They are so easy to make, but follow these RV travel tips and you won’t make these first-time mistakes!
You’ve probably been looking forward to your first RV trip. All the freedom, convenience, and comfort in traveling in an RV are indeed worth anticipating. But before all the excitement sets in, there are plenty of factors you must consider to ensure you have the best RV experience possible.
Traveling in an RV can be overwhelming for first-timers, and you could miss out on many important details. While it’s perfectly understandable for beginners to make mistakes, doing so can ruin your entire RV trip and make everything more stressful and less exciting. The good news is you can learn from the mistakes and experiences of others.
5 First-Time RV Travel Mistakes You Need To Avoid
Here, we’ve highlighted some mistakes to avoid when you’re traveling in an RV for the first time.
Whether you’re renting or buying, there are many options when choosing an RV for your travel. You’d be amazed to see different features from motorhomes to travel trailers and camper vans. But while it’s easy to get caught up on the RV’s interior and amenities, your choice would significantly impact your whole RV experience.
Besides the luxurious features, many first-timers get carried away with the idea of traveling in an RV. As a result, they rush into it and get the first one they come across without realizing their needs. Choosing the wrong RV for your travel can cause frustration and setback along the way. You must understand what you need and want to achieve in your trip.
However, it should be noted that identifying what you exactly need in an RV can be harder unless you’ve spent traveling in it. That’s why you must take your time to consider all your options before you rush on renting or taking out RV loans to finance your RV. For starters, you can think about the size of the RV. Are you traveling alone, as a couple, or with a large group?
Unplanned and Unvalidated Route
Having the freedom to go whenever and wherever you want is one of the perks when traveling in an RV. But that doesn’t mean hitting the road without a planned route. Although it sounds exciting to just go as you please, you might not find it enjoyable in the end. You might encounter unexpected road closures and construction zones, which can be pretty stressful.
But if you have a plan set in place, you’d be more prepared on how to deal with such unpleasant situations. You could plan for different routes to get to your destination. There are several road trip planning tools and apps you can use. For instance, you can utilize Google Maps for the latest travel time of the route you preferred.
But note that relying too much on your smartphone for directions is not always good. It’s also essential to have a good old fashioned paper map at your disposal. Be careful with using your phone’s navigation system because it might lead you into a dangerous situation. Bear in mind that validating your route is equally important as planning it.
Packing Less or More Than You Need
It’s typical for first-timers to feel uncertain about what to bring and not bring on the RV trip. For that reason, many end up stuffing unnecessary things in their travel and overlooking some essentials. But packing less or more than you need wouldn’t be a good idea when traveling in an RV.
Compared to regular cars, RVs are much bigger, and you might be tempted to bring as much stuff as possible to make the road feel like home. But overpacking is the top enemy of most RVers. Besides making your space cramped and crowded, it can add more weight to your RV and may damage your tires in return. It can also make you feel disorganized in your trip.
On the other hand, underpacking might feel lighter, but it wouldn’t make the whole RV experience much better. You also don’t want to miss some things that will come in handy. Remember that not packing enough supplies can also be stressful while you’re on the road. That’s why it’s vital to pack the right amount of things when traveling in an RV.
You can use a packing list so you would not forget any essential thing. Planning your meals ahead of time also gives you a more accurate amount of supplies you’ll need for your trip. When traveling in an RV, try to be minimalist as much as possible but be mindful of the essentials. Note that you might not get this right on your first RV travel.
No Camp or Park Reservations
Spontaneity is part of the thrill when traveling in an RV. But it might not be fun for first-timers to show up on a campground and get rejected because they are fully booked. Many RV camps or parks fill up early, especially during peak season. You would not want to get stressed looking for a place to stop when you’re already tired and need rest.
Although you can park at convenient stores, it may not be ideal if you’re traveling for the first time. Thus, it’s always an excellent idea to make reservations ahead of time. This way, you can save yourself from disappointment and stress. Call as soon as possible so you can get the spot you preferred the most.
Unchecked and Unmaintained RV
Whether you’re using a used or new RV, it’s essential to check if it’s safe to travel. The size and weight of your RV can create problems on the road without proper preparation and maintenance. One of the most critical parts of an RV that should be at the top of your mind is the tires.
Remember that bad tread can cause tire blowouts, which is dangerous for your RV and surrounding vehicles. Thus, you must check the tires before you get behind the wheel and hit the road. Inspecting the bearings and suspension system also helps you detect any signs of wear. Make sure also to keep quality spare tires on your RV and all the necessary repair tools.
There is no perfect way to travel in an RV. Anyone can make several mistakes along the road, no matter if you are an experienced or a first-timer. But planning for your RV trip can minimize the hassle and risks on the road. Although it’s essential to be mindful of these mistakes, don’t forget to enjoy and make the most of your RV experience.
Lauren Cordell is a freelance writer who specializes in business, finance, and investment. However, she uses her expertise by writing on various travel websites. By sharing her personal travel experiences and financial tips, her readers get to have an ultimate guide in realizing their travel and financial goals.