Course: Introduction to RV Ownership

This course will walk you through your first year of owning an RV. We’ll give you tips on everything from picking up your new RV from the dealer to winterizing and long-term storage.

Table of Contents

Preparing for a Dealer Walkthrough

An RV purchase is different from a car purchase. You know how you can walk into a car dealership, take a test drive, and leave with a new car in a couple of hours? That’s not going to happen when buying an RV.

This lesson will describe what to expect when you pick up a new RV from a dealer.

Getting the Most Out of Your Dealer Walkthrough

A proper walkthrough can make all the difference as a new RV owner. This is true whether you are buying your first RV or your fifth. The walkthrough allows you to inspect the RV and put it through its paces. You want to leave this experience feeling confident and prepared to care for your RV.

In this lesson we will explain what you should do during a dealer walkthrough.

Storing Your RV at Home

You have two main options for RV storage when you are not using your rig: storing at home or at a storage facility.

This lesson will focus on what you need to know when storing an RV at your permanent residence.

Storing Your RV at a Storage Facility

If you can’t store your RV at home—or you choose not to—you have other options at varying price points. We’ll help you find one that suits your personal needs and budget.

This lesson focuses on what you need to consider when choosing a storage facility for your RV.

Dewinterizing and Getting Your RV Ready for Camping Season

Your new RV may have been winterized by the dealership, especially if you purchased it during the winter months.

Winterizing protects the water lines by using air or RV antifreeze to clear the water from them. This prevents water from freezing and damaging the pipes and holding tanks.

If your RV is winterized, you’ll need to dewinterize before your first trip of the season. This lesson will explain your options for dewinterizing.

How to Dewinterize Your RV

When taking your RV out of winter storage, there are a few maintenance tasks to tackle. You’ll need to dewinterize your water lines and holding tanks, plus check the interior and exterior of the rig.

This chapter explains every step of the dewinterizing and spring maintenance process.

Planning a Successful Shakedown Trip

A shakedown trip is an annual tradition for many RV owners, but it is especially important for new RV owners. A shakedown trip is when you camp close to home, in a familiar setting, and put your RV through the paces.

If you are a brand new RV owner, you won’t want to make this a social excursion. Plan on giving the RV most, if not all, of your attention. Make sure everything works, and make sure you are comfortable with how it works.

This lesson will cover tips for a successful shakedown trip.

Being Prepared While Traveling In Your RV

The most effective way to prevent RV catastrophes is to keep up with all recommended preventative maintenance. However, an RV is a home on wheels, so you may have minor maintenance issues arise while traveling. Being prepared with the right tools will keep these small issues from becoming major problems.

Stocking a New RV

When stocking a brand new RV, many first-time owners spend a lot of money on things they never use.

Figure out your personal RVing style before blowing the budget on gadgets and decor.

In this lesson, we’ll talk about some of our recommendations for stocking a new RV.

Stocking Your RV Toolkit

An RV toolkit is like a first aid kit for your RV. A properly stocked toolkit will come in handy more than you might realize as a new RV owner.

Your RV is like a home on wheels. Imagine not having a pair of scissors or a screwdriver in your home. A small issue like a loose cabinet hinge could become a major problem if you don’t tighten the screw. You can be a minimalist in the DIY department, but you still have to be prepared with the basics.

Winterizing and Preparing Your RV for Long-Term Storage

Unless you live in the Sun Belt, you will need to winterize your RV to make it through the cold winter months without any damage.

Technically, winterizing just means that you remove all the water from your lines and tanks and run RV antifreeze through the lines to prevent water damage.

Most RV owners also perform a slate of maintenance tasks at this time, in addition to taking care of the water system. Just like in the spring, this is the perfect time to double check and clean the exterior and interior of your RV. This lesson will walk you through the winterizing process.

How to Winterize Your RV

When preparing your RV for winter storage, there are several crucial steps to ensure it remains in optimal condition during the colder months. You’ll need to winterize your water lines and holding tanks, as well as inspect both the interior and exterior of the vehicle.

This chapter provides guidance on how to winterize your RV and the necessary steps you need to take before the cold hits.