Learning a skill often results in feeling awkward or embarrassed. Who hasn’t fumbled while trying to unmute themselves on Zoom works or attempting a complicated soufflé recipe? There’s a lot to learn when you’re a newbie RVer. This TravelingMom has made the mistakes so you don’t have to! Follow her advice to save yourself the embarrassment of fumbling your way into a campsite or standing naked and unprepared in the shower!
As a professional speaker, I often present keynotes on customer service. A state RV campground association booked me to speak. Since we were not Rvers — I had never even peeked inside a recreational vehicle — we decided on an RV rental so we could experience RV parks and the camping life. (I soon learned really cool people call their RV a “rig.”)
We headed off in our rig to a local RV campground with our 2-year-old daughter, Sondra. With my husband at the wheel, and my daughter snug in her car seat, I relaxed and enjoyed the ride, perched high above most drivers.
This trip would be a breeze.
Finding the Pull-Through
Allan pulled our rig to the RV resort office with the prominently displayed “Check-In” sign. I strode confidently to the reservation desk, filled out the necessary forms, and paid for one of the RV sites.
The friendly campground host ended our transaction by pointing out the window to an open RV campsite and saying, “Use the pull-through right there at #8. Have a great time!” I could tell it would be a great weekend.
Read More: 7 Essential Tips for Camping Newbies
What’s a Pull-Through?
With Sondra safely sleeping, I motioned my husband to come out and walk the few feet to RV campsite #8.
“We just have to find the pull through,” I told him. After all, it makes sense that if I was supposed to “use the pull-through” that I needed to find something to pull.
We looked all over the campsite, without finding anything to pull. Allan inspected the electrical and sewer hookups and examined the hole where our water and sewage would go. Nothing lent itself to “pulling through.” We looked under one of the picnic tables. Nothing. Next we walked the perimeter of the site, peeking in and around bushes for something, anything to pull through.
Take this RV Tip from a Pro
Giving up, I returned to the office and told the campground owner, “We’ve looked and looked and just can’t find anything to pull through at Site #8.”
He turned away from me slightly, as if to compose himself.
Then, with great professionalism, he said, “Pull through means you pull your RV into the site and when you are ready to leave, simply move forward. You use a pull-through by pulling your RV through the site.”
Suddenly it all made sense to this first-time RVer. It was all about easy access. No need to back in or out. Just “pull through.”
Read More: What Should I Pack for an RV Trip?
The Story Becomes a Legend
The rest of our RV camping experience was uneventful, yet fun. That story has, unfortunately, spread among professional RV campground owners. Now anytime I speak at a conference, someone always asks, “Hey Silvana! Found your pull through yet?”
So for all you newbie RVers, just learn from my ignorance with this RV tip so you don’t become fodder for jokes among the camping community!
Now that you know how to master a pull-through, it’s time to master a few more camping nuances, and save yourself further embarrassment.
Some campgrounds sell t-shirts that say: “Let’s pour a glass of wine and watch the latecomers set up.”
It’s true. Some campers enjoy having their RV, barbeque and s’mores supplies all set up. Then as evening approaches, they sit in comfy lawn chairs and watch newbies struggle to maneuver their RV onto their site.
This increases the pressure on those newbies as they not only have to get set up, but do it with a captive audience. RV Tip: Save embarrassment by arriving at your site early, before crowds gather!
Beware the Wind
Many RVers immediately put out their awning and lawn chairs. Nothing wrong with that. The problem arises when a wind picks up while you are on a hike or sleeping. Awnings and wind are seldom a good combination.
It’s all too easy to make the mistake of forgetting to close the awning when that breeze becomes more than a breeze.
Left Naked without a Shower
Those tiny RV showers can be a bit confining, which is why many people use campground showers.
As you check in at the registration desk, ask if the showers are coin operated. This saves you from walking to the shower house, undressing and stepping into the shower stall only to see the coin machine. You stand there, naked, wishing you had a few quarters to start the water flow.
I speak from experience!
Read the Fine Print
At most campgrounds, the host hands you an information sheet with a map as well as camp rules and tips. Read this sheet!
Often you’ll find a schedule with kid’s activities or a park ranger program. You’ll also find “warnings” about leaving food outdoors or how to avoid rattlesnakes.
We didn’t read one particular leaflet telling us to keep food and clothing inside the RV due to aggressive wild pigs in the area. My husband lost one brand new hiking boot to a pair of extremely ugly and mean wild pigs that absconded with his shoe.
I mentioned this to the park ranger who asked, “Did you read the tip sheet we gave you?”
So for all you newbie RVers, just learn from my ignorance so you don’t become fodder for jokes among the camping community!