drinking water hose, emergency road kit, electrical and duct tape, and a water pressure regulator are all essentials you can bring along. 

Ensure A Proper Route

It might be tempting to let Google Maps guide you, but you can’t simply rely on technology alone. What if you suddenly have no reception? We recommend learning how to read a map to avoid crises should technology fail. One good way to avoid getting lost in remote areas is to purchase RV-specific GPS. This tracker map can hold marked areas, which allows you to plan and research your route better. 

Practice Makes Perfect

Failing to plan is planning to fail. If you decide to rush into your trip without proper research,  you’re bound to meet obstacles along the way. It is always best to start slow and iron out the finer details before delving into a full-fledged trip so that you can prepare yourself should anything crop up.

We recommend having a trial run for a week or a few days, just to accustom yourself to life on the road. This includes practicing backing out of a parking lot and knowing how to set up a campsite. Plus, this will also familiarize you with your RV’s inner workings and gain more road confidence when driving. 

Come Up With Camp Plans

Though your RV is your home, you’ll still need a break from the road. Always prepare pitstops at RV-friendly campsites that allow you to revitalize yourself after one good night’s rest. However, these campgrounds may not be as accessible to everyone. For example, some campsites may only approve of trailers and motorhomes that are ten years old and less, and others may not have the right parking sizes for a Class A RV. Some might only allow seniors, and others may not allow children. 

The best thing to do is to call and research the campsites beforehand. If you end up flouting the rules, you may end up getting kicked out! One good rule of thumb is to keep your children and pets away from other campers.

Clean Up Your Mess

The waste must go somewhere. Whether it is food or bodily waste, there are designated dumping stations for these things. However, fumbling in these situations is often frowned upon by seasoned campers. Hence, beginners are always encouraged to familiarize themselves with a dumpsite and how to empty their tank before arriving. 

Walk-around And Scrutinize

Most people tend to become complacent and neglect to do a walk-around your RV. This is an important habit to develop because doing so helps ensure your safety and fellow road users. Doing a walk-around your vehicle and doing the proper checks will help you look out for any abnormalities with your RV and whether they should be a cause for concern. It is better to weed out the problems before they take root and cause major damage.

Conclusion

All in all, RVs are great vehicles if you are someone who likes experiencing different environments. However, they require some care, so it is always good to do more research!

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