Article Written by Isabella Granara
When renting or even buying an RV, where do you even start? Of course it can be intimidating for any new renters or buyers, but luckily Tommy T and Alice from How to Have Fun Outdoors share the 11 Lessons they learned during their first trip from Vermont to Florida in their brand-new Class B RV Van!
Check out the full video!
- Do your research!
Before you rent or buy a new Class B Van, you should know what kind of van is perfect for you! Consider who is going to be in it – will you want kids in the future? How big should it be? Which RV dealership will you buy it from?
It’s always good to be overprepared rather than underprepared!
- Get a good walk through at the dealership when you get your van!
Tommy and Alice went to the RV dealership and found that the RV-dealer did not know anything about their new van, the Coachmen Beyond 22C Ford AWD. They found themselves frustrated because they knew more about the van than he did.
They recommend requesting a dealer with experience in your particular vehicle – that way you can ask questions that can be answered!
- Know the height of your RV!!!
This lesson seems like one everyone should know, but more often than not a lot of people end up in accidents under bridges! Tommy and Alice almost destroyed their brand-new vehicle on Merritt Parkway because the bridges are extremely low. So be mindful of how tall your RV is.
Some RVs are not allowed on specific roads/parkways, so keep that in mind as well – the GPS can be wrong!
- Understand your RV Plumber
“Duh! Of course I would learn about the RV plumber if I had one!” But would you? What many people don’t know about an RV plumber is that they’re pretty complex. Water and hot water systems are extremely important when on a longer trip, and the How to Have Fun Outdoors couple struggled at first. They had two leaks, one in the back then one in the front. Luckily they were able to figure it out and get back on the road.
See how Tommy and Alice fixed their plumbing system in their video “New Coachmen Beyond has 2 Leaks and No Hot Water”!
- Drive Throughs and Class B RVs
Although we already mentioned the importance of knowing the height of your RV for bridges, you must also be wary of drive through height restrictions as well! Tommy had to get out of his vehicle at a drive through to avoid hitting an outdoor awning.
You’re not in a commercial van anymore!
- Less is more! Buy compact everything!!!
As big as a Class B Camper Van looks, storage is extremely tight. Tommy T and Alice recommend that new renters/buyers get creative with their purchasing. Get on Amazon or Bass Pro Shop – they sell a lot of camping gear that is compact and will maximize the space in your new van!
See how Tommy and Alice create more storage for their adventures in their video “StowAway2 Cargo Box Install and Review”!
- Expect some rattling in your RV
Since your van will most likely have doors and items you are storing, expect some rattling in your RV. Alice shows us how she minimized the rattling in the van by using “Cut-n-tie”, a product that can wrap around door handles and knobs to keep them securely shut. The coverage on the “Cut-n-ties” also does not ruin the material of handles/doors, as well!
- Learn all your control systems
Tommy and Alice recommend that you take time to learn all your control systems, and with good reason. Modern day technology in vans includes inverters, generators, lithium, solar, you name it! The walk-through with them was not enough, so it would be wise to spend some extra time reading your manuals!
See how Tommy and Alice fixed a Truma Fault E2 12 H Error in their video “How to fix a Truma Fault E2 12 H”
- Have enough water and fuel
At times you have access to the city water, so utilize it wherever you can. Don’t run your pump when you’re on city water, it’s only for your water tank. And you should always keep water in your water tank!
Always have fuel for your generator or your propane. This is extremely important if you have pets because if you run out of fuel with the generator you will not have AC.
- Buy a small tool kit and fuses!
Things will break down, so be prepared for when they do. Bring a small tool kit and fuses for when they do.
- Don’t be afraid to use everything
The last tip is important. Even though you own your new RV, you may be hesitant when using it. Alice’s philosophy when it comes to the van is simple: use it all and enjoy it. You can take her word for it, as she grew up with an RV.
So go outdoors with your new Class B Camper Van and have fun, because that’s what life is all about!
**BONUS TIP**: Always Check Parking
Always check on parking before you get to where you’re going. The Mayflower Hotel in Washington, D.C. allowed Tommy and Alice park in the back entrance!