How to Camp in Your Travel Trailer

When you’re a new travel trailer camper owner, it’s easy to become overwhelmed while you learn how to use it. After all, you’ve got several new systems to learn and it operates differently than your house or apartment does, so you’ll need to adapt to them.

RV World Minnesota, located in Ramsey, is proud to be your Minnesota travel trailer dealer. Here are some of the things you’ll want to be aware of in advance of your inaugural travel trailer camping trip so that you can relax and enjoy your vacation, rather than getting stressed out about it.

Packing For Your Trip

Drawing up a checklist is the best way to ensure you pack everything for your trip. You’ll want to keep some items on your travel trailer all the time and periodically clean or replenish them. These items include a first-aid kit, a tool kit, a spare tire, an air compressor, fire extinguishers, bed linens, dishes, silverware, cookware, towels and blankets. An emergency hand-crank radio is another good thing to have in case you can’t get phone service.

Safe Towing

You’ll need to make sure that your travel trailer is securely hitched up to your towing vehicle, and that you’ve anchored it further with towing chains crossed in an X shape under the tongue. If you’ve never towed before, you may want to take your travel trailer to an empty lot to practice turning, reversing, braking and parking before you go on the highway.

When driving, make sure that you go no faster than about 55 miles per hour. Travel trailer tires are generally not designed to go over 60 miles an hour, so even if the speed limit is higher, stay in the right-hand lane and allow others to pass you while you travel at a slower pace. Avoid changing lanes too much or making any sudden maneuvers; signal well in advance of any change you intend to make and keep more space between yourself and other vehicles than you would when driving your car.

Setting Up Your Travel Trailer

Once you arrive at the campsite, you’ll need to set it up properly in order to use it. This involves finding a level and flat patch of ground to park it on. Generally, campsites have a concrete pad onto which you can set up your travel trailer, but if you’re dry-camping, you’ll have to scout around to find ground that isn’t sloped or rocky. You will then need to level your travel trailer carefully using chocks, leveling blocks and a level. This requires some patience, but it will make your trip much better to have a level trailer!

Using Your Water System

Travel trailers can provide you with water for your sinks, toilet and shower in two primary ways. The first is a freshwater holding tank, which can generally hold several gallons of clean water. When camping without hook-ups, you’ll use this exclusively, so you’ll want to be conservative with your water usage. Take fewer showers and keep them short; use hand sanitizer instead of always washing your hands; keep the sink turned off when you’re not actively using the stream. You can pack bottled water to supplement this. At a campground, you can connect your travel trailer to the water hook-up to have a plentiful source of fresh water.

Wastewater from your sink, shower or dishwasher will go to a greywater holding tank, while wastewater from your toilet will go to a blackwater tank. Both of these will need to be emptied at designated areas in a campground or at a park. Never empty them onto the ground! You’ll also need to clean them after each trip.

How Your Travel Trailer Is Powered

The appliances and electronics on your travel trailer are powered either by propane or by hooking up your trailer to a power grid. Some modern models may have solar panels, and you can always install these if you’d like to harvest some sustainable power, but it is a big investment. Most campers make use of the power grid hook-ups at campgrounds and RV parks to keep the lights on.

When using this grid, be aware that it might not provide enough power for everything on your rig, especially power-draining items like air-conditioning units. You may also experience brown-outs or black-outs due to too many users drawing power from the grid, so installing a surge protector can help to save your electronics from this.

If you’re dry-camping without hook-ups, then you’ll need to bring a sufficient store of propane to fuel your rig and be more judicious in how you use your power to preserve energy. Try to minimize electronic use, make use of natural light and avoid using heating or cooling systems when using propane as fuel.

We hope this guide proves useful to you! Still need a travel trailer? Visit our dealership in Ramsey, Minnesota, to take a look at our full stock of new and used travel trailers and other campers for sale. RV World Minnesota proudly serves the cities of Coon Rapids and Minneapolis, Minnesota.

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