4 Habits of Successful RVers

Helpful tips for better RV vacations.

Brooke Baum Brooke Baum  |  01.01.2018

With the new year upon us, we’ve been thinking a lot about the year ahead. And while others might be planning epic destinations and routes, looking forward for us is a lot more of a deep emotional exercise. Since moving into our RV last March, we keep going back to the same question: “Are we making the most of this amazing lifestyle?” While the answer is “no” more often than we’d like to admit, we’ve realized a few important habits we can work on to be able to have a more positive experience (mainly from looking at what other happy RVers are doing).

1. Focus on the good.

My Omi (grandma) gave me this important advice when I was a little girl and her words always come to mind when I’m struggling to be positive. Although this sounds simple,  I know this is easier said than done. Whether you are going on a short, long, or unending RV trip, it is unlikely that you will miss every bump in the road. And even if no mechanical issues occur, you don’t have any dump station disasters, and your campsite is out of a dream, you will still likely have some kind of unexpected challenge during your trip.

But it really is true that what you set your mind on becomes your reality. If you let your thoughts settle on all the negative parts of your trip, you will remember it as a bad experience. But, even if things aren’t going as you hoped, looking toward the positive things can completely change your perspective.

There are entire rows of books about this at your local bookstore, if you want more in-depth tips for being a positive person. But, taking time every hour or so to look around and pick out all the good things about your situation, is a good place to start.

A gorgeous spot we found after one of our worst weeks. A great reminder that there is more good than bad.

2. Let go of the desire to control things.

If God really does laugh at our plans, there is a comedy sitcom running all day in heaven about the life of RVers. There is nothing wrong with wanting to plan ahead – especially if you are taking some sacred vacation time to go RVing. But, being able to adapt when your plans are forced to change is a great skill to master.

Since Buddy and I are full-time RVers, we have tested out what it looks like to plan every day of our travels and just completely wing it. There is something freeing about not being locked into plans. But, having a special trip or activity to look forward to is also really exciting. So, we’ve decided to do a mix of both.

You’ll have to find out what works best for you. Just remember that flexibility is key. If your plans fall through, take a breath and reroute. And make sure to practice habit #1 on this list, as your GPS recalculates!

3. Do your research.

Even if you decide to be completely spontaneous on your travels, a quick Google search can go a long way. Reading reviews on a campground you plan to visit to make sure it will suit your needs can help prevent issues – which makes focusing on the good way easier!

Having the necessary knowledge of your RV is also critical for a successful trip. Knowing how to work all the basic components and what not to do can save you from many headaches. This is especially important when it comes to maintenance. Don’t neglect your rolling home!

Having a plan for emergencies is also a good idea. Do you know what number to call if you have a question or problem with your RV? What about roadside assistance specific to RVs, in case you need to get towed somewhere? Hopefully, you will never need it. But, knowing what to do just in case is always a good plan.

How unlevel is too unlevel? Make sure you know, especially before boondocking or you can really mess things up.

4. Stop comparing yourself to others.

This one is probably one of the best habits to start cultivating and one we struggle with daily due to our ever-connected world. For example, Instagram can be a great place to get inspiration for places to visit, connect with other travelers, and share your favorite photos. But, it is all too easy to fall into the trap of comparing your life or vacation to others as you scroll through your feed.

If you find yourself thinking things like, “I wish this park was that pretty”, “Why doesn’t my family look that happy?”, or “My photos never get THAT many likes!”, stop looking at it immediately! It is unfair and unhelpful to compare your life, vacation, family and photos to a well-edited, unrealistic view of what someone else carefully chose to share.

Live your best life, focus on all the good around you (I promise there is a ton) and don’t let social media tell you whether your trip was awesome or not. Share your photos with pride because they represent amazing memories that are 100% unique to you and your family. And, if social media becomes a negative thing for you, consider limiting your time on it. We have really enjoyed cutting it out of our life as much as possible!

So, will you join us in making 2018 your best year of RVing yet? Please share any other tips you have to make life on the road roll along smoothly!

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  1. wes Posted on 01.22.2019

    That’s some great advice. For the last ten or so years I’ve been wanting to buy every type of RV there is, I’ve gotten remarried 6 years ago and I still have the yearning to get an RV, we’ve decided to start out with a trailer,even though I really want a class C and yes I have these grandeoso ideas of how Awesome it would be to hit the road,I’m going to retire in 5 years but life is short so I want a head start, thanks for the heads up and much love to the traveling and the adventure, were so looking forward to the adventure and seeing the sites. Take care, I’ll keep you posted

  2. Wanda Posted on 08.08.2018

    Great advice…we are planners, but we can also go with the flow. Get rid of social media on your trip..enjoy each other…take pictures that you like!! While my better half and I are not full timers, we do quite a few trips during the year…we laugh, talk…enjoy the area..and feel blessed to have the financial means to support a nice home and a fifth wheel …life is truly wonderful.

  3. Lynn Ertmann Posted on 05.24.2018

    I saw your picture you look just like my #4 daughter BEAUTIFUL

  4. Jen T. Posted on 04.22.2018

    Great post, we are currently doing a year on the road in our class A RV. I was eager to share our journey so I started an Instagram account, but quickly felt I wasn’t present for our adventures. I deleted it and limit my social media time.

  5. cpd Posted on 04.02.2018

    We set out this summer retired, fulltime. Scared and excited. Love reading tips/advise from all we can. Instgram…like a yardsale-one man’s trash, another man’s treasure. Looking forward to our treasure memories!
    Thanks for sharing!

  6. Bob Posted on 01.16.2018

    My thoughts re: each section.

    1. Toughen up!
    2. Good advice.
    3. Good advice.
    4. Toughen up!

  7. Tom and Terri Reed Posted on 01.09.2018

    If I had to add fifth habit, it would be: if it doesn’t come naturally, develop a sense of curiosity. There is so much to learn on the road. Be it the natural environment you are presently occupying or the people around you. Landscape discovery is rather straightforward as tools abound. But our most enduring memories are the conversations with strangers. Most often initiated by asking a simple question. Most people are more than willing to go beyond answering your question. They will share some of their story. And the stories are the pearls of curiosity that has definitely enriched our RV travel.

  8. Terry & Louise Weigel Posted on 01.06.2018

    We purchased a 2016 Coachman Prism Mercedes Sprinter. We have certainly enjoyed most of our adventures and certainly appreciated the Four Items you mentioned in RV travel. In 2018 we plan to expand our travels using a Fiat 500 Toad. Love to follow your travels. Terry

  9. Marjon Posted on 01.06.2018

    “ If your plans fall through, take a breath and reroute.”

    Ha! That’s how we ended up meeting you both. Planned the Natchez Trace, roads closed due to flooding, headed west instead and ended up at Bandelier, New Mexico. Where we, oh so romantically, met at the dump station.
    Wishing you a New Year with exceeding expectations and fair winds! Until we meet again, my friends.

    1. Brooke & Buddy Baum Posted on 01.14.2018

      Some of the best chats happen at dump stations! haha Happy New Year to you as well! Hope you aren’t spotting too many horrible typos out on the road! ;)

  10. Sarah Wynde Posted on 01.06.2018

    Love your last point! I was having fun with instagram for a while, but when I realized I was starting to shrug off landscapes or sunrises because the pictures wouldn’t look good, I cut myself off. I want to be able to enjoy where I am without questioning whether it would look good to someone else’s eyes. And no picture or even video is ever going to convey the sounds, the smells, the feel of the air, and the joy of being someplace new.

  11. A Franswy Posted on 01.06.2018

    Every seventh night stay at a luxury hotel such as a Ritz Carlton or a Grand Hyatt. Allows you to release with ease. I advise staying off Instagram and SnapChat and just live in the moment.

  12. Mitch Rochette Posted on 01.02.2018

    Seems like you had a wonderful year so far. See you again in PEI or Newfoundland this year. Mitch Rochette.

    1. Brooke & Buddy Baum Posted on 01.03.2018

      Great to hear from you, Mitch! And yes, we’d love to take a trip back to that area. Hope you’ve had a great year of adventure, also!

  13. Robin Posted on 01.01.2018

    I couldn’t agree more Brooke and Buddy! My husband and I started full time RV life in March as well. It’s taken a better part of this first year to settle in to this wonderful adventure. The advice you gave to focus on the positive is spot on. We are grateful to have the chance to do something that many people aspire to do too! Thanks for sharing your experiences!