10 RV Tips to Remember Before Hitting the Road

Whether you live in your recreational vehicle full time or only use it a few times a year, it’s imperative to be prepared. In the interest of happy camping for all, here is a helpful list of RV tips to remember before hitting the proverbial road.

Smart RV enthusiasts plan ahead

A few RVs at an RV camping site in front of a lake.
RV camping | Getty Images

RV road trips can be a lot of fun, as long as you remember to prep before you go. In fact, it can be pretty frustrating to find yourself many miles from home without the tools and other things you need. Spare yourself such issues with these easy-to-follow reminders.

1. Make and use a departure checklist is a great RV tip

It’s easy to forget important details when excited about an upcoming road trip. The best way to remember everything is with a printed checklist. Make your own, or print a copy of the departure checklist provided by RV Life Pro. Use the list as-is, or customize it with your specifics. Either way, you will be likelier to remember every vital detail.

2. Know the dimensions of your rig

If you’ve ever witnessed the aftermath of a too-tall truck failing to clear an underpass, you already understand the importance of knowing your rig’s height, width, and weight. RV Life recommends writing this info on a piece of masking tape and sticking it to your dashboard. This simple step may save you from scraping low-hanging branches and smacking into bridges that are lower than you think.

3. Be sure your RV is level before filling the fresh water tank

Attempt to fill your fresh water tank on uneven ground, and it won’t hold all the water it should. Ensure your RV is perfectly level, and your tank will be as full as it needs to be before you hit the road.

4. Prep and bring a basic tool kit, and a first aid kit is an essential RV Tip

Making minor repairs is easy when you have the right tools. According to The RV Geeks, your tool kit should include:

  • Phillips and flat head screwdrivers
  • Pliers and a channel lock
  • Assortment of screws
  • Cordless drill with bits
  • Hammer
  • Metric and standard socket set
  • Open-end wrench set and a crescent wrench

Your first aid kit should include cleansing wipes, cotton balls, over-the-counter pain relief medicine, and adhesive bandages. Antiseptic wash and antibiotic ointment should also be part of your RV first aid kit.

5. Research and plan your RV route in advance

A small investment in an RV planning app such as Trip Wizard can save big headaches down the road. Created by RV Life, the app offers RV-safe routes along with notable points of interest and road hazards, including low overpasses and roads that are inaccessible to large recreational vehicles.

6. Ensure all propane valves are turned off is a vital RV tip

Prevent surprise fires and explosions when you double-check to make sure all your propane valves are turned all the way off before starting your road trip.

7. Pack family-friendly games

A selection of amusing games can alleviate boredom and keep kids from repeatedly asking, “Are we there yet?” Board games such as Monopoly and Candyland can entertain for hours. A chessboard and a deck of cards are also worth bringing along.

8. Practice hitching and unhitching before you go

An after-dark campsite is not the place to learn how to hitch up your RV. Practice hitching and unhitching before you leave home, and setting up camp will be much easier.

9. Make sure you pack your hookups and attachment tools

Never assume your traveling partner packed the hookups and tools needed to install hookups. Add these items to your pre-trip checklist, and always be prepared.

10. Secure every loose item before you leave

Few things are more frustrating than motoring down the road while hearing things get thrown around your RV. Take a few extra minutes to ensure all items are secured, and you’ll never be bothered by unrestrained gear.

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