8 Tips for a Successful RVing Vacation
Below are 8 tips that will help you make the most of your RVing experience:
1) Choose the right size of RV. Consider how much space you will need. How many people will you be traveling with? Are people willing to share a bed? Do you want to have to turn the kitchen table into a bed every night, or would you rather have enough permanent beds that can be ready for sleeping in every night without any effort.
Another issue is gas. The smaller and lighter the vehicle, the less you will need to spend on gas. However, if you buy or rent a fifth wheel—that is, a trailer hooked up to a truck—you will be able to drive to a campsite, unhitch the trailer and spend the day driving around in the truck—which means spending less on gas.
And, the size of the RV can also make parking and driving difficult. It is easier to park and drive smaller vehicles, as well as one-piece vehicles. If you have a fifth-wheel, you need to be careful when you turn around corners and also when you back into a stall.
When you choose the right size of RV for yourself, you can sleep better at night!
2) Get help with parking when needed. Have someone traveling with you get out of the vehicle and help you back into the spot. This person can help you by telling you which direction you should be aiming the back of the vehicle and how far you still need to drive. Don’t wait until you hear scraping. If you do not feel confident enough to reverse the vehicle, have someone else traveling with you do it (if they are old enough). Otherwise, ask another camper with an RV to give you a hand. Many RV owners are very skilled in reversing long vehicles and don’t mind giving you a hand—especially when they don’t want you to hit their vehicle!
3) Make the unpleasant less messy.Not many people would say that they enjoy emptying the grey and black water tanks. Before you leave on your trip, make sure you have some plastic gloves with you. Then it’s time to empty your tanks, put on the gloves to protect your hands from unpleasantness. To make the process of dumping easier and clean-up less messy, empty your black water tank first (i.e., from the toilet). THEN, empty the grey water tank (i.e., dish water, shower water). The grey water will help flush out any debris in the hose from the black water tank. Last but not least, have someone go into the RV and put the water on. With the grey tank valve still open, the extra water will help flush out the hose even more. That way, when it’s time to put the hose back into the RV, it won’t be quite so nasty.
4) Make a reservation. When possible, it’s a good idea to make a reservation at a campground. You don’t want to be told, after driving for a few hours to get to your destination, that there are no more campsites available. National Parks typically allow you to reserve a campsite in advance. In Canada, however, provincial parks do not take reservations—they are on a first-come first-served basis. Phone ahead and ask whether you would be able to make a reservation to prevent any disappointments.
5) Park before dark. Whenever possible, find and park into your campsite before it gets dark. Not only is the site easier to find, but it will be easier to back the vehicle into a stall when it’s still light out.
6) Don’t forget about truck stops and Walmart! If you cannot find a campground or all campgrounds in the area are fully booked, you can park your RV at a truck stop (typically beside gas stations with numerous trucks parked out front). But, there is also free overnight parking at most Walmarts across the country. Do everyone a favor and don’t drive when you are extremely tired.
7) Be safe—don’t park alone! It is not wise to park your vehicle at a rest stop or truck stop by yourself. You never know who might come creeping by your vehicle. It will be much easier to sleep knowing that there are other families close by.
8) Be ready to go. Keep your cupboards stocked with food, your fresh water tank full, and grey and black water tanks empty (i.e., tanks for the dish water and toilet, respectively). That way it will be easy for you to hit the road on the weekend and enjoy the great outdoors. RVing is a great way to escape into the wilderness and release some stress. You probably don’t want to pack when you’re stressed. But, if everything is all ready to go, you have just created another reason why you should go camping.
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