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John Blue
I think we all could write a book on the mistakes we see and ones we also make in RV life.

I drove off from a 30 amp power post, dog bone and power cable were hooked up. Wife was in need of power at time I pull off water line so I went back inside and forgot to return to the post. No damage was done to anything due to pull out of cable and I saw the yellow cable on ground and stopped.

We see TV ant's up all the time as we drive down the highways. We have stopped a number of motorhomes pulled out of parks with TV ant up. One man had left the tow car in park and started off, we stopped him before damage was done.

We have never put a dent in our motorhome YET. We have an alarm system on TV ant that sounds off if engine is running and ant is up. Door step will pull up as soon as we close the door (if engine is running) and that nice trick save one more problem.

We do see lots of damage to RV units as we travel around the USA.

What have others found to be mistakes in RV life?
BBear
Two of my most memorable mistakes was #1, on the maiden voyage of our brand spankin' new Jayco motorhome, we pulled in late at night to a campground on our way to Florida and when I was backing into the site which was pretty dark and hard to see, I accidentally ran over part of the picnic table that I judged to be further away than it really was...not too much damage to the picnic table, but our side compartment had a huge dent in it.

#2 was tent camping when it was like 90 plus degrees and got the tent up and the fly on but decided to wait to stake in the fly until later....big mistake, we got caught in a huge thunderstorm, sitting in the tent the water started to collect on the fly and started to weigh down the tent and leak inside, so I had to go out in the middle of this deluge of rain to stake in the fly and got totally drenched.

rodman
We had just finished packing the trailer which was parked in front of the house. Pretty excited to get away. I had forgotten to take the wheel stabilizers out from between the tires, the kind you put in between the tires and then twist the wing nut to tighten against the tires so your trailer doesn't move when your walking around. The trailer did a huge hop and a loud thud as it came down. Needless to say I always walk around the 3rd time before I leave the house.
HappiestCamper
First trip - no sewer connections. Only staying 2 nights, so let's see how far we can go taking showers. Hitch camper up to take to dump station after it started to back up into tub. While dumping, ranger came around asking me my site number so they could give it away (busy state park).

Not too many trips later - at that time still leaving the bottom of the awning supports attached to camper. Site is on the front beach, no trees to buffer wind for about 150 yards. Nice thunderstorm comes through (paper said winds were >60 MPH), and our trailer is rocking. Wife looks out the window and mentions that nobody else has their awning out. Run outside, neighbor is trying to help me - SNAP.

Had to repair bottom of rear bedroom (it's a hybrid, so it folds up) - backed into a tree in my backyard.

Last year - lost keys on the way home (second set was inside camper). While backing in the dark, sewer dump got caught up in a garden hose that was in the holly bush. Heard the loud crack, but just thought I had broken some branch on the bush. Next morning found many pieces of gray and black water tanks all over the yard.
John Blue
One more I forgot. We were in a park and person across from our site had a large motorhome. He tied down one end of the main awning to front end of his truck. Guess what, the wife got in truck and back out to go someplace. O what a mess that was. It ripped the awning off motorhome and bend up all the parts, a total loss. He was sick over that mistake.
wprigge
On the very first time pulling our brand new travel trailer out of our yard I managed to catch the rain gutter of the garage with the awning. (I have to back around a corner to store the trailer) The top rear bracket of the awning came off and there were a few scratches on the side of the trailer and a small hole in the awning... It took me 45 minutes to fix it, the scratches and the tiny hole are still there, I figure it's better to leave it as it is, otherwise there might be worse scratches soon to follow.
pianotuna
Hi John,

My first mistake was getting an RV. It turned me into a monster! LOL

The first (of many) user errors I made was to leave the ignition turned on in my diesel RV. (sheepish grin) I didn't realize this would flatten the twin batteries so fast. They were what came with it. The very next trip I purchased new batteries at Miles City in Montana--I had to get a boost to get the RV there.

It scared me skinny when US Customs insisted I turn off the engine. I was afraid I'd be calling AAA for a boost. It started--but no more than just barely!
HappiestCamper
First tow vehicle - crappy 91 Explorer. Towed in overdrive - transmission total loss.
Trentheim
Our 2nd trip in our first (and so far only-- but we're already thinking about the next) Class A was a long 550 mile journey to visit family. My wife doesn't drive the rig, so I was getting pretty tired as we pulled off the highway and onto the narrow roads leading to my old stomping grounds. I was behaving, perhaps too well, by keeping to my side of the double yellows through a turn that was apparently tighter than I first thought. The elevated sidewalk met rather harshly with the mid-section of my bus and scraped a 15' gash in the fiberglass panels. The sidewalk was just high enough to catch the underside of the entry door frame and the lock on the compartment just behind it. The aluminum door frame basically peeled back ohmy.gif and the lock was permanently "welded" shut sad.gif . Total repairs: $3000 (whole new door, minor body work, paint) mad.gif .

I've since decided to cross those double yellows when in a tight situation and I figure if someone hyped on authority wanted to ticket me it would be a whole lot less expensive. dry.gif
Texasrvers
About two years ago just as we were backing out of our driveway for the start of a 6 week trip, we hit a telephone pole. It scraped down the back right side about 6 feet. We didn't even realize at first that we had hit it, and it was just by luck we stopped before it got to the awning or it would have been taken off. It broke some running lights and put some ugly scratches on the side of the coach, but it could have been so much worse.
biologyteacher2005
I agree, most of us could write a book! I am still fairly new to the RV scene. I purchased a used popup three years ago, would like something bigger and better someday, but not now. On the first time out I had everything all packed and trailer all hitched up, and was very nervous. Five blocks away from home I went over a bridge and heard a hissing/dragging noise. Next came a thump. I stopped (in the middle of the bridge) and got out to see what had happened. The trailer had come off, dragged along by chains, and hit my tow vehicle. Thankfully I was only driving about 15 MPH, so the damage was minimal. A few very nice passersby stopped to help. Even more thankfully a few were strong men, and three of us managed to pick up the trailer and rehitch it. I thanked them, and as I started to turn to get into my tow vehicle when one of them told me I had forgotten to reattach the safety pin. It immediately hit me! I forgot to attach that at home, and when I got onto the bridge the trailer had come off the hitch. I have never since, nor will I probably ever again forget that little pin! Not much since then, ocasional back-in problems and hit a tree or ditch. Always going slow, and not much damage.
keystonepassport
To Texasrvers, thanks for the tip about the crankhandle for the antenna. There are several ribbons hanging from it right now. We are at Natural Bridge KOA, leaving tomorrow, we moved our daughter into college this weekend.

My first embarassing moment with the TT was that no one told me about greasing the ball or the inside of the hitch where the WD bars insert. The second & third time out the TT did nothing but groan and squeal everytime we turned. After backing into a site at a CG the gentleman next to us came over with axle grease and kindly showed me where I needed to apply it. The trip home was quiet as can be. I certainly hope the next embarassing moment can be remedied that easily.

Happy Camping!
David
RLM
QUOTE(pianotuna @ Aug 21 2009, 11:42 AM) *

Hi John,

My first mistake was getting an RV. It turned me into a monster! LOL


That's FUNNY.

I've not made any mistakes. That's my story and I'm sticking to it. smile.gif
DXSMac
I drove across a bridge that goes from White Salmon, WA to Hood RIver, OR, and it's a narrow bridge. There was a very large delivery truck coming t he other way. I pulled my mirrors in, and hugged the side, because there wasn't room for both of us. Well, I scraped the side of the bridge. That's my worst one.

ALso, When I got my first RV, I went on a three day trip, and ran the furnace all night. Guess what, ran the propane out, and some other RV'ers lent me space heaters. Lesson Learned, supplement the furnace with space heaters, you can't make your propane last all night if you run the furnace all night.

JJ
HappiestCamper
I never back in with the WD bars on, since we usually have to make sharp turns that we never make when traveling forward down the road. After checking in, I cranked up the tongue so I could remove the bars. Started to drive off - had forgotten to crank the jack back up, so now it's nice and bent at 45 degrees. Fortunately, the CG had cut down a lot of dead trees, so I was able to roll a big one under the tongue at our site - trailer was almost exactly level.

My wife's aunt gave us directions to an RV place about 25 miles away. We found this little tiny garage there, and he had several jacks. Took one that looked right, but it wouldn't fit. Returned it, had the bent one in hand to compare to all he had, and the only one that fit was a power jack.

Several days later when driving through the same area (and going a few miles further), I see where Aunt Lou's directions were wrong. She had said on 25 right 26. I knew when I saw a dealer with about 100 new RV's on 26 right after you get off of 25 where we should have gone.
Lindsay Richards
Not filling up my water tank when I had the chance. We had to scrounge water today from an RV dealer with some unexpected boondocking (concrete boondocking actully). Easy to manage your balck and grey tanks, but the fresh tank is hard to remember for me.
DXSMac
QUOTE(Lindsay Richards @ Aug 24 2009, 06:29 PM) *

Not filling up my water tank when I had the chance. We had to scrounge water today from an RV dealer with some unexpected boondocking (concrete boondocking actully). Easy to manage your balck and grey tanks, but the fresh tank is hard to remember for me.



Just curious.....what is a "balck" tank? HEE HEE HEE, I think you meant BLACK tank......

JJ
Lindsay Richards
My spullung isn't what it should be.
danel-ksc
When my wife and I retired we deicded to try RVing. Bought a 24' Class C, having been boaters we checked the width and height of the unit, just as we watched the beam and height icluding bridge and bimini on the boat. However, a boat doesn't have an air conditioner unit on the roof.
The first trip we came to a railroad bridge and a quick look appeared we would fit under the bridge. Everything went under the bridge-except the air conditioner! Fortunately we were going very slow and except for the pieces of plastic from the cover that rained down all four sides of the RV we only did minor damage to the A/C unit itself. A lot of duct tape around what was left of the cover and we returned home, great first trip!
We now have 36' Class A with two A/C on the roof and you can be sure we don't take any chances on low bridges!!
John316
QUOTE(danel-ksc @ Aug 26 2009, 08:15 PM) *

When my wife and I retired we deicded to try RVing. Bought a 24' Class C, having been boaters we checked the width and height of the unit, just as we watched the beam and height icluding bridge and bimini on the boat. However, a boat doesn't have an air conditioner unit on the roof.
The first trip we came to a railroad bridge and a quick look appeared we would fit under the bridge. Everything went under the bridge-except the air conditioner! Fortunately we were going very slow and except for the pieces of plastic from the cover that rained down all four sides of the RV we only did minor damage to the A/C unit itself. A lot of duct tape around what was left of the cover and we returned home, great first trip!
We now have 36' Class A with two A/C on the roof and you can be sure we don't take any chances on low bridges!!


Danel,

You must be going in some pretty interesting places. We are a full 13' tall, and we have never had a problem. We end up going to a lot of diversified places, and we have never had to back up.

Where are you from, and what bridges have you had problems with?

Today we are in Estes park, CO, right outside of Rocky Mountain national park. We drove up the canyon from Loveland, and then up trail ridge road. Coming up the canyon wasn't too bad, but going up trail ridge road was tough.

We came VERY close to some of the rock on one of the turns, but we were blessed, and we were just fine. Of course, we rode the jakes all the way back down.

God bless,

John
DXSMac
Well, I just now had a "mistake" that I made. The gears to the TV antenna require "lubrication" twice a year according to a sticker next to the gear. Ah......... do we REALLY need to do that? I didn't. Ok, I've had this RV (my 3rd) for a year and a half now, and I'm in Eastern Wyoming. I tried to raise my antenna, and the gear JUST BROKE OFF! I had the antenna raised when it broke off. Fortunately, I was able to use the crank handle to lower it back down. So, I can raise and lower the antenna with some struggle, but I cannot "Turn" it.

I guess you REALLY ARE supposed to lubricate that gear!

JJ
deanintemp
Almost too embarrassed to admit this one! We had just gotten our new pop-up camper back about 10 years ago. We were hooking up at the storage facility to bring it home to get ready for our maiden voyage. The storage facility was less than a mile from home so we decided not to hook up the safety chains - afterall, those chains are only for long drives and highway use, right? We managed to pull out into traffic just fine and were tooling down the road when we hit a slight bump in the road. This bump was sufficient to lift the tongue off the hitch (yep. it wasn't attached all the way) and before I knew, the trailer was veering left and headed for on-coming traffic. I decided to slow down a bit and "bump" the trailer with the back end of my truck to straighten it out and slow it down to a stop. The technique worked, however it did cause some damage to our new camper and upon closer inspection we found that the hitch had nearly punctured the propane tank - that would have been very interesting. Needless to say, I always triple check the hitch connections before starting out!!!
Lindsay Richards
I just made another stupid mistake a month ago. We were satying at Wal-Mart and evidently I laid the two hitch pins on the ground when I uncoupled. When we came back, I parked in front as usual to keep anybody from blocking me in. Evidently the nighttime parking lot sweeper ate them in the night. We were in Elkhart, IN which is the best place in the US to do something stupid as there are so many RV places there. I found a set of pins that would work in one salvage place and then found the exact match at another. Got the clinch pins at Ace hardware and ended up spending about 1/4 what Blue Ox would have charged me.
dalsgal
I am part of the bus conversion community. My husband is a super diesel mechanic but sometimes he goof's. We got a pressure washer and he decided to clean our 671 detroit engine. He got everything so nice and grease free but, since we were full timing and sitting, he forgot to worth the clutch. It rusted up on him and when we got ready to move on he had one heck of a time getting it loose.

We were at a bus rally and another busnut decided to move his bus. He backed into a guide wire attached to a power pole that started wobbling towards our bus. He was told so he moved forward and backed up.....hitting it yet again. We got him to pull forward again so he did and hit someone elses brand new pick up. The man ran and told him what he had done so the driver pulled up and, you guessed it, backed into the truck again. The truck owner is a very soft spoken man and very much the gentleman. After his truck was hit twice he lost the quiet and gentleman part of himself, especially after the driver got out of his bus, laughed and said "oh, well...that's what insurance is for".

pianotuna
Hi JJ,

I think bat wings ought to be called "bat out of hell wings". I hate mine with a passion. When I finally manage to "kill it" I will replace it with something that requires *nothing*. It is the one area in my RV that I'd gladly have automated.

I had a similar problem to yours with my new-to-me KK. I put the antenna up--rotated--and then tried to rotate it back to the "neutral" position. It refused to turn--which means it also refused to be lowered all the way.

I had to borrow a ladder and climb up and shove it until I could retract the hellish thing.

QUOTE(DXSMac @ Sep 14 2009, 08:25 AM) *

Well, I just now had a "mistake" that I made. The gears to the TV antenna require "lubrication" twice a year according to a sticker next to the gear. Ah......... do we REALLY need to do that? I didn't. Ok, I've had this RV (my 3rd) for a year and a half now, and I'm in Eastern Wyoming. I tried to raise my antenna, and the gear JUST BROKE OFF! I had the antenna raised when it broke off. Fortunately, I was able to use the crank handle to lower it back down. So, I can raise and lower the antenna with some struggle, but I cannot "Turn" it.

I guess you REALLY ARE supposed to lubricate that gear!

JJ

John316
Dalsgal,

Thanks for the story. I hadn't heard that. I knew that something happened, but I hadn't heard that story biggrin.gif . I think I know who were the team players were (from all of the comments biggrin.gif ).

God bless,

John
mdcamping
One thing that comes to mind was the time when we were camping and I had forgot to open the gray water valve and the gray water backed up into the tub, unfortunately DW had her books and clothes in the tub...needles to say she wasn't very happy.

I'm sure there's been more, I just haven't thought of them yet... rolleyes.gif

Mike
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