- Seasoned travelers Marc and Julie Bennett say going on a long journey in a new RV is a big mistake.
- The Bennetts have traveled across the US in an RV and written two books about it.
- The couple recommends taking a new rig on a “shakeout” trip and fixing issues before driving far.
More Americans have become interested in purchasing an RV in recent years in the hopes of seeing more of the US.
But seasoned RV travelers Marc and Julie Bennett tell Insider if there’s one mistake first-time buyers should avoid making it’s driving a brand-new RV on a cross-country road trip.
The Bennetts began living and traveling in an RV in 2014, according to their website, and have since been to 48 states in one. The RV experts have also written two books on the subject, “RV Hacks: 400+ Ways to Make Life on the Road Easier, Safer, and More Fun!” and “Living the RV Life: Your Ultimate Guide to Life on the Road.”
According to Julie, mobile homes are rarely in perfect working condition, even when they’re new. And because she says RVs are like “little rolling earthquakes” — they rattle and things can come loose as you drive — it can be risky to take one out on a long trip right away.
In fact, Julie says it’s often better to buy a pre-owned RV in great condition than a new one, and that in her experience a cared-for, used RV will have fewer issues.
If you do have a brand-new RV, start with a ‘shakeout’ trip and make an appointment for repairs
Instead of taking your new mobile home for a long journey right away, make an appointment for warranty repairs when you purchase the RV, the Bennetts wrote in their book, “RV Hacks.” New mobile homes have seasoning periods where they need adjustments and fixes, according to the book.
Once your appointment is booked, the Bennetts told Insider you should take the RV for a spin locally to test the vehicle and make a list of all its issues. They call this a “shakeout trip.”
Once you’ve made note of any issues with your RV, Marc recommends taking your vehicle to a dealer to get everything fixed before heading out on a big trip.
If your RV is working perfectly and you don’t need the appointment, you can always cancel it, Marc says.
The Bennetts have also shared other common mistakes people make when traveling in an RV, from overpacking and overplanning to relying solely on technology for navigation.