- Dump black or grey water in unapproved places. I have heard horror stories about RVers who saw others dumping their black and grey tanks while driving down the road. Not only is that disgusting, but it is also illegal. You could cause serious harm to people and animals in the area.
If you frequently stay at locations without full hookup sites, one way to make life easier is to purchase a honey wagon to dump your tanks at the dump station mid-stay.
- Drive faster than you need to. I know you’re excited to get to your amazing camping adventure. But it will be way less fun if instead, you’re on the side of the road with a blown tire. Joel and I see RVers hauling way faster than is safe all the time. And then people wonder why their rig is broken.
- Leave your slides out when moving your RV. I really wish this one went without saying, but I have seen pictures of people driving down the freeway with their slides out! Even in the campground, if you need to reposition your RV, remember to fully retract your slides first. You can easily avoid forgetting slides out and other RV mishaps by using a departure checklist.
- Keep your awning extended when leaving for the day. I see people leave their awnings out all the time. I know some of you have probably done this for years without issue. However, all it takes is one errant strong gust of wind and there goes your awning.
Awnings are expensive to replace. Not to mention, getting the work done can leave your RV out of commission for some time. Even if your insurance will cover the repair or replacement, you will be stuck with higher insurance premiums thanks to your claims. If you must leave your awning extended, you can reduce your risk by staking both sides down. Still not worth the risk, in my opinion, but to each their own.
- Leave for a trip without checking your tire pressure. Give yourself enough time to check your tire pressure if you don’t have a tire pressure monitoring system (TPSM). A TPMS is the gold standard but checking your tire pressure before each drive will keep you safer.
- Wait until your tire tread is worn out to replace your tires. You can drive your car until the tread starts to wear out. The same is typically not true for an RV. Since most RVs spend a lot of their time sitting, it is important to replace the tires every 3-5 years at most.
Otherwise, you risk a blowout due to things like dry rot or other tire damage. Protecting your tires can help extend their life, but it isn’t a magical solution to having to replace them more often than car tires.
- Leave trash outside your campsite. Trash is not only unappealing for your neighbors to look at (and to smell), but it can also attract pests. Keeping a tidy campsite during your stay and when you leave makes camping more fun for everyone.
- Travel without all the appropriate gear and tools. Every RVer should have RV safety equipment. Because it isn’t a matter of if you have a problem with your RV, but when.
- Fail to book a campsite in advance. If you’ve been RVing for a long time, you probably used to be able to find last-minute campsites. Those days are gone in many parts of the country because of the explosive growth of RVing. If you want to have a successful RV trip, you need to book your campsite in advance (or be willing to go anywhere that you can scrounge one up).
Joel and I just called some places in Salt Lake City to see about getting a site for winter (about 2 months in advance). Even the off-season is crazy. The waitlists at most of the places we called were hundreds of people long. So I guess we have to get on the waitlist for next winter.
10. Break common campground etiquette rules. There are many unspoken (and some spoken) rules about camping. If you’re new, take a chance to read up on campground etiquette so you aren’t public enemy number one of the campground.