Buy and Borrow

5 Helpful Tips for First-Time RV Owners

Erin Palmer

July 08, 2022

Two tourists in front of an rv and a road sign

Recreational vehicles (RVs) open up a world of adventure and excitement. When you’re ready to buy your first RV, there’s sure to be a mixture of joy and nerves. If you’re new to the RV lifestyle, we’ve got you covered!

Whether you’re buying an RV for weekends and vacations or you’re going all-in and living the RV life full-time, these tips can help you prepare for your big purchase.

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1Research RV Options Before Buying

There are so many RV options available, each with different features, layouts, and storage options. Depending on whether your purchase is recreational or for full-time living will impact your choice. So, your first step should be doing research to see which RVs meet your needs.

Do some online research to narrow down your options before shopping in-person. Get pre-approved before you shop as well, so you can know what you have to spend and factor that into your purchasing decision.

what's in the box

2Consider Storage of Your RV from the Start

If you’re buying an RV for weekend and vacation fun, you’ll need to store it when it’s not in use. This is important because you want to make sure your investment is protected from harsh weather.

Even if you have the space to keep the RV in your driveway or backyard, make sure to check what the rules are for storing an RV in your neighborhood. For example, some communities have policies preventing RV owners from storing it anywhere visible from the road. If you’re going to live in your RV, this may not impact you as much, but you should still have an idea of storage options available to you.

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3Learn About Your RV and Heed the Caution Labels

Once you choose the RV you love, it’s time to learn everything you need to know about it. As a first timer, there will be a lot of new information. That’s OK!

You don’t have to be an RV expert right from the start. Learn the basics first. Plus, you always want to make sure to read and follow all of the caution labels on your RV. These will help you learn how to get set up correctly and without potentially costly errors.

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4Plan for Extra Purchases

When you’re hitting the road in your RV, there’s a few things you’ll need to travel safely and in comfort. For example, you’ll want some non-breakable dishes and glassware to make it easier to avoid shattered plates during meals. RVs have plenty of storage, so make sure you have the materials needed to safely pack away breakables.

You’ll also want some items to make your outdoor time more comfortable when you’re parked, like outdoor rugs or camping chairs. Also, a generator or extra propane tank can help you keep your RV powered when you need it.


5Create a Packing List

When you’re going off on a camping trip, it’s smart to create a detailed packing list of everything you’ll need so you can make the most of your space. Keep it minimal and keep in mind the weight limits of your RV.

If you’re planning to live in your RV, you’ll want your list to be full of multifunctional items. This will let you simplify your packing and bring fewer items. You can always buy things later on, so keep the initial packing down to the essentials.

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