The Beginners Guide to RVing
Your First Trip
Congratulations! You have just made a very significant purchase or are looking into one. We would like to offer some general advice that you may find helpful. Before you plan a long trip, you may want to load your RV and go on a short trip close to home, maybe even “camp” in your driveway. If you found that you forgot to bring something, write it down so you’ll remember it next time. We have included a list of items that most RVers consider essential and nice to have available.
It is recommended that you take a small toolbox including, but not limited to, the following items:
- Tire Pressure Gauge
- Phillips head Screwdriver
- Duct Tape
- Bungee Cords/Rope
- Electrical Multimeter
- Straight Head Screwdriver
- Assorted Screwdriver Tips (RV Related)
- Small Step Stool
- 12V DC Test Light
- Assorted 12V DC Replacement Fuses
Useful RV Suggestions
Camping with Kids
RVing lets your family function as a family while providing individual renewal and relaxation. Everyone has a better time when parents are flexible about chores, schedules, recreation, hobbies, and location. Escaping from the daily grind is a refreshing change and a chance to learn something new. Whether you’re 5 or 95, everyone is delighted by a walking stick, a butterfly emerging from a cocoon, or a magnificently starry sky. Your family can enjoy all these things — and much more — when you camp.
Get their Input
The more input kids have, the better. Even little ones can research campgrounds on the Internet or in a Campground Directory. What do kids want to see and do? If they love water, go to a campground near a water park or lake; if they bike or rollerblade, take along the necessary equipment. (Be sure the campground allows these activities, as some do not). Depending on your tastes, you can choose an RV that has a space for everything from golf clubs to a motorcycle or four-wheeler.
Planning Ahead is the Key
The RV lifestyle is popular and campgrounds are busy. This is especially true if you’re traveling to major attractions such as Cedar Point, Disney parks, Sea World, and historical sites. To get a campsite in these areas, as well as state and national parks, be sure to make a reservation. Otherwise, find a suitable local campground early in the afternoon and call it a day. Some parks do not take reservations for weekends. If possible, arrive on a weekday and stay through the weekend, especially if your final destination is a popular tourist attraction.
If your family enjoys specific activities, like fishing or hiking, match your trip, location, and season appropriately. Hike or bike to view spring flowers or colored leaves; fish when your favorite breed is running. The Internet, public libraries, chambers of commerce or tourism bureaus can provide this information.
An Adventure in Learning
Basic equipment can turn RVing into a learning experience. Take along binoculars, a magnifying glass (be sure kids know not to leave these in the sun), a butterfly net, and a bird book. Older kids often enjoy nature and landscape photography. A telephoto lens is particularly good for this. Challenge kids to take interesting animal, bird, and family photos.
Depending on the size of the RV, it’s not always easy to have your own space in a recreational vehicle and older children may prefer to sleep in a small tent next to you. This allows for privacy but lets them enjoy the conveniences of RVing, including a bathroom and protection from the weather. Each child should have his or her own duffle bag or backpack, be allowed to determine what they will take a long, and pack their own gear. Be sure they take warm clothing, including gloves and hats, even in the summer.
Meeting Everyone’s Needs
Be realistic. While RVing is a great way to travel, family problems don’t disappear just because you’re on vacation. Discuss expectations ahead of time concerning family time versus individual time, chores, keeping belongings in a designated place, and spending money. If you plan ahead and start out realistically, there will be less likelihood of disappointment on the road. Families who RV best together are those who adjust their trip to the needs of the youngest family members. Getting away as a family comes first. When you reach your destination, the ability to enjoy what is offered varies with age.