Learning a skill often results in feeling awkward or embarrassed. Who hasn’t fumbled while trying to unmute themselves on Zoom works or attempting a complicated soufflé recipe? There’s a lot to learn when you’re a newbie RVer. This SheBuysTravel has made the mistakes so you don’t have to! Follow her advice to save yourself the embarrassment of fumbling your way into a campsite or standing naked and unprepared in the shower!
As a professional speaker, I often present keynotes on customer service. A state RV campground association booked me to speak. Since we were not Rvers — I had never even peeked inside a recreational vehicle — we decided on an RV rental so we could experience RV parks and the camping life. (I soon learned really cool people call their RV a “rig.”)
We headed off in our rig to a local RV campground with our 2-year-old daughter, Sondra. With my husband at the wheel, and my daughter snug in her car seat, I relaxed and enjoyed the ride, perched high above most drivers.
This trip would be a breeze.
Finding the Pull-Through
Allan pulled our rig to the RV resort office with the prominently displayed “Check-In” sign. I strode confidently to the reservation desk, filled out the necessary forms, and paid for one of the RV sites.
This sale is valid until 6/4/2023.
The friendly campground host ended our transaction by pointing out the window to an open RV campsite and saying, “Use the pull-through right there at #8. Have a great time!” I could tell it would be a great weekend.
Read More: 7 Essential Tips for Camping Newbies
What’s a Pull-Through?
With Sondra safely sleeping, I motioned my husband to come out and walk the few feet to RV campsite #8.
“We just have to find the pull through,” I told him. After all, it makes sense that if I was supposed to “use the pull-through” that I needed to find something to pull.
We looked all over the campsite, without finding anything to pull. Allan inspected the electrical and sewer hookups and examined the hole where our water and sewage would go. Nothing lent itself to “pulling through.” We looked under one of the picnic tables. Nothing. Next we walked the perimeter of the site, peeking in and around bushes for something, anything to pull through.
Read More: Could Your Family Survive a Year-Long RV Trip?
Take this RV Tip from a Pro
Giving up, I returned to the office and told the campground owner, “We’ve looked and looked and just can’t find anything to pull through at Site #8.”
He turned away from me slightly, as if to compose himself.
Then, with great professionalism, he said, “Pull through means you pull your RV into the site and when you are ready to leave, simply move forward. You use a pull-through by pulling your RV through the site.”
Suddenly it all made sense to this first-time RVer. It was all about easy access. No need to back in or out. Just “pull through.”
Read More: What Should I Pack for an RV Trip?
The Story Becomes a Legend
The rest of our RV camping experience was uneventful, yet fun. That story has, unfortunately, spread among professional RV campground owners. Now anytime I speak at a conference, someone always asks, “Hey Silvana! Found your pull through yet?”
So for all you newbie RVers, just learn from my ignorance with this RV tip so you don’t become fodder for jokes among the camping community!
Now that you know how to master a pull-through, it’s time to master a few more camping nuances, and save yourself further embarrassment.
Some campgrounds sell t-shirts that say: “Let’s pour a glass of wine and watch the latecomers set up.”
It’s true. Some campers enjoy having their RV, barbeque and s’mores supplies all set up. Then as evening approaches, they sit in comfy lawn chairs and watch newbies struggle to maneuver their RV onto their site.
This increases the pressure on those newbies as they not only have to get set up, but do it with a captive audience. RV Tip: Save embarrassment by arriving at your site early, before crowds gather!
Beware the Wind
Many RVers immediately put out their awning and lawn chairs. Nothing wrong with that. The problem arises when a wind picks up while you are on a hike or sleeping. Awnings and wind are seldom a good combination.
It’s all too easy to make the mistake of forgetting to close the awning when that breeze becomes more than a breeze.
Left Naked without a Shower
Those tiny RV showers can be a bit confining, which is why many people use campground showers.
As you check in at the registration desk, ask if the showers are coin operated. This saves you from walking to the shower house, undressing and stepping into the shower stall only to see the coin machine. You stand there, naked, wishing you had a few quarters to start the water flow.
I speak from experience!
Read the Fine Print
At most campgrounds, the host hands you an information sheet with a map as well as camp rules and tips. Read this sheet!
Often you’ll find a schedule with kid’s activities or a park ranger program. You’ll also find “warnings” about leaving food outdoors or how to avoid rattlesnakes.
We didn’t read one particular leaflet telling us to keep food and clothing inside the RV due to aggressive wild pigs in the area. My husband lost one brand new hiking boot to a pair of extremely ugly and mean wild pigs that absconded with his shoe.
I mentioned this to the park ranger who asked, “Did you read the tip sheet we gave you?”
So for all you newbie RVers, just learn from my ignorance so you don’t become fodder for jokes among the camping community!
Read More About the Joys of RVing and RV Tips
Complete Guide to Renting an RV
25 Questions to Ask Before Driving Off in a Rented RV
First Timer Tips for Towing a Trailer (It’s Easier than You Think!)
10 Reasons Why RV Travel is the Best Way Family Vacation
Eli Richardson says
My brother and I want to take our families on a fun road trip this summer, so we’re excited to learn how an RV campground works. We’re excited to read your insight on why it’s wise to arrive early at your RV campground, so we’ll get started now. We’re grateful for your advice on how to prepare your RV’s setting comfortably before everyone arrives.
Kate Hansen says
It was helpful when you said to make sure that you close awnings once it gets windy. My husband and I got an RV a couple of weeks ago, and we want to start going on camping trips with it next month. We’ll keep these tips in mind once we find RV campgrounds to go to!
Thanks for sharing all of your experience
Franklin White says
Thank you for explaining that a pull-through means you simply go forward with your RV so you don’t have to try and back it up awkwardly. I really want to go RV camping with my family this winter. I was worried about having to maybe maneuver it through a campground and it scared me but I’ll look for a pull-through campground so I don’t have to worry about that.
Megan Alder says
My husband and I have recently bought an RV, and we want to go camping soon, so we are looking to get advice to ensure we spend a non-stressed time. I like that you mentioned asking the RVs host about where the pull-through is to ensure you hook it right after you get there. I will definitely let my husband know about your recommendations to be able to spend the best time without headaches.
Angela Waterford says
It’s my first time to take the kids and our trusty RV on a camping trip next month. As far as I know, they would like to have their trip on an RV campground to see if they can make new friends there. I didn’t know that pulling through in an RV campground would mean that we would just have to pull the RV into the site instead of trying to find anything that we can pull, so thanks for the clarification.
I liked that you explained that one thing to look for when you are considering taking a trip in an RV is to make sure that you do your research to find a good campground that will offer ease and efficiency so that you can enjoy your getaway. I have been thinking about going camping in my RV but I have been worried that I wouldn’t be able to find a campground with appropriate hook-ups for my vehicle. I will be sure to research local campgrounds that offer the appropriate accommodations so that I can enjoy my trip.
The pull thru is net to the anykey,
Just a little suggestion, before renting, borrowing, or buying an RV, do your homework PLEASE. Not only will it save you from embarrassment it may save you from law enforcement giving you tickets or even stopping your entire journey. A little homework could be the answer to alot of your questions, it may even save your LIFE and eayones LIFE around you. When I suggest homework, this does not mean asking the guy in the campsite beside you….. (in my experience, there are a great number of people in RV’s that need to learn the proper way of doing things as well.) It means, open a book first. Then a few more books, then a few movies, then watch RV FAILS on YouTube. Then things might start to make sence to you. And remember, to drive an RV is one thing, To drive an RV legal is another. To know and abide by the different road laws in every different state and counties that you plan on driving in is a complete different thing that will make you a good RVer.
That’s hilarious! My husband and I are avid campers, but to this point we’ve only been in tents. I know when we eventually do take on a “rig,” we’ll have a whole new lexicon.
Jennifer Chasse says
Thanks for the tip! I hope to rent an RV soon.
That is a great story!
John mccloy says
Indra- if you have ever seen the movie RV you know how much trouble you can get in with the sewer hose. We own a Roadtrek Class B rv
Which had a leaking black water tank valve when Ibought it. I’m sure you can imagine what happened on our first excursion!
You had a great story,I think I will ask the guy at our next KOA about finding the pull thru just to see the reaction!
Hi John — hope you don’t mind me asking how you solved this problem. I just bought a 2006 Roadtrek 190 and having the same problem. Also it’s very difficult for me to put the sewer hose back up. Please let me know if you remember. Thanks
John mccloy says
Haven’t been back on this site for a while and need to reply to you. The only real solution is to replace the valve and while you are at it, the hose inside the carrier. Also I found there needs to be a rigid tube carrier outside each valve actuated rod,as they bend and don’t get the valves completely closed..BTW, I have yet to accomplish all this,and each time I camp,there is a new trauma and cursing the Canadians. Some day,I will write a short story about my travails with my love/hate Roadtrek 200. FMCA 164275 safe travels ya’ll !