My Eleven Biggest RV Goofs:

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July 2, 2009

My Eleven Biggest RV Goofs:

  1. Our rooftop antenna is up while moving, resulting in damage to the TV antenna.
  2. The steps have not been retracted, causing damage when contacted by other objects.
  3. Tire pressures were not checked, overloaded and under inflated tires fail. As a “gator” rubber separates from the tire causing major damage to the wheel well and sidewall of our rig.
  4. We do not hold the sewer hose in place while dumping, we get gunk all over our shoes, clothing and dumpsite. Anything we dump on the ground well end up in our drinking water.
  5. Our lights are not checked on the toad or (anything towed behind our rig) and someone rear-ends us – not enough time for them to stop.
  6. We leave our water hose attached and left on while away from our rig – we come back to find the entire rig flooded from a water line break.
  7. I forget, as we travel, electrical wiring and pipes may vibrate, chafe or brake or short out. Be careful, when hooking up after a long day, water may leak, things may vibrate loose, and electrical systems may have been damaged.
  8. After traveling, open cabinets with caution, stuff may fall out and injure you or damage itself.
  9. Check the torque on your wheels lug nuts, wheels do fall off.
  10. We lose our sewer hose on the pavement while traveling – the cap fell off of the sewer holder.
  11. A damaged awning, unfurling while traveling or during a storm.

Happy Camping,

Fred b.

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  1. We recently had a caravan (travel trailer) insurance claim. The trailer had rolled after a wheel fell off. When the claims engineer visited the client he asked when he had last checked the torque of the wheel nuts. Answer: Never.

    An acceptably OK torque wrench in the right range will cost you less than $50 and must be part of your standard kit and used regularly.

  2. Frank

    Having an aviation back ground I use the lessons learned, First a check list is a check list not a memory list. I go around and check off each item, more then once I found oversights that could have been expensive had we driven off. I print a pile of them and use a clip board and cross off each item as it is checked. As I gained experience things were added and other lists have been made as necessary. One other thing that I have learned is not to rely only on a visual inspection, tires can appear properly inflated, the awning for instance I actually try to pull it off or cause it to open, actually pull check doors that are locked, tow equipment is secure and all pins are in place and secured. How many times have you closed your car door only to see the door ajar light is on is the reason to manually check for locked latched, closed, and secure, do it this way there will never be a problem, guarantied

  3. Gary

    Ever try to drive off with your back jacks down. All of the old guys in the campground will jump up and down trying to get you to stop. They know…

  4. Gene Lindsey

    I was driving through a small tow in Tx and came over a rise then down into a blind Hollow, saw the clearance sign too late. Left part of the AC in the middle of the street. Locals said his was not the first time and that RVs and 18 wheelers were often caught underneath.

    Same trip filled my diesel Truck with gasoline. The attendant asked me if I had intended to use the gas pump after I had filed up. Fortunately I had not started the engine and was able to get it pumped out and refilled with Diesel. expensive way to find out all green handled pumps do not dispense diesel.

  5. Leon Payne

    Made the mistake of not doing a walk around upon departure and forgot to unplug the electrical cord. Got about a block away and couldn’t figure out what was following us down the street. You guessed it, the electirical cord. Just glad there was no traffic. Didn’t do more damage than I could repair however. We were just lucky.

  6. Why is it that you can buy an RV from a dealer as a newbe and they fail to tell you the basics of camping…ie…when staying at an rv park with full hookups, you don’t leave the black water tank open all the time like the greywater as the liquid runs off and leaves the solids behind, building a mound at the outlet eventually clogging it. You should dump the tank, close the valve and don’t dump again till it’s three quarters or full. Trust me, if you don’t, sooner or later you’ll be in deep xxxx trying to get it to empty…

  7. Darthvagrant

    Many, many years ago I worked at a Buick dealer. At that time German Opels were popular ‘toad’ vehicles. I witnessed the attempted repair of two Opels, a Kadtett (sp?) and a Manta. One had been pulled with the (manual) transmission in reverse, the other in first gear.
    Both had all the push rods loose from the rockers and lifters, the one pulled in reverse had total engine destruction from the oil pump running backwards. Niether was pulled very far before the rear tires on the toad were screaming in protest.
    40 year+ memories not forgotten-ever.

  8. Barry Zander

    As full-timers changing campsites two to four times a week, we’ve made several of those errors and lots more despite our checking and rechecking. The closest to disaster was when we rushed to pull out of a state park before dawn to make an appointment for RV repair 80 miles away. Tired and in the dark, we pulled out of the site and were just about out of the park when I looked back in the early morning light and realized we had left our 3-foot wide slide out. I had made it past boulders, posts and trees without incident, but not without trembling when I realized we hadn’t walked around the trailer one last time before moving. You’re welcome to shudder with me in thinking about the damage that could have been done.

  9. Craig Benoit

    We experirnced the tire blow out due to under inflation. We did not find the problem untill backing into the camp site. The only thing left of the tire was the side walls, everything else was gone. After this event I redoubled my tire preseure checking routine and installed the Smart Tire monitoring system on both the truck and trailer.

    Thanks to the stability of a 5th wheel trailer we did not experience sway when the tire blew, thaqts good but. We could have had a tire fire and lost the whole rig.

    Towing during the shorted days in the fall after work leads to night time driving and a rush to get on ther road.

    For safet sake RETIRE NOW and drive at your leasure, working just aint worth it.

  10. Jim Peterson

    We used to tow a sailboat and there are so many things to remember to do (while launching AND retrieving) that I made my notes on a 3×5 card which I always kept on the dash. I would try to do everything from memory and then just quckly review my notes on the card (before backing into the lake OR taking off). More often than not, there was a thing or two I had forgotten. It was simple enough to jump out, take care of that one thing, and then proceed. We found such a checklist (actually provided for us by the previous owner) handy while interacting with the fifth wheel too.

  11. We now tie a big red bandana on the steering wheel to remind us that the antenna is up.

  12. I got #13! How about forgetting to chock your trailer wheels as your raising your electric tongue jack your trailer rolls forward and slams into the back of your tow vehicle while your standing between the two. Fortunately the hitch connector hit the rear bumper of the tow vehicle, which stopped the forward motion (the jack stands were down by the way) while I, looking stupid and harboring a Superman complex tried to hold the trailer back when it started rolling, like, yeah, okay, I can stop this thing! A BIG lesson learned!

  13. Anyone tried to drive off with the tow car inPARK? Maybe a new one, but this old
    man did it. did not get too far…

  14. Darthvagrant

    Thank you. I feel less foolish now. I’ve hit three of your episodes.
    On tire problems, I’ve excelled. Two failures,: [1] Severe damage to rt. ft. cap from running an old spare-[2] Damage to rt. rr. wheel well & sidewall from an apparently underinflated tire. Both resulted in a broken belt that came loose and beat the h*** out of everything close.
    I went to the highest load rating tires (E) with pressure monitors on all 6 tires. I also, during winter storage, have the POS up on stand jacks to take the weight off the tires. The latter two issues were at the suggestion of a knowledgeable tire store employee. This has (so far) ended my frequent tire problems. The tire guy alluded to the steel belts in the tires all having two “creases” at each end of the contact spot on the cement. He convinced me that in the 6 to 7 month storage period this was an issue that can lead to broken belts. Made sense to me.

  15. Kathy Copp

    been there, done 1, 2, 6, and 11…….My forehead is getting pretty flat from slapping it and saying “what was I thinking!?”

  16. I have experienced nubers 2,3 4, and 8. It’s always an adventure.

  17. Dick Hinrichs

    Got one to make it 12 goofs.How about connecting the city water to the black tank cleanout and walking away thinking now im all hooked up and ready to relax.What a surprise when i walked into the trailer.Thank God the Dinali was brand new and the black tank was clean.