Now that you own an RV, what are you going to do with it? Right? We all buy an RV, we want to have fun with it, camp, camp, camp, go out there and do some new things. But there are a few things you should do first to make your RV lifestyle even more enjoyable and less stressful when starting out.
Now that you own an RV, what are you going to do with it?
Learn how to use it
Learning your RV systems is an important part of RVing. RVs have a lot of different systems that will be new to you. Learning to use the systems properly will enhance your RVing experience.
The first thing to do is to learn where your breakers are located. RVs typically have them in two or three different places. It's a good time to go over your RV with a fine-tooth comb when you're set up for the first time. Take the time to systematically go through these things. You now have a chance to try out that refrigerator and make sure that it's cooling properly, the air conditioner's working properly. All these things you want to do when you're just practicing, because when you want to go on a long trip, you don't want to be stuck somewhere trying to figure out how to reset a breaker. Another thing to mention is that one important breaker – your GFI circuit. If you trip that one, you're out of luck, so you need to know where that is also.
Next, practice setting up camp. Put out your slides, hook up your water & sewer. Learn how to do all those things before you get out on your first travel adventure. This way you're much more confident in knowing that you know how to use your RV.
We've met people at an RV park next to us, on a long-distance destination trip, who didn't know how to stop their steps from going in and out every time they opened the door. There's an on and off switch. And each RV's different. Where our switch is not where your switch is, and so taking time to learn those basic kinds of things are really important.
Next learn how to break camp. You want to be able to put everything away and know how to bring everything in correctly so you don't damage anything. Don’t forget about your antennas and awnings! Learn how to operate them and make sure they are safely stowed before leaving your campsite.
This is a good time to start a good checklist on those things that you need to do when setting up and packing up. Make a checklist to follow so you don’t forget anything. Just go down that list every time check off those items and you will be sure you didn’t forget anything.
If you don’t want to start from scratch, we have a checklist bundle that you can purchase on our website. This bundle has 12 checklists for the RV lifestyle that you can tweak for yourself and refine your setup and tear down processes, but this gives you a starting place. If you're interested in those, you can check out the bundle here on our website.
Learn to drive is properly is another thing to do soon after you buy your RV. Taking your RV to an empty parking lot to start. This can be less stressful learning to navigate it a large space. Add some cones to practice making the space smaller to learn to park and back up/in. Set up the cones to mimic a campsite and back your rig. Take your time and get comfortable with driving it. If you still feel you need support or learning – call an RV driving school for an instructor near you. There is nothing better than peace of mind when you are driving a big RV.
After you learn to use your RV the next thing that you want to do is set some goals. You have learned how to use it, and you're ready to go out there and do some fun things.
We know from experience, before we were full-time, we bought our RV, and it sat there next to our house, or at one point it was in storage, and it got easier and easier to not use it, because things would get in the way. We'd get busy, or this would happen, or we didn't plan ahead, so we couldn't get the campground that we wanted to go to, or we realized that next weekend was Memorial Day and all the campgrounds were full.
Set some goals for using your RV, even for the entire year. If your goal is to use it every month, plan that weekend. Plan it now so that you don't have that excuse that you're too tired or that you're too busy to get out there and enjoy this investment that you have bought for yourself. Once you get out there, you feel better about using it, and you're not just letting it sit there. RVs are meant to be used. And they stay nicer and last longer if you're using them more often.
You will need to keep everything moving in an RV, opening your slides, running your generator, things like that. It's very important to exercise that RV so the gaskets and tires don’t start rotting or get flat spots.
If you're working and you want to take time off to for a vacation and you know that next year you want to do that, plan ahead now. Ask for the time off, put it on the calendar so there's no reason that you won't be able to be successful at accomplishing that goal by setting that time aside. This allows you to be able to use your RV the way you want to.
If you are full-time, sometimes it's easy to get lax, there's such thing as having too much freedom, where you just are so overwhelmed you don't know where to go next. Planning ahead, setting some goals, getting your bucket list together, those are things that you can do.
To help you with your travel planning goals, we have The Complete RV Travel Planner that will help you keep track of when and where you want to travel as well as a lot of other RV related lifestyle things.
Have Some Fun
The next thing to do with your RV is to get out there and have some fun, right? That's what you bought it for. So now you've learned to use it, you've set some goals, now you're going to get out there, right? We noticed that having an RV helped us look for things we had never done before, like bike riding and kayaking.
Now that you have a little more freedom, out away from home, start thinking about things you might want to try. Hiking, biking, kayaking, whittling, fishing, bird watching so many ideas…find something you think you might like and try it!
We bought an inflatable kayak, so that if we are camping near a river or lake, we can just inflate it and go down the river or paddle around a lake. This was something that we had never done before. We fell in love with kayaking. We never thought we would. We were always afraid of being dumped over. Our kayak's super stable, easy to store underneath the RV, easy to inflate. Our kayak is a Sea Eagle and we really, really enjoy this aspect of our RV life.
So now that you have an RV, these are the things that you need to do, right? You need to learn how to use it, you need to set some goals and plans so that you don't let it sit around, and you need to get out there and learn to do some new things. The world becomes a much bigger place when you're able to get out in nature and do new things. We hope that this article has encouraged you to do that.
Let us know in the comments below, what do you like to do with your RV? We are always looking for ideas that we can try and share with others.