By Kyle & Olivia Brady | Founders of Drivin' & Vibin' | We use affiliate links and may receive a small commission on purchases.
5 Seemingly Harmless RV Mistakes You Must Avoid
RV mistakes aren’t created equally. There are some that seem rather innocent…yet, they can lead to expensive damages and dangerous situations.
Today we’ll be diving deep into 5 mistakes you’ll want to avoid at all cost. From travel days to extended stays, don’t make these RV mistakes!
Let’s dive in.
1. Packing Just a Little Too Much
When you’re prepping for an RV trip it’s important to have everything you need. However, there’s a fine line between the right amount and too much.
Clothes, food, water, supplies and toys add a lot of extra weight. Sure, you can eyeball it and guess the weight of everything you’re hauling. But, that’s recipe for disaster.
Get to know these terms:
- GVWR: Gross Vehicle Weight Rating. This is the maximum you can weigh with everything loaded up.
- GAWR: Gross Axle Weight Rating. This is how much each axle can carry.
- UVW: Unloaded Vehicle Weight. This is also known as Dry Weight, or how much your unit weights with nothing in it, straight from the factory.
- Payload: This generally means how many pounds of stuff you can add to the dry weight of your RV. It’s calculated by subtracting the dry weight from its Gross Vehicle Weight Rating.
Here are a few ways to get an accurate weight of your fully loaded RV.
What can happen if your RV’s overweight?
Tire blow outs are the most common result. You may also damage your axle and have more difficulty towing.
2. Driving Too Fast
Most of the time RVs are used for vacationing. It can be easy to zone-in on the destination and try to get there as quickly as possible. This is another innocent mistake that you must avoid.
The catch is…driving too fast for your RV might mean going under the speed limit. You must remember this isn’t like driving your regular vehicle. In the case of a motorhome, you’re driving a huge box down the interstate. And, in the case of a towable RV, you’re hauling thousands of pounds of cargo behind you.
Every RV tire has a unique speed rating. It is essential to know what yours is.
What can happen if you drive to fast?
Tire blowouts are a big concern. If you’re driving faster than the tire is rated, it may overheat and blowout. You are also apt to maintain less control when towing at higher speeds.
3. Not Planning Your Route
RVing across the USA requires planning (and lots of it). This isn’t your everyday road trip in a small passenger vehicle. Depending on your destination and your size, the planning aspect becomes more essential.
We recommend tools like RV Trip Wizard to solve this problem. You can enter your RV specs and your travel preferences to avoid low hanging bridges, steep mountain passes and RV restricted tunnels.
There are also many RV dedicated GPS units that provide the same resources.
And, please, for the love of all that is holy – don’t trust Apple Maps without verifying the route multiple times.
What can happen if you don’t plan your RV route ahead of time?
First of all, you may become one of those Facebook memes where your RV looks like a sardine can. You may also be faced with steep mountain declines that become hard to control. Less concerning, but equally frustrating, you may pay $100s of tolls that could’ve been avoided.
4. Not Closing Your RV Curtains
We all love to admire the views from our RV windows. New scenery is a prime reason we decided to RV.
However, you must remember to close your blinds at night!
RV parks have close quarters. Once the sun sets, the inside of your RV will be on full display. I’ve been caught walking around in my boxers more than one time 😬
What can happen if you keep your RV curtains open?
You may be opening yourself up to unwanted attention. Worse still, you may give the youngsters in the RV park a class on human anatomy that they weren’t ready to learn!!!
5. Not Doing a Walk Around Before Departure
This one goes out to all the men 😂 It doesn’t matter how confident you are that you completed every departure task, you must do at least one final RV walk around.
In fact, we recommend these RV steering wheel check bands to verify each task has been completed.
One small brain fart can lead to hundreds of dollars worth of damages.
What can happen if you don’t complete a final RV walk around?
The list is endless and of all the RV mistakes, this might be the easiest to make. You may rip off your steps, drive away with your slide out, destroy the electric pedestal, ruin your satellite and on and on.
We do multiple walk arounds for good measure!
The Best FREE Camping in the USA
We love camping across this amazing country. And, we really love it when its free. Here’s our list of the 20 Best Free Campsites in the USA.
If you haven’t tried free camping before, also known as boondocking, take a look at our beginners guide to boondocking filled with everything you need to know to get started.