9 TIPS FOR FIRST TIME RVERS
Hi, we’re Esther & Jacob. We are travel bloggers at LocalAdventurer.com and recently spent three months living in an Airstream. Before then, we had no idea what to expect. We had no experience in an RV and everything we knew was based on what we saw on TV or in movies. Needless to say, we were a bit intimidated! Although we had days that were bumpy, we’re happy to say that we really loved the overall experience. If you’re thinking about RVing or are just embarking on your journey, here are a few tips for you.
When it’s time to move, you’ll have to pack up your trailer and make sure everything is road ready. Give yourself plenty of time to make sure you’ve put everything away and secured it all. A lot of new RVers will put together a checklist until it becomes habit. The first couple of weeks took a lot longer to pack up, but as we did it more, it became second nature. We definitely forgot to close a drawer or secure a latch here and there, and we learned the hard way why you should always be thorough.
Take Your Time
This applies to how much you plan on driving every day, and also how long you plan on spending in one spot. Don’t try to cover a crazy number of miles every day. One of the best parts of RVing is being able to experience and see parts of the country you would’ve passed by before. We met an RVer on the road who suggested a rule of 300 miles or 3 PM, meaning once you hit 300 miles or 3 PM each day, you should make camp and enjoy the area.
Also, once you arrive at your destination, don’t just spend a day or two and head out again. Spend a few days and really enjoy the area. We made the mistake of trying to do too much in the 3 months and definitely burnt ourselves out by the end of the trip. If we did it again, we would spend at least a week at each location before moving on.
Ask a Lot of Questions
One of the best parts about the RV community is that everyone is learning just like you are. If you’re unsure about how something works or if there’s a better way to do something, ask! We met and talked to a ton of people who have been living on the road for much longer, and they gave us great tips on how to make our travel smoother.
A lot can happen on the road, so be flexible with your plans! During our trip, we ran into bad weather, so we kept moving on to sunnier weather rather than sticking to our original plans. Sometimes your RV might even need repairs while you’re on the road. On the flip side, you may find a place you really love and you’ll want to spend even more time there.
Find Alone Time
Whether you’re traveling with your significant other or with your whole family, it’s important to find alone time. Whether that means getting out on a trail, spending time outside, or putting headphones on, it’s a must to keep everyone sane.
Function AND Form
When you start buying things for the trailer, don’t simply buy what looks good or what you used before. Remember that everything has to travel well (i.e. it won’t break).
For Your Furry Friends
We loved having our two boys on the road with us, but learned a lot about traveling with our cats. If you’re looking for tips, check out this post.
Get a Hotspot
WiFi is tricky on the road. Since we were only in our Airstream for a limited time, we tried to use the resources that are “free” to most people like, WiFi at RV parks and public spots. Unfortunately that just didn’t cut it so we ended up getting a Verizon JetPack, which made a huge difference on speed and reliability.
How we handled our poop was probably one of the most common questions we got from people who had never RVed before, and one aspect we were stressed out about too. Turns out that unless something goes horribly wrong, it’s a painless process to dump your black tank (where you pee and poop is stored). You never make contact with it and a chemical turns everything into an unidentifiable green liquid.
Hope this gives you a head start! You can check out our journey here and be sure to tag #LocalAdventurer on your social media so we can follow along with your adventures!