So you’ve decided to take an RV trip somewhere, and you pull into your reserved space, only to find that it’s much too small for your slides to slide out! 🤦
Hey, mistakes happen! We’re all humans out here just doing the best we can, including when we’re on an RV adventure. And to make you feel better as you prepare to sleep in your RV with the sliders left in, we’ve prepared a list of five common RV setup mishaps, how to avoid them, and what you might be able to do to fix them!
1. Hooking up your electronics without a surge protector
This one’s kind of a doozy. When you travel between RV campgrounds, it’s tough to know the quality of the electrical systems you’re connecting to, and sometimes appearances are deceiving. Even if you do everything right and connect to the right power source for the size of your rig, things can still go wrong.
Unfortunately, faulty wiring can wreak havoc on your RV’s electronics, and these types of repairs can really put a big dent in your travel budget. Worse, they can lead to power outages and electrical fires, which can put your or your family’s lives at risk.
We recommend that you never take off in your home-away-from-home without a trusty surge protector or electrical management system. These are well worth their cost to avoid repair costs and for the peace of mind they offer by helping you avoid the unthinkable.
2. Using your stabilizers as leveling jacks
It’s not unusual for new RVers to assume that stabilizing jacks are the same as leveling jacks. However, stabilizing jacks aren’t built with the load-bearing capacity of leveling jacks, which is an important distinction. While leveling jacks are intended to bear weight while leveling your RV from side to side or front to back, stabilizers are there solely to keep your RV from moving around on its suspension when you’re parked (they can’t remove all movement, but they can make a noticeable difference in shifting when they’re used properly).
When you use your stabilizers to level the camper, you risk not only damage to the jacks but also to the frame of your RV itself. Yikes. The take-home here? Stabilizing jacks are never intended to bear the full weight of the RV.
Ideally, you can avoid damage to your RV or stabilizing jacks by camping on as level of a camping site as possible. Once you’re parked and use your leveling jacks to level, you’ll want to raise the stabilizers only until they securely touch the RV without taking on weight.
3. Leaving your sewer hose on the ground
When you leave your sewer hose on the ground, you’re not doing that smell in your camper any favors. You also run an increased risk of damage to the line itself, and if you’re in a cold climate, it’s more likely to freeze at night when left on the ground. That’s a defrosting job that no one wants to take on!
Luckily, this is an easy one to fix. From a drainage point of view, the sewer hose is most effective when it’s raised and sloped down and away from your RV. Sewer hose supports are affordable and easy to find, install, and store with your sewer hose. And the extra few minutes you spend ensuring your sewer hose is draining properly is well worth the trouble to avoid the smell and other risks.
4. Not leaving enough room for your slide-outs
Bet we forgot about this from earlier, huh? When you don’t adequately plan for the full size of your RV, including the slide-outs, you’ll have to reposition the vehicle. This isn’t always your fault! Sometimes neighboring RVs park too close, trees grow near campgrounds, and other things can happen.
Whatever you do, don’t expand the slide-outs if you aren’t positive you have enough room. Doing so risks irreparable damage to the slide-outs or even the structure of the RV. Also, remember that it’s inadvisable to only partially expand the slide-outs because in most makes, the joints between the slide-outs and the RV are not sealed unless they are either fully extended or fully retracted.
To prevent this from becoming an issue, you’ll want to know your slide-outs like the back of your hand: know exactly how far they expand and where on the RV they stick out. You can also use a spotter to help guide you to a place where you can expand your slide-outs.
5. Incorrectly hitching or towing your car or toy hauler
We know we harp on about this, but it’s because it’s a big deal. While it’s convenient to be able to have your car and toys with you no matter where you roam, you’ll want to do everything you can to do so safely. Incorrect towing can lead to damage to both the car and the RV or car crashes and injuries to yourself and/or other people.
To avoid injury, damage, loss of property, or worse, make sure your RV can handle whatever you’re towing, make sure you know how you’re towing, check your hitch, and choose the appropriate style of towing.
Feeling confident that you can avoid these mishaps in an RV of your own?
Choosing the right RV is a big decision, no matter where you want to go or how you want to use your RV. That’s why our friendly and knowledgeable staff is always available to help you choose from the highest quality coaches (and more) from top manufacturers. Find a location near you today, or shop our online inventory and let our experts help you find the perfect RV to steer clear of these and more RV mishaps.