Top MISTAKES RV Newbies Make
Driving Tips for RV Travel
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How to RV Travel
Not Being Aware of your Clearance.
This is a really important one, one that can save your life and your RV.
Be sure you know how tall and how long your camper is. Finding proper gas stations to pull into is a must. Be aware when stopping off in tiny old towns where the streets are narrow and the turns are tight.
Not filling up your gas early enough.
When traveling, there are roads that go on and on before you see a gas station. Especially, when you are traveling in rural and mountainous areas. Be sure you don’t wait until the needle is in the red before looking for a gas station.
Not being level.
If you aren’t hooking up and are boondocking you can do this and it’s not that big of a deal. If you have an RV refrigerator, it is can be dangerous. Your fridge will not work properly and could cause damage and even a fire. Using level blocks to adjust for differences of the ground.
Pulling into a Space without Investigating it.
Not only do you want to check your mirrors. It is best to actually Get Out and LOOK around before pulling in. Look at the ground for objects that might puncture tires, low spots, holes, … Look up! Low tree limbs, dead trees, and utility poles. also, taking a walk around before you leave camp.
Expect the unexpected!
Not having one or both Good Sam memberships
This is a HUGE first step that we suggest to anyone that is planning on RV travel.
If you want to stay safe and keep your family safe, make sure your insurance is up to date and that you also have one or both of the Good Sam memberships.
Good Sam has two incredible services that have helped us out several times over the past couple of years.
See below or check out their sites for more details but DON’T make the mistake of not having Good Sam.
The Roadside Assistance program usually pays for itself in one or two outings. It’s really a no brainer.
After signing up you immediately get cash and percentage discounts at most campgrounds, Camping World and Gander Mountain. Other features of this plan include, but are not limited to:
- Roadside Service
- Locksmith Service
- Hotel Discounts
- Rental Car Discounts
- Campground Discounts
- SO MUCH MORE!
If you travel a lot, there will indefinitely come a time when some sort of emergency happens. You forgot your prescription, have a health emergency, or maybe even an accident. Maybe you forgot your prescription or glasses? No problem with this plan. Other features on this plan include :
- Returning Your RV in a medical situation
- Medical Transportation
- Ambulance service
- Flights home after emergency
- Coverage and care for pets
- SO MUCH MORE!
RV Travel Books You Need
Thinking You Don’t need books?
After being “In the dark” a couple of times with no internet or phone service, we decided it was time to invest in a couple of books to have on standby.
I can’t tell you how many times these particular books have helped us out along the way. And let’s face it, even if you have internet, it’s always nice to have something to read.
What better to read about than books on RV travel and inspiration.
Beginner RV Camping Mistakes
Not having a SET up / CLOSE down list.
Not having a list of tasks for steps to take when getting to camp and leaving camp is a huge mistake. After you’ve done it a few times, you can keep a mental list.
At first, it helps to have these things written down and check them off one by one.
This guarantees you don’t miss anything and additionally, are doing them in the proper order. This is so important. If you don’t have one yet, we have provided a free “arrival” checklist below. Download and enjoy!
Not Using Available Discounts
There are many ways to save money when on the road. Research the options for Camping memberships, rebates, point systems.
Good Sam guide series has been around for a long time, this is their latest series guide. Their 2021 guide contains tons of information and lots of discounts. It lists over 12,000 locations across the United States and Canada.
RV Newbie Mistakes - Stay Inspired!
Everyone wants to get there, but don’t make this huge
Driving too fast!
This is so dangerous. Take your time, go slow. Especially when you are new to driving an RV. Check the weather and wind before you travel.
Wind speeds and traffic going by can have huge effects that you don’t feel in a regular vehicle. Stay safe and drive slow. We suggest staying under 60 mph if at all possible.
Also, when timing out your trip to your next destination-be sure to add extra time for going under the speed limit.
Windy days and awnings are not friends. Get into the habit of checking wind when checking the weather.
A rolled out awning in high winds can tear and cause damage to your camper. Some like to use tie downs, but we have found it best to always keep it rolled in unless we are using it.
- This dual purpose shade helps to block 86% of UV
- Decreases the temperature giving you a cozy shady spot on hot days
- Reduces wind efficiently – breaks cross winds
- Easy to install and dismount
More Basic RV Newbie DONT'S
Using the same Hose for back-washing and fresh water. Not to mention, Storing them together.
Ewww, Nooooo! Don’t do this. This may seem obvious. Apparently, and unfortunately, it is a common occurrence. Be prepared with a water hose made for drinking water only. Use two separate hoses AND store them separately.
Use your stabilizers as jacks.
Also, placing something under the stairsis extremely helpful in stabilizing your Travel trailer or camper.
RV Travel Tips
Not having a Surge Protector.
As a boondocker, this doesn’t matter if you’re not hooking up to electric. If you are hooked up to electric, you will want to keep your appliances and wiring safe during surges.
Electricity at RV parks and camps can be unreliable and do strange things. There are many horror stories to people tell about electrical issues. It is best to always use a surge protector. It is also a good idea to lock it up.
Bugs, bugs bugs!!! There is NOTHING that can ruin a camping/outside experience faster than those pesky mosquitoes! Unfortunately, this is something that most people do not prepare for, and end up being dinner for these unwanted bugs. You also don’t want to have to use toxic sprays and chemicals on your skin to keep them at bay. So what is the solution? We use and LOVE our Thermacell devices.
These awesome, cost effective and easy to use little machines give you up to a 15 foot zone of protection from mosquitoes. They are super easy to use, and they WORK very well. You can get one that simply attaches to your belt or backpack or one that sits in front of your RV for protection. We live in Florida where the bugs are awful and our Thermacell works at keeping them away. You can get a Thermacell right on the company’s website here, where you can get free shipping on orders more than $49. Amazon, also carries it and you can get that here.
More Books About RV Travel
More Helpful Tips for RV Newbies
Not immediately replacing or upgrading your mattress after buying.
Getting a good nights rest is just as important as all of the adventures you will take in your camper.
The mattress that comes with your RV is usually hard as a rock. Sometimes just adding a mattress topper will do the trick.
People seem to really love these new Lucid mattress toppers.
Be sure you know the measurements of your bed, you may have an “RV Queen” which is shorter than a standard queen mattress.
This RV Mattress is a 12″ Cooling Gel Memory Foam Mattress
- 2 LAYERS: cool foam support, high-density foam, and infused gel beads.
- WHITE WASHABLE COVER: Keep your mattress clean with the included washable cover
Forgetting you will need to wash your clothes.
I actually enjoy going to laundromats in different cities. For instance, the giant folding tables are especially helpful for sheets and blankets. But, it can be a pain to have to stop and do laundry frequently. So if you are traveling without a washer and dryer in your RV, there are some other options.
Portable Washer and Dryer
This mini washing machine boasts almost a 10 lb capacity. It is small and quiet, yet powerful. It has a washing time of 15 minutes and spinning time of 5 minutes.
Allowing you to have clean clothes without having to leave your RV spot.
Pair your washer and spinner with a drying rack you can easily attach it to the back of your RV.
A drying rack that can handle towels, each arm can hold up to 10 lbs. Rust resistant and folds back in when not in use.
Camp Cooking Space Saver The X-Pot / Kettle is a tiny addition to your cook kit collapsing to 1 3/8” 1-liter safe boiling capacity. It can also be used as a pot with an opening wide enough for stirring when cooking pasta or rice dishes. The wide base absorbs maximum heat from the stove while protecting the silicone walls. Two glass-reinforced Nylon 66 handles support the upper rim and improve control when pouring.
Being Unprepared for Power Loss
May you want to try out RV Boondocking for a few days or may be not. It’s good to know that power outages can happen.
When camping at a campground, there are bound to be disruptions. It is nice to be prepare by having some back up power.
Additionally, your neighbors, if you have any, will love a quiet choice of generator.
- POWERFUL DUROSTAR ENGINE: 7 HP 208cc OHV engine
- Fuel Capacity: 3.96 Gallons
- Noise Level: 69dB
- PLENTY OF POWER: 4,000 peak watts and 3,300 running watts
- POWER PANEL: maximum compatibility in your applications: 2 120V household outlets and 1 120V 30A twist lock outlet
- POWERING EVERYONE ANYWHERE: Like all DuroStar generators, the DS4000S is EPA and CARB approved for use in all 50 states
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