The excitement and anticipation of your first RV trip can be quickly replaced by frustration and disappointment if you haven’t done your research and planned things out before you hit the road. Taking the guesswork out of the picture can be a big help in avoiding these 5 common first RV trip mistakes. Even if you are the spontaneous type, a little planning can go a long way when it comes to having a pleasant first RV trip experience.

#1. Hitting the Road Without a Plan

“Have RV Will Travel” is a great motto! There are plenty of adventures that await you out on the open road. Planning is a simple way to avoid unnecessary pitfalls. Don’t worry; there will still be plenty of adventure on your first RV trip! Taking the time to plan it just means the memories you make will not be full of mishaps and wrong turns.

Decide where you want to go for your first trip and line things up. Mapping out your route and calling for reservations means your first RV trip story won’t be about the time you got lost on the way then arrived after dark at the campground and it was full. A little planning means that when your trip goes south that’s an actual direction you planned, not describing the result of a string of unfortunate events.

#2. Going Too Far

Finding a location close to home for your first RV trip will give you a chance to get used to driving your RV. There is a bit of a learning curve with maneuvering your RV. Mastering the art of towing, backing up, and parking your new RV takes experience and when you stick to an area you’re familiar with, it helps.

If you wanted to run a marathon you wouldn’t just jump up from the couch and go run 20 miles. Similarly, you may want to take a cross-country trip, but it’s not advisable to do that for your first RV trip! When you stick within a couple of hours from home, you can take a couple of weekend getaways and take the time to familiarize yourself with driving your RV, planning meals and making lists of things you want to keep in your RV.

#3. Packing Too Much

Speaking of things you want to keep in your RV, a common mistake people make on their first RV trip is bringing too much! While and RV affords a lot more room than just your vehicle alone, it’s best to avoid packing everything but the kitchen sink (because your RV probably already has that)!

While we’ve all experienced over packing for a trip, when you overload your RV it can cost you extra time and money. The more weight you are carrying, the more you’ll spend in gas and when you over pack, much of your time will be wasted unloading and loading back up a lot of items you didn’t end up using.

The good news is it doesn’t take long to realize when you’ve over packed! The other good news is that if you do over pack, it’s not the end of the world. Simply make some notes and pack less the next time!

#4. Relying on Cell Service

We’ve all come to rely on our phones for almost everything from communication to navigation to entertainment. However, when you are camping there’s a good chance you will travel places where cell service isn’t always available. If you’ve used your phone to map out your trip, be sure to download or print them out in case you end up in an area without service. You may also want to have a backup plan for entertainment; there are plenty of games and other forms of entertainment if you are unable to get service on your phone.

The most important backup plan is telling someone where you’ll be and when you’re expected to return! There’s one thing you can be sure of: you can’t be sure of everything! So planning ahead for the unexpected is wise because accidents do occasionally happen. Planning in advance for that slight chance you may not be able to call for help can give you peace of mind.

#5. Not Packing Basic Equipment

There is one way to ensure you need a tool on your first RV trip: forget to pack it! Even those who aren’t DIYers should keep a pack of basic tools like screwdrivers, tape and bungee cords in your RV. Having a few basic tools on hand can save you in the event an unexpected maintenance issue arises.

Additionally, basic safety equipment should always be kept on hand – for your first RV trip and beyond. No matter where you go it’s always important to keep a first aid kit handy. Other items that can come in handy are blankets and extra water in the event you have a breakdown in inclement weather. Some things to pack for road safety should you have a roadside breakdown include a tire pressure gauge, lights, reflectors, and road flares if possible.

When you take some time to do a little planning, you can avoid these 5 common first RV trip mistakes. Your first RV trip will be an adventure no matter where you go. Remember these tips so you can leave the frustration and disappointment behind and only pack for excitement and great memories!

#6. Not Knowing Your RV

Whether your day-to-day car is a sedan or a big truck, you likely have years of experience driving on roads without needing to pay attention to some of those more specialized warnings. Now that you’re in an RV, though, that’s changed. There are two critical numbers you need to keep in your head while you’re traveling: your RV’s height and weight.

The roads out there aren’t always designed with larger vehicles in mind – especially backroads or shortcuts you may be used to taking. Low clearances can spell disaster for the unprepared RV owner on their first RV trip.

Likewise, hitting the road with an overloaded RV can put a strain on it or your tow vehicle. It can lead to damage and ultimately leave you stranded.

If you’re worried about forgetting, it’s a good idea to write these numbers down and have them accessible while you’re driving.

#7. Backing Up Solo

Overconfidence can put a quick end to what might otherwise be a great camping trip. When you’re new to towing a large RV, don’t let your pride get in the way of safety. Especially when it comes to putting your vehicle in reverse!

There’s a lot of RV to keep track of, and reversing with something in tow isn’t as intuitive for every driver. That’s why it pays to have a spotter when you’re getting used to it. They can help ensure you don’t damage your RV, someone else’s, or hurt anyone while you’re learning.

Just remember to take it slow!

#8. Boondocking Without Experience

We’ll start off by saying this isn’t necessarily a mistake. It’s absolutely possible to make your first RV trip a boondocking trip. That said, it’s a good idea to spend some time with your RV near hookups to get used to the daily routine and your RV’s systems first.

You have to walk before you can run! If boondocking is the reason you bought an RV, then by all means, go for it! Just make sure you really know the capacity of your RV’s water tanks, batteries and other features. As long as you’re safe, the worst that happens is you need to pack up early. But a little bit of experience can make sure your first boondocking trip is a successful one.

Contact RV Wholesale Superstore 

The professionals at RV Wholesale Superstore are ready to help you find the perfect RV for you and your family. Visit us in-person at 5080 W. Alexis Road, in Sylvania, OH or call us at (866) 640-9871 

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Here in Sylvania, Ohio, we’re no strangers to cold weather. “RV Season” often means clear roads and green woods, but to many, the real season starts when the snow hits and temperatures drop. If you’re new to the idea of cold weather RVing then it’s important you know the necessary preparations involved with making your RV winter-ready. It’s important to stay safe when cold weather RVing – read on to follow these critical tips!

Invest in RV Skirting

One of the best upgrades you can make to your RV for cold weather RVing is an RV skirt. If you’re not familiar, these are exactly what they sound like – a material that wraps around the base of your RV to keep out drafts from the underneath.

Sometimes referred to as “windskirting,” an RV skirt protects your RV during the cold, drafty days. The reason skirting is so important is that the underneath of your RV is easily the most significant area of heat loss throughout the entire vehicle. By creating extra insulation against the cold, you not only fight incoming drafts, you conserve the heat generated by your RV to reduce energy usage and keep the floors warmer for your feet!

RV skirts come in all types of connections, from basic buttoning to more advanced connections. But they all come with the same benefits:

  • Lower propane cost/usage
  • Help protect your water lines
  • Keep your RV warmer

If you plan to camp in the winter with your RV, an RV skirt is a no-brainer!

Be Prepared with a Heated Water Supply Line

Like a home, cold weather is most dangerous to your plumbing. While RV skirting can go a long way to help protecting your RV’s plumbing, it’s a good idea to invest in heated lines for your RV to make sure you never have to deal with the hassles of a frozen line.

Freezing pipes are a common problem for cold weather RVing. It’s not something to take lightly – from a functional view, it’s annoying, and from a maintenance view, it can be costly to repair plumbing to your RV following an ice burst!

Basic pipe wrap can be helpful, but when it’s well below freezing, these won’t be enough. Active heated hoses use some of your RV power to generate heat and keep the cold from leeching into your drinking water or otherwise. There are plenty of options out there for active heating supply lines, but if you have questions, we can help!

Insulate Your RV Underbelly

Another step you can take to capture heat in your RV and fight against the winter chill is to add some additional insulation to your RV underbelly. Because the underside of your RV is the most likely place to lose heat, adding some insulation will support RV skirts in reducing propane usage and generally making your RV safer and more comfortable to use for cold weather camping.

Fortunately, insulating your RV underbelly is a task that can be done easily and fairly inexpensively. One of the most common ways to bulk up underbelly insulation is with insulating foam boards available at nearly any local hardware store.

The actual installation will require some work underneath your RV, for sizing the cut of the board, making sure it fits snug against the underbelly (which can sometimes require removing and replacing some pipes) and screwing it in place.

Another solution that’s available is spray insulation. This type of insulation is sprayed from a can and foams up to not only add heat insulation, but protect your underbelly from moisture. Foam insulation can be easier to apply, but it’s a bit tricky to use for first timers. If you’re not familiar with it, you may want to leave it to a professional!

Be Careful with Space Heaters

Many cold weather RVing pros make use of space heaters to keep the interior of their RV warmer in specific areas or to make use of stored electricity versus propane heating. Most RVers would recommend having a small space heater if you plan to RV – they can make a huge difference in keeping you comfortable when the chill sets in!

However, you want to be careful when using your space heaters, as they can have some adverse effects for your RV. The biggest risk is when they stop the propane furnace from firing due to creating a warmer temperature in the RV than the rest of the RV is experiencing. While this may not seem like an issue if you’re comfy and warm inside, it is when your underbelly and other areas of the RV aren’t getting the heat they need!

So feel free to make use of your space heaters, but pay attention to the RV as a whole when you flip them on. It’s important not to trade immediate comfort for headaches when your underbelly plumbing starts to freeze, or the bedroom is ice cold after you’re done enjoying the common area.

Pack Warm Clothes

One mistake you could be making is putting all the responsibility of staying warm on your RV. While it’s true that your RV is a home away from home, you can make your trip easier to stay cozy on if you equip yourself for the weather. An extra few pieces of cold weather clothing can make all the difference and keep your RV from needing to work overtime.

It’s not unlike being energy-conscious in your home: keeping just the room you’re using warm is easier than keeping the whole house warm. Dressing in layers lets you conserve energy and is quicker to get your body warm than waiting for the whole RV to warm up.

On top of warmer clothes, you can look for more localized ways to keep the cold at bay like electric blankets or hand warming packets.

Pay Close Attention to Your Tires

Every RVer knows the importance of tire maintenance. As the only thing separating your RV from the ground, they’re critical for staying on the move and doing it safely. Of course, weather changes impact your tires, and when it comes to the winter, they can expose you slippery roads unlike any other season.

First and foremost, as the cold weather comes in, you need to keep an eye on tire pressure. As air volume changes due to the decrease in temperature, your tires are likely to lose some pressure. You’ll likely need to give them a quick boost of air before your next trip if you haven’t been maintaining them recently.

Next, you need to be prepared for snowy roads. Even if things look clear on your way out, that may not be the case on your way back home. Most RVs have tires suited for snowy roads, but that doesn’t mean you can’t invest in tire chains or similar devices to help keep traction on (or off) the road. Just make sure you know the laws about tire chains in any state you plan to travel!

Prevent Your Tanks from Freezing

Holding tanks are just as vulnerable as your pipes to winter freezing. Fortunately, there are some steps you can take to prevent this:

Enclosed Tanks

Many modern RVs come with heated or enclosed holding tanks. If you plan to cold weather RV, you may want to mark this as a “must have” for your next purchase to ensure you’re ready to hit the campgrounds when the snow is falling.

Antifreeze

Antifreeze is another potential option for your holding tanks. Non-toxic antifreeze for RVs is a product that can be purchased at most RV supply stores. You can load a few quarts of this into your holding tanks to keep them safe against the cold weather. Just remember that over time, you’ll need to top off the antifreeze to keep it from being too diluted to work!

Contact RV Wholesale Superstore 

The professionals at RV Wholesale Superstore are ready to help you find the perfect RV for you and your family. Visit us in-person at 5080 W. Alexis Road, in Sylvania, OH or call us at (866) 640-9871 

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Your first RV brought you into the RV lifestyle – and you couldn’t be happier! But over time, you start to wonder what other RVs that might be out there. Is it time for an RV upgrade? It can be hard to tell, but if you’re on the fence, here are some of the most common things that may mean it’s time for an RV upgrade.

Bigger Family? Bigger RV!

The most common reason for an RV upgrade is an upgrade to your family! Whether you started out as a single camper, a pair, or with room for your first child, the addition of new members to your family can mean your old RV just doesn’t have the space you need. RVs can have sleeping capacity for a massive range – from just a few to 10 or more people!

It’s not always just about getting more space for sleeping, either. You may be able to find ways to give your growing family places to rest, but that doesn’t mean your original choice in RV still makes sense today. RV floorplans and sizes vary dramatically, and a new RV with a more open design could reduce some of the constant shoulder-to-shoulder feel of trying to move four people through an RV built for two.

On top of that, storage space is at a premium when it comes to RVs. The more people you bring along, the more you need to pack. Clothes and toys are one thing, but you’ll also have to consider the increase in food you need to keep everyone full and happy for even a short weekend trip.

Upgrading an RV for more space is easily one of the most likely reasons to sell your old RV and start fresh. It’s an investment that’s worth it, too. Those family trip experiences are things that will stay with your kids forever, and it helps keep your family close in an age where it’s easy for everyone to go to their corner of the home and plug into a phone or TV!

Shifting Camping Preferences

How long ago did you buy your RV? Was it a few years ago or a decade? The person you are today doesn’t necessarily reflect the preferences you had when you first dove headfirst into the wonderful world of RVing!

One of the biggest things that may change from when you start RVing to when you’re an experienced camper is how often you prefer to be away from the hustle and bustle that can take place at popular RV campsites. Sure, the hookups are nice and there’s always a friendly face nearby, but when you’ve seen it all, you may be comfortable going off-the-grid and enjoying some peace and quiet!

Of course, the RV you purchased a few years ago may not be the ideal dry camping RV. Maybe it lacks the battery capacity you need, or you’re looking for a newer model that’s ready for solar power.

Alternative, if you started off camping to get away from it all, but discovered a love for living on the road with your gadgets and gizmos perpetually powered, your boondock-ready RV might not have everything you wanted to enjoy your trip. If that’s the case, your shifting RV preferences may lead you to our next common RV upgrade cause…

Need More Features

RVs can accommodate all kinds of campers. From those who just need a retreat after a long day in the sun, to those who want to travel but don’t want to lose the comfort of “home” amenities. And if your RV doesn’t reflect your desires, you may not be enjoying it as much as you could!

Like cars, the more modern your RV, the more features you’re going to have access to. Newer RVs come with all sorts of things that may not have been available when you first purchased your RV. Or maybe you’re just tired of sleeping on a smaller RV bed and want a luxurious residential-style king mattress in your RV retreat.

No matter the reason, shopping for an RV upgrade can be just the thing to revitalize your love of RV travel. New spaces, new gadgets, and new features are all great reasons to find enjoyment in replacing your dated RV with a new (or new to you) RV.

Exhausting Maintenance

An RV is really a home – and every home comes with maintenance. No matter what that maintenance is, it costs time and money to stay current on. Over the years, maintenance for an RV can become more frequent, more costly and more frustrating. While this isn’t always true (and good RV maintenance can extend the lifespan of an RV by plenty of years) it’s something that some RV owners experience.

Especially if it was your first RV, you may have realized down the road that you were skipping critical parts of maintenance and now you’re paying the price. Whatever the reason is, if maintenance hassles or costs are starting to turn your dream RV into a bit of an unwanted expense, an RV upgrade could offer you a chance to start fresh.

RV Downsizing Can Be an Upgrade

It’s easy to think bigger RV means better. For many campers, that’s simply not the case. An RV upgrade can be more than, well, getting more. Small RVs offer several benefits that can easily outweigh the smaller space for living:

  • Easier to tow
  • Easier to find places to park it
  • Less square footage to maintain
  • Lighter weight means less fuel usage

For RVers who just need a retreat after a long day of enjoying their destination, a smaller RV can be smart upgrade from a larger model with space you just aren’t using!

Questions to Ask Before Finalizing Your RV Upgrade

What Are We Gaining from an RV Upgrade?

If you’re planning to upgrade your RV, chances are you’re doing it for a reason. But with all the new RVs out there, it’s easy to get lost in the excitement! When you’re making your plans to upgrade your RV, you should really focus on what’s changing from your old RV to your new one.

Like a home, the best RV is one that feels right to you. Now that you have some time RVing under your belt, you’ll better understand what you want (and don’t want) out of an RV. So when you hit the lot, you can make a much more informed decisions.

You should make sure it really fulfills your goals for the upgrade. There’s nothing more frustrating than making the switch to a new RV only to realize it’s still lacking. Fortunately, good planning and consideration can make sure you avoid this problem.

Watch Your Towing Capacity

It’s easy to have eyes for an RV that are a bit bigger than your tow vehicle can handle. When you expand your RV to fit more family members or just to enjoy a more spacious interior, you need to make sure your tow vehicle can still pull its weight.

You can usually find your vehicle’s gross towing capacity pretty easily from the manufacturer. This number is critical to know when you’re shopping, so write it down. Keep in mind that an empty RV isn’t going to weigh as much as one loaded with all your travel supplies!

Contact RV Wholesale Superstore 

The professionals at RV Wholesale Superstore are ready to help you find the perfect RV for you and your family. Visit us in-person at 5080 W. Alexis Road, in Sylvania, OH or call us at (866) 640-9871 

Connect with us on Social Media! 

Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | Pinterest