Our First RV Trip In The Heartland Mallard Travel Trailer (From Preparation Through Completion)

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We are fast approaching an empty nest. We bought a Heartland Mallard M210RB RV travel trailer and a Dodge Ram 1500 Bighorn to hit the open road.

We think our ultimate goal is to visit all the National Parks. We are starting smaller (and closer to home) and going to visit all the Tennessee State Parks. This will allow us to practice (a lot) before we get too far away from home.

During COVID 19 we couldn’t get out on the road so it was the perfect time to learn about what we needed to know. We are newbies so I watched lots of videos and read a ton. I’m a planner so I got to work planning everything out. COVID was actually probably a blessing in disguise because it forced me to slow down and make sure I knew more about what I was getting into than I might otherwise have done.

Once we got everything on our list, we had to get the RV set up for our first trip. We went to get the brand new (and empty) RV out of storage for the first time. We brought it to our house and got everything set up. Then we took it back to storage. It was our ‘first trip’. Our checklists worked pretty well and we tweaked them a bit.

Then it was time to hit the road on our first real trip ever! We wanted to take a short trip just to practice RVing. We wanted to make sure we have our process down and that we have all the items we’d need.

It was the first weekend that any campgrounds opened back up after COVID so things were packed across the state. We went to an available campground in Clarksville, TN. Clarksville RV Park wound up being a great first campground. We did some sightseeing at Port Royal State Park and Liberty Park.

Then we headed home and back to the RV dealer to work out the kinks from our first trip. Success! It was a decent first effort and we saw some cool spots that we would not have seen back on our couch at home. I think that is the point of all this! More to come!

Several people asked for the spreadsheet I use. It is on my website: