Tips & Tricks
Tips and Tricks are great when camping to save space and time. Send us your idea and we'll add it to the list.
~Do you get shocked when you touch your RV? It's called Hot Skin and can be deadly. Here is an excellent article I found on an RV group on Facebook. http://fifthwheelst.com/rv-electrical-safety-hot-skin.html
~5th Wheel tip: Paint the jaws a bright red or orange to easily tell if it is properly hitched to the kingpin. This tip was in Trailer Life Magazine, Quick Fix, July 2013 sent in by Paul Skinner, West Plains, Missouri.
~When putting out your awning, leave one end slightly lower than the other. This will allow water to run off and be directed away from the RV. Many RVers lower the awning nearest the rear of the coach to direct water away from the coach door.
~ Before attaching the water hose, run the water for a few seconds at high pressure just to wash off the faucet end and to ensure no sediment, rust or critters are up, inside the end of the faucet.
~ To prevent contamination of fresh water hoses, connect the male and female ends of the hose together for storage and store in a separate compartment from black water accessories.
~ Help, my RV converter is not charging my RV house battery. The first step is to check that the Battery switch is in the ON position. See other steps on the Battery Care information page.
~ Remember to clean up your camping area for the next folks to camp and enjoy.
~ Your outdoor lights may bother other campers if left on all night. Use a timer to turn them off at a certain time so you don't have to think about it.
~Be aware of how loud your radio or TV is blaring outside. Your neighbors might not enjoy your music.
~Never walk through someone else's campsite. Respect your neighbors' privacy and stay on the pathways.
~Keep your pet on a leash at all times and never leave your pet unattended or allow them to bark excessively.
~Do pick up after your dog and dispose properly.
~Keep noise and set-up to a minimum if you arrive late or depart early.
~Others may be sleeping and not appreciate your loud voices or singing around the campfire late at night.
~Always leave your site cleaner than when you arrived.
Critters in the Camp
~ I like to use baby powder around the wheels and water hose. This seems to deter ants quite well.
~ I read a tip to use moth balls and we tried this trick but the odor was so horrible we had to clean the area and the smell was still lingering.
~ Raccoons and other animals will most certainly visit your campsite at some point. Remember to always clean up any food from the picnic table and never leave food in your tent. Store any food in plastic boxes that can be sealed if left outside. Read the park regulations, as some parks will have unique guidelines about garbage and wildlife. Never feed or encourage wildlife.
~ Cover the cord connector with a sandwich baggie and secure it with a rubber band or tie wrap. Wasps love to build their nests in the holes of the connector.
~The America the Beautiful pass for those 65 and over is the best deal around. For $10 you get a lifetime pass for entrance into all Forest Service, National Park Service, Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Reclamation and US Fish & Wildlife Service sites. Click here for more information about the pass. This pass also gives you 50% discounts at many campgrounds. You must purchase in person. Click here for a list of purchasing locations.
~Take advantage of all discounts. State parks will each have their own special discounts for seniors and other visitors. Visit www.stateparks.com for more information.
~ Use a toaster oven, microwave and electric frying pan versus your propane stove. Save your propane. Your electric usually comes with your site.
~Walk or bike through places you visit, or use public transportation. Save on gas and see sites you might miss otherwise.
~Use a faucet water filter instead of buying water. PUR and Brita both make an affordable filter and take about 5 min to install. Pick a filter that is certified by the National Sanitation Foundation and designed to reduce the contaminants found. You simply unscrew the aerator from the threaded tip of the faucet and screw on the filter. Faucet-mounted filters let you switch between filtered and unfiltered water. On the downside, they slow water flow, and they don't fit on all faucets. We purchased the Brita and love it.
~ If your black water tank is partially full and starting to smell, and you are not ready to dump, give it a shot of one tablespoon baking soda with a little water. That will help control the odor without adding harmful chemicals to the environment.
Organize Organize Organize
~ Store small items such as nails, tacks etc in old prescription bottles and then put in your tool box.
~ Use short tension rods in your cabinets as dividers. Position them vertically every couple inches. Keep dishes, platters separated.
~ Use short tension rods in the medicine cabinet across the front to keep items from spilling out when opening the door.
~ Store sheet sets inside the matching pillow case.
~ Recycle old plastic jelly jars to hold beans, rice, flour etc.
~ Koozies are great for keeping glasses safe while traveling.
~Line your cabinets and bottom of drawers with non-adhesive, skid-resistant shelf liner to keep things in place and muffle noise while driving.
~Use square or rectangular storage boxes versus round storage box to maximize space. I like the clear plastic shoe boxes.
~Speed limits are usually 5 mph inside the campground for a good reason. Children are playing or riding their bikes. Slow down and look carefully.
~We all love our electronics and appliances and sometimes we forget that our RV is not wired the same as our home. Our travel trailer is wired for 30 amps and this means I can't cook in the microwave and toaster oven at the same time. It's a good idea to know and even label appliances with the number of amps they draw. Most RVs are wired for 30 or 50 amps.
~If you are dry-camping, fill your fresh water tank close to your destination. It’s safer to drive without water sloshing in your tanks.
~Checklists are important whether you are a seasoned RVer or new to the camping world. Always use a checklist to be sure the RV is safe to travel. We have a checklist for set-up and for break-down and I keep it on my phone for easy access. We use the instructions every time to be sure we never forget a step. See instructions on the menu under information.
~Do you have a plan for inclement weather or escaping the RV in case of fire. Everyone in the family should know what to do in case of an emergency. Sit down, talk it through and make a plan for safety.
~Know your RVs clearance and post it somewhere visible on your dashboard. A common cause of RV accidents is due to people not knowing how high their vehicle is and getting stuck on bridges and overhangs.
~Weigh your RV on the corners before and after loading it with your "stuff," and do not exceed the GVWR.
~If you're new to the RV world, consider taking a driving class. We both plan on taking a class for driving a 5th wheel because we've only pulled a small 19ft travel trailer.
~Always use a second person when backing into your site. Remember that person is in charge and if you can't see her/him then stop immediately. We use our cell phones and hand signals.
The best things in life are not only free, but the line is shorter. ~Robert Brault
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