First Time RV Camping Tips

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First Time RV Camping Tips

Before Your First Trip

For anyone new to RV’ing or if you purchased a new camper. The first thing is would suggest is to take a shake down trip. A Shake down trip is a short trip close to home. Your shake down trip could be as close as camping for a night in your own driveway. This will allow you to find any problems with your RV while you are close to home.

General Camping Tips

Tips for your campsite

Create a checklist to use before you go so you don’t forget any important items. Here is an example to get you started.

Get comfortable chairs for around the camp fire hopefully you will be in them a lot. If you have children get them a nice chair too otherwise you will be fighting for the good ones.

Get a small tool kit to leave in your RV. Make sure it has a nice hammer you will use it a lot.

Get a nice hatchet for splitting wood for your camp fire.

Some campgrounds have a grill grate built into the fire ring, others don’t I like having my own. I love my Perfect Campfire Grill.

A level and leveling blocks. Most of the time your site will not be level. When you back in lay the level across the counter or floor of your RV and check the slope. Then you will have to pull forward setup your leveling blocks and back on to them. Leveling blocks are easier to stack and store than carrying wood.

If you want to make leveling even easier install stick on levels on the front and side of your RV. I had a set of the Hopkins Graduated Levels on my hybrid and it made leveling a breeze. They tell you exactly how much height is needed so you only need to set up your blocks once.

Tips for inside your RV

Leave a deck of cards or a board game in the RV in case you get rained in during your trip.
Line your shelves and drawers with a non-slip shelf liner, this will help keep everything in place.

Tension curtain rods work great in the refrigerator and cupboards to hold things in place.

Small baskets also help keep things in place while traveling.

Use a Brita Slim Water Pitcher, campgrounds don’t always have the best water so for drinking or coffee you might want filtered water. The slim design fits in most RV refrigerator doors.

Don’t forget a bottle opener and cork screw for those adult beverages.

Take a small first aid kit and a backpack. You never know when you might need a band-aid or some motrin and the backpack is great for taking so first aid supplies and water bottles when going on a hike.

Keep a couple cheap ponchos in your RV in case you are setting up or taking down camp in the rain.

Water, Electric and Sewer

When you park your RV check the location of the water, electric and sewer hookups. This way you can position your RV where all the lines will reach.

RV Water Tips

Run some water out of the water hookup before connecting you drinking water hose. This way if the line hasn’t been used in a while any rust or sediment ends up on the ground instead of coming out our faucet.

Keep a spray bottle with a mixture of water and a cap full of bleach in your RV. Give the faucet a couple shots before connecting your hose, you never know someone could have just used that faucet to give their dog a drink.

Get an inline water regulator and filter. The regulator will prevent your RV lines for being over pressurized and the filter will keep your water clean and safe.

Always have a 2-way water valve and second hose that is not white. You can connect the 2-way valve to campground water spigot and have one side for your fresh water hose and a second hose for flushing your black water tank or other uses. Having the second hose in another color makes it easy to avoid connecting your black water flush hose to you city water connection. I use a Pocket Hose, when it’s not in use it stores in ½ the space of a standard hose. The 2-way valve can also come in handy if you need to share a spigot with the site next to you.

Conserve propane by switching on your electric water heater instead of propane. Just make sure to turn it off before you leave. If you plug your RV in with the tank empty and the electric heater on your will fry the element in a matter of seconds. If you need hot water quickly turn the propane and electric on for a faster recovery time.

When camping without water and sewer conserving water is very important. Taking “Navy Showers” conserves a lot of water. Get wet then use that valve in your shower head to turn the water off, after you soap up turn the water on and rinse off. You might want to check out the shower house at the campground the facilities might be nicer than you think.

RV Electric Tips

Get an RV surge protector, power at campgrounds and RV parks can change quite a bit and could damage the electrical systems in your RV. Although they aren’t cheap they are worth the protection they provide.

Keep a set of fuses in your RV a blown fuse might take out your lights or furnace and ruin your trip.

RV Sewer Tips

Make sure you have a sewer hose. I like the Rhino Flex lines, they stay collapsed when the full length isn’t needed and come with a built in elbow and universal adapter that connects to most drains.

Get a sewer hose support, this will slope your sewer line to allow your hose to drain completely.

Don’t waste your money on expensive RV toilet paper. Scott 1000 single ply is cheaper and still safe for your holding tanks.

Don’t leave your black and gray drain valves open all the time. This is most important for the black tank, you want the tank over ½ full before you dump so there is enough water to flush any solids out of the tank. You also want water in your gray tank to flush the sewer hose after dumping the black tank.

Keep a pack of disposable rubber gloves and hand sanitizer in your RV. Use the gloves when at the dump station and then toss them out.

Towing Tips

Continue to Towing Tips for Beginners.

Beginner RV Towing Tips

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