RV Tips

RV Tips

Your Guide to RV Tips and Tricks

If you have an RV, you know that there is a lot more to it than just having a bed in the back and a cab in the front. Depending on the model you get, there can be a lot of different systems you have to manage, and each set requires a fundamental understanding of how it works and what to do when there’s a problem.

 

For that reason, having a complete list of tips and tricks to manage your RV is essential. As an RV owner myself, I know what it’s like to try and troubleshoot when something goes wrong. It seems like every day brings a new experience that I’m not exactly prepared for.

 

Since there are far too many tips out there for maintaining your RV, we’re not going to try and come up with a comprehensive encyclopedia for you. Instead, we’re going to show you what kind of tips and tricks are going to be the most valuable, as well as where to find them (and how to make sure that they’re legit).

 

Let’s get started.

 

Which RV Tips are the Most Valuable?

Since each RV is different, it’s impossible to say what all is going to apply to you specifically. As such, we’re going to start with the fundamentals and then work our way up to more specialized information that may only apply to those who have the top-of-the-line RV model.

 

No matter where you fall on this list, you should start with the basics and work your way up. So, with that in mind, let’s begin.

 

Engine Maintenance

Since your RV requires a motor to get wherever the road takes you, you have to be sure that it’s always in peak condition. If your engine breaks down, you’re not going anywhere. I know all too well what it’s like to be on the side of the road, trying to figure out how I’m going to get my RV back up and running.

 

One thing to remember is that the engine is usually separate from the rest of the RV. Electrical systems and power are often generated by different batteries and systems, so don’t think that you can drain your engine by using your RV while driving – it doesn’t work that way.

 

I suggest that you focus on the most common problems that can occur on the road. These issues can include things like jump-starting your battery, refilling and topping off fluids, and changing your oil.

 

Depending on the size of your RV, you can’t expect a tow truck to be able to bring it into a shop, so breaking down can be an even bigger pain. Also, since many RV owners like to take the path less traveled (I know I do), you might not be found by a technician for a long time.

 

Tire Maintenance

Just as an engine problem can derail your next trip, having a flat can be downright dangerous. Even if you have dually tires on the rear, blowing one of them can be disastrous depending on where it happens.

 

The other thing to remember is that you’re not going to be able to carry enough spares. Thus, if one of them goes down, you have to ensure that you can replace both it and the spare as soon as possible.

 

Since RVs can have much larger and tougher tires than cars, it’s imperative that you look at the type you have and how to keep them in shape. Not only should you understand how to change a tire if and when it goes flat, but look at tips related to other things, such as adding chains in icy weather.

 

Electrical Systems

As I mentioned, your RV will have a different set of batteries that control the body of the vehicle. However, if you don’t know anything about them, you’ll probably run them dry without even knowing that there’s a problem.

 

When looking for tips and tricks, make sure that you’re looking at your specific rig. While changing a battery will be relatively similar across makes and models, the internal electric system will be much different.

 

Being able to troubleshoot an electrical issue will help you feel more at ease every time you go out in your RV. Thus, if you lose light in the middle of the night, you won’t freak out and wonder what to do.

 

Water and Plumbing Maintenance

Like electricity, you’ll be using a lot of water when you’re inside your RV. If you’re not sure how to empty and refill your various tanks, then you’ll run into trouble immediately. You need to look up how to check on each type of tank as well as what to do when it gets full. Depending on the state you’re in at the time, there may be some strict rules regarding how you dump waste water.

 

Thus, when looking up tips and tricks, make sure to be specific to your particular location. If you’re planning on crossing state lines, it’s a good idea to find out any local laws that will pertain to your vehicle.

 

Similarly, it’s always proper to figure out where you can fill up your tanks after emptying them. I’ve been in situations where I was without water for a couple of days because I didn’t plan ahead, and I can say that it’s the worst. Don’t wait until it’s too late, nor should you just assume that you can fill up anywhere. You don’t realize how precious water is until you’re denied access to it.

 

Travel Tips

This section can be a bit vague, so we’ll break it down even further. However, as a broad strokes kind of thing, you should always just be as prepared as possible for your next adventure. While I do understand the appeal of driving wherever the road takes you, since RVs can’t just go wherever you like it’s imperative that you know what limitations you will experience along the way. Here is a brief overview of the kinds of tips you should watch out for the most.

 

Places to Stop for the Night

Depending on where you’re headed, you can’t pull over on the side of the road and post up. In some areas, you have to be in a designated space that allows RVs. The benefit of these locations, however, is that they usually have water hook-ups and dumping sites to make your life a little easier.

 

Weight and Height Restrictions

If you’re used to driving a car, then you probably don’t think about how big your RV is. However, if you ever come to a bridge or an entrance with low clearance, you will discover these things really fast. Avoid decapitating your rig by knowing how tall and wide it is as well as the gross weight. It will come in handy, I promise.

 

RV-Friendly Destinations

Although I would love to say that you can drive your RV wherever you like and stop wherever you want, the reality is far from perfect. Some places are much more accommodating to this lifestyle, but the fact is that most areas are not built for the RV. Even something as simple as being able to park can be a challenge in a large rig, so you have to plan everything accordingly. Stick to places that are large enough for your vehicle and avoid the ones that will make things like turning around or stopping for the night so much harder.

 

Exploring Without an RV

Since you can’t drive your rig wherever you like, you should have a plan of action for how to get around that doesn’t involve driving your massive vehicle. My RV is a trailer (more on those kinds of tips in a moment), so I can simply detach my truck, and I’m ready to go. However, if you’re driving a single unit, then you want to figure out a way to get around that doesn’t involve driving it everywhere.

 

Trailer vs. Motorized RV

For some people, having a trailer setup is so much easier than driving a single vehicle. For others, the idea of towing a massive RV behind them seems like more trouble than it’s worth. If you do decide to go with the trailer, then here are some things to consider when finding tips.

 

  • How to hitch quickly by yourself (comes in handy way more often than you’d think)
  • How to keep your trailer secure when it’s detached
  • How to load your trailer so it won’t be an issue on the road
  • Finding a rig that can tow it properly (weight ratios and ratings)

 

Also, you should look for particular tips that relate to your specific RV model so that you can be prepared for any problem you may experience.

 

Conclusion

When looking for these tips and tricks, be sure to visit forums and websites that cater to RVs specifically. Although some of the information can be found on a variety of sites, you want to be sure that the information you’re getting is related to your experience.

 

The other thing to remember is that if you discover something out on the road, be sure to share it with other RV lovers. Whether you found a great spot to park your rig, or you discovered a better way to deal with your water, sharing this information will help someone else in their time of need.

 

Thanks for reading my post, and I hope you found this information useful. Happy RVing!

rv-furniture

RV Furniture

Getting frustrated looking for RV furniture? Finding the right options for your traveling home can be an elaborate process. Like regular furniture, you want it to be comfortable, durable and matching your personal style. However, you also want options that can handle rough rides and are secure enough to stay put even on the bumpiest …

RV Furniture Read More »

RV-driving

RV Driving

Not all vehicles are created equal. If you’re thinking about purchasing an RV, you need to know there is a huge learning curve. Driving an RV requires a lot of experience, skilled maneuvering, and excellent response skills. The more you drive, the safer you become. So if you’re new to driving an RV, be more …

RV Driving Read More »

workamping

Workamping

Workamping Working in the 21st century has truly become a rat race, and more and more people are feeling suffocated by their 9 to 5 than ever before. And why shouldn’t they feel that way? Traditional fixed employment is a raw deal if you think about it: you spend your own money to drive your …

Workamping Read More »

rv-tires

RV Tire Care

RV Tire Care – the Basics – for Motorhomes, Fifth Wheels & Travel trailers There are two factors that affect tire life: proper application and good maintenance. For most of us choosing the right tires for our motorhome, fifth wheel or travel trailer is easy, we use the tires installed by the RV manufacturer. However, …

RV Tire Care Read More »

rv-appliances

RV Appliances

Your Guide to RV Appliances These days, we take for granted that we can just plug an appliance into an outlet and expect it to work. In fact, many of us rely on various electronics and devices to make our lives easier. However, when you’re staying in an RV, things are much different. You don’t …

RV Appliances Read More »

rv-awning

RV Awning Care

RV Awnings An RV awning is one of the most popular ‘options’ available for your Motor Home, Fifth Wheel or Travel Trailer. But many RVers don’t use their awing because they don’t know how easy it is to use. Follow the simple instructions below to learn how to operate your RV awning and begin enjoying …

RV Awning Care Read More »

5 Best RV Cookware Sets

Traveling in an RV is great because it allows you to see the world without having to leave the creature comforts of home. However, as advanced as RVs have gotten over the years, they still have their limitations. One place you notice this a lot is in the kitchen. With most RVs, you have limited …

5 Best RV Cookware Sets Read More »

rv-internet

RV Internet

RV Internet Is Required By Everyone When I first started RV’ing, internet access was a major priority of mine. I work and source nearly all of my income as a remote employee. But it wasn’t a big problem for most RVers. The majority of RV’ers were historically retired Boomers. Some more technically inclined than others. …

RV Internet Read More »

rv-cleaning

RV Exterior Cleaning

Cleaning Rv Exterior Bugs and bird droppings on your paint, grillwork and windshield? Saturate the area with spray cooking oil, let it sit for 10 minutes then wash the windshield as usual. To remove salt deposits from a painted metal RV exterior, wash with a solution of baking soda and warm water. For extra heavy …

RV Exterior Cleaning Read More »

rv-fresh-water

RV Freshwater System Tips

Fresh Water System Your RV’s on-board fresh water supply is important to your health. Proper care and maintenance is a must. Use a separate, dedicated drinking water approved hose for your fresh water. Use a different color hose for your utility hose so you will never mix them up. Remember, you will be using your …

RV Freshwater System Tips Read More »

rv-propane-tank

RV Propane Tanks Care And Maintenance

Acme or POL valve required for RV propane cylinders & cylinder re-certification The Federal government prohibited the sale and use of POL valves found on older DoT type propane cylinders. (POL is an abbreviation for Prest-O-Lite, for the company that first produced the valve). These valves have the familiar female left-hand-thread in the valve and …

RV Propane Tanks Care And Maintenance Read More »

rv-leveling

RV Leveling Tips

RV Stabilizing – Leveling Hints & Tips – Stabilizer Jacks & Leveling Jacks for Fifth Wheels & Travel Trailer RVs Stabilizing your rig is not necessary but doing so may make your RV more pleasant to be in. The smaller the Fifth Wheel or Travel Trailer the more it can benefit from stabilizing systems. You …

RV Leveling Tips Read More »

5 Best RV TPMS

Whether you’re driving an RV or some other vehicle, tire pressure is something that you should pay attention to as closely as possible. However, because RVs have more wheels, and some models are not connected to a cab, it’s even more imperative that you have some method of monitoring your tire pressure. Fortunately, you can …

5 Best RV TPMS Read More »

6 Best RV Coffee Makers

Just because you’re traveling in an RV doesn’t mean that you should avoid the accouterments of home. For me, one of the most vital items I need to bring along for the ride is a coffee maker. I’m not ready to face the day until I’ve had at least one cup of joe, and I …

6 Best RV Coffee Makers Read More »

How to Insulate Your RV Windows

When most people head out RVing, they choose to venture into the wild blue yonder during the more beautiful months of the year. However, if you’re like me, then you prefer to RV as much as possible, even when the weather is not very accommodating. Unfortunately, warmth and insulation in an RV can be an …

How to Insulate Your RV Windows Read More »

rv-water-pump

RV Tanks

RV Tanks Black and Gray Holding Tank Maintenance It used to be, back when campers camped in tents it was okay to dump gray water on the ground. When campers first moved to an RV it was still okay. Then campers wanted toilets in their RVs and holding tanks on travel trailers became necessary. For a …

RV Tanks Read More »

rv-fire

RV Fire Prevention

RV Fire! Be Aware it can Happen 1) RVs burn fast! 2) The smoke from a burning RV is very toxic and you should not even try to stay inside and fight the fire. Just a few lung-fulls of the acrid smoke may require hospitalization. 3) You cannot have too big a fire extinguisher. Your …

RV Fire Prevention Read More »

rvlives-rv-electrical

RV Electrical

Your Guide to Electrical Systems in Your RV Having an RV is a wonderful experience. I’ve been driving my RV for a few years now, and I have to say that it was the best decision of my life. However, I can also say that it’s not without its challenges. For most of my adult …

RV Electrical Read More »

rv-kitchen

RV Kitchen

The In’s and Out’s of an RV Kitchen Ever wondered what it is like to cook in a RV Kitchen? What kind of appliances are available? What kind of storage is provided? Is the stove top gas or electric? Here’s what you need to know about making the most of your RV Kitchen. RV Kitchens …

RV Kitchen Read More »

Best RV Awning Lights

Introduction No matter where your RV adventure takes you, good exterior lighting is key to enjoying the cool of the evening while cooking out or just visiting with friends. Exterior lighting kits are also a godsend when you are trying to connect your RV to utility hookups at night. However, not every RV comes equipped …

Best RV Awning Lights Read More »

RVLives-rv-plumbing

RV Plumbing

Your Guide to the Plumbing in Your RV If you’re like most people, then you probably don’t spend a lot of time thinking about indoor plumbing. The only time when it would cross your mind is if there’s a problem. A backed-up toilet or a leaky faucet are reminders that we use a complex system …

RV Plumbing Read More »

rv-roof-cleaning

RV Roof Cleaning

RV Roof Care and Maintenance – the Basics for Motorhomes, Fifth Wheels and Travel Trailers The roof on your recreational vehicle is just as important as a roof on any landlocked house. It protects you and your home from some of the destructive forces of nature, Part-timers, as well as fulltimers, need to plan regular …

RV Roof Cleaning Read More »

Scroll to Top