4 RV Tips for First Time RVers

If you’ve dreamed of RVing and are finally getting ready to take your new or used RV out for the first road trip, arm yourself with these RV tips for first time RVers. They can help boost your confidence behind the wheel and avoid rookie mistakes.

RV Tips

Go for a Test Drive (or Several!)

Test driving your RV can’t be done too many times. Just like learning to drive a car for the first time, there are unique challenges in driving or hauling an RV that simply get easier with practice as you get used to the added weight and length. Take it for a test drive in an empty parking lot and practice backing up, making left and right turns, and general maneuvering. Also, practice putting on the brakes. The brakes handle differently for every vehicle, and especially so when you’re hauling a heavy load. Pump the breaks to get a feel for it. You won’t regret it!

Take Your Time

You’ll want to allow extra time for the drive. Your regular vehicle may be able to clip along right at the speed limit, but you will need to slow down just a little when you’re towing or driving your new or used RV. Dangerous and risky mistakes can be avoided by anyone just by slowing down, and the size of an RV can increase those risks. Slow down – or the drive you’re rushing in may be to the hospital.

And remember our tip above for getting a feel for the breaks? Knowing how your RV’s brakes handle give you even more advantages when it comes to having a little more reaction time if there is a collision ahead. Knowing how your breaks handle + driving a bit slower = giving yourself more time to react and slow down.

Eliminate Distractions

This one is the same advice for operating any vehicle: never drive while under the influence of illegal substances or even medication that may impair your reaction time, vision, alertness, or driving ability. or reaction time. Don’t use social media or text while driving – you can check messages when you stop for fuel. We care about you getting where you’re heading safely, and if it’s a risk to avoid while driving a regular vehicle, it goes double for RVing.

Keep an Eye on the Weather

If you’re driving into inclement weather, you might want to consider delaying your drive by a little bit to let it pass. High winds and heavy storms can both create extra obstacles to navigate, and if you’re still getting used to hauling your RV, strong weather can make a difference in your ability to drive safely. Keep your weather radar on and don’t feel bad about pulling off to let the storms blow over.

Give Yourself Time to Learn

The more you travel in your new or used RV, the more comfortable you’ll get with it. That will lead to maximizing the fun you’re having and minimizing the stress. We’d love to help you pick out the RV that’s the perfect fit for your family as well as your vehicle. Contact us today!

4 Key Benefits of 5th Wheel Style RVs

With so many different types of trailers and RVs to choose from, it can be hard to understand the difference between them and what style will be the most beneficial for your needs. 5th wheel style RVs are a popular style for several reasons. After some comparison, it is obvious that 5th wheels offer some exclusive benefits that you will come to enjoy!


Because 5th wheels are hitched to the truck bed right above the rear tires, the traction and handling are dramatically increased. This also allows the trailer to tow easily and be travel friendly. In addition, it can be unhitched easily allowing you to travel freely with your vehicle if you need to leave the campsite.


5th wheels are known for offering a wide number of benefits that are often reserved for the most luxurious of recreational vehicles. Some 5th wheels even have full washer and dryers as well as generators on board. The spacious layout of the 5th wheel RV allows for multiple opportunities to add luxurious accommodations in order to make your camping experience comfortable and adventurous at the same time. Many 5th wheels offer a spacious master bedroom equipped with a walk-in closet!


The bi-level floor plan of many 5th wheels increases the opportunity for privacy. Many RVs can sleep a lot of people, but bi-level 5th wheels give special consideration to private sleeping quarters. Additionally, the maneuverability allows you to place the trailer in smaller or uniquely angled sites that may be more private at busy campgrounds.

Price and Size

The 5th wheel RV is quite affordable considering the number of people it can sleep, the living space it provides, and the luxury options that can be included. 5th wheels can generally sleep over 6 people comfortably, which makes them well worth the price.

 So, the next time you visit your RV dealer, ask to tour a few of their 5th wheels. You may find the perfect fit for your next RVing adventure!


Getting Started With Your First RV

“Can I trust you?” – These four words should be the first question you ask yourself when searching for an RV dealer. A great RV dealership is one that is invested in providing you the best RV experience with great brands and quality service. Here at Modern Trailer Sales, our entire family is invested in our dealership and customers. Since 1951 we have been your family-owned and operated dealership, providing you with outstanding service and reliable RVs. So remember, when you are purchasing your first RV …choose your dealer first.

What Kind of RVer Are You?

Because no two RVers are the same, their view of the RV lifestyle won’t be exactly the same.  That’s a good thing.  However, there are some basic categories most RVers fall into.  The basic categories are vacation travel, full time RVer, and weekend camping.  Choosing an RV dealer that understands how you plan to use your RV and offers the right features, accessories and RV brands that fit your RV activities is the most important first step.

Do You Have the Experience?

As you visit RV dealerships that offer the type of RV that you want, remember to always ask them about their own RV experience. Do the owners, managers and support staff really understand the RV lifestyle – do they RV themselves? Modern Trailer Sales has been in the RV industry since 1951, providing customers with their vast array of camping and RV knowledge that comes from three generations of living the RV lifestyle.  A dealer that doesn’t have experience in RVing can’t provide you with the knowledge and support that an experienced RVer provides. The dealer that you purchase your first RV from should be able to offer you excellent customer service and knowledge before and after your purchase.
Check out our testimonials from real customers here.

How Do You Plan to Use Your RV?

Now that you’ve chosen a dealer, it’s time to start looking for your first RV! We are sure that you have given this much thought already, but ask yourself what you plan to do when you get your new RV.  Do you plan on cooking a lot or spending most of your time outside the RV?  Will you be traveling with children? Will you spend long periods of time in one campground or move around?  Be sure to browse all RVs with the help of your dealer to find an RV that has great appliances and plenty of space to accommodate everyone. At Modern Trailer Sales we have one of the largest varieties of RVs in Indiana to choose from. Tell us what your preferences are and we will find the perfect RV for you.

What About Financing?

O.K., You have found your perfect RV. Now what do you do about financing? When you finance your purchase instead of liquidating assets or paying cash, you maintain your personal financial flexibility. Plus, your RV may qualify for some of the same tax benefits as a second home mortgage. When you finance through Modern Trailer Sales, down payments will be lower and finance terms can be longer, giving you the flexibility you need to pay off your RV in a way that is comfortable for you and your family. By not tapping into your financial assets to purchase the RV, you can take advantage of attractive new investment opportunities that might come along and the earnings from those investments can potentially exceed the cost of your RV financing.

Modern Trailer Sales Is For You!

Here at Modern Trailer, we offer you over 60 years of experience to provide you with the RV of your dreams. We are family owned and operated company who understands the concerns you have while searching for your first RV. We offer one of the largest parts inventory in the Midwest and if you still can’t find it, we will. Contact Modern Trailer today to schedule an appointment and find the RV that you have been dreaming of.

Navigating the RV Buying Process

Guest Blogger and veteran RVer, Ric Walter, shares his insights for first-time RV buyers!


Over the last nine years my family has purchased three fifth wheel trailers, all from Modern Trailer Sales.  However, I grew up camping.  As a child we had a 1973 tent trailer and the nine-passenger station wagon that was used for 15 years.  One of the biggest benefits of RVing for our family is we enjoy the freedom and cleanliness that our trailer offers.

There are a couple of things that a new RV buyer should consider prior to purchase.  What is your vehicle’s towing capacity?   How many beds do you need?  How many days per year do you plan to use your trailer?

Next, if you are in the market for a new vehicle, you may want to consider the type of RVing you are interested in.  For example, if your goal is to have a fifth wheel which is not permanently parked, you may want to look at a truck verses an SUV as your next vehicle.  Considering the fact that most people end up trading-in for a larger towable as they gain experience, it’s best to realize your preferences and amenity wants ahead of time.

We have been very pleased with our experience with Modern Trailer Sales.  A lot of the same employees have been there throughout our ten years of working with the dealership.  We had the same sales person (Shane), service advisors (Drew and James), parts manager (Tom), and worked with Christy and Tami in the business office the whole time.  When we looked to upgrade our RVs we shopped the competition and it was amazing to see the turnover and lack of knowledge at those establishments.  With little turnover, the staff of Modern Trailer Sales treats you as a friend.  They ask about your latest adventures.  When we were ready to upgrade, they listened to our needs and made suggestions to potential units that would work for our family.  In addition, by knowing us as friends, they can make recommendations on potential maintenance items.  For example, the dealership pointed out a potential tire issue prior to a 4000 mile trip that would have be fine if we were camping locally that year, but wasn’t safe for a long trip.

On occasion, we have called the service department and asked for assistance.  There has never been an occasion where we were not helped.  These calls have pertained to “where is something”, winterization, or help with the inverter.  Over the years, we have learned there are four simple maintenance items that should not be neglected.  They are charging the battery, wheel bearing repacking, roof treatment, and tire monitoring. One of the best pieces of advice that we were told after our first purchase was “With camping, you are either watching a show or you are the show”. This was followed by “Anything can be fixed”.  After ten years of fifth wheel camping, these statements are still true today.  Each year we look forward to the new and exciting family adventures we will have on our camping trips.


Extended RV Warranties: Don’t Travel Without One

No one likes to pay more than an item’s purchase price.  The taxes alone are a burden.  With some purchases, there are those nasty surcharges as well as handling and other miscellaneous fees.  And then there are extended warranties.  Some people do not feel right about paying extra for something that “should” work or take the position of, “I will deal with it (breakdown/repairs) if and when it happens.”

Well, I urge you not to make that costly mistake when purchasing an RV.  Like with a home or vehicle, even the best built RV can develop unexpected repairs and mechanical problems.  While a travel trailer may not have an expensive engine, certain simple appliance failures could be costly.  Statistics show that just in the second year, three out of every ten RVs will need a major repair.

You did not purchase your vehicle to have it sit in storage or in your driveway until you are able to afford to pay for expensive repairs.  You purchased your RV so you can take advantage of the RV experience: taking weekend trips, vacationing, camping, enjoying recreational activities, and spending time with family.

Unless you have extra dollars set aside, an extended and lifetime warranty is the single best way to protect your investment.  With a comprehensive RV warranty, you can get your RV into a shop and be back on the road hassle-free, without losing valuable time.  Additionally, extended warranties often include towing and roadside assistance benefits, emergency repair provisions, and even lodging reimbursements.

Do not put your finances at risk.  You do not want to face surprise expenses, especially costly RV repairs. Have the peace of mind that comes with an RV warranty, and sleep better at night knowing that certain major repairs will be covered, if and when they occur.

My RV Purchasing Tip

When purchasing your first RV be sure to think through the following questions:

1. How do you plan to use your RV?
Weekend Outings with friends or family?
Long, Extended Vacations?
As a snowbird or full-timer?

2. Will you be traveling with Children?

3. Do you like to get away for long stretches at a time?

4. How would you define your ideal vacation?
     Liking to rough it and take just the basic necessities or do you like to have it all with extra storage and space?

 5. Do you love to cook for fun?­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­

6. Would you rather have a smaller RV that can take you to “out of the way” places or a larger rig with more living comfort  and amenities?

7. What type of vehicle do you plan to tow your RV?

It’s very important when buying an RV to make sure your tow vehicle can pull your new RV smoothly

 8. Is there a specific payment range you need to stick to?

9. Are there any specific models that spark your interest?