Whenever you try something new there will be growing pains. It’s important to remember that when making mistakes you have two options; grow from them, or give up.
When you are a beginner RVer, there’s no way around it, you will make mistakes. Things are going to be hard before they get easier, but with persistance, you can overcome your troubles. The payoff is that you will learn things about yourself that you didn’t know before. You will also get the chance to have the vacations and experiences that you’ve always dream of!
Interested in getting over the learning curve? Here are the five things I wish I had known before I started my RV journey. Hopefully you can learn from my experiences and avoid making some of the more common rookie mistakes.
1. Towing: Easier Than You Think
When thinking about the RVing lifestyle, many are intimidated by the towing aspect. If you can get over this fear, RVing will take you to the places that you have always wanted to see. Yes, towing will take time to learn and perfect, but in the end you’ll be just fine. Remember practice and perseverance are key. Don’t let anyone get into your head and convince you that towing is harder than it is.
2. Level that RV!
One of the most common mistakes that beginner RVers make is forgetting to level their RV while parking. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that this step can be skipped. This is especially true if you arrive late to your designated site and simply want to park and be done with it. It’s important to pay attention to this particular task because an unbalanced RV can affect you in numerous ways. Trust me, this is not a lesson that you will want to learn the hard way. One thing’s for sure, after feeling your RV or trailer shift in the night, you’ll never forget to level again.
3. Lock and Secure Interior & Exterior Storage Compartments
It is important that you always double check your storage compartments before driving down the road. It is never a pleasant sight to see your dishes, clothing, and other belongings flying around your RV. Or even worse, to see them flying out of your exterior storage compartments! Doubling back to salvage these items is a hassle. Also, there’s no guarantee that you will be able to get all your belongings back. Trust me on this one — other drivers will run over your items. Don’t risk it. Double check that all storage compartments are secure!
4. Planning & Preparation is Key
Many people are eager to hit the road right as soon as they’ve bought their RV. While RVing does provide a huge array of fun vacation options, you must plan ahead. Planning and preparation ensures that you take the right route and bring along the right items. If you take the time to plan your trip, your vacations will be smoother and more fun.
5. The Dirty Business — Dumping the Tanks
Taking care of your waste tanks is a dreaded task for most new RVers. If you don’t know what you are doing, don’t try to figure it out on you own. Read the manufacturer’s instructions to help you get a better handle on things. Another good idea is to watch a few YouTube videos for visual instruction. If this isn’t enough, ask for help when you arrive at your chosen RV park or campground. The absolute worst thing that you can do is to dump your tanks without a good idea of how these things work. It can turn into a really stinky situation that you won’t soon forget!
The Bottom Line
As a beginner RVer it is important to remember that it’s a learning experience. Keep a positive attitude, learn as you go, and don’t be afraid to ask for help from other RVers. Before you know it you will be an expert. Happy Camping!