Getting ready to take command of your new motor coach? Let us give you some quick start tips and techniques to make the job easier for you.
First and Foremost: Realize it’s going to take some time and energy on your part to pull together all of your data and get it entered. RV Commander is a database and has a lot of features and functions to make management of your coach easier. But this comes over time and with discipline on your part. Data doesn’t just appear automatically and don’t expect to put everything in it at once. RV Commander may be a little daunting at first, but if you take it slow and easy as you learn about your motor coach, then you will find the pieces tarting to come together.
Where to Start: First download and install the version that you will be using – Mac, Windows, or iOS. Then make sure you register your product so that we will know you are part of the family and can provide you with future updates. RV Commander is free to use for up to 30 days but to get future updates, you need to make sure you have registered your software.
Running the Initial Setup and Configuration: If you are a first time user, under the Setup button run the “Initialize First Use”. This will walk you through setting up RV Commander for the very first time and it will ask you for the basic information on you and your motor coach. Take time to do this and it will make your use of RV Commander much easier. Be sure to put in your coach VIN correctly as this is the most critical piece of information you will enter.
Entering Data: As you enter data into RV Commander, make sure you pay attention to entering the coach chassis VIN correctly. RV Commander has over 130 data tables for the various coach systems and subsystems. Each of these are tied to your coach chassis VIN so it is critical to enter the VIN properly. Failure to do so will cause things to break. As you enter more records, be sure to enter dates/times when asked. RV Commander uses date/times to correctly sort and display your date. Failure to enter dates/times will cause the data to be displayed incorrectly.
Take Time To Walk Through Setup: The Setup button located in the bottom right corner is key to understanding how RV Commander works.
Take a moment to review each of the tabs in Setup. You can get help in how to operate RV Commander (making backups, first use setup, importing from previous versions, navigating screens, adding and deleting data); perform setup functions (initial first use, registering the product, how to perform upgrades, importing from previous versions, how to do backup/maintenance, and install additional data packs); find help on how to contact us if you have questions/comments; learn about the version history; and run-time software limitations.
Making Backups: You’re going to spend a lot of time putting data into RV Commander – you need to make regular backups. If you don’t make a backup and then accidentally delete your data – then you’re going to be very disappointed. Without a backup there is no way to get your data back if you accidentally delete it. Learn about Backups in the Setup module. We make it simple to make backups, but ultimately it’s up to you if you do or don’t. Just get into a habit of frequently making backups and you won’t be disappointed when you lose data.
Decide What to Enter First: What’s important to you? Is it having electronic documentation, tracking fuel and fluids, tracking trips? You decide and start there. Don’t worry about getting it all done at once. Just get started. Your travels in your coach won’t happen overnight and neither will capturing and entering all the data. If you are a new coach owner then get your basic data entered first and then concentrate on tracking repairs/service, fuel/fluids, and destinations as these happen. Add in your electronic manuals as you have time.
For me, when we first got the coach, being able to ditch the big blue bag and having access to electronic documentation was the most important. As I learned about the coach, that became less important and keeping up with running costs and service/repairs became more important.
What’s important will change over time, but it’s always great to be able to have access to everything in one place. Now that I have had the coach for 2-1/2 years, my focus is on operational maintenance and service of the coach to keep it in top condition so it’s ready to go when we are.