10 Newbie RV Mistakes

There are some common mistakes that new RVers make that should be avoided if possible! Avoiding these 10 common mistakes can save you a lot of headache, hassle and money!

1. Driving Off While Connected

As crazy as it sounds, it has happened. I’ve heard stories. You should always do a walk around before departing from your RV site! Make sure all hookups are disconnected, windows and vents are closed, stairs are up and antenna is down!

Related video: Winegard ConnecT 2.0: Take The Internet Wherever You Go

2. Not Knowing Your Size

It’s imperative that you know the size of your rig. Knowing the height keeps you from attempting bridges, awnings or parking garages that are too low. You need to know your length to know what size site you fit into!

Related video: RV Weight Ratings: Basics And Considerations

3. Not Using a Checklist

Checklists are exceedingly important on moving day. Keep a list handy of everything you need to do in order to pack up and be safely ready to leave a site.

Pre-Trip Checklist

4. Overpacking

You rarely need as much as you think you do! Weight is important in RVs, and the more stuff you cram inside, the more cluttered it will feel and the greater negative impact is has on your gas mileage!

5. Leaving the Awning out

Never leave your awning out when you leave your RV. You never know when a storm could pop up with strong gusts of wind that could rip your awning right off!

Related video: Tips on How to Clean an RV Awning

6. Crushing Your Chocks

Always check to see if you’ve remembered to remove all chocks before rolling away. Failing to do so will result in crushed chocks!

7. Failing to Plan Ahead

There are many things you should plan for when RVing. Calling ahead to reserve an RV site takes the stress out of guessing if there will be room for you if you arrive last minute. Checking a map to see if there is a grocery store near your destination lets you know how much food you should have with you with you arrive, unless you’re willing to do a lot of driving. In some parts of the country, gas stations are few and far between so planning your gas stops is really important. It’s always good to have a plan!

8. Leaving the Ceiling Vent Open

If your ceiling vent doesn’t have a rain sensor, always remember to close it when it starts raining. Leaving it open makes quite a wet mess!

9. Leaving the Black Tank Open

Always keep your black tank closed. Keeping it open allows solids to build up in the tank, creating a “poop pyramid!” Using plenty of water when flushing and keeping the black tank closed can prevent a disgusting dilemma!

Related video, How To Properly Use RV Black Water Tank Chemicals:

10. Not Documenting Your Travels

RVing is a lot of fun! Seeing different parts of the world in your home on wheels is something not everyone gets the opportunity to do. Documenting your travels can be beneficial to yourself and others!

You may choose to remember your adventures through photographs or by keeping a written account of them. Keeping little reminders of RV life that you can look back on or pass down to generations to come is a precious gift. You can also keep track of parks or places you particularly enjoyed so you remember where you want to revisit one day!

With RVing, you’re always learning something. Hopefully this list of common mistakes will get you started on a good foundation to have an incredible RV experience!

Pre-Trip Checklist

About the Author: Lauren is a wife, mother of two, photographer, blogger and lover of nature and adventure! Currently traveling around the U.S. in a fifth wheel, Lauren and her family seek to live life to the fullest and continue to look for ways to simplify their lives in order to live larger with less. Follow along on their journey by visiting their family travel blog.

You might also be interested in:

5 Tips to Improving Fuel-Efficiency
Mapping Your Adventures With an RV Trip Planner
RV Checklist Underside Inspections
Pre-Departure Planning

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17 Responses to “10 Newbie RV Mistakes”
  1. Karl J Smith

    RV Make: Mighty Lite

    your article says to not leave the black tank open. Does that include when I am hooked up to an active sewer? I have always left my gray and black tank valves in the open position when I am hooked up to a sewer with no problems. Thank you for further information on this

    Reply
    • Customer Service

      Hey Karl!

      That’s a great question!

      The ‘Ask an Expert’ section is currently for members to our online community. We do have a promotional offer if you are interested. This would include access to expert advice (like this), plus discounts, hours of Premium videos, etc. Please feel free to take a look. You can message us right back with your question if you decide to become a member and you will have a response within 1-2 business days from our experts!

      Please follow the steps below to receive the annual membership at the introductory rate:

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  2. profmec

    RV Make: Prevost, RV Model: Featerlite Vantare, RV Year: 2000

    Love the blogs & videos

    Reply
  3. frank ellis

    RV Make: Keestone, RV Model: Alpine 3846, RV Year: 2010, Brand: fresh water supply, Model Number: N/A stinky water on first 20sec>

    Where would smell come from? Could it be skimming off of holding tank? I’m worried septing tank draining into fresh water supply, but others do not have problem!

    Reply
    • Customer Service

      Hi there Frank!

      That’s a great question!

      The ‘Ask an Expert’ section is currently for members to our online community. We do have a promotional offer if you are interested. This would include access to expert advice (like this), plus discounts, hours of Premium videos, etc. Please feel free to take a look. You can message us right back with your question if you decide to become a member and you will have a response within 1-2 business days from our experts!

      Please follow the steps below to receive the annual membership at the introductory rate:

      1. Click on the email link: https://go.rvrepairclub.com/c19138
      2. Click on the Premium Membership offer.
      3. The Checkout page will display your Premium Membership purchase.
      4. Fill in your Billing Details and create an account password.
      5. Fill in your debit/credit card information.
      6. Finish by clicking Complete Order.

      If you have any further questions, please contact Customer Service at 1-855-706-3536 at your earliest convenience, or chat with us on our site.

      We greatly appreciate your business!

      Sincerely,

      Jessica
      RV Repair Club Video Membership

      Reply
  4. Cassandra Lista

    RV Make: Keystone, RV Model: Montana, RV Year: 2016, Brand: Dometic thermostat, Model Number: 3314080.000

    The thermostat defies programming. I want an easier to program thermostat or a non digital thermostat!

    Reply
  5. Beverly Colson

    RV Make: Rialta winnebago, RV Year: 2001

    How to find a water leak inside around the area of the water tank.

    Reply
  6. Robert Riegler

    RV Make: Thor, RV Model: 23H, RV Year: 2015

    Only been doing this for about two years. Always looking for new sources of information,storage ideas,etc. Have done several three month trips. Headed out to NM and AZ again March~~Mid May.

    Reply
  7. cg ramos

    RV Make: Hurricane, RV Model: Thor, RV Year: 2005

    Where is the location of winterizer attachment to add it and the bypass hose on this particular model? 33′ hurricane.

    Reply
  8. LeRoy Hogan

    RV Make: KZ, RV Model: Durango 1500, RV Year: 2014

    Mistake # 11. Don’t forget you are pulling a camper behind you.

    Reply
  9. Robert

    RV Make: keystone, RV Model: Fuzion Crome, RV Year: 2016

    My 5th wheel is 13’4″ high, are there maps with height limitations other than truck routes?

    Reply
  10. Jim Johnson

    RV Make: Keystone, RV Model: Cougar 33SAB, RV Year: 2017

    How do you effectively get the attention of an RV manufacturer about improving design features? Our RV trailer is seasonally stationary and the black water tank never fully flushes. Auto level RV?-check, only drain when 2/3+ full?-check,RV TP?-check, use plenty of water?-check, use potable soft water?-check, use trailer’s built-in tank flush at every drain?-check (separate hose with no pressure restriction), use tank chemicals?-tried many. The only solutions so far are to pull the trailer down a bumpy road with a half-full tank for agitation (I did say seasonally stationary right? Besides, doesn’t always work.), or pull a separate hose with no pressure restriction through the RV door into the bathroom twice a month and flush through the toilet with a Camco flex wand at least until the sensors finally read zero and output is sparkling clear. FYI, this trailer model has an insulated bottom that prevents access to tanks or other mechanicals.

    Reply
  11. Wayne Downing

    RV Make: Starcraft, RV Model: At one, RV Year: 2016

    I think the most important thing you can do is do a walk around the camper before you leave. Remember how you pack the RV just in case you have to rearrange in case of bad traveling or even good traveling. While traveling check you hitch assembly. Make sure your not overweight

    Reply
  12. Richard

    RV Make: Alegro, RV Model: Bus, RV Year: 2005

    Most people drive a car till they retire then if they can afford it they buy the largest RV possible, so when making left or especially right turns you may have to pull partly into the left hand lane so that your rear tires or trailer completely clear the sidewalks or ditches.
    Can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen smashed tow vehicles or trailer sides damaged because people think the turning radius is the same as their car or pickup.

    Reply
    • Tom Horton

      RV Make: Keystone, RV Model: Outback, RV Year: 2019

      Also, if you are in a parking lot watch your blind spot when making a sharp turn. Had a lady pull up next to me when I was making a sharp turn and I scraped the side of her car.

      Reply
  13. Nemia Hink

    RV Make: Winnebago, RV Model: Travato 59K, RV Year: 2019, Brand: Teavato, Model Number: 59K

    Will be interested to hear some advise on Travato 59K 2019

    Reply
    • Customer Service

      Hello Nemia!

      We’d love to offer some advice!

      Is there a particular piece of advise that you’re looking for? Let us know by replying to this comment and I’ll send it to our experts!

      Thank you!

      Jessica
      RV Repair Club Video Membership

      Reply