Owning an RV is an interesting experience. Whether it’s a motorhome, fifth wheel or trailer, an RV is essentially a home on wheels. Enjoying it to its fullest potential involves an encyclopedia of knowledge acquired over time. Just getting started comes with a steep learning curve.

Below are five lessons every new RV owner has to learn, compliments of AirSkirts, a Connecticut company that sells inflatable RV skirting.

1. How to Drive

Knowing how to drive a car doesn’t make one an expert at handling an RV. Driving a fully loaded RV down the road requires knowledge and skills passenger car owners simply do not possess. As such, the first lesson every new RV owner must learn is how to drive safely.

There are safe and unsafe ways to accelerate and brake. The same goes for taking corners. There are safe ways to operate an RV in bad weather. The thing to understand is that everything becomes harder with an RV because of the added size and weight. Most RV owners need to learn to drive safely. They don’t know how to do it inherently.

2. How to Back Up

Even though the trend is to design new campgrounds with drive-through sites, a fair number of them still require RV owners to back their units into place. Furthermore, owners almost always have to back their units into their own driveways or off-site storage. That makes backing a necessary skill.

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Backing a motorhome into a parking space is easier than backing a trailer or fifth wheel. Everything is contained in a single unit, so you don’t have to worry about pivoting. On the other hand, learning to back a trailer or fifth wheel could be considerably more challenging. But it needs to be done. You cannot operate an RV safely if you don’t know how to back it up.

3. How to Level

Once an RV is parked in place, it must be leveled. The good news is that most high-end units offer self-leveling technology. You just hit a switch and let the RV do the rest. As for entry-level and mid-range units, do not expect self-leveling capabilities.

Learning how to level is key to a comfortable stay. It is not hard but leveling is not something many people do intuitively. They have to learn how to use the tools. They need to learn how to tell when an RV is level and when it’s not.

4. How to Get Hooked Up

Next up is getting hooked up. Public campgrounds offer electrical, water, and sewer hookups. You make those connections using the cables and hoses that came with your RV. But be forewarned: there are proper and improper ways to hook up. Get it wrong and you could seriously damage your RV.

As a side note, some experienced RV owners do not go anywhere without skirting. Motorhome and RV skirts come in a variety of sizes, styles, and designs. They all have their own installation requirements. New RV owners will eventually have to learn the most efficient way of getting their skirting installed correctly.

5. How to Maintain

Finally, new RV owners have to learn how to maintain their units. Just as with a stationary house, regular maintenance reduces the likelihood of major breakdowns and increases the life of an RV. Rest assured there are plenty of maintenance tasks to take care of.

If you are new to the RV world, welcome aboard. Be prepared to learn a lot about your RV in the coming months and years. The more you learn, the more enjoyable your experience should be.