Camping in an RV is one of the best ways for mature couples or young families to spend quality time with each other without the hassle of setting up camp or sleeping on the cold, hard ground.
While RV camping might seem easy in comparison to tent camping, there a many things to remember before and during an excursion. Here are a few tips to make your experience less stressful and a lot more fun.
Before rent an RV and start your trip
- Make a checklist. Even veteran RV owners forget simple but important things if they do not keep a pretravel checklist. More than one RV is missing its antenna because the owner failed to write down the pack-up procedure.
- Check your tire pressure often. This means before every drive. Low pressure can cause excessive and uneven tread wear and can even result in your tire overheating and blowing out. Invest in a good-quality tire-pressure gauge and air pump.
- Get roadside assistance. Unless you are a trained RV mechanic, changing a tire or fixing some other critical part can cost a great deal of money and ruin your trip. Road service can cover a lot of these expenses and is worth the small annual fee.
- Get weighed. It does not take much to overload an RV. Each corner of your rig should be weighed separately so that an even balance is maintained. An overweight, unbalanced RV is an accident waiting to happen.
- Know your height. Most overpasses in the U.S. are accurately marked, so there is no excuse for getting stuck underneath a low bridge that is not high enough for your rig. There are also building overhangs, low-hanging branches or light poles that can damage your rig if you get too close without knowing how much clearance you have.
- Get RV insurance. Many people mistakenly think that their regular car insurance policy is adequate to cover their RV. They do not realize until it is too late that a specialized RV insurance policy covers a number of extra items that a regular vehicle insurance does not.
On the road
- Slow down. An RV is one of the heaviest and hardest-to-drive vehicles you can drive without special training. The added weight makes it harder to stop than a regular car or pickup truck.
- Watch the wind. A crosswind can cause you to lose control and move into oncoming traffic. If you must drive during windy days, cut your speed to improve your reaction time.
At the campsite
- Flush the water. Before you hook up your water hose, run the water for a minute to flush out any rusty or stale water. Doing this can cut down on the amount of sediment your water filter has to process and can extend its life.
- Use a surge protector. Electrical power can vary between campsites. A good surge protector can protect valuable electrical devices from the sudden spikes in voltage that will destroy them.
- Dump wisely. Never leave your black tank open when parked at a campsite with a hookup. Wait until the tank is about two-thirds full before you dump it or you might experience a clog. You should also dump the gray tank after the black tank so the gray water helps flush the dumping hose.