I figured it was about time I shared a few more of our mistakes we’ve made on the road. Luckily, nothing too huge has happened but we have learned some lessons from everything!
We became Good Sam members after we bought our RV a year ago. Good Sam is a membership that gives us discounts at campgrounds, certain gas stations, and certain supply stores. We have it for two years and it has already more than paid for itself. What we keep forgetting to do is ask about Good Sam discounts at places that don’t advertise, like all of these lovely state parks we keep staying at.
Read all the Info
Each place that we stay has its own set of rules. State parks post most of them at the entrance and it is important to read everything. So far, this has not been an issue for us, because we know how to read, but it certainly could be. Some places don’t allow animals at all (we avoid these to begin with for obvious reasons). Some require you to be with your animals at all times, meaning that we cannot leave them alone in the RV if we want to go somewhere. Some places do not allow alcohol, firewood from outside the park, or animals in public buildings. Every place has different quiet hours and a set of rules that goes along with your stay. The biggest thing we’ve run into so far was in the Oklahoma parks we’ve stayed in. They did not allow alcohol higher than 3.2% and this was stated in the brochure we were handed at one of the campgrounds (not at both of them even though the rule applies to every state park in the state). I wonder how many people actually read that brochure.
On our way home from Hot Springs, we realized that my phone was about to die and we were still quite a good distance away. We didn’t have our map with us and we were taking a different route home. 10% battery life remaining. We did eventually make it back to our site, our daylight fading fast, but it made us realize that we needed to be mindful of things like this. And that maybe we should get a real GPS. There are ones specifically for RVs that tell you things like bridge height on a certain route. And you don’t have to pay for data!!
This is an important one. When toilet paper says “septic safe,” it does not mean that it is safe for an RV. We knew already that we were supposed to use different toilet paper. Stuff that is thin and fast-dissolving. We had been using it all summer long. But we got this really great deal on some super thin and (forgive the pun) crappy toilet paper. We brought some along with us in case we ran out of the RV stuff. We used almost two rolls until we realized that this was NOT OK. We had clogged up our entire waste system by using the wrong toilet paper. Sure, it was really thin, poor quality paper, labeled as septic safe. But it was not RV toilet paper and it was not dissolving quickly. We ended up having to flush the system with several gallons of water to unclog everything and then we quickly found some more RV TP.
Typically, on a day of travel, we stop once or twice. We use the restroom, get gas, stretch our legs, let the dogs go to the bathroom. It’s nice to break up the monotony. However, when you have a young puppy on the road that HAS TO GO and has to go NOW, you cannot be picky about where you stop. We pulled off on the side of an exit ramp in Arkansas and I quickly brought Theo outside to do his business. That’s when I noticed it. He was pawing at his face. He looked a little agitated, a little upset. I picked him up and saw that he had a couple of ants crawling on him. Ok, no big deal. I handed him to Andy and told him about the ants and that I thought he got into something. Then I grabbed Piper and we got back in. Those ants were fire ants. Or some kind of skin-biting-causing-an-intense-burning-sensation-with-a-lump-ant. They bit Andy. They bit Theo. And Piper and I got off easy, checking our bodies and brushing them off. Moral of the story: don’t stop in a random place with long grass and always look for ant hills.