Top 6 Steps For The Newbie RV Owner

The Fastest Way To Get Up To Speed

So you’ve just bought an RV. You’re probably raring to go on your next adventure! While hitting the open road is in your near future, it’s smart to take a few initial steps. These steps help you stay safe and enjoy your RV trip. Here are some RV owner tips that you need to know before you put the key in the ignition.

Step 1: Get to Know Your RV

Check out all of your systems. You don’t want to find yourself miles away from any facilities and realize you don’t know how the RV’s basic plumbing works. Your RV dealer probably gave you an owner’s manual — flip through it and take a hands-on tour of your new home away from home. It helps to imagine yourself camping with your RV — you can even try it out for a night in your driveway.

Step 2: Pack the Right Equipment

RVing is different from camping. You need the right nuts and bolts to make things work. That includes hooking up your water, electricity, cable television, internet, and sanitation systems. Here is a starting list of what you need to have on-hand for your RV:

  • Water pressure regulator
  • Freshwater hose
  • Water filter
  • Chemical treatment for sanitation holding tank
  • Sewer hose/sewer kit
  • Surge protector
  • Power adaptor
  • Extension cords
  • Coaxial cable
  • RV friendly toilet paper
  • Leveling blocks

Also don’t forget to have a number of handy items you’ll use along the way. That includes jumper cables, cotter pins, duct tape, motor oil, transmission fluid, jumper cables, emergency kit, and fire extinguisher. Of course, that’s all in addition to your food and personal items — what you need to stay comfortable during your trip.

Step 3: Plan a Short Trip

Your first sojourn in your RV should be brief. Don’t go too far away from home until you get used to the RV experience. Your vehicle might be too large to get under bridges or through tunnels, and those rest stops you have in mind might not work for your RV. Starting slow and small gives you the chance to get your logistics straight.

A short trip not only saves you from risk, but also gives you the chance to make your next, longer trip ideal. You can plan the best route. You can make up your own list of things you want to have on-hand to make your RV feel like a vacation home on wheels.

Step 4: Know How to Prepare for Travel

The RV is designed to transition from home to vehicle. You’ll save a lot of time and headaches if you know exactly how to change from one mode to another. Write a checklist of what you need to do before you start driving. Here are some examples:

  • Pull up the steps
  • Turn off the water heater
  • Turn off the water pump
  • Turn off and close roof fans
  • Secure large or bulky items that may move during the drive

This is not an exhaustive list. Take a walk around your RV and make sure there’s nothing that could break or cause damage on the road, and that you haven’t missed any hookups or connections that need shutting off before you leave for your next location.

Step 5: Talk to Other RVers

Experience is the best teacher, and RVing is a community. You may find you make new friends during your travels. Lean on these folks for advice. Before your first trip, check out online blogs, social media groups, and RVing forums for tips and tricks on how to make the adventure one you’ll remember — for all the right reasons.

Step 6: Learn How to Make the Most of Your RV

Your RV is a chance for some getaway time. Even when you can’t go on a road trip, you can still benefit, by renting out your RV through As an RV owner, these tips will get you started — but it’s up to you to live the life you want on the road.

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