The Lighter Side, 10 things you should NEVER do with your RV!

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February 6, 2009

MH driving under bridge

Ten things you NEVER do with your RV. Some of these are just plain old common sense, some you learn the hard way and some… well; you just don’t do it with an RV!

10) While traveling on the interstate in your RV floor it to see what your top speed is.

9) Assume you can fit under that two lane road bridge that doesn’t have the height posted.

8) Wait until next week to winterize the RV when the current temperature outside is 15 degrees.

7) Attempt to empty the holding tanks when your sewer hose almost reaches the drain outlet.

6) Loan your new RV to your best friend for a week. You may be looking for a new best friend!

5) Back the RV into the campsite hoping there is nothing behind you.

4) Take your 35 foot RV on the scenic mountain parkway where the posted sign reads no RV’s over 25 feet allowed. Trust me on this one!

3) Take your brand new RV on a hunting trip with all the guys, trust me on this one too!

2) Believe the RV salesman who says, you’re truck can pull anything on this lot!

And #1 if you read “My First Real RV Adventure” article on the blog you will remember when you’re camping in bear country you never put your trash bags outside the camper door!

Can you add anything to the list?

Happy Camping,

Mark Polk

RV Education 101

RV University

Leave a Reply


  1. Id have got to consult you here. Which isnt something It’s my job to do! I spend time reading a post which will make people believe. Also, plenty of thanks for allowing me to comment!

  2. Thomas W. Davis

    1997 I think I started Class A RV Ownership.
    Obeying all safety procedures.
    Fast forward to 2007.
    Add: Batwing antenna left in the upright position.
    to: Tree limb left in the overgrown low position.
    Plus: 12Ft 6In high RV Moving under Tree limb left in the overgrown low position.
    Equals $$$.$$ of Chagrin.

  3. Paul Tempesta

    Don’t believe your wife’s uncle when he assures you that there is plenty of clearance for your motorhome. Check it yourself and don’t even try it if you don’t feel comfortable.


  4. davejobes

    #2-My salesmens’ quote word for word. Bought my 1st 5th wheel when I was 26! Tow vehicle was: 1988 F-250 7.3 with all the Hypermax hardware! Didn’t know a thing about GCWR, GVWR, Axle rating, hitch weight, etc…! 3,000 lbs pin weight, plus the trailer was heavier then the 13,200 decal stated! I know better now, I bought a Sportchassis and solved all those problems!

  5. David Lester

    Do not forget to put the pins in that hold that 5th wheel hitch to the bed rails. I was very, very lucky.

  6. Gail Miller

    Going through small towns (especially with a tow vehicle) , don’t trust your GPS to know there is a 12′ underpass ahead.

  7. Chuck

    I have had an RV since 1969:
    I have buried a Class C to the axels in gravel.
    I have ruined tow bars by backing up with a car.
    I have done #13,000 worth of damage entering the US from Canada.
    That is the worst.
    I am full time since 1988 and all is well.

  8. March 25 2009 I’ have never laffed so much in my 73 year’s on this earth’ sure hope
    and Pray that I’ never have some of these’ problem’s……..

    Richard (Dick) Walton Houghton
    in Japan Full timing in my Flair by Fleetwood

    Have one ” BIG Problem ” ever since we had a very cold winter My Transmission
    has took a crap “Won’t move at all, Need a TECH-1-Code Reader SCAN TOOL,
    to be able to find & fix the Problem ‘ ANYONE can you ” HELP ME ??? ………

    [email protected]

  9. George

    Ouch!!! Compared to some of these adventures, it looks like my first 3 years of RV-ing have been okay… so far…

  10. larry bangle

    Don’t assume your rig will fit the car gate on the enterstate just because you have the right change! SCREEEECH!, WHERE DID THE MIRRORS GO?

  11. Don’t assume you do not need to chalk the front wheels of the RV when launching a boat. RV’s will roll backwards and sink.

  12. This morning not going so well came home for lunch checked e-mail clicked on RV 101 saw the 10 things and more I Think this afternoon will be a lot better

  13. Arcee

    Never assume that things will go according to plan when you tell your spouse on the phone that hooking up the fifth wheel is as easy as “back under it until the hitch clicks.” Particularly if you assume that she will have the window rolled down and the stereo off and that she will figure out before she hits the garden shed 15 feet backwards that she just did not hear the click.
    And never demonstrate your displeasure by threatening to add a divorce lawyer on your cell phone speed dial.

  14. bobby Gee

    Never pull the chocks before the fifth-wheel hitch is fully locked — trust me on this one ($1,600 to the truck and more to the trailer)

  15. J T Johnson

    Never back into a snow bank or ice formation,there a good chance you will buy a new generator exhaust pipe or worse.

  16. Dave Dulmage

    Don’t assume that your awning is locked. Ours opened up in high winds like a sail. Exciting to say the least.

  17. Dalton Tamney

    I will add: never assume that your tow vehicle can’t pull your trailer when it is just idling. I got out of my 4Runner at a weigh scale to get the ticket, didn’t put it into park. Next thing I knew the trailer was moving for some reason. 4Runner had no trouble sauntering off with my trailer headed for a parked semi. I’m 68 but I doubt that an Olympic athlete could have moved faster than I did running after it, jumping into the 4Runner and putting on the brakes. Lesson learned.

  18. Steve Hill

    NEVER, give in, and let your wife drive your company car onto the tow dolly for the first time, and proceed to drive it OVER the ramps, and slam into the rock shield. Then, when she gets it back onto the ramps, she sets the PARKING BRAKE without telling you. Then you DRAG a Chevy Impala for 10 feet before you realize something is drasticlly wrong. Then, when you remove your foot from the accelerator, the coach stops so abrubtly that you forget to set the air brake, so that when you walk back to the car, and release the parking brake, the whole rig starts motoring away. Then, rather that reset the parking brake in the car until you can stop the coach, you jump out of the car, and over the tongue of the tow dolly, and sprint to the coach, jump in, and hit the brakes, while yelling at your spouse for not hitting the brakes, because she didn’t know that one of those “big gas pedals” is a brake. It was a chilly 4hr ride home.

  19. 1. DO NOT BUY a cheap high mileage ‘gently used to pull horse trailers’ Class A to move your wife + dogs cross country to that new job, she never forgave me for hocking her engagement ring to buy that new engine and transmission!
    2. When it says ‘soft shoulder’ on the Trans Canadian Highway mountain passes, plan on 2 Large Tow Trucks! P.S. Blocking the Dolly Tires and setting the tow car brakes helps keep the whole rig from getting blown off the cliffs by the 18 wheelers as they pass in the rainy cold night! Her father will always remind you!
    3. It is possible to find your overloaded rigs’ terminal velocity when the brakes overheat on the downside of Independence Pass in the Rockies! Hint: Try Low.
    4. Newlyweds and 2 large dogs can live for 6 months in a damp, moldy, and muddy RV on a 110 outlet behind the Elks Lodge in a NW rainforest, once!
    5. It takes the largest 12 wheel tow truck you have ever seen to winch out an MCI Bus from that puddled pasture the gray haired volunteer told you was ‘fine’ at SunNFun Airshow in Florida. Hint: If you see cranes splashing, it is a swamp!
    6. Lastly, it is possible to sink an 800# Valkyrie Tourer motorcycle vertically to the axles on the ‘dry high side’ of said ‘Parking Lot’! Hint: A long winch cable helps.

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  21. Tom Hargreaves

    Also, don’t bother to chock the wheels on the trailer before you UNhitch; after all, that parking spot looks pretty level. And if you don’t chock the wheels, by all means remind yourself VERY vigorously NOT to grab that 1000-pound-tongue-weight tongue as the jack is happily slipping off the block or bending merrily away as the trailer answers the call of gravity.

    Be sure to remind your significant other at this point that she COULD be helping instead of rolling around on the ground making those silly giggling sounds.

    Trust me on this.


  22. Jerry Thornton

    You can back up a tow vehicle, had to do it at Mexico border crossing when they
    shut down lane after i was thru the no turn zone between steel pillars, tow vehicle kept wanting to jacknife but mexicans selling their wares directed me backwards, etc until i could turn to go into another lane. This was all done with
    my 32′ class A with tow dolley and vehicle on it.

  23. Jack and Nancy

    When they tell you that you can’t back up a motorhome with a vehicle on a tow dolly on the back, they really mean it. And whatever you do, NEVER unhook the dolly in a fit of anger, then stand there and watch the dolly and vehicle drift backwards toward the barn you passed on the way into the campground, knowing you can’t get the doors open on the vehicle as they are locked and the keys are in the motorhome. Of course this was done in front of every camper in the campground to their amusement and our chagrin.

  24. William Pelkey

    Also never assume that the your friends yard is hard enough to hold your 35 ft class A . Even if he says it is . Having just moved in ,he didn’t know the past year there was a new gas line put in. Neighbors came over to tell us. TO LATE!

  25. Bob

    I know my Ford and a 5r can go 55. I know how steep a hill I can climb comfortably. I know how to keep rpms aroung 2k, at least most of the time. Why on earth would I need (or want) to know the top speed? If there’s a fire behind me, I’ll be going the top if the road can take it, whether I know what it was before or not. I don’t need bragging rights, Hu Hu!

  26. Fred

    If you have a 5th wheel and pull it with a full cab, short-bed pickup, don’t attempt a 90 degree turn without shifting the hitch to the rear position.

    I busted out two rear windows in two days and have a weird vertical dent in the window posts – one on the right and one on the left. I did the second one at a toll booth turnaround on the New Jersey turnpike. Duh.

  27. Cindi

    Don’t assume since the rv spot “looks” level that it is and that it is “close enough”
    we’re replacing our carpet in our bathroom because we werent level enough and things backed up

  28. 11. Don’t assume that that 50 amp socket is on a 50 amp breaker. Yes, at a very
    well known RV park they had a 50 amp socket on a 30 amp line.
    12. Don’t try to “straighten out” the sewer connection on the coach while dumping
    the black tank.

  29. mayorofwoolerton

    I found a few problems with the list.
    9) Assume you can fit under that two lane road bridge that doesn’t have the height posted. What of us with tent trailer that can see over are whole rig? I have gone under 2 meter signs
    8) Wait until next week to winterize the RV when the current temperature outside is 15 degrees. 15 degrees celcius is a nice cool day great for travelling. I will wait to 0 degrees to winterize.

  30. J. Reeder

    I might add a number 11 to the list. Do not, repeat do not assume while walking your dog that he or she shoos up a simple black and white kitty. It could be and more than likely is, a skunk. Ask my wife.

  31. MarieBraswell

    Thanks for my laugh of the day! So far I have not encountered any of the afore mentioned problems, but I will be on the look-out! Marie

  32. Jim

    Do Not UNBLOCK your trailer wheels before hitching up to your tow vehicle. Please don’t ask how I know this.

  33. I think really knowing your vehicle really well includes knowing what the top speed is. This would include my RV. 😉

  34. That’s very funny Nick! This tops my worst NEVER do with an RV, at least up until now!

  35. A few years ago, in Bremerton, Washington, I proved that you can drive an MCI bus conversion up a hill so steep that your front wheels are on the pavement and your rear bumper is dug into the pavement, but your drive wheels are four inches off the ground.

    I also proved that while you can drive into this situation, you can’t drive back out of it! That requires a very large tow truck, several police officers to direct traffic, a Haz-Mat crew once the tow truck tears a hole in your bottom radiator hose, someone to repair said radiator hose, a purchase of many gallons of anitfreeze, and coverage by the local news media.