Don’t let the rain ruin your camping trip. Here are the best rainy day camping activities for RVing adults.
Rain, rain, go away,
Come again some other day,
We want to go outside and play,
Come again some other day,
Even as an adult, that nursery rhyme always pops into my head whenever it rains. Especially when we are camping and all we want to do is go outside and recreate!
But with over 25 years of enjoying the RV Lifestyle and lots of rainy (and a few snowy) days, we’ve learned how to keep ourselves entertained on days when the weather is not cooperating with our original itinerary.
I’m going to offer numerous ideas on how to spend a rainy day while camping plus some links to help you make the most of these ideas.
I’ll start easy but don’t expect all of these activities to be lounging activities—they’re not! Sure, rainy days are a great day to relax but that doesn’t mean you have to be completely inactive.
1. Read a good camping book (not just any book)
Now I know you may think this isn’t original advice but reading a book is a go-to rainy-day camping activity for good reason. There’s something about the pitter-patter of rain that helps you immerse yourself in the pages of a good book.
I will point out, too, that I said you should read a good camping book. Not just any book!
A good camping book will transport you to another world while keeping you connected to your current travel experience. It will help inspire and motivate you to get out there and enjoy the great outdoors as soon as the rain lets up. That’s why I highly suggest you keep at least one of these great books to read while camping at the ready on every road trip.
Here’s a few to get you started:
Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
Modoc: The True Story of the Greatest Elephant That Ever Lived by Ralph Helfer
Take Me With You by Catherine Ryan Hyde
The Call of the Wild by Jack London
Into the Wild by John Krakauer
Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by John Berendt
2. Watch a good camping movie (again, not just any movie)
That’s right, not just any movie—a good camping movie. As I said about books, you should choose a movie that keeps you immersed in your travel experience. That way, you still get a taste of adventure even if confined to your RV.
To make it easy for you, I’ve made a list of 10 Iconic Road Trip Movies. This list includes a WIDE RANGE of movies bout life on the road. I researched the history of road trip cinema and chose 10 of the most iconic films in which people drive across the U.S.
Speaking of movies, I have posted articles on film-making in various regions of America. Here’s a quick sampling:
No matter the size of your RV, you could always invite fellow campers over. Whether you squeeze inside or tuck under your awning, it’s always nice to gather together on a rainy day.
Plenty of campers will agree that one of the best rainy-day camping activities is playing games. So, invite some people over and have a game night! Or, rather, a game rainy day!
This brings me to my next rainy day suggestion…
4. Host a championship game day
Forget game NIGHT. Host a championship game day! Whether you invite your camping neighbors over or play at your travel party, games are always fun on a rainy day.
But don’t get stuck playing the same game for hours. Instead, organize an impromptu championship series where you play various games to determine an ultimate winner.
Since every person has different strong suits, this style of game day levels the playing field. Each player can pick a game and then the person who wins the most games is the champion.
You can pick standard board games or card games or you can get creative with different challenges.
There should definitely be a prize for the champion, whether it’s a silly homemade trophy or an inexpensive gift for RVers.
5. Cook up some comfort food
Comfort food and rainy days go hand in hand! Whether you’re curling up to a good book or movie, doing crafts, or playing games, comfort food is the perfect complement to all the activities on this list.
6. Camping puzzles and adult lego
What can be more relaxing than working on a puzzle while listening to raindrops hit your RV roof? If you think it’s not practical to do puzzles in a bumpy RV that you move from campground to campground, you’d be (happily) wrong!
You can use a roll-up puzzle mat to preserve your progress until you finish!
And I’m a big fan of crossward puzzles. As well as a rainy day activity, it helps to keep ones brain active as we age.
And on that same note, what about 3-D puzzles? Yep, I’m talking about Lego! Lego aren’t just for kids anymore.
Like the puzzle mat, you can use an organizer box to stay tidy. As an RVer, you might consider the following:
Lego Volkswagen Camper Van
Lego Wildflower Bouquet
Lego Birds Model
7. Journaling and scrapbooking
Another great rainy day camping activity is journaling and scrapbooking. It’s the perfect time to sit down and catch up on your recent experiences on the road.
Some of the journals have prompts, while others give you plenty of space to write freely.
8. Unique crafts and related activities
Doing arts and crafts is one of the best ways to keep yourself busy while being stuck inside on a rainy day. You can draw, paint, knit, quilt, leatherwork, carve, or even color. You can also enjoy many different activity books from crossword puzzles, sudoku, and miscellaneous games.
9. Plan your next RV road trip
There’s no time like the present to plan your next RV trip especially if rain is keeping you from enjoying your current one. If you’re stuck inside, you might as well make good use of your time and start planning your next adventure whether it’s reworking your current itinerary or starting a new one.
Just because it’s raining, doesn’t mean you have to stay inside! It doesn’t mean you can’t hit the trail or enjoy what you had planned for the day regardless. (As long as there’s no thunder storm, of course.)
Rain is just water, after all. You’re not going to melt. Like they say, there’s no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing.
So, whip out your camping poncho, put on your Tilleys hiking hat, and slip on your waterproof shoes. Get out there and see how the world looks different under its cover.
Jump in puddles if you will, turn your face up to the sky, and enjoy the rain!
The blizzard doesn’t last forever; it just seems so.
From fuel discounts to safety protocols to being comfortable, I share my best RV snowbirding tips for the drive South plus helpful resources
Are you preparing to drive south for the winter? Here are RV snowbirding tips to help you get there safely.
Like birds, RVers across northern North America prepare to head south for the winter. These snowbirds leave their northern homes for a few weeks or the entire winter to escape the cold winter months for a warmer climate.
If you’re joining the flock this year, I have some helpful snowbirding tips for the drive down. And some of these tips can help experienced snowbirds as well!
From fuel discounts to safety protocols to being comfortable, I share my best tips for a snowbird road trip plus helpful resources.
I have lots of articles on the RV snowbird lifestyle including the most popular snowbird destinations and other great places to stay. But in this article, I’ll cover the most important things to consider for your drive down.
The following RV travel tips will help during all road trips but especially during the snowbird season. Since you’re heading out for long periods of time you want to make sure you’re prepared and comfortable.
1. Carefully inspect your tires
Before setting off on your winter adventure, it’s crucial to inspect your RV tires. Better yet, take them to a trusted tire shop because the back of the tires is difficult to properly inspect at home.
Cold temperatures can affect tire pressure so make sure they are properly inflated. Additionally, check for any signs of wear and tear or damage.
Don’t forget to pack a spare tire, a tire pressure gauge, and a portable air compressor.
I STRONGLY ENCOURAGE you to read the following articles as they can save you from ending up on the side of the road or even save your life:
No matter how cautious you are, emergencies can happen. Prepare a roadside emergency kit containing essential items like a first aid kit, jumper cables, flashlight, extra batteries, roadside flares, and a basic toolkit.
It’s also a good idea to have spare fuses, a tire pressure gauge, and a portable jump starter. Be prepared and feel confident on the road.
In addition to a roadside emergency kit, I recommend carrying RV roadside assistance coverage. Here are some helpful resources:
Before heading south, double-check your RV insurance coverage. Ensure that your policy includes comprehensive coverage for both accidents and natural disasters related to your destination.
Confirm that your policy extends to the full duration of your trip and that you have coverage for any additional drivers.
5. Make sure your health insurance and prescriptions are in order
Your health is of utmost importance and you don’t want to wait until something goes wrong or your prescriptions run out to find a solution. The farther you get from your doctor and pharmacy the trickier things can become—unless you’re prepared!
I have a helpful resource regarding managing your healthcare while traveling:
The 330 Rule is you stop when you have driven 330 miles or its 3:30 in the afternoon. The idea is to get somewhere while it is still early enough to explore, chill, and enjoy the place when you’re not exhausted from driving miles upon miles.
Long stretches of road can get monotonous and lead to drowsiness or irritability. To make the journey more enjoyable have a collection of your favorite podcasts or audiobooks ready to keep you entertained.
You can learn something new or dive into exciting stories while cruising down the highway making the hours fly by.
8. Embrace serendipity travel
While planning your route is important don’t be afraid to embrace the spontaneous side of RV travel. Allow yourself the flexibility to deviate from the itinerary and explore unexpected attractions or beautiful camping spots along the way.
Serendipity travel can lead to unforgettable experiences and hidden gems you might have missed otherwise.
You can see some of the amazing places and experiences we’ve enjoyed because of serendipity:
Whether your RV runs on diesel or gas, fuel costs are a big part of your travel budget. RV fuel discount cards and programs help you stretch those dollars farther.
The benefits range from discounted gas prices to multiple ways to save at specific locations. Plan your fuel stops accordingly to take advantage of these discounts helping you save money while enjoying your snowbird journey.
RVers can SAVE BIG with reciprocal memberships that give you free or discounted access to a network of museums, zoos, and more.
A reciprocal membership program is a collaboration between cultural institutions that extends benefits to members of participating institutions. If you have a reciprocal membership with one museum you’ll get benefits from all other museums in that network.
Avoid a mouse problem in the first place! Here’s how to keep mice out of your RV for good.
Mice may be small and cute but they can cause big damage and an ugly mess.
I have heard horror stories through the years of how mice chewed through wires, insulation, and walls. Not to mention the nests they build that can clog vents and wreak havoc on your appliances and engine. And NOW I have my own direct experience with this—more on that in a moment.
Even a dead mouse can cause a stink-up! Anyone who has returned to their RV after storing it for winter months only to be confronted with a terrible smell knows what I’m talking about.
So, whether you have a rodent problem or want to avoid one in the first place, here are some tried and true tips to keep them away from your RV.
Preventative measures to keep mice out of your RV
The best way to prevent a mouse infestation is to keep them from getting into your RV at all. That means blocking off any potential entry points a mouse might use to infiltrate your rig.
There are several methods to do this. Chances are you’ll need to use more than one depending on the type of holes and entry points you’re dealing with.
1. Know how mice get in
You’ll see in the next section that the first step to preventing mice from getting into your RV is to search for entry points. But that means you need to know what to look for!
When searching, remember that mice have collapsible rib cages. Why is that important? Because that means if their head can fit into a hole, so can the rest of their body. A good rule of thumb: if a pencil can fit, a mouse can fit.
When looking for potential entry points, you have to look for even the smallest holes and cracks that a flexible mouse can take advantage of.
2. Scour the exterior of your RV for possible entry points
Now that you know what to look for, the first step is to scour the exterior of your RV for any small cracks or small openings.
Use a flashlight and brightly colored tape to help you find and mark every possible entry point. Then you can determine what materials you need to cover or fill the openings.
Since mice most often enter your RV from the ground, you’ll need to crawl under your RV to search there as well. Or employ someone else to do the job—even if that someone is a grandkid. (By the way, I say most often because I’ve heard of mice dropping down from tree branches to RVs).
If using jacks or jack stands to search under your RV follow every safety measure and use backup safety measures so the RV can’t crush you! Unlike mice, you don’t have a collapsible rib cage!
3. Seal all holes and cracks
The easiest way to seal off openings is to use spray foam, RV sealant caulk, or steel wool—or a combination of the three. You simply fill or cover the small holes with these materials to make sure mice can’t get in.
It’s a good idea to carry a rag with you and wear gloves since these materials can get messy (or scratchy in the case of steel wool). The last thing you want to do is make a mess of yourself and your RV when you’re trying to improve it.
Note that steel wool is a good choice if you want to remove it easily later on. For instance, you might want to use it while your RV is in storage and then remove it before your next camping trip. Just be sure to mark these areas with brightly colored tape so you remember to remove the steel wool.
As a bonus, ultra-fine steel wool is also great for cleaning, polishing, and buffing. You can use it to clean your RV’s windshield and much more.
4. Use mouse deterrents
Another effective way to keep mice away from your RV is to make it unattractive to them. You might wonder what in the world can deter creatures that revel in garbage but there are quite a few options.
Granted, there is debate on how effective some of these are but there’s not always a perfect tried and true method. Individual mice have their preferences (and detractions), I suppose. But the following are supposed to help deter the majority of these little critters.
Here are some mouse repellents and deterrents some people swear by:
Soak cotton balls in peppermint oil
Peppermint oil spray (apparently, mice don’t like peppermint!)
Dryer sheets (fabric softener sheets)
Fresh Cab Rodent Repellent
There’s a long-standing old wives tale that bars of Irish Spring soap will deter mice but it seems that myth has been busted. From my experience, they actually relish gnawing away at the green stuff.
Note that any deterrent that uses strong smells or essential oils will lose effectiveness over time. You’ll need to replace these fragranced repellents regularly.
5. Burn all bridges
Mice can jump quite high (13 inches) but they prefer to climb. So, you need to make sure there aren’t any bridges that give easy access from the ground to your RV. This includes any tubes hanging down and your tires.
While you can keep any tubes from hanging down, what in the world are you supposed to do about your tires?!
In short, you wrap sheet metal around your tires. Mice can’t climb up the slippery surface.
Our recent experience with mice…
Last winter we bagged three mice with glue traps only after a little critter disabled our toad by gnawing the fuel line. It was a costly repair that necessitated the need for a tow and rental car.
The best holiday gifts for RV owners include outdoor gear, interior decor, travel entertainment, kitchen gadgets, and much more. Here’s an ultimate list of gifts in all price ranges.
Whether your RVer likes practical gifts, fun gifts, or unique gifts, there’s something for every RVer on this list.
This article will be your one-stop shop for every RVer you want to buy a gift for!
Here is my ultimate list of the best Christmas gift for RV owners broken into the following categories:
Outside the RV: Camping essentials
Inside the RV: Home, bath, and storage
RV lifestyle tech: Remote workers
RV safety essentials
Fiction books, movies, and games for RVers
RV kitchen supplies
Each category has a range of options, big and small, cheap and luxurious! So be sure to skim the whole list to find the perfect gift for your RVer.
Outside the RV: Camping essentials
1. Outdoor portable propane fire pit
This is a great gift for those RVers who love to enjoy an outdoor fire but do not want to lug or hassle with firewood. It can be turned on and off quickly so you only have to hassle with a fire when you are ready to enjoy it.
2. Wireless backup camera for motorhome
A backup motorhome camera can be the perfect gift to ease the tension of having to back up such a large vehicle. Not only does it cut down on the driver’s stress level but it can be safer for everyone.
One thing that most RVers love to do is track and talk about where they have been. This sticker map lets them track everywhere they’ve been in the United States in a visually appealing way (Canadian maps are also available).
It is weather-resistant so can be mounted outside or inside the RV. It’s a nice, decorative reminder of travels and a great ice-breaker for those wanting to make friends while camping.
5. Magnetic hide-a-key case
A magnetic hide-a-key case is a perfect stocking stuffer. This little box can save your RVer from being stranded (it happens way more often than it should).
It’ll also save you from having to frantically express mail or drive their spare RV key to them! Having some kind of hide-a-key is a must-have for every RVer.
6. Folding step stool
A step stool is a super practical gift for an RV owner making it easier to get in and out of the RV and to access the ladder and awnings among lots of other uses. A folding step stool is great because it collapses to easily store in the RV when it’s not being used. Interior folding steps are also available.
Hammocks would make a fun gift idea for an RV owner to bring some comfiness to their outdoor space when they stop to camp. They can just keep the hammock in the RV and when they get to that epic campsite can set up a cozy reading or napping nook in the trees.
8. Georgia State Parks passes & Friends membership
Join the Texas State Parks’ 100-year celebration with the 2023 Texas State Parks ornament. This special ornament is crafted on metal and features a laser-cutting technique used to create a distinct dot for every one of Texas’s 89 State Parks. Each ornament is $19.95 plus tax.
Gift cards can be used for park passes, entry and overnight fees, and in-store purchases.
Inside the RV: Home, bath, and storage
10. Cute and funny RV throw pillows
RVers love multifunctional items and throw pillows offer comfort while beautifying their RV. Plus, they can be easily exchanged when your RV wants to update their interior design.
11 Folding step stool
This practical gift would come in handy for any RVer. It folds flat for easy storage and can easily be stored under the sink or in a closet. It can even be tucked away under a couch or bed if they are elevated above the floor. If your RVer is vertically challenged this is a must-have.
12. Shower bag caddy
If your RVer regularly uses campground showers this is an excellent gift for them. It’ll make trudging to the shower that much easier and keep their items clean and organized.
You can also turn the bag into a gift basket by adding shower shoes and a travel hair dryer. But for those who mostly shower inside their RV…
13. Adhesive shower caddy
For RVers who mostly use their RV shower a caddy set helps make them feel at home.
14. Hanging closet organizer
Maximizing closet space is always a challenge for RVers. A hanging closet organizer is a game-changer.
15. Charcoal air purifier
If you’re spending an extended amount of time in an RV you might start to notice that it starts smelling a little less than fresh. Charcoal air purifiers naturally absorb odors without adding a fake scent. They can be stashed or hung around the RV to keep it smelling nice and it will be a much-appreciated gift for motorhome and trailer owners.
RV lifestyle tech: Remote work and RV office
Remote working (whether full-time or part-time) has seriously grown in popularity in recent years. More and more RVers are trading in their home office for a mobile office in their RV.
16. HP 2700 All-in-one printer
The wireless HP 2700 series allows you to easily print documents when you are on the go. It is lightweight, compact, and prints high-quality, crisp documents, and photos.
17. Cell or Wi-Fi booster
Getting away from it all is important but when your family members are on the road for weeks at a time, staying connected is important, too. A Wi-Fi or cell booster will extend and expand any available signal. That could mean taking a campground Wi-Fi signal and making it stronger or improving cellular coverage when they’re out and about.
RV safety essentials
I know the safety of your RVer is of utmost importance to you. That’s why the following safety essentials can make great gifts for RVers.
For one, they bring peace of mind to you. For two, they fill in the void of often overlooked items your RVer sorely needs, an oversight that can leave them in a dangerous situation.
18. Natural gas and propane detector
Carbon monoxide poisoning is an all-too-real threat to RVers’ well-being. Most RVs come standard with CO detectors but some older models do not. Not to mention the ones that need replacement.
19. First alert EZ fire spray
In addition to their standard RV fire extinguisher every RVer should have this quick-and-easy extinguishing aerosol spray. It’s lightweight and as easy as pushing the top to use which is ideal for sudden BBQ or RV kitchen fires. Or even for campfires that jump the fire ring.
20. She’s Birdie personal safety alarm
Originally designed as a personal safety alarm for women, this loud siren is now popular among men, too. It’s a great gift for solo RVers and boondockers who often camp overnight in parking lots.
Many RVers attach it to their dog leashes or hiking backpacks in case they encounter a threat (whether person or animal) on their walks. But for bigger threats, your RVer will need the following…
21. Counter Assault bear spray
Encountering bears is a common occurrence while camping. And, unfortunately these encounters have led to more injuries and deaths than I care to mention.
This bear spray will give you peace of mind and truly help to protect your RVing loved one if they encounter a bear. We consider it a must-have for any RVer who camps in bear country (which covers a LOT of the U.S. and Canada).
22. Emergency roadside kit
While you can’t always prevent roadside emergencies you can at least be prepared for them. That’s when a good emergency roadside kit comes in handy.
You can buy a premade kit, make your own, or buy individual items as stocking stuffers.
23. Emergency first aid kit
RVers are usually good at putting a first aid kit in their RV when they first buy it. However, we are often terrible about checking expiration dates and restocking used supplies.
That’s why an all-purpose first aid kit is great for any RVer. Even if they already have one in their RV, they can easily slide this one into their hiking backpack or bike pack.
Fiction books, movies, and games for RVers
Nature offers plenty of entertainment but RVers still need to entertain themselves on lazy afternoons, in the evenings, or on long road trips.
24. Thelma & Louise
Snuggling up to a movie after a great day on the trail is a perk of camping in an RV rather than a tent. There’s a movie for everyone on these lists that covers every genre including the classic Thelma & Louise.
If your RVer loves crafts or is looking for a new hobby an embroidery start kit is the way to go. It’s everything they need to get started in the world of embroidery.
But there are lots of crafty gifts and activities perfect for RVers!
RV kitchen supplies
26. Portable ice maker
Ice is often a luxury while RVing and one that many RVers don’t like going without.
A compact and affordable ice maker is the perfect gift.
27. Instant pot
While it’s not just RVers that adore the Instant Pot, it’s especially useful in an RV kitchen where space is super tight. The smallest Instant Pot (6 quarts) will still take up some space but it packs such a punch with what it can do that it’s totally worth it.
Of course, you can make hearty stews, rice, and grains in it but did you know you can also bake banana bread, make hard-boiled eggs, and even cook dessert in the Instant Pot? This is the gift that will keep on giving delicious meals!
Bonus gift ideas
The following are more of the best gifts for RV owners. From gift cards to national park passes here are more gift ideas to go.
28. America the Beautiful Pass
One of the greatest things about RV travel is visiting the national parks. The annual America the Beautiful Pass costs $80 and gives your camping loved ones access to more than 2,000 parks and recreation sites across the country. The pass is good for 12 months and covers park admission for everyone in the entire vehicle. It’s a gift that’s appreciated all year long.
29. Benchmark Road and Recreation Atlas
Benchmark Road and Recreation Atlas books are available for many states and the information includes backcountry roads, trailheads, campgrounds, points of interest, hunting units, RV parks, golf, and boating locations .
30. Dyrt Pro membership
RVers are always looking for great new places to explore and beautiful campgrounds and RV parks. One of my favorite parts of RV living is all of the beautiful places we get to see while we are camping. A great membership to simplify the process of planning a camping trip and saving money is the Dyrt Pro membership.
31. Harvest Hosts membership
Want to give experiences instead of things to your RVer? A Harvest Hosts membership is the perfect option. It is a unique membership service that lets RVers camp overnight FOR FREE at lovely outdoor venues such as wineries, breweries, museums, farms, orchards, and creameries. There are more than 2,000 such places across North America to choose from.
There is also an upgraded membership where you can also camp overnight at golf courses.
There are many benefits to having a Costco membership especially during the holiday shopping season. Sure, the advent calendars are fun and the variety of small items for stocking stuffers is superb but there’s something else that is a far better bang for your buck.
Buying gift cards from the retailer may save you hundreds.
Whether you’re looking for gift cards for restaurants, movie theaters, stores, or theme parks, Costco has it all. Here the best deals on gift cards are right now:
$500 Southwest Airlines gift card for $449.99
$100 worth of Fogo de Chao gift cards for $79.99
$100 worth of Domino’s gift cards for $79.99
$100 worth of Peet’s Coffee gift cards for $79.99
$100 worth of California Pizza Kitchen gift cards for $79.99
$100 worth of Spafinder gift cards for $79.99
$100 worth of Chuck E. Cheese gift cards for $74.99
$100 Xbox digital download gift card for $89.99
$60 worth of Krispy Kreme gift cards for $44.99
$60 worth of Pinkberry gift cards for $47.99
$50 Cinemark Theatres gift card for $39.99
Make sure to periodically check the Costco website, especially during different holidays as the selection of gift cards may vary by season and could be temporarily out of stock at certain times.
Once again, we come to the Holiday Season, a deeply religious time that each of us observes, in his own way, by going to the mall of his choice.
—Dave Barry, Christmas Shopping: A Survivor’s Guide
A manufacturer recall can create a safety risk if not repaired
Your recreational vehicle may be involved in a safety recall and may create a safety risk for you or your passengers. Safety defects must be repaired by a certified dealer at no cost to you. However, if left unrepaired, a potential safety defect in your vehicle could lead to injury or even death.
What is a recall?
It’s always important to keep up with the latest recalls, no matter how small the issue may appear to be. Each week, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) publishes the latest information on recalls from minor to major defects. NHTSA releases its most recent list of recalls each Monday.
When a manufacturer or the NHTSA determines that a recreational vehicle or item of RV equipment creates an unreasonable safety risk or fails to meet minimum safety standards, the manufacturer must fix that vehicle or equipment at no cost to the consumer.
It should be noted that RV recalls are related to vehicle safety and not product quality. NHTSA has no interest in an air conditioner failing to cool or slide out failing to extend or retract—unless they can be directly attributed to product safety.
NHTSA announced 13 recall notices in November 2023. These recalls involved 8 recreational vehicle manufacturers—Forest River (4 recalls), Winnebago (2 recalls), Gulf Stream (1 recall), Jayco (2 recalls), Thor Motor Coach (1 recall), Triple E (1 recall), Airstream (1 recall), and Newell (1 recall).
Forest River, Inc. (Forest River) is recalling certain 2023-2024 Sandstorm, Stealth, and 2024 Shockwave travel trailers. The wire routed from the 50AMP inlet to the transfer switch in the distribution panel is the incorrect gauge, which may cause the wire to melt.
Dealers will replace the incorrect 10-gauge wire with a 6-gauge wire, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed December 13, 2023. Owners may contact Forest River Customer Service at 1-951-357-2327. Forest River’s number for this recall is 67-1700.
Forest River, Inc. (Forest River) is recalling certain 2018-2024 Coachmen Adrenaline and 2020-2024 Work and Play fifth wheels and travel trailers. The side marker lights may not reflect light as intended, which can make it difficult for other drivers to see the trailer. As such, these vehicles fail to comply with the requirements of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard number 108, “Lamps, Reflective Devices, and Associated Equipment.”
Dealers will install reflector stickers, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed December 13, 2023. Owners may contact Forest River Customer Service at 1-574-825-6302. Forest River’s number for this recall is 320-1697.
Forest River, Inc. (Forest River) is recalling certain 2022-2024 Forester and Sunseeker motorhomes. The park brake signal wire may not be connected to the house battery control center, which can allow the slideroom to extend during transit.
Dealers will connect the signal wire to the battery control center, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed December 27, 2023. Owners may contact Forest River Customer Service at 1-574-206-7600. Forest River’s number for this recall is 34-1707.
Forest River, Inc. (Forest River) is recalling certain 2022-2024 Forester and Sunseeker motorhomes. The park brake signal wire may not be connected to the house battery control center, which can allow the slideroom to extend during transit.
Dealers will connect the signal wire to the battery control center, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed December 27, 2023. Owners may contact Forest River Customer Service at 1-574-206-7600. Forest River’s number for this recall is 34-1707.
Winnebago Industries, Inc. (Winnebago) is recalling certain 2024 Solis motorhomes. The fasteners that secure the sliding seat in the extended position are missing. As such, these vehicles fail to comply with the requirements of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard number 207, “Seating Systems.”
Dealers will install the missing fasteners, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed December 23, 2023. Owners may contact Winnebago customer service at 1-641-585-6939 or 1-800-537-1885. Winnebago’s number for this recall is 180.
Winnebago Towable (Winnebago) is recalling certain 2017-2018 Micro Minnie travel trailers. The murphy bed may raise unintentionally if there is weight at the head of the bed and the button strap is not properly latched.
Dealers will install a new automatic latching mechanism, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed January 5, 2024. Owners may contact Winnebago customer service at 1-574-825-5280 ext. 5220. Winnebago’s number for this recall is CAM0000031.
Gulf Stream Coach Inc. (Gulf Stream) is recalling certain 2024 Conquest, Independence, Trailmaster, Friendship, and Ameri-Lite, model 177BH, travel trailers. The Federal certification label may contain incorrect tire size and tire pressure information. As such, these vehicles fail to comply with the requirements of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard number 110, “Tire Selection and Rims,” and 49 CFR Part 567, “Certification.”
Gulf Stream will mail replacement labels to owners, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed December 4, 2023. Owners may contact Gulf Stream at 1-800-289-8787.
Jayco, Inc. (Jayco) is recalling certain 2023-2024 Jayco White Hawk travel trailers. A window may be incorrectly marked as an emergency exit.
Dealer will replace the red handle and red screen knob and remove the exit decal, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed December 8, 2023. Owners may contact Jayco customer service at 1-800-283-8267. Jayco’s number for this recall is 9901596.
Jayco, Inc. (Jayco) is recalling certain 2023-2024 Entegra Emblem, Vision, Vision XL, Jayco Alante, Precept, and Precept Prestige motorhomes. Corrosion in the Smart Data Link Connector (SDLC) may interfere with the Controller Area Network (CAN) communication, resulting in an inoperative instrument panel. As such, these vehicles fail to comply with the requirements of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard numbers 101, “Control and Displays” and 105, “Hydraulic and Electric Brake Systems.”
Ford dealers will install a wire harness connector, and inspect and replace the SDLC module, as necessary, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed December 15, 2023. Owners may contact Jayco customer service at 1-800-283-8267.
Thor Motor Coach
Thor Motor Coach (TMC) is recalling certain 2021-2024 Thor Rize and Scope motorhomes. The solar panel frame may fracture around the mounting bolts, allowing the panel to detach from the vehicle.
The remedy is currently under development. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed January 9, 2024. Owners may contact TMC customer service at 1-877-855-2867. TMC’s number for this recall is RC000298
Triple E Recreational Vehicles (Triple E) is recalling certain 2023-2024 Triple E Wonder W24RTB, W24RL, and W24FTB motorhomes. The wire insulation on the 120-volt wire routed to the air conditioner may become damaged, which can cause electrical arcing.
Dealers will install a grommet and 2 screws, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed November 21, 2023. Owners may contact Triple E customer service at 1-877-992-9906. Triple E’s number for this recall is CA#10438-1.
Airstream, Inc. (Airstream) is recalling certain 2019-2024 Interstate 19, Interstate 24, Interstate 24X, Rangeline and Atlas motorhomes. The Federal Certification Label and Tire Placard may indicate incorrect tire pressure and tire size. As such, these vehicles fail to comply with the requirements of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard number 110, “Tire Selection and Rims.”
Airstream will mail corrected labels, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed January 16, 2024. Owners may contact Airstream customer service at 1-877-596-6505 or 1-937-596-6111 ext. 7401 or 7411.
Newell Coach Corp. (Newell) is recalling certain 2024 P50 motor coaches. The low beam headlights may be installed incorrectly.
Dealers will adjust the low beam headlights, free of charge. The manufacturer has not yet provided a schedule for recall notification. Owners may contact Newell customer service at 1-888-363-9355.
From boondocking to Wallydocking and DW to TT, here’s a list of the most common RV terminology, jargon, and acronyms with easy-to-understand definitions
Just like any type of culture or lifestyle, RVing has its slang terms that can often be confusing to those who are unfamiliar or new to the RV lifestyle. I have compiled a newbie (someone new to the RV world) and wanna-be (someone who wants to RV but but not there yet) list of some of the more popular jargon terms used by frequent RVers.
“When I left my sticks and bricks to go to my favorite NP, I almost forgot my toad! My DW told me to turn the MH around and that’s when I realized our stinky slinky was trailing behind us! I finally got the rig situated and we’re going boondocking with a bit of moochdocking the next few weeks.”
Did you understand that, or was it just a bunch of gibberish?
Don’t worry if it was all mumbo jumbo to you because it’ll make perfect sense by the end of this RV glossary.
The world of RVing is full of acronyms. Those include RV (recreational vehicle), FW (fifth-wheel), TT (travel trailer), FHU (full hook up), BH (bunk house), and many more. In these days of rising campground costs and campground crowding, there are a host of other acronyms RVers should know about. Those are the acronyms of federal agencies that oversee millions of acres of public land that offer free and low-cost camping.
Here are the acronyms for those federal agencies:
USFS (United States Forest Service)
COE (Corps of Engineers)
DOD (Department of Defense)
DOE (Department of Energy)
NWR (National Wildlife Refuge)
TVA (Tennessee Valley Authority)
DOI (Department of the Interior) oversees the following federal land agencies that will be of interest to RVers. Their acronyms are:
BOI (Bureau of Indian Affairs)
BLM (Bureau of Land Management)
USBR (Bureau of Reclamation)
NPS (National Park Service)
FWS (Fish and Wildlife Service)
RV terminology, jardon, and acronyms for newbie RVers
When we first started living the RV lifestyle many decades ago, it all sounded Greek to me.
Whenever I blankly stared at an experienced RVer, I felt like Jackie Chan in the movie Rush Hour when Chris Tucker loudly asked, “Do you understand the words coming out of my mouth?!”
If you can relate to me and Jackie Chan, then keep reading. The following RV slang, lingo, and abbreviations will help you understand the words that are coming out of experienced RVers’ mouths. Plus, you’ll sound like a veteran RVer, too!
Basement refers to the storage area below the main area of your motorhome that is accessed from the outside.
The black tank is the term for the holding tank that holds waste from your toilet. When you flush, the contents of the bowl are directed (most often via gravity feed) into the black tank. When you dump your RV holding tanks, the waste leaves the holding tank and goes into the sewer.
Blue boy (poop tote, turd trailer)
This is like a personal-sized honey wagon. It’s a small holding tank on wheels used for emptying black or gray water without moving your RV. These were traditionally blue but they’re commonly gray nowadays like this Camco Rhino Portable RV Tote Tank.
Boondocking (dry camping)
Boondocking is camping off-grid. Your RV is self-contained which means you don’t plug your RV into water, electricity, or sewer.
Though boondocking is used as a broad term, it most accurately refers to camping out on land somewhere where permitted (like federally owned land in the West). It’s a style of camping where you are away from people and out in nature.
CCC (Cargo Carrying Capacity)
The maximum weight limit for personal items you can add to an RV.
Refers to diesel motorhome with engine located in the rear of the RV. The engine location helps push the RV down the road and provides a smoother, quieter ride.
Electrical adapter used to connect a 30amp RV to a 50amp electrical plug or a 50amp RV to a 30amp electrical plug.
The weight of the RV as it comes off the assembly line. Does not include supplies, water, fuel, or passenger weights. Manufacturers weigh each RV and apply a sticker listing the dry weight before shipping.
DW/DH (Dear Wife/Dear Husband)
Whenever someone is referring to DW or DH, they’re referring to their significant other. DW stands for Dear Wife and DH for Dear Husband. We could also use DD for the Dear Dogs that travel with many of us.
This may seem like odd acronyms to include on an RV terminology list but you’d be surprised how often they come up. You’ll see them in RV forums, social media posts, and sometimes even mixed into spoken conversation.
Fiver (5er or 5th)
A fiver refers to a fifth-wheel trailer which is a trailer that hooks into the bed of a truck as opposed to the back hitch of a tow vehicle. They tend to be bigger than a standard travel trailer.
Flat towing is towing a vehicle behind your RV with all four wheels of the towed/toad/dinghy vehicle on the ground. Flat-towing does not involve the use of a dolly or trailer and is our preferred way to tow. However, not all vehicles can be flat-towed.
Fresh Water Capacity
The amount of drinkable water an RV fresh water tank can hold.
A campsite that offers a water supply, sewer/septic, and electricity.
People who live in their RV year round.
Galley is another term referring to the kitchen of an RV.
GAWR (Gross Axle Weight Rating)
This is the total allowable weight on each individual axle which includes the weight of tires, wheels, brakes, and the axle itself.
GCWR (Gross Combination Weight Rating)
This is the total allowable weight of the tow vehicle and trailer (or motorhome and toad) and all cargo in each, hitching fluids, and occupants.
Your RV gray tank is an RV holding tank into which your sinks and indoor shower drain. Depending on the configuration of your RV, it may have one or more gray tanks to capture and store gray water.
Gray Water Capacity
The amount of used water from the kitchen sink, bathroom sink, and shower that a gray water tank can hold.
GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating)
The maximum RV weight limit includes the vehicle’s chassis, body, engine, fluids, fuel, accessories, passengers, and contents.
The towing capacity of the receiver hitch.
Refers to the fresh water, gray water, and black water tanks.
When you put a sweet word next to a rustic one, you wonder what in the world it could mean. In this case, honey is meant as a euphemism for the dirty work that this wagon does. A honey wagon is a truck or trailer with a large liquid-holding tank that comes around to pump out RV waste tanks. They make regular stops at campgrounds, truck stops, and, of course, RV dump stations.
The engine brake is used on some diesel vehicles.
MH is simply an abbreviation for motorhome. Sometimes people use motorhome as an all-encompassing term for RVs but experienced RVers know better. A motorhome specifically refers to RVs with a built-in cab and engine unlike travel trailers requiring a tow vehicle.
Moochdocking is similar to boondocking but it’s not exactly self-contained since you mooch off your family and friends to do it. Simply put, moochdocking is when you park at a friend or family member’s house.
Sometimes, you’re not mooching anything more than a parking space. Other times, you may be mooching water and power. It’s worth mentioning that moochdock etiquette includes offering to pay for the utilities you use or at least buy them dinner.
A Navy shower is when you turn the water off between wetting and rinsing. It certainly conserves hot water but it leaves you cold in between rinses and isn’t nearly as enjoyable as regular showers.
NF (National Forest)
Though not seen as frequently as NP (see below), the letters NF pop up often. They’re an abbreviation for national forest and often follow the name of a particular national forest such as Pisgah NF or Sequoia NF.
NFS (National Forest System)
No, techies, this does not refer to a Network File System! In the camping world, this refers to the National Forest System. The NFS manages public lands in the form of national forests and grasslands. To add even more letters, this system is administered by the USFS (US Forest Service).
NP (National Park)
It seems obvious once it’s spelled out but NP stands for National Park. As you know, we RVers love the national parks. So, you’ll see this abbreviation often.
NPS stands for the National Park Service which has been entrusted with the care of the national parks since 1916. However, it’s the NPS.gov website that RVers refer to the most.
The NPS website is the #1 resource for planning a visit to a national park. You can easily find a park, events, passes, and trip ideas on the site. Plus, learn how you can get involved with their important mission.
NWRS (National Wildlife Refuge System)
Operating under the direction of FWS, the National Wildlife Refuge System (NWRS) is a network of 567 national wildlife refuges and 38 wetland management districts located in all 50 states and five U.S. territories. There is a national wildlife refuge within an hour’s drive of most major metropolitan areas, and national wildlife refuges provide vital habitats for thousands of species and access to world-class recreation, including birding, photography, and environmental education.
Unfortunately, it’s just like what it sounds like a pile of poop. Human waste piles up in your RV tank and pretty much becomes a solid mass that refuses to flow out of your stinky slinky.
This happens when liquid waste easily drains out when your valve is left open but solid waste builds up in your tank. It’s gross—and stinky! And can be expensive to clean out. So, don’t leave your black tank valve open!
By the way, I have a post on this dilemma and several others on avoiding sewer woes:
A provincial park is Canada’s version of a state park. Since Canada is separated into provinces, the name makes perfect sense. Canada also has national parks.
For example, Banff is a National Park run by Canada’s federal government while Wells Gray is a Provincial Park (PP) run by the province of British Columbia.
A rig is synonymous with an RV. Although, sometimes RVers use it as an umbrella term for their RV and everything they attach to it (like a tow vehicle or towed vehicle). You can think of it as whatever they’ve rigged up to take on your camping trip.
If you look closely, you’ll probably quickly realize this is a mash-up of two words: sanitation dump. Once you realize that, it’s pretty self-explanatory as a place where you dump your sanitation. You can read more about sanidumps in How to Find and Best Practices for Using RV Dump Stations.
A frequently use term meaning your rig can supply utilities (water and electricity) and waste management without an external source, for a limited duration. As you learned earlier in the list, boondocking is a self-contained way to RV.
A compartment was added to an RV to increase interior space. The slide-out (or slide-out room) slides into the body during travel and slides out when the RV is parked.
A protective covering that prevents dirt, debris, and water from collecting on top of an RV slide-out. Slide toppers come in different sizes and styles to fit a variety of slide-outs.
SP (state park)
Just like NP, SP comes up in conversations a lot with RVers. That’s because we love the state parks just as much as our national parks.
This acronym is often tied to a state acronym. If you see AZ SP or GA SP, for instance, it’s referring to an Arizona state park or Georgia state park, respectively.
I have numerous articles on exploring state parks:
Sticks and bricks refer to a house on a foundation, i.e., not an RV. Many RVers are part-timers which means they live part of the year in a sticks-and-bricks house.
You’ll hear part-timers say things like, “It’s time to go check on my sticks and bricks.” Or, full-timers will say, “I sold my sticks and bricks and haven’t regretted it for a second.”
Dania and I are part-timers. We live in our sticks and bricks for about five months of the year and RV for the remainder.
Stinky slinky is the RV slang term used to refer to a sewer hose! For those not yet familiar with the stinky slinky, you’ll connect one side of this hose (usually 3 inches in diameter) to your holding tank outlet and the other end to the sewer inlet. This is how you dump your holding tanks.
A stinky slinky is a funny name for a sewer hose. It has spiraled ridges and stretches out like a slinky… and, well, it’s stinky. Dealing with human waste is surely one of the downsides of RVing. So, silly terms like this help us to laugh about an otherwise yucky task.
A toad is a homophone that clever RVers came up with to refer to towed vehicles. Get it? Towed… toad.
A toad is a vehicle that is towed behind your motorhome. Once you settle your RV into a campsite, you use your toad to drive around town or the area. It’s also referred to as a dinghy as in the little boats that go back and forth from the ship to shore.
The maximum weight a tow vehicle can safely tow, is determined by the vehicle manufacturer. Consult the vehicle manufacturer or use a towing guide to find out the towing capacity of a particular vehicle.
The term toy hauler refers to a specific type of RV that has a garage in the rear, often with a ramp door for easy access. The garage area of a toy hauler is often used to carry ATVs, motorcycles, other recreational gear, or even a car.
TPMS (Tire Pressure Monitoring System)
TPMS stands for Tire Pressure Monitoring System. You may be familiar with it if you have a recent model year car (2007 or newer) as all new cars come with tire pressure monitoring built-in now. But there are also aftermarket systems that can be added to your vehicle’s tires.
TT (travel trailer)
Remember how we said fifth wheels don’t hook onto the hitch at the back of a tow vehicle? Well, travel trailers do. A travel trailer is an RV trailer that hitches onto any tow vehicle which may include an SUV or even a car.
TV (tow vehicle)
A tow vehicle is what pulls a travel trailer or fifth wheel. It’s typically a truck but SUVs and even cars can be tow vehicles for smaller travel trailers.
Don’t confuse TV or tow vehicles for towed vehicles. Tow vehicles pull whereas towed vehicles are pulled. That’s probably why we’ve clearly distinguished the terms between TV and toads.
Wallydocking (lot docking)
Wallydocking is parking overnight in a Walmart parking lot. It’s a popular option when you’re looking for free overnight camping.
In general, it’s a form of lot docking as in parking lot docking. Cracker Barrel is another lot docking favorite but a cute nickname hasn’t emerged for that yet. I think Barreldocking has a nice ring to it… let’s see if it catches on.
The weight of the vehicle with the fuel, fresh water, and propane tanks full. Note these important weights:
Propane: 4.24 pounds per gallon
Water: 8.34 pounds per gallon
Gasoline: 6.3 pounds per gallon
Diesel fuel: 7 pounds per gallon
Slanted blocks, usually made of plastic material but sometimes wood, used to prevent the RV from rolling.
Generally refers to RVers exchanging work for a free campsite, utilities, and possibly a small wage. Full-time RVers often do this to save on expenses.
Jargon is the verbal sleight of hand that makes the old hat seem newly fashionable; it gives an air of novelty and specious profundity to ideas that, if stated directly, would seem superficial, stale, frivolous, or false. The line between serious and spurious scholarship is an easy one to blur with jargon on your side.
Going on a winter camping trip? Here are some easy, affordable ways to keep your RV pipes from freezing while camping.
Camping in the snow is an entirely different experience and a great way to enjoy typical summer destinations in a whole new way.
However, RV owners must take the necessary precautions to protect their RV from the cold weather. One of the most critical issues to be aware of is the risk of frozen pipes which can cause serious damage to your RV’s plumbing system. And don’t forget about your RV holding tanks. In severe cold, these can freeze, too.
In this article, I’ll discuss the steps you can take to keep your RV pipes from freezing while camping in cold weather.
Ultimate RV winter camping tips
One trip to the hardware store can get you most of the things on this list.
These tips should help protect your motorhome or trailer through the winter months. That way, you can enjoy your winter camping trip to the fullest.
1. Insulate your RV pipes
Properly insulating your RV pipes is the first step in preventing them from freezing. Insulation materials such as pipe sleeves or foam insulation can add an extra layer of protection. Or, try pipe insulation tape. These materials can be cut to fit any size pipe and can be applied to the exterior of the pipes.
Be sure to pay attention to all the pipes including those under the sinks and in the bathroom and kitchen.
2. Consider using heat tape
Another effective way to prevent your RV pipes from freezing is to use heat tape or heat cable. Heat tape is an electrical heating element that can be wrapped around pipes and plugged in to provide heat.
Make sure to choose a heat tape specifically designed for use on RV pipes and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for installation and use.
3. Skirt your RV
Skirting your RV is another way to protect your pipes from freezing because it increases the ambient heat beneath your RV. Skirting is a material that surrounds the bottom or underbelly of your RV to block cold winds.
This can be a DIY project with various materials such as insulated foam, vinyl, or heavy-duty plastic. Or you can purchase pre-made skirting kits.
EZSnap Skirting and Fabricover skirting are very popular in the RVing community.
4. Insulate your RV storage bays
Your RV storage bays are also vulnerable to freezing temperatures. To protect the pipes in these areas, be sure to insulate them as well. This can be done with foam insulation, foam boards, or fiberglass insulation.
5. Heat your RV storage bays
In addition to insulating the storage bays, you can also heat them to keep the pipes from freezing. Electric heating pads can be placed on the bottom of the storage bay and plugged in to provide heat.
Or, you can use a portable heater like a propane or electric space heater. Just keep in mind that these portable heaters can be dangerous if not used properly. So carefully read their manuals and check them often when in use.
6. Open your cabinet doors
One simple way to keep the pipes in your RV from freezing is to open the cabinet doors under the sinks. This allows warm air to circulate around the pipes and keeps them from freezing.
7. Strategically place electric space heaters
Another way to keep the pipes in your RV from freezing is to strategically place electric heaters around the RV. This can be done by placing a small electric heater under the sink or in the bathroom to keep the pipes warm.
8. Use your tanks instead of hookups
If possible, use your freshwater tank instead of using a freshwater hookup. Your fresh water tank is insulated and protected from cold temperatures (or at least it should be). Your water hose on the other hand has a higher risk of freezing.
If you need to use fresh water hookups, buy a heated water hose. This heated hose connects to your water source and RV just like other drinking hoses. It’s easy to use and is one of the best ways to keep fresh water flowing to your RV.
On that same note, do not keep your sewer hose open. You shouldn’t leave your gray water tank and black water tank valves open while camping (common newbie RV mistakes) but it’s especially bad to do it in the cold. You certainly don’t want THAT liquid freezing in your sewer hose (aka stinky slinky).
9. Choose a sunny campsite
When choosing a campsite, look for one that’s in a sunny location. This will help to keep your RV warm and can also help to prevent your pipes from freezing. It’s a simple tip, yet very effective.
If you don’t think it will make a big enough difference, think about when you’re driving up the mountains. You’ll start seeing snow patches beneath trees much sooner than on open ground. So, try to park in a campsite where you’ll have as much direct sunlight as possible.
10. Install RV holding tank heaters
Finally, consider installing RV holding tank heaters. These heaters are specially designed to keep the water in your holding tanks from freezing and can be a lifesaver in extremely cold temperatures.
Bonus tip: Keep a heat gun or compact hair dryer on hand just in case you end up with a frozen pipe. You can defrost it and add pipe insulation or one of the other above tips to prevent it from happening again.
Know the signs of frozen pipes
Even if you take all the necessary precautions, there’s still a risk that your pipes may freeze. It’s important to know the signs of frozen pipes so you can take action before they burst. Some common signs of frozen pipes include a lack of water flow, strange noises coming from the pipes, and frost on the pipes.
If you suspect that your pipes have frozen, you should first turn off the water supply to your RV. Then, open the faucets and turn on the hot water to allow any remaining water to flow through the pipes.
If the pipes are still frozen, you may need to use a hair dryer or heat lamp to thaw them. Never use an open flame such as a propane torch, to thaw pipes.
Whether you do winter RV camping by choice or by necessity, there are steps you’ll want to take to stay warm in your rig. That’s why I put together this Ultimate Guide for Cold Weather Camping.
I want you to know exactly how to use your RV in the winter—how to shield it from Mother Nature, how to winterize and store it if you want to, and even how you can make money renting your rig to others in warmer parts of the country.
Plus, most Americans say they don’t have much faith in airlines right now
Halloween is over, and pumpkins are being composted. And even if you aren’t someone who cues Mariah Carey’s holiday theme song as soon as the clock strikes midnight on November 1, you are already thinking about holiday travel.
And that’s going to be necessary considering that four different studies predict that most Americans will be traveling this season.
The 2023 holiday season is expected to be one the busiest on record with 122 million people or 63 percent of leisure travelers planning to travel between Thanksgiving and the New Year. Of those travelers, 20 million are planning to go RVing this holiday season, a 30 percent increase over 2022.
55 percent of RVers plan to take a trip within three hours of home allowing for less time on the road and more time enjoying friends and family over the holidays. Millennials are more likely to stay closer to home with 61 percent planning a trip within 3 hours while 43 percent of Boomer respondents said they are planning trips more than 16 hours from home.
According to the just-released RV Industry Association Holiday Travel Intentions Survey, the top reasons people are planning to go RVing are the love of road trips, the desire to travel in comfort, interest in exploring the great outdoors, and the affordability of RV travel. With RV vacations costing 50 percent less than comparable hotel and plane ride trips and a third less than hotel and car ride trips, RVing is an attractive option for people looking for the freedom to travel while also controlling their travel expenses.
Another top reason people are choosing RV travel is their pets. 60 percent of RVers are planning to bring their pets with them rather than boarding them over the holidays. Of those sharing the trip with their furry family members, 87 percent will travel with at least one dog and 52 percent will travel with at least one cat.
Not all will hit the road though. 56 percent of those planning to use an RV this holiday season will park it at home and use it for guest accommodations. 49 percent will use it as an extra kitchen for food prep and storage.
“With the rush and stress that comes with traditional travel during the holidays, people are choosing RVing as a way to still travel and see friends and family but do so in a more relaxed and comfortable way,” says Craig Kirby, President & CEO of the RV Industry Association. “Whether using an RV for guests or bringing your pets along for the ride, RVing allows people to spend more quality time with those they love this holiday season.”
A second survey conducted by Enterprise Mobility found that 56 percent of Americans surveyed are planning at least one overnight trip 50+ miles away from home between November 2023 and January 2024 with 61 percent of those trips to take place in an owned or rented vehicle this holiday season.
48 percent of trips are planned to take place in a personal vehicle, just over one in ten (11 percent) are anticipated to be a rental vehicle, and 2 percent plan to utilize a rideshare service.
Just over a quarter (28 percent) plan to use loyalty points toward booking travel and a third of those plan to use their points toward a rental vehicle.
Americans who are traveling are planning an average of two trips this season with Christmas being the most popular holiday for travel (66 percent) followed by Thanksgiving (49 percent).
Of all holiday trips planned in the U.S. more than half are to visit friends and family (58 percent) but almost one quarter (23 percent) are purely for leisure, a vacation getaway without visiting friends or family. And December is the busiest month for travel over the holiday season with 46 percent of all travel days happening in this month (departures and returns).
In addition, nearly half (46 percent) of trips are less than 200 miles from home and slightly more than half (54 percent) are 200 or more miles away.
Generationally, Millennials (age 27-42) are the most likely to have travel plans this holiday season (62 percent) while Generation Z (age 18-26) is the least likely (43 percent) and 53 percent of both Generation X (43-58) and Baby Boomers (59+) are planning to travel this holiday season. Of all the trips planned this season, Gen Z is least likely to have a trip planned to visit friends and family (47 percent) but most likely to have a vacation getaway planned, not visiting friends or family (27 percent).
When taking a holiday road trip the majority of Americans (90 percent) enjoy listening to at least some holiday music.
According to a survey conducted by Motel 6 of 2,000 Americans, 84 percent of respondents plan to travel to at least one gathering this year with at least 52 percent of respondents expecting to take multiple trips.
In another survey conducted by The Vacationer which polled 1,013 Americans, 67.23 percent of respondents said they plan on traveling for Thanksgiving, Christmas, or both. For Thanksgiving, specifically, The Vacationer study found that an estimated 117 million American adults plan to travel which was 2 percent more than last year’s estimates.
While the Motel 6 data and the Vacationer data differ, both studies show that well over half of the population plans to travel for the holidays. Given how crowded roads and airports were in recent years during the winter holidays this information serves as an indicator that we can expect the same thing this year.
There’s not much confidence in airlines from those who plan on traveling for the holidays which isn’t too surprising considering the delays, cancellations, and general chaos of recent years. The Vacationer study revealed that 59.23 percent of respondents have little to no confidence in airlines being able to avoid excessive delays and cancellations during the holidays.
Looking for more travel tips?
Whether you need destination guides or camping suggestions or make sure your RV is prepped for travel, I’ve got you covered. Keep reading for RV travel hacks and everything you need to help you plan your next big adventure.
Your RV need not be in storage during the cold months. Get out there! Here are 13 winter camping tips for RVers.
Most RVers in northern states and provinces leave their RV in storage from the first frost until spring. Some, like us, are snowbirds who head out for warmer temps in the southern Sun Belt states. But many others winterize their RVs and leave them sitting there all winter.
Other RVers love camping in the snow.
First, decide whether your RV needs to be winterized and learn what that means. Winterizing your RV means you’ve taken steps such as:
Emptying water tanks
Draining the water heater and water lines
Disabling plumbing to prevent the pipes (which run along the undercarriage of the RV) from bursting or being destroyed
But winterizing your RV is not always a must-do especially if you plan to spend considerable time in your rig or temperatures at your cold destination won’t get below freezing. If a vehicle has been winterized you won’t be able to use the sink or bathroom inside the RV as usual (unless you take extra steps like using antifreeze).
Bur, you can absolutely use your RV for camping in the winter provided you prepare adequately to keep yourself and your RV safe from harm.
It’s not easy to camp in winter but many people do it with joy and very little stress and that’s because they’ve learned how to prepare their RVs for winter RV living. They know how to keep the plumbing system from freezing and bursting, keep the temperature inside the RV at a safe and comfortable level, reduce or prevent moisture accumulation, seal out intruders with little paws and big whiskers, and many other important winter camping preparations.
Anyone who’s lived in an RV for any duration of time in cold and snowy climates is likely to have a list of things to do—and a list of things to NOT do—to stay safe and warm while keeping the RV from winter damage.
Here are 15 of my top tips for winter RV living.
Tip # 1: Fill your fresh water tank and/or use a heated water hose
Water is very important for a multitude of reasons but when the temperature falls below freezing, water turns to ice. And when it does this, it expands—potentially bursting/damaging hoses and plumbing. For this reason, if you plan to winter camp you need to put water on the top of your list of things to prioritize.
If you’re winter camping for a short duration (say a week or less) you can simply fill your fresh water tank and plan to use that water for washing, cooking, and drinking. If you’re parked near a city water source of any kind, you can connect your fresh water hose and refill your fresh water tank as needed. This technique avoids the issue of your fresh water hose freezing.
However, if you’re planning to be winter camping in an area where ambient temps are likely to hit freezing or below regularly, you may wish to invest in a heated water hose.
And while you’re at it, be sure to always use a water pressure regulator when connected to any city water source including in the winter in which case you may want to wrap it in some type of insulation.
Tip # 2: Fill Propane or connect to an external propane tank
Before heading out on a winter camping trip (or before settling into a long-term winter campsite), be sure to fill your propane tank/tanks or obtain the necessary materials to connect to an external propane tank.
If you’re going to need propane for heating your rig and water and for cooking you’ll need to prepare ahead of time so that you don’t run out (I recommend having a couple of different options for heating your rig if you’ll be camping in sub-freezing temperatures because you can’t risk losing a single heat source).
If you are boondocking, bring a snow shovel and clear off the area.
Tip # 3: Keep sewer hose off the ground and flowing downward
If you connect to a sewer outlet during your winter RV living, you’ll want to keep your sewer hose off the ground and running on a downward slope. An easy way to achieve both of these goals is to use a Slunky sewer hose support.
The Slunky elevates and supports your sewer hose (off the frozen ground) and provides the slope you need for proper drainage. The Slunky is a 20-foot support that’s 7 inches tall at the RV end sloping to 4.5 inches in height at the sewer end.
Tip # 4: Keep gate valves closed during winter RV living
Along with using a sloping sewer hose support, you’ll want to keep your gray water and black water gate valves closed (you should ALWAYS leave your black valve closed) opening them only when you want to dump your holding tanks.
When left open, only small amounts of gray water will drain out through the hose at a time; that small flow could freeze as it flows through slowly building up (like the layers of a pearl) until the hose is blocked.
Another way to tend to the warmth of the basement or water compartment during winter RV living is to seal off the sewer hose entry. If you’ve got your sewer hose connected then you’re probably running it through a hole provided in the bottom of the bay. That hole allows cold (and potentially rodents) into the water compartment.
You can use steel wool to seal around your sewer hose opening when camping in the cold. This serves two purposes—to keep the cold from entering the bay and to keep mice from entering as well! If staying in a damp climate or for the longer term, consider brass/bronze wool instead since it won’t rust.
Tip # 6: Use steel or brass wool to seal small openings
To keep mice from seeking warmth inside your RV seal all small openings using steel wool. Brass wool also works. Also, use mouse traps and glue sticks in the basement and interior just in case they foil your attempts to seal them out. We’re not mean-spirited and we do love animals. We just don’t like stowaways that reproduce at warp speed and love to gnaw on everything in sight (and lots that ISN’T in sight) ending an otherwise wonderful winter RV living experience!
Moisture control is essential in an RV to prevent mold and mildew from causing potentially serious issues. In winter, it’s especially important to keep moisture at bay. The three greatest producers of moisture in an RV are showering, cooking, and breathing. Since we generally need to do all three, I suggest keeping moisture at bay using a few simple methods, especially during periods of winter RV living.
Even though you’re probably inclined to want to seal everything up airtight to keep heat in and cold out, DON’T! You’d just be trapping in all of the moisture you’re creating in your RV. First, run your vent fans—yes, even in winter. You need to be able to run your roof vent fans in any kind of weather. This is why I recommend the installation of RV roof vent covers. They allow vents to be open without letting rain or snow enter the RV.
Vent covers aren’t expensive and are well worth the minimal effort to install.
Second, I recommend using a squeegee to pull the water off of your shower walls and toward the drain after each shower. If you don’t do this, your RV absorbs a significant amount of moisture while the shower is drying on its own because the water is evaporating.
A shower squeegee is also inexpensive but is an important tool in keeping moisture at bay. We use it all year long—not only when winter camping.
Finally, you can opt to use a small electric dehumidifier (if you’re connected to shore power) or a dehumidifying product like DampRid or something similar positioned throughout the interior of the RV.
If you’re winter camping in sub-freezing temperatures for an extended period, you may need to warm your holding tanks by using holding tank heating pads. Some RVs come from the factory with tank heating pads (we opted for them when we bought our Newmar Dutch Star and ultimately we’re glad we did).
Tip # 9: Insulate RV windows
You may also want to consider insulating your RV windows depending on how long you plan to winter camp in very cold temperatures.
You can insulate windows with heavy curtains or you can create DIY storm windows using ⅛-inch plexiglass or PETG panels which you’ll custom cut to fit your windows. You can adhere them to your windows using clear double-sided mounting tape.
Many RVers choose to use Reflectix, heavy-duty foam board, or even bubble wrap to insulate windows. The problem with these products is twofold. First, they seal out the light and need to be removed and installed daily to allow the sun in (unless you like living in a dungeon). Also, they tend to allow moisture to accumulate on the windows.
You can also use a combination of choices to cover your windows such as your choice of window covering combined with heavy-duty curtains. Although we often think of them as insulation from the sun, high-quality windshield covers can also be helpful in cold weather.
Tip # 10: Insulate your skylight
You may also want to insulate your skylights using a pre-made skylight cover. These are inexpensive and serve to insulate your RV from the cold that can come through the relatively thin plastic of the skylight. You’ll need to measure the inside of your skylight frame to obtain the proper dimensions for your insulator.
Some RVers use these in their roof vents as well but if you do this remember not to cover them all as it’s very important to run a roof vent fan to prevent moisture from accumulating in the RV.
These skylight/vent insulators are also good to keep the heat out in summer.
Tip # 11: Cover AC unit/units
Cover your roof air conditioning units. This is important from the perspective of keeping the cold from entering your RV in winter and also as a means of protection from the elements.
Of course, you don’t want to do this if your RV air conditioners are also heat pumps and you plan to use them as a source of heat while you’re camping. Just be aware that they’ll only work in outside temperatures above freezing so they won’t be of much use when the temps begin to drop.
Tip # 12: Dress in layers
Dressing in multiple layers including base layers, mid-layers, hoodies, and shell jackets gives you greater control over regulating your body temperature. As you move through the activities of the day, you’ll work up body heat. As you do so, it’s important to avoid sweating because as it dries, sweat cools, wrapping you in a cold cocoon. Managing your body heat by constantly adding and subtracting layers helps you prevent sweating as much as possible—a key component of staying warm on winter adventures.
Tip # 13: Snow shovel and ice scraper
You might need to dig out your RV and scrape ice from your windows when it’s time to drive. Driving an RV in winter requires the same common sense you need to drive an RV any other day: Slow down and avoid being on the road when it’s dark.
Driving an RV in winter presents its own set of unique challenges: You’ll need to make sure your RV is set to handle winter conditions and you’ll have to track down additional winter gear and take extra precautions when driving and camping that a warmer destination wouldn’t necessarily require.
For many RVers, having a reliable internet connection while camping is crucial. Here’s what you need to know to find the best RV Wi-Fi solution for you
With the right setup and gear, you can have internet access almost anywhere whether boondocking or relaxing poolside at an RV resort. If you’re working remotely or roadschooling the kids, you can power through Zoom calls or stream videos while camping just about anywhere.
First things first: What is RV Wi-Fi? As far as the internet goes, Wi-Fi in your RV works just like Wi-Fi anywhere else. You have a phone, tablet, computer, or any other Wi-Fi-enabled device; you connect it to the Wi-Fi and then browse or stream like you would at home.
The biggest difference is where the original signal comes from. Internet solutions for an RV are a little more complicated than a stationary home and need careful consideration.
There are several different ways you can stay connected during your travels. The two primary options are using cellular data from a provider like AT&T or a signal pulled from a local Wi-Fi network. This guide will explain how these options work, what the confusing internet terms mean, the gear you need to maximize your connection, and which Wi-Fi setup is right for you and your RV.
How will you use the internet?
The first step in determining the best RV Wi-Fi solution is to think about the level of connectivity you will need. Deciding how you’re going to use the internet while on the road is one of the most important considerations before you purchase anything.
Will you just be using your email and checking in with friends via Facebook? Will you be working from your RV? Do you have obligatory video conferences? Do your kids enjoy playing video games? Are video calls with family and friends from home a must?
If you use the internet only occasionally like checking email or online shopping then you probably only need a minimal internet setup. Depending on where you want to camp and your cell phone provider, you can probably get by by using campground Wi-Fi or your phone as a mobile hotspot.
However, if you plan on streaming movies or music you’ll need some more gear—and data—for a reliable internet connection. Most people are surprised at how quickly they use up data when they’re streaming.
If you’re working on the road or need internet access for homeschooling then you should be prepared to use at least 100GBs of data per month which is why an unlimited data plan is likely the best option. This way, you don’t have to worry about the amount of data you’re using throughout the month.
You also need to consider where you’ll be camping as your Wi-Fi needs will vary depending on if you’re staying at campgrounds or boondocking.
Do RV parks and campgrounds have Wi-Fi?
You might be wondering why you can’t just use the Wi-Fi network at RV parks and campgrounds. Most RV parks will have Wi-Fi and many RV parks offer free internet but getting a strong signal can be a different story.
We do not rely solely on Wi-Fi at RV parks. While we view it as a bonus if it works well, campground Wi-Fi networks don’t have the best reputation.
RV park Wi-Fi is slow for a few reasons:
The other metal RVs in between your device and the Wi-Fi router weaken the signal
The more people who are using the network, the slower the signal
Rural and remote campground locations may rely on satellite internet, DSL, or fixed wireless internet which tend to be slower
Generally, you can expect campground and RV park Wi-Fi to be a lot slower than your home Wi-Fi or even other public Wi-Fi sources like coffee shops. If you need a reliable internet signal you need to invest in a little extra gear.
You can make the most of campground Wi-Fi by purchasing a Wi-Fi extender or repeater. The extender helps by rebroadcasting the campground’s internet signal throughout your rig. Most likely the signal weakens before it reaches your RV so a reliable Wi-Fi repeater will give your internet speed a boost.
Internet access while boondocking
Don’t expect to find a public Wi-Fi network when boondocking. Instead, you can stay connected with cellular data. You’ll need to keep an eye on your power consumption if you’re dry camping as many internet signal devices (i.e. boosters, satellites, routers, hotspots) will need to be charged or plugged in to get a signal.
Wi-Fi can vary greatly whether you’re boondocking or staying in an RV park. There are a few ways to check your connection even before you pick a campsite like Campendium for reviews on cell phone coverage. These resources give an estimation of the cell phone signal in a destination. For remote work, you’ll generally want at least two bars of signal.
If the signal isn’t quite as strong as you need it to be, check the settings of your apps to make sure you’re using as little data as possible. For example, with video players like YouTube or Netflix, you can choose a lower resolution. Or, if your email is loading slowly, select the option to load it as basic HTML.
Internet terms you should know for RV Wi-Fi solutions
To help you understand the terminology around RV Wi-Fi, here is an explanation of common internet terms and gear options.
Speed test: No matter the source, how fast your internet is running ultimately determines what you can do on it. Since internet speed doesn’t necessarily relate to the number of bars of cell phone signal or the level of your Wi-Fi connection, it’s helpful to know how to test it.
Google has a speed test function. To use it, type “Speed Test” into the Google search bar and click the blue “Run Speed Test” button on the results page. You can also use a speed testing website such as Ookla. You’ll need 1 Mbps (megabit per second) down for basic internet needs like checking email but you’ll want between 4 and 5 Mbps down for streaming.
If you’re uploading files or doing video calls you should pay attention to your upload speed as well. Upload speeds are typically slower than download speeds so don’t be surprised if your results say 10 Mbps down and less than 1 Mbps up.
Hotspot: This is the device that creates an internet connection from cellular data. Just like at home, you’ll have a password-protected WiFi network to connect to.
Companies use the term “hotspot” differently: T Mobile refers to its devices as mobile hotspots, Verizon calls its version Jetpack, AT&T uses the term Unite, and Netgear calls its hotspot device Nighthawk. While they have different names, they do the same job of supplying an internet signal. Most of these devices cost $100 or more.
Your smartphone can also be used as a hotspot. This is often referred to as tethering. Tethering your phone for Wi-Fi tends to be slower than using a dedicated hotspot device for your internet. It can work in a pinch but if you’re planning on boondocking or streaming regularly, tethering isn’t a practical long-term solution and you’ll most likely need a hotspot device.
Booster: Typically referring to boosting cellular data, these devices are designed to increase your signal from one bar of service to two. Cell phone boosters enhance a signal and increase internet speeds. This can mean the difference between getting 3 and 5 Mbps down. These devices range from $30 to upwards of $500.
Repeater, Extender, or Ranger: These three terms are essentially interchangeable. A Wi-Fi ranger rebroadcasts by repeating and extending the existing WiFi signal inside your RV. This solves a common connectivity problem when you’re too far away from the campground’s Wi-Fi router or there’s too much interference between your RV and the router. A repeater device can significantly enhance your internet speeds when using campground WiFi.
Some newer RVs may have these devices already built-in.
Router: Most people use a router and a modem connected to a professionally installed cable for their at-home Wi-Fi. And while this isn’t the typical internet setup you see on the road, you can use a router in your RV Wi-Fi setup as well. Wi-Fi repeaters, for example, use an antenna on the roof as well as a router inside the rig that broadcasts your RV Wi-Fi connection.
Unlimited Data: If you don’t have an unlimited data plan, you have limits on how much internet you can use. Most RVers will find that unlimited data is a more economical option than limited data where you pay for usage in addition to other fees like a protection fee that prevents you from going over your data limit.
If you plan on using cellular data as your source for an internet connection, consider an unlimited data plan so you don’t have to worry about keeping track of your usage.
Throttling: Throttling is when a cell phone provider slows down your signal. This can happen when you’ve reached a certain data threshold or if a tower is overloaded (for example, when there are a lot of people connected at once like at a festival or a concert). Throttling can be difficult to avoid. To help alleviate this problem, you can use two different carriers so you can hop on another network if one slows down.
Common RV Wi-Fi solutions
Once you understand where and how you plan to use the internet, it’s time to decide what type of RV Wi-Fi solution is best for you. Let’s walk through the different options for getting internet access in your RV.
This is by far the most popular internet connection option for full-time RVers. For this RV Wi-Fi option, purchase a hotspot from your data provider of choice.
Verizon and AT&T are considered to have the best coverage nationwide. You can opt to use one provider for your cell phones and the other for a hotspot. That way, if you don’t have a signal with one network somewhere, there’s a chance that we will have service with the other provider.
If you plan on boondocking or spending time in national parks and on public lands, you will need to rely on cellular data. While some remote campsites have decent Verizon and AT&T coverage, other remote areas will not. This is where a cell phone booster comes in handy.
The Netgear MIMO cell phone booster has a directional antenna meaning that it needs to face in the direction of a cell tower in order to boost a signal. For a higher price, you can install an omnidirectional antenna.
Best for: Boondocking, campgrounds without Wi-Fi, streaming, and staying connected while driving
Cons: Unlimited data plans can be costly but for many RVers it’s worth the price for having reliable connectivity on the road
For basic internet needs, you can use RV park Wi-Fi. Sometimes you’ll find a strong enough connection for using streaming services but it isn’t always reliable or predictable.
If you want to use campground Wi-Fi but need faster speeds install a Wi-Fi extender in your RV. Installation takes a few hours and the devices will cost a few hundred dollars.
In addition to RV parks, you can often find free, public Wi-Fi in parking lots of businesses like Lowes, McDonald’s, and Starbucks.
Best for: If you plan on staying in RV parks and campgrounds with amenities.
Cons: Public Wi-Fi can be less secure and easily hacked which makes your identity and information vulnerable. If using public Wi-Fi, avoid logging into online banking or any other accounts you wouldn’t want to be hacked. Public Wi-Fi is also unreliable, particularly at campgrounds.
Starlink and satellite options
Like most new technologies, Starlink’s satellite internet services continue to change and advance. For RVers using Starlink (now called Starlink Mobile) or those considering equipping their rigs with this system, here are the latest updates you should know about Starlink’s satellite internet system.
HughesNet is another satellite internet option that requires a dish to be installed on your RV. If you plan on staying at an RV park for weeks or months at a time, this could be a good option for you.
Best for: Long-term stays where Wi-Fi networks or cellular data is not available. Also, full-time RVers who like to camp in remote areas.
Cons: Starlink’s initial setup costs and Priority-based plans are expensive. Also, speed is affected by population density so can be slower if you’re in more populated regions.
If you’re planning on crossing borders with your RV,a Skyroam device might be the best option for you. This global internet plan is similar to a cellular data plan and designed for international travelers. You can buy unlimited data for a 24-hour period, a monthly subscription, or pay per gigabyte of data.
When compared with AT&T or Verizon hotspots, the Skyroam device isn’t as powerful. Plus, most U.S.-based cellular networks work in Canada and Mexico.
Best for: International travelers particularly outside of North America.
Cons: Cell phone data plans based in the U.S. offer better coverage and signal than global options.
Tips for installing RV Wi-Fi
Professional installation is available (and sometimes recommended) for any Wi-Fi device you decide to buy. Before you start tackling installation on your own, make sure you read the manufacturer’s installation guide and that you have all the required tools and accessories.
Your router and antennae (which may come housed in one unit depending on what you select) should attach to the roof of your rig to maximize your signal. There will be a few screws plus you’ll need to run a cable inside. Since that means drilling holes into your roof be sure to seal the holes with a manufacturer-approved sealant.
Different Wi-Fi product manufacturers may recommend different mounting locations on the roof. Make sure it has a clear line of sight as anything that may interfere with a signal will impede your Wi-Fi.
Then there’s the power switch. Your product will come with instructions for installing the power switch but a professional can also install it for you. Also, note that adding the router or antennae to the roof of your RV will raise the height of your rig.
How to stay connected anywhere
Since no single internet option will cover you 100 percent of the time, to stay fully connected consider using a combination of the above options for increased reliability.
Mix and match these options to best fit your needs. If you’re planning on spending most of your time boondocking, you could skip the investment of a Wi-Fi extender. If you don’t need a constant internet connection, you can choose between a cell phone booster or unlimited data on a hotspot device.
Taking the time to properly set up an internet connection makes traveling in an RV full-time possible. In the age of remote work and virtual schooling, the ability to stay connected almost anywhere allows you to see the world and still support your families.
Depending on your needs, your RV Wi-Fi will come with an upfront cost but it’s all worth it when you can take a work-related video call from your hammock while boondocking in a scenic location.
We are all now connected by the Internet, like neurons in a giant brain.