A Beginner’s Guide to RV Life

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Why own or rent a motorhome? The freedom, of course! The notion of being able to go almost anywhere, anytime, is attractive. So appealing in fact, that nearly 15% of Canadians are now RV owners. Living in B.C., the road trip possibilities are so plentiful that you don’t really ever have to leave the province–though we bet you’ll want to take your RV everywhere eventually. Before you get rolling in your new home away from home, we’ve got a few recommendations for making your first outing a great one:

 

Get Well-Acquainted with Your Ride

It’s important to know your way around your motorhome before departing. This includes familiarizing yourself with troubleshooting common issues. Give your owner’s manual a thorough read before going anywhere, and keep it nearby for reference. Preventative maintenance is well worth the effort. For example, try to manage your electrical consumption, so that you won’t draw more power than your campground post can handle and trip a breaker.  Start by figuring out which appliances you’ll be using the most, and find out roughly how much power they draw. With this info in mind, you’ll quickly know whether or not you can simultaneously make coffee, cook eggs on a hotplate, and still keep your refrigerator working.

Budget for a Better Experience

Admittedly, not the most exciting part of your adventure. Yet, it’s beneficial to crunch a few numbers for food, gas, and campground costs before you go. Get this bit of business out of the way up front, and you’ll be able to do and see more (for less) in the long run. Here’s a formula developed by an experienced RV’er to help you forecast spending more accurately.

Map a Route

Anticipate your route so you can let someone know where you’re going (at least approximately) and always have an alternate route ready to default to in case of traffic incidents or road closures. Pick a few “must-see” sights on the way so you can make sure to work these stops into your travels.

Book Ahead

Especially when you’re starting out, it’s a good idea to call ahead or book online with places where you’ll be overnighting. Make a reservation so you won’t run into any issues with booking your campground, or connecting to utilities.

Plan Your Provisions

Have a game plan for food and beverages before you go, with an emphasis on non-perishable items (just in case you have any unexpected issues with power/refrigeration). It’s a good time to focus on simple but nutritious meals. After all, you won’t want to be standing at a stove, when you could be enjoying the great outdoors! You’ll probably want to anticipate the occasional restaurant meal now and then, as well as hitting up local produce stands along the way for seasonal fruits and veggies.

Remember Pet Supplies

If you’re bringing a furry friend along for the ride, make sure you’ve got all the necessary pet items such as food, bowls, leash, toys, medication, bedding, and extra water.

Emergency Items

Make sure you’ve got a well-stocked emergency kit ready, including: tools, potable water, extra fuses, light bulbs, jumper cables, warning triangles, emergency blankets, flashlight, batteries, spare tire/jack, and a copy of your insurance.

Join a Club

RV life is known for being rather social. Consider connecting with fellow RV’ers through one of many clubs that welcome newcomers. Not only will you meet like-minded people, you’re sure to pick up lots of practical getting started tips from seasoned experts.


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