Introduction to RVs
RV life is all about flexibility. If you’re headed to the coast and plan to spend your days on the beach, you can call ahead and find a campground that will suit your needs. You may have a check-in day, but as long as you’re there before it’s full dark, you can still easily get settled in and listen to the waves. When your house is on wheels, you don’t really have deadlines.
Pick a Style
If you’re thinking about the RV life but don’t quite know where to start, take a look at your current vehicle. Is it large enough to tow anything? If not, you may be happier with a motorhome.
RV Education is pretty straightforward. You either pull your vacation home, or you drive it. Motorhomes are houses with a steering wheel. They come in a variety of sizes:
- Class A, about the size of a Greyhound bus
- Class B, about the size of a large passenger van
- Class C, about the size of a decent moving truck
If you’ve never driven anything large before, it will take some practice to get comfortable with your RV. Additionally, if you do choose a bigger rig, you can choose to tow a small car (or “toad”) behind it for short jaunts once you get to your destination.
If you have a pickup truck, you can turn it into a motorhomes with the addition of a camper. Truck campers are designed to be loaded into the bed of a pickup, sliding in easily. They can even be offloaded at the campsite so you can run errands or see the sights while leaving your camper in the RV park. If your truck can handle it, you can also tow a trailer once the camper is loaded in the bed.
Towable rigs also run the gamut in both size and construction. A small, canvas-sided pop-up or A-Frame towable can be ideal for short trips if the weather will cool off at night. However, if you need AC to sleep, this rig might not be your best choice for a Texas summer.
Towable rigs are also available as hard-sided vacation homes. From a standard bumper pull, which you can tow with a truck or a large SUV, to a fifth-wheel, which will take a truck with a special tow-plate, you RV choice can mean plenty of space and comfort.
If you have water toys, including jet skis, or if you want to take your ATV to the beach, a toy hauling trailer may be just the ticket. These units offer the benefits of security and will let you lock up your toys at night.
Practice, Practice, Practice
Study every system in the RV. If it has a generator, find out if it has a special fuel port. Consider how you can use the generator and everything it powers effectively. For example, does your morning routine require coffee and a shower? You’ll need to have power for hot water, your coffee pot, and perhaps the toaster. Develop an awareness of your power and water usage so you can stay out longer and not overstress your systems. A lot of RV maintenance can be avoided if you’re proactive.
Don’t forget to learn the yucky stuff. You’ll have a grey and a black water tank. Neither of these are fun to deal with when they’re properly maintained and working well, but if something goes wrong you can have a nightmarish mess on your hands (and clothes, and shoes). If you have access to a rental RV, make your RV education complete by learning what you need to know about these systems as well.