Road Readiness

Hello readers!

So in this series we’re discussing all the things relating to ‘Getting Started’ in RVing, so in this entry, let’s talk about Road Readiness.

Road readiness is something you should check your rig for before every trip, and maintain a constant eye on while traveling.
Road readiness for you is just as important, but seems to be often overlooked.
In order for you to be ‘Road Ready’, you’ll want to make sure you have:

  • Insurance!
    • Whether you add on to your existing policy, or buy a new policy, make sure you have insurance that covers yours needs.
      Some key things to look for are coverage for damage you might do to other people’s stuff (like backing over something and knocking a pole over), and coverage that insures your rig gets fixed if someone or something damages it.
    • I also recommend coverage dealing with towing, accommodations, and other travel insurance to ensure your trip goes as smooth as it can.
      This type of insurance generally covers a reasonable cost for out of pocket expenses incurred because you can’t use your RV for a few days while it’s being repaired.
  • Licensing!
    • Each state may have it’s own licensing requirements based on the Gross Weight of the vehicle, and some have further restrictions based on number of vehicles being towed, types of vehicles, and/or length. Be sure to check with your states regulating office for the details.
      I also recommend for lots of useful information for each state.
  • Roadside Assistance
    • Your insurance policy may include roadside assistance, but it’s prudent to make sure it covers your RV, too. If it does, great! If not, having roadside assistance is something you should definitely have before you call yourself ‘Road Ready’.


No matter what kind of rig you have, making sure all your paperwork is in order before you go will help you have a hassle-free trip!

Packing the essentials

HI again! 🙂

RV life is great, and just like everything else, there’s some stuff you’ll need, and some stuff you might want. Here’s my pick of the essential gear, the stuff I use, and some stuff from what i’ve learned along the way.


  1. Connections!
    1. For getting power to your rig, you’ll need a power cord (which your rig should come with) and some adapters. You should have adapters to connect your rig to 50, 30, and 15 amp power connections, but keep in mind you’ll have one of those built in, depending on if your rig uses 30 or 50 amp power. Also note that you can run a 50 amp rig on 30 amps, albeit with an eye towards amp usage, and you can run a 30 amp rig on 50 amp, but you don’t get more power by plugging a 30 amp rig into a 50 amp outlet.
      You might also consider some kind of surge protection device. These can be expensive, but they’re far cheaper than replacing the electrical system in your RV if there’s a bad enough issue.
    2. For water, you should have one fresh water hose (make sure it’s drinking water safe!) that’s ONLY used for fresh water (not for anything else).
      You may want a second hose for gray water/sewer flushing/general hose use, and/or another fresh water hose to make sure you can reach the faucet (or as a backup!).
      I also use a pressure regulator to make sure the water pressure coming into my rig is not above the 55 PSI, per, the manufacturer specs for my rig.
      My primary regulator has a gauge and is adjustable, but my backup regulator is pre-set at 45 PSI, and doesn’t have a gauge.
      I also have splitters, shut-off valves, and 90 degree elbows for my particular setup, but that’s all up to you.
    3. For sewer, you need to have a sewer hose, an elbow (preferably clear so you can see the motion inside), and a threaded adapter.
      I also recommend an angled clear connector for the rig’s connection end, and mine has a hose connection that I really like for cleaning out the line.
      My kit has two main hoses, each extendable up to 10′ feet long, a coupler, caps for both ends of both hoses, a clear angled connector, a threaded sewer adapter, and a riser.
      The idea is to be able to connect to just about anywhere you go, so having all these pieces will make sure you can connect when you need to.
  2. Tools!
    1. Make sure you have a few tools on board, even if it’s just a few generic/multi use tools. At a minimum I recommend:
      1. Adjustable wrenches, one large, one small
      2. Channel locks, one large, one small
      3. Screwdrivers, either a multi-big driver, or Phillips #0, #1, #2, a small and medium flat head, a few torx drivers or bits, and anything specific to your rig.
      4. Allen wrenches! These are super handy when you need them.
      5. A small socket set can’t hurt, but check around in your rig and see what you might need to get stuff handled.
      6. A multi-meter. Even if you don’t know a whole lot about electricity, it’s still a great tool to have (and I can walk you through the steps to find the info you need for electrical issues!).
  3. Spare parts!
    1. I like to make sure I have spare stuff of anything important; the less I have to go run and find, the more I can enjoy camping!
      1. Fuses! (check the type of DC fuses used in your rig, and get an assortment of them to have on hand.
      2. Connections! Anything you use to connect your rig to the land, you should consider having an extra for. Some things matter more than others, so ponder on it awhile and figure it out as you go.
      3. Nuts, bolts, screws, and such. Even if they’re just generic sizes, make sure to have a few on hand for that ‘just-in-case’ scenario.
      4. Hose clamps! I’ve always kept a few different sizes of hose clamps around, and they’re super handy when you need them.
      5. Tapes! I always make sure to have electrical, gorilla, and plumbers tape on hand. These are the three most common tapes used, and painters tape is also handy for so many things.
      6. Spare tire/wheel seems obvious, but make sure you have it, and can get to it when needed. I have two spare wheel/tire combos ready to go since I travel so much, and if you’re full timing or travelling a lot, I recommend you do the same.


There’s a whole bunch of other stuff you can have on board, but these are the things that I believe you just have to have. The rest is optional! 🙂

Key differences

Hello again, faithful reader! So glad you’re back.

So let’s talk about some of the key differences between living in an RV and living in a house.


At home, the power is ‘always on’ (except when something knocks it out).
In an RV, power is supplied by ‘Shore Power’, which is plugging your RV into the power pedestal at the park, by a generator, by batteries with an inverter, or maybe even by solar power!
It’s also important to note that some things in the RV are DC powered, and some are AC powered.
I talk more about electrical systems in the category “Light it up”, but the key idea is that you’ll have to get power somewhere.


At home, your water is provided by the city, or via a well, and just like your power, it’s ‘just there’ (unless there’s a problem).
With an RV, you’ll generally have an on-board system which consists of your freshwater tank and a water pump, and then your waste tanks.
You also have the option to connect to ‘water supply’ at your campsite, but make sure to understand your system and your connections first! (That’s why you’re here reading my blog, isn’t it? :P)


At home, your waste is handled by a city sewer connection or a septic tank, but either way I bet you don’t think about it much unless it’s not working.
In an RV, you have two types of waste water, Gray and Black.
Gray water is anything that goes down the drain of the sinks or the shower.
Black water is anything that went down the toilet.
It’s important to know the difference because there’s an order to dumping those tanks, AND, some places allow gray water drainage at site, while most do not.
Another important note is that your black tank acts as a septic tank, so you should NEVER leave it open when you’re connected to a sewer connection.
The gray tank, however, is fine to leave attached and open with a sewer connection.

Those are the main things to keep in mind when we’re talking about the difference between life at home, and life in an RV. Some of the ways those differences will matter to you are:

Shower time
Your water heater will only be 6 or 10 gallons (unless you have an on-demand water heater), so shower time will be shorter than at home. You’ll also want to leave a little time between running hot water for dishes, and taking a shower.

Most homes come equipped with a 200 amp service panel, which means you can plug in all your stuff and have a party. In an RV, you’ll usually only have 50, 30, or even 20 amp service, so you’ll have to consider what’s plugged in, how many amps it takes (see the category “Light it up”), and what else is operating on your AC power.

Luckily, there are so many awesome things about RV life that these things are just notes to bear in mind, not even enough to qualify as a hassle! 🙂