65 Biggest RV Mistakes to Avoid and How To Avoid Them

65 Biggest RV Mistakes to Avoid and How To Avoid Them

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Many RVers be taught via a technique of trial and error – and a expensive one at that There are a lot of issues I want I had identified when I bought my first RV that will’ve saved me cash and numerous hours of labor. 

We’ve compiled an inventory of the largest RV errors to keep away from, as instructed by actual campers. We’ll hear their often-harrowing tales and supply easy options that can assist you keep away from spending pointless cash or losing time you’ll by no means get again repeating the identical errors.

However new errors are all the time being made, so when you’ve got any recommendation to share along with your fellow RVers, drop your errors and recommendation within the ballot beneath. 

RV Errors to Keep away from When Shopping for or Buying and selling-In

Not everybody will get it proper the primary time they buy an RV. We requested RVers in all places to inform us what they remorse about their previous RV shopping for decisions.

“Not shopping for the toy hauler we needed earlier than the large value improve.”

Resolution: Make the most of offers for new or used toy haulers after they come up. You by no means understand how lengthy they’ll final!

“Not shopping for a fifth wheel.”

Resolution: Need assistance deciding which RV to purchase? Observe this guide to be sure to select the proper kind. Set on a fifth wheel? Take a look at these small fifth wheel campers we love.

“Not getting an RV sooner.”

Resolution: Use our RV Buying Guide to begin your RV shopping for journey as we speak!

“Not having the ability to afford a camper.”

Resolution: Learn more about RV financing, use Tenting World’s website to apply for RV financing, or communicate to a gross sales consultant at your local dealership about financing choices.

“Not shopping for the Airstream first!”

Resolution: Uncover Camping World’s nationwide selection of Airstream campers.

“We traded in our camper for a brand new one throughout a tenting journey! Shew, DON’T EVER do this! No place to go away all of the stuff when cleansing out the outdated to place into the brand new!! And it was throughout a tough rain!”

Resolution: Trade in with Camping World, and we’ll allow you to set up the transfer into your new RV so that you don’t get caught within the rain.

RV Errors to Keep away from When Packing Up

There are a lot of resources to help you with trip planning, however be sure to keep away from these expensive errors earlier than hitting the street: 

“Was getting the camper able to go to the Richmond NASCAR race. It was darkish, we needed to tug it into the driveway, so within the morning, we simply needed to get in and go. I requested my spouse to shut the slide and awning. She mentioned all the things was completed. I didn’t do a stroll round as I all the time do. As I began to tug the camper out from beside the home, I heard a noise, stopped the truck, and requested what the noise was. The spouse yelled, “The awning”! The awning hit a tree…fortunately, it didn’t do an excessive amount of injury.”

Resolution: At all times perform an RV walkaround earlier than driving. 

“Not realizing we dropped the camper keys within the driveway till we obtained to camp!”

Resolution: Make a guidelines for organising and breaking down your campsite. It’s lots to recollect with out one. 

“Hubby pulls out from beneath the awning, will get prepared to tug onto the street, and the camper comes out of fifth wheel hitch……lands on truck mattress/tailgate!!!! Fortunately nothing was damage too dangerous!!!”

Resolution: Be taught why that is the most common mistake new fifth wheel owners make and download our fifth wheel checklist to make sure it doesn’t occur to you.

“I didn’t understand that my tenting reservation at Morro Bay had been canceled. It was summertime, and I needed to go all the best way to Paso Robles to discover a place to spend the following few nights.”

Resolution: Double-check reservations earlier than you permit, and all the time have a backup in thoughts. Use Good Sam’s Campground Directory to search out close by RV parks in a pinch. 

“Shedding the crank to lift the pop-up camper then get to the campground late within the afternoon with no retailer close by to buy one.”

Resolution: Contact your camper’s producer for the most effective crank deal with alternative choices.

“Left the pull-down steps down and drove down the road.”

Resolution: At all times stroll round your RV earlier than hopping in to drive, but in addition maintain our guide to RV steps helpful in case it is advisable change yours.

“Forgetting to lock the hinges on the again ramp of my toy hauler.”

Resolution: Double-check these locks and guarantee you recognize safe practices for packing a toy hauler.

“We obtained to camp and had no pots and pans to cook dinner with, so we used tin foil.”

Resolution: Discover Camping World’s selection of cookware that can assist you put together culinary delights on the campsite. 

“I’d should go together with getting 5hrs from dwelling on the primary journey day of a three-week lengthy journey and pulling into the campground after driving all day getting arrange and going to get pajamas on and realizing you left all of the laundry at dwelling for your entire three weeks after which having to discover a Walmart and go garments purchasing for an entire household at 8 o clock within the night.”

Resolution: Many RVers maintain a devoted set of clothes and toiletries of their RV. That approach, all it is advisable pack is meals and recreation gear, and also you’re able to hit the street. 

“Going via a hurricane.”

Resolution: Head for increased floor someplace inland. Or use this hurricane preparedness checklist for RV, boat, and home.

“Not emptying the tanks earlier than beginning the journey.”

Resolution: Know how to maintain RV holding tanks and perceive the benefits of carrying a portable RV tote tank.

“Was leaving our first NASCAR race in our first motorhome. Emptied black tank and by no means crammed rest room again up with just a little water n chemical compounds. Hit I95 at about 70mph, and the odor was absolutely the worst. 3 or 4 lanes of visitors with nowhere to tug over and no concept what had occurred till later.”

Resolution: Refill your RV rest room with water and chemical compounds to create a vapor barrier between your holding tank and RV rest room. Learn extra tips for maintaining your RV toilet here.

RV Errors to Keep away from When Driving

Some folks surprise if you need a special license to drive an RV. The quick reply isn’t any, typically. However listed below are a number of errors to keep away from if you’re driving or towing an RV for the primary time: 

“Pulling a pop-up over the railroad tracks just a little too quick, the camper obtained unhitched and hit the bumper of my new SUV. I realized a precious lesson that day!”

Resolution: Make sure you follow the proper steps for hooking up a travel trailer.

“Flat tire with a nasty spare in the midst of nowhere.” 

Resolution: Enroll in Good Sam Roadside Assistance for twenty-four/7 emergency breakdown assist.

“I left the water pump on, and a tall bottle within the sink moved and turned on the water. Fortunately, all of the water went down into the grey tank, however we needed to cease on the dump station to eliminate the water within the grey tank and refill the water tank.”

Resolution: Your most secure guess is to journey with out something within the sink. For those who do, guarantee all the things is flat, and think about using a dish drainer to safe and defend objects from falling.

“​​Backing right into a tree not as soon as however thrice.”

Resolution: Take a look at our review of the Trailer Life Pathway Wireless Backup Camera for improved visibility when navigating your RV.

“Two tire blowouts on the identical day. The insurance coverage firm known as it two separate incidents with a $500 deductible for every.”

Resolution: This is the reason I started carrying two spare tires for my travel trailer. Nevertheless it’s additionally a good suggestion to turn into extra accustomed to the precise particulars of your RV insurance coverage

“Utilizing GPS to get to a brand new campground with our camper was not clever. It took us down a slender one-way gravel street subsequent to a roaring river about 1 mile, then over a small sinkhole. We couldn’t keep away from the sinkhole or flip round, so we went for it. After one other ½-mile, we got here to a locked gate. Fortunately there was simply sufficient room to show round and return the best way we got here, together with over the sinkhole. Not cool…..”

Resolution: Discover our selection of GPS units for RV street navigation.

“Getting left behind on the gasoline station in VA on the best way to FL. I took the canine for a stroll to potty, and my husband thought I used to be sleeping and drove off down the street and again onto Route 95 South in Emporia.”

Resolution: Do a headcount earlier than leaving camp, gasoline stations, relaxation areas, and wherever else you may by chance go away somebody behind.

before-parking-rv-mistakes-to-avoid-07-2023
Photograph by Tenting World

RV Errors to Keep away from When Parking

After an extended drive to succeed in your vacation spot, parking is usually the ultimate step earlier than you may lastly calm down. However take heed of those RV parking errors earlier than you calm down too early: 

“We obtained settled into our campsite with a neighbor occupying the location subsequent to us. They HAD a ravishing trailer. As I watched, one other camper pulled in and tried backing his trailer into my neighbor’s already-occupied website. Backing the trailer into theirs. He could have been drunk. There was important injury. My neighbor’s spouse was inside their trailer when it occurred.”

Resolution: Set up certainly one of the best wireless RV backup cameras to enhance parking visibility.

“Making an attempt to again a 36-foot fifth wheel right into a spot in a state park that was angled the wrong way of the street.”

Resolution: Learn our tutorial on how to back a trailer into your campsite

“After pulling my camper for a number of years with none points, I used my daughter as a “backer,” and she or he let me hit a rock.”

Resolution: Present your spotter our tutorial on how to guide an RV

“​​Backing right into a tree not as soon as however thrice.”

Resolution: Take a look at our review of the Trailer Life Pathway Wireless Backup Camera for improved visibility when navigating your RV.

RV Errors to Keep away from When Setting Up Camp

The enjoyable is about to start if you’ve reached the campground. However be sure to keep away from these massive errors earlier than you calm down and unwind. 

“Not having a camper.”

Resolution: Find your nearest Camping World dealership to begin your RV shopping for journey.

“We hooked the road water connection to a sealed black water tank. The tank obtained so full it swelled and began to come back out of the underside of the camper. No actual injury aside from having to empty the tank and remount it. Fortunately for us, the tank had no waste in it, so solely water got here out, nevertheless it was fairly embarrassing.”

Resolution: Know how to hook your RV up to power and water correctly. 

“On a scorching 90-degree summer time day, completed leveling, unhooked, dropped stabilizers, and realized my hookups have been farther than anticipated and my stuff didn’t attain.”

Resolution: Guarantee your RV’s power cord, potable water hose, and sewer hose extension are lengthy sufficient to succeed in the hookups. 

“No wheel chock on a pleasant tiny little small slope. It stopped on my hitch with no injury, nevertheless it’s a reminder for positive.”

Resolution: At all times use wheel chocks to safe your towable RV earlier than disconnecting out of your tow automobile.

“Tenting at our first county park and didn’t know we needed to replenish with water on the water station. We discovered our spot, backed in, and leveled out earlier than noticing. My husband was so mad, however I took it as a lesson realized.”

Resolution: Verify the facilities earlier than organising camp, or know how to fill a fresh water tank using an alternative method

“I used to be at a website with my outdated trailer, and after unhooking, I forgot to chock the wheels. The following factor I knew, it was slowly rolling, and I used to be in a position to maintain it from the coupler and yell at my spouse to place it behind the wheels. Now I’ve a routine, and it’ll by no means occur once more.”

Resolution: Observe our tutorial for properly leveling and stabilizing your RV each time. 

“Making an attempt to open a slide on the trailer with a tree in the best way.”

Resolution: At all times examine for correct clearance earlier than extending RV slide-outs. However you also needs to know how to manually retract slide-outs in an emergency. 

“Not placing our awning at an angle on our first tenting journey. We had a significant rain storm, and the awning full of water and was torn off the camper.”

Resolution: The most secure guess is to retract your awning when it’s raining or windy. Here’s our complete guide to RV awnings for tips about repairing, sustaining, and changing an RV awning.

“Not figuring out my model new septic hose had inserts inside it to dam the circulate. I assumed was plugged when draining a few completely different instances, so fluids between the valve and hose spilled out a few instances on the dump station splashing on me…sporting flip flops…then I lastly seen the cap within the hose…”

Resolution: There are a number of kinds of sewer hoses for RV use. Familiarize your self with yours and make sure you put on the right protecting gear earlier than use.

“Placing the slide out with out checking all the cupboard doorways have been nonetheless closed and broke off one of many kitchen doorways.” 

Resolution: Observe our step-by-step tutorial for properly extending and retracting RV slide-outs

“Forgetting to decrease the tailgate when pulling out from our fifth wheel. After that incident, I might all the time take the tailgate off when towing.”

Resolution: Change your present truck tailgate with a fifth wheel vent tailgate.

“Parking my RV on high of a really lively ant colony!”

Resolution: Preserve a number of insect repellent solutions in your RV to organize for the sudden.

“Arriving on the campground and driving round twice to select the most effective spot. Backed it in, set her all up, and began to make a hearth after I seen a yellow tag. Dang website was reserved!” 

Resolution: Take a look at these tips for picking the right campsite at a campground, however all the time ensure your most well-liked spot isn’t already reserved!

“Pulled right into a riverside resort the place we might keep for 9 days. They gave us a website subsequent to a website with 3 Harleys parked there. Requested for an additional website, and the woman mentioned, “Certain, any website that’s not a waterfront website; it’s going to rain all week”. We moved, which turned out to be the bottom level on the campground… and it rained all week. Had 8” of standing water via our whole website ALL WEEK. The Harley guys loaded up and left 3 hrs after we arrange.”

Resolution: Verify the forecast as a part of your routine for choosing the proper website in a campground.

RV Errors to Keep away from on the Campground

The campground is usually a robust place to make an embarrassing RV mistake. Be taught from these campers to maintain your RV park neighbors pleased: 

“Having a tent!”

Resolution: Discover Tenting World’s nationwide inventory of new and used RVs.

“A monster monsoon within the desert began rolling in at a distance, and some of us campers stood there watching it, pondering it was additional than it was. Inside a couple of minutes, it hit us with a downpour and wind as we watched my awning rip cleanly from my trailer and shear the brackets off my golf cart. I nonetheless should surprise if that wasn’t a small twister.”

Resolution: Verify climate forecasts early and infrequently utilizing your most well-liked smartphone app or weather radio. Retract your awning on the first signal of heavy wind or rain, however know how to choose a replacement awning should you repeat the error above.

“It rained 3 days and three nights whereas we sat in a tent! Rained my boat stuffed with water and sunk it! That was 1970, and I haven’t been tenting since! My concept of roughing it’s a Hampton suite on the second flooring with no elevator!”

Resolution: Check out our guide to luxury RVs to be taught why RV residing might be removed from tough.

“Air conditioner failed at midnight on a Sunday in 113-degree climate.”

Resolution: Know tips for keeping your RV cool without A/C in an emergency.

“We have been up in Rocky Mountain Nationwide Park after I found that the propane line beneath the trailer had been (mysteriously) severed .. with no technique to repair the issue! Thankfully for further blankets!”

Resolution: Ouch! This can be a good purpose to put in an automatic propane shut-off safety device. However you’ll want an appointment at a nearby Camping World service center to repair that severed line. 

“A camper subsequent to us on the campground had grandkids overfill their waste tank and it backed up into their bathe. They started attempting to empty it into buckets and bins earlier than deciding to hitch up and head to the dump station.”

Resolution: Verify your tank degree indicators usually and guarantee you recognize how to empty your RV’s holding tanks properly

“Getting up in the midst of the night time to pee solely to find a bear exterior my tent. I used to be shaking.”

Resolution: Find your perfect RV in order that leaving the security of your camper to make use of the restroom is now not essential.

“Tearing aside our camper looking for the blockage within the kitchen sink….smelled like a steady and overflowing! I stored asking my husband in regards to the secondary tank ….however he insisted we didn’t have one. After a degree, I requested him to come back exterior and inform me what the pull valve beneath the slide-out was for……..yep…secondary tank….”

Resolution: Take the time to get oriented along with your RV and all its techniques earlier than your first journey. We provide an RV orientation at our service centers for brand new RV house owners. 

“Thus far, operating out of propane on our maiden voyage. It was in January too!”

Resolution: At all times know the place the closest propane refill service is situated, particularly when tenting within the colder months. 

“Forgot I had the valve open to the black tank flush. Flooded the toilet nearly.”

Resolution: Observe our tutorial for the proper procedure to use your RV’s black tank flush.

“Telling our group don’t fear about dinner on our first night time, I’ll make chili. Had all the things besides any seasonings and my Dutch oven.”

Resolution: Add these seven campfire soups to make in your Dutch oven to your recipe record.

“Constructing campfires!! The spouse and I suck at it!”

Resolution: Take into account these four alternatives to the open flame.

“Husband forgot to shut the washer and dryer valve hooking as much as metropolis water first trip for the yr. The bed room was completely flooded.”

Resolution: Be taught everything you need to know about RV washers & dryers earlier than putting in one. And be certain that the valve is closed earlier than hooking as much as metropolis water. 

“Burning all the bathroom paper attempting to begin a campfire to cook dinner a bundle of scorching canines for supper solely to find that she had left the new canines sitting out and her canine ate all of them whereas she was busy burning up all the bathroom paper.”

Resolution: Be sure you have a wholesome inventory of RV toilet paper available should you additionally use it as a hearth starter. Higher but, use a devoted fire starter and save the bathroom paper for its supposed goal.

RV Errors to Keep away from When Boondocking

There’s much to learn if you’re new to boondocking, however avoiding these RV errors will make your off-grid tenting journeys far more satisfying.

“Tenting with no hookup and forgetting to fill the water tank. And me getting the abdomen virus.”

Resolution: Grow to be accustomed to the best ways to get clean drinking water in your RV

“Generator failed on a week-long tenting journey in Southern Florida.”

Resolution: Know how to maintain a generator correctly. Or be ready with concepts for the best generators to replace yours if it fails.

“Lastly parted with the cash to purchase a very nice massive cover for tenting. It began raining, so we had it over all of us in our camp chairs and our small fireplace so we may keep out regardless that it was raining. We went to mattress, and the following morning, it turned out that this costly cover was not for wet climate. It wasn’t made to empty, so the burden of all of the water made the steel arms break…collapsing proper into the hearth to complete it off!”

Resolution: At all times retract your awning and collapse your canopy tent earlier than heading to mattress if it’s raining or any inclement climate is anticipated in a single day.

“That point I stayed at a paid campground.”

Resolution: We love boondocking too! Listed here are some easy ways to find boondocking spots to your subsequent journey.

“Campsite wiped out after we thought we put the campfire out.”

Resolution: Observe this recommendation on fire safety for RV travelers.

RV Errors to Keep away from When Sustaining Your RV

Downloading our maintenance reference handbook is the easiest way to trace your RV’s service wants. As a detailed second, keep away from repeating these RV upkeep errors:

“Drilling a gap within the steel body that held within the AC unit to empty water as a result of it wasn’t on the proper angle from the producer. It was the window-type ac. I hit the coolant line, pssssss, scared the bejeebers out of me. Fortunately I do know a retired plumber that mounted it for me!”

Resolution: Schedule a service appointment with a licensed RV technician for main repairs.

“When my roof began to leak, I attempted to seal it with Flex Seal in the midst of a storm earlier than giving up and throwing a entice over till the storm subsided.”

Resolution: Make a comprehensive RV roof inspection a part of your annual upkeep routine to keep away from being caught within the rain with a can of Flex Seal and a tarp as your solely instruments.

“Didn’t know the kitchen had a separate grey tank. Thought the sink was plugged. Referred to as a plumber.”

Resolution: Be taught a bit extra about how RV water systems work.


Have you ever made any main RV errors that aren’t on this record? Use the put up beneath to share them!


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Alex Lorel

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