First Time with an RV Checklist

Sitting behind the wheel of your new RV comes with a lot of elation and anticipation. The open road is in front of you, and with all of the national parks and wild spaces available to explore in the U.S., there is nearly endless adventure ahead.

But of course, you’ll have to make sure you are prepared before any big trip. Having the right gear ensures safety, and will save you money and time in the long run. You don’t want to have to go out hunting for niche pieces of gear or be worried about getting lost during your journey. This first-time RV checklist is for you to read and use while packing up your RV for the first time. This list isn’t exhaustive, but should provide you with the basic items, and a few extras, for your trip.


RV Essentials

You’ll need some essential, mechanical gear that will help you stay safe on the road. Depending on the type of RV, you may need to add a few items or ignore others on this RV-first-time checklist.

  • Drinking Hose Water
  • Sewer Kit
  • Surge Protector
  • Generator
  • Electrical Adapters
  • Water Pressure Regulator
  • Tire Pressure Gauge
  • Duct Tape
  • Flashlight
  • Emergency Road Kit
  • Extra Motor Oil and Transmission Fluid
  • Fire Extinguisher
  • Closed bag for documents like registration, insurance, reservations, etc.


Clothing Items

You’ll know which clothing items are best for you, but when on the road, it’s best to keep it simple and not overpack.  We’ve put together a list of clothing items that work well in the RV as well as on adventures like hiking or backpacking. Make sure to choose clothing items that are comfortable, made of high quality materials to keep you warm or cool, and are suitable for both adventure and relaxation.

  • Sun protective hat
  • Rain Gear
  • Shoes: Chacos or Tevas, hiking boots, running shoes, etc.
  • Bathing suit
  • Down Jacket
  • Socks
  • Underwear
  • Short and long sleeve shirts
  • Base layers (if backpacking)


Bedroom Items

These bedroom items will be obvious to bring along, but it’s easy to get wrapped up in all the things you’ll need to fill your RV. These are some must-haves for your bedroom that you wont want to forget.

  • Bed and sheets
  • Clothes hangers
  • Sewing kit
  • Towels
  • Blankets
  • Pillows
  • Storage Organizer


Kitchen & Cooking Supplies

You’ll probably be spending a lot of time in the kitchen between hiking, biking or even surfing. Cooking is a great way to bring the people in your RV together. You’ll want to make sure you have the right supplies to cook and bake the things you love.

  • Cutting Board
  • Utensils and Cutting Knives
  • Dish Soap
  • Cooler
  • Matches or a lighter
  • Skillets
  • Dish Towels
  • Garbage Bags
  • Paper Towels
  • Can Opener
  • Camping griddle
  • Pot Holders
  • Napkins
  • Reusable storage bags
  • Tupperware
  • Sponge and other cleaning utensils
  • Disinfecting wipes

Happy Camping 🙂

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Forest River RV Roadside Assistance

Does Forest River RV offer a Roadside Assistance Program?




Forest River RV brands come with one year of Roadside Assistance included for the first year on most new motorized and towable Forest River RVs*. This service provides you with 24/7 coverage for the following services:

  • Towing
  • Jump Starts
  • Tire Assistance
  • Delivery of Fuel and Emergency Fluids
  • Locksmith/Lockout Service
  • Winch Out
  • Technical Support
  • RV Mobile Mechanic

If you purchased your vehicle prior to 1/1/2019, please call the following number for emergency roadside assistance: 877-801-0333

If you purchased your vehicle on or after 1/1/2019, please call the following number for emergency roadside assistance: 866-209-2895

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Forest River Vibe Standard Features




Standard Features:

  • Hyper Lyte Construction – Amazingly Light!!!
  • Vacuum Bonded “Aluma Frame” Sidewalls and 2″ Laminated Floor
  • 15K BTU Ducted A/C
  • High Efficiency A/C Cooling System (Larger duct work)
  • Outside Kitchen with induction cooktop (25RK, 26BH, 26RK, 28BH, 29BH, 31BH, 32BH, 33BH)
  • Aluminum Wheels
  • 6 Gal. G/E DSI Water Heater
  • 2- 20# LP Bottles
  • Cable & Satellite Prep
  • Digital TV Antenna w/Booster
  • Extra Large, Aluminum Framed, Pass Thru Storage
  • Spare Tire & Carrier
  • Outside Shower
  • Spread Axle System
  • Back-Up Camera Prep
  • 12 Volt Everchill Residential Refer
  • Tri Fold Sofa (N/A 22RB, 24RL)
  • Extra Large Pots & Pans Drawer
  • Dometic Pedal Flush Toilet
  • STD 26″ Crystal Fireplace (select models)
  • Upgraded Residential Style Carpet
  • Extra Large Single Bowl Kitchen Sink
  • Decorative Glass inserts in Kitchen Cabinets
  • Hard Doors to Bedrooms for Privacy NOT Curtains
  • Skylight over tub/shower and kitchen area
  • Large Trash Can w/ Designated Out of the Way Area

Learn more:


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Ways To Contact Us

As you are all aware, Illinois is currently under a stay at home order until April 7th. We are taking this matter seriously and following guidelines to ensure our employees and customers are safe in every way. We understand many people rely on us to provide services for their campers which is why we want you to know that we have our sales team available to meet by a private appointment, text, video calls, and of course email. As we continue to practice and maintain guidelines set from health professionals, we are determined to ensure that our customers receive the high level of service you have come to expect from Colman’s RV.

For any service or sales needs, please feel free to call or text us at our normal business number (217) 793-7300 as we are manning the phones to answer your questions.You can also text your questions to Kevin (217) 306-1796 and email questions to the following:—sales—service

Again, we are here for you and your family, so please don’t hesitate to reach out to us because we look forward to getting you out into the great outdoors as soon as possible.


                                Warmest Regards,

                                                                   Colman’s RV

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COVID-19 Company Action



Don’t let social distancing keep you from getting your social distance!

We understand that most purchases of recreational vehicles are to adventure the great outdoors, away from crowds, and spend time with those we are closest to.  We want the buying process to be enjoyable and safe to our customers.

In these unprecedented times,  Colman’s RV is committed to providing you with your RV needs while keeping you and our staff as safe as possible.  We have implemented plans and processes that will minimize exposure and responsibly respect social distancing guidelines.

  • If you are interested in a product that you see online, feel free to communicate via email, text, or phone.  Our sales staff is eager to help you through this process remotely.
  • We will take videos to answer your questions, or live video chat from the unit that you have an interest in.
  • We will accept video walkthroughs of your trade to get trade in numbers as close as possible.
  • We may be able to pick up your trade-in to bring it in to the dealership.
  • If you’d prefer, we can schedule a single visit purchase.  We will prep the  RV and have it ready before you ever see it in person.  If you love it then you can take it home with you!
  • We may be able to deliver your unit to your home and sign paperwork on site, having only one social contact.

Please let us know if there is anything that we could possibly do to assist you!

The Colman’s RV Family


CDC Resource:

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Protect Your RV with NanoCure


Protect your home away from home, from life’s surprises on the road

Utilizing superior formulations, our NanoCure with Nanoxide provides recreational vehicles a protective barrier for all interior and exterior surfaces. Even the most common roadway incidents can cause lifelong damage to an RV. Our RV protection coverage is tailored to the needs of the recreational vehicle owner, covering components such as vinyl awnings and end caps.

Life on the road can take a toll on your RV’s appearance

NanoCure Protective Coatings cover just about any surface an RV has, but the depth of protection our innovative coatings provide is anything but surface level. Applied by certified technicians, NanoCure® protectants will keep one of your largest investments looking brand new, no matter how many trips you and your family take.


Cutting Edge Technology For the Win

Having your vehicle protected by nanotechnology-powered NanoCure Protective Coatings will result in a greatly reduced amount of time spent maintaining your vehicle’s appearance. Our  protectants helps make your vehicle safer, also, thanks to reduced glare and improved windshield visibility. More than topical retail waxes and water-based protectants, NanoCure with Nanoxide becomes one with both glass surfaces and a vehicle’s painted metal panels to ensure the greatest, strongest protection. Come see us today and have your RV protected!

Call us to learn more 217-793-7300

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Fall Camping Tips

How to stay warm and dry while camping in cold weather


Layer up on clothing for fall camping

And, layer down. The unpredictability of fall weather means packing heavier clothing, as well as lighter clothing. Be prepared to dress for comfort rather than for style while camping in cold weather.

Let’s briefly go through the various recommended layers starting with the base layer, which is an article of clothing, such as a thin long sleeve, that is in direct contact with your skin. Make sure it’s snug and allows for easy movement.

Then, your mid layer insulation, such as a sweater, keeps your body heat in. Lastly, your outer lawyer protects you from the elements in cold weather and can include a windbreaker jacket.

Pack the right supplies to stay dry  

Other than the fluctuation in temperatures, fall is the start of rain season in some parts of Canada, so pack your dry gear, too. Rainproof pants, rainproof jacket, proper headwear, and waterproof boots are a great start to enjoying a fall camping trip. Extra pairs of warm socks, and back-up shoes or boots are perfect for ensuring you are prepared for anything.

Other than clothing, you’ll want enough firewood and tarps to keep you warm and dry. Tarps are key to keeping your campsite dry, so find a campsite within trees where you can easily hang several tarps to cover your tenting and eating areas. Staying dry means staying warm in cold weather.

Stay warm in your tent while fall camping

Within your tent, carpets and rugs not only give a cozy feeling, but they also provide that extra insulation from cold weather. And, once you are tucked in for the night, a mummy sleeping bag is ideal as it comes with a hood to cover your head and keep your body heat within. A sleeping bag may not be as effective unless you have a sleeping pad underneath, so make sure you pack a sleeping pad to keep your body one step away from the cold of the earth.

Some extra warmth can come from a hot water bottle, so pack one of those to snuggle with, along with something to heat your water. Including heat  packs on your packing list will give you opportunities to throw them in your sleeping bag or under clothing for extra warm comfort in cold weather.

Eat foods that are best for cold days

It may seem obvious that packing warm meals are best for cold weather, but what is an easy-to-pack warm meal to eat while fall camping? Hot chocolate is a given as a drink, and also recommended is a Campertunity favourite: shish kababs. With an easy to make recipe, just add pieces of beef and / or vegetables to a skewer and let it cook.

Other easy, warm meals include baked brown beans served in hot dog buns, campfire pizza, and hearty stews and chilis. For stew ingredients, we recommend fresh local vegetables for an added healthy touch. Keeping your food recipes simple is the best plan, considering you’ll be packing more gear for fall camping weather.
Getting outdoors in any season is possible, especially when following the various tips for camping in cold weather. Packing the right gear, eating the right foods, and enjoying the beauty of nature will make anyone fall in love with fall camping.

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Puma Travel Trailers and Fifth Wheels


Our Selection Of Puma RV’s Are The Best-In-Town

When you’re looking for adventure, nothing is better suited for family fun than a Puma. These rugged built, easy-to-tow, travel trailers make your next adventure fun & carefree. Puma offers you many floorplan choices including the largest selection of bunk models in the industry. The majority being 1/2 ton towable. So hook onto a Puma and go adventuring.

The best pull in town! Puma offers multiple Fifth Wheel floorplans that include options for every lifestyle, from couples coaches and bunk models, to the Side Paw outside kitchen. You can tailor your Puma Fifth Wheel to your lifestyle and enjoy your camping experience even more. More than half of our Fifth Wheels are 1/2 ton towable. So pull your Puma to the wilderness and enjoy the peace and quiet of the great outdoors.

Learn More:


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Choosing the Right Off Road Vehicle

Where To Start

During the buying process of any off road vehicle, you will need to consider several factors and we want to help you determine which unit will best fit your lifestyle.


Size : ATV’s, UTV’s, and All Purpose Carts come in various shapes and sizes. Size needs to be a priority focus when determining which off road vehicle to purchase. For example: riders, trail size, storage, and work load. The last thing you want is to purchase an off road vehicle and realize you undermined certain aspects of it. In addition, every buyer should find a product line which offers a variety of options: youth, adults, single rider, multiple riders, off road, and street legal.

Power : Don’t confuse size with power. These two do relate in specific off road vehicles, however; they don’t always go together. Other manufacturers may appear to provide the buyer with a workhorse simply due to size, but when it requires a heavy work load and tow capacity; it will not deliver the power needed to perform the task. Also, the buyer should know that sometimes with more power comes more noise. Make sure to inquire about the engine noise levels if wildlife and neighbors don’t want to be bothered.

Warranty : Our customers have told us that warranties do matter. Several off road riders are only seasonal riders which means when they purchase an off road vehicle, the warranty expires before their next riding season. Most standard warranties on the market today are only six to twelve months. The best standard warranties we can find are from TRACKER Off Road vehicles which offer twelve months on all ATV’s, eighteen months on UTV’s, and up to twenty four months on All Purpose Carts. Furthermore, extended service contracts are also available.

Service : Where should you service your off road vehicle? We recommend finding a well established local company with a proven track record of service and certified technicians. By doing this, the buyer has peace of mind knowing their purchase is protected by professionals. Better yet, most service departments will have access to those hard to find parts the buyer needs to keep their off road vehicle running at top performance. Lastly, if the buyers warranty is still active, the service department will contact the manufactures directly to cover all costs for repairs.

Price : Pricing is a key factor when purchasing an off road vehicle. When shopping for your next off road vehicle and optional equipment, make certain the brand and dealer offer straight forward pricing with no hidden fees. Some might be sold with kits included and others might be just a base model with no options installed. Sometimes there may be a higher cost upfront, but the buyer will save money on repairs in the long run. So consider the upfront cost vs. a lower sale price and thinking you are saving money.

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Introducing TRACKER 800SX

Seating for six means more can get done and more can have fun. With best-in-class noise levels from its whisper-quiet 50hp engine, the TRACKER 800SX CREW also packs impressive towing and carrying capacity. It also has a wide range of accessories to customize its capabilities and make it the perfect companion for all you want to do outdoors.


Most off road machines are sold through a process that requires negotiation to reach the final price. This means that many buyers pay more than they have to, while only the best negotiators get the best deals. Tracker pricing policy presents the final price up front for everyone to see. The Tracker way is to leverage advanced manufacturing, high volume and world-class quality, so we can pass along lower costs for materials and components in the form of better retail prices for the final product. So our retail prices are pre-set at levels most others reach only by aggressive negotiation. TRACKER Off Road NO HAGGLE NO HASSLE prices are consistent across the country, from websites, to advertisements, to retailer showrooms, so everyone can expect the best deal available every day, no matter where you shop. Even our freight costs are divided into a fixed East Zone/West Zone freight charge, as simple as can be. You get a top quality TRACKER Off Road vehicle at the best possible NO HAGGLE NO HASSLE price, no matter where you live.



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