Tuesday, November 28, 2023


Readers share their worst RVing mistakes: One RVer scraped his RV’s A/C completely off!

In this new column, we share some of the not-so-brilliant things we, the RVtravel.com staff, and you, our readers, have done while RVing. Last week I shared a few of the dumb things I have done. We hope that in addition to a chuckle or two, we can learn from others’ RVing mistakes and not make them ourselves!

Please leave a comment in the form below with your own RVing mistakes and “oops” moments. There have to be many among both our seasoned and newbie RVers…

Lasso those branches!

Shannon P. wrote about their experience with low branches. “We drove into a pull-through site at Field Springs State Park and didn’t even notice the low branches until we were already committed. The driveway dipped on the way in so backing up was going to be nearly impossible. In the end, we were able to leave by lassoing the branches with some rope and pulling them clear so we could drive out. Fortunately, pine branches are very flexible.”

Trailer on the loose!

Mark H. had a runaway trailer and the trailer survived! He writes, “Unhooked the trailer from the hitch with nothing but a piece of 2×6 wood behind one of the tires. As soon as the hitch popped off the ball, the trailer rolled over the piece of wood and slid down a moderate slope about 20 feet. The only thing that stopped the trailer was the tongue jack and some loose gravel. If that hadn’t stopped the trailer, it would have gone over a bank and landed in a mess of blackberry vines.”

Goodbye air conditioner

James J. wrote to us about scraping his RV’s A/C right off the roof. He shares, “While driving in rural Virginia I got off the interstate to get gas. As I drove towards a train overpass I never thought of the height. At 30 mph my A/C unit was torn completely off. That was awful. I now have my RV’s height taped to the dash.”

Followed the GPS and smelled like a winery for days

Donna P. didn’t read the fine print at the end of their RV park reservation and followed the GPS instead. She wrote, “We were in Michigan looking for our campground. We followed GPS coordinates, which was our first mistake, I guess. We were told to turn right but it was a dirt road so we passed it up. Turned around and went back and GPS said this was the road to take. It ended up NOT being the road as it was a snowmobile road. We found a place to turn around and after unhooking, backing up and going forward close to nine times, we got on our way back. Ever see those signs about a tumbling truck on exit ramps? That was my DH in the RV while I followed in our tow. Finally got to the campground and was told we shouldn’t have followed GPS, but the instructions were on the last page of their website at the bottom. Thank you—that was very helpful. :-/ We lost several bottles of wine, broken dishes, and glasses. Cupboards flew open. We smelled like a winery for days. After cleaning up, we went out for dinner at a local mom-and-pop diner—it was the highlight of our day!”

Wiggling around a gas station

Jim J. reported about his gas station problems. “Too tight turn into a station gas lane. 21′ TT with a crossover SUV. I left room for traffic to pass while waiting with my turn signal on to turn into a gas lane when it opened. No less than three youngish drivers (college town) paid no attention and zipped into that lane. In frustration, I saw I could enter another lane. I KNEW it would be a tight turn, but I could do it—until another car cut me off forcing the turn even tighter. No damage, but I had to blind back out of the lane with literally three inches of wiggle room. Fortunately, a middle-aged guy who understood trailers helped me pause the ‘kids’ and do the forth and back wiggle without hitting anything.”

Please share your RVing “oops” mistake story

Humor can be the best medicine and mistakes the best lesson! Have you had some unfortunate “oops” mistakes during your RVing adventures? We would love to hear them. Please fill out the form below and include a photo if you have one. Thank you!

Click or drag a file to this area to upload.
Nanci Dixon
Nanci Dixon
Nanci Dixon has been a full-time RVer living “The Dream” for the last six years and an avid RVer for decades more! She works and travels across the country in a 40’ motorhome with her husband. Having been a professional food photographer for many years, she enjoys snapping photos of food, landscapes and an occasional person. They winter in Arizona and love boondocking in the desert. They also enjoy work camping in a regional park. Most of all, she loves to travel.



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Neal Davis (@guest_259887)
21 days ago

Thank you, Nanci.

Mikal H (@guest_259685)
22 days ago

We never trust GPS in an RV. I look every campground up, BEFORE booking, on Google Earth and visually see the landscape and access roads. Reading reviews will usually bring out items like steep entrances and muddy roads, etc. that may not be visible online. If the campground is quite a ways off a main road I will call first and ask about current access conditions.

As I write campground reviews in the RV Life site I mention any of these things to help future RVers thinking of using the camp. That kind of info means as much or more than how clean the bathroom was. I also usually post 8 to 12 pictures to show these things.

Vince S (@guest_259651)
22 days ago

Branches are my nemesis. We love camping where there’s shade just as much as we enjoy open meadows or desert. Unfortunately, I am typically so focused on where the rear wheels are going, I’m less inclined to notice what’s trying to snag my awning head covers. It’s a horrible feeling knowing your awning and slide covers are fastened to your coach with the same cheap lil’ screws used to attach your side markers…..

Gary Bate (@guest_259642)
22 days ago

The biggest mistake I’ve made (numerous times) is trusting Google navigation!!! I can’t tell you how many times it will have me cut off the main road and drive countless times around residential neighborhoods to probably save 30 seconds. Yeah right Google, thanks for that!!! Ooh I did recently back off my leveling blocks with my newly installed stabilizing jacks down! Luckily no damage done, my bad.

Tommy Molnar (@guest_259612)
22 days ago

We were boondocking in Rome, OR at a place we go anytime we’re headed north on Hwy 95. We unhooked our TT and it rolled back about three feet. The ground was so soft the tongue jack sunk into the soft ground. Down SO far, the jack could not be raised enough to hook back onto our truck. We stacked up enough wood so our stabilizers could be used to steady the front while we pulled the tongue jack up and stacked wood under it to finally get hooked back on our hitch. Luckily the tongue jack did not bend, which would have been a whole other disaster.

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