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Our family has begun a new adventure. We have entered the world of RV campers. Talk about diving into the deep end of the pool. We definitely needed the must-haves for the newbie RV life. But where to begin? I guess its best to start with the “why”.
Why Rving Has Become so Popular?
Honestly, camping has always been popular. Tent camping, pop-ups, travel trailers, RVS; there are a multitude of ways to enjoy the great outdoors. This is a past-time enjoyed by many over the years, including myself and my husband’s families. But this year, something changed in the camping world.
The number of Rv-ers has drastically increased this year. COVID may have shut down the world for a while, but one thing it hasn’t done is stop people from getting out into the great outdoors. It came out early on that being outside was a safe way to get through COVID so people took to camping as a way to cure cabin fever.
Where to Begin as a New RVer
Upon lockdown, our household got super creative with entertaining ourselves. We are pretty adventurous people. My husband bought a slack line to start. This was super fun and got us started on some lockdown adventure. But alas, we live in Florida and it started to get too hot and buggy outside so my husband decided to build a climbing wall in the living room. Combined with bike rides, walks, swimming in the pool, we did great…for a while. But the cabin fever was real with this one. A few months later, we were itching for some more adventure. We were watching our kids get older and our oldest is approaching the last year of high school.
My husband came home one day and began showing us YouTube videos of pop up campers and Rvs. Our interest was sparked! The possibilities! The adventures! The outdoors! The travel! It seemed limitless. So the adventure of finding a camper began.
RV Life Newbies in Over Our Heads
We searched online, went to auctions, perused RV lots, ended up back at square one, and round and round like a merry-go-round. When we determined that a pop-up camper wasn’t for us, we were faced with a whole new issue. Our vehicle did not pull a travel trailer. We would need a new vehicle. Back on the merry-go-round again.
The funny part came in that we ended up finding our beloved camper before we found a vehicle. We got a 32 ft Forest River Salem. She felt like home and we had already imagined trips and forever memories. And we got this amazing deal on the camper as long as we were able to get it off the lot in 24 hours! Double oops! We were on the clock. With some incredible luck, we found the vehicle, got the camper off the lot and home. Then the real fun began.
Newbie RV Must-Haves
We planned a trip for the very first weekend after purchasing our new baby. But our new baby…was empty. Don’t get me wrong, she was gorgeous just the way she was. But we had a lot of work to do.
As a blogger myself, I knew there was no one better equipped to help us get started than other bloggers. I immediately learned of a Facebook group called The RV Atlas Group. The moderators of this group are highly experienced lifetime campers. I was blown away at the helpfulness and friendliness of this group and immediately went out in search of their book See You at the Campground. It is packed with their amazing stories and a vast amount of helpful knowledge.
I read through countless other blogs chock full of lists and ideas. Let’s face it, I’d rather learn from their mistakes than ours. I made lists and headed to Walmart to get started.
What were our must-haves for newbies to RV life?
- Sewer Hose
- RV Sewer Hose Support
- Fresh Water Hose
- RV Toilet Paper ( I know this seems crazy, but trust me…its a must-have.)
- Towels (Bath and hand)
- Kitchen Towels and Potholders
- RV Queen Sheets
- Bunkhouse Sheets
- Hose Splitter (You will want this for freshwater while connected.)
- Wheel Chocks
- Camp Chairs
We started with these basics. I still use only paper plates and solo cups with plasticware. We have gradually added some things to our camper as we went, though we are still very new. Each trip we added a little more. But starting with the basics, you can get going without breaking the bank.
Most important is to just get started. Plan a trip close to home so you can see how everything works. Try things out and see what you might want to buy. On our first trip, we walked around the campground to see what setups other people had. We also tried out everything on our camper from the kitchen stove and oven to the awning, the outdoor stove, and all the hoses. We also watched a lot of YouTube videos on how to set things up.
Want to see if RV life is for you? Check out how to camp before you buy by reading the Detail Oriented Travelers guide on how to camp when you don’t own equipment.
The must-haves for newbie RV life are simple and it doesn’t take much to get going. You’ll be growing and changing probably as long as you’re camping. Read others’ experiences and practice…a lot!
See you on out there!