Travel tips

Use an RV departure checklist

There is nothing like getting on the road and finding out that you forgot to unplug your shore power cord.  There are a lot of things to remember before you pull out. A visual checklist, either printed or on your smartphone, will help to ensure you don’t forget anything.  Print out this free RV Departure Checklist and keep it somewhere easy to access.

Pack some pine cones

What? Pine cones? Yes! Pine cones aren’t just for Christmas decor.  Pine cones are also nature’s perfect firestarter and readily burst into enough flames to start kindling when you put a flame to them.

Plan an RV-safe route

Use the RV LIFE App and RV Trip Wizard to plan your route and find amazing camping spots that are perfect for your camping style. Get RV-friendly directions, read reviews, and find important campground information, all in one convenient tool.

Turn the propane valve off before you travel

Traveling with your RV’s propane valve open is crazy.  Our rolling rigs are subjected to shaking equivalent to an earthquake as we travel.  This shaking causes many things to loosen or even come apart, and propane connections and lines can come apart as we travel.  This definitely presents a fire hazard in your RV.

Pack a first aid kit

Be prepared for emergencies (including the four-legged family members) by packing a first aid kit for both humans and pets.

Wash your clothes as you travel

This camping trick from Travels With Charley: In Search of America by John Steinbeck is so simple and effortless we’ll be using it all the time. Put dirty clothes, water, and laundry soap into a five-gallon bucket with a tight lid.  Make sure the lid is on snug because if it isn’t it makes a huge mess.  Find a place in your rig where you can make sure the bucket will stay firmly in place.  If you have a place to secure it, even better. Every bump you hit and turn you take will agitate the clothes in the bucket as you drive, just like a washing machine does.  After an hour or two of driving, your clothes will be perfectly clean, ready to be rinsed and hung to dry in the fresh air.

Make a headlamp into a lantern

Strap a headlamp (light side in) to a 1-gallon jug of water to make a lantern that lights up your campsite.  Opaque, white jugs work best for this camping hack.

Make sure your campfire is really out before leaving it

Abandoned campfires are one of the leading causes of forest fires. Not all of these fires were intentionally left smoldering. Campfires heat the ground underneath them hot enough to reignite anything combustible in your firepit hours later.  No one wants to be “that guy/girl” so use lots of water or dirt to thoroughly smother your campfire when you are done with it. As a rule of thumb, you should be able to put your hand comfortably on the ground in your fireplace before you leave.

Repurpose your dishwater

When you are boondocking, your time off-grid and unhooked will be much better if you don’t run out of water.  Washing and rinsing dishes uses more water than anything besides your RV toilet, so it makes sense to repurpose your dishwater.  Use a basin to wash your dishes, and then use gray water to flush your toilet.

Pack a pizza stone

A pizza stone will help to even out the heat in your RV’s propane oven so you can bake amazing meals.  And of course, you can always use it to make pizza!  Pizza stones do break, so be sure to protect them by wrapping them for travel. Find more tips for cooking in your RV oven