You’re Not a True RVer Until You’ve Done These 10 Things

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Just because you own an RV, have a Thousand Trails membership, or camp four weekends a year doesn’t mean you’re an RVer. 

So how do you become a true RVer? Let’s take a look at ten things that will happen before you proudly don that badge.

You’re a True RVer if These 10 Things Have Happened

From smelly black tanks to apples rolling around on the floor to smiles when other campers leave, here is a list of ten things that will happen if you travel in an RV long enough.

1. You’ve Had a Black Water Incident

If you think of actual black water, then you may not be a true RVer. The black tank holds all of the waste from the toilet in your RV. 

If you’ve never opened the valve to dump the tank and consequently been sprayed or soiled with bodily waste, just wait. Every true RVer has a black tank story to tell, and although it ends with laughter now, it was no laughing matter at the time.

2. Temporarily Forgotten Where You Are When You Wake Up After a Move

Am I in Texas? Or did we cross over into New Mexico yesterday? If you’ve never woken up wondering where you are, you’re not a true RVer. Especially after long drive days, it’s hard to remember your location.

3. You’ve Had Stuff Fall Out of Cabinets After a Travel Day Because You Forgot to Secure Them

Who’s in charge of securing the inside? True RVers will experience messes and spills. Maybe it was the glass plate in the microwave or the wine bottle in the cabinet that came crashing down during travel.

Opening the door to your RV may surprise you every time you set up at a new campsite. What did we forget to tie down this time?

4. You’ve Gotten Irritated While Trying to Park the RV in a Campsite

Whether you use walkie-talkies or cell phones, you may get angry backing into a campsite. And it will likely happen more than once.

Sometimes it’s the spouse who doesn’t communicate clearly that irritates the driver, or the driver who doesn’t listen that irritates the spouse. Sometimes it’s just a site that’s too small and leads to frustration for everyone.

Pro Tip: We have advice to help you learn how to back up your trailer like a pro.

Frustrated woman puts her head on the steering wheel of an RV.

5. You’ve Watched New Camp Neighbors Struggle to Park the RV in Their Campsite

Along with number four, this fifth statement relates to watching other people get irritated. Your camping neighbors will get frustrated just like you when trying to park. 

If you haven’t had a good chuckle while watching new campers back into their campsite, you’re not a true RVer.

Pull-through campsite surrounded by autumn trees has a truck and travel trailer set up for the weekend as the sun rises.

6. Held Up a Line of Cars While Traveling on a Two-Lane Road

You’ll likely experience going 25 mph in a no-passing zone, holding up a line of cars. Usually, this happens on those uphill, curvy mountain roads.

You may feel relieved for everyone involved when you look ahead and see an overlook or pull-off parking lot. Or when the road splits into additional lanes for a few hundred feet and you can allow the cars to pass you. They’ll certainly be eager to speed past you down the road.

7. Spent an Unusual Amount of Time Talking about Black Tanks or Toilets with other RVers

Campfire talks include incredible hiking trails, the best internet set-ups, and new gadgets that make RV life easier and more convenient. But they also include ample discussions about black tanks and toilets. 

What’s that smell? How often do you sanitize? Why do I have bathroom gnats? If you haven’t had these conversations, you’re not a true RVer yet.

Keep in Mind: If you need help managing black tank odors, we have just the list for you.

8. Tried Boondocking at Least Once

This is not primitive camping. You don’t have to go off in a tent for a night with little supplies. But you have to try boondocking without hook-ups at least once to be considered a true RVer. No water, sewer, or electrical hook-ups for security. Just you and your RV. 

You’re also missing out on some amazing places to see — beautiful sunrises along the ocean or colorful sunsets behind deep canyons — where boondocking is the only option.

9. Felt Happy When the Weekend Was Over

Maybe you started out as a weekend warrior. You lived for the Friday punch clock when you could take your RV out for the weekend. When you become a true RVer, you’ll be happy when those weekend warriors have gone home. 

The parties die down, the loud music turns off, and the campsites empty. When Monday morning comes and all of the weekenders pull out, you can hold your cup of coffee with a smile as you wave goodbye.

10. Planned Your Travels Around Cell Reception

If Campendium has become your best friend, you’ve learned that camper reviews about cell reception are essential to life on the road. You spend your nights scrolling through campground reviews, paying attention only to the bars that Verizon and AT&T provide at that location. 

Haven’t done this or think this is crazy? You aren’t a true RVer. Work, video streaming, and gaming must go on. Life happens on the road, and cell reception and internet capabilities rule.

Every RVer Does These Things At Least Once

If you haven’t experienced all of these things yet, don’t worry. You will if you travel long enough. And you’ll experience most of them more than once. On every trip you take, you’ll probably experience at least one of these things on this list. 

Becoming an RVer is a proud title. You’ve battled through black tank mishaps, broken dishes, and angry passersby honking their horns. But you’ve also experienced amazing camping locations and made memories that will last forever. 

So if you’re not a true RVer yet, don’t worry. Your time is coming. Which item on this list are you looking forward to experiencing on your next trip?

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  1. My worst black tank incident so far has been the time that I spent an hour or more trying to drain the black tank when it was backing up into the toilet. I even brought in the slides and raised and lowered the front. I finally realized that I had pulled teh wrong handle in the wet bay and was draining a gray tank instead.

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