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Getting Started RVing With Help From Jo Ann Bender

Getting Started With RVing

There truly is  an RV out there for everyone. No matter your interests, no matter what you want to explore, no matter whom you want to explore with.  There is a RV  tailored to your needs. But, the first question is maybe the most important – How do I get started with buying a RV? 50 Campfires had a chance to get tips for campers interested in getting started with Rving from Jo Ann Bender, the author of Snowbirds.

What made you and your husband want to buy an RV and travel in that way?

We bought an old vintage RV because we had more family coming for a reunion than we could house. We found there was nothing suitable to rent at that time in our area. So I went looking at the nearest dealership and choose our girl because she was so affordable.

What are the best 3 tips you’d give a first time RVer?

Getting Started With RVing

Now that I know more about purchasing an rv, for first timers I would suggest they research how they are made, tour a factory and then look in the newspaper classified in a couple of nearby cities for RVs for sale. Meanwhile, look in auto and rv publications, seeking used online, asking friends and family. Hone in on the type of rv you want (Class A, Overcab, Van, Pull Trailer) and drive several types.

Chosing a first rv may be like choosing a mate. Check’em all out. But, start small and move up in size. Smaller is better. Maybe one of you won’t like to be away from home. Many women will go out the first time, but hesitate to be away from home and family for long periods of time.

Tip 1: Mechanics don’t work weekends. Purchase towing insurance! On one trip we were 150 miles from help and this insurance paid for the towing.

Tip 2: Less is more. Consider the original purchase price and then add sales tax and insurance. Buy one five yearsold so the cost of that vehicle new will be cut in half and go down 2 percent per year from there. Sales tax and insurance are different for each type of rig.

Tip 3: Seek these comforts: easy chair in addition to the passenger seat, a mattress (an older model might be salvaged with a good mattress topper), and an outdoor mat or rug.

Bonus: If you can talk your passengers into taking their shoes off when parked, you will save a lot on clean up.

What are a few of the essential items that people forget to pack?

Getting Started With RVing
Getting Started With RVing

Items people forget: THEY TAKE TOO MANY CLOTHES. One out-to-dinner casual set, two road trip comfortable sets, hiking boots, rain poncho, a comfortable lounge set or bathrobe – enough just to get between places to wash and dry your clothes. Roll up each day’s set and make life simple. Keeping less  housekeeping chores helps you have more time for your adventure.

What are a few things you can do before you leave to make the trip smoother?

I still haven’t found a good way to make coffee without the mess of the coffee grounds. We use newspapers. Wrap the grounds in those for easy disposal. It’s suggested we try the prepackaged but Skipper prefers making coffee in his pot from grounds in a canister.

Use a few baskets to control clutter. A place for keys. One flashlight for each person in the RV. Skipper brought along a large outdoor light and road markers which came in real handy in case we had to be on a highway needing gas or something mechanical.

The best meals to make while traveling in an RV?

Have lunch out often to experience regional foods. It’s cheaper and easier to park in the daylight in a strange parking lot. Keep with your standard breakfast. We like oatmeal and toast. Prior to leaving, I made packets of ham and turkey to which a sauce could be added for our dinners. In Snowbirds, I tell of many meals I served and where we ate them.

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