Staying in one place for a while has its merits when RVing full-time. Getting to know the people and scenery of interesting places validates all the reasons why you choose to live this lifestyle.
Unfortunately remaining in one spot also has a downside: the daily rhythm of setting up and breaking down camp slowly disappears. If you’ve stayed put all summer (like we have) and you’re preparing to leave, don’t turn the key just yet. First, take a gander at these departure tips to help get you back into the swing of things.
1. Start your engine(s)
One of the biggest misconceptions about full-timers is that we’re constantly driving. That’s often true when someone is new to the lifestyle, but for long-time road trippers, the reality is usually different.
Many of us prefer to stay in places longer and the absence of a daily work commute means we put fewer miles on our wheels than the average suburban commuter. Unfortunately, when we do finally relocate, that’s when we discover odd noises coming from our vehicles.
First, check the fluids and tire pressure. Then give the vehicle a good workout to listen for odd noises and feel for weird handling.
2. Drop the pounds
When you’re in once place for too long it’s easy to “find” room for beloved trinkets you scored during your stay. From hitting local yard sales to swapping parts with new RV park pals, it all puts you closer to exceeding your RV GVWR. If you brought more items into your RV than you took out, it’s time to purge.
It’s common to pick up little treasures you found during a journey. However, ruthlessly ditch things you haven’t used all season and donate them to a thrift shop that will take them.
3. Do a critter check
If your RV has been stationary, you might not be the only one who’s been calling that spot home. Cozy RVs in the woods, grassy fields and other scenic, rustic spots are welcome wagons for critters seeking shelter. We’ve had everything from a birds nest in our bumper to a hitchhiking mouse that got a free ride from Colorado to Nevada until it was discovered.
Always be sure to inspect for critters above and below your unit. Small openings in storage compartments, areas around waste tanks, kitchen and cupboard drawers, bathrooms, you name it, if there’s an opening, space, and food, they just may be able to discover it.
4. Remember the simple things
I know about a RVer who traveled hundreds of miles before dumping. When he finally made it to a station he unscrewed his sewer cap and “Woosh” poured his black tank contents all over the asphalt. Yep, he forgot to close the sewer valve when he departed his last campsite.
Find those old departure checklists you followed when you were new to the road. Everything from securing refrigerator contents with tension bars to manually retracting rear stabilizing jacks can make or break your next jaunt. Double check every aspect of moving day activities to ensure you don’t make a classic RV blunder that lands you in the shop.
We’re certain these full-time RVer departure tips can get your mind going in the right direction. If you haven’t moved for a while and are preparing to head south for winter, now’s the time to prepare.
Rene Agredano and her husband, Jim Nelson, became full-time RVers in 2007 and have been touring the country ever since. In her blog, Rene chronicles the ins and outs of the full-timing life and brings readers along to meet the fascinating people and amazing places they visit on the road. Her road trip adventures are chronicled in her blog at LiveWorkDream.com.