5 RV Tips & Tricks

You’re making plans to set off on a relaxing vacation or exciting adventure in your recreational vehicle but are you prepared for any misadventures or unforeseen difficulties you might encounter on the road?

Dante's View, a 5,450-foot overlook near the edge of the Black Mountains on the eastern border of Death Valley

Tips and tricks to arrive safely at your destination. Pictured above is Dante’s View, a 5,450-foot overlook near the edge of the Black Mountains on the eastern border of Death Valley, affords the best overall views of the southern half of the national park including Badwater. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Preventative measures and maintenance will reduce the risk of problems. Preparatory activities should occupy your to-do list prior to any RV trip. It’s important to make sure that all of “the little things” are in place and working properly. While it does take time, it’s far better to be prepared than face an unanticipated malfunction that sabotages your road trip.

Have a bag of tricks ready for those unexpected and unanticipated glitches that tend to occur at the most inconvenient time on your travels.

Following is a list to get you started thinking about handy items you wouldn’t dare travel without:

1. First Aid Kit & Manual

A first aid kit readily available in an emergency isn’t just a good idea—it’s a necessity for every RV adventure. A well-stocked first-aid kit can help you respond effectively to common injuries and emergencies. You can purchase first-aid kits and refills at the Red Cross store, most drugstores, or assemble your own.

A first aid kit readily available in an emergency isn’t just a good idea—it’s a necessity for every RV adventure.

A first aid kit readily available in an emergency isn’t just a good idea—it’s a necessity for every RV adventure.

Contents of a first-aid kit should include adhesive tape, antibiotic ointment, antiseptic solution or towelettes, bandages, calamine lotion, cotton balls and cotton-tipped swabs, gauze pads and roller gauze in assorted sizes, first aid manual, petroleum jelly or other lubricant, safety pins in assorted sizes, scissors and tweezers, and sterile eyewash.

Familiarize yourself with the items in the first aid kit and know how to properly use them. Check your first-aid kits regularly, at least every three months, to replace supplies that have expired.

The Mayo Clinic is an excellent source for first aid information to help you during a medical emergency.

If you travel with pets, Pet First Aid manuals are even available.

2. Gorilla Tape

Gorilla Tape is a brand of adhesive tape sold by the makers of Gorilla Glue, and available in several sizes and colors, including camouflage, white, and clear. The tape is a reinforced form of duct tape and is marketed as being for the “toughest jobs on planet earth”, and was featured in Popular Science’s “Best of What’s New 2006″.

Gorilla Tape can solve many problems while on the road—and you can do most anything with this stuff. RVers have used it to temporarily repair a sewer hose, keep a driver’s side window from continually falling, and even affix the coffee maker to the counter so that it doesn’t move during travel. It’s better and stronger than packing tape. Everyone should have Gorilla Tape and Glue in their toolbox — you do have a toolbox in your RV, right?

3. Storage Bags

Zip lock storage bags work great for storing all kinds of food stuffs

Zip lock storage bags work great for storing all kinds of food stuffs

Zip lock storage bags work great for storing all kinds of food stuffs including noodles, macaroni, rice, and cereal, as it makes it bug proof, no added weight in RV, disposable, and easy to see how much is remaining.

You’ll need these when you least expect it—gallon sized zip bags are helpful to store snacks and other food, while snack bags help with little items you don’t want to lose or shift around during travel. Grocery bags are great to use as trash bags in your RV.

4. Space Savers

If there’s one thing most people want in their RV, it’s a little more elbow room here and there. Next time you’re browsing the aisles of your favorite variety store, check out the following space savers: over the door hook and hanger holder, over the door shoe organizers or bins to store footwear under the bed, shelf expander, and canned goods holder.

5. RV Travel Checklists

When possible, leave non-perishable items in your RV year round. Make a list of items you remove from your RV—that way when you get ready to venture out next time, packing will be a piece of cake.

Keep an evolving list in your RV—things to pack for each trip, things you don’t use anymore, things you wish you had, etc. These are the type of things you’ll think of while you’re on trips — just jot them down as they come to mind and you’ll have them for next time.

Worth Pondering…

Enjoy life NOW. It has an expiry date!

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