RVing can be loads of fun, but it can be stressful if you don’t know what you’re doing. Whether newly retired, newly married, traveling by yourself or with a group of friends, you can get ready for the most fun you’ve had in a while. If you just bought an RV or you’re planning a trip and ready to hit the ground running, well… driving, make sure to read our list of tips below!
1. Problems? ASK! If you’re unhappy with something or there is a concern, the first thing you need to do is talk to management or the owners. Most of the time it’s a simple fix, but we can’t fix it if we don’t know there is a problem in the first place! Way too often we will get a review about bad cable or electric not working properly AFTER they leave. The next person who stayed in that site though, left happy because they said something and we helped resolve the issue. Even if the problem is on your end, most campgrounds are happy to help you solve the problem and make YOU happy!
2. Document memories. While you may think you’ll remember everything on your fantastic trip, you’re most likely not going to. Document everything, the good, the bad, the funny, the sad. Your kids and grand-kids will appreciate it, and having those documentations gives opportunity to make even more great memories. Or, send yourself a postcard to your home with a note so when you get back you can relive a couple of the best memories you had. Whether it’s a scrap book or a picture book, take a little time and a few dollars to go old fashioned and print out some pictures to flip through.
3. Arrive early. If you’re going to be paying the same amount whether you get there at 1PM or 10PM, try to plan your trip so you can enjoy your evening and all the amenities the campground has to offer. It makes you feel like you’re driving less and getting your money’s worth at the same time.
4. Show some love to the campground. Picture this: you drive up to the campsite you just paid for and you pull in expecting everything to be ready for you. You get out to hook up your electric and the breaker is on the ground. Ugh. The managers come out to fix it and apologize. Then you go to hook up cable and the box is broken. This is supposed to be relaxing. After that’s fixed you walk over to start a fire in the pit… and there are cigarette butts and pop cans in it. Kind of gross. Makes for a pretty “fun” night, right? Every campground you’re staying in deserves some love. It’s a lot of work to keep up such a busy place, we have (on average) more than 6,000 check-ins every year, and we are pretty small! So enjoy your time, but keep others in mind and pick up after yourself and notify staff if there is something amiss!
5. Know your abilities. And practice them. If you’ve never backed your trailer or motor home up, try it out BEFORE running into an electric box. Keeping your turns wide and having a spotter may save you and your checkbook a lot of pain. If you would like an escort, or there is anything we can help you with, like learning how to attach your sewage hose correctly or hooking up your cable, just ask the office, and don’t worry about being embarrassed. It was everyone’s first time at one point!
6. Know what you need and/or want when looking for a spot. If you want sewer, make sure you ask. If you want satellite, make sure you ask. If you want a pull through, make sure you ask. See anything in common? All you have to do when looking for something specific in a site is ask for it. Most of the time campgrounds will be able to get you into the accommodations that you need, but you have to think ahead of time about what you might want during your stay. Get to know your RV before you leave on your trip and it will save you a lot of time and possibly money. You may even want to stay at a campground close to home to try everything out to make sure it works well.
7. Make reservations. Depending on the time of year and locations of certain campgrounds, they will be packed. If you know where you’re going and when you’re going to stop, call the campground ahead of time to make a reservation. There are even apps and websites like KOA.com, Roadtrippers, & RV Trip Wizard to make planning your trip a breeze. Make sure you know you’re going to be there though, most campgrounds charge a deposit you may not be able to get back if you don’t get there.
8. Have a little flexibility. This applies to pretty much everything you do. Sometimes things don’t go quite as planned, and honestly you’re going to have to be okay with that. If you don’t have any patience, you will be disappointed in your trip, and that’s no fun! So if you can deal with people and slow traffic sometimes, then you will be just fine. Just remember, everyone has their own lives and priorities going on around them just like you and always remember to enjoy yourself!
9. Budget for more (time and money) than what you may want to spend. Sometimes things don’t go quite as planned (as said above), so if something on your engine breaks, you may have to be able to fix it then and there or you’ll have a lot more problems than a bad battery. Your host may have a recommended technician for you to call.
10. Make a checklist. There is a 99% chance you will forget something with the craziness of packing and planning. If you make a checklist of all you need BEFORE you start getting your stuff together you’re likely to forget much less and make fewer trips to Wal-Mart. (Check out or next blog for checklists for packing, setting up, and leaving your campsite in the morning.)
11. Have fun! Most importantly, have fun! Whether it’s sitting around a fire pit relaxing all night or running around locally to see all you can, make sure you enjoy yourself. Don't hesitate to ask your hosts/owners for tips about the area. As owners we try hard to make sure you enjoy your time with us. That’s the point of a vacation, right?
That doesn't mean this area has to always be empty. When you start reviewing camping options, your history will display here to help compare sites and find the best stay. You will be able to share your stay information with friends or family and save it for a later time if you have a KOA.com Account.