New to RVing?
How to get started in the
RV Lifestyle
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New to RVing? - While everyone is concerned about the cost of fuel, RVing is still a great way
for families and individuals to enjoy the outdoors, do a little traveling, and relax. More and more people
continue to be drawn to the lure and enjoyment of the RV lifestyle and this article is directed to helping
all RVers make informed decisions about this very popular pastime.

Although many of the major book store chains have relatively limited selections of RV books and
magazines, RVers should not be dismayed. Fortunately, we have a great combination of excellent RVer
clubs and organizations, books, videos, and magazines for the RV lifestyle, maintenance and service
facilities, RV dealers and suppliers, and RV-related Internet sites.

RVers can quickly get information about how to keep an RV running properly, the latest information on
products, suppliers and repair facilities to maintain and upgrade their rigs, and great places to go.

We recommend that you take as much time as possible to ensure that you find what you want.

RVing Clubs and Magazines – RVing clubs help RVers get up to speed very quickly by providing
information about the RV lifestyle, locales to visit, and suggested maintenance tips. They sponsor local
chapters all over the country as well as local, regional, and national RV rallies where you can meet with
other RVers. The rallies frequently offer seminars and work shops on RVing topics and offer
opportunities for recreation, rest, and education.

The RVing clubs also offer valuable discounts for RV parks, services, and other RVer needs.
We strongly encourage all RVers to join at least one of the major user groups to keep up with what's
happening with RVs, RV products and services, and the RV lifestyle.

The three major clubs are the
Good Sam Club, the Family Motor Coach Association  (FMCA), and
the
Escapees RV Club. All provide excellent magazines directed to helping RVers with information,
product information, discounts, and offerings. In addition to these, there are dozens of smaller RVer
clubs supported by common interests or sponsored by the RV manufacturers.

The
Good Sam Club publishes Highways magazine and is probably the best known. The Good Sam
Club provides valuable information as well as discounts, and product and service offerings to its
members. The annual fee of $30 is quickly recouped by making use of the discounts on overnight fees
and RV service expenditures at their participating campground, RV resort, and RV service providers.

The
Family Motor Coach Association (FMCA) publishes the Family Motor Coaching magazine and is
directed towards owners of larger motorhomes. Similar to the Good Sam Club, the FMCA fee of $45 to
join and $35/year to renew is quickly recouped by making use of wealth of information in the Family
Motor Coaching magazine, as well as the discounts on RV services, including health insurance and
campground and resort fees.

The
Escapees Club, which publishes the Escapees magazine, is very highly regarded by the full-time
and extended-stay RVers. The membership fee is $70 to join and $60 to renew. Escapees Club
products and service offerings, including discounts of 15% - 50% at selected RV resorts, directly
contribute to making life on the road more fun and address the unique needs of RVers with no home
base or who are away for extended periods of time.

All RVers should check out the
Woodall’s Diamond Club and E-magazine. The E-newsletters offer
easy-to-read information and tips that help all RVers and include coupons to provide additional savings.

An excellent additional selection of informative and popular RV lifestyle magazines and newsletters can
be found at the
NewRVer website.

RV Lifestyle Books and Magazines - The brick and mortar bookstores, such as Barnes and Noble
and Books-a-Million, carry campground directories and atlases, RVers looking for books about the RV
lifestyle will find a much broader selection at Internet RV bookstores.

Two popular magazines available by subscription and in selected bookstores include
Motorhome
magazine and
Trailer Life magazine. They are both available in bookstores and by subscription. Both
magazines are loaded with helpful and well-presented information.

If you don’t find what you wanted at your local bookstore or RV dealer, use the Internet and check out
the
Woodall’s online bookstore, the Trailer Life bookstore, and the RV Bookstore The Camping
World website and the Work Kamper online bookstore are also popular with full-timers, work campers,
and extended-stay RVers.

RV Catalogs – Since you never know when you’ll be looking for RVing items, we suggest that you keep
a Camping World master catalog, and an RV Parts and Accessories catalog available from your local RV
dealer Parts and Accessories handy. RVers will also find excellent catalogs available from the RV
manufacturers that are customized for many of the small items on their rigs.

RV Suppliers – RVers have a large number of suppliers for the parts, accessories, and systems to get
the most out of their RV and the RV lifestyle. The first stop is normally your local RV dealer or RV
service shop. They are generally conveniently located and have access to just about any RV part ever
made for your RV.

Large independent distributors that offer a wide array of anything needed for RVing include
Camping
World, known to most RVers for their website, catalogs, and nation-wide chain of large retail
supercenters providing RV products, service, and RV sales as well as extended warranties and RV
financing. The Camping World website at www.campingworld.com lets you shop from the convenience of
your home or RV site.

The
J.C. Whitney website also provides a wide selection of RV supplies, systems, and accessories. In
addition to Camping World and J.C. Whitney, RVers will find that home supply stores, such as Home
Depot and Lowe's can be very helpful. They carry economically-priced, good quality RVing and camping
items, such as non-toxic drinking water hoses, carbon monoxide and smoke detectors, fire extinguishers,
inverters, extension cords, portable heaters, cleaners, lubricants, duct tape, and small hand and power
tools.

Anyone in need of trailer and car dolly tires should check out agricultural supply centers, which usually
carry an excellent selection of tires, lighting kits, and related trailer and tow hitch parts and accessories.

For miscellaneous items, check out the camping supplies, automotive, housewares, linen, yard and
patio, and sporting goods departments-and just about any other departments--of the big box stores,
including Wal-Mart, K-Mart, and Target.

Camping supply stores, such as Campmor, provide the essentials and durable products you need for
camping, hiking, and wilderness areas. Large sporting goods stores, such as Sports Authority, and
Dick's, carry an extensive selection of camping equipment and supplies. Many items from the leading
Coleman camping equipment line popular with campers since the 1940s will be on the shelves of all the
big box and sporting goods stores.

When all else fails and you haven’t found what you’re looking for, turn on the computer and do an
Internet Google search for the missing item on the Internet.
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