If you love the outdoors, and you love to travel with family and friends, purchasing an RV is a logical – and exciting – decision. RV ownership allows you to travel in a way that is simply impossible when you rely on a tent alone for your nightly accommodations. With an RV, you have many of the same comforts available in the woods that you have at home. In many ways, this allows you to have the best of both worlds, as you are close to nature without having to live in an uncomfortable fashion for days at a time.

As exciting as it is to purchase your own RV, there are a few things you will need to know if you are going to get the most from this experience. Following are a few key points to keep in mind when you become an RV owner for the first time.

It’s All About Practice

Unless you have traveled extensively in someone else’s RV, you will probably be a little bit overwhelmed at first. Your new RV is likely the largest vehicle you have ever driven, making it a challenge to drive safely down the road. Also, there are a number of systems on board your RV that you will need to learn how to use properly if you are going to fully enjoy your camping trips.

So what to do? Practice. When it comes to driving, try to find a large, empty parking lot where you can rehearse a variety of maneuvers (parking, backing up, etc.), without having to worry about other cars. Even just a short practice session or two in an empty parking lot will go a long way toward boosting your confidence. As far as running the RV itself when it is parked, try having a ‘mock’ camping trip at home where you can test everything out while following the manual carefully. It doesn’t take long to get familiar with how everything works on the RV, and your first few trips will likely be much more enjoyable thanks to your practice time.

You Don’t Have to Go Far

Many new RV owners will immediately look for a travel destination that is several states away for their first trip. This may be a mistake. As a new RV owner, you want to keep things easy on yourself until you get the hang of traveling with your rig. Look for destinations within just a couple hours drive of your home so you can spend as much time as possible at the camp site.

Not All Campgrounds Are Created Equal

When you camp in a tent, there really isn’t much difference between campgrounds that you can visit. As long as a campground has a flat spot for your tent, a nice view, and plenty of things to do, it will be a great choice. However, there is more to consider with RV travel. If you want to be able to use all of the power functions in your rig, it will be necessary to find a campground which offers power hookup. Also, you may wish to find a location that offers water hookup, and even the ability to drain your tanks.

Experience is a great teacher, and you will learn most of what you need to know about RV travel simply through practice. However, thinking about the points above should help you get off to a better start. Once you have gotten started, you should be able to look forward to many years of enjoyable RV travel in your future.