Learn Something New
If you’ve been RVing for a while, we hope you’ve racked up miles of great memories. If you’re new to it all . . . are still thinking of taking the plunge . . . or are considering moving to another type of RV, you may wonder where to begin. Never fear! The RV community can help.
Of course, FMCA is your number-one source for RV and RVer info. FMCA.com informs members about the association’s countless benefits, commercial partners, and events, and shares a variety of content in blogs and community forums. FMCA University provides a virtual library stocked with hundreds of articles and videos created exclusively for members. Family RVing magazine (print and digital) and its website, familyrvingmag.com, entertain and inform with tech, travel, lifestyle, and FMCA topics. FMCA gets “social” on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, TikTok, and LinkedIn.
For in-person learning, each FMCA International Convention & RV Expo offers a syllabus of seminars — more than 100 — presented by knowledgeable individuals. Before the conventions, new RVers and others who want a refresher can opt for more: RV Basics, taught in a classroom setting; and RV Driving and RV Backing classes, with some classroom instruction plus hands-on learning utilizing your own RV.
Read on for other useful info, including what to pack in an RV tool kit; resources for new RVers; and a new website for foodies. Plus, watch an entertaining video full of BIG lessons RVers have learned the hard way!
Let’s journey together along the road to learning.
The FMCA Team
Save Electricity And Money With SoftStartRV
Installed SoftStartRV with the help of Bill Coffman, a SoftStartRV technician specialist. He made installation a breeze. My power management had stopped shutting power off to my Grand Design 310GK, and SoftStartRV made the difference. Now, initial startup draws considerably fewer amps and allows the Bulldog face to stay white. Thank you, SoftStartRV.
When used to start an RV air conditioner, SoftStartRV temporarily reduces load and torque during the electric current rush of the A/C motor, reducing power demands at startup by 65 to 70 percent. This easy-to-install device is offered to FMCA members at a discounted rate. SoftStartRV is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to FMCA's group-rated discounts. Click here to learn more!
How Do I Stay Connected With Other RVers?
As a new RVer, it may be intimidating trying to find a community when you are constantly on the move. How can you meet other RVers in your area? Online, of course! Via social media and online forums, you can find an RVing family, no matter the location. While most FMCA members can spot each other thanks to our membership plates, you can also use social media to find fellow FMCA members. FMCA even has a Facebook group dedicated to members and RV enthusiasts. Join the group to meet fellow members and other RV owners, share updates on your favorite camping sites, and ask for RVing advice. If you love sharing photos during your travels or you need some camping inspiration, Instagram is the place for you! Follow FMCA and use #fmcaRV to share your RVing photos with other RVers. If you tag us @fmcarvclub, you may even get the chance to be featured on our page! You can also connect with fellow FMCA members on Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and TikTok. For tips on how to use these platforms, check out our blog here.
RVing Is The Way To Go . . . But Where To Start?
So, you’re new to RVing? Or still pondering whether to jump into the lifestyle? A little education and planning will take you down the road to enjoyable journeys.
In addition to FMCA’s wealth of educational resources mentioned above, GoRVing.com will lead you along the RV learning curve — from the various types of RVs available to working on the road, family travel, and much more. Their First-Timers RV Tool Kit is packed with handy info, covering such topics as RV water and sewer lines, electrical systems, propane, and maintenance. Other sections cover what’s involved in setting up and tearing down at a campsite, along with tips about hitching, driving, and towing an RV.
The National RV Training Academy offers an RV Maintenance and Repair Home Study Course For RV Owners. It’s available in a USB format for PCs and Macs, as well as an online version.
Outdoorsy.com expounds on four things every RV beginner should know in a helpful blog. Some tips are geared toward those looking to rent an RV, but much of the info is relatable to would-be buyers or new owners also. If you’re considering what type of RV best suits you, they suggest you answer a few basic questions: What kind of camping will you be doing, and with how many people? How often will you be camping and changing locations? What is your daily routine – for instance, how often do you plan to cook, and what activities do you enjoy? How much storage do you need?
Step two involves planning your road trip. Pick a destination and start researching. Identify RV-friendly roads; an RV GPS is helpful for this purpose. Know the height of your RV to avoid run-ins with overhanging structures — low-clearance bridges and restaurant drive-throughs, for example.
Outdoorsy.com’s step three involves packing. Focus on the essentials — for your pets, too. These might include proper lights, suitable clothing for specific activities, a tool kit, and camp chairs and other relaxation items. Get your RV road-ready as well: Secure awnings, exterior compartment doors, and interior cabinets; retract the RV step; check fluid levels and tire pressure; make sure the emergency brake is off; and verify connections between the towing/towed vehicle combination.
Step four — hitting the road — is what you’ve been waiting for, right? Beforehand, though, familiarize yourself with the RV, perhaps taking small test drives to become accustomed to this larger, heavier vehicle. And when you’re finally on the road, practice safety: Avoid driving for overly long stretches. Opt for a truck/fuel location such as Love’s or TA Travel Centers when possible, as they are designed for larger vehicles.
And our tip: Don’t be intimidated! Whether you’re brand new to RVing, are buying your first RV, or are switching RV types, take your time to learn the ropes. You’ll learn more as you go. Enjoy the journey!
Get Groovy With FMCA
Make plans to attend FMCA’s 107th International Convention & RV Expo in Gillette, Wyoming, August 23-26. It’s been nicknamed “Celebrating Sixty” in honor of FMCA’s 60th anniversary. Join us for RV education, shopping, RV services, seminars, entertainment, and good fellowship. Our early-bird deadline is June 21 and approaching quickly, so don’t miss your opportunity to save some cash. Register today!
Get The Education You've Been Wanting
FMCA offers virtual RV classes exclusively to its members through FMCA University, an online hub of RVing resources. Members can log into the FMCA University 24/7 – anytime, anywhere! Learn at your own pace, take quizzes, earn virtual badges . . . and receive a free one-year membership renewal for becoming an RVer Extraordinaire.
In-Person Learning Experiences
FMCA's RV Basics workshop is an in-person learning experience that is led by professional instructors. This two-and-a-half day course presented before each FMCA international convention will get you acquainted with your RV's operation and systems. Learn about the RV Basics course to be offered before FMCA's Gillette, Wyoming, convention here.
Niagara Hartland RV Resort, C6446
Gasport, New York
This peaceful, family-owned RV resort set on 8-acre Lake Charles is centrally located between Buffalo and Rochester, New York, providing easy access to many nearby tourist attractions. Niagara Hartland RV Resort offers shaded and pull-through sites with full hookups (30/50-amp), bath and laundry facilities, a playground, a dog run, and a camp store, along with bike paths, walking trails, paddle boating, lakefront swimming, and fishing areas. Be sure to check the event schedule, which is full of weekly activities.
FMCA members receive a discounted rate at many FMCA commercial member campgrounds. To find more locations along your route, check out our RV Marketplace!
Always Be Prepared
Whether you are new to RVing or a seasoned traveler, you need a versatile RV tool kit. All RVers should carry necessities such as a torque wrench, a tire pressure gauge, and other safety-related items in case they become stuck on the side of the road. Check out Do It Yourself RV’s list of essential items for your RV tool kit here.
Beyond The Wheel Podcast
At FMCA’s 106th International Convention & RV Expo in Perry, Georgia, this past March, Kenny and Sean of Beyond the Wheel Podcast interviewed FMCA partners and exhibitors during the show. They included representatives from Fantasy RV Tours, Battle Born Batteries, FMCA RV Insurance, and others! Listen to these interviews and learn more about what FMCA’s partners have to offer on Beyond the Wheel’s website or on your preferred podcast listening service.
27 BIG Lessons RVers Learn The Hard Way
With close to six years of full-time RVing under their belts, Renee and Kyle Hanks have had their fair share of RVing mishaps and mistakes. They share 27 big lessons in this YouTube video, hoping that other RVers don’t have to learn the hard way like they did. Check out their channel Happily Ever Hanks for more RVing tips and tricks!
Looking for an easier way to have a campfire while RVing? Check out Solo Stove! The company’s smokeless portable fire pits are made to bring people together. Choose from smaller tabletop models or traditional-style fire pits perfect for any camper.
Inspiration For Campground Cooks
Where do you go when you’re seeking meal ideas for your next RV outing? Well, a new resource was recently introduced by Mike and Jennifer Wendland, F518361. These FMCA members have launched campingfoodrecipes.com as a sister site to their popular rvlifestyle.com website. “We believe that eating well while camping should not be complicated or time-consuming, and our recipes are designed to be simple and efficient, while still being packed with nutrition and flavor,” the site notes.
And the Wendlands are looking for help building their database of recipes. They’re inviting RVers to share their culinary creations via the Submit A Recipe tab on the site. They do ask that folks submit only their original recipes, or those inspired by another recipe but not a copy of someone else’s. Current categories include breakfast, main dish, sides, sauce, and dessert.
The site also will incorporate advice about meal planning, food storage, and cooking techniques specifically tailored to the unique challenges of camping.
With summer sizzlin’, check out the Classic Chicago Hot Dog Recipe, the Fruit Salad Recipe for a Crowd (with Sweet Dip), and more. And follow their advice to “Savor the Adventure.”
FMCA Area Rally Schedule
Midwest Area Rally — June 13-16 — Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin
INTO (International) Area Rally — July 6-11 and/or July 12-17 — Calgary, Alberta
Northeast Area Rally — August 3-5 — Frankfort, New York
South Central Area Rally — September 13-16 — Shawnee, Oklahoma
Eastern Area Rally — October 4-8 — Lewisburg, West Virginia
Western Area Rally – January 10-14 – Indio, California
Southeast Area Rally – February 7-10 – Lakeland, Florida
Click here for more information about FMCA’s upcoming 2023 event schedule.
Are you looking to meet other RVers? Look no further. FMCA has nearly 300 chapters across the United States and Canada. FMCA chapters are made up of RV enthusiasts who have a zest for travel, as well as hobbies and interests off the highway. Find a chapter that best suits your interests here.
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