Saturday, April 1, 2023


Ways you can help “newbie” RVers – You were once one, too!

By Gail Marsh
When COVID-19 lockdowns began early last year, people figured, “Within two weeks this will all blow over.” Remember “Flatten the curve?” As winter turned into spring and spring turned into summer, lockdowns continued. It soon became evident that summer vacations would not be “normal.” RVing provided a perfect way to social distance, avoid crowds, and even safely isolate – all while taking an actual vacation.

RV buying frenzy

As the COVID reality set in, an unprecedented RV buying frenzy developed. More than half a million new RVs were purchased last year! The RV industry expects this year to be even bigger than last. More and more folks are dipping their toes into the RV lifestyle. We recently asked our readers if they would be willing to help “newbie” RVers – and almost all of the experienced RVers said, “Yes!”

Ways to help newbie RVers

So, what are some ways to really help the “newbie” RVers who’ve joined this wonderful lifestyle? Here are some thoughts to consider:

  • Be friendly! Welcome “newbies” with a genuine smile. Your friendliness will encourage the new RVer to approach you with questions or concerns.
  • Observe the body language of the “newbie.” If you sense frustration or confusion, offer to help. Don’t be offended if your offer is rebuffed at first. Many new RV owners want to “try it themselves” before enlisting the help of others.
  • If someone else is already helping, let them. Be ready to assist if needed but realize that too many well-intentioned “helpers” can often cause confusion. (Remember the well-meaning folks who “helped” you back up your fifth wheel for the first time? Too many people shouting directions is not helpful.)
  • Keep a humble attitude when assisting. Nobody appreciates a “know-it-all.” Be open to learning a thing or two from the “newbie.” S/he may have new devices or information that could improve your own RVing experience.
  • Graciously share the hints and tips you’ve learned about RV maintenance, favorite products, and informative websites like (hint hint…).

When a “newbie” pulls into a space beside you, remember, you were once a new RVer, too! Be ready to demonstrate the helpful and friendly nature that defines most experienced RVers. It’s part of what makes the RV lifestyle so enjoyable!

Can you add to this list? What do you think is the best way to help a new RVer?


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Bob Weinfurt
1 year ago

I greet a new neighbor with a friendly “Hiya”, then maybe a bit of small talk. I tell them if you need anything, give me a holler and head back into my MH. I never stay outside watching their every move but do take an occasional glance through a window to be sure they aren’t doing anything dangerous. If I see them struggling with something, I’ll casually go outside and offer to help.
The next day I might invite them over for a cup of coffee or to toast some marshmallows.
I’ve found that friendliness and a smile are usually contagious, at least most of the time.

RV Staff
1 year ago
Reply to  Bob Weinfurt

Wonderful, Bob. Thank you! We could use more people like you in this country. Just sayin’. And I’ll come toast/roast marshmallows with you anytime! Take care, and have a good night. 😀 —Diane at

Mike Albert
1 year ago

Another thought/mantra to remember would be, “teach one, show one, let them do one”. I’ve used it teaching first aide and firefighting and it mostly works. While teaching the theory, they are absorbing the idea. While showing the mechanics, they see the movements. Finally, they get to practice what they learned and apply the techniques learned. Works, most of the time. I remember our first time with our MH and I opened the slides first, then hooked up water, electric and sewer (opened the gate) then kept hitting my head on the slide out. Then I leveled with the automatic jacks. A friendly RVer came by and explained the now obvious. Level first, hook up second then open slides. Won’t rack the slides’ tracks, won’t hit your head. Explanation and reasoning goes a long way.

1 year ago

14 years on the road. Still going strong. Always something to learn. Secure the microwave door. Pantry door. My newest trick. I bought fabric fold up boxes for each room. Fill them up and they ride standing up. Each box has the items for the rooms. Lock shower door. Many more tricks and I always take advice for info to make lufe easier and less messy. 38 foot fiver

Judy S
1 year ago

I’m still learning, despite being an experienced RVer. Thanks for this great article.

Bill Coady
1 year ago

Well said! Thanks.

MN Anon
1 year ago

I’m not new to camping, but I’m new to RVing (August 2020). A warm smile is always welcome, I read it as a way to ask for help or suggestions! And, coming from a small town in rural MN, I’m always willing to lend a hand. That’s how we roll.

1 year ago

Share your experience, but I wouldn’t share your favorite “out of the way” spots to camp!!!

Skip Nielsen
1 year ago

Good article. Some things to remember. Thank you.

1 year ago

We’ve never seen a “newbie” struggling too much in a campground, yet. But I am a big proponent of starting every encounter with a smile, so someone can feel that help is available if needed. On the other hand I have countless stories I could share about problems at the boat ramp.

MN Anon
1 year ago
Reply to  Dan

So true! LOL!

Bob P
1 year ago

I thought we were all born experts, it doesn’t matter where you are there is going to be someone who has done everything, been everywhere, and knows everything. Lol

Glen Cowgill
1 year ago

Being able to explain the problem and the solution is teaching. Telling someone to do something without telling them why they need to do it this way leaves the person with more questions than answers often. Be tender explaining. A good teacher detects frustration and has the understanding to overcome fears.

martin a
1 year ago
Reply to  Glen Cowgill

Glen, very well said, in my former job there was a culture of some that trained newbies with the “because thats the way we do it here” mentality. That never was effective for me and I didnt train others that way, learning the reason for some procedure or behavior creates understanding and retention.

Donald N Wright
1 year ago

Backing the trailer into a space is always a challenge. I have broken the ice telling the newbie I have the same problem, one time the trailer goes right where I planned it to go, the next time I am in the ditch. Offer to help but do not push help.

Bob P
1 year ago

A very easy way to back a trailer is to put your hand at the bottom of the steering wheel, now which ever way you move your hand on the wheel that’s the direction the trailer is going to go.

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