How to park your RV

Those who just bought an RV or are renting one for the first time may be a bit intimidated when it comes to handling the vehicle. Driving an RV is pretty different from piloting a normal vehicle, and one of the hardest aspects is parking. Most drivers will likely be fine driving on the highway, but when it comes time to park for the night at RV campgrounds, things can get a bit tricky.

When parking straight on, it's typically not an issue as long as you have enough space. Once you get used to the dimensions of the RV, parking while moving forward is a breeze. Just be sure that you have enough room on either side for your RV's slideouts, if you have them.

What most drivers have trouble with is backing into a space. Many RV campgrounds have the spaces laid out so the RV is facing forward and all the campers are in at an angle. Mastering the art of backing your RV into one of these spaces is the true sign of any experienced camper.

If you're traveling with other people, it's probably not even worth it to attempt the parking job on your own, especially if it's your first time. Have your co-pilot get out of the vehicle and act as a spotter to help you guide the vehicle into the space. This solves the major problem of parking an RV or trailer – not knowing how much space you have behind the vehicle.

It can be a bit difficult to communicate over the noise of the RV's engine, so this is a good time to break out the walkie talkies, if you have them. Be sure to designate beforehand what "left" and "right" mean – it's easy for the driver to get confused whether the spotter means to move the vehicle to the left or cut the wheel to the left. Go very slowly and you should get into the space eventually.

If you're on your own, parking will be a bit tricky, but still doable. First, make sure there are no kids or pets running around the campground – it's easy for them to run behind an RV accidentally. If there are kids and pets around, at the very least ask the parents to watch out for them (and maybe recruit your new neighbors to be your spotter). Drive past the spot so you have enough room to maneuver, then cut the wheel to angle into the space. Again, go very slowly and use your mirrors to ensure you have enough room. There's no shame in popping out of the vehicle every now and then to check your progress.