We’ve Traveled Full-Time for Over 4 Years – These Are the Tricks We Swear by to Make RV Life as Easy as Possible

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After four years of traveling in an RV full-time, we learned a few tips and tricks to make our lives easier. When traveling around the country in an RV, you want to simplify as much as possible!

By simplifying life, you can spend more time actually enjoying the RV lifestyle.

Today, we’re sharing some of the secrets for making RV life as easy as possible while on the road. Let’s get started.

Can You Really Make RV Life Easier?

The old saying, “Work smarter, not harder,” applies to many aspects of life, including RV life. In RVing, you’ll find that many small tasks can take up your time.

Failing to do some of them can cause issues down the road, so making them as easy as possible is the key. Using technology and other tools to your advantage can make RV life a little easier.

Close up of hands holding a red mug that reads "Happy Camper" while sitting next to a campfire

20 Tricks We Swear by to Make RV Life as Easy as Possible

The more time you spend checking off tasks, the less time you have for adventures and enjoying your RV. Here are 20 tricks we think will help you spend more time doing the activities you love.

1. Use RV Arrival and Departure Checklists

No matter whether you’ve been RVing for years or are just getting started, it’s easy to skip a step during your arrival or departure from a site. 

This can result in minor mistakes like leaving items behind or significant errors that could damage your RV or cause an injury. 

By following a checklist, you help ensure that everything gets done in the correct order. This helps avoid any potential issues. Additionally, it can expedite the process for maximum efficiency.

Pro Tip: Unsure of how to start your checklists? You can use ours! It comes in our 41-Page Organized RVer Bundle.

2. Use an RV GPS While Driving

When towing an RV, you can’t use just any old GPS. You now have to worry about height restrictions and if the route is friendly to larger vehicles. 

Some bridges and tunnels also have propane restrictions. Using an RV GPS while towing can help eliminate the chances of finding yourself in a sticky situation.

An RV GPS works similar to a standard unit, but it factors your RV’s size and any road restrictions. 

These units also often come loaded with resources and other valuable information for RVers. You can even find truck stops, campgrounds, and dump stations while on the go.

3. Download and Use RV Travel Apps

Mobile phone apps help you with practically everything, including RVing. Some of our most-used apps include RVLife, GasBuddy, AllTrails, and Campendium

They help us save a tremendous amount of time and money when planning, fueling up, and looking for hiking trails and places to stay. 

They’re all either free or relatively inexpensive and, if they do come with a cost, they are worth every penny. 


4. Buy a Thousand Trails Membership

We’ve easily saved thousands of dollars by using our Thousand Trails membership over the past four years. You can save money by joining and can often enjoy full hook-up sites and many resort amenities like pools and other activities. 

While some of their resorts are better than others, they make it easy to find campgrounds near some of the most popular tourist locations. We love finding a Thousand Trails with a great location to get work done and then go out and explore on the weekends. 

Not having to worry about filling or dumping our tanks, managing our power, or changing sites makes it easier for us to relax and enjoy life. They often have well-maintained facilities that make for a great evening stroll at the end of the day.

A husband and wife lean into each other while enjoying family time around the campfire outside their RV

Pro Tip: We want to share the savings! Get $100 off your Thousand Trails membership here →

5. Install RV Snap Pads

One of the best accessories we added to our RV was our RV Snap Pads. They’ve made it so we don’t have to slide plastic wood blocks under our landing gear each time we park our RV. This saves time and protects the landing gear from abuse while driving and at campsites.

Many campgrounds and RV parks require you to place your RV’s landing gear on something. This means storing plastic or wooden blocks while traveling and then getting them out each time you set up your RV. 

However, RV Snap Pads work like rubber shoes. They snap in place, stay on your landing gear, and eliminate having to place blocks when you unhitch. 

They’ve saved us a tremendous amount of time over the last four years and kept our landing gear in pristine condition.

6. Invest in an Outdoor Screen Tent

CLAM Quick-Set Escape 11.5 x 11.5 Foot Easy Set Up Portable Outdoor Camping Pop Up Canopy Gazebo Shelter with Ground Stakes and Carry Bag, Brown
  • Lightweight, portable 11.5 x 11.5-foot pop-up canopy designed to provide shelter and protection from the elements while...
  • Accommodates up to 6 people or spacious enough to fit a picnic table plus a few camping chairs; Color: Brown

It took us a couple of years until we realized our need for an outdoor screen tent. We didn’t want to sacrifice the storage space or deal with the hassle of setting it up, but it was a game-changer once we changed our minds. 

We quickly realized how outdoor screen tents don’t take up that much space, and you can set them up much faster than we realized. Our outdoor screen tent allows us to enjoy being outside even when the weather might not cooperate. 

We recommend getting a tent that allows you to attach covers on the sides to help block the wind or sun from shining into your tent. Whether you want to enjoy an outside meal or get some work done, these tents can make life much better while RVing.

7. Install a High-Pressure Shower Head

Oxygenics 26488 BodySpa RV Handheld Shower, Modern Style, 60-Inch Hose, Non-Stick Finish, 2 Settings, Limited
  • Powerful Oxygenic setting amplifies existing water pressure and widens coverage
  • Easily control the flow of water with the push of a button. This results in more pressure, less water use, and more...

If no one has let you in on the secret yet, many campgrounds have pretty awful water pressure. If you enjoy high-pressure showers, you’ll need to upgrade your RV’s showerhead. You’ll find several options, but many RVers use Oxygenics.

You can easily install one of these showerheads in minutes. They drastically increase the water pressure and use less water than a standard RV shower head. 

You can even turn the water on and off by pressing a button to minimize the amount of water you use while showering. This is a must-have if you plan to bathe in your RV regularly.

8. Make Your Meals in an Instant Pot

An instant pot becomes your best friend when it comes to cooking while RVing. Using an Instant Pot allows you to cut down the time it takes to cook some foods. Because you can typically set the pot to your desired settings, it also enables you to multitask while the food cooks. 

Multi-tasking means you’ll save time so you can enjoy the rest of your experience. Instant Pots save time and make food incredibly flavorful. You don’t have to sacrifice quality simply because you want the most efficient way to cook your food. 

Additionally, you have access to entire cookbooks and websites dedicated to helping people create dishes with their Instant Pot. Many RVers also move their Instant Pot outside to keep the heat and humidity outside of their RV.

We heard rave reviews about the Instant Pot and had to try it ourselves.

9. Replace Your Door Lock With an RVLock Keyless Entry Handle

If you’ve ever locked yourself out of your RV, you know how frustrating it is. By replacing your standard door lock with an RVLock, you no longer need keys to secure your home. 

You can easily punch in your custom code to unlock your RV. You may love the convenience of locking up at the press of a button when you leave.

An RVLock increases the security of your RV. Most standard RVs only have a handful of different locks. This means someone in the campground could use their RV’s key to unlock yours. 

While this might seem helpful if you get locked out, it doesn’t leave your RV or your belongings very secure. By swapping to an RVLock, you practically eliminate any possibility of a fellow camper getting into your rig with their key. 

10. Keep a Thermometer in Your RV Refrigerator

While you can typically set a residential refrigerator at home on a temperature and forget about it, RV refrigerators aren’t as cooperative. They can be temperamental when it comes to cooling and can ruin the contents of your refrigerator if the temperature gets too high. 

Keeping a thermometer in your RV’s refrigerator allows you to keep an eye on the temperature. You may need to adjust the cooling settings depending on the time of year or the amount of sun shining on your RV. 

Some RVers use Bluetooth thermometers that will notify their phone if the temperature reaches an unsafe range. While these may cost more, it’s often cheaper than replacing the entire contents of your refrigerator.

Pro Tip: Are you sure the RV lifestyle is for you? Read Worst Things About Full-Time RV Living to see if you can handle it.

11. Use an RV Tire Pressure Monitoring System

An RV tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS) is necessary when traveling. We’ve found that it makes it easy to check our tire pressure before trips and then keep an eye on our tires while driving. 

These systems can alert you to any issues with your tires that could result in a major tire failure. A TPMS can save you time and money. A tire failure on an RV can do a tremendous amount of damage. We traveled with our A1AS for years, and it definitely saved us from a blowout or two.

A single blowout can easily do over $1000 in damages and result in a claim with your insurance. Some RVers have even stated that they couldn’t feel that their tire had gone flat, resulting in more damage.

TireMinder A1AS RV TPMS with 10 Transmitters
  • Fit Type: Universal Fit
  • Package Dimensions: 21.844 H x 12.446 L x 14.224 W (centimetres)

12. Install an RV Backup Camera

Backing up an RV can be incredibly difficult no matter how much experience you have with RVs. Having a backup camera can give you eyes behind your RV at all times. 

Some RVers even use their backup cameras to help eliminate blind spots while driving and changing lanes on interstates or highways.

It can also help avoid having to get out multiple times to check the position of your RV. These tools help you avoid damaging your RV or other property by spotting tree limbs, picnic tables, or a poorly placed power pedestal.

Pro Tip: Check out our full review of the Furrion Vision S 7-Inch Wireless Back-Up Camera System!


13. Use a Heated Water Hose in Winter

A heated water hose can prove handy when temperatures drop below freezing. A standard water hose will quickly ice up when exposed to freezing temperatures. 

Heated water hoses use electricity to keep them warm enough to avoid freezing. This can help prevent frozen water lines and reduce the risk of damage to your RV’s water system. 

It’s wise to have one of these hoses on hand if you plan to spend time RVing in areas that may experience freezing temperatures. If you plan to head south for the winter, it may not be necessary.

14. Put a Pizza Stone in Your Oven for Even Baking

KIBOW 15" Round Cordierite Ceramic Pizza Grilling Stone for Ovens & Grills
  • MEASURES 15" in diameter by 0.59" in thickness. The stone can withstand temperatures up to 1000°F
  • VERSATILE USE- it bakes pizza, bread, pizza, pastries, etc, a good match for a family gathering, gala, or party. It can...

Due to the way RV ovens heat, they tend not to bake evenly. This can make it frustrating if you enjoy baking goods, leading to inconsistencies throughout your meals. 

Placing a pizza stone in your oven helps to evenly distribute the heat in your oven and avoid burning. It will lead to more even cooking.

15. Attach a Clear Elbow to Your Sewer Hose

Camco 39736, RhinoFlex Clear RV Sewer Hose Elbow with 4-in-1 Adapter | Features a 360-Degree Fitting Rotation and Built-in Gasket for Odor-Tight Protection | Fits 4 Sizes of Dump Station Inlets
  • Securely Connects: RV sewer elbow adapter fits securely into dump station connection
  • Fits Four sizes of Dump Station Inlets: fits securely into four sizes of dump station inlets— 4-inch NPT, 3. 5-inch...

Dumping your tanks is a necessary evil when it comes to RV life. However, using a clear elbow with your sewer hose can help ensure that you make the most of each time you dump your tanks. 

This clear elbow lets you peek in and ensure that the flow has stopped. Another benefit of using an elbow is that it can help when flushing your tanks after dumping them. 

If you can see any discoloration in the water or solids going down into the sewer connection, you know they haven’t finished. If you have to do a dirty job, you may as well do it right the first time.

Pro Tip: Check out 19 more sewer accessories to help avoid smells, accidents, and maintain cleanliness.

16. Stay Connected with an RV Cell Booster

Not every campground is going to have great cell phone reception. While many may broadcast that they have Wi-Fi, it may lack luster. So you’ll likely need to come with an RV cell booster to beef up the quality of your connection.

RV cell boosters can amplify the signal from your cell provider. These devices aren’t magic, so they can’t create a signal if there isn’t one. 

However, they can do a tremendous job in some circumstances and create a usable signal from one that’s not so great. If you need to stay connected while traveling, you’ll want to have an RV cell booster.

A woman takes a selfie near her campervan.

17. Keep Essential Tools Onhand for Repairs

It’s not a question of if you’ll need to repair, but when. It’s a normal part of RV life that you’ll have to fix things. Having the proper tools on hand will save you a lot of trouble.

It will also help you avoid making multiple trips to the nearest hardware store to track down the proper tool. While you can’t always predict what tools you’ll need, it’s a good idea to have a basic RV tool kit on hand.

You’ll want some of the most common tools like a hammer, wrenches, sockets, and screwdrivers. However, a proper kit will also include a few essentials for electrical and plumbing work.

It’s always better to err on the side of caution in these scenarios. You never know when something will go wrong, and the nearest hardware store could be quite a long trip.


18. Always Know the Weight and Height of Your RV

Knowing the height and weight of your RV are two essential facts you should know. You don’t want to guess if your RV will fit under a low clearance or if you exceed a road or bridge’s max weight. 

Not knowing these numbers can cause a dangerous disaster for you and others on the road. Take your RV across the scale when it’s fully loaded. Then measure the height of your RV from the highest point when hitched to your truck. 

Once you know these numbers, you can plug them into your RV GPS and also write them on a sticky note that you attach to your dashboard. 

19. Turn on Your Propane and Electric Water Heater for a Hotter Shower

If you have several people showering, you can minimize the time it takes to reheat your water by using propane and electricity for your water heater. 

We’ve had no trouble running out of hot water using this method. You’ll want to make sure to turn off the propane when you no longer need hot water, but several people can easily shower back-to-back using this method.

20. Make Friends Through Rallies, Memberships, and Apps

One of the amazing things about RV life is the community. You can meet like-minded people by joining RV clubs like Escapees/Xscapers, attending rallies, and using apps like Nomad Near Me. 

These resources can help you meet new friends and stay connected with them during your travels. It may surprise you to see an old friend as you crisscross the country.

Which of These RV Tricks Are You Going to Try?

The key to enjoying the lifestyle is finding tricks and hacks that make your RV life easier. The more time you can save on mundane tasks and chores, the more time you’ll have to do other things you enjoy. 

We constantly use these tricks we’ve shared with you to get the most out of our time. What tips do you have up your sleeve to make RV life a little bit easier?

Last update on 2024-06-12 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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