Pulling into an unfamiliar campsite can be disastrous if you don’t follow certain RV parking rules.
Even if you’re a pro behind the wheel, getting out into nature can be hazardous. One wrong move could spell disaster for your investment.
Today, we’re taking notes on one YouTuber’s experience and defining the three RV parking rules you shouldn’t break.
YouTubers Fail to Follow Rules for RV Parking
On their channel Untethered, RVers Cody and Angela describe what could’ve been a nightmare. Through clear communication and mostly cool heads, they managed to navigate a tricky spot.
Angela sets the scene for us by describing what happened when she and her husband pulled into a New York campground. A staff member told them to turn around to reach their site. After a failed attempt through very muddy grass, they decided to use the road.
However, a low-hanging powerline forced them to rethink how to approach their home for the week.
The two found themselves in a precarious situation when heading uphill on a narrow road. Cody didn’t think they’d make the incline and decided to back out. While this sounds like a bad idea, they felt more confident handling the known terrain.
On the way down, their rig’s weight made braking difficult. In fact, their Ford F-350 slipped a bit every time he tried to slow the descent. Add in some steep drop-offs on the side of the driveway, and the play-by-play is stressful to watch.
Even though they keep their cool, it’s like watching a car crash in slow motion.
While things ended well for this adventure, it wasn’t a guarantee. The couple offers viewers crucial information at the end of the video about traveling safety. Sitting by their now parked and leveled RV, they let us in on the parking rules you don’t want to break.
Three RV Parking Rules to Live By
RVers love the freedom of the open road, but parking rules aren’t meant to be challenged. When you bring your home along for the ride, these guidelines protect you and your investment. How do we know you shouldn’t break them? After years on the road, you can take our word for it.
Scout Your Route And Site Before Trying to Park
It’s easy to be distracted by the beauty and excitement when rolling into a new campground. Even with what seems like good information, it isn’t hard to go astray. Take the time to scout the route to your site on foot, looking for any potential issues.
Steep grades, saturated grass, and low-hanging brush are just a few hazards you might find. Make sure you’re aware of them so it’s smooth sailing when you drive through. You don’t want to end up damaging your rig or your surroundings.
Worst case scenario, you spend 20 or 30 minutes stretching your legs and seeing the area. If you ask us, that beats getting caught in the danger zone.
Don’t Let Other People Distract You
Travelers love to offer guidance, welcome or not. Well-meaning as they may be, it’s possible to get distracted and end up in a ditch. That’s why this RV parking rule is so important. Only follow the directions of your trusted partner.
Cameras and mirrors are essential, but they don’t do you any good if you’re not paying attention. Another person’s opinion on whether you’ll make it under the power line won’t make your rig shorter. And, if there’s an emergency, that unsolicited advice could make you liable for damages.
When others insert themselves into stressful situations, it can be hard not to come across as a jerk. The best thing to do is politely thank them and then go with your gut.
Have A Parking Partner With 2-Way Radios
One tip from the YouTubers in the video is potentially lifesaving. They suggest having two-way radios rather than relying on cell phones to communicate. Especially when you’re out in the wilderness and don’t have reception, these gadgets make it easy to chat in real time.
When navigating with these devices, have one person outside the vehicle. They’ll be able to let the driver know distances and dangers. Establish some ground rules for talking in these instances so you know what to expect. Decide if you’re using right and left, feet or meters, and what means stop.
This advice might seem like too much, but trust us. During stressful moments, calm and respectful communication is key. Trust your partner’s point of view from the outside, and if you’re uncomfortable, stop and get out to confirm.
Lastly, walkies are the preferred method since cell phones can have a delay. Invest in something that’ll last you a while and make this a hard and fast RV parking rule for your travels.
Tips for Parking Your RV
We also have some tips for parking that, while not necessarily rules, protect your RV. After all, taking the time to plan ahead usually beats having to clean up your mess.
Be Aware of Campground Length Restrictions
With such a wide range of site lengths available, checking restrictions for your rig is vital. It isn’t just about whether you’ll fit in the spot but how safely you can navigate the roads. Some parks may even have specific requirements based on the weather.
Most campgrounds post this information on their websites. Even national parks have these stats for travelers. If it isn’t easily accessible, check with officials to see if you can get in and out in one piece.
Not everyone has a dedicated web guru to update their page. Posted data may be outdated, and natural areas change over time. That’s where sites like iOverlander and Campendium come into play.
Read reviews from recent campers whose rigs are similar to yours. They’ll usually post about any challenges they faced while getting to their destinations. You’ll also get an idea of the conditions during different times of the year.
Take your time looking these over. You might even find out about a hidden gem.
Use Google Maps
Sometimes, it feels like Google knows too much about everything. But it can be a great asset when you’re trying to follow the rules of RV parking. With satellite images, street views, and topographical maps, it’s an excellent resource.
If you’re heading out into unfamiliar territory, look online for tight turns, low clearance, and landmarks. While it’s not quite as good as checking it out on foot, it’ll allow you to flag any hazards to look out for.
It’s a good idea to call ahead and verify your reservation. Staff can answer any questions about the park, but they may not have experience with your rig, or RVs at all. What seems like a minor inconvenience to them in a car could spell disaster for you.
However, checking in with them before you arrive is still wise. You might learn a road is washed out, or your booking didn’t go through because of a glitch in the system. Once again, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Stay Safe by Following the RV Parking Rules
Watching Cody and Angela calmly solve the pickle they got into should serve as a guide. They didn’t follow all the RV parking rules, and they fully admit it. Taking time to check out the area would’ve kept the most dangerous parts of their experience from happening.
If they hadn’t shut out the noise and used their two-way radios, it could’ve been a much different outcome. Rules like these help ensure you can enjoy your adventures for years to come!
Discover the Best Free Camping Across the USA
To be honest with you, we hate paying for camping. There are so many free campsites in America (with complete privacy).
You should give it a try!
As a matter of fact, these free campsites are yours. Every time you pay federal taxes, you’re contributing to these lands.
Become a FREE CAMPING INSIDER and join the 100,000 campers who love to score the best site!
We’ll send you the 50 Best Free Campsites in the USA (one per state). Access the list by submitting your email below: