The Complete A-Z Guide for RV Camping for Beginners: Backed by 97 Years of Experience


This is the complete version of all the little nuances and tips that I wish I would have known when I first got into the RV Life. It’s kind of like having that old, been-there-done-that guy next to me that wants to get me through all the headaches so we can relax and have a good time. And a great time is actually what it’s meant to be right?    Right. Let’s jump in 🙂

Table of Contents

What RV beginners need to know about their New RV campers – Top 10 Newbie Tips

RVing Camping beginners need to know about their New RV trailer campers Top 10 Newbie Tips and tricks for dummies Play me

Simple RV Tips and Tricks that’ll help a Lot.

Tricia and Marc are the pair behind “Keep Your Daydream,” were they share some incredibly valuable and helpful insights to RV world.

They know how to have fun and keep it fun – while traveling with 3 – yeah 3 teenagers!

With 25,000 miles of travel under their belts, they share their experience with fun and personal stories from the road trips and adventures. The good and the bad!

Travel Trailer “Rving” tips and tricks for Beginners

Some of the best advice really can be the simplest. It’s doesn’t have to be complicated.

  1. All you really need is a Rig, some fuel, and the desire to have some fun.
  2. Don’t get overwhelmed with all the shiny things, do-dad’s, and widgets.
  3. Go slow, don’t rush. There’s no need to hurry. Those weekend warriors just can’t slow down – but you can. Don’t make mistakes by rushing. It will cost you money, not save it.

Full on Travel Trailer Camping for Dummies Style Walkthrough

So what Tools are actually essential? There are a few, not much, but there are some that you are going to need. Wrenches, Tire 4-way, and a few leveling blocks (or wood, we don’t judge).

Take it from the self titled Professional “Newbies.” Create Systems and Checklists. I know – boring stuff. But once you have these tasks out of the way, there’s more time for fun and doing or fixing things you broke or didn’t do right the first time.

Video 1 – The TOP 10 Tips EVERY RV Newbie Should Know

10 Unwritten Rules/Tips For RV Camping and Campsite Etiquette – Don’t Do These!

10 Unwritten Rules and Tips For RV Camping and Campsite Etiquette - first time travel trailer owner rv guide camping for beginners Play me

First Time Travel Trailer Owner Tips

6 years in and over 170,000 miles of travel, Mike and Jennifer know a thing or 10 about the RV scene.

Don’t burn trash, clean up after your dog, don’t leave your antenna up when you leave.

These are all on every campgrounds Do NOT do these things signs.

But what about those things that they can’t put on a sign?

Camping for Beginners next to Seasonal’s

Don’t park close to other campers when you don’t have to. It’s kind of like using the bathroom. If there is space, go ahead and leave a few spots in between if you can.

Cigars are for private camping, not at a campground. The places you stay at won’t come out and discriminate against these, but nobody really likes the smell of them.

The outdoor TV doesn’t need to be cranked up – wireless headphones are a great option here. There’s no reason to crank up the game so that the entire campground has to hear who won and what your opinion is on it.

More Miscellaneous Travel Trailer Tips and RV Guide

If you RV breaks down – the dealer is not your first call. They are busy, and they won’t be able to get you in. (They have new RV’s to sell)  Call a Mobile RV repair tech instead. That’s what they do, and they do it well.

Don’t leave you fancy lights on all night long. Turn them off. Install a timer or just turn them off when you go to bed. No one wants to see you palm tree on at 4:30am.

Video 2: 10 Unwritten Rules For RV Camping and Campsite Etiquette from Mike and Jennifer.

5 Expensive RV Towing Mistakes Most Owners Continue to Make

Expensive RV Towing Mistakes Most Owners Continue to Make and how to hook up a travel trailer to a truck play me

So, what is a Travel Trailer?

Simply put, a Travel Trailer is a mobile living space. There are a few types of trailers with different names depending on how they hook up to the truck or vehicle that is pull them. 5th Wheels hook into a large ball in the center of the trucks bed, while bumper-pull trailers attache just behind the bumper.

Tow Behind Campers vs. Bumper Pull Travel Trailers

Tomato or Tomato? Did you hear me pronounce those differently? How about a half-dozen or 6. They are the same, people just prefer to label them differently depending on their location. Pop – Soda ,……. ok, ok, I’ll stop 🙂

Easy Guide to Backing up a Travel Trailer or “how to back a travel trailer?”

Well, I need to say the the absolute no arguing easiest way to park a trailer is to pull-through. But not every place that you will visit has this option. So you are going to have to back it in. SORRY 🙁

My best advice is to practice before you have to do it. Wish it were not so all you want. But a little practice while you are not under pressure and your man-card is not at risk can make a world of difference when it comes time to back that thing up.

Video 3: 5 Expensive RV Towing Mistakes New Haulers Need to Know

How to ORGANIZE and MAXIMIZE the Space in your RV

How to ORGANIZE and MAXIMIZE the Space in your RV Setup Best Kitchen Arrangement and Advice Play me

Looks like you just bought a travel trailer. What do I need?

There are so many cool things to buy inside the showroom at your local RV dealer. Lights, and Yeti’s, and the most comfortable chair your butt has ever touched before. But just what do you really need? Check out these amazing kitchen hacks that Tricia has perfected over her years of traveling.

How to set up a travel trailer to live in

Going away for a few days is great when you need to getaway for a weekend here or there. Weekend Warriors are out there in full force on most Holidays, and those seasonal guys just love it (not really, most of them leave for those big weekends).

But setting up your rig to live in is another story. This is where the weekenders go home and the experts start to shine.

It’s also where the concept of Minimalism starts to really help. When you’re packing your new home on wheels to stay in for an indefinite period of time, you really get a chance to look at each and every item that your are bring and ask – is this really essential?

Video 4: How to organize the Space in your RV for comfort and easy storage

Boondocking For Beginners: What We Wish We Had Known before our new RV Nomad Life

Boondocking For Beginners What We Wish We Had Known before our new RV Nomad Life some camping tips and tricks for newbies Play me

RV Dry Camping Tips and Tricks

Here is where another set of Camper Slang terms get used interchangeably without much thought. The term “Dry Camping” is when you are staying at a campground without any hookups like power and sewer. This typically happens when all the full hookup sites are booked and you have a trailer that can fit into a site that is usually meant for tent camping.

When you are dry camping, you just visit the dump station on your out the front gates. Then there is this term “Boon-docking.”

What really is Boondocking?

When you ask a salty-grey camper where the term comes from, you just might get some funny stories that can entertain the kiddos at least for a few seconds before they are off to the next thing. But let’s refer to the actuall definition for this one:

Video 5: Boondocking For Beginners

Winter Camping; Keep you and your RV from freezing up

Winter Camping Keep you and your RV from freezing up camping living tips and tricks for beginners Play me

RV Living Tips for Below Freezing Temperatures

To really give your camper a test run – try using it in freezing cold temperatures. You really didn’t want to only travel when mother nature said it’s safe to go out and play,…. right?

Travel Trailer RVing through the Icey Days and Snowy Roads.

Staying in one spot while old man winter is having a good time is the ideal situation. If you can get your rig where you want to go in the first place. Campgrounds are mostly seasonal, so planning that cold weather trip is on the more challenging side of trip planning.

Pulling your heavy living quarters on the ice and snow is not recommended. Newer trailers have brakes, but the are heavy and those ups and downs in the road that are easy on dry pavement now become a dangerous and slippery. Plan your route, and drive it without the trailer first if you can.

More Camping tips and tricks for beginners

Video 6: Winter Camping; Keeping your RV from freezing up and falling apart

FREE Overnight RV Parking at WALMART, Cabela’s, and More.

FREE Overnight RV Parking at WALMART Cabelas and More travel trailers tips Play me

Watch these Etiquette Tips so you don’t get kicked out… or worse.

Travel Trailer Tips and Ideas to save a little $$

One great little nugget of wisdom that you’ll pick up along the road is that you can park in Walmart parking lots for free. If your adventures are taking you a few days to get to your final destination, go ahead and get a little sleep in the comfort of your own mobile palace. No need to find a campground just for the 6-8 hrs you’ll be not on the road.

Cabela’s wants you stay in there lot too. Of course there are more Walmarts lots available by the numbers, but Cabela’s actually puts in Dump Stations to entice you onto their pavement and ultimately into the store.

Even More RV Camping Tips and Ideas for Beginners

You end to learn what works and what doesn’t through testing and trying out a bunch of different products and setups. Some work for your setup and style and some don’t. Either way – time and money are involved. It’s just a matter of how much of each you are wanting to put at risk.

Check out the video for what these two on their own Long Long Honeymoon have got working great

Video 7: FREE Overnight RV Parking at WALMART, Cabela’s, and More.

RV Leveling & Stabilizing : They are NOT the same thing.

RV Leveling & Stabilizing tips for new rv owners newbies

Tips for New RV owners to keep that Rig from Rockin’-n-Rollin’

One big misconception that you’ll find when getting your trailer setup for the first couple times is getting that sucker level front to back and side-to-side. Most paved campsite pads will be nice and flat, but you’re not going to always get parked onto those fancy things.

The 4 jacks on the corners underneath your camper are for stability. NOT for leveling. I know – they are jacks and that’s what we use to raise and lower cars, trucks, and other toys when working on them in the garage. AND you are going to want to use them to level your trailer too – they are already there. DON’T. These are used to stabilize it when you are already level.

Leveling that Big Rig: RV tips for Newbies

So how do you get your trailer level then if you can’t use those handy jacks in the corners? You use blocks under the tires. The tires take all that impact while you are moving and the support frame structure is designed to support all that weight and stress. so THAT is where you level it side-to-side.

The most common thing you’ll see is an old 2×6 that is cut at 45deg angles on both sides to be able to drive up on and that is long enough to support both tires if you have 2 axles. These work great and are the handyman’s economical choice.

I prefer using leveling blocks that are lighter to haul and easier to store. There are a few different options that have pros and cons to each – so check out the video to see which ones are right for your needs.

Video 8: RV Leveling & Stabilizing : They are NOT the same thing.

How To Properly Dump & Thoroughly Clean an RV Black Tank

How To Properly Dump & Thoroughly Clean an RV Black Tank rv camping for beginners Play Me

You are not going to want to see these RV Cleaning Tips for New Owners

Let’s talk dirty.

Ok, let’s talk about how to NOT get dirty when flushing out your trailer’s crap-tank. It’s called a “black tank” so we don’t have to to say that the shitter is full,…. Clark.

It’s a stinky job – but someone has got to do it. Especially if you are going to do it in the comfort of your own trailer after a few morning coffee’s.

The Clean life is the Good Life: RV camping for beginners

Keeping your black tank and your grey tank is an essential and necessary part of this adventure. Yeah, not a fun one but unless you are up to the task, then you better stay in the cabin or stay at home.

Get the plan together and do it the same way every time to get the tanks smelling as fresh as the day you bought them.

Video 9: How To Properly Dump & Thoroughly Clean an RV Black Tank

10 RV’ing Saving Money Tips

10 RVing Saving Money Tips rv 101 basics beginners for dummies Play me

Simple and Easy Money Saving RV Basics 101

These road adventures can get expensive quick – especially when you have more than your own mouths to feed, bath, and entertain. Tricia and Marc know all about it with small pack of teenagers on the road.

You don’t have to buy every shiny cool new toy that is out there. You can, but it’s not essential to getting your family started on your own camping journeys to the great outdoors.

Final Recreational Vehicle Tips for the newest of the “beginners”

Planning ahead can actually be a bit of fun and start to create some family excitement about the next trip. If you are staying out for more than a weekend, try and hit some of the tourist spots in the middle of the week. Most will have heavy discounts on their slowest days or even free passes if you find them in advance.

Video 10: 10 RV’ing Saving Money Tips from Tricia and Marc

 

The Complete A-Z Guide for RV Camping for Beginners

Final Thoughts

So there you have it. After all 10 in-depth videos from these Trailer-Yanking Professionals with over 97 years of combined RV hauling and living experience.

You now know more than 95% of every weekend warrior you are sure to meet in your travels out there.

See you on the road my friends 🙂

Video Credits: 

  1. Keepyourdaydream
  2. RoadTreking
  3. RV Education 101 KOA
  4. Keep your day dream
  5. Hebard’s Travels
  6. All About RV’s
  7. LongLongHoneymoon
  8. All About RV’s
  9. RVgeeks
  10. KYD – Tricia and Marc