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Author Topic: Advice for our first ever RV road trip  (Read 1244 times)

SopranoKris

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Advice for our first ever RV road trip
« on: June 07, 2017, 03:38:56 PM »
My husband & I have been looking at getting an RV for quite some time. We've been debating between a Class C and getting a truck with a TT or 5er.
We have a family member coming up to visit us in Michigan and decided to take a trip up to the U.P. since he's never been. After looking at hotel prices, we determined it would be less expensive to rent an RV for our trip.

We have been looking at the Coachmen Freelander 27QB Class C (gas) and found one that was available to rent for our 5 day/4 night road trip.

I'm making a list of things we'll need to bring with us on our trip. The coach does not have cooking utensils, dishes, linens, etc., so I've got those on my list.

We should be able to book some RV parks along the way to hook up to shore power & water. Any advice for us first time RVers? We're so excited to finally get to go on our first trip :)

We'll be leaving in August.

--Kris

Pugapooh

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Re: Advice for our first ever RV road trip
« Reply #1 on: June 07, 2017, 08:13:48 PM »
Is the rental company supplying water hose,sewer hookup stuff,anything?

You may want a cable tv cable-25 ft.  I like to pack a few "junk drawer" type items.  Duct tape, twist ties or Velcro strips,couple of clothespins,that sort of thing.
Pen and paper to journal your trip,make shopping lists,etc.

Toilet paper that breaks down quickly,Scott brand one-ply seems to work.  Gloves for sewer duties. 
2006 Dutchmen Denali 29 RL fiver
2006 Dodge 2500 Big Horn
2001 GMC Sierra 3500
1996 Dodge Ram 1500

2kGeorgieBoy

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Re: Advice for our first ever RV road trip
« Reply #2 on: June 07, 2017, 09:00:34 PM »
I'm assuming from your title that you have never been in/used an RV?  Based on that assumption, could I suggest that, if possible,  rent an RV for several days for a short trip, even in your driveway, to familiarize  yourselves with the workings of these "houses on wheels". I know this would cost, but in the long run, it may make your trip for you and your family member more enjoyable. Better to make your mistakes and your learning of basics in your driveway or within a short distance of home. May help you figure out what you will need to take/not take with you.
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Arch Hoagland

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Re: Advice for our first ever RV road trip
« Reply #3 on: June 08, 2017, 12:17:01 AM »
Always get to your RV park before dark.
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SopranoKris

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Re: Advice for our first ever RV road trip
« Reply #4 on: June 08, 2017, 01:08:41 AM »
I'm assuming from your title that you have never been in/used an RV?  Based on that assumption, could I suggest that, if possible,  rent an RV for several days for a short trip, even in your driveway, to familiarize  yourselves with the workings of these "houses on wheels". I know this would cost, but in the long run, it may make your trip for you and your family member more enjoyable. Better to make your mistakes and your learning of basics in your driveway or within a short distance of home. May help you figure out what you will need to take/not take with you.

The only RV I've ever ridden in was my grandparents' Winnebago in 1981. So, yes, I've never driven one. My husband has a CDL and has driven buses, diesel trucks, large compactors, trailers, etc. He will be doing the majority of the driving. The RV dealership where we're doing the rental also provides a one-hour orientation & training session if it's the first time you've rented from them. We're picking up the RV 2 days before we leave because we could only rent it for a week and only need it for 5 days/4 nights. I will definitely take your suggestion of doing a dry run in the driveway to see what we might need. Thank you for the advice :)

SopranoKris

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Re: Advice for our first ever RV road trip
« Reply #5 on: June 08, 2017, 01:14:41 AM »
Is the rental company supplying water hose,sewer hookup stuff,anything?

You may want a cable tv cable-25 ft.  I like to pack a few "junk drawer" type items.  Duct tape, twist ties or Velcro strips,couple of clothespins,that sort of thing.
Pen and paper to journal your trip,make shopping lists,etc.

Toilet paper that breaks down quickly,Scott brand one-ply seems to work.  Gloves for sewer duties.

Yes, they are supplying all the equipment for electrical hook-ups and sewer/water.

I'm curious what the 25 ft. cable would be used for?

The RV dealership is providing "RV toilet paper" to prevent clogs. They asked us not to bring toilet paper from the grocery store with us. I'm assuming this means we'll get the thin, 1-ply type paper? I will definitely bring some rubber gloves for sewer stuff. Thank you for your advice :)

SopranoKris

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Re: Advice for our first ever RV road trip
« Reply #6 on: June 08, 2017, 01:16:28 AM »
Always get to your RV park before dark.

That is sound advice! I couldn't imagine trying to navigate a tight squeeze in an unfamiliar place in the dark! :)

camperAL

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Re: Advice for our first ever RV road trip
« Reply #7 on: June 08, 2017, 01:38:42 AM »
Hi SopranoKris,

Be sure to check the cargo capacity on the rental and stay within that capacity. Rentals normally don't have a lot of extras so more weight to take things. Our rental didn't have TV so if that is something important to you make provisions.

Go to the forum library and look at the various subjects you might be interested in. They have some on lists of items to take that should help you out plus many other items to assist you. Keep us posted and have fun on your adventure!
CamperAL (Indiana)
(2006 Coachmen Mirada 290 KS )

Pugapooh

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Re: Advice for our first ever RV road trip
« Reply #8 on: June 08, 2017, 02:02:58 AM »
The 25 ft cable is so you can hook up to the cable tv in the campground.  If your camps don't have cable hookups or you don't care about tv,you don't need it. 

Don't overestimate how far you can drive in a day.  It's not the same as pulling into a hotel and just kicking back.  What are your plans for meals?  Cooking in The rv?  Disposable dish ware! 

Hope you have a great trip!
2006 Dutchmen Denali 29 RL fiver
2006 Dodge 2500 Big Horn
2001 GMC Sierra 3500
1996 Dodge Ram 1500

Oldgator73

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Re: Advice for our first ever RV road trip
« Reply #9 on: June 08, 2017, 08:36:51 AM »
Items we try to remember for our trips:

-Current book we are reading
-Box wine (since it is rectangle it fits easier and you don't have to worry about an opener)
-wine glasses
-Favorite snacks (we like popcorn)
-Flashlight
-Someone mentioned rubber gloves, I get a whole box of the disposable ones at Harbor Freight for a few dollars.
-Lawn chairs
-Some kind of rug or mat for the door
-Coffee and cups and something to make it in
-Dish soap
-A few tools maybe pliers, hammer, screw driver set, 100 mph tape also known as duct tape
-Laundry basket
-We try not to wear our shoes in the RV so bring slippers
-Small broom and dustpan
-One of those BIC clickers
-When packing utensils be sure you have a fry pan, sauce pan and spatula. And a good knife
-Dish towels
There's 87 other items you'll need but I can't remember them at the moment. There will always be a Walmart, Sam's or Costco along the way. Sam's and Costco rotisserie chickens make a great meal and are cheaper than cooking your own.
Have fun!
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Air Force Retired
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kdbgoat

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Re: Advice for our first ever RV road trip
« Reply #10 on: June 08, 2017, 12:40:14 PM »
And trust me, Oldgator brings food...lots of food! ;D
I know you believe you understand what you think I said,
But I am not sure you realize what you heard is not what I meant


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Oldgator73

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Re: Advice for our first ever RV road trip
« Reply #11 on: June 08, 2017, 12:48:15 PM »
And trust me, Oldgator brings food...lots of food! ;D

Hey, you were invited to stay and eat. We coulda used the help. Had leftovers.
2016 Winnebago Winnie Drop
2016 Nissan Frontier 4x4 Crew Cab
Air Force Retired
It's not the weight of the load, it's how you carry it.

Stinkielee

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Re: Advice for our first ever RV road trip
« Reply #12 on: June 08, 2017, 09:10:33 PM »
The only RV I've ever ridden in was my grandparents' Winnebago in 1981. So, yes, I've never driven one. My husband has a CDL and has driven buses, diesel trucks, large compactors, trailers, etc. He will be doing the majority of the driving. The RV dealership where we're doing the rental also provides a one-hour orientation & training session if it's the first time you've rented from them. We're picking up the RV 2 days before we leave because we could only rent it for a week and only need it for 5 days/4 nights. I will definitely take your suggestion of doing a dry run in the driveway to see what we might need. Thank you for the advice :)

Amen to the dry run idea.  If your husband has driven buses, he will probably have absolutely no problem.  If you forget something, buy it from a Walmart or somewhere with a big parking lot. Problem solved!
Sharon and Gary
2015 Coachmen Freelander 22QBF
1980 Toyota 4x4 toad
Both Retired !!!
NKNPs (No Kids No Pets)

SopranoKris

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Re: Advice for our first ever RV road trip
« Reply #13 on: June 27, 2017, 02:49:01 PM »
Thank you, everyone, for your kind advice. We're super excited to take our trip. August can't get here fast enough! :)

Most of the RV parks we've reserved have cable, so I'm definitely going to bring the 25' cable suggested above. We don't anticipate watching much TV, but if it happens to rain, we'll have some entertainment.

Oldgator73 - thanks for the food suggestions. We are bringing a grill and an electric skillet with us, since there's no outdoor kitchen. We'd prefer to cook outside, instead of inside the RV so it doesn't get too hot. We're planning campfire meals that will be easy to make outdoors. Will probably eat at a few nearby restaurants as well. Mostly, we'll do cereal for breakfast and sandwiches for lunch, plus snacks. Hubby's first item on the list was his coffee maker :) We plan on bringing mostly disposable utensils/plates.

Our dog is coming with us, so I'm bringing her bed with us as well as her food/treats. Plus carpet/indoor cleaner. She's not the type of dog who ever has an accident in the house, but I don't want to take any chances.

Once again, thank you all for your advice & expertise. We are really looking forward to RVing for the first time. We really want to RV part-time down the road when we're closer to retirement, so this trip will let us get an idea of what it's like. Our next trip, we'll rent a travel trailer for the truck to compare a motorhome vs. trailer.


cadee2c

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Re: Advice for our first ever RV road trip
« Reply #14 on: June 27, 2017, 03:16:28 PM »
Quote
Hubby's first item on the list was his coffee maker

Youve got the best husband ever!

Basically, I would take everything that I would normally take on a tent camping trip, with the exception of a tent, and bring sheets rather than sleeping bags. I think its black fly season up that way, so take heavy duty bug spray. If the coach doesnt have an awning with sidewalls, consider a dining canopy with mosquito mesh walls, big enough to sit inside.

Also, I'll let you in on a secret. Motor homes are not as hard to drive as everyone thinks they are until they start driving them.

Have fun.
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Larry N.

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Re: Advice for our first ever RV road trip
« Reply #15 on: June 27, 2017, 03:20:12 PM »
Have you looked at the various categories/articles in our Library? There are checklist, articles on how-to, and much more.
Larry and Mary Ann N.
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JudyJB

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Re: Advice for our first ever RV road trip
« Reply #16 on: June 28, 2017, 08:34:38 PM »
Based on my last trip to the UP with my son and grandkids, I strongly recommend a fly swatter and one of those electronic bug swatters.  We had horrible mosquitoes in late June, and I even pulled out a couple of those mosquito net things you put over your entire head for my California grandkids who had never been swarmed before!  Fogger for outdoors might also be a good idea.
Full-timing for over five years in a
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tncamperRVer

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Re: Advice for our first ever RV road trip
« Reply #17 on: June 29, 2017, 09:42:43 AM »
If you're renting the RV you'll probably need cleaning supplies. I would expect to have to clean the bathroom and shower (at the very least). Go around the RV BEFORE you accept responsibility for it and note every scratch and dent (inside and out). Have them sign off that the damage was there before you rented it.
"It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so." - Mark Twain

Lskalski

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Re: Advice for our first ever RV road trip
« Reply #18 on: July 02, 2017, 04:57:53 PM »
I live in the u.p if you want some great spots feel free to ask!! It's beautiful up here!! Bring a fly swatter you're missing mayfly season but depending on where you are the flies can be horrible

SopranoKris

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Re: Advice for our first ever RV road trip
« Reply #19 on: July 08, 2017, 07:19:20 PM »
I live in the u.p if you want some great spots feel free to ask!! It's beautiful up here!! Bring a fly swatter you're missing mayfly season but depending on where you are the flies can be horrible



Thank you for the tip about the flies! I will definitely make sure we have swatters to deal with them.

We have 5 days/4 nights. We're in Lansing, picking up the RV in Grand Rapids and then heading up to Munising so we can take my brother-in-law to see the Pictured Rocks. He's never been to the U.P. What are your thoughts on Otter Lake Campground? We were looking at staying there one night

Then we'll head further south towards Mackinac and stay at Mackinaw Mill Creek Camping with a good view of the bridge. We'll go to Tahquamanon Falls (I'm sure I spelled that wrong). Then Charlevoix/Traverse City. We're thinking of staying at Timber Ridge RV & Recreation Resort. Then we head back to drop off the rig in Grand Rapids.

Any feedback on these campsites would be welcome. Or, if you know of any places that you like better, please feel free to share. We are so excited to take our first RV trip! :)

AStravelers

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Re: Advice for our first ever RV road trip
« Reply #20 on: July 09, 2017, 01:58:14 PM »
The resource I use to determine which RV Parks to stay at is:  http://www.rvparkreviews.com/

Al & Sharon
2006 Winnebago Sightseer 29R
2009 Chevy Colorado 4X4

http://downtheroadaroundthebend.blogspot.com/

SopranoKris

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Re: Advice for our first ever RV road trip
« Reply #21 on: July 09, 2017, 05:01:27 PM »
The resource I use to determine which RV Parks to stay at is:  http://www.rvparkreviews.com/

Thank you so much for this great link! We found that one of the campsites we reserved had bad reviews, so we cancelled it and made reservations at a place with a 9 star rating. So glad to find out this info before we leave versus being disappointed on arrival!!!

Much appreciated :)

Dance Chick

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Re: Advice for our first ever RV road trip
« Reply #22 on: July 09, 2017, 06:04:33 PM »
I cross check rvparkreviews.com with rvparky.com. It helps to read reviews in more than 1 place.
Gene, Gayle, & Oliver (the dog-but don't tell him)
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Lskalski

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Re: Advice for our first ever RV road trip
« Reply #23 on: July 10, 2017, 06:19:35 AM »


Thank you for the tip about the flies! I will definitely make sure we have swatters to deal with them.

We have 5 days/4 nights. We're in Lansing, picking up the RV in Grand Rapids and then heading up to Munising so we can take my brother-in-law to see the Pictured Rocks. He's never been to the U.P. What are your thoughts on Otter Lake Campground? We were looking at staying there one night

Then we'll head further south towards Mackinac and stay at Mackinaw Mill Creek Camping with a good view of the bridge. We'll go to Tahquamanon Falls (I'm sure I spelled that wrong). Then Charlevoix/Traverse City. We're thinking of staying at Timber Ridge RV & Recreation Resort. Then we head back to drop off the rig in Grand Rapids.

Any feedback on these campsites would be welcome. Or, if you know of any places that you like better, please feel free to share. We are so excited to take our first RV trip! :)
Munising is beautiful. Tourist park is a great campsite but they may be booked. If you can camp at the falls in Taquemonon it is absolutely beautiful. It's a must stay

AStravelers

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Re: Advice for our first ever RV road trip
« Reply #24 on: July 11, 2017, 10:03:08 AM »
Reading RV Park reviews is a lot like reading replies in a forum.  You must take in consideration the bias of the person writing.  Do they have an axe to grind, does the info they provide really pertain to your situation.

For example I see some really negative reviews for otherwise nice RV Parks, were the reviewer says, "no place for the kids to play and no internet".  If that doesn't matter to you then the place may be just fine.  Other times the negative review is because the office personnel were rude.  If the RV Park is clean and meets my needs, I usually don't care if the person checking me in is nice or not.
Al & Sharon
2006 Winnebago Sightseer 29R
2009 Chevy Colorado 4X4

http://downtheroadaroundthebend.blogspot.com/

SopranoKris

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Re: Advice for our first ever RV road trip
« Reply #25 on: July 11, 2017, 08:06:46 PM »
Thanks! The reviews that we read about one of the places we were going to stay had some deal breakers for us (obstructed view from the site we selected, dirty facilities, etc.). We were able to book sites that had positive reviews that met important criteria to us, such as pet-friendly, clear views of the lake, clean facilities, etc.

We've started a "supply corner" in our spare room for all the items we think we'll need for the trip. Trying not to take too much stuff, since it's only a 5 day/4 night trip. I did make sure to get a ramp for my dog. She's an older dog (13 years) and bigger dog, so it's hard for her to jump or climb. She's going to love sitting on the couch, looking out the window on our trip :)

 

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