RV Camping for First Time? Avoid These Common Mistakes

RV Camping for First Time? Avoid These Common Mistakes

A camera icon which toggles the photograph's author

RV campers need to know a few things before they start off on their first trip. This could save them from a lot of embarrassment. It is good to learn all you can about your vehicle so you can avoid the big mistakes. Here are some common mistakes that RV newbies often make!

Being unprepared for the trip

Good planning makes any trip more enjoyable. When one goes out on a road trip, the purpose is relaxation and getting out of the monotony of city life. If you plan to camp out in a natural setting you need to have everything you need for all the days that you will be there. Make a budget for the trip after making all calculations. To keep on the safe side add another 20% to the budget. Next, you’ll need to choose a route. Save money on a shorter route but it also has to be safer. Make sure the route has broad enough roads with no sharp turns and low bridges.

Not learning how to use the RV

After you buy a new RV you also have to learn how to operate it. Imagine leaving the campgrounds and not knowing how to dump at the dumping station. So it is good to read the manual and make sure you know how to hook up to utilities, how to disconnect and how to dump. There are many controls on the RV and you need to learn about all the power switches. Take the RV salesperson to a dump station and have him walk you through the process. Put the process on video so in case you forget you can always replay the video. Learn about the slide outs and levelling. Get all the clarifications you need. When you depart from the campsite, do turn the breaker off and then unplug the power. Roll up and put away the cord. If you have an RV generator turn it on when you leave. The inverter generators are ideal for RVs.

Driving off without disconnecting

One of the most terrible mistakes that one can make is to drive off when you are still hooked up to water, sewer, and power. This can cause a considerable amount of financial damage. If you have chocked the wheels to prevent accidental movement, remove the chock, besides taking down the TV antenna.

Not learning how to park

RVs are much bigger vehicles than cars and one need to practice parking and cornering as these are tough for the rookies. This will make the trip easy on the party traveling with you. It is good to use a spotter when you park.

Forgetting to make reservations

When you are planning an RV trip you also need to make reservations. Many new RV users do not know the terms and condition of the RV campgrounds, simply because they have never used an RV park before. So check online for nearby parking camps and then make your reservations. You can find a lot of useful information at the website of the campgrounds and this will help you come to an informed decision. Most campgrounds have strict cancellation policies, so book for only a day and then extend the stay while you are there. If you book for three days and want to leave the first day you may lose your money.

Not checking the coolant in the fridge

The fridge keeps the food and beverages chilled and if it fails it can ruin your trip. So it is good to check the coolant level and ass some more so all can have a relaxing holiday. In some cases, the fridge can also catch fire and this can be easily avoided. Do clean the refrigerator out after you get home from every trip and keep the door open to avoid mould and mildew build up. It is good to travel with ample food so you have to worry about nothing on your trip.

Forgetting necessities

Most campgrounds have shops where you can buy the basic essentials. As a good trip planner, you need to pack all that you will need on your trip.

Not making a checklist!

If you don’t make a checklist for your trip, there are things you may forget to bring. Some of my recommended checklists:

  • Inventory
  • Common RV essentials
  • RV supplies
  • Onboard supplies It is always good to have a checklist for both arrivals and departures.

Ronald Smith has spent many years travelling around different countries and also has a great passion for almost everything related to RVing, He is currently associated with Bethy Creek.