Summer Fun, But Don’t Forget The RV Basics!

Of course, you are excited! Whether you are a weekend warrior, a seasonal vacationer, or a full-time RVer, summer-time RVing is a reward. Here are RV basics tips on remembering your summer escape in the best ways possible.

Remember Your Checklist

There are books written about the things RVers miss when they are setting up camp and the things they leave behind. Most of the time it is just a silly thing we can replace or secure a new one nearby. Or worse, you miss doing a departure requirement and it does serious damage to your RV. By remembering the RV basics you can eliminate adding more expense and bad summer memories by reinforcing your travel plans with checklists. There are several types of checklists that can also help speed up the prep and planning for your trip.

  • Arrival Checklist – tells you everything you need to do and the order you need to do it in.
  • Departure Checklist – Doing everything in reverse, except you want to do a walk around your RV for a visual check
  • Daily Checklist – what items do you need to monitor while you are away on your trip?
  • Supply Checklist – plan for the items you need (including food and drink) in advance, so you are not doing everything at the last minute.

Protect Yourself from the Heat

It’s easy to forget how much sun you are getting. Bringing and packing specific items for your getaway can protect you from the heat. Also, the advance planning helps you decide what activities will be best. Here are some options for preventing too much heat on your trip:

  • Prep some meals in advance so you are not heating up your RV!
  • Add adjustable shades to your rig (and angle correctly for maximum benefit)
  • Make use of awnings, not just to shade an area but to keep sun off the side of your rig, heating it up.
  • The more shade you utilize, the easier it will be to keep your entire RV cool.

Don’t break down in the heat without spare parts.

Do Advance Park Planning

Summertime is the peak season of RV travel. If you don’t plan, you most likely will not get prime spots which can be cooler sites. Those sites may be closer to the water activities, have more shade trees and be far away from hot, high-traffic, asphalt roads. You may also miss out on getting amenities you want that will help against heat. Amenities like 50AMP connections for A/C, access to central park lodges for daytime activities or parks with swimming pools. How do you plan?

  • Start a few months out for the best selection. The more popular the area, the more time you should add.
  • Look at the refund policy of the campground just in case you do need to make changes.
  • Do a Google Satellite view of the park before picking a site, if you can.
  • If the park is going to be crowded, make sure you feel comfortable maneuvering your rig into your site.

Will the weather help or hinder your getaway?

Take Spare Parts

It gets complicated when the part or item you need must be ordered and can take weeks. Every rig is different so do a little research on your make and model. Find out what parts are susceptible to break-down or damage. Also be aware of how long it may take to get specific parts. Some general parts that seem to choose summer to need a fix are:

  • Tire blowouts
  • Battery loses charge
  • Air Conditioner is not cooling
  • Water pump goes out

Staying Connected

We all want to disconnect and relax completely when we are taking a break. But staying connected is not necessarily work and sometimes staying connected is about staying safe and one of your essential RV basics. You will want to have access to emergency numbers and at the least you may want to share and text vacation photos. If you need to do work along with your summer getaway, staying connected becomes more involved. Remember during the summer, RV parks are at their capacity. Even in low seasons the Wi-Fi provided is rarely able to handle all the park inhabitants. Things to have on hand for staying connected:

  • Cell service plans for hotspots
  • Booster to enhance your connectivity
  • Backup cell service (if you need to work)

Know the Weather!

Even if you are only traveling a few hours away, weather has a high impact on your getaway, your rig and all the belongings you take with you. Make sure you check the weather and bring the things you need with you. Be aware of the things you will need to monitor when you are at your campgrounds in case of changing weather. Items you will want to pay special attention to are:

  • Retract awnings. Do not leave them out when you are away. Unexpected gusts of wind can rip them off your RV.
  • Tie down shade coverings or remove them before a storm
  • Be aware of where you are parking your rig (is the site a flood issue?)

Bonus Tip:

Don’t over-schedule. You can plan out every minute when you get to your summer-time hangout. But be flexible to just skip some activities and do nothing. Stress yourself out by trying to do all the activities every day will not leave you time to come back home or start off on the next leg of your trip well-rested and not overheated!

Thanks to a little pre-planning, you can sit back and enjoy your summer-time getaway to the fullest, by just remembering some of these RV basics!

About Lucinda Belden

Lucinda Belden is a travel writer who has been full-time RVing for several years in a 44-foot fifth wheel toy hauler with her husband Will and their dog Cozy. Lucinda writes on all kinds of travel from cruises to motorcycling to RVing as well as travel books available on Amazon. She is also the Program Director for MyRVRadio, the first online radio station for RVers. You can follow her adventures at