south trails rv

RVing 101

Tips for New RVers

RVing 101

RVing 101 - Tips for New RVers

You’ve been daydreaming about it for years and now you’ve finally done it.  You saved your money and got yourself your very own RV to see the sights, meet new people, and find new adventures to tackle. Getting your own RV and starting to camp can seem a little daunting at first, but have no fear, newbies, you won’t be left sitting in the dark. (literally) 

Camping with an RV gives you all the comforts of home on the road.  Everything from electricity to a full kitchen to a television to a toilet, yes you’re very own bathroom. We’ve also compiled a few tips to give you a head start on your camping game. 

Dress Your Best – Layers are a Major KEY

Dressing in layers is the perfect way to prepare yourself for any weather, hot or cold.  Too hot? Remove your sweatshirt.  Too cold? Add your jacket.  Knowing what type of layers to wear is also important in prepping your body for camping.  Starting at the first layer for cool weather a pair of long johns, although not as stylish, are a life saver.  These are great for trapping in the heat and keeping you warm.  Doubling up your socks is also a great way
to stay warm and also prevent blisters from long days out.  For extreme weather be sure to pack wind or water resistant jackets, nothing is worse than coming back soaked to the bone from a day out and about.  And finally for hot weather hats and sunglasses provide some added protection from the sun, you can even get UV protected sunglasses to keep those lookers safe.

Building a Campfire

Campfires are essential to a great camping trip.  This is where the real memories are made.  All cozied up, huddled around a warm fire, reminiscing about the day, exchanging stories.  It’s fantastic!  So what are the steps to get this all started?

Step One: Clear the area.  Make sure to avoid building too close to tents, dry brush, or low overhanging branches.
Step Two: Gather some rocks to build a fire ring.
Step Three: Start by burning your tinder (or use a fire starter as discussed below) which are small dried out twigs or brush.  Slowly add more and more and then start to throw in some kindling, which are slightly larger sticks.
Step Four: Once the fire begins to build, slowly add in your larger logs until you’ve go yourself your very own roaring campfire.
Step Five: Sit back and enjoy!

Fire Starters

All these tricks can help you in getting that first spark to develop into a roaring campfire!
•    Charcoal packed into a cardboard egg carton
•    Lint from your dryer
•    Vaseline covered cotton balls
•    Dried pine needles
•    Crumpled newspaper
•    Pinecones covered in wax

Tick Tip

Ticks are some pretty nasty pests that may give you Lyme disease.  So it’s best to avoid
these suckers at all costs.  Firstly, try to stay on the trail and avoid wandering into grassy and brushy areas.  As for clothing try to cover as much of your skin as you can.  That means long sleeves, tucked shirts, tucked pants into socks, the whole shebang.  Additionally, if you are wearing lighter colors you will be able to detect ticks easier.
Now if you happen to still get a tick here’s what you do.  Try to tweeze it straight out, pinching as close to your skin as possible.  Avoid bursting the body for this might release the toxins straight into your skin. After removing the tick sanitize your hands with rubbing alcohol or soap and water.

Bugs Be Gone

To keep those other pesky bugs, like mosquitos, away try doing these: 
•    Avoid strong smelling fragrant
•    Avoid wearing dark colors
•    Try dabbing on catnip oil, which is found to be more effective than DEET
•    Keep Citronella candles or oil around the campsite
•    Stay away from wet, grassy areas
•    Bears? No thanks.
Look, its great being in the wild, the great outdoors but its best to avoid intrusive encounters.  The best and most effective way to do this is to pack your food away!  Put it away either in your RV or even hang it up in a tree, but don’t just leave it out on the picnic table.  This is an open invitation to creatures like wolves, raccoons, or even bears.

Picking the Perfect Camp Site

Different strokes for different folks rings true for campsites. But picking the right camp site for your RVing situation is a big plus to a good trip. With so many camping options, you’ll want to consider the following when deciding on your destination.

Do Your Reseaerch Before Heading Into a New Area

With the internet at your fingertips, it is easy to find information about campgrounds and general areas you are traveling to. Some roads are NOT RV friendly, some are sparse for fuel, some will not have any cell service. Although it may seem fun to be spontaneous, you’re already having fun by camping so it’s best to minimize risk in case something goes sour.

A Flat Spot Can Make All the Difference

If you manually level out your RV selecting a level spot is a game changer. Many units however have auto-leveling but even if you’re rig is leveled automatically you’ll want your chairs, tables and anything else you use to relax outside to not be at a slant.

Don’t Get Stuck in the Wilderness!

Pick a spot that seems to have good drainage so your tired don’t get stuck in the mud or your RV doesn’t get flooded should it rain. Checking the weather ahead of time is a great way to stay prepared and prevent any unfortunate surprises, like Spring or Fall unexpected snow accumulations. If you might get some nasty weather keep in mind slippery hills that your RV might need to climb to head out. Be aware of your surroundings should the weather report indicate you may have issues leaving your spot. Relocating is better than having no choice.

Budget Wisely

If you have a budget you’ll want to compare pricing of different camping options. Boondocking is free, campgrounds can be inexpensive, RV Resorts can be costly but some have memberships that make it very affordable.

Pick a Spot That Has the Activity Level You Prefer

Would you like a peaceful spot with other campers or somewhere for just you and your family? Check out how busy the spot will be and what kind of camping happens there. Keep in mind there are RV Parks in Las Vegas so don’t expect just because you’re “camping” that it will be peace and quiet. Make sure ahead of time that it’s the atmosphere you’re looking for.

Be Sure to Stock Up Before You Arrive

You may need to stock back up with supplies, food, water, etc., so consider how long you can survive with what you have and where the nearest place to restock is. When we are traveling long distances we will often spend a night boondocked in a Walmart parking lot and restock before we get to our next destination.
Now that you’re practically a pro, sit back, relax, and enjoy camping!