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We asked “What piece of advice for the new RVer would you share about living in an RV?” You said…

April 24, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 


Lots of sage advice and wonderful anecdotes were shared. Read on…whether you’re new to RVing or consider yourself an RVing guru, you’ll find something helpful or maybe will have you nodding with a smile!

(Have one piece of RVing advice you’d like to share too – go to our Facebook page and post your own!  If you haven’t ‘Liked’ us yet – do it now!)

“Electric frying pan and heaters.  Don’t use your propane use their electricity. And get walkie talkies instead of having to shout at each other or use hand signals backing up.” Jay Myshkowsky

“Stay off the interstates when possible. Take the back roads and really see the country!” Karen Frevert Knorr

“Relax, take your time and ENJOY!” Stan N Sharon Rowlands

“A smart phone is not only useful as a GPS, but when you are parked you can use it for weather warnings. I set mine for the area we are staying at and if we should be asleep and there is a warning it will ring a specific ring I set for it and awaken me if the storm already hasn’t. Sometimes they sneak up on you and it is best to be prepared.” Eileen Tolzmann

“… I would say find some way to exercise every day. Enjoy.” Sharyn Viel

“Earplugs” Kristi Johnstone Collier

“Pack extra toilet paper & wine…” Joanne Schaper

“Start early! Travel no more than 2-300 miles in a day & always get to the campground and have your rig set up by 5 PM. Try to make your arrival just after the campgrounds check out time to get better site choices.” Penny Rehder

“If you don’t use an item, seriously consider deleting! The most important thing in the morning is your smile and a peaceful start…take time for the second cup of joe…” Sue Glace

“Learn to load the refrigerator —there are cold spots and not so cold spots.” Regina Sebeck

“Don’t worry about the problems they are a part of life and make your trip fun and add adventure to your trip.” Edward Clark

“Keep a checklist for set up and for close up. You won’t get halfway down the highway and wonder if you put your TV antenna down!” Jack Anderson

200565095-003“Be happy. NOTHING is worth getting mad about. Be happy.” John Trousdale

“Be friendly regardless of how others come across.” Betsy Stevens

“Keep it simple…You can live with SO much less than you think you need!” Karen Aaland

“Start early am and end by 3pm!!” Sherry Nye

“Make check lists for everything: kitchen, food items, start up, shut down, paperwork, EVERYTHING!!!” Chris Rydzinski Hollister

“You should really consider what you need any particular item for; weight is an issue that newbies don’t fathom. If you can’t use it for more than one thing, or it’s not terribly critical to a systems operation or function, don’t take it! Better than that, and this could be exhausting, but make a list of what you keep on board, then periodically check it for things that you’re hauling around (and killing your fuel mileage with) that you can safely leave at home!” Joe Parda

“Be careful of water leaks and mold. When parked keep grey water valve open so it doesn’t back up and overflow. Guess why I’m saying this!” Maureen Tuccillo Shull

“Try not to drive in wind!” Cooper Gallegos

“Learn electric, sewer and stress points on (your) camper, go to a big parking lot and buy orange cones and the two of you practice backing.  Learn all you can about brakes and why they fail, master these and you are good to go.” Gene Gale

“Black before Grey.” Joseph MackDump station

“Less is more! Use multi-functional things. Simplify.” Mina Wells Greenlee

“Best decision I ever made…I needed so much less than I thought & enjoyed slowing down some…” Chris Nichols Morris

“Scotchguard EVERYTHING!” Kimberly Cole

“Get some solar panels…keep your battery topped up.”

“Living in an RV is best suited for those who truly love being with their partner.” Bob N Deb Spencer

“Make sure your driver seat is moved forward before letting out the living room slide.” B.J. Bain

“You can never have enough blocks. They have multiple uses besides leveling.” Lee Brown

“Do not share your bathroom. Show newfound friends to the nearest bush and hand them a catalog.” Carol Stout

“You’re going to have to pay somebody every day. So take your time slow down drive less and enjoy the ride.” Bubba Ross

‘Anytime you see something you have to have, decide what you are willing to get rid of to make room for it. You will be amazed how unimportant your new desire becomes…” Phil C Pace

“Easy to be overloaded, downsize when possible.” Twila Ashton

“If you suspect a plug in your black tank line, don’t stick your arm up there to free it..  AND don’t try to make 800 miles a day when travelling long distances… slow down and enjoy the scenery.”  Jason DeCourcey

“You are going to love it!!! Downsize a lot and take only necessary items as you are sure to see things you gotta have!” Chris Mocuik-Weber

“Make and USE a check list for every trip.” Harry Hart

“Parks that have nice outdoor space.” Hazel Robison Hixon

“We love living in our RV and we each know what our jobs are then we double check just to make sure that things are done, spend one day each doing what you want to do. Life is truly good and this USA is beautiful so go explore it and enjoy all you see and do.” Nancy Miller

“Getting into a campground before dark is always the best choice. Can’t see very well when try to maneuver these big rigs into a spot. Don’t overload the RV and have it weighed periodically to make sure you are well within your net CCC (cargo carrying capacity) which is posted somewhere in your coach. Don’t buy an RV unless it gives you at least 3500lbs IF you are full timing.” Anne Williams Goldman

“Make sure you get the floor plan love. Don’t compromise, if you are full timing.” Allen Zabner

Toolbox“Keep tools handy. Some little problem is always popping up.” Linda Barbee

“Always make sure you have a cover for your vents for condensation!” Andy Hollerman

“If you don’t have mechanical skills, get some or spend lots of money on repairs.” Ross Beal

“Lay down on bed before buying and make sure it is long enough. Step into shower and see if you have room to wash under your arms. Can you walk around the bed, easily? Can you back your rig up? If not, then take some classes on driving and backing. Just a few of MY tips.” Herman A. Burney Jr.

“Quality equipment is worth the extra cost.” Justin Ray

“Expect wind and rain. Have indoor activities at the ready. Organize as space is a prime commodity.” Preston Tullos

“Bring your sense of humor” Marie McCarthy

“Buy a RV that has 2yrs bumper to bumper warranty! Definitely lie on the bed for a while and stand in shower!” KD Nash

“Don’t feel like you need every size pan and every gadget. Go for the light weight and space saving items.” Nadine Prather

“Get some LoopRope from Camping World to safely secure your gear. Say no to dangerous and limiting bungee cords and get some LoopRope!” Jeff Dahl

“Buy good quality sewer hoses.” Paul Mantz Powers

“Make sure plumbing is secure!! No lose pipes while traveling!!! You will bust your holding tanks!!” Robert E McLain

“I bought the Good Sam Lifetime membership back in 2001, I think, when they first started to offer it. One of the best investments I have made. (I’m in my 40′s) Getting my money’s worth out of that one.” Pam Conner

“Keep the Gate Valves Closed until ready to dump. I see a LOT of people with full hookups leaving them open… To save you the gory details.. It takes liquid to flush out solids, if you get what mean… LOL!” Tom Adkins

“This is a moving house! Be prepared for more repairs than a standard house. It can be so much fun! Just be ready for lots of unexpected joys and headaches. ;-o” Richard Meuser

“When hooked up to full hookups, do not leave black water valve open!” Sonny Dodson

“We bought the Good Sam lifetime membership in the mid 1990′s & it was worth every penny. We’ve saved money on campgrounds & now it includes our Camping World presidents club which was $15 or $20 a year by itself.” Tracy Cook

“Make sure you can walk around your bed – worth the xtra $$$” Jon Banks

“Don’t try to keep too much stuff…it’s never going to be worth the stress of trying to store and access it all. Oh and definitely…join Good Sam. As someone who has traveled in an RV and worked in an RV park, I can tell you that it IS worth way more than the cost of the membership.” LeAnna Bing

“Best place to be! In your camper, full time! You’ll figure it out as you go! Read everything you get your hands on about camping!” Millie Ritondale Grant

“Carry a Dremel tool, it will come in handy.” Sonny Dodson

“Never skip maintenance on the roof! My husband does repairs and roof repairs and redos are common AND very expensive! Most rebuilds can be avoided! And don’t skimp on cheap materials!”  Jody D. Phillipson Howell

“Most of your home baking pans will not fit the RV oven.” Janice Baker

“Get a new mattress because the one that comes with it usually isn’t great. Pack light, but add comforts of home like lamps and rugs and comfy warm throws.” Nita Ulloa Pedroni

“Buy used …not new…but not “too” used;) You can never go wrong with a solid Airstream!! Also, camp with friends – rent a RV… try it before you spend a ton of $$ and try out various sizes/types…”  Susana Williams

“Don’t collect a lot of stuff. If you buy something get rid of something.” Eric Poole

“Down size – down size – remember there are grocery stores all over.” Terry Hensley

“Have at Least 150 feet of power cords!” Tom Adkins

“Don’t forget to sit on the potty to see if you fit…Similar to the shower. Our 30′ has a dedicated bed queen & no overhead bunk so we each have our own space. We have a cat they make great traveling companions. A nook is great for reading saves space for all the books and magazines.” Sylvia Hatcher123544686

“You have to dedicate yourself to it. It’s definitely a lifestyle change.” John Westfall

“Drive slow and take your time.” Brian S Gilbert

“We love these comments! It seems the majority were about sewers and valves. We have to admit we had a black water mishap in our past. Eastern Oregon loves RVers!” Eastern Oregon Visitors Association

“Embrace the moments.” Richard Mageau

“When buying remember that most state & federal campgrounds have length limitations.” Curt Rigney

“Make sure u check all vents, antennas, steps, etc and that they are all put away before moving!” Heather Terra

“Always rent first, it may not be for you. Stuff breaks all the time. Have lots of money or good home/auto mechanical skills. Do not buy a low quality sewer hose. A generator isn’t all that important, depends on your usage. Don’t connect your sewer hose until you are ready or need to dump. KOA’s are good but overpriced. You can take the 2 lane roads, nobody will be in front of you and you will never have to pass anyone. The tires will rot before the tread wears out. Subscribe to Good Sam; good magazine and discounts at RV parks and camping world.” Jim Fink

“Don’t have the kitchen in the slide out plumbing problems.” Brook Dorflinger

118193123“Fill up that empty propane tank as soon as you run out. The second tank never seems to last as long as the first…” Mali Mish Airstream

“Get a properly sized tow vehicle. Never go by manufacturer tow ratings. Otherwise the tail will be wagging the dog and big trouble will ensue.” Enea Grande

“Make sure you have plenty of storage space!!!” John F Sawyer

“Don’t overstock on groceries. Unless you are camping in a remote area, there are plenty of grocery stores or a Wal-Mart nearby to restock!!” MaryAnn Reese Herbsleb

“I found the transition into living into an RV easy just organize your RV, keep the inside uncluttered, have basic essentials, and we have 2 TVs one in front and one in back  for those rainy days for TV watching and personal choice.” Sylvia Liston Judkins

“If you don’t use it in a week, get rid of it…” LaMonte Monnell Sr.

“Don’t listen to others!!! Do your own thing.” Charlotte Martin Buchanan

“Remember, Patience is a Virtue! And your neighbors most always are more than willing to help you.” Ken Hunt

“Don’t fret the little stuff, take a decent tool kit and repair parts with you, duct tape is a must.” Brent Miller

“Read and re-read every manual and scrap of paper that comes with your unit, then ask questions.” Dan Hendrix

“First time you dump your black water wear crocs. Or no shoes at all.  Just in case :)” Ola Wysocka

“Pack light! Make sure to check your furnace before you go somewhere cold and make sure you shut it off before you head somewhere warm.” Jacki Lenear Arcelin

“Be able to get along with your wife or girlfriend. Say yes and okay often.” Albert Murray

“Make a list of things you take out/set up once you get to the campsite, that way when you are leaving to go home you can check everything off like antenna down, all doors/drawers secure, everything us unhooked, etc. Also try a campground close to your house, take a short trip and try it out. You can make some of the best memories camping, but it is a lot of work.  It’s well worth it, you just need to make sure you’re willing to go that distance. Also nowadays I always like to see my campsite in person before I go. Camping is a very popular thing to do and a lot of campgrounds like to fit as many sites in it as possible. It’s nice to know you won’t get there and be surprised your camper won’t fit, or no room for slide outs or awnings and then you’re stuck, especially if you are arriving late at night…just remember to always expect the unexpected. Last but not least… actually it’s not that hard….pack lots of beer and firewood.” Dustin McCulley

“Print RV checklists…like departure list, inventory list……make sure you know all about black/grey tanks….it makes a huge difference if not done correctly….look on YouTube….videos on any and all things RV…..most of all have fun….I’m jealous….we have to wait a few more weeks then a big trip for us!” Susan Geissberger

“One of our rookie mistakes was not realizing the heater ran on the propane and not the electrical!” Beth Erwin Hibbeler

“When it’s warm, try to find shade to park in and when it’s cooler….park where you get a good amount of sun most of the day. Silver shades work well to reflect heat away and curtains that block light do too.” Van Hower

“Purge…get rid of everything except the essentials, invest in vacuum storage bags for seasonal clothing and don’t leave groceries in their box, invest in seals for your bags, e.g. cereal, crackers, etc.” Terry Neal Goodman

“Always make sure you have plenty of toilet paper!” Billy Melloh140785217

“USE IT! Don’t let it be a yard ornament.” Joe Berne

“Don’t leave your awning out if windy conditions are a possibility. We have seen several ripped off.” Sharon Jinright

Join Good Sam, they have great emergency road service. Go on a small trip/outing before the big trip. Expect the unexpected. Have cell phone charged and keep in touch with others. Enjoy, life is short.” Nancy Waugaman

“Be aware of the weight of your RV after loading what you think you needed! Gives you time to get rid of what you really don’t need. Weight makes a difference on tires!” Jane Chelberg

“Relax and have fun! Side note…make your first trip a weekend trip near your house first.” Shawn Christian

“Tinker if you have overhead cabinets over the bed- DON’T get up too quick!! It leaves an indention your head.” Marie Harrison

“Always remember to put antenna down.” Donald Farmer Sr.

Start out with a basic check list for set up and tear down-put it inside cabinet door-add to it as needed and also a key note of valves to turn for winterizing. (Since we only do once a year-we usually forget). Holly Koring

“Always remember it’s a camper, not a showplace. Relax and enjoy the great outdoors.” Stella Balding

“Read your owner’s manual, then read it again.” Garth Mailman

“Buy Passport America membership if you move around a lot, we do, and it has saved us a ton of money. (And, no, I do not work for them).” Marsha Brecht

“Keep it small and simple. Don’t let your collection of travelling tidbits overwhelm your home. Living in a small, portable home only allows the collection of great memories. They are priceless and weightless.” Marsha Brecht

“Carry a medium size bucket for water in case you can’t fill. Or a collapsible water jug.” Sue Newman

IMAGE_4“Go slowwwwwwwwwwwwwww have funnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn.” Sam Jacobs

“Talk to your neighbors in the camp ground and you will learn a lot from them.” Ronald Saumure

“Research the RV you want to buy. Talk to owners of the same kind of RV you are buying and check to see how many are for sale.” Cary Dunn

“Always put things back where they belong.” Lisa Wiggs Echols

“You need to LIKE the person you share your RV with. Remember it’s close quarters and not everyone is suited for the lifestyle.” Vickie Meitler Robertson


“Enjoy yourself and learn your coach………….don’t get frustrated and ask lots of questions from others who RV!!!” Janet Mahn

“Make sure you like the person who you are entering this new phase of life with. We have been full time for 12 years and my husband and I really do like each other. Good Luck. Would not change our life for nothing.” Carol Curry O’Brien

“Always expect that something will go wrong, always have the humor to know it will somehow be resolved, ask/read/ask/read x 1 zillion, definitely have a dedicated tool box, make sure your companion is flexible and has a good sense of humor, and make sure you have a stash of chocolate somewhere. My husband and I have never had a trip that was without issues. We have learned SO MUCH about being independent and flexible, as well as about engines and fridges and heaters and water pumps :) Once we were in a hurricane and spent 5 days trapped with each other. Another time we were so cold we felt like popsicles. But we approach each trip as a Great Adventure!  And can’t wait to tell the tale round the next campfire :)” Michelle Way

“Don’t buy the cheapest thing you can find, like a car it will cost you in the long run.” William Nance

“Make sure that the person backing sees you in their mirror. You could get run over. Communicate, communicate!!” Darlene Richardson Reddick

“If you have a bedroom slide out, cover the bottom corners with those floatation noodles, I learned the hard way by cracking my head open.” Jimmy McCabe

“Keep it simple! Find one little piece to make it homey.” Dianne Cox

“Have an understanding companion.” Wm Jerry Webb

“Try out the bathroom before buying. A good screen room is a great addition to living space and costs much less than an RV twice the size.” Cathy Randolph

“Park Buy a water pressure regulator! Many RV Parks don’t tell you their water PSI!” Big Sky RV

“Don’t be afraid to go it alone, because in the RV community you’re never really alone. As a solo RVer, one of my greatest joys is finding a whole new neighborhood each time I set up camp, and they’re just the most wonderful folks.” Karen McCormick

“Use chalks, your rig will move.” Kelly Kleinschmidt Rose

“Don’t pack too much…it sucks trying to live in 250 sq ft cluttered up with stuff you probably don’t even need. Get an RV that you find comfortable, with proper chairs or a sofa that you can kick back on. Finally, make sure your RVing partner has compatible goals and interests. Traveling/living with someone in a confined space is far easier when both are on the same page. Finally, it’s OK to develop your own hobbies…a little “me” time never hurt.” John Oehlert

“Get the Good Sam Roadside Assistance. Stuff happens!” Joe Barbuto

“Baskets!!” Lisa Zain

“Keep it SIMPLE! And enjoy the ride!” Dianne Salge Cerling

“Keep it simple and enjoy every crazy minute. You won’t’ regret it even the ups and downs teach you life.” Jetta Doug Wilcox

“Buy a set of walkie talkies. Use “driver side” and “passenger side” in your direction. It will save your marriage.” Jack Alltop

“Get an air mattress for the not so good mattresses in all RVs, it will save your backs and let you sleep! …and when driving long distances stop every hour or 2 and walk for 10 min. and check the tires.” Sandra Waldman

“You don’t need every gadget to enjoy the experience. Just live like you were home and enjoy the moment!” Paula Kenneson

“Make sure you really get along with who you will be living with. We live in ours full time and love it.” Debora Goguen144354713

“Little electric heaters are great as well. Saves on your propane keeps your coach nice and warm.” Joyce Leonard

“Bigger is better….get the extra slide.” Tom Kinrade

“Love the one you’re with! Even more important make sure you have separateness in your togetherness!” Sally Giacomo

“We have lived in our RV for several years now and we agree that you need to really like your companion! I agree with the advice also that you need independent time too! Our last piece of advice is to get ESP! The Extended Service Plan is worth every penny! Thanks Good Sam!” Linda Kimmel

“Patience, understanding and don’t get in a big hurry.” Martin Lohrmann

“If possible, put a few thousand dollars in your own emergency travel account, with its own debit card. Then continue to pay “yourself” a monthly premium into that account. Then if something does happen, there is no need to file a claim that may, or may not be paid. All that is needed is one phone call to get help that you know will be paid for. I started out with a $3k deposit, which is now up to $5k which is more than enough to cover anything that might go wrong…” Patchen Vegas

Have one piece of RVing advice you’d like to share too– add your comments here or even better go to our Facebook page and post your own!


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