5 RV Mistakes to Avoid: Don't Let Bad Advice Ruin Your RV

by Five2Go

We are talking today about RV mistakes to avoid going into the new year. There are a lot of RV mistakes to be made, and we're here to talk about some of them. We hope our advice can help to make things easier for you, especially if you are a beginner.

1. Avoid buying a new RV

The first thing we wanted to talk about is to still hold off on buying a new rig. Over the past couple of years, those motorhomes, RVs, trailers, and fifth wheels weren't built very well during the Pandemic.

There was a massive increase in RVing interest starting in 2020. A lot of the manufacturers jumped on the bandwagon. They started cranking them out, and the production quality hasn't been in some lines.

2. Avoid not getting an inspection

So with that, I would always say, if you're going to buy a new or used RV, get an inspection by a licensed inspector for RVs. That's not something you might think of but get an inspection always for a new RV. The dealerships get new RVs and flip them as quickly as possible.

If you have a dealership tell you that everything's fine, that an inspection is not necessarily on a new RV, find another dealership or another salesperson, or talk to the sales manager. That little bit of money you'll spend for an inspection compared to the hefty price tag for a new RV makes it worth every cent.

RV campground

3. Avoid not making campground reservations far in advance

RVing has gotten more and more popular, and that's caused all these other issues. You need to plan now for spring and summer because if you're planning to go to a popular place, they might already be full. You will want to reserve a spot early if you have a bigger rig.

If you haven't booked those campgrounds near some of the larger national parks, those are all gone. If you want to go somewhere this summer, start planning now. Make the reservations.

4. Avoid camping in the same places

Try a different place than where you usually camp. If you go to the lake every summer because it's familiar and you're comfortable there, maybe this is the summer to try something different out of your comfort zone. Whenever we have been invited to go with other people to a place that we typically wouldn't plan, we usually end up having an amazing time.

5. Avoid unexpected budgetary surprises

What does that mean? Unexpected financial difficulties. You all know gas prices went crazy this past year, and we were not expecting that. They went up right when we got to the west coast, so we were stuck out there. If you budget for your trips, you should expect fuel to go up, repairs to be needed, a tire to blow up, or any things that can go wrong.

RV at night

The worst RVing advice

We went to our Discord Server and asked everyone on the RV Talk Channel, what is the worst piece of RVing advice you got in 2022? These are just a few of the responses we got about bad advice to avoid going into next year.

One person said that someone told him that it's okay to drive his RV 85 miles an hour because the tires are rated for that. They're not. 60 to 65 is a good speed for towed vehicles. Unless you know for sure that you have upgraded the tires on your trailer or fifth wheel, don't go more than 60 or 65. Just be safe.

The next person said the worst advice he got was no advice. He went in blind and had to figure out most of it later. It was only after he bought his first RV that he found this community and other available resources. Do your research. Join online RV communities. They're a great place to get information.

Someone else said people were telling him he'd be bored all the time camping. No. RVing is what you make of it. If you want to sit at home and play video games, you can do that. If you want to go on ten-mile hikes every day, you can do that. You definitely won't be bored.

Another piece of terrible advice was to make sure you always tow in a four-wheel drive for more control. They were told this by their dealership when they bought their new truck. Have you ever driven in a four-wheel drive? Do not always tow in a four-wheel drive. If you get stuck and need extra traction, four-wheel drive is fine, but you're not driving.

RV mistakes to avoid

Another good one is being told that "you'll definitely fit." Please do not trust anybody that isn't you to know whether or not you will fit. We now have a 45-foot rig, and people have tried to put us in 30-foot sites. When you make a reservation, you need to make sure they are asking for your length. If you can't fit in a spot, there may not be any other free spots, so you'll be without a place to stay.

I'm going to throw in the lousy advice I was given. Do not trust a dealership to know anything about your truck, make decisions for you, or provide good advice for you because the person at the dealership is trying to sell the RV; that's it.

All the other research, all of the other equipment, like weight distribution, hitches, fifth wheel hitches you want to use, tow bars for cars, buying motorhomes, all of that, please do your research and find that information from someone that's not trying to sell you anything.

A particular piece of bad advice is that you don't need gloves to connect your sewer hoses. Please use gloves when you touch sewer hoses and wash your hands afterward.

RV mistakes to avoid

That's it for Discord comments and what we think are essential RV mistakes to avoid. What's the worst advice you've received about RVing? Let us know in the comments below.

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2 of 3 comments
  • Vickie Vickie on Mar 08, 2023

    We had a similar occasion with AAA. We had a flat tire on I-85 in GA one mile from our exit. AAA said they could not find anyone in our area to come out?? Thank God we were still on Interstate. A GA Champs 511 saved the day! He saw us, stopped and fixed the tire in less than 1/2 hr. He didn't want to take any $, said it was his job, but we gave him $ anyway. This happened Aug. 2022 and we are still waiting for AAA to call us back!

  • Nancy Pappas Nancy Pappas 4 days ago

    Here’s a piece of good advice: Do not let your black water valve stay open when you are parked for a season. The fluid will drain out and the solids will remain and harden. However, if this happens to you, close the valve, buy a bunch of ice, put it in the toilet, and start driving. Between the solid ice, the water it produces as it melts, and the vibration of the road, it will melt the blockage and you will be able to drain it out.