So, you've finally gone and done it — you decided to buy an RV to travel around the country in. Congratulations! A whole new world is opening up for you. While you're understandably itching to put the pedal to the metal and take your great outdoors RV for a spin, slow down just a second. Before you hit the road for the first of (what are sure to be) many great outdoor RV road trips, there are a few things you should know.
Like what? Well, becoming an RV owner carries with it a bunch of new responsibilities you didn't have as an RV renter or when traveling in other ways. It's important to understand what you've gotten yourself into and double-check that you've got it all down before heading out. Ready? Without further ado, here's what first-time RV owners need to know.
Before Exploring the Great Outdoors in an RV
First off, remember that driving an RV is different from driving almost any other kind of vehicle. You're going to need to make wider turns and be careful when approaching underpasses. You can easily deal with these issues through driving practice and getting a GPS for your RV that'll offer the best and safest route for taller vehicles.
After that, though, there's more to do: You still need to take the time to check over and prepare your RV before your first official road trip.
Your First-Time RV Owner Checklist
Want to know how to prepare your new RV for your first road trip? Look at this first-time RV owner checklist to help get you as prepared as you can be.
- Check the roof. You're going to be out in the elements for most of the time you're on the road. You never know what Mother Nature may throw at you, but you'll feel better about it knowing your RV roof is properly sealed and protected. Rub your hand over the roof, checking for cracks and broken seals.
- Check your tires. RVs are significantly heavier and bulkier than the average family vehicle, which can put a lot of strain on your tires. If your great outdoors RV tires are reasonably new, you have little to worry about, but do a cursory check of pressure, quality, and tread anyways. If your rig has been in storage for a while, check your tires' pressure, look for cracks, and see if the lug nuts require any tightening or replacement.
- Take it to a mechanic for an inspection. Even if your RV is brand-new, it may not have its fluids topped off, and you should have your mechanic check the brakes. While you're at it, have your mechanic check both the cabin and engine air filters for good-smelling air inside and a clean-running engine on the outside. Be sure, too, that your electrical system and hookups are working as they should.
- Check features and amenities. Do the steps pull out as they should? Is there a slide-out that hasn't been used in a while? How does the fridge work? Put all of the special features of your new RV to the test. If you have the space, a dry run of setting everything up and trying it all out — from steps to slide-outs to stovetops, along with awnings and more — is recommended.
- Sanitize your fresh water tank. If your RV is really new, you want to be sure it's truly clean and ready to go. If you've got a used RV, you can give yourself some peace of mind by sanitizing the fresh water tank to your liking.
- Wash your rig. While washing your new RV is a good idea just from the standpoint of you wanting it to look your best, there is an ulterior motive in washing it as you get closer to your road trip departure day: Not only will your rig look great, it will help you with the final inspection.
- Final inspection. You've gone over everything and checked every system, right? This is your chance to double-check everything, just to be sure. If you've made a list, check it twice. If you haven't yet made a list, make one, and then check it twice. Your RV will be your home for the duration of your road trip, so take care to ensure everything looks good and works as it should.
See the Great Outdoors in a Cruise America RV
New RV owners, guess what? With that first-time RV owners checklist done, you're now truly ready to hit the road. What about everyone else? If you're in the market for an RV, you can start your journey to joining the happy ranks of RV owners by seeing Cruise America's selection of RVs.
With both new and used RVs for sale, Cruise America can help you become an RV owner sooner than you think. Visit Cruise America today to see what sort of great deals on a great outdoors RV you can find!