Phillip and I have been learning a lot about RVing, and we like passing along what we’ve learned to others. Hacks that make RVing simpler can be found with experience and research. Saving time, energy, and money is a breeze whether you’re a full-time or weekend RVer. The RVing and camping community might need some help, so we’re dishing out some of the best advice we’ve received or seen, today!
There are a lot of routine things you have to do every time you use your rig. These tasks are to ensure your own safety, some of these responsibilities also serve to enhance our conveniences. Easy RV living involves minimizing the time and effort spent on mundane duties so that you can focus on the fun stuff.
You can only get so much out of RVing if you don’t waste a single second of your time. While not every job is going to be fun, finishing them all will free you up to enjoy the rest of your RVing experience.
For more information on each tip, check out our accompanying articles here:
RV Camping and Boondocking
List of RV Camping and Boondocking Tips
RV Trip Planning Hacks
- Use RV Apps and Websites when planning your trips.
- Don’t over plan your trip.
- Initiate all trip preparations in Google Maps.
- Establish a predetermined destination and route in advance.
- Map your route and save it for later
- Use Google Satellite and Street View features.
- Book in advance and on busy travel days.
- Save thousands of dollars with RV memberships.
- Book midweek stays to avoid crowds and save money.
- Try widening your search.
- Review the campsite layout prior to booking.
- Get last minute bookings.
- Remember to ask the locals.
- Ask the locals about RV parking spots.
- Always check the event calendars.
- Visit popular tourist destinations during off-seasons.
- Use a travel-friendly credit card.
- Spend less with extended stays.
- Pack up the night before.
- Get a free or low-cost national park pass.
RV Parking Hacks
- Mark the parking space before you park it.
- Get creative with RV parking.
- Place your RV in the shade or sun for ideal temperatures.
- Use the environment for natural privacy.
- Before you hookup, always clean the water spigot first.
- Know your location in case of an emergency.
- Pin your RV on google maps when boondocking.
- Keep your wheels grounded to reduce suspension strain.
RV Glamping & Safety Hacks
- Host an outdoor movie night.
- Use campfire smoke to repel insects.
- Circle up with your traveling buddies.
- Use water jugs as weights.
- Only use local firewood.
- Prevent unexpected run-ins with spiders.
- Create a portable paper towel holder for outdoor use.
- Use a portable propane fire pit if you’re camping in a region with frequent fire bans.
- Use nonlethal tools for protection.
- Give the image that you’re not home alone.
- Dehumidify your RV using an air conditioner or heat pump.
- Be cautious if you carry a firearm.
- Change your locks.
- Protect wood cabinets from drying out.
- Stay warm with a lightweight and inexpensive DIY sleeping bag.
- Save your RV light power.
- Prepare to move immediately in extreme weather conditions.
- Prevent mold and mildew in humid areas.
- Allow cabinet doors to remain open during extreme weather.
- Insulate the vents in your ceiling.
- Use Bubble Wrap for insulation.
- Bring your slides in during cold weather.
- Insulate using rubber gym mats.
- Use a portable propane heater when boondocking.
- Optimize solar energy usage.
- Save energy by brewing coffee without electricity.
- Easily locate your RV with a distinctive flags or lights.
RV Water Saving Hacks
- Wipe your dishes clean.
- Wash dishes once a day.
- Reuse your dishwater.
- Take a Navy shower.
- Replace some showers with body wipes.
- Conserve the shower’s cold water.
- Turn a trickle of water on when necessary.
- Pre-prepare meals.
- Use paper plates and then reuse as fire starter.
- Create a hand washing station for outdoor use.
- Use fresh and gray water bladders.
- Reuse sink water.
- Use paper towels to pre wipe dirty dishes.
- Make your own toilet.
- Dump your gray tanks without breaking camp.
Important Steps Before You Even Start Driving Your RV
It’s essential to know all the specifics of your recreational vehicle. Make sure you and your copilot can easily access this information while on the road by posting a list of the relevant numbers. That way, before you drive beneath a low overhang or turn onto a tiny lane, you may quickly double-check them.
The technical details of your recreational vehicle (RV) are probably posted online, but it’s always a good idea to check them before you set out. In addition, if you have modified your rig in any manner, it is crucial that you take an accurate measurement of the height in your own driveway. Height limits are frequently imposed on roads and bridges due to their low clearance. Before hitting the road, you can check height limitations with an RV-specific GPS app like Togo RV.
Knowing the width of your vehicle is useful not just for parking but also for driving. Depending on the state, there may be size restrictions on the roads that you can drive on. Avoid driving on roads that are too narrow for your RV, both to avoid getting a ticket and for the safety of you and your passengers.
If you ever need to park your RV, knowing how long it is will come in very handy (more on that below). Every time you reserve a campground, you’ll need to provide your length.
Make sure nothing is stacked higher on one side of the RV than the other. Heavy objects should be fastened down in the same way that carry-on luggage is stored in an airplane: in case of an unexpected bump in the road.
When driving, petrol stations aren’t always conveniently located. To avoid having to stop and fill up your gas tank, you should be familiar with your normal mileage. Always be aware of how far your vehicle can travel when pulling a trailer, whether you’re on the highway or stuck in traffic.
Make sure your mirrors are set up correctly so you have a clear view of the area on each side of the RV. You can see far behind you, alongside your vehicle, and all the way to the side with your flat mirror (like the side mirror on your car). In theory, a convex mirror’s field of view would extend from behind the car and up to 12 feet to either side, but in practice, there would always be a blind area. Here, a wireless surveillance camera comes in handy.
The blind spots on an RV are significantly larger than those on a car. If you have to change lanes, make sure there is no one in your blind zone by checking the side mirrors or the screen of your wireless observation camera frequently.
List of RV Driving Tips
With that being said, let’s talk about the best hacks and tips when driving RVs.
- Use rest stops responsibly.
- Get an RV-specific GPS unit.
- Use a GPS-compatible online trip planner.
- Rest and relax in scenic national parks.
- Carry essential paper books.
- Find free overnight parking.
- Read websites and use apps.
- Check weather conditions.
- Change up your itineraries a little bit.
- Discover interesting attractions.
- Allow more time for your RV road trip days
- Keep in mind that bigger isn’t always better.
- Use two GPS devices so you can choose between multiple routes.
- Decide whether to toll, or not to toll.
- Save money at the pump.
- Make sure you’ve got everything you need before hitting the road.
- Get around cities quickly by avoiding rush hour.
- Learn to drive an RV with a moving truck first.
- Follow the rule of 3-3-3 to reduce stress and fatigue.
- Use your regular vehicle to scout potential boondocking spots before you leave.
- Understand mile markers and exits.
- Use your towed vehicle as a trailer.
- Improve your vehicle’s fuel efficiency as much as possible.
- Read all posted road signs.
- Keep an eye on truck drivers and take their advice.
- Turn off propane before driving.
- Display your RV’s height and weight clearly.
- Get on the road during normal business hours if you need mechanical help.
- Keep yourself in the middle of the lane for optimal safety.
- Practice towing with a U-Haul trailer.
- Weigh and balance your RV.
- Learn the ins and outs of the US road and interstate numbering system.
- Determine your maximum safe carrying weight.
- Make fuel filling a breeze.
- Manage your water weight effectively
- Avoid driving on windy days.
- Choose local rides of low prices and ease of use.
- Use Tow/Haul mode for better driving mechanics.
- Put emergency supplies in a secure but easy-to-reach location.
- Plan your RV’s tail swing accordingly to avoid any accident.
- Make your turns from the outside lane (if an option) to facilitate a much easier turn.
- Get roadside assistance with RV towing.
- Avoid overheating your brakes.
- Ensure a clear view behind you by adjusting your mirrors.
- Get your RV some new tires and suspension.
- Reduce your speed and save money.
- Remember the answer to the age-old “Are we there yet?” question.
- Mark the routes you took in an atlas with a highlighter pen so you won’t forget where you went.
- Unhook the tow vehicle when traveling up steep inclines for you to keep safe.
- Downshift gears before tackling steep grades.
- Select the safest lane to drive in.
- Slightly increase the pressure in the front curb-side tire in order to decrease tire wear.
- Anticipate handling a motorhome before you actually drive it.
- Get traction in the snow and ice by using kitty litter.
- Maximize your vertical space in tunnels by sticking close to the tunnel’s center.
- Find out how much you think your hitch or tongue weighs.
- Avoid entering a parking lot if you are unsure of exit.
- Get a set of walkie-talkies if you need to coordinate short-distance plans.
- Find a campsite with a pull-through for quick and easy access.
- Learn the RV sign language to simplify the parking process when driving a recreational vehicle.
- Approach from the viewpoint of the driver.
- Use cords, ties, and bands to secure cabinets.
- Break up long drive days for free.
RV Repair & Maintenance
List of RV Repair & Maintenance Hacks
Tips for RV Maintenance
- If your vehicle is new, schedule your maintenance visit very soon.
- Establish a regular maintenance schedule for your RV.
- Always have a toolkit on hand.
- Use a tennis ball hitch ball cover.
- Don’t move your slideout until you’ve leveled your RV.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
- Clean, coil and connect your hoses.
- Use your RV antifreeze efficiently.
- Let your awning get clean on its own.
- Always keep EternaBond tape on hand for quick repairs.
- Reduce moisture and stop the growth of mold.
- Get foam mats for working on your RV.
- Use a jack for added stability on your doorway.
- Use water to easily check your RV propane level.
- Replace cheaper RV components more frequently to prevent costly repairs.
- Use a power drill to adjust stabilizer jacks easily.
- Have a headlamp handy.
Tips for RV Plumbing
- Don’t skip out on a water pressure regulator.
- Run the toilet paper test.
- Avoid a black tank nightmare by waiting until your tanks are at-least half full.
- Empty the black tank first.
- Use a sewer support.
- Use a holding tank treatment.
- Remember to flush the tank, often.
- Immediately remove dirty gloves.
- Clean your tanks thoroughly for accurate gauge readings.
- Clear a clogged drain with septic-safe products.
- Use vinegar to fix a leaky RV toilet.
- Always bring a 90-degree hose elbow.
- Don’t cheat out on your hose.
Preventative RV Tips
- Take precautions to protect your water supply especially during cold weather.
- Protect your RV tires from sun damage.
- Use Surge Protectors always.
- Always double check your connection.
- Check the dates on your RV tires to see if they reached their end.
- Get your warranties set up for your RV and appliances ASAP.
- Use UV protectant on your slideout seals.
- Always measure before putting out your slides.
- Use noodles to protect your head from some bumps.
- Spread wax on the front of your RV to keep bugs off.
- Use disposable gloves and disinfect your RV.
- Keep the RV pest-free with common household items.
- Protect your RV’s awning from wind damage by putting it away when you’re not using it.
- Tilt the RV awning to keep water from puddling.
- Test food safety with a coin.
- Remember to check if any items were pushed under or hidden behind your slides.
- Write down the ideal tire pressure on each tire.
Tips for Improved Comfort
- Have a team mentality when tackling your to-do list.
- Give yourself time to get to know you RV travel habits.
- Add grip to your steps.
- Add lights to your outdoor RV entryway.
- Warm your RV with light bulbs.
- Reduce heat in your RV with external shades.
- Stay cool with some window tint.
- Use dryer sheets to get rid of the dead insects.
- Count your generator hours to determine if you should go solar.
- Use vent covers to keep bugs out of your rig.
- Store your RV cover in a clean trash can.