If you’re new to the RVing world, or still considering buying an RV, there is a lot to consider and there are quite a few blogs and posts out there providing you with information. We’re no different. We want you to be as informed as possible before you purchase an RV and when you first take it out for the weekend. We suggest starting here, with our brief Q&A on how to determine which RV is right for you. It focuses on 3 key areas: your tow vehicle, your price range, and your features.
However, even once you’ve determined, for example, that a smaller teardrop or pop-up camper is best for you, choosing one is still quite a daunting task! If you can narrow your options down to one or two RV lots, based on the ones closest to your home, ones who’ve had good advertisements or come recommended by friends, you’ll make the process a bit easier.
Even so, let’s say you’ve narrowed your search down to ONE dealer. You want either an A-Frame pop-up or a small T@B because that’s what you can tow and you want something hardsided. There are still lots of factors to consider. A-Frames, for example, have to be set up at camp, where as teardrops are ready for you to walk right in. A-Frames can seem roomier because they have more headroom in the center. Both are great options for towing with smaller vehicles and offer the ability to go to campgrounds and national parks where only hardsided campers are allowed.
Ok, so let’s say you know what you’re getting. Now it’s time to head to the parts store because you’re not done yet! Here is a brief list of items you’ll want to purchase before you head out on any trips (some of these won’t be necessary if you don’t have gray or black holding tanks).
- Lots of plastic hooks that adhere to your camper walls; these are great for hanging hats, jackets, small bags, etc.
- A clean water hose for filling your water tank
- A hose for rinsing out your black water tank (optional)
- A few small buckets or trashcans
- A mat for wiping your feet before you go inside
- You’ll want a very small toolbox with a variety of nuts and bolts, screwdrivers, a hammer, some electrical repair items, etc.
- Cleaning supplies
- RV toilet paper
- Plastic containers for organizing items in your cabinets (otherwise they’ll roll all over while you’re driving)
- Levelers for leveling the camper both front to back and side to side (NEVER use your stabilizer jacks for this!)
- Wheel chocks (for a single axle trailer we recommend 4 chocks)
There are plenty of other items that you’ll need, but some of these you may already have if you’ve been tent camping, like cookware, etc. The great thing about an RV is that now instead of that old percolator that sits on your campstove, you can just plug in the coffee maker! (If you have electric…but don’t throw out the percolator just yet!)
In Part II we’ll discuss getting that RV ready for the road and heading out on your first trip! For more fun ideas and tips for RVing, visit our Pinterest page.