So you’ve just bought your first RV, eh? Well, congratulations on joining a wide community of travelers who are masters at finding adventure in all the right places! But before you hitch up and hit the road alongside them, there are a few things you’ll need to consider first. To make this process quick and easy for you, we’ve compiled all the information you need to get started with these first steps after buying your first RV! Good luck and godspeed!
Survey Your Space
The first step you should take involves simply getting to know your RV a little better. Take a walk-through and check out the area, look into the cabinets, and sprawl out on the sofa. You might want to take measurements to determine what items will be able to fit, and what items won’t. When surveying your RV you should also keep an eye out for any missing items that were promised to you. These items could include coaxial cables, sink covers, or microwave turntables.
Read Manuals & Warranties
While it’s not the most exciting step to take after buying an RV, it is a necessary one. When you initially bought your RV you might have felt bombarded with paperwork, booklets, and contracts, but now is the time when you can really sit down and decipher what they all mean. Browse through your owner's manual, read over warranty information, and look at dealership paperwork. Some of this information you might find is best stored in your RV, while others are best stored in a filing cabinet at home.
Install Aftermarket Products
You may have acquired some gadgets and gizmos that you want to add onto your RV before your first adventure. These aftermarket products can include entry step lights, solar panels, a backup camera, or new storage bay locks. Now’s the time to figure out how to install and work these items so that they’re ready to go once you are!
Make a Checklist
When you’re new to the world of RVing, you will understandably forget a few things. To make sure you don’t overlook anything too important, create a campground checklist for setting up and taking down your RV. Use any notes the technician at the dealership gave you during your walk though, along with your own newfound knowledge, to make a detailed list that you can follow so that nothing important goes undone. For example, removing the wheel chocks or retracting the awning.
Take It For a Spin
Before buckling in for that long cross-country road trip, make sure you feel comfortable behind the wheel. Take your RV out for a test drive and practice switching lanes, backing up, and parking. Taking it for a spin first will help you get a better feel for its turn radius, size, and handling, this way you can feel that much more confident once it comes time to hit the road for real.
Pack Up Your Gear
We’re getting closer to the fun stuff, and stocking up your RV is one of the last steps before starting your adventure! Remember to bring tools, cookware, outdoor equipment like citronella candles, camp chairs, and campfire accessories, as well as any games, books, or blankets you want to have while on the go. You might also want to have a spare set of sheets for your bed, which may need to be purchased from a speciality RV store depending on if your RV’s manufacturer used a residential-sized mattress or not. After your RV is loaded up, double-check your weight to ensure you’re not exceeding your RV or tow trailer’s GVWR.
Once you’ve completed these first steps after buying your first RV, you’ll be able to hit the road confidently knowing you are properly prepared for the journey ahead. While there might be some surprises waiting for you up the road, you’ll quickly learn that that’s all part of the fun!
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