During the COVID19 Pandemic, I wanted to travel the USA and avoid hotels, crowded restaurants and cities. I decided to use Road Bear RV and become a first time RV Renter! Here are some tips for make your RV experience great, especially if you have Zero RV Experience!
Tip # 1 : Use Truck Stops not Rest Stops
RVs are BIG! A typical rig will be 23-30 feet long, 10.5 feet wide, and 12-15ft tall. Parking anywhere in a town or city may be tempting since your close to attractions, however you will stick out, risk getting ticketed, and have to watch out for vagrants at night that could try to break in.
Rest stops are littered around interstates, however I recommend Truck Stops instead! There are much more facilities, they have dedicated RV spots, and access to food, restrooms and showers to help you save your plumbing. Love’s , Pilot, Flying J, TA , and Sapps were really good. Use the apps to filter ones with dump stations as well!
Tip # 2 : Insulate and Sleep in the Center
If you travel in the winter or fall months or at high elevations, it can get very cold at night. RVs have furnaces which typically vent heat from the center nearest to the fridge or stove. If you sleep on the rear or front you wont get most of this heat. Also remember to put up the privacy cloth and close all windows to maximize heat retention!
Tip # 3 : Stock up at Thrift Shops
RV companies sell comfort and cooking kits, however these can easily be $120+ added to the rental fee, and you have to return them. A more frugal alternative is using your local GoodWill, Salvation Army or Housing Works to stock up on blankets, pillows, and cooking supplies.
You can buy pillowcases new at Dollar stores as well, and many thrift stores have new bedding. I got bedding, pillows, a pan, spoons, forks, and knives for under $40! When I dropped the RV back I donated it back 🙂
Tip # 4 : Hold down the Dump Hose!
You will have to empty the black and grey water tanks eventually. One really important thing to remember is there’s a ton of water pressure and weight in these tanks. You can easily end up with a face full of waste by not holding the hose down when you release it. Put your foot and/or something heavy to keep it in the dump hole. Open the black water, then the grey to flush it out, then use the water pipe at the facility to rinse the hose out.
Tip # 5 : Stop Vibrations/Movement
When driving, you will find that the RV can be pretty loud. The appliances and mounts all make noise. To help alleviate this, you can use cloth or tissues, or pillows (for larger appliances) to prop against them to make less noise. You can also remove the microwave plate, the oven grills and place them somewhere secure and covered. For the shower, you can stuff the shower curtains to the sides of the glass and panel to stop it from moving.
These tips will help the first time RV renter make their trip a little more comfortable and fun! So you can enjoy the road and the USA 🙂