Whether it’s your very first RV, another upgrade or you’re downsizing, there are some things every RVer can do to make sure they hit the ground running in a new RV. Here are a few of our favorite tips to help make sure the first trip in your new RV is easy, comfortable and, most importantly, fun!
Oh, the places you’ll go
Before you hit the open road, research your stops closely to make sure the RV parks and campgrounds are equipped and have spaces that support your unit. You may also want to consider the roadways you’ll be traveling to make sure you’re comfortable navigating them—especially if this is your very first RV.
See what fits
We take great care to design smart, efficient spaces into our RVs. Whether pass-through exterior storage, a residential fridge, 75-pound-capacity drawers or under-bed storage, they all maximize available space. These spaces are, however, a little different than what you are probably used to at home. Take a few minutes to fill the cupboards and closets and find the best spots for all of your adventure gear. Developing a simple inventory of what you’re taking along and what fits where will help on your first few trips.
Stock up on essentials
The Boy Scouts’ old adage, “Be prepared,” applies to RV travel as well. We always suggest having the little things you may need with you as opposed to having to pick them up along the way. Items like a first-aid kit, batteries, flashlights, cleaning equipment for inside and out, blankets, matches, garbage bags and the like are smart to have on hand should the need arise.
Take a test drive
Whether you’re towing or driving your new RV, it’s important to get comfortable on the road. Perhaps practice maneuvering in an empty parking lot or less crowded roadways. It’s also helpful to take a couple practice runs entering and exiting the highway during less congested times of day and getting a feel for driving during different levels of daylight.
Make it your own
The décor of each Jayco RV is chosen and arranged with great care by our in-house design team. To really make it feel like your own, add some personal touches. Framed photos in the bedroom, flowers in the bathroom, your favorite blanket on the couch or keepsakes over the fireplace are just a few ideas.
Diligence at delivery
Your dealer is an invaluable resource for you. When you pick up your RV from the dealership, try to calm the urge to take your new toy home and play. Take your time with the dealer to learn the RV inside and out. Write down or even take video with your phone of demonstrations or instructions they provide.
Spend a night in your yard
Practice makes perfect, so why not take a night to practice living in your RV? No doubt your dealer walked you through the basics, but the training wheels are off now. Cook a meal, take a shower, watch a movie, run the generator and make some coffee. Doing these sorts of things on the comfortable confines of your own property will ensure your first adventure, whether it’s out in the wild or to a popular campground, kicks off without a hitch.
You’ll want to be especially comfortable with the cooking and food storage capabilities of your RV. Planning meals ahead helps make trips, both long and short, easier. Get a good understanding of how much and how fast you can whip something up so you can prepare ahead of time and stay focused on fun while at camp.
Mind the load
As you pack and plan, keep the load in mind. Light and balanced are good guidelines as they will make both road travel and campsite setup/leveling easy and comfortable.
If you’re looking for some more planning and prep tips, here’s more about extended trips, some general planning ideas and an in-depth video from our friends at Family Travel Atlas about preparing for weekend adventures.