Skip to Content

Mastering RV Life: 8 Must-Know Tips For The Road


To learn how this content was created please read our Editorial Guidelines.

Hey there, future road warriors! It’s Brandyn again, your trusty RV guide. If you hopped aboard our last adventure, you got a taste of the thrills and spills of our 3-year family RV journey. (Missed out? No worries, catch up on the ride here.) 

But today, I’m switching gears a bit. Instead of tales from the road, I’m dishing out some golden nuggets of wisdom. Yep, I’ve got eight bits of advice for anyone itching to hit the open road with their tribe in tow. 

From the practical to the profound, these tips are the roadmap to making your RV dreams a smooth-sailing reality. So, grab a notepad (or just bookmark this page), and learn all about mastering RV life!

Learn The Art of Embracing Surprises

First things first: the open road is a bit like a box of assorted chocolates – you never really know what you’ll get and RV life has many challenges. One day, you’re basking in the glory of a hidden waterfall straight out of a fairy tale, and the next, you’re biting into a pancake at a “world-famous” joint that tastes… well, pretty much like every other pancake you’ve had. 

But here’s the secret sauce: it’s all about perspective.

Traveling, especially with your family, is a masterclass in being open-minded. It’s about celebrating those unexpected joys and chuckling at the not-so-great pancake hype. Because let’s be honest, it’s these quirky, off-the-beaten-path experiences that make the best stories. 

So, toss out that rigid itinerary and sky-high expectations, keep an open heart, and let the road show you its magic. 

Roll With the Road’s Curveballs

Picture this: we’re all set, hearts set on this adorable campground on the Washington Coast in one of the best states in America. The kids are buzzing with excitement, and I’m already dreaming of the sunset views. 

But, plot twist! We roll up, and guess what? No spot for our trusty RV. It’s like showing up to a party and realizing you got the date wrong.

But here’s the golden nugget from that day: the road, much like life, is full of unexpected turns. And sometimes, those turns lead you away from that perfect camp spot. But hey, that’s where the fun begins! Because every change in plan, every little detour, is a new chapter in your epic family adventure.

A photo of the open road with a caravan in front of us during our road trip

Always Have Backup Plans

Now picture us cruising down the highway, towing the travel trailer, favorite tune blaring, and life’s good. Then, out of the blue, one of your camper’s tires gets a wild idea: “Why not explore solo?” And just like that, off it goes, bidding adieu at a breezy 60 mph. Yep, that happened.

Now, while it might sound like a scene straight out of a slapstick comedy, it’s a stark reminder of a golden full-time RV life rule: always, and I mean always, be prepared for the unexpected. Whether it’s a rebellious tire, a sudden downpour, or a surprise detour, the road keeps things… interesting.

So be sure you pack that backup plan. And while you’re at it, throw in a spare tire (or maybe two, just to be safe). Because, as wild as these moments can be, they’re the ones you’ll be recounting with a chuckle at every campfire. 

So, channel your inner road warrior when the universe throws you a curveball (or a fully booked campground). Breathe, pivot, and embrace the unexpected.

Be Ready To Make A Lifetime’s Worth Of Memories

Alright, let’s talk memories. You know those heartwarming, tear-jerking, laugh-out-loud moments that make life oh-so-sweet? When you’re on the road full-time, it’s like someone hit the fast-forward button on those moments. 

Picture this: one day, you’re wide-eyed, watching your kiddo’s amazement at their first bison encounter (from the safety of your truck, of course). The next, you’re all huddled together, awestruck by the sun dipping into the Pacific, painting the sky with hues you didn’t even know existed. It’s like living in a highlight reel, and boy, does it fill up your heart (and max out your phone storage).

Don’t let these moments pass by. Cherish them. Start a travel journal, scribble down those funny quotes, sketch that peculiar tree, or kickstart that travel blog you’ve always dreamt of. Because these memories are the golden threads weaving the tapestry of your epic family adventure.

Tread Carefully Between Spontaneity and Strategy

Let’s chat about the age-old debate: to plan or not to plan. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for those spur-of-the-moment detours to check out the world’s largest rubber band ball or a hole-in-the-wall taco joint. But when it comes to laying your head down for the night, a sprinkle of foresight can be a game-changer.

You never want to be in a situation where the only RV park in the area is booked solid. Now, while an impromptu parking lot camp-out has its own charm (and is a rite of passage in the RV world), a little pre-trip research on what stores to park at overnight can save you the hassle and ensure a good night’s rest.

So, here’s the golden rule: be spontaneous with your adventures but strategic with your stops. It’s about finding that sweet spot between the thrill of the unknown and the comfort of a well-laid plan.

AUHOKY 3Pcs Wall Closet Hanging Storage Bag, Premium Linen Fabric Over The Door Organizer, Hanging Storage Pouches with 3 Pockets for Bedroom Bathroom – Waterproof & Stylish (Black/Gray/White)
  • 【Premium Material】Our wall closet hanging…
  • 【Practical Collection Accessories】Equipped…
  • 【Exquisite Appearance】Total measures: 24” x…

Master RV Tetris: Space, Stock, and Sanity

Space in an RV is more precious than gold. More precious and, well, more scarce as well. But here’s the twist: it’s not about how much space you have, but how you use it.

First off, keep the essentials stocked. You’ll soon realize that half the stuff you thought you needed for survival is a waste of valuable shoe space. And if an item isn’t pulling double duty, it’s time to bid it adieu. Think of it as the RV version of “Survivor” – only the most versatile items get to stay on the island.

You’ll have to get creative with your storage solutions. Collapsible kitchenware and hanging organizers are the unsung heroes of the RV world. You can turn that cozy RV space into a spacious haven with a sprinkle of creativity and a dash of organization. 

So, channel your inner Marie Kondo, embrace the joy of multi-purpose items, and get creative!

Master the Basics of RV TLC

Before our RV journey, my idea of “handyman skills” was changing a light bulb and maybe assembling a piece of IKEA furniture without losing my temper. But life on the road is a crash course in RV Maintenance 101.

You don’t need to be the next RV repair guru, but a little know-how goes a long way. Simple things, like checking tire pressure or managing the glamorous world of waste systems, can be game-changers. 

And trust me, when your tire decides to play hide and seek in the middle of nowhere, you’ll be grateful for those basic tire-replacing skills.

So, for all you non-handy folks out there (I feel you!), don’t fret. With time, patience, and maybe a YouTube tutorial or two, you’ll be handling those minor RV hiccups like a pro.

Ditch Trip Advisor and Talk To Locals

“Tourist traps” have their place, but if you want to truly taste the flavor of an area, you’ve got to dig a little deeper. Think less “tourist” and more “temporary local.” 

Swap out that theme park day for a morning at a bustling farmers’ market, where you can sample the juiciest peaches and chat with the farmer who grew them. Stumble upon a town festival, and suddenly, you’re dancing in the streets with folks who’ve lived there for generations.

The best travel guide isn’t an app or a website. It’s a local – the cashier at the little grocery store, the friendly diner waitress, or the old-timer at the corner store. They’ve got stories, recommendations, and insights that no Trip Advisor review can match. 

While we recommend checking out as many of the natural wonders of the US as you can, sometimes the best spots are the ones that are lesser known to the masses.

Embracing local experiences creates unforgettable travel memories you can’t find on Instagram (but you can find our memories here – @peaceloveandfamilyadventures).

Our RV parked with our truck on the left hand side at sunset in front of two trees

Riding The Waves of RV Wisdom

As the sun sets on this article, let’s take a quick glance in the rearview mirror. We’ve journeyed through some golden tidbits of advice, from embracing the unpredictable to savoring every pancake, hyped or not. 

But here’s the heart of it all: full-time RV travel with your family is an adventure like no other. It’s a rollercoaster of emotions, experiences, and yes, even the occasional flat tire.

But remember, every twist, turn, and unexpected detour shapes your unique road trip story. And while the journey might have its bumps, the memories you’re creating are irreplaceable. So, whether you’re just toying with the idea or already have your RV keys in hand, know this: the open road is calling, and it promises a ride filled with wonder, laughter, and lessons you won’t find anywhere else.


Brandyn Shoemaker


I'm Brandyn, a contributing writer here at The Road Trip Expert. Over the past three years, my family and I have embraced the nomadic lifestyle, traveling across the U.S. in our RV. We've journeyed from coast to coast three times, making memories in 26 states and countless National and State Parks. From the crystal-clear waters of the Florida Springs to the towering Sea Stacks off the Oregon Coast, we've seen some truly amazing sights.
I'm excited to bring my experiences and travel insights to The Road Trip Expert community. So buckle up, and let's hit the road together!