When starting to consider entering the RV lifestyle, the first thing that most people are going to do is start finding an RV that they think will meet their needs. However, if you have never traveled in an RV before, how would you know what you want?
The first mistake you can make is to head to an RV dealer or RV show and let a salesman convince you how wonderful the RV they are showing you would be for you! Don’t ever buy on the first visit! Wait until you do your homework. Research a little bit about the RV’s you may have seen, and consider how they would fit your lifestyle.
If you have never spent time in one, the best thing you can do is to rent one. Pam and I did that for years before spending the big dollars these things cost. We were sure of what we wanted after having spent weeks at a time on the road, with many different classes of RV’s. That led to being happy in the RV we now have, and have had for six years.
What I want to do on this website’s page is to give you some information that will help you find the right RV, how to use it, what to be aware of, and how to maintain it. The best way to do that is to share videos of folks I have used in the past to learn about these things, especially in my early stages of full time RV living.
I am a big fan of buying used RV’s over a new one. Why should you take the hit for the major depreciation that will come when you buy new and take it off the RV dealer’s lot? Buy one that is two to five years old, it fits your list of needs in an RV and get it inspected. Once you find a good one, you will be happy you went that route. Pam and I did!
Listen to what Terry Cooper, the Texas RV Professor, and NRVIA president, has to say about this!
One of the first things new RVers always ask me is how do you deal with the s**t, the poop, the fecal matter, or whatever you want to call it? Well, if you can’t handle seeing a little poop come through a clear hose adapter or a little smell every now and then, well RVing may not be for you! You are going to have to maintain this system or issues will eventually develop.
It really is no big deal! It’s not like the movie RV makes it out to be if you have seen that one. All it takes is a little knowledge about the proper procedure for handling your RV’s waste system. I have been dealing with this crap (pardon the pun) for over twelve years, and only once did I have a fecal incident.
I pulled the t-handle to open the black water gate valve, the stuff started flowing, and once it hit the elbow that was attached to the RV park’s sewer pipe, the connection popped off. I was using a rubber donut at the time and it was loose. I immediately closed the valve and probably had a few gallons of black water that had spilled out.
I now use the screw type connection that works much better, but I still put a weight on the elbow to keep the twist lock connection from popping off.
How about hearing from the RV Geeks on how to keep your black water tank in great shape!
Here is a real simple tip that can save your RV from water damage. Pam and I have seen water pouring out of RV’s in every RV park we have stayed at. Whether it was from a toilet, a sink left running, or even a sewer flush gone bad, if you have your tanks closed, and water is left running, eventually the water will find another way out! Watch this story!
Always be sure you have your water devices shut off before leaving your RV. Be sure to train the kids on what can happen if the water is left running. An RV is not like being at home! This kind of event can total your RV and ruin your vacation, or perhaps your full time RV living home. When Pam and I leave the RV for the day, we shut off the propane and the water. It only takes a few seconds to do.
How about learning the basics of your RV? Here’s a list of some items to consider.
Pam and I have a checklist we use when relocating the RV as we move about the country. We have used it for years and it helps prevent us from pulling out of an RV park and perhaps forgetting to lower the TV antenna, fold up the entry steps, lock the awnings in place, or even forget to check the tire pressure before departure. Proper tire pressure during travel is a big safety issue!
Any new RVer must be aware that you can’t put everything aboard an RV that you want! There are weight limits, and you must be aware of your cargo carrying capacity or you will get yourself in trouble!
Here is an item that a lot of new RVers don’t get told about when making their first RV purchase. When it comes to toilet paper, or any paper product you may consider throwing down the toilet, not everything you use at home works in an RV!
Pam and I use septic safe toilet paper, and it has worked well for years. I can tell it has broken down in the tank because I see what comes out of the black tank while dumping. I have a clear adapter that allows me to see when the tank is flowing clear water while performing a tank flush.
What Other Things Should I know If I Am New to RVing?
There are a host of other topics that you can explore when considering the RV lifestyle! I just picked some major topics that I have seen hang some people up. But, what about these things that you can research on your own? Youtube is a great source for all these ideas!
- Driving a Class A motorhome
- Backing a travel trailer of 5th wheel
- RV driving tips
- RV electrical hookups and electrical management systems
- RV tire inflation and load considerations
- Awning maintenance
- RV roof maintenance
- RV water heater maintenance
- RV refrigerator usage and care
- RV toilet maintenance
- Generator maintenance and care
- RV deep cycle battery care
- RV water regulators
- Drinking water safe hoses
- LP safety
And the list can go on and on!
I began by asking fellow RVers, with more experience than I, what they experienced with their RV’s, what things they did they felt regretful about, and any other experiences they wanted to share. Of course, working in RV parks really advanced that knowledge base.
It comes down to this, the more you know about your RV, the better RVing experiences you will have!
I hope some of this information has helped you! If I can be of assistance, please feel free to leave a comment and we’ll get back to you!
Wishing you many Happy RV Travels!
Howard and Pam