Stupid RV tricks we’d rather forget

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By Russ and Tiña De Maris
If you’ve spent any kind of time as an RVer, you have one (or, sadly, more) experience you’d just as soon be able to erase from your memory.

Here’s a short list of some of the things some RVers who’ve carried Progressive Insurance fit into the category:

1. Driving off with steps extended.

2. Backing into a post or other “stationary object.”

3. “Woops!” miscalculation on overhead or side clearance.

4. Improperly connecting tow lights.

5. Running out of fuel.

Down on the list, but certainly one that they’ll never be allowed to forget: Driving away from an RV stop and leaving behind a member of the group. Typically those left behind were folks like spouses, pets or grandparents. Do this one yourself? Don’t feel bad — 20 of the respondents to the survey reported making this major gaff.

We often recommend preflight checklists for RVers, but obviously some of these boobers just don’t fit on the list. Got any “confessions” you’d like to make? Let us know in the comments below.

Photo: Personal booboo, courtesy R&T De Maris, after too long a day on the road.

##RVDT1406

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Jane Baum
1 month ago

Forgetting to roll on the awning, leaving a campsite with lots of trees….whoops!

BadWolfe
1 month ago

So many to choose from… The worst I think was with my first camper 40 years ago. During the many times of putting it on and then off of the truck, I would inevitably forget to disconnect the pigtail power cord…. Kept having to rewire it… It was like an “out of sight, out of mind” thing. If I had only known the power of the Checklist back then!

Jerry
1 month ago

Forgot to close the black tank valve. You don’t want the rest of the story.

Paul
1 month ago

Stupid RV tricks we’d rather forget.Ignoring a flash flood warning. Hey, they were always wrong in the past. This time I found myself, shovel in hand, spending 7 hours diverting the course of a now wet dry-wash, jacking up each tire, loading rocks underneath and finally barely getting free after the rain had passed.

Erinn
1 month ago

1st trip in our 38′ MH, got great spot, & start set up. I tell DH, “It looks to me, like we’re a bit close to the water connection?!” He sez, “We’re fine, open the slides!” So, I start to open the huge full-wall slide, only to hear a “clunk” so I stopped. I SWEAR, he says, “It’s supposed to sound like that, OPEN the thing!” So, I finish opening & we continue set up. 2 mins later, he yells, “Oh ****, close the slide!” I glance up & see WATER, SHOOTING EVERYWHERE! Sure nuff, we hadn’t “hit” the water connection, we SHEARED IT COMPLETELY OFF! Yep! The OR state park we were at, had such NICE, KIND employees – they shut down 1/3 of the park tho (how embarrassing!), but replaced entire spigot, within about 30 mins. We now have a stick, w/length of ea slide marked on it! LESSON: LISTEN to your spouse; sometimes we do know what we’re talking about! Cost of repair to fix dents close to $800, as well!

James Wills
1 month ago
Reply to  Erinn

The Lesson of listening to your spouse is one I have learned over and over again, now that She is doing all the driving she needs to learn the same lesson.

Robbie
1 month ago

We always double check, but one time, left the flagpole and flag attached to the rear ladder. Fellow camper ran out and stopped us; just told him we were leaving the park patriotically. 🙂

Mike Rodgers
1 month ago

I didn’t latch a slide out tray in the basement. It slide out while we we’re driving on I-70 at 55 mph. People we’re giving us the gull wing wave as they drove buy. Pulled over too quickly, hit a steel reflector bar on the shoulder and it ripped the slide out tray out of the rig. A few items went missing. A good samaritan helped me put it all back together.
Thought I was smarter than the state park and decided to pull into a site the opposite way. A huge pine tree jumped out and smashed my slide out awning. I had to cut it free just to get the slide out out. New awning and tube cost me about $1000.
There’s more but I have to take a break from the pain full memories. Why are all these lessons so expensive?

Irv
1 month ago

• Major one: When hooking up the Equalizer Hitch, I forgot to put the pin in the bar at the hitch. I noticed it at the first gas stop. It had worked its way out of the hitch by several inches and was held in place by the “L”-bar at the trailer frame. If it had fallen forward, it might have grabbed the pavement and tried to flip the trailer and truck.

• Inconvenient one: Took the trailer 1 mile to a car wash. When we left home, my wife asked if I needed the bars for the Equalizer Hitch. I said no, we were only going a short distance at 30mph. When we got to the car wash, there was a slight rise into the bay. The bottom of the Equalizer Hitch, got caught on the rise. I stood on the trailer back bumper to raise the tongue a little so my wife could back up. I had to drop the trailer back at the lot and make a 40min round trip home to get the bars.

It hadn’t done that on other visits. I realized that, duh!, without the bars the tongue drooped.

jillie
1 month ago

To avoid the stupider then jupiter crowd we always make sure we circle the camper twice then as we pull out? Again get out and look. And I mean look. I have heard worse and really don’t want to be mentioned and called out we make sure things are air tight. Although our lock on the power cord would not stay shut so we duct taped it. Does that count?

Snayte
1 month ago

We use between the wheel “chocks” for our travel trailer. One time we were on a site that was on top of a hill so I added the lynx chock in front of the wheels for extra peace of mind. We were leaving before dawn on departure day and I could not get that trailer to go down that hill. Finally the guy in the site next to use comes over and points out that we forgot the chock.

So much for a quiet get away.

Last edited 1 month ago by Snayte
JACK AVERYT
1 month ago

leaving an overnight park with storage doors open. Also, leaving an overnight park with a slide out OUT.

Jane
1 month ago

Drove away with fuel hose still in gas tank. Thankfully it was done pumping gas. Turns out hoses are magnically attached so no damage

Traveler
1 month ago

Jack knifing while turning around? ✅

Bill
1 month ago

Driving our 22′ Sunflyer across Golden Gate Bridge northbound in the far right lane we kept hearing a muted scraping sound. When we pulled in at the viewpoint on the Marin side I was amazed to see that the step I had left out had been scraping on the bridge curb. Only damage was the step rug worn thru and some paint underneath!

Dan
1 month ago

I’ve got 40 years worth of dumb RV tricks. I don’t know where to start. I started RV traveling on my own when I was 18. My Dad and I did a really nice van conversion on my 62 Corvair Greenbrier.

Martha Goudey
1 month ago

We stopped at a Pilot gas station. While Ben pumped gas I went back to the trailer to use the bathroom. It was covid time and I didn’t want to use the public restroom. I’m finished and getting ready to get out of the trailer when it starts moving. I didn’t have my phone and was panicking, but nothing to do. Could he really have not noticed I wasn’t in the truck?? Finally he stopped on the far side of the parking lot and I jumped out of the trailer, shaking. He really did know I was missing but thought I had gone into the Pilot. Scary. He assured me he would never forget me but after reading this list, I’m not so sure.

Joseph
1 month ago

Who me? Oh yeah! First outing with a “new to us” travel trailer, I got too close to our house (hip roof) and drug the fiberglass side on the gutter. I didn’t know anything had happened until we set up in the campground. WTH happened? Wasn’t too bad though, buffed out nicely and the gutter was not damaged either.

Michelle
1 month ago

Not since last year. We won’t be doing it again anytime soon. Those of you that have are braver than us! Be safe out there.😊😷

Don
1 month ago

I’m guilty as charged on two of those counts, your honor. And you forgot to mention a third: driving off with the entry door awning extended! The older I get, the harder it is to get everything right… 🙁

Ronald Payne
1 month ago

Sheared off fantastic vent cover in shopping mall covered parking garage,duh! what was i thinking!!Lesson learned,stay away from parking garages,it was a class b.