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Amateur RV Mistakes to Avoid

Amateur RV Mistakes to Avoid

Most life experiences are educational.  Those experiences can be enjoyable and the bad ones entertaining (though typically not in the midst of the occurrence).  However, many unpleasant life lessons can be avoided simply by being better prepared.  RV maintenance is one of the areas where it’s better to learn from the mistakes of others.

Ask any seasoned RV owner, and chances are stories will be told not of just the beautiful trips and campgrounds they have visited, but of mistakes they made and wished they had avoided. However, these unpleasant RV experiences taught them valuable lessons- so listen to them!  Get their opinions and learn from their mistakes.

While it is unlikely that all your RV adventures will be problem-free, you don’t have to look (or feel) like an amateur.

1. Not taking an inaugural road trip.

Before loading up and setting out for that 500-mile trip, take your RV on a test run – even if you bought a brand-new RV!  Ideally, take a 100-mile trip with just one other person to get a feel for how the RV handles, note any changes or upgrades you want/need to make, practice parking in the campground, test out the appliances, etc.

2. Not practicing backing up.

Your RV has more blind spots than your everyday vehicle. Take your RV to an empty parking lot or field, set up some cones, and practice till you’ve it down pat. (Failing to do this means you will provide entertainment for the experienced RV owners the first time you go to an RV campground.) For best results when backing up, always have a reliable spotter who can communicate with you via cell phone or walkie-talkie.

RV Maintenance of Water Heater3. Not making a checklist for RV Maintenance.

Even if list-making is not typically something you do, owning an RV and checking off a list go hand in hand.  One of the best ways to avoid rookie mistakes is by ensuring everything on your list is checked off before you leave!  A few items to include on your list are-

  • Check the brakes, turn signals, tire pressure, and fluid levels.
  • Be sure all windows and vents are closed.
  • Turn off the water pump and water heater.
  • Tool kit, jumper cables, wheel blocks, pressure gauge, levelers, etc., which may be needed in case of emergency.
  • Assorted kitchen items – bottle opener, aluminum foil, paper towels, etc.  Also, be sure all appliance doors are closed securely.

4. Not doing needed RV maintenance.

Be sure that everything is in proper working order- both inside, outside, and under the hood of your RV.  Know what transmission fluid, suspension fluid, oil, coolant, etc. works best for your RV.  If RVing in Minnesota, the best RV performance products can be found at your AMSOIL retailer,

5. Not making reservations.

RV campgrounds can fill up quickly, especially during peak season! Failing to reserve a place creates stress. Make your RV campsite reservation early.

6. Not taking care of the battery.

Be sure you test the battery regularly and look at the water levels in a lead-acid battery.

RVing is a great way to travel and meet people. Whether it is a summer hobby or your retirement plan. Be diligent in your preparation and planning, so your time traveling can be full of great experiences. Hmm, where will you go?