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BRAVE RV NEWBIE Asks for Tips (51 Tips & Resources)

| Updated Jan 15, 2024

A new RVer asked our RV Lifestyle Facebook group for RV newbie tips. Here are many of the tips offered PLUS related resources…

Our RV Lifestyle Facebook group has over 160,000 members that range from brand-new to highly experienced RVers. So, it's filled with all kinds of great tips, advice, funny stories, and so much more.

A new member of our group and to the RV lifestyle bravely admitted that she has no idea what she's doing and needs help. She posted:

“I apologize for the annoying newbie post but I finally did it! I have zero clue what I’m doing 😂🤣😂 wish me luck! Lol”

Our community came to her aid with nearly 300 comments filled with tips and encouragement. And as we read through them, we realized we have excellent resources to help newbies implement those tips. (There's another recent FB post with over 650 comments!)

So, we've created a HUGE list of the best RV newbie tips and related resources to help!

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.

51 RV Newbie Tips

rv newbie tips

There were HUNDREDS of RV newbie tips given in the comments, but we've narrowed it down to 51. Plus, we've included quick links to articles and resources that will help you put this advice into action!

Let's jump right in because there's a lot to cover.

1. RVing not as easy as it looks, but it is worth it. Go for it! (10 RV Life Pros & Cons Beyond the Obvious).

2. Regularly seal exterior seams and check the undercarriage to keep mice out of your RV.

3. Study your owner's manual. Some study it every six months!

4. Practice backing up in a parking lot (Backing Up an RV” Learner’s Kit: Everything You Need).

5. Take it slow on the road and enjoy the journey (Rule 330).

6. Your best teacher is experience. Just go for it and build confidence as you go.

7. Get familiar with YouTube! It'll be your go-to mechanic and tutor.

8. Do NOT leave your black tank open when hooking up to sewer lines. (Black Tank Basics)

9. Some RV parks have RV age limitations. Be sure to call ahead first. 

10. Google, like YouTube, will be a lifesaver! That, and RV blogs, RV social media groups, and RV podcasts.

11. When towing, drive slowly and watch your mirrors closely. (You can go to RV driving school. Watch this video…)

12. Learn RV lingo and acronyms

13. Things will break. Do not let that discourage you!

14. Most campground neighbors are happy to help you figure something out. 

15. Be sure to know your height limitations! (RV Route Planning with RV Life Pro)

16. Inspect and seal your roof regularly.

17. Take your first few trips close to home to learn what you are doing. 

18. Make a checklist before you go. Then add to it while camping so you have everything you need next time. (Best RV Checklists, Shopping Lists & Must-Have Camping Lists )

One great idea is to place the checklist in a clear pocket folder and use a dry-erase marker to check off each item. When you are packed, you can erase and have a new list for next time. 

19. Invest in an RV leveling system or stabilizers.

20. Be prepared to wage war against bugs! (The Ultimate ‘Bug Off!’ Shopping List for Your RV)

21. Steel wool is beneficial when keeping out mice. Put it in any open crack, hole, or crevice near hoses. If they get in, know How to Get Rid of Mice!

22. Always be sure to use chocks when parked and unhitched. Don't forget to remove them when you go to leave!

23. When parked, leave the grey tank closed. After draining the black tank, you can use it to flush out the hose. 

24. Close your RV awning in inclement weather, like wind and heavy rain. 

25. Make sure your tow vehicle has enough braking power to stop. Trailers put a heavy load on your vehicle when braking downhill. 

26. Add some Dawn dish soap to your blackwater tank. It can help with the sensors and keep sludge from building up inside. 

27. Only take what you really need and use it. It keeps the rig lighter and decluttered. What NOT to Bring on Your RV Trip (An Anti Packing List)

28. Bring drinks and treats to enjoy by the fire. (10 Easy Campfire Snacks & Treats)

29. If cold camping, look into RV skirting and how to winterize your rig. It will keep you much warmer! (How to Insulate a Camper for Winter Use)

30. Purchase a water pressure gauge and water filtering system. You can quickly test the pressure at the campground and make the water taste better. 

31. Write a set-up and departure list to ensure you are completing all the steps you need to when traveling. This is especially helpful if you are trying to leave in a hurry to get home. 

32. When parking your rig, use the acronym GOAL. That stands for Get Out and Look. 

Use a spotter, too. If you lose sight of that person, stop and do not move again until you can see them. 

33. Use tank treatments in black and grey tanks, such as Happy Camper. It helps break down solids and grease and can keep nasty tank odors at bay. 

34. Wood blocks are great to use under front and back stabilizers. 

35. Tow with as little water as possible. It will keep the weight of your rig down. (How to Get Better Gas Mileage in Your RV)

36. Be sure to level side to side and front to back. 

37. When driving, keep it at 60 mph. You will save gas and be traveling safer. (Is It Safe to Use Cruise Control While Towing an RV?)

38. Stay in the right lane when driving. Let the other folks pass you. 

39. Check your tire pressure often. Always be sure to check before driving to your destination and before driving home. 

40. Close your awnings when you are away from the trailer. 

41. If possible, repack wheel bearings once per year. 

42. Purchase a heated water hose

43. Keep an electric heater in the rig in case your heater quits on you. 

44. Be sure to have a sewer hose. 

45. Command hooks come in very handy in an RV. (9 Clever Dollar Store RV Hacks You Need to Know!)

46. Always take your turns wide. 

47. Use a surge protector at campgrounds since their electricity can be unstable. 

48. Safety, safety, safety! (Oh man, we have LOTS of safety articles!)

49. Felt pan protectors can keep your pans and dishes safe while en route. (How to Secure Small Items While RVing)

50. Wear old shoes when dumping your tanks! (How to Find Rest Stops with RV Dumps)

51. Learn how to do basic RV repairs and preventative maintenance.

BRAVE RV NEWBIE Asks for Tips (51 Tips & Resources) 1

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Every time you move your RV it's like driving through a hurricane during an earthquake. Parts break and many items need to be maintained, this program will show you how you can save time and money by gaining the confidence to take on the majority of the issues you’ll come across. Don’t get caught with your RV in the shop! Learn how you can maintain and repair your RV at your own pace and at the most convenient time for you! This course is produced by the National RV Training Academy.

43 Dumbest RV Camping Mistakes

In another Facebook post, a member asked “What are the dumbest RV camping mistakes you see all the time? (I don’t want to be one of THOSE guys!).” 

That post garnered over 400 comments!

The following are some dumb mistakes that our RV Lifestyle members have made or witnessed. Read on so that you can be sure NOT to make the same mistakes!

1. Leaving the gray and black water tank valves open. 

2. Bringing dogs that will bark constantly. 

3. Walk through other people’s campsites. 

4. Placing dog poop bags on the picnic table. 

5. Forgeting to bring bug spray on your trip.

6. Thinking that your vehicle is strong enough to pull your trailer when it is not. (Always make sure you account for extra weight, like water, clothing, and other items.)

7. Driving out of camp with the antenna up. One RV Lifestyle member did just that, and when it hit a tree it was ripped right off of the RV!

Keep reading the 43 dumb mistakes RVers make.

Are You an RV Newbie? Or Thinking of Joining the RV Lifestyle?  

newbie guide

THIS is the ebook to get first – before you purchase anything- to make sure you are heading in the right direction with the right RV and plans.

So, buckle up and get ready for the ride of your life. Consider this not just a guide—but an invitation to discover the joy of RV travel and the freedom of the open road.

You’ll find it all in this 64-page ebook (digital PDF – NOT a print book) The Newbies Guide to the RV Lifestyle

Mike Wendland

Published on 2023-04-01

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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