Renting an RV (recreational vehicle) for a few days is an incredible way to travel, especially if you like to do things your own way and enjoy the freedom of the open road. Whether you’re camping in the deep woods, traveling to a concert or simply getting away from it all for a short time, RV’s are the way to go. They’re literally a house on wheels, making the world your campground, but only if you plan and prepare the right way.
1. Choose The Right Size
Recreational vehicles come in all shapes and sizes, but beyond fitting the number of people you’re traveling with comfortably and safely into the RV, you need to be able to handle the driving. From the basic folding camper, you graduate to sports utility and travel trailers, all the way up to apartment-sized Class A types, with class B and C in between. Each vehicle presents its own options and benefits, along with special requirements for on the road handling. (Click here to learn more)
2. Take It For A Test Drive
Don’t just judge an RV by the way it looks and how much fun and food it will hold, judge it also by how you feel about it after a test drive. There are no special licenses granted to people just for recreational vehicles, so you’re pretty much on your own about deciding what you can and can’t handle. A dealership or rental outlet will be able to advise you and they should also let you test the vehicle right on their lot, far away from other drivers or obstacles.
3. Know How To Safely Handle The RV
Driving an RV is unlike anything you’ve ever done before, even if you have experience with larger vehicles. A gust of wind could feel like an earthquake and stopping the vehicle should be done gradually, as opposed to ever slamming on the brakes. If you’ve never taken an RV out on the road for any length of time, ask for safety and handling tips from the dealership or place you rent. They want to protect you and their property, so really pick their brains when it comes to proper procedures and operating guidelines. Even turning is going to be a lot different than a traditional car or truck, so you may need a few practice laps before you’re really ready to drive on your own.
4. Pack The Fridge
You’re probably accustomed to a cooler for weekend outings; however, with an RV, you should have a lot more space to pack your food. Take advantage of this and plan smartly, like putting some items in the freezer and having others more readily accessible, and by preparing the special foods that will make everyone happy, from vegan to carnivore. Since operating the vehicle may be somewhat precarious, the fewer stops at convenience stores you make, the better, especially when it comes to parking in tight spaces!
5. Prep The Vehicle
Your RV rental should include a basic checklist of the things needed to ensure a safe and happy trip, from essential fluids to flares and a first-aid kit. No matter where you’re off to, make sure you have plenty of fuel, a healthy battery and jumper cables, a tire pressure gauge, a few extra fuses and everything else needed, in case of an emergency. Every aspect of the RV’s electrical system should be checked and ready to roll and every possible negative scenario should be prepared for, despite the fact that you’re going to have the most awesome, worry-free time of your life.
Everyone should experience the fun and freedom of camping in an RV at least once in their lifetime, but usually, once you get a taste of this mode of transport, you’re hooked. Plan, prepare and make safety a priority and this definitely won’t be your last time behind the wheel of a cool and convenient RV.