First Time RVers

For first time RVers, there is a mix of excitement and anxiety about being out on the open road, leaving your home and chaos behind to find simplicity in nature. To overcome your reluctance and concerns, you might find these useful tidbits of information to be helpful.

If you're just afraid of the unknown, look at the positives and be optimistic about the possibilities of unimaginable adventures while you're cruising around America.

The RV

First time RVers might consider renting, instead of buying an RV because you may decide that you don't like RVing, or that you're not prepared for the gas costs and potential maintenance issues.
  • Renting may be better because if anything goes wrong with the vehicle, the rental company takes care of it so you have less worries and more time to free your mind and plan your vacation.

  • Buying has some advantages as well, mainly being that it is yours. You buy exactly what you want, you can make any changes to suit your needs, and once you load it up, you don't have to unload it any time soon.

Whether you rent or buy an RV, if you've never owned one before, there are some things you need to know how to do:

  • Dispose of waste.
  • Hook up the electric, propane, and water at the camp site.
  • Tow your car, if you are taking it with you, which is generally a good idea.
  • Use basic functions, such as turning on headlights and wipers.
  • Secure the RV and car trailer once they are parked.

Learning the Basics

When I bought my first motorhome, I knew absolutely nothing about RVs. I had no idea about grey water, black water, how to dump, how to use the generator...I was raw! Thankfully, there were experienced RVers along the way to teach me the basics, like hooking up the hose to dump the holding tanks, or even the importance of making sure the motorhome was parked as level as possible.


Take a short trip of about a week so that you get used to driving the RV and go somewhere at the top of your list since, as first time RVers, you are sure to have the desire to do it all. By selecting a destination that you've wanted to visit, it helps keep the excitement and plans geared to one specific place, which makes it easier to prepare for your journey.

Packing for an RV trip is quite different than packing for a vacation where you stay in a hotel and fly on a plane. For instance, you would not have to take your own pillows, dishes, blankets, or toilet paper to a hotel but you have to bring them if you're RVing. Some items other than shampoo and food that you might want to have on your checklist include:

  • Bug Spray
  • Folding Chairs
  • Disposable Gloves
  • Extension Cord
  • Small Kit with Basic Tools
  • Board Games or a Deck of Cards
  • Fire Pit Grilling Kit


If you are going to stay at an RV park or campground, you should call and make reservations. It's also helpful to ask a few questions, such as the park amenities, their rules, especially in regards to pets and the RV sizes that they can accommodate. It is also important to know what is outside the campground, such as gas stations, hospitals, and grocery or supply stores.

Before Leaving for the Open Road

Here's a checklist to use before, turning the key, putting the vehicle into gear and heading out for a new adventure. Make sure you have:

  • Insurance Information
  • Banking Information
  • Emergency Contact Information
  • Personal Medical Records
  • Pet Medical Records
  • Set up a mail collection and forwarding system.

For all you first time RVers, always check everything a second time, then get ready to have the adventure of a lifetime.