Are you planning to go on camping and looking for a guide for RV camping? This article will really help you and provide you with the basic as well as important things to consider for RV Camping.
Camping outdoors with an RV is extremely fun, adventurous, and worthwhile, especially if you are with your family or friends.
No worries about finding the right hotel/motel, and no need for buying plane tickets, it’s all about enjoying the journey.
There are a few basic pointers to take note of if you are planning to get on with the RV craze that is listed below.
List of 11 Important Things To Consider While Going On RV Camping
Below are some basic and important things to consider during or before going Camping in RV.
- Carefully select your RV
- Renting an RV
- Consider your vehicle tow capacity
- Selecting an Insurance
- Parking your RV
- RV Campgrounds
- RV Camping budget
- Get some practice for your first trip
- Readying for your RV Camping trips
- RV Campsite Setups
- Manage your RV Trash properly
1. Carefully select your RV
If you are waiting to buy an RV, you got a lot of options to select from. It all comes down to your needs and liking.
While a full-time RVer will go for an all-in-one comfortable unit, a part-timer may settle with a Towable alternative. Below are the basic types of RVs available that fit the needs of many.
Motorized RVs: These RVs come with an engine and a custom-made chassis that is built according to the owner’s needs. You do have the option to purchase pre-designed models. How big you want your RV to depend on your needs and budget.
- Type A: Type A RVs feature a full-fledged vehicle with all the amenities of a basic house like a kitchen, bathroom, recliners, and more. These larger RVs have almost all the options you can think of, but also it’s way harder to park these things, or even find an appropriate parking space for them. Some practices will allow driving and parking manoeuvres easier.
- Type B: One of the models of choice for most campers as it has ample space and is compact enough to be in the van category. Commonly known as “Sprinter Vans” which is a model of Mercedes Benz, these Type B Motorhomes are extremely fun to drive around and also easy to park in tight spaces thus eliminating the most frustrating condition of having an RV. These Motorhomes also come in a 4×4 version which means they are capable of dealing with a few off-roading activities too. A small bathroom and kitchen can also be installed after having ample space for accommodating a couple of adults.
- Type C: The size specifications of Type C lie between that of Type A and Type B campers. Over-the-cab sleeping compartment approach is liked by many people as it gives ample space to accommodate a bathroom, a kitchen, a sink, and a larger storage room, and can support more than two adults. This is a good option if you want something for the whole family but still want it smaller than Type A.
Towable Campers: Towable RVs come at a lot cheaper price point. Do keep in mind that you will be needing a truck or SUV, or an appropriate vehicle to tow them. These also have various types according to the features mentioned below:
- Travel Trailers: Comes with a size range of anything between 8ft to 35ft. These can be customized according to needs and likings. Off course, the towing ability of your truck comes into play when selecting the right size. The larger sizes also come with a slide-out option that gives you more space with a click of a button.
- Folding camping trailers: These are one of the lightest units you will find. Folding trailers have ample headroom available and come with a kitchen facility too. They do have slideout options available. The folding campers provide an ample amount of storage and also comes at a cheaper price point than most other units.
- Truck campers: These can be imagined as an add-on option to your flatbed trucks. Truck campers might be considered one of the better options available for your 4×4 offroader since this type doesn’t limit your vehicle’s off-roading capabilities too much. If you think you would face rougher roads in your travels, this one will suit your SUV perfectly. Some slide-in campers come with ample headroom, and storage facility while others come with a slide-out facility, kitchen, and even toilets. Additionally, you will have access to your truck’s bumpers letting you tow your boat or ATV if you choose to.
2. Renting an RV
- RV rentals are the way to go if you are looking for a one-time fun activity or considering buying an RV.
- Renting will give you a good idea of how to tackle an RV and the aspects you need to take care of. There are a lot of trustworthy RV rental services available.
- Joining RV groups and talking to like-minded people are some of the best ways to find out trustworthy RV rentals in your area.
- RV rentals work more or less like car rentals but might come with an added set of terms according to the type of vehicle you choose.
- Outdoorsy.com is a service that rents out privately owned RVs. Using this service, you have a better chance of finding a model that you want to try out. While most RV rental services let you operate across the US, some might have restrictions. Thus, it is better to check out these things before renting.
3. Consider your vehicle tow capacity
- Keen to use a trailer? Always consider your vehicle specifications. Towing close to or more than your vehicle capacity may cause a blown engine. That will put you in a heap of trouble if you are travelling long distances or in between cities.
- Generally, any standard SUV will give you enough towing capacity to tow a small trailer around.
- Remember the fact that once you load up your trailer with all your needed items and a full water tank, it will weigh considerably more.
- Consider the right type of attachments to hook up your vehicle according to the type of trailer you are towing.
4. Selecting an Insurance
- If you own an RV, it is wise to protect it with an insurance policy. General car insurance will only cover some aspects, but an insurance policy tailored for RV owners is what you need.
- RV insurance is a blend of both car insurance and home insurance and will also cost you a bit less than general auto insurance.
- Some also come with 24-hour roadside assistance which is extremely important if you are an active river who loves travelling long distances.
5. Parking your RV
- Parking spots are hard to find especially if you are driving an RV. That’s why it becomes important to map a route beforehand. Stick to route maps that include parking spaces for trucks or bigger rigs. If you are towing a small camper, it would not be an issue though.
- If you have to stop by malls or shopping centres that do not have parking available for bigger vehicles, try to look for a parking zone close by.
- Drive-through with a big RV might not be a possibility, but if you are in an SUV, nobody will flag you for it, given that your trailer is smaller.
6. RV Campgrounds
Selecting the right campground for your vacation is important to make your trip worthwhile.
There are several campgrounds with different amenities like water hookups, electric hookups, or more added services that are available there for RV owners according to their needs.
Booking a campsite a few days before your trip will enable you to find a good spot and have a hassle-free trip.
Contact the office or visit the site to know if the campground has the services like fresh water hookups, dumping stations, Wi-Fi, cable, electric hookups, or a shower facility if your RV doesn’t have an inbuilt one.
Choosing and booking a campsite is a whole task in itself, the next step is knowing and understanding the RV campground manners or rules which must be followed while you are there for the stay.
Following these will help to make your stay pleasant and satisfying. RV park area rules should be adhered to at all costs so that the other campers do not have any trouble.
Some key RV campground rules or manners are as follows:
- Check to see if the campground is “back in” or “pull through” to easily enter and exit the area.
- The site might have a noise curfew or timing for turning off any bright lights which should be followed as they are different for every campsite.
- Avoid going through another person’s camping site.
- Leaving trash behind is not an option, and after using the dump station, it will be very wise to spray it.
- Keep space between you and the RV next to you by choosing to give them their privacy and an area to be free and enjoy.
7. RV Camping budget
For an RVer, travelling becomes easy, cheap, and an enjoyable experience overall. Surely, you are not paying for your hotel rent, plane tickets, and other related expenses, but all of these come at a cost.
RVing adds other kinds of expenses such as maintenance charges, oil, insurance, and other vehicle-related expenses.
Generally speaking, an average monthly budget for RV enthusiasts ranges anywhere from $1200 and above, which is still cheaper considering the amount saved on paying rent and booking tickets.
If you like to stay on the road and change your camping destinations often this cost might rise significantly to $5000 or more.
While planning your RV trips, definitely chalk out a budget and try to stick to it. With time and more RVing experience, you can cut your budget significantly by controlling your expenses.
Some key expenses for an average RV user
- Fuel and vehicle maintenance costs.
- Auto insurance costs.
- Rental vehicle costs if you are renting an RV.
- Added expenses such as cell phone and communications bill, and wifi bill.
- Campsite costs, campsite hookup costs, or dump station costs.
- Highway tolls and parking space costs.
- Other general expenses such as water, food, entertainment, medicine, and hygiene expenses.
8. Get some practice for your first trip
- Choose an appropriate RV as per your needs and give it a go. Practice backing up and rounding on corners so that it’s not a problem when you hit the road for the trip.
- Handling bigger vehicles is a challenge in itself, so practising beforehand gives the owner some confidence when they have to drive long routes.
- Choose an empty spot or parking lot and practice the basic parking skills for your new RV as the parking can be tricky later on. Once you get the hang of it, it will be easy as ever.
- Practice turning around or hooking up the RV to the truck. Doing it a couple of times will already make you feel like you’re familiar enough with the basics.
9. Readying for your RV Camping trips
Selecting a camping ground is the first step of the trip. After selecting and prepping your RV, practising is the next thing.
Feeling like a pro after all of this already? Now it’s time to pack and manage things. Keep some duct and a basic toolbox handy with some WD-40 which might be very helpful in the worst scenarios.
Go through the manual thoroughly at first to know how can you fix things if something breaks down. Packing is something about personal choices, but basic camping gear shouldn’t be missed.
A few basic essential gears like a tent, sleeping bag, medical kit, cooking supplies, extra clothes, and rain gear are a must for a camping trip.
It is better to pack extra toilet paper and trash bags too in case you might need them.
Camping grounds might have a washer and dryer so washing those dirty laundry isn’t a problematic task.
10. RV Campsite Setups
There are various types of RV campsites available as per the person’s choice. The most luxurious of them all is the RV resort where extra amenities are included like cable hookups, Wi-Fi, swimming pools or lounging areas and many other extra options to use.
There are RV parks that are more open and have fewer added amenities. These are situated in secluded areas where one could connect with nature as they please.
The cheapest option is the RV campground which is the traditional one and offers no comfort as such, but it’s better to check beforehand because many campgrounds are not even paved or have any space to park.
There are a few steps or routines that one should follow for going on the first trip with your family at an RV campsite.
- The first step is to check into an office to get a map or some idea about the campsite.
- Park your RV safely into the campsite with the help of a friend or family member who is present with you to avoid hitting rails and trees.
- Level your RV and check for any slopes so that it isn’t a hassle later on.
- Stabilize the RV by lowering the scissor jacks so that it doesn’t move or rock back and forth.
- Check the site for hookups
- Use wheel clocks to secure the wheels for your RV safety.
- Open those pop-ups if there are any pre-installed ones and you are ready.
- Use some lawn chairs or camping chairs/stools and start the day.
- When leaving the campsite, check for anything that might be left behind before going and do reverse order actions.
11. Manage your RV Trash properly
An RV is equipped with many facilities at once, the trash and dumping waste can be a complex thing, but with time you will get the hang of it as there are designated dumping stations to empty those dirty tanks as you go.
Dumping stations are available at campsites where the accumulated waste and sewage are dumped and emptied.
There are hookups available at most camping sites where they offer fresh water, and gray and black tank emptying stations. The black tank is the bathroom and toilet waste and the gray tank is the sink and shower waste.
Connecting the hoses to the gray and black tank valves will allow you to empty them in the safest way possible without ruining the surroundings. The black tank should be emptied only after it’s half full so that the system can be cleared at once.
This method transfers the waste from your RV into the campsite’s septic tanks and system. Always make sure to close the black tank valve for the black tank so that nothing drips while you’re at the site.
Choose the correct hoses for each tank. They are always colour-coded and easy to identify so that you do not make any mistakes. If you even buy generic hoses, make sure to colour-code them and keep them separate.
Taking the time and research about RV and its systems will always be helpful for a new RV owner to understand how things work. Keep the manual near you all the time when RVing out on some campsite to avoid problems. Timely maintenance, and fixing small things regularly will keep your RV just like new for years to come. Enjoy with friends, kids, and family by bringing music, speakers, games, and other things to have the time of your life. HAPPY RVING!!
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