The First Trip (or how to get experience and look like a seasoned RVer)

Go find the most experienced, dyed in the wool RVer that you know. The kind that can drive the Washington Beltway with one hand on the wheel while giving helpful  hand signals to the other drivers with the other… all while towing a 35’ trailer.  You know them.. the ones that can back their rig into the narrowest of tree-lined sites without earning a trip to divorce court (or the body shop).   The ones that can manage to have their campsite set up and fire going while you are still putting down the jacks and leveling your RV.

Chances are, they were just like you  once. Nervous, not knowing exactly what to do, worried about forgetting something or  (almost) driving off with the awning still extended.  Do you know what separates them from  the newbies?  Just one word: Experience.

The same is true about all aspects of RVing. At first, everything seems different and strange. You worry about doing everything “Just right.” I’m here to tell you. Stop worrying, pick a destination, pile the family in and hit the road. All those details will work themselves out, the most important thing is just getting  started.

Here are a few tips to help you feel confident, whether you are a first time pop-up owner, pull a 30 foot travel trailer, or are a seasoned 5ht Wheel camper. The key is getting to know your rig, BEFORE you are out in the campground.

At Driftwood RV Center, we call it our Two Day Test Drive”  and it comes with every new RV. Your first trip is on us, at our own campground,  down the street from our dealership at the New Jersey shore. You get two days to use your new RV where our staff is available to assist you, with everything from hitching and unhitching, to backing your travel trailer into your site, to all aspects of hooking up and using your new RV.

But no matter which RV dealer you use, there are things you can do to give yourself the peace of mind that comes with experience:

When you get home from the RV Dealer, get to know your new purchase. Unhitch it in your driveway, then practice hitching it back up again. Spend a night in the camper right there at home, getting to know where all the switches are located. That way when you get to the campground, you will already be familiar and will look like the seasoned RVer that you soon will be.

Should you need assistance, there is one thing to remember about RVers  in general: their willingness to help.  After camping in all 48 contiguous states over the years, I have never met a fellow RVer who would not lend a hand when asked—and thankfully, often even without being asked when they see a another camper  having difficulty.

Many a friendship has started with someone coming over to the neighboring campsite saying. Hey, need a hand with that?  And before long, You will be the one that other first-timers turn to.

Let’s take this from the top– which RV is best for your family?

Deciding which type of RV suits your family’s needs is the very first choice you will have to make.

Have you just started the search for the perfect RV for your family? Understanding all of the many types of towable RVs for sale might seem confusing at first, but with a little research, it will quickly become clear which type of towable RV is best for your family.

Park Model. Travel Trailer. 5th Wheel.  Popup.  Hybrid travel Trailer. RV. Camper. Destination Trailer. It sounds confusing and with all the terms and types, of rvs for sale here in New Jersey how does a first time RVer decide which is best for them?

Let’s start with a few basic definitions.

DESTINATION TRAILERS —Park Models and Park Trailers

A Park Model is a LARGE RV  with a shingled roof. Generally, these are placed on seasonal sites in a campground near your preferred vacation spot and there stay there year after year. Park models are often 10-12 feet wide and feature a full range of residential-style fixtures, furnishings and appliances.

Another type of Destination Trailer, called the “Park Trailer” is a close cousin of the Park Model. While technically it is a Travel Trailer, and could be towed, it is so large that it is usually also placed on a seasonal site. At around 8 feet wide, most feature one or more slide outs to expand the usable living space once parked. Like its bigger cousin, Park Trailers often feature residential style appliances and furnishings.

If you are the type of family that has found the perfect vacation spot, maybe at the Jersey Shore for instance, and want to find a way to have a comfortable base for your trips, then a destination trailer might be right for you.
For examples of destination trailers, check out a few of these models at NJ’s favorite RV Dealer here:
Destination Trailers for sale in NJ

TRAVEL TRAILERS (towables)

Towables include true travel trailers, fifth wheels, pop-up campers, hybrids and all others that are towed.

A Travel Trailer is just what the name implies, it is a trailer designed for easy towing for those who like to travel to different destinations. Ranging in size from 12 feet to 35 feet, many travel trailers feature slide outs to enhance the living space once you are at your destination.  You connect it to the hitch on your SUV or truck and are set to go.

For examples of travel trailers, check out a few of these models at NJ’s favorite RV Dealer here:
Travel trailers for sale in NJ

Fifth WHEEL TRAILERS

A 5th Wheel is a specialized towable trailer that uses a specialized type of hitch (similar to a tractor-trailer hitch) that is mounted in the bed of your truck.  5th wheels are often roomier and heavier than travel trailers. Many campers feel they are more suited for longer stays.  As with travel trailers, most feature slide out rooms to enhance your living space once you have arrived at your campsite.

Between travel trailers and fifth wheels, travel trailers are generally less expensive. Fifth wheels tend to have more living space and are easier to tow. With fifth wheels having much of their weight positioned over the tow vehicle, they are less susceptible to jack-knifing or fishtailing.  They do however, require a larger, heavier truck as a tow vehicle, and the hitch does tie up the bed of the truck.

For examples of 5th wheels, check out a few of these models at NJ’s favorite RV Dealer here:
Fifth Wheel Trailers for sale in NJ

POPUPS (Folding Tent Trailers)

A Popup (also spelled pop up or pop-up) is the smallest of the RV family and are often quite popular with campers just starting out, or with young families.  They are typically lightweight and easy to tow. As the name implies, when you get you your campsite, you open,  or pop up , the top to use it, and then fold it back down to travel. They often feature queen beds at both sides, and have canvas sidewalls. Here in NJ many campers prefer to have their popups fitted with air conditioning, which is easy and affordable at the dealership.
For examples Popups , check out a few of these models at NJ’s favorite RV Dealer here:
Popups for sale in NJ

HYBRID TRAILERS

A hybrid travel trailer (such as the Rockwood Roo line) combines the features of the traditional hard-sided travel trailer with the smaller size and lighter weight of the popup. They do this by having one (or two) foldout sleeping areas with canvas sidewalls at either end of a smaller hard-sided central trailer.

For examples of Hybrid Trailers, check out a few of these models at NJ’s favorite RV Dealer here:
Hybrid Trailers for sale in NJ
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So with all the RVs for sale, how do you decide? You have already started down that path by reading this. Do your research, go to RV shows, and visit your local RV Dealer. Take the time to walk through each type and decide how it fits your lifestyle and your budget.

The search is different for everyone. Some people come to the lot, and immediately know what they want. Others, like me, spent months weighing the pros and cons of each type making many visits to my local RV dealer here in New Jersey before I decided. Either way, it cost nothing to look—and learn.
What are you waiting for? Camping season is coming soon!