If you are new to RVing, then there are some things you might want to take into consideration when planning your trip, including great space saving techniques, RV care tips, and surviving the inevitable moodiness of travel.
Tip One: Travel Light
When traveling in an RV, it can be tempting to bring many supplies you may not need. It’s important to remember that RV travel is also small travel so doing what you can to save space is a great idea. When preparing for your trip consider ways you can lighten the load and possibly save a little strain on the RV and the gas budget. Consider packing items in zip top bags rather than in storage containers. Not only are zip top bags flexible and take less space, they are also clear so you can easily see what you’ve stored in a bag without much digging.
Consider skipping the breakable dishware and instead use lightweight tableware and tumblers. Glasses can topple out of high cabinets or slip out of hands during travel making for a hazardous bit of travel. Instead, choose lightweight tumblers and inexpensive patio-style plate and bowls.
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Heavy items add up…ounces turn to pounds. Consider alternatives to what you pack. Bring paperback books over hard covers. Try using cans instead of bottles, and plastic over glass.
Need condiments? Bring condiment packets instead of the full-size version. Items in bulky packages can be taken out and stored in a zip top bag as another way to save space.
Consider your tanks. Water is heavy and can certainly add lots of extra weight for the RV to lug around. Not just the fresh water but also consider just how much weight is being pulled in the gray and black water tanks. Even if the tanks are only half full they can add hundreds of needless pounds to your travels. Get in the habit of dumping tanks early and often. Sure it’s important to keep a small level of fluid in those tanks and definitely do that, but remember that less is more. Also, unless your trip calls for dry camping (no water available) you might consider skimping on a full fresh water tank and use the campground’s water supply hookup instead.
Tip Two: Take a Dry Run Just Before Your Excursion - Get To Know The RV
Traveling in an RV can be a little daunting especially when you aren’t familiar with using an RV. Take some time to get to know the vehicle before hitting the road. Do a practice drive before actually taking off on your trip. If you run into any issues or find you have questions or concerns about specifics on the RV this will give you a chance to learn more before heading out.
If you are renting, be sure to have a staff member show you all the areas of the RV and learn about any potential issues. Understanding how your RV works helps prevent operational errors that can sometimes end up becoming major time delays or budget breakers. One important tip, be sure to get a tutorial on how to empty the holding tanks. Forgetting the proper steps, like adding chemicals to the black-water tank, can be rather smelly.
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Tip Three: It’s All About Planning
It is rather tempting to be spontaneous when you are traveling with a home on wheels but without planning you might run into extra expense or delays on your journeys. First, try to plan out your journey. Factor in a budget of how much you want to spend on food, overnight stays, and fun. Try to decide how often you want to eat in the RV or eat out. Figure out your routes and figure out where you might like to stay along the way. Plus, when you are traveling, be sure to use an RV-specific route planner on your GPS. This will factor the overhead clearance and other road restrictions you might run into.
Bring a smaller method of transportation beyond the RV. It is recommended to bring bicycles to visit nearby areas while camping. It is much easier to ride a bike to a trail head than to pack up the RV and move it. Oftentimes you will find that there isn’t parking for larger vehicles near trail heads. Many times, you can access a ‘bikes only’ trail or (at the Grand Canyon, for example) trails for shuttle buses and bikes only.
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Tip Four: Batten Down the Hatches!
Of everything you have to remember, remember this…stuff moves around, a lot. Anything not shut in a cabinet, tied or weighted down is likely to slide, fall, or roll around the inside of the RV. This can be downright irritating and possibly even dangerous as flying objects can be quite distracting. Take the time before hitting the road to contain your belongings. Put items in baskets, cartons, and cabinets. Wedge things into spots where they won’t move during turns. Also, bungee cords can be your best friend to help anchor things in place. For example, you might consider using a bungee cord to anchor a basket in place that is filled with snack food or fruit. This keeps the food handy and the bananas won’t go flying.
Tip Five: Attitude is Everything
Planning to bring a laptop on your journey? Thinking you might get a little work done while on your vacation? Think again. Who wants to go on a trip with fantastic views just to settle in with a laptop to stare at a report? No one. Be realistic and lighten the load. Leave the work at work and enjoy your vacation. Going on the trip with the intent to work can only lead to frustration and guilt when the work never actually gets accomplished. If you do happen to do the work, then it might add to the frustration of the family who is on this trip with you to spend time together.
RV trips are an exciting way to travel and with proper preparation and a high attitude, you and your travel companions can all hit the road for the best vacation you’ve ever experienced.
Tip Six: Watch Out For Hidden Fees If You're Renting and RV
When shopping around to rent an RV, most places give you a daily rate, plus mileage rate. What you may not know is they may charge for the amount of time you run the generator or access to satellite TV. Check your contract or, check out Southwest RV Adventures of Prescott, AZ. Southwest RV Adventures offers on FLAT Price for its RV fleet, meaning you don't pay extra for running the generator! Better yet, they'll even fully stock your RV and deliver it right to your door, complete with bikes and kayaks!
SOUTHWEST RV ADVENTURES OFFERS A FLAT RENTAL RATE. NO EXTRA FEES FOR RUNNING THE GENERATOR!