Did you take the plunge and buy your first RV at one of the RV shows this spring? Ready to head out on your first camping trip? If so, take a moment to review the list of the most common mistakes made by RVers (both new and seasoned). We all make mistakes from time to time, but learning from the experiences of others is far better and cheaper than committing the error yourself.
Choosing The Right Route
If your choice of RV is a larger rig, be sure to plan your trip to avoid traveling roads that have overpasses too low for you to safely clear, twisty roads or streets too narrow for you to comfortably navigate. Plan ahead and research the most favorable route to get to the campground without having to deal with these challenges along the way.
Not Leveling The RV Upon Arrival
Either through inexperience or forgetfulness, many RVers don’t properly level their RV when setting up camp, then leaving the rig out of level for the rest of their stay. Not only is this uncomfortable when you are trying to relax or sleep inside the RV, but it can also cause your RV (especially the refrigerator) not to function properly. Always level your RV when you arrive at camp so you don’t have to concern yourself with it later on.
Not removing the wheel chocks
You just enjoyed the weekend camping in your new RV, everything is all packed up, put away and ready for the drive home. However when you shift into drive, your rig doesn’t want to move. Resist the temptation to step on the gas a little harder as it is very likely your wheel chocks (which prevented your rig from rolling away during the weekend) are still in place! If you are lucky, other campers weren’t watching and you can covertly go remove them. Since putting the chocks away is typically one of the last things you will do before heading out, it is an understandable and common mistake.
Driving Away While Still Connected
If you have been hooked up to water, sewer, power, or all three while camped, it is obviously important to ensure you are disconnected before departing the campsite with the RV. Beyond being extremely embarrassing, this is a mistake that could prove expensive to your RV or campsite utilities in the process of trying to drive away. Always double check that your RV is free and clear and ready to hit the road before you actually pull out of your camp space. Along the same line of thinking, be sure your entry step is retracted and the antenna and roof vents are in the travel positions as well.
Staying at Home Too Often
Not using their RV enough is a mistake many RV owners are guilty of. If you make the commitment to buy a RV, then you should make the commitment to set time aside and use it as frequently as possible. Even if you can only escape for short trips, look for fun and interesting places to RV that aren’t too far from home. In Western Washington we are blessed with so many places to RV close to home. Ocean beaches, Puget Sound, the Cascades and Eastern Washington are all within easy reach for a weekend RV getaway.
While there is no shame in making mistakes with your new RV, you can avoid them with a little forethought and effort possibly saving you from costly repairs or operating your RV in an unsafe manner.
Now get out there and enjoy the RV lifestyle!