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In one month and twenty-four days my family and I are heading out in a fifth wheel for six weeks to see 10 national parks. In the past we have always been tent people. Tent camping is cheap, and can be so much fun. Knowing we would be on the road for 42 days, we decided to upgrade our accommodations.


We are pretty much newbies at the fifth wheel life and I can tell you from our limited experience…its a little complicated. There is more to buy than just the camper. You also need a fifth wheel hitch, a brake controller, and according to my husband…a second air conditioner and Ride Rite air bags. Also, if you live in Virginia, you have a wheel tax of sorts for your camper. Glamping is not cheap.

We made our practice run on our spring break, traveling 340 miles or so to Bay’s Mountain located in Kingsport, Tennessee. So much was learned on this first trip. In case you are new at this too…or just need a good laugh…here are just a few things we learned.

1. Even if you are too tired to find the hand towels and put out the toilet paper when you arrive, do it anyway. Your son might be first up in the morning and decide to use paper towels for his bathroom needs. Did I mention he flushed them?? In a camper potty??

2. Just because the gauge on your galley tank says its only 2/3 full, don’t bet on it. Water might back up and flow back out. Yes, that happened.

3. Hide a key that is accessible outside of your camper. And not in your car…it might be locked. After unlocking your camper, your son might turn the key back into the lock position without you knowing it. Yes, you can lock yourself out of your camper.

4. Subscribe to GoodSam. They take care of the locking yourself out of the camper ordeal..and quickly I might add. Even in far away places…like Bay’s Mountain. (I promise they did not pay me to say that…I am just really grateful!)

5. Lastly, if you add Mayo to your guacamole (I know it sounds weird…but it is so good) you will get food poisoning if you leave it out too long. And you will be glad you are in a camper and not in a tent. Food poisoning is not fun. Food poisoning without a toilet nearby is less fun.

Despite all of the “learning experiences,” we had so much fun!! The kids thought it was so cool to fuel up next to the big guys.


And spring was happening before our eyes.


We made time for exploring.


And taking in the view.


I would love to hear about any of your RV “learning experiences!”  Please feel free to share in the comments. Happy camping!