5 Basic Things You Should Know Before Your First RV Trip


The fun and freedom of RVing can come with a learning curve when you’re first starting out. But fortunately, it’s a natural slide into the lifestyle once you have the basics down. Find your flow and hit the road once you’ve covered these simple basics.

Give a Crap About Your Crap

Getting into RVing comes with a lot to learn for a first-timer, especially if this is your first encounter with a black tank. Many rigs are equipped with a black tank and a grey tank, though some are dry, some might have a composting toilet, or some could just have a sink with a portable jug under the drain.

But if you’re diving into the world of RV toilets, you’ll want to get comfortable with managing waste. Some campgrounds have full hookups, including sewer, so you’ll just connect your sewage hose and live life normally. Others may not, so you might find yourself queuing up at a dump station to unload your tanks. Watch a few YouTube videos or talk to some seasoned pros, and know that it’ll all be fine.

											 Man hooking up the electricity in his RV

Light It Up

When you start to dive into electrical, you can go deep or stay surface level. There are plenty of battery systems that can support you for weeks off-grid, or you can plan on always staying somewhere with shore power. Whichever way you go, you’ll want to have a basic idea of whether you need 50 amp connections (the twist-lock style plugs that can support higher usage) or 30 amp (what you’d find in a standard home outlet).

Learn Your Limits

Knowing your limits applies to a number of different RV situations, from what unmaintained backroads you can travel on, to how long you feel comfortable camping without full hookups. There are all sorts of ways to live the RV lifestyle, whether it’s for a week here and there, a season, or year round. Finding what works best for you will help you stay happy on the road.

The same goes for planning. Knowing where you’re going to sleep for the night can be a necessity for some, optional for others. Or having the next dump station or water fill up scoped out. Finding your threshold and planning accordingly will give you peace of mind.

											 An RV next to a portable battery

Find Your Comfort First

Before you hit the road, spend a little time practicing with your rig. Get to know its quirks, test the brakes, heaters and tanks, and practice backing and maneuvering before you leave home. You don’t want to get to your first spot and find you’re out of fresh water and you didn’t bring a potable water hose. And you don’t want to drive out into the boonies before you realize your battery is dead and you don’t have a way to charge it.

Know Who to Call

If you’re a DIYer, you’ll be well suited to RV life, since it certainly pays to know how to fix things or be comfortable figuring it out when things go sideways. But you don’t have to be handy to hit the road. For either type of adventurer, it’s important to know when you need to call in the pros. Propane systems, electrical upgrades, and structural work all generally go smoother—and safer—with a certified tech on board. When you’re away from your home base, have an idea of who you could call in the area you’re traveling. And don’t forget that staff at campgrounds and RV parks might have helpful recommendations if you’re in a pinch.

A stay at a Highline Adventures campground is the perfect way to ease into the RV travel way. With all the amenities and helpful staff onsite, enjoy the relaxation that comes from a stay in Montana.