The Dos and Don'ts of Planning Your First RV Trip

So, you've just recently taken the plunge and bought your first used RV. You're ready to embark on an exciting adventure, traveling across the region or even across the country to explore the great outdoors. Before you load up your belongings and take off, however, there are a few steps you'll want to take to prepare for the journey. This way, you can stay safe on the road and have an enjoyable time.

DO Follow an Inspection Checklist

The day before you leave for any trip--regardless of how many or how few miles you'll be driving--it's imperative that you follow a detailed inspection checklist. This way, you can ensure that your RV is in safe condition to drive and that you don't run into any maintenance surprises once you're on the road. Some items that you should always include on your checklist are

  • testing your brakes
  • running your heat and AC
  • check your tires for proper inflation
  • check for any unusual wear on tires
  • ensure all lights and signals are working
  • check voltage on your battery

If anything seems amiss during your inspection, be be sure to have your RV serviced before you leave on your trip.

DO Keep a Paper Map or Atlas

More than likely, you have either a GPS device or a GPS navigation service built into your smartphone that you can use to receive turn-by-turn directions throughout your trip. However, you never know when you're going to lose your GPS signal and become lost. As such, it's in your best interest to also carry an old-fashioned paper map or atlas in your RV. This way, in the event that your technology fails, you'll still be able to figure out where you are and where you're going.

DON'T Skimp on Roadside Assistance

Finally, don't assume that the roadside assistance policy you have on your personal vehicle will carry over to your RV. In reality, you'll likely need to purchase your own separate roadside assistance policy for your RV, as RVs require special equipment for towing and roadside service that your personal vehicle likely doesn't. And don't skip out on purchasing a roadside assistance policy for your used RV; the last thing you want is to end up stranded on the side of the road without professional help. Check with your current auto insurance company to see if you can add some RV assistance to your current coverage.