Tips and Tricks for First-Time Campers in Austin, Texas
Camping is a fun, convenient and affordable option for anyone, but if it is your first time camping, you may not be sure what to bring, how to plan your trip and how to get along with your camping neighbors. If you are parking an RV or pitching a tent in Austin, Texas, for the first time, follow these tips for first-time campers.
Plan in Advance
If you are a first-time camper, it is a good idea to plan your central Texas camping trip well in advance. That way, you will have time to gather everything you need, map out your itinerary and keep an eye on your budget. Planning your trip with ample time can also give you an opportunity to test out your gear. Some of the things you should think about before your vacation include:
- How much your RV can tow: If you are taking an RV on your camping trip, make sure you know how much it can safely tow. You can find your maximum weight capacity by looking at the owner's manual for your vehicle or at the manufacturer's website. You can also call your local dealership.
- What a realistic budget might be: Although camping is a budget-friendly choice, you will still need to understand the expenses involved. Consider what you might spend on RV maintenance, camping gear, site fees and other costs.
- What activities you want to do: When deciding where to set up camp, think about what activities you will want to be able to enjoy. Onsite amenities such as a swimming pool and playgrounds can make your camping trip more relaxing and fun for the whole family. If you have pets, consider choosing a campground with a dog park.
Make a Checklist
As you plan your trip, using a checklist can help ensure you have all the camping equipment and gear you need for your adventure. Here are some helpful packing list ideas for Texas camping for first-time campers.
What Type of Clothing Should I Pack to Visit Austin, Texas?
When deciding what to pack when camping in Austin, one of the main things you will need to think about is clothing. Austin has some of the country's best weather, but it fluctuates throughout the year. The different types of clothes you may need when camping in central Texas include:
- Sun hat.
- Hiking boots.
- Comfortable sneakers.
- Bathing suit.
- Warm jacket.
- Extra socks and underwear.
- Short sleeve and long sleeve shirts.
What Should I Keep On Hand When Camping In An RV?
RV camping is convenient and easy. Staying in an RV provides comfort and familiarity while offering access to the outdoors. When you are using an RV, it is important to bring anything you might need for on-the-spot maintenance — especially if you aren't staying at a full hookup site. Here are some things to make sure you have if you are camping in an RV:
- Hose for drinking water.
- Water pressure regulator.
- Tire pressure gauge.
- Emergency road kit.
- Surge protector.
- Extra transmission fluid.
- Fire extinguisher.
- Important documents.
- Electrical adapters.
- Sewer kit.
- Blocks or bricks for leveling.
What Are Essentials to Pack When Tent Camping in Texas?
Tent camping in Texas is the perfect way to get outside, explore nature and get some fresh air. Whether you want a relaxing weekend away from the hustle and bustle of city life or an opportunity to connect with nature and your loved ones, tent camping can provide just what you need. If you are going to be camping in a tent, your packing list will likely be more extensive. Some of the items you might want to bring include:
- Sleeping bags and blankets.
- Extra batteries.
- Folding chairs.
- Extra stakes and rope for the tent.
- Tool kit.
- Ax for firewood.
- Cooking gear, including a stove.
- Garbage bags.
- Lighters and firestarters.
- Pokers and roasting sticks.
Learn About Your Big Rig or Gear
Since you may need to buy new gear before your first time camping, you should familiarize yourself with everything prior to heading out. Before your trip, set aside some time to:
- Practice using your tools: Make sure you know how to use everything in your tool kit. While it is great to have tools, they are only useful if you know how to use them.
- Set up your tent: If you are tent camping, make sure you practice setting it up beforehand. Tent instructions can be tricky, so it is a good idea to practice before you are out in the woods.
- Test out your equipment: No matter what kind of equipment you are bringing along, make sure you test it out before your trip. For instance, if you are bringing a camping stove, give it a practice run at home. Test out everything from large gear to flashlights.
- Practice backing up with your RV: More often than not, you will have to back your RV into your camping spot. Make sure you know how to navigate driving your RV in reverse.
Tips for RVers
If you are using an RV for the first time, you might not know everything about it. They are large vehicles with a lot of parts and pieces to keep an eye on. Here are some pro tips for first-time RVers:
- Check your RV tires and fuel gauge often: Tires lose pressure over time, which can affect the handling of your vehicle. If they are low on air, your tires might give you a spongy feeling when accelerating or turning. Make sure they have the correct air pressure before you start driving. Also, always be mindful of your fuel consumption and the location of nearby gas stations to avoid running out of gas.
- Secure any loose items before driving: Securing your gear will prevent distractions caused by loose objects that could cause injury or damage.
- Pay attention to clearance heights and weight restrictions: The clearance height represents the distance between the underside of your vehicle and the ground. If you plan on driving over any low bridges, drive-thrus or through tunnels, you will want to ensure your vehicle has enough room to pass underneath.
- Be sure to drive with caution: When exploring the wide-open spaces, it's easy to get caught up in the excitement, but your RV is a big responsibility. Paying close attention to your surroundings and adding to your projected arrival times will help you avoid unwanted surprises.
- Always secure your wheels with the appropriate chocks when your RV is parked: Chocks are blocks that you place under each wheel to keep your RV in place. You'll need at least one for each wheel, and most RVs have a front and rear chock for each side.
Observe Campground Rules and Etiquette
Campgrounds are friendly places that are open to anyone — which is why it is so important to follow general campground rules. At Austin East KOA, the following guidelines are in place:
How Many Guests Can I Have at My Campsite?
Occupancy policies keep campgrounds safe and accessible. The occupancy limit at Austin East KOA is six people per Camping Cabin/Lodge, with a maximum of four adults. Guests are allowed, but they should not exceed four people. Keep in mind, anyone who stays overnight has to be registered.
Be sure to clean up your campsite and keep it free of trash. Leaving trash out can attract all kinds of animals. You will need to leave your trash in designated pick-up locations or put it in the dumpster. After you have packed up to leave, do a quick check for any trash you may have forgotten.
Check-In and Check-Out
Check-in and check-out times ensure everyone has an equal chance to enjoy their time camping. At Austin East KOA, the check-in time is 3:00 p.m., and the check-out time is 11:00 a.m. If you need a late checkout, you'll have to request and pay for one at the front office by 10:30 a.m. Being familiar with all of your gear and equipment will help you determine how much time you will need to pack everything up.
One of the most important elements of campsite etiquette is adhering to the quiet hours. Camping is a family activity, and lots of campers plan to have early mornings and full days. Let your neighbors rest by keeping quiet from 10:00 p.m. to 7 a.m. For RV campground etiquette, staying quiet might mean turning off your generator or any other noisy pieces of equipment.
Does Austin East KOA Allow Pets?
Austin East KOA is pet friendly — just be sure to follow the pet-friendly campground policies, including:
- Always use a leash.
- Keep your pet as quiet as possible.
- Always supervise your pet.
- Keep your pet away from buildings, the pool and the playground.
Make Your Reservation at Austin East KOA
Camping is full of both excitement and relaxation. With proper preparation, your camping trip is sure to be stress-free and adventure-filled. Give yourself plenty of time to prepare, create packing checklists, test out your equipment and read up on campground guidelines.
At Austin East KOA, all campers are welcome whether it's your first time camping or your thousandth time camping. In addition to a variety of family-friendly amenities, we also have a Kamp Store that offers everything from RV supplies and camping necessities to groceries and souvenirs. Reserve your spot at one of the best RV parks and campgrounds today, and get ready to go camping! To get more Austin, Texas, campground information or book your stay, reach us over the phone at 512-732-2812.