5 RVing Mistakes That Make You Look Like A FOOL

PublishedSeptember 10, 2020

Nobody likes to be the fool! But we've all been there one time or another.

It's a fact of human nature. We are imperfect.

People love to be on the other side of watching an imperfect 'fool'.

You might even love WATCHING a silly fool, right?

(With a grimace on your face.)

Hey, nothing better in life (in my opinion) than getting a kick out of someone stumbling, fumbling, etc.

Kelly grimacing

And this is why you are here. To avoid being 'that guy/girl'.

Too many times you see 'that fool' at the campground, dump station, on the road, etc.

But what if YOU are the one who is giggle material for others? That's not as fun, is it?

Don't become them! (Or have you been already???)

Here are 5 ways to avoid looking like a fool while RVing!

#1: Low Butt Syndrome

Towing without weight distribution hitch

Without Weight Distribution Hitch

Often, we see un-level trailers being towed down the road. This mistake is no bueno. Why?

It's dangerous for yourself and for others on the road.

 Additionally, it puts excess strain on your tires and axles.

Yet we see it on the road ALL the time.

Here's the jist- when you look at your connected trailer and truck, they BOTH should look level. (But there's more to it.)

Here's why it's dangerous:

  1. Braking and Steering: If there's a dip at the hitch region, then the trailer tongue weight is causing the front tires to have less weight on them. Less weight on your front end means your braking and steering are compromised.
  2. Axles/Tires: If your trailer is not level (and you have two or more axles), one set of the axles/tires are taking more weight than the other. This causes extra strain on the tire walls and on the axle itself.

The bottom line is that you may not be able to brake in time or control the vehicle well enough to avoid an accident.

You could lose control, killing others and/or yourself in the process.

How To Not Be A Setup Fool:

1. If your setup doesn't look level when connected, figure out how to get it level. Search Google/Youtube. Plenty of reference for you out there. 

2. Not a DIY'er? Take your setup to a professional such as an RV dealer who offers service, or a weight distribution hitch dealer.

3. If you aren't using a weight distribution hitch, you probably should be. Most towables need one. Set up properly, you will be safer than without one. And when installed properly your setup will be level.

#2: Beep! Beep! Beep!

Rpod small trailer hooked up to Xterra

"Does This Trailer Make My Butt Look Big?" (Why yes. Yes it does hehehe.)

This one is a stinger. And you're not alone. MOST people fear backing up  a trailer.

It sure is embarrassing (and frustrating) trying to back into a public campsite if you aren't at least moderately proficient at the task.

The worst thing you can do is to show up at a campground and decide that that's the time to start learning.

You may be blocking traffic for a while if you do.

Also, people LOVE to come out and try to 'help'. Personally, I find it SUPER anxiety producing when they do.

Therefore, I became a self-proclaimed 'pro' so no help would be necessary. (I'm in my spot before they can get off their couch to try to' rescue' me.)

How To Not Be A Backing Up Fool:

  1. PRACTICE: Just go and do it. BEFORE you go camping. Get into a parking lot and experiment until it becomes second nature.
  2. Follow The Butt! It's as easy as this- whichever way your vehicle butt goes, the trailer butt goes the other way. Simple!

#3: The Unwanted Roll... 

YM wheel chocks in use Class C tire

Class C Motorhome Wheels With Chocks

Yikes. This one is dangerous. AND embarrassing.

And yes, I've forgotten to chock my tires before unhitching before.

Of course, I had an audience. I was with a group of friends and they were all hanging out around my RV. Major embarrassment! It made a lot of noise when it rolled! (Grrrr and LOL!)

So MAKE SURE you chock before you disconnect your trailer from your tow vehicle.

Even when you DO chock, sometimes there's still a little movement in the trailer, depending on the grade you're on.

To be extra precautious, do this:

  • Don't unhook your chains before you disconnect. That way, if it does roll, it will only go as far as your chains or less.

How To Not Be A Chocking Fool:

1. Well, just chock before you disconnect!

2. Keep your chains connected until your disconnect is complete.

#4: You Didn't REALLY Want To Leave...

Lippert Waste Master RV sewer hose dump station

This one is not only embarrassing, it can cost you money, honey! (Forgetting to disconnect all utilities before leaving a site.)

The WORST utility you can forget might be the sewer hose, if you have remnants still inside of it.

Yep, nothing worse than spreading your sewage around the campground!

Leaving your cable or power cord connected can also be hazardous.

You may damage the power pedestal. You also may damage your RV.

It's sure to damage your ego if you have witnesses.

By the way, while you're at it, don't forget to put your antenna down and put your steps in.

How To Not Be A Utility Destroying Fool:

1. Make sure to do a walk-around EVERY time you are departing from a campground. Maybe even do it twice. (Check your lights while you are back there.)

2. You can put a sticky reminder on your steering wheel if you have a motorhome. Place it there once you are parked. You can't miss it when you go to leave.

#5: Get Off My Lawn!!!

Kelly RV Lake Creek Road Ketchum

Ok, guys, THIS one is personal.

So many people out there nowadays just park wherever they can get their RV when boondocking, regardless if it's a real spot or not.

This is ILLEGAL. It damages our public lands and causes overcrowding. We can't afford that.

Additionally, in areas that people keep doing it, those areas eventually get shut down due to the land not being able to sustain itself due to erosion, loss of habitat, dying vegetation, etc.

This means less and less places for you and I to go out and recreate in nature.

You are 100% pissing people off when you do this and you are not doing yourself or anyone else a service.

I'll not be gentle here. Stop being that selfish a**hole and ONLY park in obvious spots.

If there are no spots available, you leave. OR ask someone if you can park with them.

DO NOT go park wherever you feel like it and damage virgin soil.

Escapee's Club Boondocking Policy

If you need more information about the unspoken rules when you are camping on public lands, here's Escapee's Club's

"RVers Boondocking Policy"

Please check it out to be sure you aren't violating any policies that may harm the environment our others' ability to use the area.  

Conclusion

Couple sitting in front of 5th wheel at rv park

These tips hopefully help YOU not to be the embarrassed idiot when RVing.

If you have a tip, shout out in the comments below! We know you have opinions, lol!

Yes, I have a strong opinion of people who break the boondocking rules as if the rules do not apply to them. You guys ruin it for everyone else. Stop it.

As for you other fools, just pay attention, practice, and your camping days will be that much more enjoyable!

Camp on, campers!

Kelly Headshot

He-llllo. I'm the co-founder of Camp Addict, which my biz partner and I launched in 2017. I frigging love the RVing lifestyle but in December of 2020, I converted to part-time RV life. Heck, I lived in my travel trailer for over 5.5 years, STRICTLY boondocking for pretty much all of it. Boondocking is a GREAT way to live, but it's not easy. Anyway, I'm passionate about animals, can't stand campgrounds, I hardly ever cook, and I love a good dance party. Currently, I can be found plotting and scheming whether or not to start collecting farm animals (or plotting my next RV trip!) at my beautiful new 'ranch' named 'Hotel Kellyfornia', in Southern Arizona. 

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  • Double double Amen and Thank the Lord to #3, that the camper didn’t move any further on our first time out.

    • RIGHT???!!!!! It’s so seriously scary when it happens.

      Glad for you that it didn’t end up in a very bad way.

      Thanks for the comment!

  • If you have a fifth wheel don’t forget to put down the front legs or if necessary when you back up put your tailgate down. Many trucks have been damaged unnecessarily.

  • Thanks for a great blog. As a new subscriber, it’s neat to learn a new tip: unhooking chains last; and add an newbie antidotal experience with “Fool #3” chocking! On our 2nd trip out with our brand new 2019 23′ Travel trailer, I backed into the space without problem and chocked the driver side wheel immediately before uncoupling. After setting up, (slide & awning out) I decided that I needed to level the trailer by adding some spacers under the curbside tire. As I raised the tongue to hitch to the tow vehicle, the tongue jack slipped off the riser and the trailer tongue (and curbside tire) shifted. Fortunately the driver side chock held firm and no physical damage occurred. After an hour or so wrangling with a bottle jack, I was able to hook up and add risers to level the curbside. I immediately went out and bought a second set of chocks and now chock both sides before uncoupling from the tow vehicle. sThe Carolina Cajun, almost famous in North Carolina since 1989!

    • Hi Joe!

      Man, a moving, unattached trailer is very scary! Marshall has endured this a few times. It happens. But yeah, now he double chocks, too!

      So happy to hear you got to learn some new things. We sure appreciate you taking the time out of your busy day to comment on our blog! Safe travels and parking AND double chocking from now on, lol!

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