Pack your glamping shirt because we are renting an RV for the first time! Here are eight things you need to know right now about renting an RV for the first time:
#1 If you do not enjoy camping, you will like using an RV. If this is your first time renting a Recreational Vehicle, you will do fine. Newbies will discover that renting an RV for the first time is easy! If you are a non-camper, renting an Motor Vehicle is the way to go. Campgrounds are only $40-$50 per night. An RV rental is around $200 per night because we rented 500 mile from CruiseAmerica. If you go under that amount, they will reimburse you 35 center per mile. And the same goes for going over 500 miles. We chose campgrounds that would keep us in the 500 mile range.
In an RV you will see so many different cities in one vacation! RV-ing through mountains, through the prairies, through green and golden waves of grain; God bless America my home sweet home!
#2 You will have quality family time. Being stretched and living outside of your comfort zone is good for you; your kids feel empowered, tough and get in touch with their creative, nature side.
Campgrounds have awesome websites so you will easily be able to choose a few to suit your family’s needs. What we would do next time is check out trip advisor forums where visitors post pics of the showers and up to date pictures of the grounds themselves.
We first stopped at Amish Country in Lancaster, PA. White Oak Campground was absolutely beautiful. Our second one was called a Family Campground so they had many more kid activities. The third one had the creeks that I wanted my child to experience. They’re amazing! And these all had pools and a playground! We are city folk, and my child learned how to light matches on this RV rental trip…at age 12! Our RV broke down, and my child experienced blue collar tire center talk and getting the giggles while we were waiting. Sometimes those totally rainy days on vacation or those moments you’re broken down on the side of the road are your best memories.
Now, my husband does not like that campgrounds offer free wi-fi because older children exist through social media. So just do like you do at home and limit the times, make them eat a snack while walking around the campsite; not inside the RV.
#3 You or your spouse will know how to work all of the RV and you will know how to troubleshoot.
Upon renting an RV, you will decide on the length. That will tell you the size mattresses that will be in your RV. We had queen in the master, the kids’ loft cushion area above the cab of the RV as well as the table. Our RV was 32 feet.
Then you will commit to watching a couple of their required videos. Those videos are golden! If you want any peace of mind during your vacation, you must watch those videos. And y’all this is for your own happiness; watching these will make your vacation better because you are prepared! For instance: Our AC circuit breaker tripped, and immediately my hubby knew to go under the table and flip the circuit breaker switch because he had watched the video. It never happened again.
The generator buttons are easily visible. There’s a holding tank that holds lots of water for when you’re on the road or unable to hook up to water while en route to the next campground. The tank level that tells you it’s near full or full is with the other buttons. When you rent an RV you can pay for a propane tank for cooking. The dump tank process is easy and very clean; you too can empty it as easily as Uncle Eddie did. They started us off with one tablet of blue dissolving powder to throw down the toilet after the first use; the tank needed to have water in it though so wait till you can hook up to water for the first drop. We bought additional ones because the Cruise America guy said to put a new one in after each dumping. So for us, we dumped before leaving the first campsite; then we put in a new tablet, etc.
We rented 500 miles. Paying for gasoline is really expensive if you will be doing a lot of driving. We flew to Virginia and drove the RV from there. We had a friend who let us use camp chairs, bedding and towels. We rented a kitchen set.
The generator is the machine you can hear, but you will only use it when you cannot be plugged in at a campground. When you’re in the campground, you hear your AC running, and you can hear happy birds chirping and the babbling creek water. Amazing sights and sounds!
#4 It’s a moving hotel suit.
Renting an RV gives you the convenience of traveling with your own kitchen and towels and pillows.
Our shower was like 4 feet; we did not use it but to clean the boys’ feet one day after playing in the GaGa Ball Pit at one of the family campgrounds.
We all used the campground showers. Some are nice and some are “primitive.” Be prepared by taking flimsy flip flops. Aaah you feel so clean after a warm shower.
The best part is you do not have to pack everything back into suitcases before moving to a new campground in a city 2 hours away.
#5 Kids feel cool because they can eat lunch in a moving RV while sitting at the kitchen table.
#6 Storage is okay, and the fridge is as tall as I am 5”8’ and held enough food for us four guests for 5 days. I would next time bring tupperware to maximize storage for dry foods that you can store under the kitchen table for example…or between the driver and passenger chairs. There are not a lot of cabinets for dry, preservative foods. Like cereal, boxes of microwave popcorn. We had the cabinets above the table and skinny, narrow ones above the door. I am really glad we had ziploc baggies because we put dry noodles, half the ground beef, opened graham cracker package, the rest of the marshmallows since we didn’t use the whole bag of marshmallows the first night.
Storage under the back of the RV is amazing and huge! Camping chairs, suitcases, kayaks, bulk dry foods, picnic table cloths that you would use if the ground was wet, that’s what we stored under there. CruiseAmerica offered to keep our suitcases stored at their location for us since we flew in, but we didn’t need them to.
#7 There is no dishwasher so you’re it!
Bring at least three dish towels – one for washing dishes, one to set the washed dishes on, and one to dry hands. Bring Dawn or Ajax and hand soap for washing hands.
#8 There was no coffee maker and no oven. My husband brought the neatest thing. It’s a French Press that doesn’t have to be plugged in. You boil water in a kettle. Put 2 and 1/2 tablespoons of coffee into the mug, pour the boiling water over it to the top, seal it with the plunger device, and set the timer for 4 minutes. Then slowly push the plunger all the way down, and that filters all the grounds to the bottom. I poured my cup into a mug that was provided, but this kind of mug is created so that you can drink out of this while the grounds at the bottom don’t leak out. So he drank out of this mug.
I would’ve packed:
*Aluminum travel mug just for holding my hotness vs the RV ceramic mug
*Plastic gloves for cleaning and handling meat and the dump station handles-you can fit a ton in a plastic baggie
*More antibacterial wipes for cleaning surfaces and rough cleaning the floor
*Dish towels for laying your wet, cleaned dishes on and another dish towel to dry them
*Sharpie marker to write initials on water bottles – refill them with gallon water jug water; you cannot use the sink water! We only bought water bottles and kept buying them and kept buying them. We used bottled water for our coffee by the way.
*Shoes that can walk through muddy-ish grounds. It had poured all night before we arrived at a campsite so our site was pretty muddy. We bought a picnic table cloth with the flannel underneath and laid that under our step so we could take a few steps on it before coming back inside the RV.
*CruiseAmerica provided us with a towel on the two steps; that caught so much mulch, pine straw and dirt. It was great having that towel on the steps. We also used a bath towel in the middle of our floor just to help with extra debris on our shoes.
*Magnetic clamp for use outside the RV-look how cute this one is!
Sweep daily at night – maybe that can be a child’s chore. It helps with your mental sanity. Our small broom came with our rented kitchen set.
towels don’t get all the way dry and smell damp/moldy
mental about bugs but i never saw one the whole 6 days!!
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