Last Updated on November 17, 2021 by Lori
There are many things for RV beginners to learn before hitting the road in their new RV. In fact, it can be downright overwhelming at times! If you’re thinking about joining the thousands of people enjoying the RV Life, here’s how you can get started RVing along with some best tips for beginning RVers.
This post contains affiliate links which means if you click on a link and make a purchase, I will earn a commission at no additional cost to you. Please see our Disclosure Policy for more information.
Best Tips For RV Newbies
One of the first questions we are often asked is, “How to RV when you’ve never camped before?”
It’s a valid question and one that I can easily answer because that was my husband and me!
My husband had always wanted an RV. More specifically, he wanted a Winnebago like the one he had played with growing up.
My family had taken a vacation one summer in a rented truck camper when I was in fourth grade – so technically, I HAD camped before.
But beyond remembering that we had left the door to the camper open driving down the highway and a kind motorist flagging us down to tell us, I don’t remember my camping days.
When my husband turned 50 and said, “Let’s get an RV!” At first, I kind of chuckled thinking he was kidding. When I saw that he was serious, I said to him, “OK! Let’s go look at them!”
It was the best decision we’ve ever made.
RVing gives us something to do – together.
As couples get older, many find themselves doing activities with friends instead of each other.
For us, traveling together, deciding which states we want to visit next, and “strongly discussing” the best snacks to eat on our road trips have definitely made our life anything but boring!
How can YOU get started on this RV Adventure?
One of the first rving tips I give to beginners is to figure out how you will be using your RV.
Will you be living and traveling by RV as a full-time RVer? Or, will you be camping on the weekends and week-long camping trips?
Do you want to be traveling in a motorhome or will you be pulling a travel trailer with a truck or SUV?
Once you have made these first few important decisions, you have taken the first steps to begin enjoying the RV Life!
Here are more RV camping tips for beginners to help you get started RVing!
What’s So Great About The RV Life?
One reason people love RV Life is the ability to travel where and when you want to.
You don’t need to be a full-time RVer to enjoy the RV Life!
By RV traveling on the weekend or taking week-long trips, you have joined the “RV Life” club!
In the beginning, you may be feeling a little apprehensive about this whole RV Life thing.
One solution is to rent an RV so you don’t find yourself spending thousands of dollars on something you ultimately find that you just don’t enjoy.
Here are some great tips about renting an RV for the first time so you can decide if the RV Life is for you!
Golden Rules of Camping – Camping Etiquette You Need To Know
Are there rules for camping?
Well, yes, there are basic campground rules, but I’m talking about the rules that I’m not even sure are written down!
Basic Rules Of Camping
Every beginner RV owner needs to take the time to learn basic camping etiquette.
One of the first rules of campground etiquette you need to learn: Do not walk through your neighbor’s campsite.
Another golden rule to follow is to not be one of those campers who park right on the line of your neighbor’s site.
Campsites are small enough as it is and while everyone would love to have a large area to set out their chairs, grills, and play cornhole, respect your camping neighbors and park where you’re supposed to park.
Being a good camping neighbor is what makes camping so special.
Know the basic rules of camping before you get started!
How To Choose An RV
There are many types of RVs to consider when searching for the perfect camper.
So how do you choose the best RV that’s right for you and your family?
If you plan to live full-time in your RV, you may want a larger living and storage space to accommodate all your things.
Traveling by motorhome can sometimes be challenging once you arrive at your destination.
One question you need to ask yourself is, “Do you want to drive your RV through the mountains and around town?”
If not, you may want to consider towing a car behind your motorhome so you have a vehicle to drive around to all the attractions you want to visit.
Travel Trailer Camping
Another type of RV many beginners start with is a travel trailer. Travel trailers range in size from 12 ft up to 35 ft (some even larger!) with the average size around 30 feet.
If you are thinking about purchasing a travel trailer, does your vehicle have the capacity to tow the size of trailer you want to purchase?
You may need to purchase a new tow vehicle which will need to be added to your overall RV budget.
A fifth-wheel trailer is a very popular type of trailer with large living and storage areas but will require a hitch that connects to the bed of your truck.
Finding your perfect RV might not be easy, but with these simple RV tips for newbies on How to Choose the Best RV, I know you will find your perfect camper!
How To Choose An RV Campground
Once you’ve chosen your RV, and know the basic campground rules, it’s time to start searching for the best campground!
But, how do you choose the best campground?
One of the first questions you might be asking is What’s the average cost of an RV campground?
That will depend on the type of campground you want to camp in.
There are free campgrounds (those that are areas where you will be boondocking with no electricity, and no hookups), state and National Parks, membership campgrounds, private campgrounds, and resort-type campgrounds.
Campgrounds can range in price from $20 per night to $170 per night depending on the types of hookups and amenities you are looking for.
Other than cost, what are some important things to know before booking a campground?
Tips For Planning Your RV Camping Trip
One of the best RV trips for beginners is to camp close to home a few times before heading out on a long road trip!
By taking shorter camping trips, you can practice setting up your campsite without the stress of driving for hours, arriving tired at the campground, then having to remember what you need to do first!
You can also use the time to learn how to properly use and store your freshwater hose, black tank, and grey water tank.
Just remember to be flexible and take your time when planning your road trips.
Don’t try to drive for miles without stopping for a few days to rest.
Know the 3:30 Rule
Drive 330 miles per day or arrive at the campground by 3:30 p.m.
Following the 3:30 Rule assures you will not arrive at the campground after dark, so you can take your time setting up your campsite and relax.
You can easily plan a stress-free RV camping trip if you take the time to plan ahead.
One thing that I have found very helpful in planning our RV trips is to use this RV Travel Planner.
With an RV Travel Planner, you can plan your:
- Travel Budget
- Travel Bucket List
- Travel Itinerary
- Keep track of your campground reservations
Plus, you will want to keep a camping journal for all your trips!
Planning your trip is the fun part of RV Travel!
Tips For Setting Up Your RV Campsite
It is important to remember to keep your RV Accessories organized.
Remember this saying:
First in – Last Out
The first items you pack, whether it’s in the RV basement or the back of the truck, will be the last items you will be taking out.
You will need easy access to your sewer hoses, water hoses, and electrical cords.
These items should be packed in their containers last because these are some of the first items you will need when you arrive at the campground.
Here are more camping tips on how you can easily set up your RV campsite.
One of the more stressful times, in my opinion, is the RV Departure from the campground.
Even after five years of RVing, my husband will tell me, “How many times do I have to tell you NOT to distract me when I’m packing up?”
Why does he tell me this?
Well, let me see. We have:
- Left our water pressure gauge on the spigot because a camping neighbor came over to say, “Have a safe trip!”
- After leaving the dump station, we left our truck cap open only to notice it while driving down the highway. It’s not fun to pull over to the side of the highway pulling a travel trailer.
- We have forgotten to close the bathroom vent only to realize it was open when we arrived home and had just driven in six solid hours of rain!
Well, you get the idea. And I’m SURE what I was saying to my husband was nothing important. It was probably something like, “Did you see the big Class A that came in last night!”
Having a first-time RV owner checklist is one of the best things to have as a new RVer. We now use one every time we leave the campground.
RV Must-Have Essentials
One of the first things you need to realize as a beginning RVer is that you will continually be making lists.
Lists of things you need for your next camping trip, lists of places you want to go, campgrounds to research, and the many, many RV Wish List items!
But there are specific RV items you will need right away. You might think these must-haves would automatically come with your new RV – but they don’t.
Here’s a list of the first 20 RV Must Haves you will need to purchase once you have your RV.
Once you have these RV essentials, it’s time to get those extra camping items that are oh so nice to have at the campground!
RV Tool Kit
Whether you’re handy with tools or not – don’t leave home without an RV Tool Kit!
You will need to pack at least some basic tools in your RV. You will find that you can learn to fix a lot of things once you are an RV Owner.
We love this handy tool for our travel trailer! It’s a tool we saw another camper using and my husband said, “Why don’t I have that?”
You can bet he had it for our next camping trip and boy does he LOVE it!
Here’s a list of the best tools you will need in your RV Tool Kit!
What To Wear Camping
You’ll want to be ready for all kinds of weather when camping! Pack camping outfits for not only the summer, but also pack rain jackets, boots, and warm hats.
Fleece jackets are very versatile and come in both lightweight and heavy fleece. They are my most used article of clothing for camping!
Camping in the fall is a bit different than camping where it’s warm. Here’s what to pack for the best camping outfits for fall!
Camp Cooking – What Are The Best Camping Meals?
One of my best tips for beginning RVers is to create make-ahead camping meals to take with you!
I don’t know about you, but I want to be sitting by the campfire, not trying to figure out what’s for lunch or dinner; or, worse, be cooking in the RV while everyone else is outside having fun!
This Make-Ahead Camping Meal Planner will give you camping meals and side ideas as well as tips to plan all your meals!
I find by making many of the meals at home, then freezing them, I can whip up my family’s favorite meals at the campground in no time!
RV Tips For Beginners
It’s not easy being a newbie RVer. Especially if you’ve never been camping before!
But, you know what?
Everyone else has been in your shoes at one time or another! Don’t be afraid to ask questions.
RVers love to help!
Use these RV tips for beginners to learn a few easy tips to help you get started RVing.
There has never been a better time to get out and explore the world traveling in an RV!
I hope these RV Tips have helped you determine if RV Life is right for you!
Happy Camping & Safe Travels!