First Day RVing… Incredible and Terrifying!

Well, today was the maiden voyage for my family and the RV! Hitting the open road has been an incredible, terrifying, and eye opening experience. The trip… Wickenburg, Arizona to Lake Jennings, California looked a little like this…

This trip took us on about 350 miles of sheer delight and terror all at the same time. I will highlight some of the things that I’ve learned so far…

RVs are affected by wind… BIG TIME! Whether it’s a big rig passing you or a cross wind coming around a mountain, RVs are kicked around by the wind. The worst, however, was a “dust devil” in AZ that caused the RV to veer off over the center line. It made my heart jump to my throat, but was a great learning experience to keep my cool no matter what.

Don’t wait to fill up the gas tank. We started with a full tank, but that doesn’t last long. At a quarter tank, I started looking for a gas station. This didn’t come and the tank kept going down. With six gallons left in the tank, we pulled into a truck stop. The gauge was beyond red and I was sweating bullets! Get one of these to alleviate the stress.

Truck Stops over Regular Gas Stations. I tried to pull into a regular gas station and this was a big mistake. I turned around the first pump and found that I couldn’t cut it. The next thing I knew, I was scraping the side against a pole. I kicked her in reverse and pulled out of the station because there was NO WAY that we were going to make it into this spot. I have decided to choose truck stops every time! To track your truck stops on the next journey… check this site out.

Hell’s Canyon. On this trip, there is an area close to a place called Jacumba that I have affectionately titled “Hell’s Canyon”. Why? Well, because you travel from Sea Level to 4,000 feet above sea level. Normally, this may not be a big deal, but in an RV… it’s a BIG deal. This means that I was traveling at the peak speed of 30 mph with the pedal all the way down. Cars passing by and me praying to God that I simply make it to the top of the hill so that I can gain some speed on the way down. We finally made it to the other side and with a bruised ego and a throbbing calf muscle, I couldn’t have been happier!

Check the tow straps often. I have a tow dolly for my RV and am pulling a Buick LeSabre with tow straps around the tires. This is a tow strap…


Being my first trip, I was very careful about continually checking the straps. I found out that the straps were always looser than when I started. I checked them often and would recommend that you do the same. If you need a good pair, get the kind with built in ratchet tightening like these ->Tow Straps

Don’t forsake GPS! I am still working on figuring out the best GPS program, but on this trip I used the Google Earth app. I chose this over the standard Navigation app on my Iphone because I really like the interface. It worked 100% of the time, gave me up to the moment information and left me really satisfied. I may try the $0.99 MotionX GPS download on the way back and compare.  I’ll let you know in a future post.

Well, that’s enough for now. I’m off to watch the Robin Williams RV movie in my RV. I can relate now!

Have a great day and keep the adventures coming!


One thought on “First Day RVing… Incredible and Terrifying!

  1. Pingback: Lessons from the RV Tow Dolly |

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