What Beginners Need to Know About RV Camping
Sitting out in nature with the leaves rustling around you, the birds singing, and a soft breeze blowing sounds amazing. You dream of being able to walk right out your door and go for a hike anytime you’d like, but you don’t want to give up all of the comforts of home. If this sounds like you, RV camping might be your perfect summer getaway! Here are the basics of how to get started!
Buying an RV
First, research different types of RVs. There are motorized RVs, such motorhomes and camper vans, and towable RVs, which include Fifth Wheels, Travel Trailers, Pop-Up campers, and Toy Haulers.
Next you will need to find out how much your vehicle can tow. You can do this by using the tow guide here or by looking in the manual for your vehicle. Decide how long of an RV you are willing to tow, and what kind of floor plan you want. Decide what features you’d like your unit to have such as bunk beds, a bath and a half, an outdoor kitchen, etc. Then, shop around and research the best price for the type of unit you want. Zoomers RV is a great place to buy RVs since it offers a wide variety of affordable options!
Driving/Towing an RV
Taking your new motorhome out on the road for the first time can be intimidating if you have never driven anything that big before. Remember to take into account that RVs accelerate and brake more slowly and have much larger blind spots than cars. Take it slow at first, getting used to driving in low traffic areas. Most RVs are equipped with mirrors and camera equipment which allow you optimal visibility, so once you adjust to driving a larger vehicle it should be fairly easy.
If you’ve never towed anything before, hauling around a camper can take some getting used to. Even the smallest of travel trailers still add and extra level of complication when it comes to driving. Before even hitting the road with your new RV, you’ll want to ensure that everything is hooked up correctly and working properly. When doing this for the first time, it might be helpful to look at a checklist like this one. When you feel that you’re ready to hit the road, there are a few things you’ll want to keep in mind while hauling your RV. Among other things, you’ll need to: make wider turns so you don’t damage your vehicle or camper while traveling, allow for a larger stopping distance due to the extra weight from the RV, and know the specs of your trailer so you can avoid costly mistakes like trying to drive under a low-clearance overpass. It’s also important that you practice driving while hauling your new RV so you can be comfortable and feel prepared before you really hit the road.
One thing to be aware of as you travel is that not all restaurants and locations have RV friendly parking options. Plan your stops out in advance to make sure you find locations where you will be able to park. Also make sure to check your tires frequently so you don’t end up stranded on the side of the road.
Setting a Budget
RVs come with a lot of expenses which you need to be aware of so you can realistically plan out how much you need to spend. Since these large vehicles have low gas mileage, fuel will be a huge expense as you travel, and highway tolls will be higher as well. Factor in campsite expenses plus the cost of water, electric and other amenities. RV repair and maintenance is also another element you must factor in.
Altogether, the average RVer can spend anywhere from $1,000-$8,000 a month with general living expenses added. Make sure to plan out realistically what your budget will be before you commit to hitting the road. One affordable, fun, family-friendly campground to check out is CocoJo’s RV Campground in Lagro, IN. This park is located near beautiful Salamonie State Park, and is a fantastic area to camp!
RV Campsite Maintenance
Learn the basics of setting up camp and maintaining your RV campsite. This includes how to hook up water and electricity and how to dump waste. Most campgrounds are back-in only, so make sure to learn how to back your RV. Also make sure you have leveling blocks to ensure your RV does not roll away. Always give yourself at least two hours to set up or tear down your RV campsite.
Your RV has two tanks, one for black water from your toilet, and another for grey water from your shower and sink. Most RV parks have hookups which offer tank emptying as well as a freshwater. If they don’t have tank hookups, they will have a dump station, where you can dump your waste. Most campgrounds have a list of rules, so make sure to follow these and be courteous to other campers.
A lot goes into buying, taking care of, and traveling in an RV. That being said, nearly every camper that you encounter on your travels will tell you it is well worth the work and a truly wonderful experience. Once you learn the basics, RVing can be extremely fun and enjoyable. After reading this guide, hopefully you will have a better idea of whether you are ready to pursue RV camping and how to do so. To begin the search for your new RV, click the links below!
Shop all Travel Trailers!
Shop all Fifth Wheels!
Shop all Toy Haulers!
Shop Motorhomes: Class A, Class B, & Class C!