Last year, 25 million people said they planned to take an RV trip. This year, 46 million people say they’re planning an RV trip over the next 12 months. Wow! That’s so fun and exciting, but it can be daunting too. Keep reading for our “first trip” tips to help you make the most of your RV giveaway.
Consider starting with a short trip for your first RV adventure. A long weekend is the perfect amount of time to learn about the rig you just bought or rented. Unfortunately, RVs aren’t plug-and-play in so many ways. Multiple systems or computers or tanks will require a learning curve for the whole gang. Also, RV vacationing is easy for some and an adjustment for others. Tight quarters and very little privacy bring families closer together in great ways (and few challenging ones). Give yourselves a test run to get comfortable with your new vacation home on wheels.
Don’t plan to drive more than about 4 hours per day.
Trust me on this one! Everyone will thank you if you cap travel days to four hours. Travel days are exhausting, and you still need to set up the rig after you arrive. I also highly recommend arriving at your destination before dark. It makes set up so much easier.
Here’s how we make it work. My hubby drives the rig to the campground, and he usually has everything set up when we arrive in the minivan. We drive in separate vehicles because we have to stop a lot with the kids, and my husband prefers to drive straight through. After we arrive, he plays outside with the kids while I get everything set up inside and get dinner started. It is an excellent rhythm for us.
Make it feel like home.
Bring your pillow, blankets, favorite couch pillow for a good snuggle. Pack all the things that make your RV feel like home. This is especially important for your kiddos. The more their beds feel like home, the easier it will be for everyone to sleep. If they usually sleep with a fan or noise maker, don’t forget to pack that. Even if they don’t, it is helpful because noise travels through an RV.
Enjoy the journey and set expectations.
RVs break (bring some tools). Ask anyone who has ever traveled in one, and they will tell you I’m not lying to you. Unfortunately, rigs break a lot. Tires go flat. Traffic backs up. The power goes out at the campground. Life on the road is very unpredictable. Some of the best memories I have on the road are the unexpected moments. Try and set your expectations, and get ready to make tons of fun out of those inconvenient times.
Cook on the grill and over the fire.
We learned this tip on our last trip. We camped near the beach in 90-degree weather, and none of us wanted to do anything to increase the temperature in the RV. It was hot! We ended up eating a lot of sandwiches and meals over the camp stove and campfire. We kept all the added heat outside. We also brought a frozen casserole we could heat up in the microwave when we wanted something substantial, yummy and hot. It worked well.
Be prepared to forget things.
I have no idea how many times we went to Walmart during our first trip, but it was at least ten times. We forgot a lot of things, or we didn’t bring enough of certain things. We didn’t think we’d need to do laundry that first week, but we did. We had to make a run for detergent and quarters. We needed a broom and RV-friendly toilet paper and a few sand toys for the kids. On our last few trips, we didn’t go to the store once. I think I’ve finally gotten the packing list just right.
Have the best trip ever.
RVing is the most unexpected and best choice we’ve ever made as a family. We’ve seen beautiful places. We’ve met amazing people, and we’ve made memories that will last a lifetime. I’m never going back. We’ll own an RV for the rest of our lives. I’m so excited to see so many new RV families out on the road. Let me know if I can answer any questions you have. I’m always happy to help! firstname.lastname@example.org