So you’ve just bought an RV, huh? Congratulations! You are well on your way to embarking on an exciting journey that opens your eyes and expands your horizons! The world is your oyster as you hit the open road in search of breathtaking scenery and memorable experiences. An RV makes it easier than ever to create lasting memories with family and friends by the campfire, hiking in the mountains, or relaxing by the seaside. But before you can hitch up your new home away from home and pull out of your driveway at the crack of dawn, there are some things you should do to prep your RV and yourself for safe, fun travels. Follow these first steps after purchasing your RV and you’ll be ready to hit the road in no time!
Settle In With a Good Book (or Owner’s Manual)
I know this is probably the last thing you want to hear, but reading your RV’s owner’s manual is very important! It contains invaluable information about the entire rig, some of which you’ll need to know when prepping it for travel. Don’t wait until you’re settled in by the campfire to pull it out and read it (who would do that anyway?)—dedicate a little time before your first trip to read it cover to cover. Highlight things or dog-ear pages that you’ll want or need to come back to. What’s covered in an owner’s manual? Everything from weight terminology and packing tips to plumbing, electrical, slide-out, and RV maintenance information. If you need to know it, it’s probably in there!
Make Sure You’re Covered
Complete and mail in any warranty cards that apply to your RV and its components. It’s common for an owner’s manual to list all of the RV’s components and their corresponding manufacturers so you can complete any necessary warranty cards for items like the microwave, water heater, landing gear, awnings, rubber roof & sealant, and much more. It’s suggested that you complete these right after purchasing your RV so that you don’t miss any submission deadlines.
Is Anything Missing?
Take a good look around your RV and make sure that all add-on components that you ordered are there! This can include anything from stabilizer jacks, a spare tire, and LP bottles on the exterior to an upgraded refrigerator, bathroom skylight, or second A/C unit on the interior. Take note of anything that's missing and contact your RV salesperson immediately.
Now is as good a time as any to install things that didn’t come already attached to your RV, such as a bike rack, exterior grill mounting hardware, TV wall-mounting brackets, solar panels, and more. When your family is starving after a 4 hour-long mountain bike ride in 90° heat is not the time you want to be installing the grill mounting hardware and delaying dinner.
Be a List Maker
Now we get to the fun part! Imagine yourself heading down the open road, hair blowing in the wind, on your way to the most beautiful campground in the world! Relaxing, isn’t it? Well, before you get too comfy, think about everything you’ll need not only for your travels but also for campground living. Channel your inner love of Excel and make a spreadsheet (or just a simple list—handwritten or Google doc) that’s easy to access and make changes to. You can categorize it by room (bedroom, bath, kitchen) or by interior/exterior. Whichever way is easiest for you to work through is the way you should do it. Believe me, it’s so easy to overlook a lot of the RV essentials you’ll need, so keeping a list and going over it again and again will be very worth it! Use RVers blogs, RVing friends, or just refer back to All Season's blog for advice on items you’ll need.
We've compiled some lists to give you a head start, so click to check out what you'll need!
- Smartest ways to pack a suitcase
- How to pack essentials for a camp kitchen
- The "don't forget" list! Things you shouldn't forget to bring camping!
Since you don’t want to be the guy (or gal) who backs up campground traffic with your jackknifed RV, head to an open parking lot and practice driving your rig around. Just like the saying goes, practice makes perfect, and this is definitely true for trying to back up a 30’ RV into a tight campsite spot. Have your camping companions go with you and practice spotting so it’ll look like you’ve done it before! You don’t want to start off your exciting getaway by fighting over whose fault it was that you hit a tree or dented your bumper because you weren’t backing into your space at the right angle.
Set Up With Ease
While you’re in the comfort of your driveway surrounded by family and friends (and not the prying eyes of campground neighbors), practice setting up your RV just as if you were getting settled at your campsite. Unhitch the RV, level it, crank down the stabilizer jacks, extend the patio awning, pretend to plug into the campground receptacle for power and hook up for water. You can also go through the motions of dumping your black tank so you can hopefully get in and out of the dump station quickly (and cleanly).
To help ensure that your RV’s maiden voyage will go smoothly, devote some time to getting your RV and yourself ready for its journey! Throwing caution to the wind and hitting the road without any preparation will only set you up for disaster, and we at All Seasons RV only want to see you enjoy every minute of your outdoor excursions!
You will inevitably come to bumps and turns on the road of RVing (literally and figuratively), and we’re here to help you make it through. Give our service department a call with any RV-related questions or if your rig is in need of service or repair.
If you haven’t taken that first exciting step yet of purchasing your RV, check out our huge selection of travel trailers, fifth wheels, toy haulers, and destination trailers and you’re guaranteed to find one that suits you to a tee! And with our amazing no-money-down financing, it’s never been more affordable to jump into the adventurous world of RVing. Come see us today in West Michigan or shop online and take advantage of our convenient store-to-door delivery service! Unforgettable and totally unbeatable camping trips are just a call, click, or visit away!