This article has been
provided by BeOutdoors.com
Taking It All With You: An RV Enthusiast's Guide To Packing
Remember watching your dad pack the car for
the family vacation? The luggage, assembled in a huge pile by the rear
door of the station wagon, would defy all laws of physics if it fit into
the car and left room for kids, dog and two adults. And then he began to
pack. By the time he finished his magic, deflating the basketball to
store it with its pump in the spare tire compartment, you regarded your
father a technical engineer of the highest degree.
Now that you're standing in Dad's shoes,
here are a few road-tested, practical packing tips to help make your RV
vacation safe and trouble-free.
- Know your limits. You might want to re-think taking along the
electric organ. Check your owner's manual for the recommended load
limits for your RV. Many RVs have certification labels attached to
door jams and trailer tongues. Take this information seriously
because the engineers who design your camper specified these figures
with your safety in mind.
- Understand the principles of load distribution for your particular
type of RV. To ensure stability, a truck camper should have the
heaviest cargo placed as far in front of the rear wheels as
possible. Heavy objects placed in the rear section of a truck camper
can result in steering problems. In a trailer, locate the heaviest
items close to the area above the trailer's axle. When loading a
motorhome, place the heaviest weight in the center of the unit
between the front and rear axles. In most RVs, place all heavy
objects in lower compartments and towards the middle to keep a good
center of gravity. Heavy items should always be well secured and
never stored on the roof.
- Make a list of all of the equipment you'll need on the trip. Bring
only comfortable clothes that you know you will wear. Place high-use
items where they can be easily reached in cabinets and living
quarters. Make sure all cabinets and compartments are closed in
transit. Store seldom used items in less accessible places. Reduce
pots, pans and dishes down to the bare essentials. The more you
camp, the more you'll realize what can be left behind.
- Your emergency gear should include a jack, lug wrench, flashlight,
flares, tool box, first aid kit, wheel blocks and fire extinguisher.
Keep all emergency gear in one easily accessible place. Keep an
extra fire extinguisher in the kitchen area.
- Watching the amount of weight you are hauling will improve your
gas mileage and your safety. For every hundred pounds of cargo, you
reduce your gas mileage by one percent. Don't buy all your food and
supplies before you leave. Stop and purchase items along the way to
keep your load lighter. If your RV has water tanks, fill them with
only enough water to see you to your next destination. One gallon of
water weighs about eight pounds. When traveling, sewage tanks should
be kept at minimal levels, just enough to allow chemicals to work.
Whenever possible, gray water tanks should be dumped before
departing. Keeping weight levels down will save you money at the gas
- Once your RV is loaded, you may want to draw a diagram of the unit
to find what is where. Take it extra easy those first 100 miles
until you get a feel for the load you are pulling. You may want to
make some adjustments so the load pulls smoother. If your hitch
weight is too light, your trailer will fishtail at high speeds. If
your hitch weight is too heavy, steering and braking problems may
With a little planning and preparation, your
next trip will be worry-free and relaxing.
--article courtesy of BeOutdoors.com
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