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10 Essential Rules for RV Life

There are typically two types of people in this world, those who follow the rules and those who break them. You’ll find both of them in the RV community. And while some rules can feel very restrictive and controlling while RVing, they help maintain order.

When you’re in a campground or RV park and only a few feet separate you from your neighbors, you’ll be happy that some rules exist.

So what are some rules for RV life? Let’s look at 10 we think every RVer should follow!

What Is RV Life?

RV life is a trend that has gained steam over the last decade. It’s a type of life that embraces RVs for more than just recreation. Instead of going for weekend adventures to local campgrounds, those who embrace RV life travel the country for epic road trips that can last years.

An RV becomes their permanent residence. They’ll park in RV parks, state parks, and public lands. There’s no stereotypical profile for these nomads. Everyone from single solo travelers to families and retirees will enjoy the RV life.

Can You Actually Live in an RV?

Tiny living has become all the rage these days, and RVs are tiny homes that let you move from one place to the next with relative ease.

RV manufacturers have begun to create rigs with nearly all the modern conveniences you expect to find in traditional residential homes. Not only can you live in an RV, but you can do so in comfort.

What Are the Benefits of RV Life?

RV life has a tremendous amount to offer for anyone who embraces it. Traveling in an RV allows you to experience new places, meet people, and enjoy a sort of freedom that wouldn’t otherwise be possible.

The lifestyle lets you choose where you go and when you’ll go there. If you hate the long cold winters, then hitch up and head south for the winter. If you don’t like dealing with triple-digit summers, hitch up and seek refuge in the cooler temperatures.

It’s hard to beat getting to pack up and move to a different region whenever you want. You no longer have an excuse to complain about where you’re living!

What Is the RVing 2/2/2 Rule?

The RVing 2/2/2 rule is a travel planning strategy where travelers plan to drive no more than 200 miles, stop every two hours, and arrive at the overnight destination by 2 p.m. Some travelers will add a qualifier to their strategy and include staying at least two nights at each stop.

The goal of the 2/2/2 rule is to avoid the fatigue travelers often experience from extended driving times. This strategy helps create a clear plan for stopping regularly, so you don’t spend all day in your vehicle. Arriving at your destination by 2 p.m. gives everyone plenty of time to set up camp, go for a walk, and get sufficient sleep.

The RVing 2/2/2 rule is typically only possible for those traveling in their RV full-time and who can travel at a slower pace. Those who use their RVs for recreational trips typically won’t have enough time to follow the limits set by this rule. 

10 Rules for RV Life

RV life is a fantastic lifestyle that can provide tremendous freedom. However, you’ll still need to follow some basic rules to have a smooth experience. Let’s look at 10 rules everyone should follow for RV life.

You Can Survive on Less Than You Think

One of the first things many people realize when they get into RV life is that they have too much stuff. Even the largest rigs are only a few hundred square feet.

Downsizing your possessions is something most people must do when getting into RV life. However, after a month or two, you’ll probably find that many things you moved into your RV are just taking up space.

Learning to survive on less can help you make the most of the space in your RV and reduce the amount of clutter in your rig. With much less stuff in your life, there are fewer things you have to worry about putting away to keep a tidy space. Embracing minimalism is essential to making the most out of RV life.

You Should Invest in an RV GPS

You can’t just hitch up and hit the road without a plan. Not all roads and areas are safe for big rigs, including RVs. You could put yourself and your RV in a serious situation if you don’t account for low clearances, weight limits, and propane restrictions.

To make RV life a lot less stressful, get an RV GPS. These devices let you input your rig’s dimensions, weight, and other important information. Then they create a safe traveling route. However, you should always do your own research to confirm road restrictions.

We use the RV Life Trip Wizard for routing.

Premium Camping Chairs Are Worth It

You’ll spend a lot of time sitting in your camping chair. Many RV lifers make the mistake of buying a cheap camping chair, thinking it will do the job. We’ve seen far too many RVers make this mistake.

Those cheap camping chairs likely won’t make it through a year of RV life in most cases. Spend the extra few bucks and get a high-quality, beefy camping chair that will withstand the abuse of getting tossed in your storage compartments regularly.

You Need to Be a Good Campground Neighbor

RV life means your neighbors could change daily. However, being a good campground neighbor is one of the most essential rules of RV life. Being mindful of your noise and respecting your neighbor’s space helps ensure everyone has a great time RVing.

Whether camping in a campground, RV park, or the middle of nowhere, be mindful of the people around you. People typically go camping to get out in nature and enjoy its sights and sounds. The last thing they want to hear is your loud music all night.

PRO TIP: These are the 7 Deadly Sins of RV Camping.

You’ll Want the Right Insurance

Having insurance on your RV is essential. You’ll be glad you have it if you’re ever in an accident or your RV is totaled. While your auto insurance policy may provide some coverage for your RV, it will probably fall short. Your coverage needs to change when you’re RVing. 

If your RV gets damaged, there’s a good chance your insurance policy will cover the repair costs. However, a shop could take days or weeks to repair it.  During this time, you’ll have to find somewhere else to stay. Many insurance policies designed for RV life will assist with lodging during these times. While it may not cover all expenses, it could cover a night or two.

You also have to consider that standard RV insurance policies only cover the RV itself and not any of its contents. For many enjoying RV life, their RVs contain practically everything they own. While a fat check from your insurance company won’t replace items with sentimental value, it can help you and your loved ones get back on your feet.

You Shouldn’t Underestimate Walmart Parking Lots

Travel days don’t always go as planned, and campground reservations can be tough to get in some spots. As a result, you may find yourself spending the night in some unique places. Many RVers turn to Walmart parking lots in these situations, and they’re actually not all that bad.

In areas that permit overnight parking, Walmart parking lots can be great places to park for the night and get some rest. They’re typically massive and provide plenty of room for rigs of all sizes. Since Walmarts are no longer constantly open, the parking lots can be relatively empty and quiet throughout the night.

You Can Use Checklists to Avoid Disasters

There are so many things to remember during the various processes required to move an RV from point A to point B. Using checklists can help ensure you don’t forget any necessary steps. Creating a checklist with every crucial step can be time-consuming, but it’s worth it.

We’ve seen RVers driving with extended awnings, jacks not fully retracted, and many more potentially dangerous and costly mistakes. We even saw someone who’d skipped a step while hitching up their RV, which caused it to detach from their tow vehicle and crumple their tailgate and truck bed. Having a checklist could have helped avoid these situations.

You Must Follow Campground Rules

Whether you agree with them or not, you must follow the campground rules. By making a reservation, you agree that you and anyone camping with you will follow the rules while you’re in the campground. If you don’t like them, find another place to stay.

We recommend reading through the rules before making a reservation. If you see a long list of campground rules, there’s a chance it may not be a campground for you. We’ve seen some campgrounds with pretty odd and specific rules. We were glad we checked in advance.

Propane Bottles Only Run Out at Night

You can use propane to keep your refrigerator and freezer cool, heat your RV, and cook your meals. However, one rule in RV life is that these propane bottles only run out in the middle of the night. It’s rarely at a convenient time.

Because cooler temperatures come during night hours, your propane furnace will likely run more often. This uses more propane, causing them to run out in the middle of the night. However, there are some things you can do to avoid this inconvenience.

If your RV has multiple propane tanks, you should only open them one at a time. This way, if you wake up in the middle of the night to a freezing RV, you can go out and close the empty propane bottle and open the full one. 

Cycle the furnace; if everything functions as it should, it’ll kick on and blow warm air throughout your rig. You can crawl back into bed, and your RV will be nice and toasty. Make sure you take the empty propane bottle to get filled as soon as possible.

Slow Is Always Best

The number one rule and mantra for many RVers is “slow is always best.” You should never rush when doing anything with your RV. While mistakes can happen at any time, being in a hurry increases the frequency of mistakes. Some can be extremely costly too.

Always take your time and do whatever you can to not feel rushed, especially when maneuvering your rig or during the hitching and unhitching process. Making a mistake during this process can be costly and dangerous. You don’t want to live the rest of your life knowing you could have avoided a serious situation if you had just slowed down and taken your time.

Don’t Break These Rules for RV Life

We could have included many more rules for RV life. Following the rules mentioned here today can help ensure everyone has a positive camping experience.

If you’re camping with little ones, help them learn these rules so they can grow up to be happy campers too. This way, future generations can enjoy all that RV life offers. What RV life rules would you add to our list?

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