Ten things to know before setting off in your RV
What is an RV?
RV stands for Recreational Vehicle and is basically a home on wheels. They can also be referred to as motorhomes or camper vans. The main features on-board are a kitchen, a bathroom, beds and TV, some even have a washing machine. An RV is different from a caravan because it is a self-driving vehicle and has an engine, steering wheel and a driver's seat, whereas a caravan is towed behind another vehicle.
1. RV OR A CARAVAN
BUYING an RV can be an excellent investment and a great way to have the flexibility to travel without depending on hotel reservations and airports. An RV will go wherever you drive it and you won't need to pay hotel bills. You can cook for yourself, keep all your clothes hanging in a closet rather than in a suitcase, and generally make yourself at home. In some cases, people even live in their motorhome, meaning no mortgage or rent to pay. For the most part though, RVs are used as vacation homes rather than as the main accommodation.
2. SIZE AND TYPE
THERE are a wide range of RV's available to buy or rent, so it is important that you have some idea of your needs. Keep in mind your required levels of comfort, privacy, security, where you want to travel and what is within your budget.
3. KNOW THE FEATURES
WHEN you have your RV, be sure to pay particular attention to all the features. Ensure that everything is in a proper working order and good condition if not new and that all the safety features are present within the vehicle.
4. INSURANCE OPTIONS
INSURANCE coverage is always a good idea because you never know when you may need it. Just like your car or home, it's important to have the peace of mind.
5. DRIVING YOUR RV
BEFORE you head out on the open road, get to know your vehicle by practising a few maneuvers around the car park. First-timers often struggle with reversing and parking and it will also take some time to get used to driving the vehicle itself. Giving it a test drive will also allow you to test out the features and ensure that you are a confident driver.
6. PACKING YOUR RV
YOU can pack light and leave the extra space for items on the go or be fully prepared with everything planned out to the last detail and stocked up ready for long distances.
7. BOOK CAMPING GROUNDS IN ADVANCE
PLAN ahead and get to know the best camp grounds in the areas you are wishing to stay. By booking in advance you will be guaranteed a place to stay for the night and you will get the pick of RV sites. When you leave the camp site, make sure you have your aerial down, hatch closed and windows up.
8. ENSURE THE SECURITY OF YOUR LOAD
BEFORE you head off, make sure everything is put away in cabinets and cupboards, to prevent them flying around while you are driving. Ensuring the weight of your load is distributed evenly, will also aid with wind resistance and make your journey a smoother one.
9. REGISTER WITH CMCA
WITH over 66,000 members, Campervan and Motorhome Club of Australa is the largest RV Club in the southern hemisphere. As a CMCA member, not only will you have access to numerous benefits, including tailored RV insurance, a monthly magazine, social events through 100 local chapters across Australia, a Solos' Network for members travelling alone and a National and Anniversary Rally each year, but you will also experience camaraderie, community support, positive experiences and the security of travelling Australia, knowing you are never alone. www.cmca.net.au/
10. THINGS YOU CAN DO
YOU will have a lot of free time, so make sure you keep busy with crosswords, playing cards, board games, reading, music and creative activities like painting, knitting and sewing.