A Zillion (m/l) Basic RV Tips And Tricks

  1. Don’t buy a bunch of “must have” RV accessories until you’ve made a few trips, and know what you actually need.
  2. Drive slower. Slow trips are better than fast ones.
  3. Drive less.
  4. Don’t try to do everything in one trip.
  5. Take lots of pictures. Not just of the scenery, but of yourselves.
  6. Reserve early. You’ll get a better choice of campsites.
  7. Use an RV specific GPS- Never trust Google. Have you ever seen those little cars that Google sends out on the roads? You could fit five of them in a single parking space, if you double-stacked them.
  8. Know the height, length, and width of your RV. Write it down, and keep it posted on the dash. You never know when you might suddenly need this information.
  9. Know the weight capacity of your RV. If you don’t know the capacity, and how much it actually weighs, it’s probably overloaded.
  10. Start with a trial run. Begin slowly, with a trip of only a day or two. This gives you a chance to learn what you haven’t and to remember what you forgot.
  11. Empty the black water tank first, and then the gray water. Black water is from the toilet, gray water is from the sinks and shower. The gray water will help cleanse the drain pipe.
  12. Or better yet, it may be a good idea to empty a little gray water first, to check for leaks and bad connections. (Read- How to Empty RV Wastewater Tanks)
  13. Never leave your awning to fend for itself. Always roll it up if you leave, and when you go to bed.
  14. Never leave your water alone by itself. It can do bad things the minute you turn your back. Just turn it off before leaving.
  15. Put your electricity on a leash before leaving. Reduce loads before leaving to prevent breakers from tripping.
  16. Check fluid levels before every trip.
  17. Check your tire pressure every day, before you travel. (Read- 9 Tire Maintenance Tips To Prevent Disaster)
  18. Make sure you have a spare, and it’s properly inflated.
  19. Duct tape- If I have to explain it, you will never understand.
  20. Fly swatter- Just trust me.
  21. If possible, when backing up, always have someone watch for obstacles behind you. You need a spotter to stand near the back, giving signals, and watching for obstacles. There are some things you just can’t see while sitting in the driver’s seat. Plus, they can remind you that you forgot to unhook the toad.
  22. Always watch for tree limbs and other overhead obstacles. Low-hanging tree limbs are a common obstacle that can’t be seen from the driver’s seat. For me, my wife giving signals is usually the one thing I can’t see.
  23. Always have clearly defined signals, when backing up. My wife usually does some airplane signals, which I have never understood. But we both clearly understand her signal for STOP! (It works for us)
  24. Change smoke detector, and carbon monoxide detector batteries twice a year. (Read- RV Fire Safety)
  25. Plan your trip, and plan alternatives, and be flexible.
  26. Check outside for obstructions and necessary clearances before opening slides.
  27. Check inside for obstructions before closing slides.
  28. Always chock your wheels when parking.
  29. Also, set your parking brake.
  30. Remove the glass microwave plate before traveling. Also, make sure the glass shower door is shut.
  31. Don’t overspend for your first RV. Most people trade their first RV in, after a couple years, for a different type.
  32. Before you spend 10s or 100s of thousands of dollars for an RV, try a few out so you can get an idea of what you do or don’t like about each type. (See- Choosing the perfect RV)
  33. Arrive at your campsite at least two hours before dark.
  34. When traveling, don’t leave anything loose lying around.
  35. Create a to-do list of things to do or check before traveling.
  36. Don’t drive away with your sewer hose, water hose, or electric line still hooked up.
  37. Make sure your basement doors are locked.
  38. Don’t think you have the list memorized.
  39. Don’t drive away with your stabilizer jacks down, your antenna up, or your slides out.
  40. Check the entire list every time. You could be distracted, and skip a step.
  41. Make another list of things to do when setting up camp.
  42. Don’t back up with your toad still connected.
  43. Always downshift when going down steep hills. Even an automatic can be downshifted to help your brakes.
  44. Always use a surge protector when plugging into shore power. A surge protector is cheaper than the equipment that can be destroyed.
  45. Always use a water pressure regulator. It’s cheaper than having burst pipes replaced.
  46. When connecting to a water outlet, always run the water a few seconds before connecting the hose.
  47. Always keep a box of disposable gloves for the dump station. Yuck.
  48. Exercise your generator once a month. Letting a generator sit idle will gum up the carburetor.
  49. Always lock your doors and storage compartment before leaving your RV.
  50. Never leave food outside at night. It will attract mice and animals. (Read- How to Keep Mice Out of Your RV.)
  51. Don’t be too quick to sell your house. RVing isn’t all unicorns and rainbows.
  52. You don’t have to RV full time to enjoy the RV life.

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