6 Important RV Camping Secrets to Know for Full-Time RV Living

We want to share some great RV camping secrets. We sold everything to travel full time and create content all about RV living and traveling. These are RV secrets to help you make the most of your RV journey.

RV secrets

1. Unconventional RV parking availability

We have discovered that there are store parking lots where you can park overnight. Places like Food Lion, Lowe's, and Planet Fitness may let you park your RV for the night. We have done it and we were not the only RV there.

Obviously, these are not the type of places we would typically stay overnight, but when we're in between travel destinations, it’s nice to have an easy place to pull in and park for a quick sleep before continuing on our way.

If you're between campsites and need a place to park for the night, ask a store manager about using their lot. It’s possible they won’t know or won’t have the authority to give permission. They might not know what the local regulations are, but it’s worth asking. It’s good to know you have places like this if you’re in a pinch.

2. Getting into locked campgrounds

Here’s something you might not know. Often there are ways to get into a campground after dark, even if it looks like it's locked up. What looks like a locked gate may not actually be locked at all.

Walk up to the gate and carefully inspect the locking mechanism. Sometimes you’ll find the locked chain is just looped around a pole to look like it’s locked.

Basically, the chain will be loosely attached so you can simply remove it without unlocking the lock. You unloop it to get in. Not all campsites do this, but we have discovered a few places that do. 

They do this for security purposes so random people don’t just come in at all hours. If you arrive late and see a locked gate, make sure you check it closely.

Don’t immediately panic and start calling the campground after hours or walking half a mile to your campsite. Of course, it’s always possible they really are locked up, but you don't know unless you try.

3. Booked up campsite hack

What can you do if you want to stay at a campsite but they’re all booked up? In our experience, if you show up at Thousand Trails or an Encore RV Resort and it's booked but you need a place to stay, you can try speaking to the people in the office at the campsite.

Often, they will have spots that are not officially open for you. People have asked us not to share secrets like this publicly, because it would be problematic if too many people start doing it. The thing is, we are really committed to getting as much information as we can out there to the RV community, so we’re sharing all our secrets.

4. Opening RV windows

RV windows can be a real pain to open. The push-out windows can be really hard to operate. They feel like they're stuck, and it's just a struggle to open them.

We’ve learned that if you just turn the knob and wait, the vacuum seal releases making it easier to open. When you turn the knob, give it a second and you’ll hear a little pop. Once you hear that vacuum seal being released you can easily open the window.

Hidden storage in an RV

5. Hidden storage

RVs have great secret storage spots. We’re still discovering some of the hidden storage in our RV. Some RVs have hidden storage underneath the steps leading into the RV. Go to your steps and try to lift them to see if they open. It’s a perfect place to put shoes on.

Living in an RV

Many RVs also have storage in the kitchen table. Try lifting the table top to see if you have this in your RV. Table storage is perfect for placemats or games. You should check everywhere. Even places you wouldn’t expect might have hidden storage.

6. Keeping your refrigerator cool

We’ve gotten comments from people having trouble keeping RV refrigerators cool. There are a few different things you can do to deal with this issue. One solution would be to buy a twelve-volt fan that you can attach to the outside vents of your RV. We put simple battery-powered fans down there.

Some people had luck painting the outside vent. Since the vents are black, they absorb heat. Painting it white could help to keep it from getting too hot. Alternatively, you can put a reflective solar shade on it to keep the heat off.

Another simple solution is freezing water bottles and rotating them between the freezer and refrigerator. Keep some water bottles in the freezer and put some frozen bottles in the fridge. Then continually turn them as they defrost in the fridge. This really helps keep everything cold.

The issue with keeping the fridge cool usually only becomes a problem when you’re dealing with extreme heat. People expect an RV refrigerator to work the same as a residential refrigerator, and that is not the case. Depending on the weather you’re traveling in, keeping the refrigerator cool may or may not be an issue. 

RV camping secrets

How many of these were RV secrets to you? We’ve had our RV for years and we’re still discovering new tricks and hacks. If you have any RV secrets we haven't mentioned, please share them with us in the comments. Have a great day!

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 1 comment
  • Michelle Jaques Michelle Jaques on Nov 03, 2023

    Hello! I have a 2016 5th wheel. I have such a mildew oder that It is difficult to stay inside. I have had it professionally checked for leaks and presently there are none. I purchased one of those ozone boxes and used it several times with no success. Any ideas?