Tips & Tutorials

RV Tips for Beginners

As a popular RV campground in Los Angeles, California, Cali Lake RV Resort hosts new and seasoned RV goers year round, offering our staff many opportunities to master best practices, share important tips & tricks, and learn what NOT to do when operating an RV. Using information gathered throughout the years, we’ve curated a pretty detailed checklist we feel any RV beginner should keep handy when learning the ropes. Keep reading, and make sure to leave us a comment if you believe this information was helpful!

A: RV Tips for Beginners: Before You Drive

  • Check all systems before operating the RV:
    1. Jacks
    2. Slides
    3. Awnings
    4. Water Pump
    5. LP Gas Tank
    6. Generators
    7. Electric
    8. Refrigerators
    9. Mirrors
    10. Backup Cameras
  • Inspect interior / exterior of vehicle for damage before operating RV.
  • For renters/first-time buyers, ask the RV rental/sales agent for a quick tutorial on operating the following:
    1. Connecting power, sewer, and water lines
    2. How to empty tanks
    3. LP Gas
    4. Generator (if applicable)
    5. Operating refrigerator(s)
    6. AC(s) and heater(s)
    7. Antenna(s) / Satellites(s)
    8. Jacks
    9. Slides
  • Learn your RV’s height, and ALWAYS respect height clearance signs, as some underpasses can be too low, putting you and your family at risk for severe injuries and/or damage to the RV.
  • Keep all insurance, registration, and rental company information at hands reach at all times.

B: RV Tips for Beginners: Driving an RV

Pro Tip: Practice driving and parking the RV in an empty parking lot before embarking on your trip.
  • Always ensure all doors are locked, batteries are on, and all jacks, awnings, and slides are closed before operating the RV.
  • Always check backup camera(s) while operating vehicle in reverse.
  • Learn your blind spots, and watch for space needed for wide turns, as longer RVs tend to tail swing (a.k.a. kick-out at the back) and can seriously harm anyone/thing in its way.
  • To ensure optimal performance, never operate an RV at an excessive speed. Highway speeds should not exceed 70MPH under any circumstances.

C: RV Tips for Beginners: Parking an RV

Pro tip: Parking an RV is best executed by two people. You should always have eyes inside and outside the RV when parking and operating jacks, slides, and awnings to watch out for small animals, children, and debris.
  • Before parking, confirm if your site is a Pull-through (head-in) parking or Back-in parking. This will ensure your water, sewer and power lines are facing the correct side for easy connection.
  • Make sure you park on flat, level ground.
  • Always have your partner walk the RV before operating jacks, slides, and awnings. Again, make sure to pay attention for small animals, children, and debris before operating any part of the RV. This is of VITAL importance, as RV’s tend to have many hidden compartments.
  • ALWAYS put jacks down before operating slides.
    • Using your bubble leveler (usually found near leveling jack panel) it is recommended jacks be leveled in this order:
      1. Front
      2. Back
      3. Sides
    • When using jacks, make sure RV tires do not lift off of the ground. Jacks are used to add additional stability but should never fully take the weight of the entire RV alone.
  • Open slides and awnings, ensuring to keep an eye out for possible hazards.
  • Plug in electrical & sewer lines. You want to do this last to avoid slides getting caught on power / sewer lines when opening.

D: RV Tips for Beginners: Preparing for Departure

Pro tip: NEVER drive with slides, awnings, satellites, or antennas open.
  • Turn off all appliances.
  • Always have your partner walk the RV before operating jacks, slides, and awnings. Make sure to pay attention for small animals, children, and debris before operating any part of the RV. This is of VITAL importance, as RV’s tend to have many hidden compartments.
  • Close all awnings and slides first. Again, make sure to pay attention for small animals, children, and debris before operating any part of the RV.
  • Lift jacks (first front, then back).
  • Safely disconnect and store water, sewer, and electric lines.

Cali Lake RV Resort is located in Los Angeles, California, and is known for it’s peaceful atmosphere, proximity to highly sought after tourist attractions, and family-friendly environment. To learn more about Cali Lake RV Resort, or to simply reserve for your next RV adventure, visit www.calilakerv.com.

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