Traveling in an RV is really amazing. Like anything, depending on the equipment you choose, your experience will vary. Some Rv’s have every bell and whistle you can imagine. Many of these buttons and switches make the RV more user friendly, with less manual labor to set up and break down. Even with all the fancy options, I have found that there are some additional items that can help facilitate an even better experience. Here are 6 insider tips to improve RV life.
Take Care of Your Seals
Around your slide out room(s), you will usually find a rubber weather strip that also acts as a seal. Treat this rubber around your slide out(s) with a rubber seal slide out conditioner. It will help to protect and maintain the rubber from weather, sun, and wear and tear.
I also found that adding some extra clear silicon regularly around sink basins, showers, and other areas where water can seep, will prevent leaks and subsequently other water related issues.Check seals regularly as RVs are exposed to a great deal of climate, and therefore expansion and contraction are likely to occur.
Sweeping is Your Friend
Buy a broom. I know, it sounds NOT vacation like, but truly, I thank myself each day. A few weeks ago, we were camping next to a couple from New Hampshire. As I was picking tons of pine needles from my carpet, awning, and pop-out for the hundredth time that morning, I watched our neighbor nonchalanlty grab her broom and give a few quick brush strokes over her campsite. Brilliant! She explained that sometimes when the pop-out gets closed with debris on top, it actually falls inside the trailer.
While I was picking up a few groceries, I grabbed a broom. I really like the broom with plastic bristles. It dries fast and it’s easy to clean if necessary. A few days later, as our neighbors were packing up to leave, I watched them close their roll up awning. Again, using the “magic” broom, her husband would roll a bit while she ran the broom across the awning roll, clearing any nature that may be stuck on top.
Since then, not only do I clear the pop-out and awning, but I sweep the carpet, the trailer steps, the outdoor shower. I am obsessed! I will just say that I am having my own private love affair with my broom!
Be Outdoor Shower Prepared – 6 Insider Tips to Improve RV Life
This is another of 6 insider tips to improve RV life. Purchase an outdoor privacy shower. At some campsites, you do not always have full hookups. This means you may have electric, but not water. Or electric and water, but not sewer. Why does this matter?
Why is an Outdoor Shower Important with No Sewer Hookup?
Each RV tank has a maximum capacity, so if you do not have sewer at your site, the grey water tank can become full rather rapidly. With 2 people or more showering each day, you are sure to max out your tank. So, even if you have a limitless supply of water, if you cannot empty it, this does you little good.
Once you are settled, moving your RV It is truly not an option. It is a royal pain. Remember that in order to move your RV, you need to unplug any utilities you have, secure everything inside, and re-level upon your return.
Therefore, by using an outdoor privacy shower, you do not need to worry about filling up your gray tank. I like this one because it is super quick and easy to assemble and take down. It features a drainable floor and a mesh window. It has a pouch for bathing products, a hanging rack, and secures firmly to the ground.
Just be sure to use “nature safe” biodegradable products for washing. Privacy showers usually have some netting around the bottom to allow for drainage and quick drying. It is best to put something between the shower bottom and the ground. This helps with drainage, but also protects both your feet and the shower bottom from getting torn up by sharp or uneven objects.
As a note, privacy showers are just a structure. The outdoor shower on your RV supplies the water. If you do not have this option, or if water is in short supply, a sun shower can be used .
We had a newbie RV couple next to us recently. They heard us showering and came over to inquire about what it was and where we had purchased it. Over a few days, many people stopped to ask. Most RV’s have a shower off the back with hot and cold water, but just no privacy. It is truly a great solution. An added bonus is that many privacy showers have a netted window to help air them out. Taking a shower outdoors, while gazing at nature is a real treat.
Adding Water to Your Tank
In addition to not having sewer hookups, some sites do not offer fresh water at each individual site. Should this prevent you from camping there? Well, it did not stop us. You definitely need to be more conservative with your water if you do not have an endless supply, but many RVs have a large enough tank to go at least a few days.
A great solution and precaution that worked for us, was to have a 6 gallon potable water container. While the site we were on did not have a water hookup on site, there was potable water accessible on premises. So we were able to add 6 gallons as needed, by filling up our container. Then we used a small funnel to pour the water into the camper holding tank.
If the facility does not have fresh water on site, you can alternatively fill your spare bottle prior to arriving. Then, if you begin to fall short, you have 6 gallons of backup water supply.
Utilizing a spare water jug to fill your RV tank, is easiest with a pour spout or funnel. Also be sure the container has a handle. It will make it much easier to pour and carry. The jug must be clean and labeled for potable water use. Be sure the water source you are filling it from is safe for human consumption.
The Amazing Rubber Mat – 6 Insider Tips to Improve RV Life
Rubberized pavers are an amazing thing. Sounds boring? Maybe. But, who would have thought there were so many uses? These are relatively inexpensive mats and can be used whole, or cut into pieces.
We use them for so many purposes. From under the outdoor shower, to leveling the RV tires, to standing on while barbecuing, to making a path for bare feet around the campsite.
While barbecuing in upstate New York, my husband was barefoot and got his feet and lower legs attacked by ants while cooking in the grass. He was seriously bitten and somewhat allergic. While it was only ants, that many bites was extremely itchy and uncomfortable. Now, he always stands on one of the rubber mats while cooking, sprayed with permethrin.
I swear by permethrin. It is a product that you spray on clothing, hats, shoes, socks, tents, luggage, mosquito nets, carpets, etc., to keep insects away. I have used it all over the world to prevent everything from mosquitos and ticks to bed bugs.
You can spray it before you leave on your trip, onto the objects that you are packing. Be careful not to inhale it, wash your hands, let all your sprayed items dry, and follow all manufacturer instructions. It lasts through several washings and is extremely effective.
While I am not a huge proponent of non organic products, I feel it is important to find a balance, as getting bit up is also not healthy. This is not a repellent for your skin.
Also see Jenny In Wanderland article, Travel Planning Guide for RV Road Trips.