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.
Jack Worthington, a retired Journalist and currently Marketing & Information Technology Director for Driftwood RV Center, along with his wife and children (now long-since grown) have been avid RV'ers for two decades, having camped in all 48 contiguous states, with Alaska on their minds...
Some day, if they can find the right pontoons to float their current Rig, a Class B motor home across the sea, they hope to complete their dream of camping in all 50 states!