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10 Unwritten Rules for RV Owners

There’s a lot to know about owning an RV. However, very few owners take any classes or training when new to RVing. They simply sign on the dotted line at the dealership, hitch up, and head out for some exciting adventures. However, there are some unwritten rules of RVing we think every RV owner should know.

Today, we’ll share several unwritten rules of owning an RV so you and your rig have years of memories. Let’s get started!

What Is the 10-Year RV Rule?

The 10-year RV rule is a rule enforced by many upscale and luxury RV parks and is exactly what its name implies. Parks that enforce this rule typically prohibit any RV more than 10 years old from staying. However, enforcement of this rule is rather inconsistent, as some parks will make exceptions from time to time.

RV parks typically want to maintain a certain affluent atmosphere. A well-used rig that’s seen better days will not communicate that level of affluence. To minimize the risk of any issues, parks enforce the rule or reserve the right to turn away rigs that don’t meet the park’s requirements. While many people renovate vintage trailers, the park typically couldn’t care less about how fancy the interior of a rig might be. Unlike what you’ve heard your entire life, what’s on the outside counts when it comes to RV parks.

What Is the 2/2/2 RV Rule?

The 2/2/2 rule is a simple travel-day strategy used by RVers. You’ll stop every two hours, drive no more than 200 miles in a day, and arrive at your destination by 2:00 p.m. Some travelers will also add to stay at least two days.

Following these perimeters helps avoid driving fatigue, grumpy attitudes, and bad travel days. It’s a great philosophy for travelers traveling full-time in their RV. It won’t be the best option if you’re looking to move far and fast. However, it’s a great rule to follow if you like to take your time and enjoy a slow and steady pace.

Pro Tip: Before you give the 2/2/2 RV rule a try, find out if it is an unrealistic driving goal.

Couple sitting in front of RV in the fall
RVing comes with many unwritten rules which can be overwhelming to learn as a beginner.

10 Unwritten Rules for RV Owners

Some unwritten rules are essential to follow. This helps you and those camping around you to have a fantastic experience. Let’s dive in and look at 10 unwritten rules for RV owners.

Arrive Before Dark

If it’s possible to arrive before dark, do it. This can help you navigate a campground, get into your campsite, and unhitch. You’ll have plenty of light and be able to see everything around you. Is it possible to do all of these in the pitch dark? Of course. However, it’s much easier and less stressful if there’s plenty of light.

Even if you’re just stopping for the night, arriving before dark allows you to relax and get some rest after a long travel day. This will enable you to enjoy time out of your vehicle and hit the road fresh in the morning.

Do Your Maintenance

RVs require a general amount of maintenance. Most RV manufacturers include a recommended maintenance schedule you’ll want to familiarize yourself with. Things like checking the seals on your roof, packing your wheel bearings, and keeping your slides lubricated are just a few of the important tasks.

You can pay someone else to do the maintenance on your rig, but it will cost you. You’ll want to learn how to perform as many of the maintenance tasks yourself unless you want to pay a premium price and for your RV to sit in a repair shop parking lot more than a campsite.

Safety Is Always a Priority

You can never take safety too seriously when you’re an RV owner. Always walk around your RV before you hit the road. This can help you look for anything that might cause an issue or become a safety concern once you get on the highway. Make sure everything is strapped down, locked, and appears in good working order.

Once you’re on the road, don’t forget to make safety your top priority. Not only should you obey the speed limit, but you should make sure never to exceed the speed rating on your RV’s tires. Use your turn signals and keep plenty of space between you and other drivers.

Pro Tip: Make sure you are prepared to handle these 5 RV Safety Concerns.

Couple getting ready for a hike next to RV
Prepare your RV before you go so you can spend your trip on fun adventures and not doing maintenance.

Don’t Be a Distraction

You should never be a distraction to other RVers who are hitching or unhitching. We all make mistakes when we’re distracted, and a mistake while hitching or unhitching can be extremely dangerous. We’ve seen RVers accidentally drop trailers they thought were hitched or make other critical mistakes. These mistakes can damage your RV, cause injury, or even death to someone helping.

If you’re the one hitching or unhitching and feel someone is distracting you, stop what you are doing. Finish the conversation or ask them to please wait so you can focus entirely on the task at hand. You should never try to multitask while RVing, especially while doing important tasks like hitching and unhitching your RV.

Don’t Count on Your RV Dealer

Once you sign on the dotted line, you’re the one responsible for your RV. Most of the time, RV dealers are great at quickly selling RVs. However, many dealerships fall very short of meeting customer expectations when it comes to servicing RVs. Many owners find it hard to count on RV dealers when their RV breaks, and it’s no longer the dealership’s problem.

A dealership’s service department often moves at a very different pace than the sales department. They may be in a hurry to get your rig on their lot, but it can sit there for weeks or months while they wait to get the parts needed for repairs. Find an RV service center you can trust to get your rig back on the road as quickly as possible.

Follow Quiet Hours in Campgrounds

No matter where you’re camping, always be mindful of quiet hours. Even when it’s not quiet hours, try to be as respectful as possible regarding your noise. If you need to run a generator, do so only during the appropriate hours. If you’re in a campground without electrical hookups, your neighbors likely won’t want to listen to the hum of your generator all night.

We’re fans of all types of music, but we like to choose what we listen to. Don’t be the RVer who cranks their music so loud that the entire campground feels like they’re at Woodstock. No matter how good the music is, your neighbors aren’t likely going to enjoy it as much as you do.

Use a Checklist

No matter how long you’ve been RVing, using a checklist is a great way to avoid making costly mistakes. Create a detailed list of every important step you must remember and complete when setting up and departing a location. It doesn’t matter how big or small the task is – add it to your checklist. This can help ensure you do all of the critical tasks in the correct order.

Woman smiling in front of RV
Always be respectful to your RV neighbors and others you meet along the way.

Ask for Help When Needed

Another important rule for RV owners is knowing when to ask for help. There’s no shame in relying on an extra set of eyes when making a turn or backing into a campsite. Hauling an RV around isn’t easy, and other RVers are often more than happy to help. Don’t make a situation worse by being too proud to ask for help. 

RVers shatter their back windows or hit objects at their campsite because they weren’t willing to ask for a little help. However, if you need assistance, have a single person deliver instructions to the driver. Having too many voices trying to give directions can cause a dangerous and confusing situation.

Turn Off Outside Lights

You may not be paying the power bill, but that doesn’t mean you should leave your outside lights on all night. Leaving exterior lighting on is incredibly rude to the rest of the campground, especially your neighbors.

There’s nothing wrong with using the lights under your awning when you’re active outside your RV at night, but turn them off when calling it quits for the day. Don’t forget those insanely bright front-cap lights that seemingly do nothing but pretty up the front of your rig and blind your neighbors.

Respect Your Neighbor’s Space/Privacy

Be respectful if you find yourself parking your RV on a campsite where you’ll have neighbors. Don’t invade their site’s space and give them privacy. Keep your camping gear on your site and be aware of your neighbors. You wouldn’t want someone invading your space or privacy, so return the favor by doing the same for your neighbors.

Be a Great RVer and Follow These UnWritten Rules

If you follow these unwritten rules for RVers, you’re sure to have some incredible adventures and a smooth experience as an RV owner. The campground may give you a long list of written rules when you check in, but knowing the unwritten rules is important too. Don’t get caught off guard or be naive about these unwritten rules that all RV owners should know!

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