RV Tips

Helpful Hints for an Easier Van Life

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On our epic trip across the fabulous country we live in, we discovered a few ways to make life a little easier in our RV. Tips to keep our possessions under control or prevent them from being damaged were the most important.


We discovered some simple things that could be used to stop those distracting rattles while on the road.

Embracing life on the road with an RV, motorhome, or camper van can be a truly liberating experience, bringing back the childlike joy of exploration and simple living. However, to ensure that your RV adventure is filled with fun and not frustrations, it pays to be prepared. I've compiled these RV Tips to help enhance and streamline your motorhome lifestyle.

Firstly, a critical area to address is the vehicle's weight. Overloading not only compromises the vehicle's performance and safety but can also induce unnecessary wear and tear. Be sure to understand your RV's maximum weight capacity and adhere to it religiously.

One simple way to keep track of your RV's weight is to invest in a portable vehicle scale. A one-time expense can save you potential headaches and repair fees down the road. This valuable tool can help you maintain your vehicle's optimal performance and longevity.

Don't want to make a large purchase at this time? Use the scale at the local landfill to give you an accurate measurement while empty, and fully loaded. Two short trips can help give you the complete picture of how heavy your rig is.

Continuing with weight considerations, store heavier items as low as possible to maintain a lower center of gravity and improve your RV's stability. Always pack smart to ensure safety when you're cruising down the highways or parked in campgrounds.

Investing in a good quality, tow-rated GPS is another must. Your RV isn't like the typical SUV or sedan, so a GPS specifically designed for larger vehicles can prevent you from veering onto roads with weight, height, or length restrictions. This way, there is no risk of being sent down a route with low overpasses or bridges, which could end your adventure on a sour note.

Next on the list is regular maintenance. Regular oil changes, tire checks, and system inspections go a long way in preventing unexpected breakdowns and ensuring your motorhome or camper van runs smoothly for a long time.

Explore the potential of solar power for your RV. Used in conjunction with a good set of batteries, solar panels can keep you topped up on power, reducing generator use, and allowing you to camp off-grid in serenity.

Consider carrying a basic set of tools and spare parts like fuses, light bulbs, and screws. You'd be surprised how many minor issues can be resolved with a little DIY tenacity.

Concerned about storage space? Make smart use of your space with vacuum-sealed bags – perfect for storing clothes or linens. This initiative will help you save precious space and keep your belongings organized.

Campervan life necessitates cooking in compact spaces. Invest in stackable or nesting kitchen goods – pots, pans, dishes - designed to fit together and take up minimal room.

Invest in a quality water filtering system for your RV. You never know the quality of water at different campgrounds, and staying hydrated with clean water is essential.

When it comes to setting up or breaking camp, create checklists. From ensuring all your luggage is secured to checking your vehicle's vital systems, checklists ensure you do not miss out on anything that may later cause inconveniences.

A routine that includes a walk around to vehicle to make sure the hose is detached and the step is stored can make for a headache free experience.

A useful hardware store item that can serve double-duty in your RV is duct tape. Its uses are limitless - quick repairs, securing items during transit, even emergency medical situations.

Another helpful item is a bunch of zip ties. Easy-to-store and extremely versatile, they can help you secure loose items, keep cords organized, and even act as temporary fixes for some mechanical issues.

Camping in remote locations often means encountering wildlife. Keep bear spray handy, not just for bears, but it can be effective against most wild animals you might encounter.

rv-tips-night-stand600x800.jpgHair ties hold the doors shut during travel - see more ideas below

To make your campsite more friendly and homely, carry an outdoor rug. It not only defines your campsite but also helps to minimize the amount of dirt tracked into your RV.

Making smart use of your outdoor space can enhance your campervan living experience. Items like collapsible furniture, a compact grill, or even an inflatable projector screen can help you enjoy al fresco dinners or movie nights under the stars.

Invest in a membership with a reliable roadside assistance company, preferably one that specializes in RVs. This action can save you a significant sum in case of an unfortunate breakdown. Even one tow can save you the cost of the annual fee.

Don't forget to pack games and outdoor entertainment items. They can add much extra fun to your lazy days at camp, providing both exercise and leisure.

Good night's sleep is essential. Invest in a high-quality mattress topper or memory foam mattress that will offer you the comfort you need to refresh for the next day's adventures.

While the space inside your RV is limited, try to section off distinct areas for cooking, sleeping, and relaxing. Having individual “rooms” can make life inside a tiny home on wheels feel more organized and less cramped.

Continuously work on improving your driving skills. Driving an RV or motorhome can be very different from driving a regular car. Take the time to learn and practice in different conditions.

Lastly, maintain a sense of spontaneity, and remember, you are in your RV to explore and enjoy. A flexible itinerary can lead you to new discoveries and experiences beyond your wildest dreams.

If you are traveling with kids, create a dedicated space for them. Things like an over-cab bed or a converted dinette can keep kids happy and give them a space of their own for play and sleep.

For your living area, consider foldable furniture, which can be stored away when not in use. This will provide more space and make your RV feel more spacious.

Organizing your kitchen efficiently is crucial in your RV. Use magnetic strips on the inside of your cabinet doors. You can stick metallic items like knives, spice jars, or kitchen utensils to them.

RV life means being mindful of your water consumption. Consider using a dishpan to wash and rinse dishes. You can then re-use this water to flush your toilet.

The last place to stint on water is in the toilet - you do not want to encounter the dreaded 'poop mountain' caused by lack of flushing.

Invest in LED lighting for your RV. LED lights consume less power and produce less heat than traditional bulbs, ensuring you use less battery power.

When hooking up to shore power, back your RV into place, then plug in, then place the junction of the two cables up on top of the rear tires (if a dually) or balance it on one tire. This will keep it dry; the last thing you want to combine is electricity and water. Wrapping a plastic bag around the join adds another layer of protection if you're staying put for a day or two.

Most manufactured RVs are not insulated enough, especially for those planning to camp in colder climates. Consider adding extra insulation to ensure your RV stays warm.

A reliable weather radio can be a lifesaver when you're traveling in areas prone to severe weather conditions. This precaution can give you time to move to safety in case of an incoming storm.

Consider packing a small portable washing machine. It can save you trips to laundromats and ensure you always have clean clothes.

rv-tips-broom600x800.jpgUse a hair tie to hang the broom

Embrace the campervan life community. Don't hesitate to make friends with other RVers. They can provide valuable tips and advice, and it's always nice to chat with like-minded people along the journey.

We found people on the way to be extremely helpful and caring, even inviting us to 'mooch dock' at their home - we stayed three nights, enjoying their hospitality, and gaining new friends in the process.

Use silicone bakeware in your RV kitchen. Unlike glass or ceramic, silicone is unbreakable, light, easy to clean, and can be squeezed into irregular storage spaces.

Carry spare hose washers. They are small, easy to lose but critical for securing a leak-free water hose connection. Keep a handful of these around- they're worth their weight in gold!

While on the road, maintain a healthy diet by cooking your meals instead of relying on fast food. Call in at family run cafes and restaurants - a grilled burger or chicken breast with fries, alongside your own salad, keeps nutritional requirements satisfied.

Keep your energy up for your adventures and your lovely camp evenings.

Consider installing a tire pressure monitoring system to stay aware of the tire pressure. A tire blow-out on an RV can be dangerous and costly.

If you’re not a full-timer and store your RV for longer periods, remember to protect it from pests. Using natural repellents or electronic pest deterrents can keep insects and rodents at bay.

Prevent your belongings from rattling around while driving. Line your cabinets with non-slip shelf liners, and use tension rods to hold things in place. We found two rolls of sill gasket, used in construction, cut into short lengths, protected my precious pottery from damage and our ears from distracting road noise.

rv-tips-dishes600x800.jpgProtect your dishes from rattling

Travel with a fully stocked first-aid kit and regularly check and refill it as required. Having necessary medical supplies on hand can be a lifesaver in an emergency. Make sure you know where it is, and that it's accessible.

Keep a physical map on hand as a backup. Technology can sometimes fail or be unavailable, especially in more remote areas.

Showering in an RV can use a lot of water. Installing an Oxygenics shower head can give you a great shower experience while saving on water. Use hair ties to adjust the often inconveniently high nozzle.

rv-tips-shower600x800.jpgHair ties are a handy way to lower the shower head

Saving room for amusement is another way to heighten your RV adventure. Carry a compact hobby kit, digital books, or a portable music instrument. This acts as a productive way to relax and unwind after a long driving day.

Consider upgrading your RV's suspension system if you plan on lots of off-grid or rough terrain adventures. An enhanced suspension can provide a smoother ride and decrease maintenance needs. Some of the roads we encountered were very badly maintained - an upgraded suspension made all the difference.

Finally, remember the golden rule of RVing: Leave no trace. Respect the environment by not littering, keeping to designated paths, and preserving nature for the future generation of RVers.

Hopefully these RV Tips have provided valuable insights to make your motorhome or campervan life even more enjoyable, providing you with a sense of joy and the freedom you felt as a child, without any of the usual hiccups that could create bumps on your journey. Happy RVing!

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