Camping trailers: 25+ dos and don’ts for your next trip

Camping trailers are a great way to get outdoors and spent time with your family. However, there are a few dos and don’ts that can save you stress and money and keep your camping trailer in tip top shape. Check it out!

Camping trailers
Our fifth wheel camping trailer.

Our family has owned our fifth wheel for about six years now. It has been an awesome investment. It has allowed our family to travel everywhere together. However, camping trailers require a bit of elbow grease to keep them maintained and liveable. Here’s some dos and some don’t that we have learned along the way.

Dos for camping trailers

  • Sign up for AAA premier. This covers 200 miles of RV towing. You don’t want to get stuck in the middle of nowhere with a broke down trailer.
  • Install RV LED light bulbs. Some camping trailers already have these installed, but if yours doesn’t, it will save you so much battery power.
  • Install a solar panel and charge controller. My husband installed a 100 watt 12 volt solar panel on the top of our fifth wheel. It keeps our batteries charged and we don’t need a generator. Here’s a good video on how to install a solar panel on your RV.
  • Add a bike rack. Half the time we go camping I think, “We should have brought our bikes.” And they have some great bike racks for camping trailers.
  • Use a portable clothesline. If you’re going swimming, you’ll want to hang up your swimming suits. This clothesline is a must.
  • Recover cushions with slipcovers. Our dinette cushions had vinyl covers on the bottom. So we just flipped the cushions. We’ve avoided a lot of stains.
Camping trailers: dos and don'ts
Vinyl cushion covers on our dinette cushions.
  • Install cabinet latches. There’s always that one cupboard door that swings open and dumps out all of your food.
  • Keep a set of toothbrushes and toiletries. The whole point of a camping trailer is that you don’t have to pack everything each time. Keep a separate set of toothbrushes, shampoo and conditioner and other toiletries in your trailer all the time.
  • Create a game closet. Sometimes the weather isn’t great when you’re camping. So, a game closet for your kids will keep them entertained while you’re stuck inside the trailer.
Our messy game cupboard in our trailer.
  • Buy a catalytic heater. Turning on the heater in your trailer drains the battery power so fast. A catalytic heater can be installed easily on the wall and runs off propane. We love it.
Camping trailers
Our catalytic heater installed in our fifth wheel.
  • Add a memory foam topper to the bed. You can get just as good a sleep camping as you can at home. We added a memory foam topper to our mattress and it’s like sleeping on a cloud.
  • Install a power inverter.  If you want to be able to run things in your RV such as a computer, LED TV, or other items that are usually found in a house, you need an inverter.
Camping trailers
The inverter installed in our fifth wheel
  • Store plenty of blankets. We got caught in a nasty storm once while camping. I was so glad I had enough blankets to keep all of my kids warm.
  • Hang a cup holder. That way you don’t have to keep doing dishes over and over.
Cup holder hanging in our fifth wheel.
  • Utilize the exterior shower. A lot of camping trailers have an exterior shower head that you can use to wash your hair everyday while you’re camping! Just plop on a camping chair and let your hubby wash your hair for you.
  • Buy a jumbo fly swatter. This might seem like a joke, but this fly swatter is a fly-killing machine. We keep one in our trailer at all times.
  • Keep track of camping trips. We hang our list of places that we have camped in our trailer. You can print your own by clicking here.
  • Keep a supply of bubble solution and slime ingredients. These are two fun activities are perfect for kids on a camping trip.

Don’ts for camping trailers

  • Leave the windows open. If you forget to close a window when you start driving, it will tear apart your blinds.
Our blinds after we forgot to close the window on our fifth wheel.
  • Empty black water too often. If there is more waste in your tank, then it’ll break down more effectively. We empty our tank about once every month or two. You can drop a deodorizer in your tank every time you go camping.
  • Open awning when it’s windy. It just takes one big gust of wind to break your awning. That’s what happened to us while we were camping. Our awning ripped completely off.
Camping trailers
The remains of our awning after ripping off.
  • Put a 5-gallon water container in the sink. A filled water container might seem secure in the sink, but we’ve had our container fall out while driving and get water everywhere. Wait until you get there to fill it up or secure it somewhere else.
  • Leave water in the tank after your trip. If you don’t dump your fresh water and gray water out, it will sit and grow bacteria. Dump it out every time.
  • Use regular toilet paper. There is rapid dissolve toilet paper for RVs that breaks down easier. If you don’t use this, your waste won’t break down and it could harden in your tank and then won’t drain out. No fun.
Rapid dissolve toilet paper in our fifth wheel.
  • Allow shoes in the trailer. Nothing gets your trailer dirtier than muddy shoes. Set the rule from the beginning and your trailer will be much cleaner.
  • Close the fridge and freezer doors. Once you are done camping, make sure you turn off the fridge and open the doors. If you don’t, mold will start growing inside and you’ll have a fun mess to clean up on your next trip.
Camping trailers
Mold growing on the shelf in our fridge after we forgot to open the doors.
  • Leave food in the cabinets. It’ll attract mice.
  • Scrub shower with abrasive cleaners. It is harmful to the plastic and will wear it out quicker.

Hopefully these ideas will help you out with your own trailer. Let me know if you have any other ideas in the comments below.

Related link: 20 Ooey-gooey campfire candies