Date Published: 2024/02/28

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5 Mistakes Beginners Make Before Their First Long RV Trip

Two people taking a photo. There are mountains in the background. It's a sunny day with some clouds in the blue sky.

Alex and Vale from Prêts pour la route (Orbit’s RV ambassadors in Quebec), who are currently in Mexico, tell us about the 5 mistakes to avoid when deciding to take a long RV trip.

Mistake number 1: Not taking the time to correctly choose one’s RV

For Alex, it is essential to first borrow or rent the vehicle that interests you and, ideally, not only to experience it in a "vacation" setting, but rather to do it in real-life mode, in order to have a more accurate portrait of the reality you will have to deal with.

Do not hesitate to visit RV shows, dealer showrooms and ask questions since we are talking about a significant investment here.

Your insurance broker recommends you take driving lessons because, remember, you will be traveling with a house on wheels.  The Fédération québécoise de camping et de caravaning offers various training courses.

Alex mentions that it is preferable to choose a “smaller” vehicle, but one that will still meet most of your needs. “The bigger the vehicle is, the more complicated things are when traveling. Plus, it limits the choice of locations. "

Mistake number 2: Planning and controlling everything

Since one can't control the weather and anything that might happen between destinations, planning too much in advance – campground reservations, for example – can become a source of stress rather than a source of security. 

Alex says there were times when they were unable to get to their next destination due to the weather and this proved to be a source of disappointment.

Therefore, with experience, Prêts pour la route have realized that sometimes, improvisation is best. As an example, some locations are so magical that you don’t want to leave.  This is why being able to simply extend your stay without stress is priceless.

Mistake number 3: Thinking that everything is as perfect as what one sees on Instagram

The reality, when you are in nomadic mode, is that you sometimes must camp in noisy or aesthetically uninteresting places to finally arrive at THE dream destination.

You must therefore be willing to deal with inconveniences and arm yourself with patience and an open mind.

The temperature also has a huge influence on the experience you will have. When it's cold, when it rains, and you have no choice but stay in the vehicle... Also, it's not as simple and easy to do the tasks you're used to doing at home: grocery shopping, washing, etc.

And the budget aspect is something to consider. At least, if you want to be able to continue the adventure for several weeks or months.

Mistake number 4: Buying too much equipment

Alex recognizes his passion for gadgets that make life easier, but he increasingly realizes that there is no need to have so many. His piece of advice is to determine your needs as you go. To give yourself time to experiment to see if, precisely, this or that is a real need or just a fun thing to have.

Mistake number 5: Making drastic decisions that cannot be reversed

Alex explains that when they decided to embrace the nomadic lifestyle, they proceeded conservatively: They didn't sell everything like some people do. They rented their house out for a year, so that they could return to their previous lives if the experience did not turn out to be as satisfying as they hoped.

“Towards the end of our first trip, honestly, we had seen enough. We came home. We couldn't wait to take long and hot showers, to use our washer and dryer machines. We couldn't wait to enjoy our big house! “, says Alex.

A year later, they realized that they were ready to reconnect with adventure. Ready to, yes, sell everything and go back on the road.

Proceed gradually is the best advice one can give. Allow experiences to guide you in your choices and decisions.

In closing, Prêts pour la route have, this year, purchased a condo, a pied-à-terre.  An option that allows them to “feel like home” between two trips.

For Alex and Vale, this represents the ideal scenario.