RV FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions About RVing and The RV Lifestyle
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Introduction to RV FAQ (frequently asked questions)
What is RVing? RVing is a lifestyle that involves living in an RV and going from one place to another. RVing can be classified as boondocking, camping, or staying at traditional RV parks. There are many benefits of RVing such as low cost of living, flexibility with your schedule, and the ability to see new places. In this blog post, we will discuss some frequently asked questions about RV life (RV FAQ) and answer them so you have a better understanding!
Can I Plug My RV in at My House?
The answer to this question is yes, you can plug your RV into your house’s electrical system. You will want to be careful about which appliances you use in your recreational vehicle when it is plugged in this way. You’ll also want to pay attention to whether your RV is a 30 amp RV or a 50 amp RV. You will need an adapter or possibly to add an RV-specific electrical outlet to your residence in order to properly plug it in.
Knowing these specific details will keep you from overloading your home circuits or damaging any electrical appliances in your home on wheels.
Here is a great article to find out more on this question.
How Do I Get A Spare Key Made?
Getting a spare key made for an RV is simple if you know the proper place to go and where to obtain blank keys that match your vehicle. Some hardware stores will be able to make a copy for you. If that doesn’t work you can hire a locksmith or contact your manufacturer. Spare blank keys can be purchased through the manufacturer or online. Finding the correct key depends mostly on your RV make and model.
Do I Need a Special Driver’s License To Drive an RV/ RV FAQ?
No, you do not need a special RV license. In fact, the only RV licenses available are for RVs that seat up to 15 passengers (which include most motorhomes). Another type of RV that requires a special license is any vehicle that weighs over 26,000 pounds. So if you are RVing in the US or Canada with a smaller RV and don’t have any passengers then you do not need to worry about obtaining an additional license beyond your standard driver’s license.
Can I Finance My RV Like a Home Mortgage?
No, RV financing is not like buying a home. You can’t finance an RV as if it were a house and expect to pay off the cost of your RV over 30 years. Most RVs are paid for in full by their owners within three or four years depending on use and other factors such as RV size, year, and quality of RV. Unfortunately for some people, this is a hard reality to accept given the amount of time it takes them to save up enough money before they decide that RVing full-time is their RV lifestyle dream. Some financing is available in terms of up to 20 years. This generally requires a hefty down payment.
How Do I Get My RV Insured?
RV insurance is just like any other type of vehicle insurance. You can get RV insurance by contacting your RV dealer, an RV rental company, or a private insurer who specializes in RV coverage such as State Farm Insurance. Sometimes it’s easiest to work with the same agent that you have for all of your personal vehicles if you plan on keeping them and covering them under an umbrella policy.
What About Health Insurance For Full-Time RVers/ RV FAQ?
RVers, in general, do not have access to the same healthcare options as people who live in homes. However, there are some exceptions like VA hospitals (for veterans). In terms of full-time RVing it’s best to get travel health insurance that covers emergencies while you’re on the road. RVers who work for themselves often have access to health insurance through their business or professional association.
What Kind of Tow Vehicle Do I Need?
The answer to this question depends on your RV and what you plan on doing while RVing. If you have a smaller RV or travel trailer then just about any vehicle will work as long it has the power to tow, good brakes, and road tires that are in decent shape (no cracks). However, if you’re driving or pulling something large like a motorhome or fifth wheel then you’ll want a truck with at least a half-ton of towing capacity and it needs to have the right hitch. There are many RV-specific tow vehicles on the market that come equipped for RVing.
Check out this chart for recommended tow vehicles by weight.
What Do GVWR and GCWR Mean?
When you RV, especially when it’s a large RV or one with an enclosed trailer attached, you might hear the term GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating) thrown around. You may also hear GCWR mentioned in conjunction with your RV and its towing capacity.
What Do These Terms Mean?
GVWR refers to how much weight your RV can safely carry. This includes the weight of both you and any passengers in addition to cargo such as food, coolers, luggage, and anything else that’s packed into or on top of the RV.
The RV’s GVWR tells you how much it weighs on its own, while GCWR refers to the weight of your RV and any cargo or passengers that are inside or packed into it when combined with everything else being towed behind it (including a trailer). If these numbers add up to more than what your RV is rated for, you risk damaging your RV – and the RV could even be totaled in an accident.
What Is Tongue Weight?
Your RV’s tongue weight refers to the downward force exerted on your RV by whatever is being towed behind it. This means that when you hook your RV or tow vehicle up to a trailer, there will be some amount of pressure pushing down on it from above (tongue weight).
What Amount Of Tongue Weight Is Ideal?
The ideal amount of tongue weight is going to be dependent on the RV itself. For some RV’s, you’ll want a lighter tongue weight so that it will feel more stable and less likely to sway; for other RV’s with larger frames or ones made from heavier materials, you may actually need a higher tongue weight in order to avoid rocking side-to-side as you’re driving.
You can find out what your RV’s ideal tongue weight should be by consulting the owner manual or contacting an RV dealership that specializes in RVs of that make and model.
How Do You Calculate Tongue Weight?
Calculating how much tongue weight you have when your RV is hooked up to a trailer isn’t always as easy as just weighing the RV and then adding the weight of whatever is in it. This is because you’ll also need to factor in how much your RV weighs, plus any cargo or passengers that are inside of it at the moment (including when you’re driving).
There are a variety of different ways that people calculate tongue weight – from using an RV weigh scale to using an app called Better Way. This app will connect to a device that you plug into your tow vehicle OBD connection. The directions on the app will guide you in obtaining your vehicle’s tongue (and other) weight.
What About Sway Bars?
Depending on the RV, some will have what is called sway bars. These minimize the movement of your RV while driving and keep it more stable with less side-to-side pitching. Sway bars aren’t a necessary RV accessory though they can help improve safety if you choose to install them.
How Do I Hang Things On The Wall in My RV?
One of the most often asked RV questions is “how do I hang things on the wall?” Though it may not seem like it, RV walls are very sturdy. RV home decorating can be done with many different items including command hooks, velcro tape, and the old-fashioned way of screwing things into the walls. Many people do not want to put holes into the walls of their RV. If this is the case, it is important to find something sturdy to stick to the walls. This will ensure that you won’t damage anything while traveling.
Can I Tow My Car Behind The RV?
Some RVs will be able to tow one or more vehicles behind them. RV manufacturers will specify how many vehicles can be towed and what those limits are. You should also check with your RV insurance company to see if they have any restrictions on the vehicle(s) that you can tow so you don’t end up breaking a rule or law inadvertently, which could cost you more money in the long run.
How Do I Keep My Fridge Cold When Traveling?
When you RV, there’s one appliance that is simultaneously your best friend and worst enemy: the fridge.
The RV fridge can become a hazard not only because it may break down while you’re traveling but also due to its sheer size – which means if it does stop working or isn’t big enough for all of your food, then you’ll have to figure out how you’re going to keep all of your RV food and drinks cold or frozen.
What Should I Do To Keep The Fridge Working?
Whether you have a fridge that runs on propane, 12V power, 120v AC power from an inverter generator, or another source – it’s important to do what you can to keep it running smoothly and efficiently.
You can keep your fridge running by propane when driving. If you choose to do this, be sure to take extra care to prevent gas leaks.
If you don’t feel comfortable running your propane while driving, be sure to make the fridge as cold as possible prior to traveling (lower the thermostat). Keep fridge closed and sealed until ready to turn back on.
A small fridge fan can help move the cold air around and prolong the safety of the food inside.
How Do I Secure Items on Travel Days?
When RVing, it’s important to keep your food and other items secure so that they don’t slide around or fall out of their designated spaces (which could cause damage as well).
The cabinets above the sink and stove are especially prone to causing messy spills if things are not properly secured. Make sure all drawers/doors have been closed before traveling.
Make sure that your RV’s awning is closed and secure before driving to prevent it from flapping in the wind or becoming damaged by debris.
If you have any loose items inside of your RV, be sure to store them away so they don’t become projectiles during travel (which could cause damage). If necessary, use cargo nets or RV tie-downs to help secure items.
When traveling over bumpy roads, avoid placing heavy items on the beds/couches as they may become broken or damaged. Instead, place heavier objects in lower cabinets that are built into your RV (which will prevent them from being thrown around during travel).
For more detailed information, check out this article!
What Is Boondocking/ Dry RV Camping?
RVers love to boondock, but what is it? RVing and the RV lifestyle have many different terms associated with them that are unique to RVers. One of those phrases is “boondocking” or “dry camping”. This phrase can be confusing because there isn’t a literal definition for it. It’s more so slang that RVers have used for decades.
What is the definition of boondocking? In short, it means camping in an RV with no hookups. It’s a type of RVing that many people who don’t own RVs might find odd or inconvenient since there are so many conveniences associated with having water and electricity hooked up to an RV.
However, RVers will tell you that boondocking is one of the best parts of RVing because it allows them to get away from civilization and enjoy nature in all its glory. Boondocking includes camping without any hookups or facilities like water, sewer, electric, or cable TV/Internet service. Many times those RVers who boondock are also free RV campers, which means they don’t have a specific location where they usually park their RV. Instead, they will travel to prettier spots and spend the night in those locations for however long they want.
For more information on boondocking and dry camping, check out this article!
What Does Self-Contained Mean In Reference To RVing?
A self-contained RV is a vehicle that has its own bathroom, can provide water through a freshwater tank, and usually has some solar power to provide electricity to inside appliances.
What Is The Difference Between Gray Water and Black Water?
Gray water is the wastewater from showers, sinks, and washing machines. Blackwater is sewage waste that comes from toilets.
For more information on Black Tank maintenance, check out this article!
Do I Need Specific Toilet Paper?
Most RV toilet paper is one-ply and disintegrates faster than household toilet paper. It is important to use quick dissolving toilet paper in your recreational vehicle because it will break down more quickly and prevent clogging. Look for septic-safe TP or RV-approved brands to ensure that you have no problems breaking down waste in your black tank. A problem in this area could be quite costly to fix and very unpleasant to deal with.
How Do I Find Places To Camp?
There are many apps available to assist in finding campgrounds and RV parks. RV Trip Wizard, RV Parky, and Campendium are just a few. You can also find places to camp by checking out local RV clubs or online forums for recommendations.
The last thing you want to do is arrive at your travel destination only to find that there are no spaces available. It is important to make reservations in advance to secure your site.
Check out this article for more RV apps!!
Can I Use Google Maps When Traveling By RV?
Using Google Maps for trip planning is not advised for several reasons. Google Maps doesn’t take into account the size, height, and weight of your vehicle. You may find yourself on an impassible road or trying to navigate under a bridge that you are too high for. It is much better to use an app or device that takes your dimensions into account when choosing roads to travel by.
This Garmin GPS is also a great option for those who want a permanent solution.
Can I Cook All Of My Favorite Meals in an RV?
Some RV ovens are not as large and powerful as your kitchen stove, but you can definitely cook most of the meals that you enjoy at home. RV refrigerators may be smaller than what you’re used to in your house or apartment; however, they work well for keeping food cold when traveling.
The fact is that RVers have just as many cooking options while traveling as they would in a traditional home kitchen. They may need to have special cookware (including smaller pots and pans) to fit into the cooking appliances and for storage.
For a detailed account of the best appliances and cooking tips, check out this article.
For great RV meal ideas, check out this article!
Is It Cheaper To Live in An RV?
Some RVers will tell you that it is cheaper to live in an RV. This can be true for some and not others depending on your circumstances. How much it costs to live in an RV depends on many different factors including:
- Size and cost of your RV and whether you are making payments
- Cost of your campsite
- Cost of insurance
- Do you have an extra storage space?
For more information on how much it costs to live full-time in an RV, check out this article!
How Do Full-Time RVers Make Money?
One of the most common questions RVers get is “how do RVers make money?” The answer to this question varies from RVer to RVer. Some RVers have a job they can take with them on the road and others don’t work at all! A lot of people think that since you are living a type of nomadic lifestyle, that there aren’t work options. The fact is that there are tons of remote work options, seasonal jobs for RVers, and more.
Read this article for more ideas on how to earn a paycheck while living the RV life!!
What Do You Do With Your Pets When Traveling?
Traveling with your pets is great, but it can also be difficult. RVing presents a unique set of challenges for RVers who want to bring their pets on the road. You will want to prepare for travel days and properly securing your furry friends while driving. Other things to consider include storage of pet supplies, proper exercise, vet visits, and more. Traveling with your pets is one of the greatest advantages that RVers have!!
For specific pet tips while RVing, check out this article!!
How Do I Get My Mail?
Mail is often received at RV parks or campgrounds. RVers are typically given a specific spot where they can pick up their mail, which will be addressed to the location of the RV park rather than an individual person’s name. Another great option for receiving mail is by utilizing an RV mail forwarding company. There are many to choose from and they all have different prices, services that they provide, and requirements.
For a breakdown of mail forwarding services, check out this article!
Do I Need a Surge Protector?
This question gets asked frequently and it is a super important thing to address for RVers. RV parks can have very old power systems and you don’t want to damage your RV, appliances, or electronics.
When do I need a surge protector? Every time that you plug into an RV park’s electrical system!
You never know when the RV park’s electrical system is going to be overloaded and you do not want your RV, appliances, or electronics damaged by a power surge! It is better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it.
For specific information on Surge protectors, which ones to buy, and more, check out this article!!
What Accessories Do I Need For My RV?
There are so many accessories and gadgets that you need to purchase when you get an RV it can be overwhelming. We have compiled a checklist of the most important items to obtain for RVing.
For detailed information on some of these items, check out this article!
Is There Good Internet Access in an RV?
No matter where you go RV internet access is usually bad and will get worse as the RV parks fill up, so always plan for that. The cellular connection is often very slow or nonexistent when everyone starts to arrive at a popular park on a holiday weekend. You can’t count on getting any work done then! In my experience satellite Internet, connections are the best RV internet options.
For more detailed internet options, check out this article!
How Do I Stay Fit While Traveling By RV?
– RVing is a great way to see the world, but it can be hard to stay in shape on the road. Here are some tips and advice for keeping fit while RVing!
Check out this article!!
How Do I Wash My Clothes When RV Traveling/ RV FAQ?
When RVing, you will most likely be staying in RV parks that have laundry machines. You can use these to clean your clothes. This may not be the best way though because they are often very busy. Don’t fret, there are many options for keeping your clothes clean while traveling.
This article will give you everything you need to know about washing clothes on the road!
Conclusion to RV FAQ
Hopefully, you now have a better understanding of the RV lifestyle and are able to make an informed decision about if this is right for you. If not, that’s okay! We still want to help equip you with information so that if at any point in your life you do decide to go full-time or part-time RVing, we’ll be here ready and waiting for ya. Email us anytime at [email protected] !!!
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Hello! My name is Cortney. I am 45 years old. I live full time in a 33 foot airstream trailer with my husband of 21 years. I run my own business out of my tin can and love living small. I have two grown kids and three pets. I have worn many hats including mental health counselor and truck driver. My husband is prepping for retiring from the Navy in the next five years. He has been serving for over 22 years faithfully.