Thursday, November 30, 2023


RV boo-boos—Always good to use a spotter!

By Russ and Tiña De Maris
How do you spell “entertainment” at the RV park? One sure-fire hit is to watch folks try to park their rigs. Some are just soooo disappointing. They roll those rigs in there without a hitch. But on the other hand… There are plenty of folks who just seem to be, well, born with all thumbs. It’s those that need a spotter that make for entertainment.

theaventuredetour on

Not to belabor the point—after all, we’ve had an occasion or two that surely must have given the neighbors a guffaw or two. But this poor guy. Did he have a spotter? We don’t know—but if he did, the spotter must not have been on the hookup side of the rig. Not only did he “take out” the water connection, a close look makes it appear that an electrician will be needed for the fix.

If you’ve seen, witnessed, or had your own “RV boo-boo” moment and have a photo to share with others, let us know. Fill out the form below, and put “boo-boo” on the subject line. Be sure to link your photo with the attachment tool on the form. 

Click or drag a file to this area to upload.

RV boo-boos – No pickup to pull fifth wheel? No problem!

Other stories by Russ and Tiña De Maris


Russ and Tiña De Maris
Russ and Tiña De Maris
Russ and Tiña went from childhood tent camping to RVing in the 1980s when the ground got too hard. They've been tutored in the ways of RVing (and RV repair) by a series of rigs, from truck campers, to a fifth-wheel, and several travel trailers. In addition to writing scores of articles on RVing topics, they've also taught college classes for folks new to RVing. They authored the book, RV Boondocking Basics.



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Tim Bear (@guest_164063)
1 year ago

We eventually see it all, as c/g hosts. The most frustrating one (for me) was a guy w/ a fairly small trailer behind a new Ford he’d just bought. Apparently didn’t know how to back it up himself. But he refused to turn off the ‘auto-backup’ feature, and it automatically kept trying to back him over the entry corners of the site (and everything that was growing there). His SIL finally took over & parked it manually himself.

Lori (@guest_163773)
1 year ago

My wife and I have perfected our ‘spotter-ness’. I wear blue-tooth enabled hearing aids and she connects her phone to the truck’s audio system … and we just have a phone conversation. 😀

Thomas (@guest_163728)
1 year ago

Sometimes the driver is not the problem but it is the ‘guide’. I watched a lady trying to back a pickup camper into a spot and couldn’t get it straight. The more I watched it became apparent that the person doing the ‘guiding’ was giving bad directions. When she finally ignored the ‘guide’ she eliminated most of her problems.

Dick Snyder (@guest_163716)
1 year ago

Best $20 I ever spent was on a pair of small walkie-talkies. No more arm waving, shouting or arguments. I still get out and look about half-way into the site but not because I’m confused. I’ve also learned to go around and try a fresh start if I’ve hopelessly misjudged my starting point.

DW/ND (@guest_163692)
1 year ago

I normally don’t have a problem backing our 34′ class A. I usually drive past the back in site and sizing up the space I need. However, one time in Bismarck, ND I got set up and then a large PU and 5th wheel came up behind me – so as to not hold him up – I pulled forward and to the side. About :20 minutes later – a neighbor came over and assisted – YES I was embarased and frustrated as well. So we shared a couple brews and giggles and my wife received some new instructions about giving flayling arms directions! (I also, years ago, used to drive a semi!)

John (@guest_163669)
1 year ago

When we bought our first (current) RV, a 43 foot DP, wife said she did not want to drive until we went to RV Driving school. The first day was spent in a large parking lot backing up making 45° and 90° turns between cones. Wife did great. If a person is willing to put in the practice, they can feel comfortable and look like they have an idea what they are doing.
It’s like any new learning experience, no substitute for practice.

Thomas D (@guest_163659)
1 year ago

I think it’s great fun, watching newbies back into spots. Just yesterday I wasted a good half hour watching a 40/42 ft tri axle back into a spot. Poor tires ( from all that scrubbing).They really draw a crowd. Did they ever consider parking when they bought all that glitz?

Vincee (@guest_163590)
1 year ago

Every time my wife backs our 37′ DP into a campsite, it seems to draw an audience of gawkers. After a perfect park job, she really is good, some will even walk over to congratulate her for the way she handled our rig. Same when we leave the site my wife will drive ahead for me to hook up our tow dolly, then proceed to drive the rig to the dump station where she’ll load the car onto the dolly while I take care of the dumping. Team work.

Donald N Wright (@guest_163555)
1 year ago

I travel alone, so there is no spotter to wave their arms while talking to their friends on the phone. It usually takes me several in’s and outs and sometimes stopping, getting out of the truck and wondering “what the hell am I doing”.

Spike (@guest_163546)
1 year ago

My home is the last one before the road turns into a narrow gravel country hill road. My driveway has a 45′ wide entrance that I’m pretty sure a semi could get turned around in. The paved road is, however, only about 1 1/2 cars wide with a vertical drop opposite my driveway entrance.

Everyone out for a Sunday drive that comes up that road and decides not to go onto the gravel hill road turns around in my drive.

If I’m bored, there is no better entertainment on a summer afternoon than to open a cold beverage and spend a little time watching people….in cars mind you…try to turn around. If these folks are representative of the general population then 75% of drivers can barely back a car up much less something big like a motorhome or trailer!

Dan (@guest_163488)
1 year ago

If you think campgrounds are entertaining, go to a boat ramp. Take your camera, but not your young children.

Spike (@guest_163550)
1 year ago
Reply to  Dan


Vincee (@guest_163586)
1 year ago
Reply to  Dan

As a former boater, I agree 1000% Dan! When my wife and I were dating I would take her down to the public marina in Buffalo, NY with over 1200 boat slips (and where I used to slip my boat) and four launch ramps. I would pack some snacks and an occasional sandwich, a couple of beers, and a bottle of a nice chardonnay. There was a nice grassy perch on a little hill overlooking the launch and retrieve ramps. Cheap date and entertainment. Today, we still do that after 20 + years together and RV’ing at Keuka Lake SP in the NY Finger Lakes region. We’ll spend an afternoon reading books perched on a hill overlooking the launch/retrieve ramps.

Bob p (@guest_163485)
1 year ago

With an open mind anyone can learn how to park an RV. The key is an open mind, some people are so narrow minded they refuse to admit they’re incompetent. When I went through driver training for semis we had a young woman who had never driven anything larger than her Honda Civic. At the end of our training she could put that 53’ trailer anywhere she wanted. She kept an open mind to what she was learning. I watched my son in law walk along beside a man backing into a camp site telling him which way to turn the wheel for 2 hrs and the guy couldn’t follow directions, he finally gave up, was sitting crooked in the site but he was safely stopped. I’m a firm believer that states should test people for their ability to handle the rig they’re buying, there’s more to it than driving straight down the road.

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