RV tips and hacks are endless, and carrying them all out is impossible. But if you're new to RVing there are some essential hacks you should implement.
One thing you'll quickly realize about RVing is that you're never really alone. Whether you're at a campground or parked at a truck stop, there's always someone around to help if needed.
And the best way to meet other RVers is by joining an online community or club. Not only will this give you access to advice and tips from experienced RVers, but you'll also make friends who can help you out on the road. But if you want some immediate tips for new RV owners, you're in the right place.
There are many things to take care of, and too much to pack before taking your first trip, but overlooking small details can be costly. The following RV tips will not only help new owners save money, time, and a great deal of frustration, but will also ensure that you enjoy your first adventure in their RV.
RV Tips and Hacks - Hit The Road in Style
No.1 - Your RV is Your Home Away From Home, Lock It Up!
Probably the most important all RV tips is to make sure you secure your RV. It might sound obvious, but it goes beyond using generic RV locks.
Locking up your RV is very important for the safety of your family and your belongings. It goes beyond just locking the windows and doors, although these are essential measures to take. Most of the locks on RVs are keyed alike, so there's a chance your neighbor may have the same brand of locks as your RV. These are usually very weak and easy to pick.
It's better to choose a lock that goes around the kingpin, just like the one shown in the picture. Although there are multiple options available, the two most popular locks are a padlock and a cylinder lock. Both these locks go over the kingpin, however the cylinder lock has a locking mechanism that keeps it in place. Some cylinder locks are much safer as they come with a special key that cannot be duplicated.
For the safety of your RV, it's recommended that you change your hatch locks with aftermarket locks such as combination locks. This ensures no outsider will be able to invade your privacy.
The same issue could occur with the door locks. The factory-fitted locks are almost the same in all the RVs, and it's possible to open multiple locks with one key. Replacing the locks will go a long way in securing your RV.
RV Tips No.2 - Avoid Tangled Cords and Keep Things Simple
These days we use so many electronic devices that it is hard to keep track of all the cords. You may think that you're plugging in the coffee machine only to realize that you have accidentally turned on the toaster. Or that you had turned off the lamp when you wanted to turn off the alarm clock.
Cords are always getting tangled and they're confusing. Also, it can be very frustrating to match the device with the cord, so our next tip for new RV owners is to separate your cords.
Although keeping the cords organized in your RV may feel like a daunting task, it actually can be done very easily and with an item that you usually throw away after use.
Once your toilet paper is all out, don’t throw away the cardboard tube, as it can be utilized to keep your chargers organized. Take a box and glue a few cardboard rolls side by side, as shown in the above picture. This will make secure and nice compartments where you can easily store all your chargers without worrying about them getting tangled again.
You can also write the name of the device a particular charger is for on each tube, making it much easier to find a charger. This isn't the most obvious of RV tips, but it will surely keep your cords organized and with it less stress.
Tips for New RV Owners No.3 - Insulate Your Windows
If you like to test your RV in extreme weather, it's essential you check your RV’s insulation. Proper insulation not only keeps your RV warm during cooler months and cool during warm months, but it also makes your RV more energy-efficient, saving you money on generator use, propane, and electric hookups.
One of the primary causes of heat losses when camping in an RV during winter months is single-pane windows, so our next RV tips is to make sure you insulate your windows properly.
It's not only about keeping warm. If the RV is humid inside it could cause condensation to form, often resulting in mold and mildew problems. Even if you have solved the condensation problem with a dehumidifier and your windows are still cold, however, it means that precious heat is escaping, making your RV feel drafty and causing your heating bill to skyrocket.
There are various materials that can help insulate the windows of an RV such as Reflectix, shrink plastic, and bubble wrap, but one of the most inexpensive and effective ways is by using Velcro, as shown in the picture above.
The vinyl covers are adhered with Velcro making it possible to remove the covers and open the windows when the weather is nice.
The following steps will help you make these covers easily:
- Cut 1 inch Velcro in half so that it is ½ inch wide and stick it to the window frames.
- Cut a piece of vinyl bigger than the place you need to cover.
- Stick it carefully to the Velcro, stretching it as taut as possible to avoid creases along the Velcro.
- Finally, trim the edges with a utility knife so that it fits the window neatly.
RV Tips No 4. - Utilize Cupboard Doors to The Max
The next of our RV tips will save you plenty of space, as we all know its a premium, especially if you have a smaller trailer.
It can be quite challenging for new RV owners to fit all the clothes, food, camp chairs, and various hoses, not to mention the kids and the dog.
There are many organizational tips that can help you utilize your space in the best possible way, and our next hack is one of the best RV storage ideas that will create and save you plenty. Using your cabinet doors as storage for multiple items such as kitchen rolls, toothbrushes, socks, etc will save you
You can also hang a shoe organizer on the inside of the cabinet door, as shown in the picture above, to efficiently store the shoes. Shoes laying around can cause accidents, and by storing them in a shoe organizer, you can not only save space, but you'll also make your RV a safer environment.
You can also use hanging organizers in bathrooms and kitchen cabinets, in fact wherever you have a door, to save precious space.
No.5 - Use Ziplock Bags to Organize Your Pantry and Refrigerator
The primary problem in almost every RV kitchen is to make the most of the limited cupboard and drawer space. It's crucial to remember that not only must all of your items be stored, but you need proper storage ideas to deal with the hefty things and fragile goods together.
One way of optimizing the space in your pantry and refrigerator is by using Ziplock bags. You can store all fruits and vegetables and other perishable items in different Ziplock bags and keep them in the fridge. These clear bags not only help you save space but their transparency allows you to see the items stored in them.
Even better, a Ziplock Bag Storage Orgainzer allows you to connect all your storage bags into a sliding holder, creating even more space in your RV refrigerator. It makes your food more accessible, as the sliding rack pulls out giving you immediate access to the foods at the back.
The sliding holder and Ziplock bags, shown in the above picture, are both inexpensive and will make so much more space where you need it most: in the fridge.
RV Tips No.6 - Step Up Your Organization Skills
All invaluable RV tips are when it's something you've never thought of yourself. Most people new to RVing don't think about space saving ideas because they've never had to before, but being good with organizing your space is essential for RV life.
For instance, you can hang hooks on the inside of your cupboard doors to hang various items so that they don't take up precious drawer space. If you don't want screws to make a hole in your RV wall, you can try suction cup hooks. You can hang cups, measuring spoons and other items from these hooks to save space.
Other organzational tips for new RV owners include using Velcro to keep all your remotes in one place, install a door-mounted kitchen garbage can, get a bedside caddy to serve as a makeshift nightstand, and you could buy or even better make a magnetic spice holder as shown in the picture above.
The magnetic spice holder is a great way to keep all your spices in one place and to save space. Magnetic spice containers can be stuck to the bottom of a cabinet, the refrigerator, or to a baking sheet mounted on a wall. You can also spray paint an old stained baking sheet an attractive color.
To make a magnetic spice rack, you'll need a magnetic adhesive sheet and stick it to the wall or on the side of the cabinet, as shown in the picture above. You can cut these magnetic sheets to fit the size of your walls. Roll the sheet with a hard rubber roller thoroughly and wait for 24 hours before putting up your spices.
Then once it's smoothed out, you can easily keep your spice bottles stored and out of the way.
RV Tips No.7 - Take Good Care of Your Tires
An RV camping checklist isn't just about food and other essentials. It's also critical to make sure that your rig is set up and ready to go after you've packed it. And one of the most important an RV tips is keeping a check on your tires.
No one wants to go just a few miles before discovering that they're traveling on a quickly-flattening tire. Therefore, take the pressure gauge and give your tires a thorough check before starting your journey. This is essential as overinflated tires may explode, causing damage to your RV. Underinflated tires can create control problems and generate more resistance on the road, which will impact your gas mileage.
Tire pressure changes with the temperature, so if you haven’t used your RV for a few months, it's very likely that your tire pressure has significantly dropped, creating a fuel-inefficient and unsafe ride.
In case you spend several consecutive days on the road, your tires’ treading can be smoothened out. This could increase the chances of your RV skidding off the road. If your tires are worn out, replace them immediately, or they'll end up like the tires in the picture above.
Also, make sure your RV's wheel lug nuts are tightened to ensure the safety of your family. Make sure they haven't come undone while your RV was in storage or during previous travel as driving with loose lug nuts might result in an accident and cause you to lose a wheel on the road.
Check the date on your tires to make sure that they're not old. You may even consider upgrading before going on a long trip. Also, look up the weight of your RV and match it with the tire's load capacity PSI chart. Finding the proper PSI will ensure a smooth and safe trip.
RV Tips No.8 - Always Secure Your Battery
As a new RV owner, you might be surprised to learn that one of the things that attract thieves is its battery. Unfortunately, it's quite easy to steal RV batteries, just by cutting the cables. More often these burglaries don't happen in the campground, but when your camper or trailer is sitting in storage or just outside your home.
However, you can avoid RV battery theft by removing and placing the battery inside the RV, installing a battery box, or locking it up. A versatile battery locking bracelet, as in the picture above, is designed to fit around the battery box and angle iron with the help of securing straps. This bracket lock also requires you to obtain a separate strong padlock as it's a heavy-duty lock.
The lock provides optimum security for your batteries and prevents possible theft. They're easy to install and are perfect for all size batteries. They're made with high-quality materials, making it much more difficult for thieves to disable them.
The battery shackles are a cost-effective way to protect your batteries and provide you with complete peace of mind and ensuring that you enjoy every moment of your trip.
Tips for New RV Owners - Making Life Easier on the Road
RVing can be a great experience for new owners if you take the time to prepare and plan ahead. By following these tips, you'll be sure to have a safe and enjoyable trip. Happy travels!
Encountering difficulties on your first few excursions should not deter you from your new found hobby. To have a pleasant journey full of wonderful recollections, you should plan ahead and follow the above RV tips.
They will assist you get going, but in each journey, you will pick up new information. So do your research, stay organized, sharpen your skills, and prepare for an adventure of a lifetime!
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Hello, fellow wanderers! I’m Alyssia. Since 2008, my husband and I have called an RV our home, journeying through life one mile at a time. Our nomadic lifestyle has led us to over 70 countries, each with their unique tales that have shaped our own.
I share our stories and insights right here, hoping to inspire and guide you in your own adventures. Expect tips on RV living, our favorite camping spots, breathtaking hiking trails, and the joys and challenges of an ever-changing view from our window. Alongside, you’ll also find practical advice on outdoorsy stuff, designed to equip you for any journey. Join us as we continue to explore the vast, beautiful world on wheels!