6 Quick Tips for RV Travel Beginners

By: Vincent Stokes

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Owning an RV is a goal for many Americans, but are there some tips that can help prevent some of the pitfalls? Fortunately, there are very few drawbacks to owning an RV, but the obstacles can be severe. To get more details on what not to do when you own an RV, check out the details below.

Main advantages of buying an RV

By and large, an RV allows for less stressful traveling options for many people. After all, there is a reason that rock stars like to travel with a full-service tour van that looks like a bus-sized RV. One of the main advantages for families is bringing pets along for the ride and also having a temperature-controlled place for them to stay that is friendlier to their barking habits than a hotel. Of course, having an RV means you can upgrade your camping experience with full services like working bathrooms, showers, cooking facilities and storage that bears or other woodland friends will avoid. However, there are also several disadvantages that an RV can have that might not fit your plans.

Not all campsites welcome RVs

Unfortunately, some campsites have restrictions that do not allow for RVs. A good example are camping areas that can only be accessed by trails. Other camping parks might be privately owned and unwilling to allow RVs on the property because of state or city restrictions. On the other hand, campsites that do not advertise the fact they are “RV friendly” often do not have amenities such as plumbing refreshing or battery-charging facilities.

RVs can be difficult to park at some hotels

If you are attempting to park your RV in certain cities, the idea is almost impossible. Not only is it difficult to parallel park a large vehicle, but certain types of parking structures do not have the proper overhead clearance for the RV to gain access to the vehicle storage unit. Finally, some hotels do not have security that will allow for an RV to be parked overnight with some supervision.

Security may be a reason that you resent buying an RV

Speaking of robberies, hotels are not the only place an RV could have security issues. Although newer models have several security features built into the design, older models may not have these advantages. For example, in the past it was common to gain access to the RV through the vent panel in the ceiling. Newer models have vents and smaller windows secured from within the structure and this makes them more difficult to disassemble for thieves.

Your car insurance may not cover an RV

One of the simplest mistakes RV owners make is buying a new vehicle and not having it properly insured. Although many RV owners are covered by a current vehicle policy, they still need to buy a separate policy to ensure every emergency is covered. For example, the way some insurance policies encourage buyers is by including state coverage, but the coverage may only extend to $5000 or less instead of something more appropriate to cover all of the costs related to an actual automobile accident.

Traveling overseas with an RV can have issues

International travel with an RV can be a lot of fun with newer models. On the other hand, Europe is out of the question because the RV steering wheel might be on the wrong side of the vehicle. It is also difficult to get an RV fixed in Europe or use the plumbing features if they do not accommodate the model of vehicle you have. Electrical features will also be incompatible. For that reason, keep in mind that servicing RVs on the road can be impossible in South America, and outside of America, it can be difficult to find spare parts or you will need to wait on them to get shipped.

You need to know how to drive a larger vehicle

One final piece of advice for buying an RV is making sure, without a doubt, that you know how to drive it. This goes beyond remembering to look out for clearance while driving the RV. Instead, it is advisable to get extra tips and tricks for driving an RV on your next vacation by taking a class in driving large vehicles such as training courses for taking the test for a commercial driver's license (CDL).

Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph.