Dear RV park owners,
Why, why, why (!!) do you put things in campgrounds right where I’m trying to turn my RV that are completely out of my line of sight? Is there some conspiracy between the RV parts suppliers, RV insurance companies, and the campgrounds?
Every RVer here knows exactly what I’m going on about. Rocks. Stumps. Power pedestals. Water spigots.
In so many RV campgrounds it seems there are things that are well below where I can see them that pose an imminent danger to either my RV or tow vehicle.
For example, I was recently staying at an RV park that was best suited to small RVs. There were the usual pedestals and other obstacles in my site, which I walked before backing. But there were also boulders on the other side of the street for some reason that were just low enough that I couldn’t see them no matter what.
So, my solution here was to move a bit, get out, and then move some more, lest I leave a permanent reminder on my pickup truck that the RV park owner in question had it out for nice paint and wrinkle-free fenders.
I’m really surprised I’ve never seen anything even in social media forums about this. But it’s something that bugs me almost any time I check into a new park. There’s that rock or those posts in the ground and they always have some paint transfer on them.
Now, I’m fortunate in that I’m really, really good at backing up. Where my RV sits when it’s at our home is down a long driveway and then it has to be navigated around a sharp 90° bend. I’m not trying to brag, but I can usually make this target by myself in one shot. But I also don’t have anything below the sightline of my truck that’s going to leave a reminder of that time I didn’t make the turn.
If you share my feelings about this, there are actually a few solutions to the issue.
I always encourage anyone, even if you have a great co-pilot, to walk the place where you’re going. They should, and you should too, keep an eye out for rocks, stumps or anything else that could leave a mark on the truck or trailer.
I also use this opportunity to plug in my power protector so I can determine if the power at the site is worth my backing into anyway.
If there is a particular nuisance item that might represent a challenge to get around, one of the options might be to take those tennis ball markers that you can get for aiding in hitching up a trailer and place those where they extend into your line of sight. Usually, you don’t have to put more than the two that come in the package to let you know where the obstacles are.
Another way to handle this is to take note of where the obstacles are and put red solo cups right before the place where you might contact the obstacle. While you’ll still not be able to see the item, the sound of a red solo cup meeting its demise is pretty distinct and certainly a much better sound than sheet metal (or fiberglass) against a rock.
I also have some cones that we bring with us that can denote those annoying out-of-site items. But the cups are my favorite just for the sound they make.
I have been to many RV parks where I watch folks backing in and just wait for “that sound.” More often than not they don’t want my assistance and then won’t look me in the eye after they’ve hit something at the site.
What would really make me happy is if RV parks invested in golf flags and put them as site markers rather than things that were below your line of sight in an RV. The flags could even have your site number on them. They would also help you find the site, especially at larger parks.
A flag at the pedestal would also help show where that was for a lot of reasons, including the parks likely having to replace far fewer of these. As it is now, I challenge you to go to any RV park and not find at least one pedestal that’s been the loser at a game of RV fender contact.
Another option is portable golf flags. I found sets of these on Amazon that were under $25, which is certainly far less expensive than resolving any unplanned contact. These flags are also portable and compact and, should you choose to do a bit of digging, you could bury the cup that comes with them and practice some putting.
No matter what, in the hundreds of RV parks that I’ve been to as I traverse this wonderful land, it’s the minority that doesn’t have something that’s going to cause damage to the unsuspecting RVer. I could excuse this if some RVs were skateboards or something like that, but the fact that all RVs are larger vehicles with blind spots makes me wonder why RV parks haven’t done something other than creating the most hazardous situation a paint job could possibly encounter.
And let’s not even talk about seeing people knock the ends of their black tanks off. Yikes.