Essential Tips for First Time RV Campers

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New RV campers often feel a little overwhelmed when planning their first camping trip. Traveling in an RV is much different than jumping in a pickup truck and erecting a tent to sleep in for the night. For those that are new to RV camping, there are some essential tips that will keep you safe and help you to avoid the common problems that arise when newbies take to the open road and start their camping adventures.

Essential Tips for New RV Campers

So, you have just purchased your new rig and are ready to take it camping, but where do you even begin? The following are some essential tips that will help to ensure you are prepared with the right gear and supplies so camping is fun and not a headache. You’re undertaking all this stuff in order to relax, after all.

  1. An RV Door lock is essential for camping. Although your RV already came equipped with a lock, these locks are not as secure as you might think. Unfortunately, there are master keys that can be used to open many manufacturer locks. It is wise to replace the lock with a keyless entry lock so you’ve got a lock where you can choose a passcode.
  2. Because the first trip is your maiden voyage, it would be wise to stick close to home. Your first trip is likely going to be the rockiest and venturing too far away from home could make it more difficult. Stick with a camping trip that takes you no further than one to two-hundred miles from home for the best results. Once you get the hang of driving your RV and setting it up at camp, the road will know no end.
  3. Having the right GPS is also important. Although your smartphone likely has a GPS setting, this is not the best device to use for safe RV travels. There are many areas in the United States that have low clearances or narrow roads that can be dangerous for RV drivers. An RV-specific GPS device will keep you on track and safe during your travel.
  4. Believe it or not, many people do not realize they still need to wear camping gear when camping in their RV. Yes, you will be sleeping indoors, but there are likely many outdoor activities you will participate in. Wearing clothes that are appropriate for the weather and a strong pair of boots will help to ensure you are less likely to be uncomfortable or injured while outside. The right pair of camping boots should be rugged and offer essential protection for the foot and ankle. A rugged outsole will keep your footing secure on all terrains.
  5. There are multiple steps that must be carried out when parking an RV at a campsite and new owners can sometimes forget to carry out all the steps. It is wise for new owners to draw up a checklist so they can remember every step each time they park. Using this checklist will ensure the RV is parked correctly and is ready for safe camping, whether on vacant land or in an RV park.
  6. Many people overlook this important tip when they are new to RV ownership and neglecting it can spell disaster. Taking the RV out on a test drive is essential for getting a feel for how it operates on the open road. During the test drive, all the features should be tried and the driver should practice parking and backing up so they will be prepared when it comes time to embark on their first camping trip.
  7. Make sure to leave early enough so you have plenty of time to set up camp before dark. Once you grow accustomed to setting up your RV, you can handle it in under an hour, but the first time will likely take longer. Setting up the first time should be during daylight and as relaxed as possible so mistakes are not made.

Do Not Forget These Essentials

One of the most common problems new RV owners face when going on their first camping trip is forgetting to pack certain items that are essential for traveling in an RV. Consider the following essential checklist of items to take on your first RV camping trip.

  • Sewer hose – You will need a sewer hose to be able to empty your sewer. This is an essential item to pack or you could find yourself with a backflow of nasty sewer water which is something you do NOT want!
  • Freshwater hose – This hose will provide you with a clean source of water for a variety of reasons. It is always important to keep one hose dedicated to clean water and nothing else.
  • Leveling blocks – Leveling blocks are essential for ensuring your RV can be leveled at the campsite. Many places you park will not be entirely level, even if you are parking in an RV campground.
  • Wheel chocks – These devices are placed behind your tires to keep your RV secure and prevent rolling. They should always be used, even on flat ground. They are especially important when parking on hilly ground.
  • Power adapter – A 15M/30F adapter is essential for powering electric devices in your RV. Do not leave home without this adapter or you could find yourself more than a little aggravated.
  • RV toilet paper – Your mom likely always warned you about never leaving home without clean underwear, but I bet she never stressed the ways to keep them clean. You need to make sure you do not leave home without RV septic system-safe toilet paper. You cannot flush traditional toilet paper in an RV or you will have a big mess on your hands.
  • Water pressure regulator – Many new RV owners do not know the sheer importance of these regulators and they learn the hard way that water pressure is not always stable in an RV. One of these devices will help you to regulate the pressure of the flow and conserve the water in your tank as much as possible.
  • First aid kit – While RV travel is generally safer than traditional camping, there is always the possibility of someone becoming injured. An expansive first aid kit will help to ensure all types of injuries can be treated. If camping in snake territory, it is always wise to have a snake kit in your RV.
  • Fire extinguisher – Although some RVs come equipped with these, this is not always the case. A fire extinguisher is a must when traveling by RV and can save your life or prevent catastrophic damage to your rig. Fire extinguishers should be properly mounted within your RV to ensure they do not become damaged during travel.
  • Cleaning products – These are especially important for long camping trips, and it never hurts to be prepared to clean the inside and outside of your RV. Road travel or even parking while camping can lead to the exterior of your RV becoming grimy. Cleanup will be a breeze with the right cleaning products and tools.

How to Grow Accustomed to the RV Life

Whether you plan on simply traveling on excursions in your RV or you want to make it your permanent home, there is a bit of a learning curve to consider. Consider the following to start enjoying the RV life and embracing it fully.

Choosing the right rig is essential. There are so many choices to consider and many first-time buyers simply do not take enough time to research. Working with a helpful dealership will help to ensure a buyer is able to find the perfect RV rig for traveling or for their residence.

Keeping the RV stocked with necessities is always important. Flashlights, blankets, canned food, tools, and other necessities will help to ensure you are always ready for a trip when wanderlust strikes. Keeping a list and replacing items that have been consumed will help to prevent problems with RV travel.

When you first begin traveling by RV, you will need to make sure you give yourself plenty of travel time. Driving an RV is much different than what you are likely accustomed to with your cars or trucks. You should never speed in an RV or you could cause a serious accident.


Getting out on the open road in your first RV is one of the biggest joys in life. There is something so freeing about traveling in an RV and going wherever you please, all across the country.

The above information will help to ensure you are fully prepared for your first RV camping trip. Even if you feel you are an old pro, it never hurts to review your checklists and stay prepared.

With the right necessities, camping boots, and supplies, you will be prepared to enjoy your time camping, without stressing over all the details. Preparation will help you to avoid the stressors that can prevent you from enjoying your maiden RV voyage. Do not worry about any mistakes that are made on your first journey. Simply learn from them and move on to the next.

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About the author


Hi, I’m Brian Bradshaw. I’m a super duper mega hiking enthusiast, with a love for everything that has to do with outdoors, hiking, gear, footwear and more.

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