7 Issues I Want I Knew Earlier than RVing Full-Time


Almost a 12 months in the past, my husband and I made a decision, after a 30-minute dialog weighing the professionals and cons, to promote our Vero Seashore residence and hit the street in an RV. Inside a month, we made all of the plans — home offered, contents offered, donated, or saved in pods, fifth-wheel bought, truck to tow the fifth-wheel purchased, and no concept what we have been getting ourselves into. That is the fantastic thing about RV life — you are able to do it within the spur of the second and in small doses.

Whereas we solely realized a couple of steps for RVing, there are lots of fundamentals I want I had identified beforehand. Listed below are seven issues I want I knew earlier than RVing full-time and a few issues it’s possible you’ll wish to think about if you consider this nomadic or semi-nomadic life-style.

1. Much less Is Extra

When my husband and I offered our residence, we moved many issues right into a storage pod. We additionally stuffed our fifth wheel’s many cupboards to the hilt and shortly stuffed up the cupboard space beneath the RV.

Quick ahead, over 10 months later, we have now donated an older suitcase and baggage of clothes and books to girls’s shelters and native services. I don’t know what I assumed after I packed so many placemats, entertaining items, casserole dishes, and seaside towels, however they have been simply taking over area. In all honesty, we wash dishes proper after utilizing them and solely use a number of dishes for vacation celebration cooking (we have now full-size kitchen home equipment), so there isn’t a necessity for 4 or six place settings until you might be internet hosting.

It’s additionally secure to say that we’ll by no means learn as many hardback/paperback books as we introduced, or use as many dish towels and cleansing provides. And we don’t use multiple pair of sheets as they get put again instantly after washing. Much less is extra within the RV life-style.

truck and camper at dirt and gravel campground at sunset

Grime and gravel campground

Photograph credit score: Melody Pittman

2. Know The Totally different Sorts Of Campgrounds

Once we first launched into a full-time RV life-style, we didn’t know what sort of campground to decide on or what we wish. We tried non-public campgrounds; mom-and-pop, Kampgrounds of America (KOA), Thousand Trails, state parks, metropolis parks, and others. My husband had grand concepts of boondocking (tenting with out water, sewage, or electrical energy), however that by no means panned out for us. Right here’s why:

We have been fast to study that we most popular staying at non-public campgrounds. Whereas the facilities change a bit from park to park, we all know that by staying at a KOA, the world’s largest community of privately-owned campgrounds, we are going to get the issues we deem crucial. I referred to them in a earlier article because the “Marriott and Vacation Inn” model identification of the Nineteen Seventies and ‘80s. You recognize you’re going to get a clear, well-maintained, comfy campground with numerous website choices, dozens of facilities, a small retailer for incidentals, and a useful employees. That sort of safety issues loads to us which explains we select lots of the locations we do.

Whereas we have now stayed at a number of non-KOA properties that we cherished — Jellystone for example — we desire a pull-through website on concrete, if attainable, and full hook-ups.

Professional Tip: Be a part of the KOA Rewards tenting loyalty program to save lots of 10 % in your stays and earn unique reductions.

RV washer and dryer

It’s good to have a washer and dryer in your RV.

Photograph credit score: Melody Pittman

3. Restrict Your Wardrobe

We’re lucky to have a washer and dryer in our RV. That was one thing I negotiated within the ultimate sale and one factor we’d not do with out for this life-style. We wash one thing every single day as a result of it’s a must to do tiny hundreds. Since there are hardly any soiled garments, it was pointless for us to deliver 20–30 T-shirts, 15 pairs of socks, 15 pairs of shorts — you get the image.

Whereas we do want multi-season clothes (I’m a journey author and go all around the world, so I have to be ready), we haven’t used even half of what we introduced. After a couple of months, we discovered this technique.

It obtained donated if the clothes merchandise was already 10 or extra years previous. I preserve out about 5 days of clothes, reuse it, and swap these items out for five days, or different clothes after a couple of weeks. We’ve got storage within the RV, a full-size closet (although you may’t put an excessive amount of weight on it or the bar will collapse), and we preserve the remainder in our suitcases beneath the RV. We every have a tote or two of seasonal clothes we preserve within the beneath storage that we solely want each 5 or 6 months, together with a winter coat, gloves, and so on. We’ve additionally purchased many new T-shirts from the cool locations we’ve visited, and should eliminate one so as to add one other. 

4. Study How To Flip On The Inverter Swap

Our Cedar Creek 291RW fifth-wheel is ideal for us. If we even wished to entertain the concept of boondocking, we needed to know the place the inverter swap was for the fridge to make use of the battery and photo voltaic backup. For weeks after shopping for our RV, I watched lots of of movies about Forest River merchandise to no avail. I consulted the handbook, Youtube, and different assets, however none of them instructed us the place to seek out mentioned inverter swap.

Throughout our annual RV check-up, crucial for sustaining the guarantee, we requested the RV specialist (not Forest River, thoughts you) to assist us discover it. It took him about half-hour to seek out it beneath the RV, behind a faux wall, and manner again to the place it’s a must to lean half your physique in to seek out it. He agreed it was the dumbest design he’d seen after 20 years within the RV enterprise, however not less than we now know learn how to “flip the swap.” This may also turn out to be useful for holding the refrigerated items chilly after we cease for sightseeing between campsites.

Professional Tip: We purchased our RV in the course of the pandemic and shortages. We have been quoted $10,000 for an Onan (by Cummins) generator (the one type our RV can use). It needed to be pre-paid and would arrive no prior to 9 months from ordering. We might additionally should pay to ship it at floor charges to the place we have been at present RVing. It was simple to say no, seeing that we don’t anticipate paying that a lot for civilized campgrounds in a 12 months.

5. Make A Guidelines (And Examine It Twice!)

Consider me after I say that we googled or YouTubed all the pieces we wanted for hauling our RV, setting it up, and breaking it down. With the assistance of a buddy and his spouse, we managed to hook up our RV and hit the street. Our first campsite was 20 minutes from our residence, the second was an hour away.

The very best factor we did, at first, was to have a be aware on our smartphone with a guidelines for establishing and breaking down. We rigorously went by means of the steps, assigning duties to work as a group, and inside about 2 months, we lastly didn’t want to take a look at the guidelines. Lists are magical; they will prevent time and enable you to get duties accomplished so as, assuring you don’t miss a factor.

wooded Tennessee campground in the fall

Tennessee campground within the fall

Photograph credit score: Melody Pittman

6. Don’t Plan Too Far In Advance

As I discussed, we simply jumped proper into RV life. Many individuals I’ve met have deliberate their adventures to the nth diploma, and one thing occurs to disturb that schedule, us included. With the latest unbelievable fuel hike, I’m guessing most individuals are rethinking their plans for summer time journey and altering horses in the midst of the race. Enable time to remain longer in locations you want, and even time to go on street journeys in your automobile, leaving your RV behind so you may expertise resort stays. We do this loads.

As for us, our well-planned summer time itinerary by means of western states will change as a result of pulling a fifth-wheel on mountains at almost $7 a gallon for diesel and getting 7 miles to the gallon because of the inclines will not be in our greatest curiosity. We gained’t be paying $1 a mile to go that far.

7. Abide By The two-2-2 Rule 

My husband and I had an bold plan to see a special state every month, which was manner too aggressive. We prolonged our keep at three of the primary 4 campgrounds we visited. We cherished the world and campsite and wished to take pleasure in it longer. That’s one of many joys of RVing; you get to resolve what works for you.

A buddy instructed me about her 2-2-2 rule, and to at the present time, we attempt our greatest to comply with it. We don’t prefer to drive greater than 2 hours between campgrounds; we have to be on the campground by 2 p.m. and check out to not exceed greater than 200 miles. With this easy rule, we’re not drained after we journey, haven’t used up an excessive amount of of the day to benefit from the subsequent city (or RV park) in some style, and have an concept of what time we should depart to fulfill our aim.

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