Are You Ready for the Open Road?
Many first time RVer's are excited to hit the open roads with high expectations only to find out they failed to prepare themselves for success. Knowing your equipment is critical when it comes to having a successful trip. What is the terrain like that you plan to travel to? Is it hot, cold, high elevation with steep grades? Knowing these things will allow you to know that you and your vehicle are properly equipped for the journey ahead. Lets start with the basics. Do you plan on pulling a fifth wheel long distances? Many of us overlook the obvious and that is what is my vehicle's towing capacity? When buying a fifth wheel always take into account your pulling vehicle and it's towing capacity. The towing capacity is set by the manufacturer to establish a maximum allowable weight that a vehicle can tow. Ignoring the towing capacity is a recipe for failure and can put you and your family and others sharing the road with you in avoidable danger.
Do you have trailer brakes? Is your controller hooked up? Do you know how to use it properly? Many of us have seen the runaway ramps along the roadway when driving in steep terrain. In normal driving conditions most vehicles can handle the steep terrain. The terrain becomes an issue when we add 14,000lbs in the form of our brand new travel trailer. This is where properly operating trailer brakes will allow you to remain in control and not the next guy hitting the runaway ramp in hopes of getting out alive.
Now that we have covered getting to the RV Park safely we face the next challenge. Did we pick the right RV Park for us? RV Parks host vastly different amenities and it's important that we know exactly what they are. The most overlooked amenity is the space itself. Have you practiced backing into tight spaces and can you park it in the dark if needed? Many first timers quickly become frustrated and suddenly that fun trip has become stressful, just watch your local boat ramp for a few minutes... Next up is getting the lights on and the ac running right? Don't make the mistake of pulling into a 30 Amp hookup when your setup is geared for a 50 Amp hookup. Can you make it work? Absolutely, if you enjoy sitting in the dark so that your ac unit can run. You did bring the cord right? Next we need to establish water if we plan on staying any length of time, you did make sure they have running water right? None of that matters if we forget the trusty water hose to hook it up. At most sites you can get by with a 25ft hose, but always have an extra just in case! Not to stink up the air but we also need to think about our sewage situation. Some parks have a dump station while others don't. The better RV Parks will have sewer connections at every site making the possibility of an extended stay much more likely. When booking always ask about weekly and monthly rates. Usually weekly rates give you a day or two per week for free versus the daily rate. Read the park rules before you arrive. A park without rules can quickly become a disorderly nightmare ruining the family vacation. Ask if the park has paved roads to it for ease of travel and diminishing the risk of getting stuck or beating up your equipment for no reason. A little preparation can make the difference between a great trip and a good trip. Now go out there and explore the world!