No one starts off knowing everything about an RV. For the majority of new owners, having to dump a black tank, hitch up a travel trailer, and even plug in the power pedestal are all very unfamiliar things to do. If you’re looking to rent your travel trailer out, it’s your responsibility to create a detailed informational guide for your renters to follow.
An RV User Manual is your RV’s equivalent of a Bible. The RV User Manual contains information on your RV’s specification, type of engine, functionality, and so on. Although these things might be covered in your walkthrough, they will likely be forgotten eventually if not written down.
However, with that said, creating a manual from scratch can be overwhelming as well. How do you start, and what do you include? In this article, we’ll help to answer these questions and guide you to create the ultimate user manual.
Before making an RV User Manual, you need to walk through your RV and go through the daily process of operating your RV yourself. This includes setting up, packing up, operating the installed appliances, checking the engine, and even measuring your RV parts. In the process of the reenactment, make sure to take notes.
Try to empathize with a new RV user and the questions they may ask when confronted with all these pieces of information and specifications. Also, be sure to include tips and tricks that work on your RV, hacks that would make the lids of the rentees much easier when operating your RV. All in all, write everything possible down, it’s better to give more information than to give less!
Since an RV is a huge vehicle, common drivers will not be used to it –– it’s probably most owners’ first time driving such a big rig in the first place! So, be sure to give tips on how to drive with such a big vehicle, like turning, reversing, parking, and so on. Also, you might want to give important information like the height of the RV or what type of fuel is best for the RV.
As RVs typically have several functionalities that require setting up and packing up, it is important to include detailed instructions on how to set up and pack up your RV for ur rentees. Such information includes leveling, lowering jacks, unhitching, filling fresh tanks, hooking up to city water, hooking up to sewer, and plugging into electricity.
It is also important to include information on where u kept the essential pieces of equipment in your RV, like the extension cords, electrical cables, extra water hoses, and sewer extensions.
Dealing with RV plumbing systems can be intimidating to those who aren't familiar with them. Hence, it is important to include detailed instructions and hacks on dealing with the RV plumbing systems properly.
Such information includes the type of toilet paper to use, how to flush the toilet properly, information on water heaters, tank capacity, tips to conserve water, using the pumps, and dumping the waste tanks. Also, it is good to write down common problems the rentees may face with the RV plumbing systems and how to fix them.
Because RVs are normally packed with several appliances, there could be questions and confusion on how to use them properly. Even if the rentees know how to use these appliances conventionally, they may not know the safe and efficient way to use these appliances in a way that doesn’t compromise their life span.
Hence, we suggest including instructions on how to properly light the stove and oven, how many of the appliances can be used at once, information on the generator as well as its limitations, what to do if a breaker flips, and so on.
It is also good to include in your RV User Manual what appliances or equipment you have in your RV as well as where you have stored them. This will prevent them from bringing extra unnecessary appliances and equipment on their RV trip and overloading the RV.
Though the majority of items will be brought by your renters, there are several things that you will still provie for them. Because you’re going to store these away in drawers, cabinets, or storage bays, locating where they are will be difficult.
As such, we encourage putting up a list of the items in the rental and where their location is. You can label the outside of cabinets and drawers to aid them in their search.
As you have already included how to set up the features and functionalities of the RV, you should also include information on how to properly pack them up. This includes, how to dump waste tanks properly, unhooking city water, hitching up, how to safely unplug, important reminders as well as for instructions unique to your RV.
Dump Stations and Campsites
Be sure to give them a list of locations where they can find dump stations as well as for instructions on how to dump the wastes properly.
Should you be feeling particularly helpful, you can include a list of RV campsites you find affordable or of quality around the state. You can even write down your review on each of the RV campsites you mentioned for added effect.
If you’re planning to give some extra tips, you can include interesting places for them to visit around the area, recommendations of where to dine or which not so touristy place they should pay a visit to. Conversely, you can also give them a list of places they should avoid, or tips to avoid getting ripped off in the area.
After you’re done consolidating your RV User Manual, make sure to provide a table of contents as well as break them up into relevant categories so that the manual is easier to read. You wouldn’t want them to flip around the manual struggling to find the information they need and end up spending a whole day trying to refill fresh tanks. On top of that, you can add pictures to improve their experience.
This way they wouldn’t struggle to identify appliances, parts, and equipment when trying to operate the RV. In addition, it makes the whole manual easier to read. I know I said that the RV User Manual is like a bible but you wouldn’t want to make it as boring as a bible.
All in all, most rentees of RV are renting your RV to go on camping trips and drives. They most probably are not familiar or well-versed with RV functionalities, so keep in mind and try to craft your manual as beginner-friendly as possible.
The better your RV User Manual, the better the rentee’s experience will be. Providing a good customer service will encourage them to spread the word about your RV to family and friends, which can potentially translate into more business for you. Hence, it goes one full circle!