Made a really stupid RV mistake? You are not alone! Here are the dumbest RV camping mistakes our fellow RVers often see…
An RV Lifestyle member recently asked a question in our Facebook group:
“What are the dumbest RV camping mistakes you see all the time? (I don’t want to be one of THOSE guys!)”.
Your question prompted over 440 comments! Like I said, we’ve all made mistakes.
The good news is that we can laugh about some of the stupid things we’ve done. The bad news is that some mistakes can cost you time or money, or both!
10 unwritten rules for camping etiquette
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You’ll see in the list below that many of the dumbest mistakes have to do with disregarding camping etiquette. That’s why we recommend watching the video above.
Or you can read 5 Camping Etiquette Tips: Parking, Privacy, Patience, Pets & Poop and Top 10 Camping Laundry Etiquette Tips and Tricks.
The Dumbest RV Camping Mistakes: Don’t Make It!
The following are some stupid mistakes our VR Lifestyle members have made or witnessed. Read on so you can be sure NOT to make the same mistakes!
1. Leaving the gray and black water tank valves open.
2. Bring dogs that will bark constantly.
3. Walking around other people’s campsites.
4. Place bags of dog poop on the picnic table.
5. Forgetting to bring bug spray on the trip.
6. Thinking your vehicle is strong enough to pull the trailer when it’s not. (Always be sure to account for additional weight such as water, clothing, and other items.)
7. Leave the camp with the antenna up. A member of the RV lifestyle did just that, and when he hit a tree he was ripped from the RV!
8. Lying down without realizing the windows are still open.
9. Forgetting to close a storage hatch door.
10. Not realizing that the rail is still in the down position.
11. Forgot to store the power cord. Dragging this is a hazard!
12. Forgetting to leave the stabilizers! Otherwise, your trailer may just tip over and blow you away!
MORE dumbest RV camping mistakes
13. Forgetting to make sure the trailer is level BEFORE unhitching. It’s very annoying to have to reattach and reset your computer.
14. Making noise too early in the morning. When outdoors before 8 a.m., be courteous to your neighbors and use a whispering voice if you must communicate.
15. You come back too fast and too soon. If you turn too soon, the swinging tail of your rig can get dangerously close to the things you want to avoid!
16. Not closing the food properly. Even if you don’t camp in bear country, you can attract other unwanted visitors.
17. Failure to check the hitch and jack or landing gear.
18. Driving too fast! Being safe in your RV can save a life and prevent you from getting caught in a speed trap.
19. Do not retrace your steps!
20. Not setting a timer when flushing the black tank. Otherwise, you could forget and flood your bathroom!
21. Forgetting the walls of the caravan are not soundproof. Be careful with your words and noises!
22. Window coverings are not always opaque. Be careful not to expose yourself to others.
23. Forgetting to close roof vent covers when packing.
24. Don’t store any camping gear you don’t want stolen. An RV lifestyle member had his stove, firewood and other smaller camping gear stolen while he was sightseeing.
25. Forgetting to check if your tailgate will hit the trailer hitch before opening it.
26. Forgetting to close the faucet of the outdoor sink when turning on the water inside the platform. Otherwise, you can have a flood!
27. Do not retract the awning at night. Many awnings are not made for inclement weather, and rain or wind can damage them. They are very expensive to replace if you are not careful!
RV Lifestyle member Laura had some great awning tips to follow. He said if it just rains, you can leave the awning open. But if the weather report uses the words “wind” or “storm,” you’ll want to close the awning.
However, the weather can change quickly, so we always say to close it at night or whenever you leave your motorhome for extended periods of time.
28. Don’t clean up after your dog!
29. Do not use a surge protector in the electrical box. Otherwise, you may damage your RV electrical box, as many electrical boxes in the camp are unstable.
30. Do not wear gloves when emptying the septic tank.
31. Don’t forget to put your black hose in the back of the truck to dry, then speed down the highway. You will no longer have a black hose and other drivers may not appreciate it.
32. Forgetting to take off your cleats before you leave. (This happens A LOT! Have you ever seen one of my favorite road trip movies? VR?!)
33. Forgetting to turn off the outside lights when you go to bed.
34. Use the fresh water faucet to clean the sewer hose. Wow!
35. Don’t check your trailer is shorter than the basketball hoop when you go back to the driveway! (The same goes for the steps above!)
36. Not being courteous to other campers and staff. This makes it a much more enjoyable experience for everyone!
Even MORE dumbest RV camping mistakes
37. I don’t understand your RV’s tail swing! It can be a costly and unsafe mistake!
38. Not having multiple sets of keys and keeping one outside the trailer in a safe. If you lose one while hiking or on another adventure, you don’t want to have to go into the trailer.
One RV Lifestyle member, Jody, had to do just that. They were forced to use a chainsaw to cut a hole under the bed to get through. You now have six sets of keys!
39. Do not block trailer wheels before uncoupling.
One member, named Curt, witnessed someone forget to do this once while camping. The trailer rolled down the hill and tore off the front receiver. Talk about an expensive mistake!
40. Not making an RV checklist and following it every time.
41. Listening to music or television too loudly, especially outdoors.
42. Not packing enough water. People tend to drink more when camping than at home.
43. Not keeping batteries and tires in good condition!
While you want to avoid making as many mistakes as possible, just know that you’re bound to make some along the way.
Yes, they can cost time and money. But as RV Lifestyle member Jonathan says, “most of them will end up being funny campfire stories.”
Want to read more? Check out the craziest camping stories!
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