Here’s How to Make Your First RV Trip a Success

Planning an RV trip is a bit different than planning your typical vacation. For a first time RV owner or renter, that can be pretty intimidating. Don’t let that get you down, though. Instead, try keeping these tips in mind when embarking on your first RV trip.

An RV driving through a national park
An RV driving through a national park | John Greim/LightRocket via Getty Images

Consider staying close to home for your first RV trip

You’ve waited months for this. You found the perfect RV and have spent weeks researching and preparing for your first RV trip. You’ve put together a long list of destinations, plenty of them far from home, and now just need to chart the course. Not so fast, though.

If it’s your first time hitting the road behind the wheel of an RV, Go RVing recommends sticking close to home for your first RV trip. Not only will staying close to home help you build confidence as you get to know your new rig, but it will also help you figure out how to stock your RV for your next trip. Rather than running to the store for that forgotten item, you can swing by your humble abode to grab it instead.

Pack sufficient cookware and go grocery shopping ahead of time

Does your RV have a kitchen? If it does, how well stocked is it? Carly Mallenbaum of USA Today recommends stocking up on kitchenware like plates, pans, cutting boards, and silverware before hitting the road for your first RV trip. But you shouldn’t just be stocking up on kitchenware. 

Before hitting the road for your first RV trip, sit down, and plan out your meals. What do you plan on eating for breakfast? How about snacks? And when it comes to dinner? Planning your meals out ahead of time will not only make grocery shopping easier, but it will also make your first RV trip that much less stressful. Rather than deciding what to eat while on the road or when you get to the campsite, you’ll have an RV that’s well-stocked with all of your favorite snacks and meals.

Get to the campground before dark and consider reserving a pull-thru spot for your first RV trip

Mallenbaum also suggests getting to your campsite before dark. “Whether you’re driving into a campground, an RV park or – especially  – a place in the woods where you’ll be boondocking (RV-speak for spending the night somewhere free, without electric or water hookups), it’s important to be able to see your surroundings,” Mallenbaum explained. Having that line of sight can help identify your specific campsite and safely parking your RV.

Go RVing also recommends reserving a pull-through spot for your first RV trip. Rather than having to back down a long driveway, reserving a pull-thru spot will allow you to navigate your RV into just about any location. For RV owners on their first trip, a pull-thru spot is a great way to avoid a stressful parking situation. 


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Be prepared to expect the unexpected, but don’t let it get you down

In the end, the most important thing to remember when embarking on your first RV trip is to expect the unexpected. Things may go wrong, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Rather than letting those mishaps get you down, learn from them. After getting a few more RV trips under your belt, you’re bound to become a seasoned pro in no time.