You did it. You bit the bullet and bought yourself an RV. So, what’s next? Where do you go? What do you do? What do you bring? We aren’t all born expert travelers, or RVers. In fact, I’d go as far to say that RVers invented the “Trial and Error” philosophy. OK, so we really aren’t that terribly ill prepared as group, but it does take a little practice to really get into the swing of RV travel.  When going on your first few trips in your brand new RV here are a few things to keep in mind.

First Trip | Every new RV has a few kinks it needs to work out. You really don’t have to go very far for your first trip. A few hundred miles is all you really need to travel on your maiden voyage. The reason for this is simple: Confidence. That’s confidence in your rig and confidence in you ability to work well with that rig. But, don’t worry, after your first couple of trips you’ll probably feel like a pro and will want to take your RV out for a long haul.

Before You Head Out | This is really important, check all locks, doors, windows, and latches before you actually head for the horizon. Make sure everything is locked, closed, and windows and hatches are properly aligned. Plus, if your RV has a slideout and and/or an awning, check those too for ease of operation and void of any unusual popping, or clicking noises.

Book in Advance | Don’t just assume that a campground or RV park will have a vacancy. Plot your trip ahead of time and call to reserve space. As the summer comes to a close, you may find yourself running into a horde of last minute vacationers trying to get one more weekend under their belt. It truly pays to book in advance.

Keep Your Water Full | Ensure your freshwater tank is always full. Although it does add weight to your RV, it’s better to always have water available than to need it and not have it. We can’t tell you how many times we’ve heard from RVers who have assumed they would have freshwater hookups at the site they’re headed to only to find that it’s either non-existent or out for the day.

Glove Up | Here’s a tip from an old timer. Always keep a box of latex gloves on board your RV. Why? If you have yet to experience the dumping your black water tank, then you will truly be grateful you had some on board your RV when you do. Use the gloves to secure the hose BEFORE you pull the release handle. Trust me…you’ll thank me later for this.

After your first Rving adventure, I have no doubt that you will be instantly hooked. After all, you’ve no doubt invested an incredible amount of time and energy in researching and planning to Go RVing. Make that first trip one filled with great memories by prepping well and keeping it simple.

Oh, and here’s one more tip. You know those hatch doors you spent an inordinate amount of time holding up while you carefully packed your stuff? I recommend installing HatchLift kits before your next trip. Trust me, they are easy to install and will save you from a ton of headaches and smashed fingers.