You’ve finally got the RV of your dreams, and ready to roll. But what happens when you need to take a break? Don’t worry as I’ve compiled RV parking ideas and tips to help you. There are parking cameras everywhere so make sure your vehicle is in the right spot.
4 RV Parking Ideas
Parking an RV is simple enough, just pull over the camp site and park. However there are certain things you’ll need to look out for.
- Make sure your RV is in good condition and can make it to the campground park site in one piece.
- Campgrounds have specifications, rules and regulations. Get familiar with them so there are no misunderstandings when you’re at the site.
- Inspect the parking area. Is it big enough for your RV? Are there any potential hazards like branches, power lines or other objects that might keep you from pulling the slides out?
- Talk to the parking lot manager if you have questions.
14 Rules Of How To Park Rv?
A lot of issues and problems can be avoided if you keep the following simple rules in mind while in your RV.
1. Plan Ahead
There are book guides, maps and apps which offer information on campgrounds, parks, and other rest areas for an RV. Look these locations in the city/town you’re headed so you’ll know what to expect.
Planning involves not just figuring out the location but also how to properly drive the RV. The more you plan about the wheres, hows and whens, the smoother your trip will be.
2. Private Parking
Some RV clubs and dealers offer private parking. These require membership and payment, but you’re assured of a parking space for your RV. These locations are also well maintained and you don’t have to put up with another vehicle blocking your way or not having any slot available.
The conditions and requirements for private parking are suitable for some RVers and not for others. Think about how much you plan to use your RV and the places you’re going to visit. While it’s not free, this could be worth it depending on how much travel you do.
3. Snow Areas
It can be difficult to find parking spots when it’s snowing, and in many cases you’ll need to get permission from highway patrol to park. Bottom line is it’s not going to be easy to find a parking space, so book one as early as possible.
There is a reason why a lot of RVers winterize their vehicle, because it is difficult to use. But if you do decide to take the RV out during the winter, plan ahead so you’ll know where to park.
4. Overnight Parking
Many state areas allow overnight parking, and so does Walmart and other large retail chains. Other large establishments also allow it. The regulations vary, but the unwritten rule is not to park overnight in the same location for more than 2 consecutive nights. If you do opt for overnight parking, try not to disturb the place too much, i.e. keep the noise level down.
Overnight parking is becoming more common, but don’t abuse it. Once you’re done for the night (or two), go look for another spot so other vehicles can use the space. And while you’re staying there, patronize the establishment by buying their products. By doing so the establishment will be able to continuously provide free parking.
5. Water, Sewer and Power Issues
Sanitary pump out stations, power hook ups and tank waste management are available in RV parks, rest areas and service stations among others. Don’t empty your waste tank unless the establishment has the means to handle it. The fees, rules and regulations for power hookup and sewage storage varies too.
Park only in areas that have been designated for RVs. Since you’ve got a large vehicle, park at the side or the back so smaller vehicles won’t have difficulty finding parking space. Be careful when backing and going forward so you don’t hit another vehicle.
If you’re going to park to relax, don’t bring out the tables, chairs etc. Just park your RV and dine in the restaurant in the area. While you’re there, why not take a look at your supplies so you will be ready to go on.
7. Stop Right Where You Are
Don’t force the RV into the parking space if it is tight. Avoid tight spots and park only when there are no hazards in the way. If you can’t see clearly, look for another way to navigate into the parking space. If necessary get assistance from parking attendants.
8. Avoid Places That are Impossible to Get Into
If you’ve got an RV app you’ll get tips on how to avoid locations that are not suitable for an RV. But really all you need to do is avoid parking lots that don’t have secondary exits, dead end roads and tight entryways.
Park your RV along the perimeters of shopping centers, venues and stadiums. Avoid those cars that are parked in aisles as it’s difficult to get out of there.
9. Learn to Rely on Your Mirrors
Knowing how to use RV mirrors is crucial. Just like a car or any other car, you use the mirrors to gauge the distance between your RV and the other vehicles. Knowing how to use your mirrors can make a huge difference in how comfortable you’ll be while driving.
10. Set Up Temporary Parking & Driving Patterns
Look for an empty or closed parking area. Place cones all around so it’s like a camping location. Move your RV in and out of it. Keep practicing until it’s second nature so when you get to the real park you’ll know what to do.
11. Practice Blind Side Parking
The blind side refers to the passenger side. If you’re backing in, your tow won’t be lined straight with the trailer. This means at some point you won’t be able to see what’s going on as you turn your RV.
However this can be avoided if you adjust the mirrors properly. As you back into the parking space, adjust the mirrors so you can see better. Another option is to get someone to stand outside and assist in the movement of the RV.
12. Never Rely on Rear Vision Cameras
Rear vision cameras are ineffective because they’re focused on the ground and don’t provide a clear picture. Rear vision cameras also won’t be able to display branches or other overhanging objects that could get entangled with your RV.
The best option is to have someone outside assist and check the angles. Setting the windows down can also help. You can communicate with the person outside using walkie talkies.
13. Use Extreme Caution When Backing a Motorhome with a Tow Vehicle Attached
You cannot back up more than a foot with a car on a low bar more than 12 inches. The car you’re towing has a steering axle that can go anywhere. As you back, it’s going to quickly turn. The vehicle will slide sideways and cause damage.
The best way to handle this is to unhook the vehicle first. Once you’re able to move forward, you’ll be able to go forward again, reconnect the hook bar.
Some areas don’t allow RVs because they’re large and take up a lot of space. If that’s the policy, don’t force the situation and move on. Respect the rules, and there are a lot of places where you can park your RV anyway.
How to Level an RV?
Note: if your motorhome has an auto-level mechanism these steps won’t be necessary.
- Set your RV where you want to park it.
- Designate the areas that has to be leveled. Just put some lines near the front or the back of the tires.
- Pull the RV forward or back so it clears the marks you set.
- Put the boards or blocks in place.
- Drive your RV over the blocks. Avoid climbing more than a couple of inches at a time.
- Keep moving up your RV, making sure the tires don’t veer over the edge.
- Look at the bubble level and make adjustments to the blocks/boards if needed.
- If your RV is side to side level, put wheel chocks at the back or the rear or the front of the tires.
- Set your RV to “park”.
How to Stabilize Your RV?
After leveling your RV you’ve got to make sure that it’s level. Use jacks only after your RV has been stabilized.
- Lower the jacks as directed in the owner’s manual.
- Put a couple of 2x4 boards under each foot for greater stability.
- Check if the jack foot is touching the ground. If it is, turn the crank for greater security.
Learning how to park RV is a must, and so is knowing where and when to park. Taking the time to learn these will save you a lot of potential trouble.