10 Common Mistakes That every First Time Fifth Wheel Owner Makes
- 1 10 Common Mistakes That every First Time Fifth Wheel Owner Makes
- 2 1. Driving your RV before you know how to
- 3 2. Underestimating the size of your rig
- 4 3. Driving off when not fully disconnected.
- 5 4. Traveling without a reservation
- 6 5. Unexpectedly running out of fuel
- 7 6. Failing to do a system check up
- 8 7. Forgetting basic tools and equipment
- 9 8. Not knowing to operate the RV
- 10 9. Not using a checklist
- 11 10. Running out of food on your trip
So, you just bought yourself your first fifth wheel and can’t wait to hit the road. Take a break from the daily hustle and go for a road trip. What you don’t know is that this journey may turn out quite differently than you anticipated.
Most first trips go wrong in so many ways usually because many people lack the basic knowledge that accompanies owning an RV. They end up committing some embarrassing rookie mistakes that could have been avoided in the first place. We have compiled a list of 10 common mistakes every first-time fifth wheel owner makes and hopefully we can help you avoid them.
1. Driving your RV before you know how to
Driving a recreational vehicle is very different from your normal kind of driving. For starters, the RV is significantly bigger in size. Then there is the fact that you will not be able to see behind using your rear mirror. Therefore you need to do some practice runs before your actual trip. You can go to a camp near you and practice some basics like parking.
2. Underestimating the size of your rig
It’s not uncommon for a new rig owner to run it through a low flying banner or smash into a flyover. Negotiating sharp corners and parking your RV will also be a challenge. Make sure you understand how big your fifth wheel is. You can always use a spotter when parking to avoid these accidents.
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3. Driving off when not fully disconnected.
Classic rookie mistake. You thought you had unplugged everything only to realize you forgot to lower the tailgate or that the power cable is still connected to your truck. When you look at the damage caused you can’t help but curse under your breath. At least now you know to always ensure that everything is disconnected.
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4. Traveling without a reservation
As a novice rig owner, you will definitely know areas that you can park without a reservation. However, as a beginner, you can’t afford to travel without a reservation. Some park areas can get very populated with people booking their spots up to a year in advance.
5. Unexpectedly running out of fuel
The addition of a fifth wheel to your truck automatically translates to more fuel consumption. Now, imagine running out of fuel in the middle of nowhere. As a new rig owner, you still don’t know the rate at which your truck consumes fuel. Hence to avoid frustrations, ensure that you check the gauge regularly.
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6. Failing to do a system check up
Before beginning any journey, conduct a routine check-up to ensure all your systems are functional. Test your engine, air conditioner, refrigerator, brakes, and similar systems. Trust me you do not want your brakes failing while on your trip. And can you even imagine going camping for a month with a faulty refrigerator?
7. Forgetting basic tools and equipment
The toolbox is an important part of your vehicle. Sometimes the RV may develop an issue in the remotest of places. Places where repair services are scarce or unavailable. It is at times like these that your toolbox comes in handy. Carrying a well-packed toolbox may be the one thing that saves you.
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8. Not knowing to operate the RV
Inside your rig, you will find several things you are not familiar with. You will need to familiarize yourself with the concept of plugging in and dumping out. Even the simplest things like turning off the outdoor shower may prove challenging when you are a first-time fifth wheel owner. As a rule of thumb always read through the operator’s manual and practice the more complex issues like leveling and dumping.
9. Not using a checklist
When you think about it, having a checklist will help you avoid most of the mistakes above. A checklist can be a list of all the steps to take before starting your journey or a list of all items to carry with you. With every trip, comes a new lesson thus make sure you add new things to the checklist. Always cross your checklist before and after every trip to make sure you are in adherence to it.
10. Running out of food on your trip
As a beginner, it may be hard to correctly estimate the amount of food supply you need on your trip. To avoid this kind of frustrations, it is recommended that you a park an extra day or two worth of food. Sure, buying food on the road is an option but it may turn out to be more expensive.
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