We started RVing with zero experience. We did the following to gain experience.
1. We parked the RV in our front yard and moved in to support a new mindset and learn what was needed to live in a smaller space. WE lived in it for 5 months before heading off as fulltimers.
2. We joined a local RV Club mostly of people who had our brand, joined Good Sams and Joined Escapees RV club. That summer we went out every chance we could with any of the clubs having a rally
in the area. This gave us the opportunity to tie into their travel experience.
3. Our first alone trip was to a state campground in our very own town, less than 3 miles from our house making forgetting something a no brainer. (One line we learned from others "don't worry if you forgot it Walmart has it.)
4. I read everything I could find on line, particularly the Escapee Clubs full time RVer forumn. Escapees has more full timers than just about anyone. There are numerous books by fulltime RVers.
5. As we progressed to a Fiberglass trailer we went to numerous fiberglass trailer rallies around the country, fiberglass trailer owners are a different breed, a nice breed.
6. Our initial biggest fear with a small trailer was backing it up. We've had virtually whole (small) parks turn our to see us back it in. There is always someone that will help. RVers always are willing to help. Never hesitate to get out and take a look when backing. (One rule never try to park in the dark.)
7. We never carried a gun though we legally can carry a concealed gun in 36 states and since you're from FL (?) you could as well. Generally you can not carry a gun in Canada. There is a single book you can buy that tells you the laws in all states. The states with the strictest gun rules have the largest number of gun deaths.
8. As to fear the only places I worry about are cities. It's not much of a problem because we generally avoid driving thru cities and would never camp in a city, these days particularly the left coast cities. There is insanity in both Portland, Seattle many CA cities where the police have been virtually ordered not to protect citizens. If we want to go to a place like Washington DC, a really interesting City, we camp outside the city and drive in to tour.
9. This is our 20th year. Traveling in an RV for the past 20 years has been wonderful. Most of our years have been in a small RV. WE have never for a minute found it too small. Admittedly our friends with larger RVs can't imagine why or how we can do it. That's all OK. One year we spent 310 days in a row in our Scamp
16, the only down side was we gave over 100 tours of our Scamp
. We'd go into a grocery store and people would be waiting for us to come out so they could see our Scamp
. We charged a quarter (just kidding). It was always fun to share.
10. I wish you well. It's a great life. You'll figure out what you need rather quickly. Except for tools, if we traveled and did not use it or wear it, next time we didn't bring it.
11. We did not carry an iron, we bought into the wrinkled look, and recognized that we could wear outer clothes for more than one day, it wasn't like going to work or school where people kept track of your attire.
12. On and on..... The best advice I can give is to go to Newfoundland, our favorite place in North America. Our favorite place in the lower 48 is Port Orford, Oregon. (I am happy to give tips on both of these. We've been to Newfoundland 11 times and Port Orford 10 times. You'll absolutely never need to defend yourself in Newfoundland or Port Orford. You'll wonder why you haven't lived in either place your entire life.
Best to you. Norm