RVing for the first time? Some Tips for Newbies

The pandemic has changed the way we travel.

Travel overseas has been put on hold for most of us. We are still getting the itch to vacation but how can we remain safe while traveling our beautiful country?

RVing is one of the hottest new trend in travel. And it’s no wonder, you can really take control of your environment while exploring. From cooking your own meals, to sleeping in the vehicle that only you and your family will inhabit.

If you are thinking about taking a trip in an RV, here are some tips from an article published in USA Today by Carly Mallenbaum.

Be Well,

1. Don’t Get Poop On Yourself…

Sounds strange doesn’t it? But Carly writes to trust her on this one!

If there’s a toilet in your rig, you’re going to need to dump the waste. When you go to open the storage compartment on the side of the vehicle to remove the cap and connect the sewer hose in order to dump, remember this: Make sure the dump valves are closed!

You may not know exactly what she’s talking about now, but she urges us to watch videos about dumping the holding tanks. Read the page in your motor home manual about the tanks. Make sure you close those latches! Otherwise, you might gag while your sneakers become “poop shoes” you can never wear again.

2. Bring A Toolkit…

Heck this is like a home. Little things happen to your home every day.

Bring a toolkit. Bring Allen or hex wrenches. Bring duct tape. Bring scissors. Bring rubber bands and zip ties. Bring plenty of towels you can use as noise buffers (if your rig is as rickety as our Ford F-350-based ride from Cruise America was) by wrapping them around doors and drawers and windows. Be ready to fix the unanticipated.

It’s hard to anticipate something like having your sideview mirror get so loose it no longer provides any help with lane changes. But these things happen, and you should prepare for them. It will make the trip easier and much less of a headache.

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3. Pack Cookware…

I read her tip and while agree I’m going to also caution you to really think about what you are taking.

A pan can do most things along with one sharp knife. While she suggest packing silverware, I say pack plastic silverware.

4. Get To Your Campground Before Dark…

It’s very challenging to see camping spot numbers and even harder to determine whether you’ve parked safely (and level) in the dark.

Map out your trip so you get to your overnight parking spot before dark. Whether you’re driving into a campground, an RV park or especially a place in the woods where you’ll be boondocking (RV-speak for spending the night somewhere free, without electric or water hookups), it’s important to be able to see your surroundings.

5. Use RV Toilet Essentials…

You’ll need special toilet paper for your RV’s bathroom that is designed to dissolve easily.

Sorry to bring up the bathroom again, but it’s important. Without it, traveling during a pandemic would be a lot more dangerous.

And if you don’t pack certain RV bathroom essentials, you’ll find yourself up a certain river without a paddle.

Dissolvable toilet paper and scented toilet capsules (that you should drop in your tank, after you flush plenty of water, at the start of your excursion) are important for preventing buildup and odors. These can be found at stores including Walmart.

Even if you use those things properly, you might end up with a clog in your toilet. For that, one of the many remedies you can find online involves pouring boiling water down the toilet. That’s the only one I can endorse, because it seemed to be the thing that worked for us.

6. Structuring Your Days…

Driving your bathroom and kitchen around with you makes life super-convenient. You can eat, nap and relieve yourself whenever you’d like!

With that in mind, here’s how I recommend structuring days when you visit national parks: Wake up by 5 a.m. Make coffee. Drive inside the park to a place with a gorgeous view. Enjoy the sunrise and wildlife with few other humans around. Go to sleep. Wake up already in the place where other people are waiting in line. Go on a hike.

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