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You’ve finally taken the plunge and bought your dream RV. You’ve been imagining life on the road for quite a while now, or maybe simply dreaming up a week of luxurious camping. Whatever the case, your new favorite toy is burning a hole in your driveway. Time to hit the road! Right?

Well, maybe not just yet. There’s a handful of things you’re going to want to do before you dive head first into RV life. Don’t worry, you’ll have fun getting things ready. By investing a little bit of time into getting to know your RV before your first big trip, you’ll be ensuring that your first big trip is a huge hit!

We know you’re itching to get going, so here’s some tips for RV beginners such as yourselves:

Go for a practice drive.

That’s right, the first step is to drive that beauty around! If you don’t have experience driving large vehicles, it’s going to take some practice. Even all the familiar roads will feel a little foreign in your new rig. Take it for a spin, getting acclimated with all sorts of situations. And bring your family and pets along so they can get a feel for your driving. It’ll save plenty of backseat driving when you’re officially off on your adventure.

A common newbie mistake is to not know the height and width and weight of your RV. Suddenly, you come up on a bridge or tunnel and you’re panicking. Make sure you know the measurements and are aware of clearances. There are apps available, such as CoPilot, that allow you to plug in the size of your RV and suggest the ideal route for you.

Go camping in your driveway.

The best kind of learning is through experience. The best kind of RV learning is through experiencing it close to home. Here’s your chance to make all the mistakes within reach of an easy fix. You forgot something essential or simply convenient enough to make it important, no problem! Run in the house and get it. Figure out what works, how to make adjustments, and who in your family may need more practice before pulling away from home.

Take this opportunity to make a handy packing list for the future. Be sure to include basic tools and spare parts. You’ll want things like digital tire gauges, hefty extension cords, heavy jumper cables, and a basic tool kit. Don’t forget that extra propane tank! Do some thorough research so you’re ready for anything.

Go fill the gas tank.

Have you navigated the gas station, yet? This is something to get used to and understand ahead of time as well. But if you fill up the night before, you’ll save yourself the headache when it’s finally time to officially hit the road!

Go camping locally.

Another night close to home? Is that really necessary? It may not be vital, but it will certainly smooth out some more wrinkles before the big trip. You’ll get a good feel for the rules and tricks of RV camping. You’ll figure out what things needs to be secured in the RV while you’re driving. Break in the kitchen and the toilet. If you haven’t done a whole lot of tent camping, you may need some time to adjust to the lack of wifi and the sounds of the night.

Go on your great adventure!

RV camping has a serious learning curve. Knowing what you’re getting yourself into is essential. Do plenty of research, talk to avid RVers, and take the above important steps. If you do, you’ll be well on your way to taking what could be an adventure of a lifetime!

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