RV Advice: Reminders for the Road

As we wind our way around the country, we are reminded of RV advice like the following tips -- which might just come in handy for your travels:

Selecting a Site: When you are lucky enough to pull into a park where you can choose your site, here are a few things to bear in mind:

  • Where is the sun? And what is its path, relative to how the site is oriented? You may want to avoid a site where the sun will be beating down on your patio area, just when you want to be out enjoying the late afternoon and evening. On the other hand, you might want to take advantage of a spectacular sunset view, if you are equipped with an awning shade.
  • Where is the signal? If having satellite TV is important to you, then look for an unobstructed view of the southern sky. Remember that the tradeoff of no trees may mean no shade.
  • Where are the restrooms? Some people want to be near the restrooms and/or showers. Others may want to be far away. If it makes a difference to you, take a look around.
  • Another bit of RV advice is to look at the traffic pattern within the campground. If you don't want a lot of cars or foot traffic going past your site, then check it out as you make your selection. Or you might want to be right in the thick of things.
  • Is there sufficient space? Ideally, you will have a site big enough for your tow vehicle and RV. Also consider the width of the site – for instance, when your RV is sitting level, will the picnic table fit or will it be sitting on a slope that renders it pretty useless?

Avoid sharp moves. Specifically, avoid the temptation to pull into a place (shopping center, parking lot, etc.) on impulse. If at all possible, try to look before you leap.

  • For one thing, you want to avoid pulling into a place where you will have no way to get around or get out. This is particularly important RV advice for a large motorhome towing a car, where you can’t back up. It’s a real pain if you end up in a position where you can’t move forward, and have to unhook the toad to get you rig out of the way of other vehicles.
  • Another thing to guard against is a move into a lot without checking the grade of the entrance. An unanticipated slope taken a bit too fast and you might end up damaging your back end or undercarriage.
  • Of course you won’t always be able to see what you are getting into ahead of time and will have to take a chance. If you MUST stop and a given place is your only opportunity – well, go slow and keep your fingers crossed. Depending on your specific circumstances, it might be a better option to drive further up the road. If you are in a motorhome with a car in tow, it might be prudent to find a place to detach the toad and use it to scope out the situation.

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More RV Advice

Buyer beware: RV advice at the RV fuel pumps - advertised fuel prices may be misleading. If you see a great price on the signs, make sure you know if taxes are included or not. Some fuel stations post the price for tax exempt purchases (which applies to some truckers doing interstate traffic). This gets the unknowing driver into the station, and more likely fueled up, before the real price is discovered.

Take the “red roads”: You will probably hear this RV advice from many veteran RVers...if you can, take your time and take the scenic roads. The term “red roads” generally refers to those routes shown on maps as red lines AND which also have some marking denoting them as scenic routes. For example, our road atlas denotes scenic routes with a series of dots (….).

Don’t take the “red roads” terminology too literally – not all red roads on a map or RV road atlas are scenic, and the scenic roads are not always red. The “red road” concept simply refers to the preference of many RVers to avoid the busy interstates, and instead travel the back roads to see the local communities and landscapes of the country.

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