The world of RVing is full of people from all walks of life and wildly different levels of experience. Retired road warriors have been perfecting their routine for decades. There are also young couples on their first adventurous camping trip in a rented rig. No matter how many people gather in the parks and spread to remote camping spots all over the countryside, every RVer shares that love of the road. There’s something magical about being in a vehicle with everything you need. Problems are only a little elbow grease and time away from a solution and you can bet, every RVer has their own recipe book of camping hacks.
Trading hacks is a long-standing tradition. In the natural course of swapping stories and experiences with friends each time you park, one person will complain about a challenge, another will have a weird solution that works. In the daylight, it’s fun to show off your solutions and give each other ideas about how to make RV live even more fun. Because it wasn’t fun enough already. With the internet between us, the RV network is permanently connected and able to share different camping hacks. Even if we don’t see each other in a national park, truck stop, or beautiful overlook. To continue on this proud tradition, we’d like to share some of the cleverest RV camping hacks we’ve heard about in the last year. Here we go:
Keep a Set of Adult Walkie-Talkies
When you set out on an RV adventure, there is almost no limit to the things you might get up to. You could drive deep into the woods, up a mountain, into the desert, to a theme park, to Las Vegas, or just find yourself backing carefully into a legendary truck stop with famous pie. During all these adventures, communication is key. You need to be in contact with your party and be able to meet up back at the RV at all times. Even when you’ve driven out of cell reception. This is where we suddenly realize how important radio waves are again.
2-Way radios or, as we all know them, Walkie-Talkies are a very effective short-distance communication solution. It doesn’t need cell service and can work in an incredibly wide variety of situations. They allow you to communicate without shouting at short ranges, contact someone who is out of sight, and you can easily buy a functional adult set. Look for long-range, penetrative 2-way radios with a hub you can keep in the RV and four rechargeable handsets.
Park With the Buddy System
Parking an RV is not the easiest task in the world and neither is backing up anything on a hitch. From the one-unit bus mechanics to the mad recreators hauling boats behind their rigs, getting parked is a carefully choreographed dance and sometimes you need a partner. In fact, unless you were blessed with a natural talent for RV parking, it’s best to work with someone standing behind and to the left of your rig to help you target.
This is normally done with a lot of waving and shouting. Relationships have been challenged with the task of backing into a parking spot and not all survive the trials. This is where you want to have the walkie-talkies, and maybe a glow-stick. The radios can help you to be heard clearly and avoid shouting, which is easier on the nerves. However, even without equipment, the buddy system is your ideal way to avoid disasters. The person at the back may be helping with aiming but their primary purpose is to keep you from rolling over or hitting anything with your tail. Including surprise wildlife that might run into your path.
Get Level Quickly Every Time
Once you’ve parked at a camping spot, getting your rig stable and level can be an entirely separate adventure. If you’ve ever spent a camping trip looking at your surfaces, constantly thinking “Is this really level?” then you’re missing a key step. A Level is also a tool you can buy at the hardware store, sometimes called a carpenter’s level. It is essentially a little tube with liquid and a single bubble inside. Mounted on your RV, the RV is level when the bubble is in the center. You can either carry one magnetic level and align it with the RV every time to test, or mount several levels around the RV to help you test from anywhere.
If you have a fifth-wheel trailer or anything with landing legs that extend down into the ground, it can be surprisingly challenging to get these satisfactory levels, especially trying to eyeball it after a long drive. One of the best tricks we’ve seen is simply to take the guesswork out of it. Measure your landing legs and mark them at regular intervals in a way you’ll recognize. This way, you can easily set the legs up at matching levels by coordinating with a friend or even camping by yourself.
Those Shoe Scuffs On Your Roof…
Taking care of your RV roof and the covers for your slide-outs is an important job if you want your RV to last forever and look good on the road. Most RV owners have a collection of long-handled tools. These help sweep, dry and polish various portions of the vehicle’s topside in the course of regular care. You’ll probably want a broom, a long-handled dust mop, and a soft sponge mop to get started.
Of course, moving around on the roof in the course of roof care can and will eventually leave a series of black smudges on your shiny RV roof. The way to get these off is with a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser. They are disposable but very powerful cleaning tools that seem to be designed to disintegrate with use. In the process of disintegrating, they release a very strong soap that can remove almost anything from a smooth surface. So keep these around for unusually tough cleaning jobs.
Holding Things in Place
Holding your housewares in place while your home rattles over the nation’s highways are something every RVer gets to know. Over the miles listening to your cabinets shake, you get some time to think of a few solutions. In addition, swapping good camping hacks always happens at campsites.
Our first favorite tip is the classic bungee cord. Your first instinct when securing things will be to add things like rigid brackets and clips. However, anything rigid is going to shake and rattle when you start to roll. Elastic, on the other hand, can be stretched so that it holds tight at any position and can significantly reduce the rattling factor. Things will stop shaking loose and it won’t sound like an earthquake is hitting your living area when the road gets bumpy. Use bungees of various sizes for cabinet handles, to hold drawers in place, and to tie down items that otherwise hang or sit freely.
Shelves are another tough one for RV owners because things tend to shake and slide off of a shelf on the move. The solution here is rubber shelf liners. These every so slightly sticky mat can be placed on your shelves. It will cause things like clothes, dishes, and kit bags to stay put when the rig sways.
For those of you who like fine drinking glasses and don’t want to constantly pack them in and out of a storage box, try cheap beer koozies. Slipped over wine glasses and drinking glasses, they will keep breakables from crashing into each other.
Record Your Own Camping Hacks
One thing that many RVers don’t realize is just how many camping hacks they’ve learned or invented over the years. There are probably at least a dozen little things you do that just made sense to you at the time but would blow the minds and routines of your fellow RVers. Have you found a way to significantly reduce the time it takes to set up or tear down your camp? Are there a few cleaning and maintenance tricks you’ve learned along the way?
Almost every RVer finds a new and innovative way to handle storage. Take some time to think about how you do things during your normal camping routine and consider putting together your own tip list. Whether this just helps you organize your thoughts to think of new solutions or you decide to share your camping hacks ideas online with your fellow RV adventurers. Everyone has their own unique collection of RV hacks that make life on the road just a little easier.
Whether it’s creative ways to use a pool noodle, clean the tiny bathroom, or improve gas mileage, there is always another way to improve your RV experience. Hopefully, you learned something new from at least a few of our hacks today and your next RV camping trip will be even more enjoyable than the last. If you’d like to learn more about the tricks of the RV lifestyle or share a few RV hacks of your own, contact us today!