19 RV Camping Mistakes to Avoid For Beginners Or New RV Owners

19 RV Camping Mistakes to Avoid For Beginners Or New RV Owners

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RV camping can be fun and adventurous. However, a few mistakes can make it challenging and stressful. In this article, we are going to cover some RV camping mistakes to avoid. You will have to plan everything immaculately to make your camping fun.

Prior preparation and intelligent planning can make it much easier for you. If you are a first-time camper, you might need some practice before heading towards your destination.

Plan everything and make sure that you are well-equipped to deal with an adverse condition. Let’s cover some common RV camping mistakes to avoid during your next camping.

Choosing a wrong RV

You can do this mistake if you are planning for an RV camping for the first time. Different types of RVs are available.

There is no doubt that your budget and preference will be the determining factors. You can choose from a small tow to luxury coaches. You will have to explore all the possible options that fit your budget.

Check online and visit physical stores. Talk to the experts and take the help of online forums to know the unique requirements. Proper research is a must to get the most out of your purchase.

Research popular brands and get the one that combines safety and comfort. Check storage and other facilities to ensure that it is designed to take care of your camping needs.

Beginners do a mistake by making a purchasing decision without proper research. The result is obvious. They cannot get the desired benefits and encounter a few challenges throughout.

Not doing reservations

Many campers do not plan for reservations and face difficulties when they reach the campground. Most of the popular grounds will be crowded and booked at peak times.

So, it is suggested to reserve the ground weeks before the due date to secure your spot before it becomes too crowded. You can book as early as possible. Otherwise, you might not get a reservation at your preferred campsite.

Reservations will be easy and hassle-free. You can consider online reservations and can rest assured that you can enjoy your RV camping during your vacation without any complication.

Not rolling the awning on time

Awning is a excellent way to get some shade while camping in your RV. It also provides for space and enhances the living in an RV. We always extend our awning while camping. When you have kids it gives that extra space to do the set up and hang out.

Yes, awning are great but its also important to retract them on time. A high wind or storm can rip off the awning in seconds. Keeping the awning open when there is a potential damage to happen is a big mistake.

So, get out of that lazy mood and roll it off immediately if you see unfavorable weather. Another mistake that many Rvers make is keeping it extended when they are not around.

Do yourself a favor and roll it if you are gong to be away for extended period of time.

Awnings do cost a lot money and you definitely don’t want that extra spending on getting a new one or even repairing it. A stuck or broken awning at the middle of camping is all you want to avoid.

Choosing a far destination

Some prefer to drive to a far destination and to create a different experience. However, it might not be a good idea if you have a vacation for only a couple of weeks.

Just imagine what you will have to do if you choose a far destination. You will have to spend most of your time driving. You will be tired and exhausted and will not be able to enjoy your camping to the most. So, you will have to act smart to enjoy your camping most.

You should not plan for a remote location for camping. Instead, you should choose a destination that does not demand much driving and can help you to enjoy the beauties of nature.

Your objective is to spend your vacation in a calm and relaxing environment, not driving all the time. Plan for short trips and enjoy the vacation with family and friends.

Not leveling the RV

You might not want to level your RV before planning for camping. Many beginners ignore leveling. However, leveling is the first thing that you should consider. Here is your complete guide on how to perfectly leveling an RV.

You would not prefer to stumble around your RV and catch a swinging door to the face. If your RV is leveled, you can enjoy your sleep, and that will also ensure the proper functioning of your fridge. A simple leveling can help you in many ways.

There are different ways of leveling an RV. The process will vary depending on the type of RV you are having.

Instead of relying on the campground sites, you can do it before camping. You can even do it on your own. Online research can be helpful in this regard.

I must confess, as a new RV owner we definitely had a lot of confusion in this regard of the RV camping. With experience we have now learned the art of perfectly leveling the camper.

Missing on important tasks like disconnecting

When you are ready to leave the campground you may already be tired. With the tiredness and laziness you may end up making this mistake that will only increase your hardship.

Forgetting to disconnect the hoses, hookup , other plumbing system items can lead to dragging them on the road. This mistake may seem silly but people end up doing this.

Keeping a slide out open while driving, leaving the leveling blocks behind, awning halfway extended, door steps open, even door remaining open are some of the silly mistakes people make.

For this same reason following a printed checklist is a better way to stay organized. We have done some of this silly mistakes too.

Ignoring camp etiquette

Many people do not follow RV camping etiquette. They follow their own rules. However, a campground is certainly not your backyard.

Therefore, you will have to follow some specific rules to make it fun and easy for you and your neighbors. Read the rules and follow them regularly. Stop walking through others’ campsite.

Do not play music louder and allow kids to have fun and enjoy nature. Drive slowly on the ground and do not disturb others. If you have a pet with you, then make sure that your pet is on the leash most of the time.

Communicate with other people and make some great friends. Try to create some memories that can be cherished for a long time.

Not following the budget

RV camping can be great fun. You can enjoy your quality time with your family and friends. You can create some new friends as well.

You can enjoy being under the sky and reminisce about the cozy living. This will be a completely different and unique experience.

However, you should always follow your budget while planning for an RV camping. It is worth mentioning that RV camping demands a lot of expenses and planning.

So, know your budget and plan accordingly. Make the list of expenses and decide when and how much you are going to spend. Always track your expenses to avoid an unfavorable situation.

Avoid checking & rechecking

Even if you have a new RV, you should check it before planning for camping. Many people do not check RV as they assume that it will be in good condition and can withstand harsh weather conditions.

However, once they start heading towards the campsite, they face many challenges both minor and major. Therefore, it is always suggested to double-check the RV before camping.

Walk around your RV and check the compartments of door, lights, and trailer to vehicle connection. Also, ensure that the satellite dish is in the right place and vents and windows are in good condition.

You will have to check the door, all the cupboards, and the refrigerator. All the parts should be in the working condition to avoid any hassle during the camping.

If you find that any of them is not working, you can repair it before the due date. Check all the internal and external parts to avoid any potential problems. Following these tips and tricks will definitely make the camping much happier.

Not packing adequate food

This is a common mistake, and most of us might have encountered this problem. When some pack extra foods and others take less. In both these conditions, you are going to face some problems.

So, make sure that you are packing enough food to support your camping. At the same time, you will have to ensure that you are not packing too much. A proper calculation can be effective. You should not underestimate the power of paper and pen.

Research your camping spot and know the availability of things. Check that if you can get some food while driving.

You can explore some different options. Prepare the list of food that you might need during the camping. You can write down the meals and prepare accordingly.

Make a list and ensure that you are having all those items. Check your food packing before leaving your place.

Moving too fast

Your RV can be your best companion to enjoy your camping. It will have all the facilities to offer you the much-needed rest and required comfort.

However, you should not drive your RV too fast especially when you are not familiar with the route. It can be dangerous. Fast driving can be risky for you as well as your co-passengers.

Read : Travel Trailer do’s and dont’s

Also, there will be other vehicles on the road. If you will not give all your attention to driving and road, you can do an accident.

Even if you have the experience of driving an RV, you should make the driving slow and stress-free.

Allow yourself and others to enjoy the surroundings instead of rushing towards the destination. Remember that a minor mistake can be costly and can put your life in danger.

Not Charging the battery

When you are at the campground with full hookup you will not face this issue. But, if you are dry camping then this is a big mistake.

Not having a fully charged battery before leaving will leave you out of charge at the middle of camping. Imagine a night without power in the middle of a boondocking site.

Batteries can get drained quickly and you need to be prepared to charge them back, Having a generator is great to charge the batteries back. Solar panels too are awesome if you want to trickle charge the batteries.

Other mistakes that RVers make is that they do not maintain or charge the batteries properly. Draining the batteries below 45% leads to reduced life of batteries.

Testing and monitoring the RV batteries is essential during the camping.

Not knowing your route

This is also one of the common mistakes. Many campers do not inquire about the route and want to explore the unknown to make it even more adventurous.

However, this attitude might pose many challenges. You are planning for a short vacation, and your focus should be to make the most out of it. If you do not know the route, you will be ended up driving more. You will be tired and exhausted.

The worst can happen. You can get lost with your RV. It is stressful and frustrating.

Once you decide your destination, you should do proper research to make the travel stress-free and less time-consuming.

If you know the route, you might not need any further guidance to reach the camping spot. More importantly, you will not find yourself lost in an unknown place.

Even if your smartphone can be your best guide throughout, you can take a paper map to make the navigation easy. When your smartphone will not be effective, you can use the paper map. It will not misguide you.

Not carrying RV essentials

This is by far the most common mistake new RV owners or beginners make. We too have done this mistake. A lot of tools or essential items seem unnecessary or useless only until you really need any of those and you wont get it at the campsite.

Sure, the list of essentials can seem huge. As a new RVer you can start getting the essentials and with time you need to build your items. Based on the type of RV you own you may need different items.

Check out some of the essential you need. Remember, if you buy a new RV, you will get a lot of things built in or as accessories but in case of used RV its upto you.

Avoiding a practice drive

We normally do not prefer a practice drive. Even beginners do not like a practice run and face many new challenges while driving the RV. As stated earlier, driving an RV demands some specific skills.

Even if you are experienced, you should take a practice drive to hone your skill and avoid some mistakes that you might not have thought of.

It is not about driving skills only. You should know how to manage the RV in difficult conditions. Therefore, it is suggested to drive on a similar route to make the camping less complicated and more fun.

Once you will be familiar with the challenges, it will be easier for you to manage. So, take time and go for practice fun and then you will feel more confident.

Not checking on the tires

Being a RV owner isn’t for everyone. Their maintenance is as important as anything else. Planing for the trip means making sure everything is perfectly fine with the vehicle you will be driving.

One key things to pay attention to is the tires of your motothome or travel trailer.

Tires need to be properly inflated before starting the journey. Having a tire pressure monitor can make it easy for you. If you are on a long journey then be sure to inspect it on the road.

Less inflation is a major cause of blowouts on the road. You also need to make sure the tires aren’t very old.

Check the tire thread once in a while. Tire rotation is a technique RV technicians suggest to make sure tires are used more effectively. Follow up with your RV technicians to get best advice on what to do if you aren’t into all this.

Hurrying into the RV setup

If there is one thing that most new RVers hate then it is all the campground set up. Once you arrive at the campground you need to do the setup.

Get the RV positioned correctly so that all the hookup are easily accessible. Connect the fresh water hose, sewer hose and also the electrical hookup.

Leveling the RV is another step that is important.

All this setup can be frustrating if you are new. But, make no mistake in hurrying up even if you are now an experienced RVer. Mistakes can happen that will lead to spoiling the whole camping vacation. Here are all the RV setup mistakes to avoid.

Yes, with experience you will be able to do this much faster than what time it used to take for you as a new RVer. But, its always better to take enough time to be very sure on all the steps.

Having someone to guide you while doing this tasks can be a relief. We always divide our tasks and know exactly how to go about it.

The same applies when you are ready to go back. Having a written or printed checklist is great in keeping the process sorted out.

Lacking the driving skill

Many people feel confident about their driving skills. As they can drive their cars, they believe that they can easily handle an RV. However, things are not the same. Cars and RVs are different.

RVs are long, heavy, and tall vehicles. You might not drive an RV even if you have more than decades of experience in driving a car.

You will have to learn a few technologies about how to turn and how to slow down an RV. So, it is better to learn these specific driving techniques before heading towards your campsite.

You can take the RV to a large space for the practice. Keep practicing until you are not confident that you can drive it for long hours and can manage driving in adverse conditions.

If required, you can also consider joining an RV driving class. It is better to take help of experts. They can make you capable to handle all the difficult situations that you might face during camping.

Not fueling the rv

Just imagine what will happen if your RV will not have the fuel in the middle of the journey. This is the worst thing that you can think of while planning a vacation.

But, this is possible and some campers and even experienced ones face this situation. You will not want this to happen with you.

You can save you from all these hassles and scary thoughts by simply fueling your RV just before the night. This is the most important thing and you cannot avoid it.

Next, make sure that you are aware of the route so that you can refuel your vehicle. Research on the route and know all the possible options.

You should prepare yourself for adverse conditions while driving an RV. You can pack some tools to deal with such conditions.


These common mistakes can cause a lot of problems in an RV camping. However, you can avoid all these with adequate preparation. You should not plan for an RV camping next week.

Instead, take time and choose the right campground and reserve the spot. More importantly, make sure that you have a flexible budget to meet all your camping needs.

Check your RV and fuel it if required and pack the required amount of the food, and do not forget to take a practice drive. Enjoy your RV camping!

G. Yoganand

A RV enthusiast who spends countless hours researching and learning various things related to RV camping. He believes in spending time doing Outdoor activities.
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