We learned 'everything RVing' through the internet; grabbing bits and pieces from online forums, social media, and blogs. Much of the information was based on opinion or hearsay (especially on social media!). By the time we took delivery of our Cyclone 5th wheel toy hauler, our heads were drowning in disorganized and oftentimes, unreliable information. If we only knew then what we know now, we would have sought a more structured course program to learn 'everything RVing'. Those who are contemplating buying an RV or getting ready to hit the road, I'm hoping this blog will save them and other new RVers the frustrations we endured by introducing a sample of some RV Educational Resources. There's a plethora of information out there, but wouldn't it be easier with less headache to go to a source to get the straight scoop?
For a moment, imagine that you're shopping for the perfect RV for you and your family. You'll want to arm yourself with knowing what questions to ask the salesman and during your PDI.
- What are the differences between RV types?
- How to negotiate an RV price?
- What are my finance options?
- How do I insure my RV?
- Where to register if I'm not in my home state?
- What is a black and gray tank?
- What is the difference between a residential refrigerator and propane refrigerator?
- What is the proper tire inflation for a fifth wheel vs. travel trailer?
- How long will my batteries last if I'm not plugged in?
- What essentials do I need to supply my RV?
- What clubs or memberships should I belong to?
So we've put together a compilation of three different RV courses that are out there taught by people who actually RV. They can help you by providing you important information and any answers you may have thus, resulting in a smooth transition to RV life.
Here are three "RV Education" Resources to help you transition...
RV to Freedom is dedicated to help prospective or new RVers learn how to live in an RV. Kerensa and Brandon created the RV to Freedom Facebook Group as the "friendliest place on the internet to ask questions about RVing and living on the road while learning from and connecting with other RVers". Within a few months of it's inception, their group has grown to over 30,000 followers. They also have a blog that offers list of provisions and resources.
We had been following Kerensa and Brandon when they were (and still are) Drive, Dive & Devour on social media. While we were parked at the same campground in Elkhart, Indiana this past summer, we connected and networked with them; learning more about their RV to Freedom course. They are highly committed to helping others put their best foot forward in learning the basics of RVing to more complex issues.
Kerensa and Brandon hit the road in January of 2014 and haven't looked back. After years of relocating for their jobs, they decided to go where 'they' wanted and take their jobs with them. They loved road trips in the car, camping in their pop-up and then decided an RV life would be a better choice for them. After a long research and planning period, they left with their two dogs and cat in a 40-ft motorhome. After experiencing life on the road in their 'big rig', they opted to travel in a solar-equipped 30-ft motorhome that is more fitting to their own personal needs.
On their website, RV to Freedom, they offer a plethora of information about RV's and the RVing lifestyle. For a more guided approach, their course highlights how to transition to full-time RVing with ease and success. Through the course, you'll have the support and knowledge from Kerensa and Brandon along with the RVTF community to assist you.
Another RV Education Resource incepted by Marc and Julie Bennett, known in the RV social media community as RV Love.
This past January (2017), we met Marc and Julie at the XScapers' Convergence in Quartzsite. In fact, they were our side-door neighbors in the vast Arizona desert. Every morning, we'd wave to them as they were working in the front seat of their motorhome. We met up with them again this past June in Elkhart, Indiana while they were researching RV manufacturers. Since they had not been to Heartland RV's factory tour yet, we invited them to go along with us. We then met again a week later for some one-on-one mentoring and networking. They, like Brandon and Kerensa, are very RV savy and knowledgeable.
Marc (from Colorado) and Julie (from Australia) sold their Colorado home in 2014 and moved into their motorhome to "Live Love Travel". Like ours, their RV didn't come equipped with the information needed to become successful RVers. They had to learn it on their own; sifting through others' blogs, forums, social media and networking. It didn't take long for this worldly husband-wife team to put together their own set of online courses, cool blogs and YouTube videos that will help prospective and new RVers alike.
This past May (2017), Marc and Julie launched their online RV Success School. The school's online courses are built from a foundation of almost 4 years of intensive research, hands-on experience and a breadth of knowledge - a collaboration of their own, other RVers and industry experts they've met along the way.
- Hit the Road the Right Way in Your RV: Everything from Budgeting and Planning to Logistics and Launch
- Choosing the Right RV For You: Essential Education and Guidance for making smart decisions and avoiding costly mistakes.
- RVer Success Stories Series 1: Learn from successes, challenges, and incites from other experienced RVers
- RV 3-in-1 Success Value Bundle: A monetary savings package by taking all three courses above
- RV Success Premium Package: All three courses above plus two-hour personalized one-on-one private consulting and coaching with Marc and Julie.
You can learn more at their website: RV Success School
Another option for RV learning is RVers Online University (RVOU).
This is course is a membership-based course through Escapees. RVers Online University brings Escapees' well-loved RVers' Boot Camp into the digital age. RVOU offers instruction on a variety of RV-related topics including driving safety, personal safety, tow hitches and safety, weight management, RV systems, domicile and more; taught by reliable industry experts. Users can take and retake as many lessons as needed, complete knowledge assessments and have direct access to instructors for follow-up questions.
As quoted on their website:
"RVers Online University is Escapees RV Club's answer to the demand for more RV education. With millions of RVs currently on the road, and more joining every day, it is important for RVers to understand the capabilities and limitations of their rigs. Escapees RV Club, established in 1978, has a long tradition of providing education to the RVing community. RVOU brings Escapees acclaimed RVers' Boot Camp Online.
You can access RVOU anywhere you have an internet connection. With each registration, you get 3 month access to explore all the content offered by our instructors. We separated each lesson into multiple sections, making it easy to start and stop lessons as needed."
Lessons come with printable handouts so that users have offline access to key information when needed. Registration costs are affordably priced for 90-day access to all of the course offered through RVOU.
RVers Online University will deliver all of the elements of RVers Boot Camp and more!
- RV Basic Systems
- Hitch Up
- RV Intermediate Systems 1
- RV Intermediate Systems 2
- Weight Management
- Gas vs Diesel
- Tire Safety
- Personal Safety
- RV Driving
- Fire/Life Safety
- Propane Safety
- Driving Your RV
- Rims & Bearings
- Towable RV's
- Motorhome Towing
- Water Water Everywhere
- 12 Volt Side of Life
- Easy on the Asphalt
- Towing Behind Motorhome
There are several other resources and courses out there as well. As a new or prospective RVer, you just need to find the one that best suits you. Whether you're going to be a solo RVer, large family or any in between, finding the correct information is job one. Each are helpful and offer sound information, lessons, advice, and how-to's. The best part is they are all affordable and are easy to understand, less stressful and liberating.
If and when you decide to take one of these courses, tell 'em we sent ya!