RV Secrets It’s About Time You Knew

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Everyone has secrets. RV life is no different. Although there are many benefits to an RV lifestyle, unspoken concepts can change how you feel about your RV lifestyle. Let’s take a look at some RV secrets you should know.

We’re Confessing 10 RV Secrets About the RV Lifestyle

Some of these secrets may still be game-changers for an individual contemplating an RV life. Knowing these secrets can help you cope better with the problem and be more excited about your new lifestyle. 

1. The 10-Year Rule is Real … But There Are Ways Around It

The 10-year rule states that regardless of the quality or status of the RV, RV parks can ban any RV that’s more than 10 years old. Though upscale RV parks are more likely to enforce this rule, other parks may as well. Although controversial, RV parks enforce this rule because many older RVs aren’t well maintained and can be a hazard. 

Camping chairs placed outside cozy retro travel trailer Caravan under tree before sunset near the river in peaceful countryside.

However, there are ways around the 10-year rule. Consistently maintaining your RV can prolong the life of your exterior. Also, take care of any rust as soon as you see it because a small dot can grow until the whole piece has rusted away. Finally, a quick phone call to the RV park before arriving can go a long way toward the hosts overlooking the 10-year rule. 

2. It’s Not Always Instagram-Worthy

Despite what you see on Instagram, an RV life is not always Instagram-worthy. This RV secret applies to many other lifestyles as well. Most people understand that social media is unrealistic, but it can still be challenging to temper your expectations. In the real world, you have to deal with a lack of privacy at parks, cleaning your black tank, and living in a small space. Unfortunately, social media frequently misrepresents these issues.

Keep in Mind: Instagram doesn’t misrepresent some of the amazing views you can find RVing! Check out these most Instagrammable places to park your RV.

3. Think You Don’t Need a TOAD with a Motorhome? Think Again

A TOAD is any vehicle you tow behind your motorhome. Although many believe a TOAD is unnecessary when you have a motorhome, it has benefits. For example, a TOAD is excellent if you need groceries. It’s unrealistic to pack up your motorhome every time you run an errand. Day trips, especially on rough or less-traveled roads, can also be difficult to manage with your RV.

Motorhome tows a silver SUV down a two lane road as motorcycles pass.

4. It’s Not Always Cheaper Than Sticks and Bricks Living

Downsizing to an RV can prove more economical. But for many, the RV lifestyle isn’t cheaper than your typical brick-and-mortar option. Even if your RV life isn’t more expensive, it can often be similar in cost. In cases where the price for both lifestyles are comparable, the deciding factor should be which lifestyle better suits you. 

5. Things Break … Like, a Lot

This is one of those unpleasant RV secrets no one likes thinking about. Regardless of how well you secure your belongings, they’re going to shift as you travel. Rough, country roads that cause a lot of bumps can also cause a lot of shifting and damage. But there are some things you can do to reduce the number of broken items. For example, remove items from countertops and replace glass with plastic.

A woman on the phone stand beside her broken down vehicle with the hood popped.

6. Free Long-Term Camping Is Actually Really Expensive (at First)

Free long-term camping sounds ideal, but getting the most out of your free camping is a true RV secret. In many cases, free campsites require expensive start-up costs because many free long-term campgrounds have fewer amenities than paid campgrounds. Although many can live without these amenities, you may need to spend a bit on replacing or supplementing these amenities

For example, paid campgrounds frequently include power hookups. But these hookups aren’t available at free camping. Therefore, if you want to use power for your RV, you must purchase an alternative power source such as a generator or solar power kit. Although these may save you money in the long run, they can be costly to install. 

7. Even with the Best Gear, Wi-Fi Can Be Sketchy

A mobile life can make finding good Wi-Fi difficult, and the best Wi-Fi locations can be some of the best RV secrets. Because many full-time RVers use the internet for their income, this can be a major concern. Even if you do manage to find a strong signal, there’s no guarantee that you’ll be able to find it at your next stop. RV parks typically provide Wi-Fi. But the connection could be spotty and congested.

A mom works at her laptop in her home office while her sun draws next to her at the desk.

8. Google Maps Is Terrible for RVs

Navigating used to require a physical map and a pen. But with smartphones, most people use Google Maps or other GPS phone apps to determine their routes. Some of Google Maps’ information can be outdated or inaccurate. Additionally, Google Maps can be wildly inaccurate when you’re on minor roads. For many with an RV, secret and secluded roads can bring some of the best adventures. And when driving a motorhome or towing an RV, wrong directions can be dangerous because turning around on narrow streets can be difficult. 

Because of these errors, many other GPS apps work better for RVers. Additionally, there are ways you can make Google Maps work better for you. Whatever option you choose, make sure that you find a safe route to your next destination.

Pro Tip: Check out one of our favorite trip planner apps to help you find safe RV routes.

9. RV Parks Are SO EXPENSIVE. Here’s How to Get a Better Price

RV parks can be so expensive. But there are RV secrets to find a better price. First, consider using a camping discount service. There are many available, so you can often use various sites to compare prices. You can also get a better price for more extended stays. For example, weekly or monthly rates can be better than the rate for a single night.

Woman walks toward a row of motorhomes in an RV park.

10. Doing DIY Upgrades and Maintenance Is Actually Easy and Can Save You Thousands

Although DIY upgrades and maintenance can seem daunting to a new RVer, some of them can be very easy and save you thousands of dollars. A well-known RV secret is that essential car maintenance can be very similar to RV maintenance. So, if you’re good at and enjoy car maintenance, you may enjoy RV maintenance. If you don’t feel comfortable doing the work yourself, you can always take your RV to a professional. 

Now You Know Some of the Biggest Secrets About RV Life

Now you know these big secrets about the RV lifestyle. Regardless of whether you’re new to the RV life or have some previous experience, knowing these secrets can help you be a better RVer and enjoy your new lifestyle more. Do you have any other RV secrets to share?

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