RV Camping Tips for Beginners

Guys, I’m super excited because it’s almost camping season.  I’ve never been able to talk about RV camping…until now.  So today I’m going to give you  some RV camping tips for beginners.

RV camping ideas for beginners

I couldn’t offer RV tips for beginners before because we’d only been tent camping.  That is, until last year when we bought this:

RV camping tips for beginners


She’s a beauty, isn’t she?  We haven’t officially named her yet, but we are thinking “Lola” sounds good. Any suggestions and I’m open to it.

First, I want to talk to you about why we made the jump from tent camping to RV camping.  Honestly, I don’t mind sleeping on the ground.  I don’t mind being a tent.  I rather like it actually.  I also don’t mind cooking on an open fire or a camp stove.

What I DO mind is having to walk to the outhouses in the middle of the night in a campground, or…you know, using the bush.  

I don’t even mind doing that stuff in the daytime.  But middle of the night, I get super, super creeped out.

And maybe it’s my age showing, but those middle of the night bathroom visits can be a couple times a night (I refuse to give up my obsessive water drinking habit in the evenings.  The only thing worse than having to get up in the middle of the night for a bathroom break is laying in bed thinking about how thirsty you are.

So, we finally decided we would get something we could camp in that had a toilet. 🙂  No meetings with bears, or strangers hiding in the bush at night for me!

Because we have kids we needed something with enough beds for them, so this one was perfect.

If you are new to RV camping though, there are a few things that are really good to know beforehand.  Let’s talk about some RV camping tips and tricks that are extremely helpful to remember.  You may also want to check out some camping hacks that will help you that you can purchase at the dollar store.  Get those great ideas for beginners or even seasoned campers here.


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Make sure you have a spare tire.

On the way home from our camping trip that was four hours away, our tire blew.  Thankfully it happened right outside of our small town so we were able to call a friend to come rescue us.  I am not quite sure what we would have done if it had happened at the camping site.  You NEED to have a spare tire.  Trust me on this.

Bring indoor entertainment.

While a trailer is way better than a tent on a rainy day, it’s still a confined space with little to do.  Bring some board games or other activities just in case you get stuck camping in a downpour.  The great thing about an RV though is that there is plenty of storage to bring these along!

Pick the right campsite for your trailer.

Our trailer is really, really big.  It’s a ’28 footer.  That means we can’t fit in many trailer sites and so we have to be sure the site we have booked accommodates our big rig.  Most sites should say online whether the camping site you are booking is big enough, but if in doubt be sure to call the campground and ask.  Also, pull through campsites are easier to park your RV than ones that you back into.  However, with some practice you will most likely become a pro at parking it either way.

Avoid backroads that are unfamiliar.

My husband and I LOVE cruising down backroads we’ve never been down.  However, in an RV is not the time to do this.  You could find you get stuck down a road and there’s no place to turn around your rig, or the hills can be too much for your RV to handle.  Stick to the main roads as much as possible.

Be mindful of your RV’s weight limits.

You don’t want to overpack your trailer so full that you are carrying too much weight.  Even though you have a trailer you should still pack as light as you can when going camping.  Some ways to reduce weight is to make sure you don’t fill your water tanks beforehand if you have water available at the location you are going.  You also want to empty out your tanks before you leave the campground as well if there is a dumping station (and many places have this.)

Learn the ins and outs of how to “dump.”

Eventually you are going to need to dump your holding tanks.   You will need to find a dumping station.  Most campgrounds have these, but you can also find them at other locations in various communities as well. 

There are some sites that have full hookups which mean that you can hook up your hoses at your site and directly dump them into the septic system at the campground.  For a video on 

Carry some tools, but don’t overdo it.

You’ll want to make sure you have some basic tools on your trip in case everything goes wrong, but again, don’t bring your whole tool shop.  Just bring some basics like a multi-bit screwdriver, jumper cables, duct tape (I mean, it fixes just about anything, right?), a tire pressure gauge, and a lug wrench.

Bring flashlights.

The first time you go out on your camping trip in your trailer you might think you don’t need things like flashlights because you now have a trailer with lights.  However, you never know what will happen on the trip and you could end up having power issues, even if you have hookups, so bring flashlights, especially for the little ones who might get scared easily.

Don’t rely on any old extension cord, get the right one.

You can’t just use any old extension cord for your RV.  You want a specific RV extension cord, and you want it to be long enough as sometimes the hookups are not super close to where you are to park your RV.   This extension cord here is a great one to have.

Make sure your pans fit in the oven.

This one may sound funny, but RV ovens are a lot smaller than your household oven.  That means your regular baking dishes will probably not fit.  It’ll be a total letdown if you go to make food in the RV oven for dinner one night while you are camping and discover you can’t cook what you had planned.

Bring a toilet brush.

Make sure you have a toilet brush in your trailer.  Trust me on this one.



RV camping is a whole new experience that is so much fun.  While you might hit some obstacles along the way on your first few trips as you learn the ins and outs of your new rig, over time it will get easier and before you know it you’ll be looking for any opportunity to take your RV out!






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