Traveling by RV is quickly becoming one of the most popular ways to vacation all throughout the nation. It seems the industry isn't just doing well; it is absolutely booming, as more and more people discover just how fun RV'ing can be. The RV industry is made up of everything from luxury motorhomes, to RV trailers you tow with your vehicle, to compact camper trailers that are nothing more than a comfortable place to sleep.
If you're ready to dive into RV'ing and want to see what all the fuss is about, here are five essential tips for first-time RVers.
Towing 101 - What You Need to Know About Towing Your RV
RV trailers and camper tent trailers tend to be the most popular options. These are RVs that you'll be towing with your vehicle, rather than driving it like you would a motorhome. With that said, it's important you understand what your vehicle's towing capacity is before you invest in a new trailer. The bigger the trailer, the heavier it will be, which means the more towing capacity you'll need.
Typically, pickup trucks tend to be the vehicle of choice if you plan on taking up the RV lifestyle. They can haul a good amount, yet you don't have to spend a fortune on one. There are many great pickup trucks under $25,000, and many have great towing capacity and a number of exciting features. In general, a compact truck can typically tow up to 7,500lbs, whereas the full-sized trucks can be closer to 9,000lbs+. You'll need to research any model RV you are interested in for the exact specifics required.
Bigger Isn't Always Better
As you shop around for your first RV, whether you plan on purchasing it out-right or just renting one, remember that bigger isn't always better. You're going to have to get used to towing it, and maneuvering it into the various RV lots. This can take practice and time, and at the end of the day, it just may not be necessary to have the biggest model. Remember, not only will the smaller models have a lower sticker price, but they will cost less in gas when you're towing them.
Consider Renting as Your First Trip
Speaking of rental RVs, this is often a great place for first-timers to start. Renting an RV gives you a chance to taste RV life without making a huge financial commitment.
Make Sure You Pack a Basic Tool Kit
Even if your RV is brand new, things can still happen on your trip. With that in mind, you want to be sure you pack a basic tool kit to perform simple repairs, and some spare parts. Key items to pack include a tire gauge, heavy gauge jumper cables, and t-handle lug wrenches.
Navigation Tools are a Must
If your RV isn't equipped with a navigational system, you'll need to bring a GPS with you, or some good old fashioned maps. This will help you to plot out your journey, find rest stops, gas stations, and points of interest along the way.
You're Ready to Hit the Open Road
By using these tips, you'll be that much closer and more prepared to hit the open road.