Secrets to Parking a Big RV
May 31, 2017
Once you make it to camp and find the site that you are renting, there are some things you will have to do before you can jet off to the lake or lace up the boots for a hike. You need to park your RV and level it in the designated spot at your campsite.
Parking an RV can seem a bit overwhelming if you have never done it before, especially with a trailer needing to be backed into a space. The majority of campsites are made with smaller RVs in mind and sometimes pulling in a fifth wheel trailer or long motor home can be a challenge. It is actually not as hard as it seems and if you take your take time to carefully get your RV in place and level you will be ready to enjoy your camping adventure.
Parking the RV
- If you have a larger RV verify with the campground that it will fit in the campsite. It is good to know that not every site with RV camping spots will be accommodating to every size of RV. Some will have tight roads that could be difficult to squeeze a large RV into. Most of these campsites will post a caution notice on their website about bringing large RVs, but sometimes this is not always the case and you will want to call ahead.
- When bringing a trailer and tow vehicle remember to factor in both the length of the trailer and the tow vehicle together. You want to be sure both the trailer and towing vehicle fit into the space provided without your tow vehicle sticking out into the road.
- Have an assistant hop out and help get the spot ready for the RV to pull in. Look for low hanging tree branches, large rocks, drainage ditches, or any other obstacle that could get in the way of pulling the RV in.
- Once you are aware of the surroundings and have cleared any obstacles have your assistant help guide you into the parking spot on your campsite. Of course if you have a nice pull through spot this step will not be necessary. When you are backing in, even if you have done it many times, it is best to have someone to help guide you into the space.
Leveling the RV
This may not seem like the most important part of setting up camp, but it is. A level RV allows for your fridge to function properly, safe extension of any pop out portions, keeping the RV stable in windy conditions, less rocking when moving about inside, etc.
Some RVs and trailers come equipped with a self leveling system making the task of leveling as simple as pushing a button. Other RVs will require a bit of manual leveling. You will need to make use of a level and some leveling blocks.
First, as soon as the RV is in place you will want to get out the level and and place it in the floor inside to and check how level the RV is both front to back and side to side. Position any pop outs in there extended state to see which way/ how far the vehicle leans and then put them back in until done leveling and stabilizing.
Next, place your blocks where they need to go. Be careful not to force the RV to raise more than 2 inches at a time.
Move the RV into place on the blocks making sure that no part of the tire is overhanging.
Check the level once more and make any adjustments needed. Once the RV is level, set down chocks to keep the wheels in place. Once the side to side leveling is done you can unhitch the tow vehicle and use the trailer hitch to level from front to back.
If you are camping in a motor home put it in park and set the parking brake.
Once the RV is level you will want to stabilize it to ensure it stays that way. This can be done with stabilizing jacks. Use some boards under the jack's foot for extra stability especially when parked over ground that is loose or sandy. When the jack is in contact with the ground crank it just a little more to make sure it is secure. Check the level one more time .
Now you are all set and ready to go enjoy your RV camping trip!
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