Tips for First Time RVers – It’s not as scary as it seems!
We get a lot of customers at Twin Oaks RV Park who are first time RVers. In fact, many of them just purchased their RV up the road in Byron, Georgia at Exit 149 from Mid-State, Camping World or Campers Inn. These retailers often have really nice RV shows, making it fun to hop around and shop for a new rig, plus they all offer very nice specials during the shows. All three have our brochures and will suggest the buyer head right on down to Twin Oaks to set up personal RV training. It’s the best thing you can do – camp in your new RV in a clean, safe, friendly RV park with other RVers and staff that will help you learn the nuances of the RV life.
In fact, we once had the great pleasure of hosting a woman who had just rented an RV from up the road, and was embarking on a journey with a girls softball team! She was a reporter for USA Today, and the newspaper offered to pay for her rental if she would write about RVing, since interest in RVing has spiked considerably. Well, in a nutshell, she ended up in a horrific traffic jam on I-75, about a mile north of our exit (127) due to the entanglement of two tractor-trailers on the road above that then tumbled down the embankment, landing across all lanes of the expressway, blocking all traffic, while thankfully not hurting a soul. There she was, with 11 twelve-year-old girls, in a rig she had just learned how to operate about 30 minutes earlier. She had a reservation at Twin Oaks and called to let us know she was stuck (and close to tears). Our manager, Lisa encouraged her to get off when she got to the ramp and come on in – she would be placed front and center in the park like we do with all First Time RVers. Lisa insisted that all she had to do was stand outside her rig and look forlorn and the RVers nearby would come to her aid – because that’s how RVers roll. And they did. She ended up writing a full page article in USA Today about her first stop at Twin Oaks and it’s a great story well told.
Read the USA Today article online here >> RV for newbies: Fun and fellowship of life on the road. And read my original post about it here >> Twin Oaks RV Park in Georgia is featured in USA Today!
That said, the best advice I can give you is, do not just buy an RV and hit the road!! Find a warm, friendly, safe place to park your rig and figure things out for at least a week. Take it out for a daily drive. Re-park it and set everything back up. Make friends with RVers near your site. Invite them over for a hotdog or a beer and pick their brain … these guys will tell you just about anything you want to know – and more!
If you want to go the distance, sign up for The RV Maintenance Technician Course. There’s a big demand for RV technicians. Not only will you be able to fix your own rig with ease, you might even be able to ‘freelance’ as a resident RV expert while traveling by putting that knowledge to use with your own RV inspection business!
For some really great RVing Tips and Tricks E-booklets check these out from a guy named Ray in Canada who hosts an excellent website on RVing called Love Your RV! Go there and subscribe to his newsletter. This website is very deep and chock full of valuable, detailed information.
Download his booklets below >>
This couple, Cherie & Chris maintain a well-written blog that is chock full of information relevant to learning about and navigating full time RVing. Also be sure to check their Links to RVing Resources We Love, which is a collection of other helpful blogs, services, communities and memberships we recommends. Loads of great advice can be found digging around at their site, Technomadia.
As you travel, you might want to invest in a couple of discount clubs. First there is the granddaddy, Good Sam, that will guide you to great campgrounds that will give you a discount as well as roadside assistance, financing and insurance plans. Their retail arm, Camping World showcases about everything an RVer needs and offers a neat GPS device that will help plan your journey and warn you of unsafe roads – there are many roads out west that just can’t handle a very big rig and you could find yourself really stuck and unable to turn around. Read more about the Camping World GPS device here >> Happy New Year! Make a Resolution to Never Get Lost Again by Using the Magellan RV GPS from Camping World!
There’s also the great half-price club, Passport America, which is handy for people on the move and First Time RVers. Member campgrounds offer half-price camping to PA cardholders. It’s only $40 a year for the membership. The rules vary from campground to campground so make sure you call ahead. Here at Twin Oaks, we offer up to two consecutive nights at half-price. If you would like to check it out, we have a link to sign up here >> JOIN Passport America
And as First Time RVers, make sure you purchase a National Parks Pass – hands-down the best deal going. The pass is regularly priced at only $80 a year, but for seniors over 62, it’s a budget-loving TEN dollars – for a lifetime pass! Read more about that here >> Over 62? Sign up for the deal of the century – the Golden Age national parks pass for seniors
If you are interested in working while you travel in your RV, there are so many options. The publication, Workamper News will enlighten you about working as camp hosts in return for a free site. They offer an online listing of classified ads by parks looking for workers. In addition, their website is chock full of helpful RVing information in their resources tab.
Another online resource to search for work-camper jobs is the RV Park Store. They publish a lot of classified ads from public and private parks with all kinds of interesting opportunities. There are others, as work-camping has become a sought-after way of life, and accounts for much of the surge in First Time RVers. It’s independent, yet pays the bills and it’s fun!
Amazon has even gotten in the game. The gigantic online retailer hires an enormous number of seasonal workers who are RVers called Amazon CamperForce. Their warehouses are located in Campbellsville, Kentucky, Haslet, Texas, and Murfreesboro, Tennessee, and they start hiring as early as February the year before an upcoming holiday season. They have a sprawling RV park on property where you can live, and they will pay you for your work time, plus a bonus if you finish a season’s contract! Read more about it in the blog, The Road Less Traveled.
And of course, state and national parks have long hired part-time work-campers in exchange for an RV spot and a small hourly wage. The neat thing about these systems is that once you are in, you can just go online and book your next work gig within the parks system. It’s a great way to see the country at a very, very low cost of living. Until you get in their system, there’s a site called Camphost that lists a lot of state park opportunities to get you going.
Mostly, just have fun! Get out there and visit this great big country – it’s gorgeous and full of wonderful people!
Be sure to stop by Twin Oaks whenever you are in middle Georgia! We are conveniently located at Exit 127 off I-75 in middle Georgia, just 2 hours north of the Florida border and only about 7 miles south of the Georgia National Fairgrounds in Perry. Print off the coupon below for a half-price overnight stay!