5 Common RV Mistakes to Avoid

Due to the effects of the coronavirus, many people are attempting to use their RV to escape. Whether it be a pretty big trip or just a little weekend stop, there are certain issues that arise all too often for RVers. Sometimes even seasoned RVers may forget about these common mistakes to avoid.

Before heading out, think about these RV Mistakes and mishaps that could make or break a trip.

Poor Preparation

Most of the fun of RV travel is spontaneity. However, if you’re touring on holidays and weekends, keep in mind that sites fill up quickly. If they are first-come, first-serve, it is recommended to be at the campground when it opens. It’s always best to book ahead of time, and you may want to call ahead to determine the best way to ensure your spot in the RV park you want.

Most people are normally very excited to get out on the road, but do a thorough walk around the RV before you do. A few things to be looking for:

  • Check out the tire pressure
  • Make sure all the slide-outs are back in
  • Ensure the outside storage cabinets are closed and locked

You will also want to take care of a couple of things inside, like place certain appliances such as a coffee maker and toaster in the sink, so they don’t slide around. Be sure to check that the refrigerator door is shut tight so when you make a turn, the door won’t fling open and have your items flying out. Before your trip, remember to stock up on gas and have a close eye on the gas gauge. If you are renting an RV, you can even ask for a checklist.

Not Being Comfortable with Handling the RV

It is always best to get a good feel for the RV and take it out for a little drive before the actual trip. Handling an RV presents its own set of unique challenges that differ from a regular vehicle. You can even take it out to the nearest large parking lot to drive around and get a feel for how it moves.

You can make the most out of your RV travel by taking the proper precautions. You can do this by learning how to maneuver it regarding the turn radius and overhead clearance. You can practice backing into a spot for those RV parks that are not equipped with pull-through sites. It is smart to do this at least once in a stress-free setting before parking your rig for the first time at a packed campground. The goal is that you will become more and more confident driving your RV. Always remember to go slow on turns, drive slower in general, and brake sooner.

Not Being Level

An unlevel RV not only means you will be uncomfortable as you sleep, but a bad RV set up also means the fridge will not work properly, and you run the risk of your food spoiling. Most RV’s are equipped with a leveling system, so it is in your best interest to find out where it is and how it works. Also, a small level can be very helpful to have in your tool box.


Over-packing is an all too common phenomenon. You may think you need to bring everything, but it is much better to simply have what you need and pack light.  It may be tempting to keep bringing more if you have extra space. However, an RV will quickly begin to feel cramped when things aren’t neatly stored away. You really don’t need every kitchen gadget or multiple plates, bowls, and silverware sets. Remember, you can wash things in the sink!  Keep in mind that you are indeed camping, even if it is fancy camping.

Skimping on Essential Tools

You don’t need every tool you can think of, but a few items will make your trip so much easier. Here are a few items you should have:

  • Duct tape
  • A small level
  • A multi-bit ratcheting screwdriver set
  • 1/2-inch, 3/8-inch, and 1/4-inch socket set including adapters and extensions
  • A Leatherman multi-tool
  • Bungee cords with hooks
  • Hatchet/hammer combo
  • Headlamp with extra batteries
  • Tire pressure gauge
  • Rubber gloves
  • First aid kit

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