Are you a baby boomer ready to throw caution to the wind and hit the road? It's a fun and exciting chapter in many retirees' lives. But if you're new to the recreational vehicle travel lifestyle, there can be some pitfalls. You can avoid them by following these 4 handy tips.
Research Vehicles. Not all recreational vehicles are designed for the same purposes. Some, such as large Class A motor homes, are too large to navigate smaller roads or get up close and personal with nature. If you're more adventurous, you may want to opt for a smaller design or a fifth-wheel trailer (which detaches from the tow vehicle and allows more freedom). Be sure you don't underestimate your space requirements for a long trip, or the difficulty of set-up and tear-down processes each night.
Map it Out. "See the world" is a nice motto, but it's not a realistic travel plan. Long before you head out, have an idea of your travel plan in mind, including the type of RV park you want to stay at. This doesn't mean you need to micro-manage your trips; it means you should know what's important to you and your spouse to visit, where there are accessible RV parks and how long you plan to spend on the road. Get information about RV parks along your route -- including what amenities are available, where you can can dump waste and which are near tourist destinations. When actually traveling, have a good GPS system and maps of the local areas handy since technology doesn't always work everywhere you will be.
Familiarize Yourself with the Vehicle. As mentioned above, the process of setting up your RV for the night and dismantling it in the morning could be a mood-killer if it's too challenging. Test these processes on short trips before you leave for far-flung locales. Make a checklist for night and for morning so that you don't have to constantly try to remember what needs done before the sun sets.
Learn to Drive It. Large vehicles can take some getting used to, so don't assume that it'll be the same as driving your sedan. You and any travel partners should spend some time practicing driving your new RV in safe locations. You can locate RV driving schools in many areas or find help learning on the internet. Set up some cones or empty boxes in an empty space to practice skills like backing, turning and parking.
Now you're ready to start on your new adventure! By finding the right RV for your needs, knowing where you're going and how to manage the vehicle itself, you can ensure that this new chapter will be a great one.