How to Camp in an RV

How to Camp in an RV
Traveling with a recreational vehicle is the ultimate in self-sufficiency. With a little bit of forethought and planning, you can enjoy camping for its own sake or take the stress out of traveling to a particular destination by knowing you won't have to look for hotels along the way.

Instructions

Difficulty: Moderate

Preparation

Step 1
Be legal. Many RVs are large enough to require a commercial drivers license. Be sure to determine if you need a special license and obtain it before driving your RV.
Step 2
Be prepared. Do not travel without an emergency kit that includes flares, an emergency water supply and a first aid kit.
Step 3
Learn about your RV. Read your owner's manual, read about your particular model in online forums, and make sure you are familiar with the ins and outs of your vehicle before you take it on the road for an extended trip.
Step 4
Take a short trip. Make an overnight in your RV before you embark on any long journeys.

Traveling

Step 1
Secure your vehicle. An RV can rattle and shake while being driven. Before driving, always do a walk-through of the inside and the outside of your RV. Close all cabinets and drawers, make sure all access panels are closed, etc.
Step 2
Obey all traffic laws and speed limits. Keep an eye out for weigh stations. Even if you are not carrying cargo like a long-haul trucker, RVs that are the size of commercial vehicles must also be weighed at open weigh stations.
Step 3
Take it easy. Driving an RV is not at all like driving a car. The extra weight, size and length can all affect how an RV handles. Stay beneath the speed limit, especially in the beginning, and don't do anything quickly. It is better to miss an exit and have to turn around than to risk your safety.
Step 4
Stay fueled up. Running out of gas in an RV can be much more inconvenient than running out of gas with a car. Refuel when you reach a quarter of a tank. This will make you more fuel efficient (vehicles don't like to run on fumes) and keep you on the road.

Camping

Step 1
Level your RV before you sleep in it. Your heating and cooling systems, including cooking and your refrigerator, require a stable setting. Your RV dealership should have provided you with small ramps to set under the wheels to keep the RV true when parked.
Step 2
Secure the RV for an overnight. If you are in an RV park or campground with concrete pads, or at a rest stop, you will probably not have to adjust your RV's levels. Just place chocks or wedges under two of the wheels and always remember to set the parking break.
Step 3
Hook up. Rest stops do not typically provide RV amenities, but any RV campground offers both a power hookup and a fresh water hookup. If you have a chance to use these, do so. It will keep your batteries fresh and your water topped up for when you are traveling.
Step 4
Keep it clean. Most RV campgrounds also offer dumping facilities, that is, a place to empty your septic tank. Take advantage of these when you see them, as, like fuel, sometimes they seem to vanish when you need them the most.

Article Written By Beau Prichard

Beau Prichard has been a freelance writer and editor since 1999. He specializes in fiction, travel and writing coaching. He has traveled in the United Kingdom, Europe, Mexico and Australia. Prichard grew up in New Zealand and holds a Bachelor of Arts in writing from George Fox University.

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