What Do New RVers Need to Know to Start RV Living?
When approaching the topic of RV living for beginners, I look back at when I first got started. It seemed so overwhelming.
Even though I had been a full-time “RV kid” until I was 12-years old, it is a whole other ball game when you’re an adult.
Now, it was my husband and I with four boys, a dog, and a cat. We headed off on our own adventure. Here’s what I learned.
Whether you want to RV full-time or you want to enjoy a week here or there in your new digs, learning more about the RV lifestyle before you get started can make getting started much easier. This is especially true since some of us humans have a great fear of the unknown.
When an adventurer is partnered up with someone that desires absolute certainty, careful planning is required to keep both parties happy. The more you know, the easier it is.
Why Should You Choose RVing?
Everyone has their own reasons to start RVing, but below, I’ve listed some of the most popular reasons that will really make you think about how great it would be to hit the road.
RV Community Culture
The RV community is a super close-knit and helpful crew. This is especially true if you travel full-time. You might be a little surprised to see how quickly you are able to grow your friendships and your RV “family” while traveling.
This is also true if you often visit the same campground on the weekends. You’ll start to see familiar faces, and before you know it, you’ll be around the campfire together, roasting marshmallows for smores.
RV living for beginners doesn’t have to be scary. You’ll find a lot of people around you that are already doing it that will be more than happy to help you during your new adventure.
Change Your Yard Frequently
I once made a shirt that said, “Never Bored of our Ever-changing Backyard.” We were able to go and visit some pretty amazing places, and whenever we wanted to pick up and go—we picked up and went.
Each new stop, each new campground, each new state or national park presents an opportunity to have a new front yard and a new backyard…no mowing required! When your mood or the seasons change you can change your location right along with them.
Enjoy the Comforts of Home on the Go
I’m not a super fan of hotels. I always wonder who has been there and what they did when they were there. AirBnBs are a little better, but I still love being in my own space.
Since I don’t want to stay home all of the time, RV living is the perfect way to travel and still get to feel like I’m at home.
Another comfort of home for many of us is our pets. When you’re living in your RV, you’re able to bring your pets, so you don’t have to worry about boarding them and leaving them behind.
Enjoy Affordable Vacations
If you have a big family, it’s pretty expensive to go on vacation. The bigger your family is, the bigger your budget needs to be in most cases. With RV living however, those costs don’t scale the same way.
As long as your RV or tow vehicle can fit the people you want to bring, your expenses are about the same.
While some campgrounds do charge a little bit extra for each person over a certain number…often 4 or 6, the additional cost is usually minimal.
Preparing for a Great RV Adventure
Getting ready for your family adventure doesn’t have to be daunting. RV living for beginners can seem scary, but as long as you remember the points below, you’ll be good to go.
Buy an RV that Fits Your Crew
What’s one of the most important things to consider when you’re thinking about RV living? That’s right. Your RV! If you make a mistake and buy an RV that doesn’t work for your family, that will put a damper on your RV trips.
Think about the members of your family that need a little more space, whether you like to cook outside or inside, and how many beds you need.
Once you have your criteria together, go speak with a few RV sales professionals and get answers to all of the questions you have about buying an RV. You don’t have to rush. This is a big decision and can really make your RV trips so much more enjoyable when you buy the right one.
You can also see tons of RV reviews and walk-through RV videos on YouTube, so take advantage of that resource.
It’s also a good idea to subscribe to some of the leading blog email newsletters to get valuable information delivered right to your inbox.
Sites like rvlife.com, letsrv.com, campersmarts.com, and vanlifers.com all have newsletter signups.
Prepare by Packing Your Essentials
If you’re planning on full-time RV life, then you need everything to be comfortable when you’re RVing. Packing your RV with the right things doesn’t mean overpacking.
Make sure you don’t bring a bunch of stuff you don’t need. If you do, you might add too much weight to your RV and cause problems.
Downsizing for full-time RVing? That might be a challenge. If you find it difficult to get rid of things, you can always put them in a storage building and get rid of them later if you find out that you don’t need them.
Know Where You Want to Go
You can always plan more fun RV trips. But have some good ideas before you head off. This gives you more to look forward to. It allows you to get your first RV road trip on the books.
New RVers especially struggle with finding campgrounds. Knowing how, when, and where to fill up that big RV or big truck is tough, too.
Tools like RV LIFE Trip Wizard can help you plan your trips. Being able to plug in your RV information allows Trip Wizard to create an RV safe route for you. This way you don’t have to guess. If your plans change, it’s easy to change those plans in Trip Wizard too.
When we first started RV living, we used a combination of Google and Apple maps to get where we needed to go. But sometimes it stuck us on some “interesting” roads that were dangerous for RVers.
By planning with RV LIFE Trip Wizard and navigating with the included RV Safe GPS, we no longer have to worry about those things.
Have a Setup and Breakdown Plan
Setting up your RV site and breaking down can be the most stressful part of your RV trip. However, if you put a plan together and have a camping checklist, it can go pretty smoothly.
You will likely need to tweak it a little bit after your first couple of times if you make a list before you get started but it’s better to get something together and have to change it than to go to the site and try to wing it.
Not only do you risk forgetting something important, it could be something really important, like bringing in the awning or unplugging from the campground pedestal!
Heading Out on Your First RV Trip
Now you have a lot more information, and you may not even feel like you’re a beginner anymore. It’s time to take your first RV trip!
We hope that you walk away feeling like you’ve leveled up. Enjoy your time making memories with your family and friends. Enjoy RV living at its finest.