10 Questions We Wished We Had Asked As New RVers

Bailey and Nicole Damberg in front of their Astoria Fifth Wheel

When it comes to RVing, there’s no such thing as a stupid question. There is always room to learn, build and grow your RV experience—and this is especially true if you’re just starting out. When we first started RVing two years ago, there were a lot of things we were afraid to ask because we thought they might be too obvious or ridiculous. But we quickly realized that asking these questions not only helped our own RV journey but it also allowed us to help other RVers who might be wondering the same. With that, here are the 10 questions we were too afraid to ask as new RVers and what we’ve since learned about each one.

  1. Can I use the bathroom in my RV on the road?

    Yes, you can use the bathroom in your RV while driving. This is one of the many great things about traveling with an RV—you can stop and use the restroom whenever you need. This eliminates the need to have to find a rest stop or brave a dirty gas station bathroom. If you do need to use the restroom in your RV while on the road, just be sure you find a safe place to pull over. If you have a towable RV, you may need to push the slide out in order to access your bathroom, so keep that in mind when looking for a place to stop.

  2. How long will my propane last and how do I refill it?

    This depends on how frequently you use propane in your RV and what time of year you’re traveling. Some RV appliances run exclusively off propane, like your stove, water heater and furnace. And if you’re dry camping or camping without hookups, propane may power your refrigerator as well. If you do a lot of cooking in your RV or travel during colder months and run your furnace, then you’ll likely have to refill your propane tanks more often. We’ve found that we typically need to refill our propane after every third trip. RV propane tanks get filled the same way a gas barbeque tank gets filled—a connector hose attaches from your empty tank to a larger, full tank. Most campgrounds and RV parks offer propane for an additional cost, and some will even fill it for you.

  3. Are pets allowed at campgrounds?

    In our experience, most campgrounds are pet-friendly, but you still need to be aware of any specific rules or regulations. Some campgrounds require that your pet be fully vaccinated (and show proof of their vaccination upon arrival). Others might have breed or size restrictions. It’s good practice to call the campground or RV park ahead of time to see what their pet policy is.

  4. What is the easiest way to get fuel when towing an RV?

    Stopping at a gas station might seem daunting when you’re towing an RV but we have a few tips to help. Try to pre-plan your gas stops along your driving route. This way, you can make sure you’re stopping at a big enough gas station and they offer the type of fuel you need. Highway travel stops are usually bigger than gas stations within cities and they usually have diesel fuel. If you do need to make an unexpected gas stop, stick to the outermost gas pumps to give yourself more room.

  5. Do stabilizers level my RV?

    Stabilizers do exactly what their name suggests: they stabilize your RV so it doesn’t rock back and forth. Stabilizers do not level your RV, and are only meant to help once your RV is already level. You can level your RV with an auto-leveling system or leveling blocks.

  6. What if I arrive at the campground after hours?

    If you arrive at your campground after hours or late at night, don’t fret. Many campgrounds have a late arrival box with maps and specific campsite information. These are usually found at the campground entrance or near the front office. If you know you’re going to arrive late, give the campground a call and let them know, as they may have specific instructions for late arrivals. Be sure and stop by the front office the next morning to finalize any paperwork or payments.

  7. Why isn’t my AC blowing cold air?

    If your air conditioner isn’t blowing cold air, there’s a good chance it froze over. This usually happens when you set the AC too low and leave it running for long periods of time. To help, turn your AC off and let it thaw for a few hours and then try again. Blocking any outside heat from entering your RV will also help your AC run colder. If it’s hot outside, keep your blinds down, turn on some battery-powered fans and use reflective materials on your doors and windows to help block the sun.

  8. Is campground water safe?

    Campground water is equivalent to well water, which is usually safe to use and drink. However, we still recommend installing a water filter onto your RV’s fresh water hose. This will help filter any hard water or sediments coming into your RV.

  9. Is my RV safe to be in during a storm?

    Most RVs can handle inclement weather, including wind, rain and snow. If a heavy storm does hit, be sure to bring your awning in and put away any camp chairs or outdoor equipment that could blow away or get damaged. If the temperatures drop, you can also wrap your pipes to help prevent freezing. If you ever feel unsafe during a storm, you can always get in your tow vehicle or head to the campground office and wait it out.

  10. Can I use my RV’s appliances on battery power?

    Every RV is different but most large appliances won’t work unless they’re connected to shore power or a generator—this includes things like your heating and cooling systems and your outlets. You can typically run your lights, fans, water pump, and small appliances off your RV battery. Be sure and check your owner’s manual to find out exactly what you can and can’t run off your RV’s batteries.

These were just a few of the questions we were too afraid to ask when we first started RVing. But you can’t get answers without asking questions. If you need help finding some RV answers, a quick Google search or watching a YouTube tutorial can be extremely helpful. You can also join an online forum or group for new RV owners. And while it may feel embarrassing, asking a neighbor to help is probably one of the best resources. Nothing beats hands-on RV experience and no one knows this better than a fellow RVer!

Fifth Wheels

This camping trailer affectionately nicknamed a “Fiver” is a favorite of many, especially those taking extended trips or traveling full time in their RV. The prominent overhang resting above the tow truck bed is frequently employed as a bedroom suite, or, more recently, a living room or even a kitchen.  

Find Your Perfect RV

Whether you're new to the world of RVing or you're ready to narrow your search, we're here to help you sort through it all and find the RV that's right for you. Explore RVs based off of your lifestyle and the features important to you.

Find Your RV
An travel trailer RV parked in a green field.