5 Mistakes to Avoid on Your First Rv Road Trip

So you’ve decided it’s time for a real adventure. You want to get out of town and see some sights in between all those “here’s what we have to offer” billboards. But where do you go? What are the best roads to take? How can you find interesting places with so many miles of highway running through flat fields?

The good news is that there are plenty of great spots to choose from. The bad news is that not everyone knows their way around an RV better than they know how to drive one. If you don’t make any of these mistakes, you’ll be off on the right foot!

Mistake #1 – Not Having A Plan For Driving And Stopping At Night

When driving at night, always plan ahead. Know which towns or cities you’ll be stopping at before you leave home. Map out each leg of your journey. If you’re going to be stopped by traffic lights, note when those lights change to red, yellow, and green. Look up local weather reports, and if possible, check out travel forums online.

You should also know where you’ll stop during the day. Is there a park along the way? Do you need to pull over somewhere else to rest? Make sure you have gas in case you run low. Also consider how much room your trailer has to spare, as well as access points to public restrooms.

Keep in mind that you may only be able to stay in one place for two nights. This means planning for a full-day stop or even an overnight stay might be necessary. Don’t forget to pack everything you’ll need for a long evening of entertainment — games, books, movies, etc. Also remember to bring extra water, food, batteries, and propane tanks. And take a few basic tools like pliers, scissors, wire cutters, duct tape, matches, flashlight, and paper towels.

Mistake #2 – Forgetting To Take Off Those Distractions

While it makes sense to keep kids occupied while traveling, sometimes it’s hard to resist the temptation to look around. Don’t let yourself fall victim to this temptation. Just because you’re in an RV doesn’t mean you’re free from every distraction. While your family may enjoy looking at things outside their windows, it’s important to remember that you’re driving a vehicle. Keep your eyes focused on the road and don’t take too many turns just to look at something new.

A little bit of warning goes a long way. Before you hit the open road, remind your children why they shouldn’t distract you while you’re driving. Make sure everyone understands that they shouldn’t talk on cell phones, play music loudly, or text message without letting you know.

t’s also wise to make sure they understand that they aren’t allowed to touch anything inside the camper, including knobs, dials, buttons, and levers. In fact, you may want to think twice about bringing electronic devices into the RV at all. They could cause damage, and you won’t want to be stuck trying to fix a problem after you’ve already left home.

Mistake #3 – Trying To Drive On Two Wheels Instead Of Four

RVs come equipped with four wheels (two front and back), but people often try to use just two. When you’re driving, it’s tempting to lean on the side of the RV that needs less steering. However, leaning too far can cause problems. When pulling an empty trailer behind you, you can lean against it freely. But once you attach another person or object to the rear, you’ll have less control. Even worse, it puts unnecessary stress on the two couplings.

It’s safer to steer with both feet planted firmly on the ground. Steering smoothly keeps you centered in the lane, prevents swaying, and helps maintain speed. This method works especially well for curves. If you must lean against the wall of the RV, make sure to move slowly and cautiously. Never lean against a curve; doing so could result in loss of control.

Another reason four tires are better than two is stability. Because of their size, four wheels provide greater traction. With four relatively large wheels, you’ll have more surface area to grip the ground. This increases stability and reduces risk of skidding.

On straight stretches of highway, having four wheels provides additional security. Four wheels give you more options, such as changing lanes, making U-turns, and backing up.

Mistake #4 – Neglecting To Check Tire Pressure

Tires can easily burst due to underinflation, so tire pressure monitoring systems are essential. These handy gadgets measure air pressure and alert you when it gets dangerously low. One thing to keep in mind is that tire manufacturers recommend checking your tires’ inflation level weekly. So if you don’t pay attention to your mileage, you may end up neglecting this task altogether.

In addition to knowing whether your tires need replacing, it’s smart to check your brakes’ fluid levels and brake pads. Brake pads wear down over time and lose friction. Without proper maintenance, they could fail suddenly. Underinflated tires can lead to overheating brakes, so check the temperature of your braking system regularly.

Mistake #5 – Neglecting To Prepare For Emergencies

Before setting out on a road trip, prepare an emergency kit. Pack enough supplies to last for several days. This should include a first aid kit, nonperishable snacks, medications, flashlights, blankets, clothes, toiletries, and other essentials. Remember that camping gear isn’t needed unless you intend to spend more than one night outdoors.

Have copies of important documents, insurance papers, credit cards, and driver’s license readily available. Finally, don’t forget to pack cash and coins. An unexpected repair or breakdown could put you in a bind.

With these tips, you’ll be ready to set out on the road in no time! Now that you’re better prepared, why not start planning your next road trip?