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RV Nightmares: Top 10 Problems That Could Ruin Your RV Trip

| Updated May 3, 2024

Here are the Top 10 problems that could ruin your RV trip AND how to avoid or mitigate such problems…

Nothing is worse than planning and looking forward to an RV trip that ultimately gets ruined. Sometimes it's an inevitability, but sometimes it can be prevented with a bit of preparation and know-how.

In this article, we outline the Top 10 problems that can ruin your RV trip. And, more importantly, we provide resources to help you avoid or mitigate these problems!

If you buy something through our links, we may get a small commission at no extra cost to you. It helps keep our lights on so we can continue to provide helpful resources for RVers. Read our full affiliate disclosure here.

1. Forgetting to Pack the Small Stuff

RV Packing List

It's easy to remember the big things when packing for an RV trip – clothes, food, camping gear. But forgetting some small necessities can really put a damper on your travels.

Things like phone chargers, medications, toiletries, dish soap, gloves, and even campground maps are easy to overlook but absolutely necessary.

Make detailed packing lists for each area of the RV – kitchen, bathroom, clothing, entertainment, etc. And check them twice before heading out! Having to stop multiple times to purchase forgotten items can delay your trip.

2. Tire Blowout

RV tire blowout

Few sounds are more startling than a tire blowout, especially at highway speeds. RV tires experience much more wear and tear than car tires. They can be more susceptible to blowouts from under-inflation, punctures, or tread issues.

Always inspect tires before each trip, and at every fuel stop. Look for any bulges, cracks, missing tread or uneven wear.

It's also smart to have a tire pressure monitoring system installed. This alerts you to any loss of pressure so you can address it immediately. Make sure your spare tire is in good shape and you have the tools to change it yourself or have road side assistance

3. Breaking Down

5 Emergency Roadside Kit & Products for Your RV

There's nothing more deflating than having your RV break down miles from anywhere. Mechanical issues are one of the most common RV trip ruiners. From flat tires to engine problems, it pays to have your RV thoroughly inspected and serviced before embarking.

Pre-trip inspections by a certified RV mechanic can identify issues before they strand you roadside. Always have emergency roadside assistance coverage as well. And know where the closest RV service centers are along your route.

A bit of preventative maintenance also goes a long way toward avoiding breakdowns.

RV Nightmares: Top 10 Problems That Could Ruin Your RV Trip 1

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4. Uncomfortable Trip

How to Stay Comfortable on a Road Trip

Spending long hours driving or living in an RV can lead to discomfort, restlessness, and frustration for travelers. Tight quarters, long drives, noisy environments, and lack of privacy are common RV comfort complaints.

Luckily, there are many accessories and adjustments to create a more comfortable trip.

We have several resources to help during your road trip and while at camp. Hopefully, they'll add to a more enjoyable trip altogether.

5. Bad Camping Neighbor

Don’t Do THAT! Be the GOOD Camping Neighbor! 15 UNWRITTEN Rules...

One thing you can't control on an RV trip is who your campground neighbors will be. Sometimes you luck out with quiet nature lovers. Other times, you get noisy partiers who disturb the peace all night.

Don't let a bad camping neighbor ruin your experience.

If they are violating campground rules, notify management immediately. Try politely asking them to keep it down first if it's late at night. Here are some other resources to help (and to make sure you're not the bad egg!)

6. Losing Your Pet

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Many RVers travel with pets, usually dogs. Losing your beloved pet at a campground or rest area can be heartbreaking and put a quick end to the trip.

Always keep dogs leashed when outside or safely secured in a gated area.

In a recent podcast, we interviewed a real-life pet detective who offers expert advice and tells us what to do if our dog runs away on a camping trip. You can watch that interview above. Here are some additional resources…

7. Unprepared for an Emergency

LIFE-SAVING RV Emergency Preparedness: Don't Become a Statistic!

You hope to never need emergency or medical services while RVing. But you should be prepared with basic first aid, emergency contacts, and navigation to the closest hospital.

Program emergency numbers like 911 into your phone. Know your exact campsite number or GPS location if calling for help.

Keep fire extinguishers inside the RV and know how to use them properly. Have a well-stocked first aid kit easily accessible. Make sure you have enough medications for the entire trip. Roadside emergency kits with flashlights, blankets, flares and tools are also smart to carry.

8. Mosquito Massacre

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Mosquitoes can quickly turn an idyllic camping trip into an itchy, uncomfortable nightmare. Many campgrounds are located near bodies of water, prime mosquito breeding grounds.

Pack insect repellent and apply it liberally and often. Wear long sleeves and pants at dusk when mosquitoes are most active.

Citronella candles, torches and coils can help repel them from your campsite in the evenings. Make sure window and door screens are intact so mosquitoes can't sneak into your RV. Consider also bringing anti-itch creams and medications to alleviate symptoms from bites.

9. Bickering with Travel Companions

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RV trips often involve traveling and living in close quarters with family or friends. It's not uncommon for tempers to flare and bickering to ensue over long days spent together.

Establish daily routines that give everyone alone time. Take breaks from each other when needed.

Communicate openly when tensions rise, and don't let grudges fester. Compromise over issues like driving time, destinations, campsite selection, and meal planning.

10. Boring Camping Food

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After a few days, boring meals of hot dogs, beans, and smores can put a damper on the trip. Get creative with easy yet tasty RV-friendly recipes.

Bring a portable grill, smoker, or stovetop oven to change up your options.

Our sister site, Camping Food Recipes, has a huge selection of delicious, camping-friendly recipes to choose from. Plus, some other helpful resources, like the 35 Best Smoker Accessories & BBQ Tools for Camping, 5 Best Freezer Meal Containers for Food Prep, and How to Make Campfire Coffee.

We add new recipes every week, but some favorites include: 

Plan Your Next Adventure to Coastal Maine

By popular demand, we announce the publication of the latest in our library of RV travel guides – a 7-Day Adventure Guide to Coastal Maine.

RV Nightmares: Top 10 Problems That Could Ruin Your RV Trip 5

With its dramatic rocky coastline, enchanting fishing towns, and windswept sandy beaches, Coastal Maine is a destination that should be on every RVers’ bucket list. 

We call these guides “7 days,” but they really are seven stops. They’re meant to be experienced at your own pace, a couple of days at one stop, a week at another, however long you want.

We have carefully curated this 66-page digital guide (not a printed book) so you can take in all Coastal Maine has to offer. We give you the routes to drive, the spot to stop, the places to eat, and the museums, excursions, hikes and adventures we think you will enjoy the most.

For an RVer, Coastal Maine has it all: stunning landscapes, short drives between stops, spacious campsites, that perfect small city and nature mixed with a seemingly endless variety of things to see and explore.

RV Nightmares: Top 10 Problems That Could Ruin Your RV Trip 6
Mike and Jennifer Wendland

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On this RV Lifestyle Travel blog, our RV Podcast and our RV Lifestyle YouTube Channel, we mention all sorts of RV-related products and gear that we use, So we created a special page that links to them. We update this all the time.  CLICK HERE to go to it directly. Have you caught one of our Amazon LIVE events yet? Just go here and Follow us – to be notified every time we go live.

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You can join each Space individually and only see what's being discussed in just that Space. Or you can see everything in the main Feed.

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It's a calm, well-organized, friendly space to meet other RVers who might be traveling near you!

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Mike Wendland

Published on 2024-05-03

Mike Wendland is a multiple Emmy-award-winning Journalist, Podcaster, YouTuber, and Blogger, who has traveled with his wife, Jennifer, all over North America in an RV, sharing adventures and reviewing RV, Camping, Outdoor, Travel and Tech Gear for the past 12 years. They are leading industry experts in RV living and have written 18 travel books.

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