Don has been an avid traveler and motorhome owner for most of his life. He shares his experiences along with valuable tips for RV owners.
Surviving Bad Weather in an RV
It happens, people!
Rainy days do occur while you are out camping, and the innovative camper will need to find ways to still enjoy their time in their RV.
For your information, there are a number of simple rainy day survival techniques for RV campers that can make even a wet and dreary day fun, or at least enjoyable or productive.
I'm not speaking to tenters here, but more specifically to those of you who own a recreation vehicle such as a Class A, B, or C Motorhome and those who pull a Fiver” or a “Tag-along Trailer." Each of these styles of RVs has certain amenities built in that are more conducive to surviving a rainy day. The die-hard tenter or backpacker might say RV owners are not really camping. But even the most ardent "rough campers" evolve to more comfortable forms of camping as they and their bodies get older.
Use the RV Amenities You Already Have
For those of you who might be a newbie owner of one of these types of RVs, here are some of the amenities that we will generally have in our rig.
Your RV, especially if it is a newer model built in the past ten years, will have at least one, and often two or three TVs installed for your entertainment.
The main cabin area will invariably have a TV installed conveniently for the camper to watch their favorite shows.
And often the bedroom area will have yet another TV installed there for you to watch while in bed.
And with the newer rigs, there will often even be a TV mounted outside, either in an entertainment area or sometimes in a storage compartment, set up and ready for viewing while the owner is sitting outside.
All RVs have a TV antenna mounted on the roof for receiving regular TV channels. You just crank the antenna up, turn it in the right direction for the best signal, and you can receive all of the local network channels.
This gives you access to the local network channels where you can watch the regular programming, keep up with the local weather, and generally get nightly entertainment for free.
Many campgrounds now provide some level of cable TV service for a small price, if not free. And, all RVs will have a cable TV connector, usually in the service area.
Just connect a cable from the campsite cable box to your RV’s connector and you will have a selection of cable channels, generally including the local network channels, to watch.
Many RV owners will have a permanent satellite antenna dome on the roof of their RV, or maybe a portable satellite dome/antenna that they can place in an appropriate spot of their campsite and receive their favorite satellite channels, wherever they travel in their RV.
Most RVers will simply use one of their home satellite boxes, and after they connect it and set up the antenna, they are watching all of their favorite channels everywhere they travel for no extra cost.
Other RVers just pay the small cost of having an additional box they install permanently in their RV.
Raincoat, Poncho With Hood
Other Forms of Entertainment
Having access to a TV and TV service is really nice, but there are a lot of other things you can do in your RV to pass the time while it rains, such as:
There is nothing more relaxing to most people than sitting down with a good book and reading a good mystery or action story.
And on a rainy day, you can do just that in your RV; sit back, prop up your feet, and catch up on reading those books you have been wanting to read.
It is almost impossible to find a commercial campground that doesn’t have some form of WiFi available for its customers. I have this at the top of my checklist when I am planning a camping trip.
I always check on whether they have WiFi available and if they do I check if it is only available in their clubhouse, or if it is some commercial form throughout the campground managed by a company like Tengo.
Whatever they have available, the whole world is opened up to you, the smart camper, with WiFi.
Writing and Journals
These days, there are a lot of people who either keep a personal journal, either on paper or on a personal blog.
Writing is a great way to record those special moments in your life and if you want, you can share your Blog with just your friends, or even with the world.
Other people enjoy writing a personal Blog while some might enjoy communicating with like minds on one or more of the many social media sites such as Facebook, HubPages, and others.
Many RVers make craft items. Crafting for some is a form of personal expression and for many, it is a source of extra income.
Making useful or decorative crafts can fill those rainy days, and you can sell them to your fellow campers when the campground has a “Craft Day,” which is quite often.
One of the things an RVer does often is put together a travel and camping plan for their next trip or just a future dream trip.
Planning a trip can take a lot of time to do it right and the process usually includes selecting a destination, selecting roads to travel on, selecting stopovers for resting and for meals, selecting fuel stops, and most importantly, researching the things you want to do while at your destination.
A well-planned trip package can take several hours of careful planning if you want to get the most out of a trip in your RV, but every minute spent planning is worth it—if you have a smooth tripwire, everyone has a great time.
RV Interior Repairs and Upgrades
As an RVer, I can attest to the fact that there is always something you want to change, fix, or add to your RV so that your RV travels will be more enjoyable.
Here are a number of things that you can do to your interior on a rainy day.
- Add hangers for hats, coats, keys, etc. Keep your limited countertop space open by placing certain items onto hangers or hooks.
- Replace burnt-out interior light bulbs. Consider using the new LED replacement bulbs.
- Repair loose or broken door and drawer latches. Make sure these do not fly open while you are traveling down the road.
- Remove and clean interior filters on your AC or furnace. These filters get dirty fast and they can impede your interior airflow if not cleaned regularly.
- Clean the interior of your RV’s windows. Even the windows of non-smokers will build up a coating or film over time that needs to be removed regularly.
- Vacuum and clean your carpets and tile floors. Getting rid of that and dust that is tracked into your RV will make everything smell better and be more sanitary.
- Reorganize your items in your cabinets. Putting similar items together in your cabinets will really cut down on your searches for things like salt, pepper, spices, bath items, and such if they are kept in the same areas.
- Make a list of items you need to purchase for your RV. There is always something you have been meaning to get for your RV but keep forgetting. Making and maintaining a list can help you have the right items when you actually need them.
Of course, if you are camping in your RV and a town is nearby, you can always take advantage of the many public things to do.
- Public libraries: They usually have lots of great magazines and books available for free.
- Public museums: Some tours cost a little, but you can often walk around some sections for free.
- Courtrooms: If court is in session, it can be very entertaining to sit and watch the proceedings and the people as justice is dispensed.
- Bowling alleys: These provide cheap and fun entertainment that is available in almost every town, regardless of size.
- Public shows: Whether it's boats, campers, or interior decorating, such shows are often free or very cheap and you can learn a lot.
And last but not least, there is always a sports pub nearby with their walls lined with large screen TVs and so many selections of beer for you to sample and spend a couple of hours out of the rain.
Never cancel a trip in your RV just because there might be some inclement weather projected. A creative camper can come up with numerous things to do while in their RV, or if necessary, in a nearby town. So, when the camping bug bites, go with it. You probably need the change, anyway.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.