RV camping can be extremely fun and rewarding, but it also comes with many challenges. Forgetting a key component can result in a dangerous or costly situation, and if your belongings don’t have a safe, designated location, it’s easy to lose important items along the way. Luckily, there are a number of simple things you can do to ensure you’re prepared for the ultimate RV adventure.
There’s nothing worse than setting out on your journey and realizing you don’t have everything you need to be self-sufficient. You might pull up at a campsite only to find you’re missing an AC adapter or that your gray water hose is leaking. A good way to mitigate these types of problems is to test your system before you set off on your trip, which gives you a chance to learn about kinks in your plan.
While traveling you may find yourself in low ground clearance situations that may make you concerned about the height of your RV. Maybe you’re hitting a bridge with a 12-foot height limit, or maybe you’re trying to squeeze into a parking garage with low ceilings. Knowing the height of your RV allows you to make quick decisions that will prevent you from climbing over your head – and ensure you comply with any height restrictions.
Once you’ve parked, you’ll likely be eager to get the water flowing into the RV’s fresh water system. However, if you start refueling before the RV is level, you may not be optimizing tank space. Leveling before filling the tank allows you to fill it up.
Most RVs are equipped with a fresh water tank, a gray water tank, and a dirty water tank. And they tend to fill up quickly depending on the system. Draining your water before driving will significantly reduce the total towing capacity, which can increase your vehicle’s fuel efficiency and towing capacity.
A small handheld vacuum can typically run for hours on a single charge, but is effective against the dirt that quickly builds up in your home when you travel. Keeping an RV clean is a lot easier with a small handheld vacuum that you can use on floors and countertops alike.
Most RVs have a little free wall space that you can use to store towels, clothes, and other items. Hardware stores usually have adhesive hooks and suction cups that can often hold up to 5 pounds. You might also benefit from investing in a magnetic strip for knives and other metal implements for convenient organization.
Occasionally you may find yourself in a dry camp site (a place with no electricity or water connections) which can make charging your devices a challenge. You can use both portable and permanent solar energy devices to power everything from your smartphone to an AC unit.
With more and more people on the move, it can be difficult to find affordable RV sites and campsites. Luckily, there are usually free options — without electricity and water — if you know where to look. To find them, download an app like iOverlander or Campendium, or buy a good old-fashioned map that shows Bureau of Land Management designations, as many BLM locations offer free camping. Just be sure to follow the organization’s camping rules and regulations.
Most travelers struggle with loss of service at some point. This can be especially inconvenient if you’re using your phone’s GPS to navigate. A Signal Booster Might Help: Because cell phones rely on a small antenna to connect to cell towers, connecting your phone to a device with a much larger antenna might allow you to find a connection, even if it seems like you can You are in a black zone.
Using a cooler can seem practical at first, but even the most efficient coolers require a lot of ice. Try to find a hybrid refrigerator that can run on both electricity and propane. This allows you to keep your goods cool without ice or electricity when you are unplugged but still carrying propane.
When you live in a tight space, storage is everything. Collapsible storage bins allow you to stay organized when parked and won’t take up much space on the go. You can use collapsible tote bags for kitchen utensils and groceries, while a fold-down laundry basket could double as a trash can.