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RV Tips for Beginners

RV Tips for First-Time Campers

Camping is an exciting way to get outside, disconnect from the digital world, and immerse yourself in nature. If you’ve never been camping before, the idea of packing up for a trip to the great outdoors can be a little intimidating. Though it can be overwhelming if you don’t know what to expect or how to prepare, going camping for the first time can be a rewarding experience. To help you have a successful first-time RV camping trip, here are some RV tips to keep in mind.

Plan Ahead

Before embarking on your RV camping trip, make sure to do your research and plan ahead. This includes choosing your destination, booking your campsite, and mapping out your route. Check the weather forecast and pack accordingly. There are plenty of online resources and apps you can check for RV tips and other advice to plan your trip.

Choose the Right RV

It’s essential to choose the right RV for you and your family so you can have a comfortable and enjoyable trip. Make sure to consider the size of your group, your budget, and what’s most important to you when you select your RV. At Juniata Valley RV, we have new RVs for sale from top brands like Winnebago and Aliner. Our team can also help with RV tips or answer any questions you have when you visit our dealership!

A person follows our RV tips as she packs a suitcase for a camping trip.

Pack Smart

Once you’ve chosen your destination, it’s time to plan what you need to pack. Make a list of the gear and equipment you’ll need, and check it off as you pack. Make sure to include essentials like food, toiletries, a first-aid kit, and weather-appropriate clothing.

It’s important to dress for the weather and the activities you’ll be doing. Bring layers, as temperatures can fluctuate throughout the day and night. Make sure to wear appropriate footwear for hiking and walking on uneven terrain. And be sure to bring enough food and water for your entire trip, or research places to eat near your chosen campground.

Stay Safe

While camping can be a fun and relaxing experience, it’s important to be prepared and stay safe. Make sure to bring a first-aid kit, insect repellent, and sun protection. Follow all safety guidelines and regulations at the campsite. Accidents can happen, so one of our top RV tips is to ensure you have a properly stocked first-aid kit and other emergency essentials. This should include bandages, antiseptic, pain relievers, and any necessary prescription medications.

Get Familiar with Your RV

If you’re not used to driving or parking an RV, make sure to practice before you hit the road. You don’t want to be caught off guard by tight turns or narrow paths. It’s also important to know the height of your RV and be aware of low bridges or overpasses.

Aside from driving, you should take time to familiarize yourself with your RV’s functions and features. This includes understanding how to operate the RV’s systems, like the water and electrical, and how to hook up to the campsite’s utilities.

Choose the Right Campsite

One of the most important RV tips for first-time RVers is to take the time to research campgrounds and choose the right site. Consider the amenities you’ll need, such as bathrooms or potable water, as well as the type of camping experience you want to have. Do you want to camp in a quiet area or by the campground facilities? Would you prefer a more rustic or developed campsite?

Different campgrounds and campsites will also have different rules about which campers can be accommodated. Campsites will often have restrictions on what size RV they can accommodate. Additionally, some campgrounds have restrictions (like age of the RV) on which campers can be brought to their properties.

Respect the Campground and Local Wildlife  

When you arrive at your campsite, make sure to read and follow the campground’s rules. This includes respecting quiet hours, keeping your campsite clean, and properly disposing of waste.

As a camper, you’re a guest in nature. Respect the environment by leaving no trace of your presence. This means packing up all trash and avoiding damaging plants or wildlife. Use designated campfire areas and follow fire safety rules.

A father and his young daughter smile as they enjoy the outdoors together.

Enjoy the Experience

Most importantly, have fun! RV camping is a great way to experience the great outdoors and spend time with family and friends. Take advantage of the opportunity to unplug and relax. Embrace the camping experience. Try new activities and take time to explore the outdoors! Leave your electronic devices behind and take the opportunity to disconnect and recharge.

Going on an RV camping trip for the first time can be a little intimidating, but with some planning and preparation, you can have a fantastic experience. By following these RV tips, you can make the most of your first RV camping trip and create memories that will last a lifetime.

If you need an RV to take on your first trip, check out our inventory of new and used RVs for sale at our Pennsylvania RV dealership! We have towable and motorized campers on our lot, as well as an expert team ready to provide RV tips and show you how to use all your camper’s features. Visit us in person, give us a call or contact us online to get started!

Begin Your Adventure

RV Solar Panels – Everything You Need To Know

Guide to RV Solar Panels

If you’re an avid RVer, especially one who enjoys boondocking and remote campsites, you know that having a reliable source of power is essential. This is where RV solar panels come in. RV solar panels are a great investment for anyone who wants to travel off-grid and still have access to electricity. In this blog post, we’ll go over the benefits of solar panels for your RV, how they work, and what you should look for when purchasing them.

How RV Solar Panels Work

Solar panels work by converting the sun’s energy into usable electricity. They do this using photovoltaic cells, which are made of silicon and other materials that absorb sunlight and convert it into electrical energy. The electricity produced is direct current (DC), which can be used to power your RV’s appliances and devices or stored in batteries for later use.

The photovoltaic cells are arranged in a solar panel, which is usually mounted on the roof of an RV. The panels are connected to a charge controller, which regulates the flow of electricity to the battery bank. The battery bank stores the energy produced by the panels, so you can use it later when the sun isn’t shining.

Aerial view of a camper van with RV solar panels set up at a campsite.

When you need to use the electricity stored in the batteries, it’s converted to alternating current (AC) by an inverter. AC power is what most RV appliances and devices use, so the inverter is essential for making the energy usable.

Benefits of RV Solar Panels

There are several benefits to RV solar panels. Firstly, solar panels allow you to generate your own electricity, reducing your reliance on traditional power sources. This can be especially beneficial when traveling to remote areas where traditional power sources are not available.

One of the most significant benefits of solar panels is that they offer a clean and renewable source of energy. Solar panels don’t produce any harmful emissions, which means that you can enjoy your travels without harming the environment. Additionally, solar panels can help reduce your reliance on fossil fuels and save you money on fuel costs.

They can also save you money in the long run. Although the initial investment can be high, solar panels can help to reduce your energy bills over time. Additionally, they require little maintenance and can last for many years, making them a worthwhile investment.

Another benefit of RV solar panels is that they are incredibly versatile. They can be used to power a wide range of appliances, including lights, fans, and even televisions. This means that you can enjoy all the comforts of home with renewable energy. Additionally, solar panels can be used in remote locations where traditional power sources aren’t available, giving you the freedom to explore off-grid.

How to Choose RV Solar Panels

There are quite a few factors to take into consideration when it comes time to choose which solar panels you’ll install. The power your RV needs, the panel types and your budget are all important considerations. Here’s how to narrow down your options:

Power Requirements

The first factor to consider when selecting solar panels for your RV is your power requirements. The amount of power you need will depend on the size of your RV, the number of appliances and devices you have, and how often you plan to use them. Make a list of all the devices and appliances you plan to power with your solar panels and add up their wattage requirements. This will give you a rough idea of how many watts of solar power you’ll need.

Panel Size and Configuration

The size and configuration of your solar panels will also be a key consideration. If you have a large RV or plan to use a lot of power, you may need larger solar panels or multiple panels. Smaller RVs or those with lower power requirements may only need a single panel. In addition, you’ll need to consider the orientation and angle of your panels to ensure maximum sunlight exposure. Ideally, your panels should be installed at a 30-degree angle facing south (in the Northern Hemisphere) for optimal performance.

Panel Type

There are several types of solar panels to choose from, each with its own benefits and drawbacks. The most common types of panels are monocrystalline, polycrystalline and thin-film. Monocrystalline panels are the most efficient and durable but are also the most expensive. Polycrystalline panels are less expensive but also less efficient. Thin-film panels are the least expensive but also the least efficient and durable.

A person installs solar panels on the top of their RV.

Mounting Options

Another key consideration when selecting solar panels for your RV is how they’ll be mounted. There are several ways to mount solar panels on an RV, including roof-mounted, ground-mounted, and portable options. Roof-mounted panels are the most common and are generally the most efficient, but they can be difficult to install and may require modifications to your RV. Ground-mounted panels are easier to install but may take up valuable space on your campsite. Portable panels are the most versatile but may require additional equipment such as stands or brackets.


Finally, you’ll need to consider your budget when you select solar panels for your RV. Solar panels can be expensive, and the cost can vary widely depending on the type and size of the panels. In addition, you’ll need to factor in the cost of installation and any additional equipment such as charge controllers, inverters and batteries. Consider your budget carefully and try to strike a balance between cost and performance.

RV solar panels have become an increasingly popular option for those who love to hit the road in their recreational vehicles. Whether you are a full-time RV traveler or someone who enjoys the occasional weekend getaway, solar panels can be a game-changer for your lifestyle. You can shop new RVs for sale that either have solar panels installed or are solar-ready at Juniata Valley RV! If you’re looking for fuel-saving fold-down campers or teardrop campers for sale in Pennsylvania, we are one of the best dealerships to visit! We have tiny campers from top brands like Aliner and nuCamp at competitive prices. Browse our RVs online or stop in to see what we have in stock!

Begin Your Adventure

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