It’s funny how often the things that stress us most about a new a endeavor end up being so much easier than we imagined once the time actually comes. One of those classic ‘making a mountain out of a molehill’ scenarios.
Learning how to hitch up, back up, and dump the waste tanks are three common examples from RVing. I certainly worried about them when I was preparing to buy my Casita, and discussion about those three topics are very common online among prospective RVers.
And yet, you don’t see experienced RVers talking about it.
That’s because once you learn how, it becomes so easy that you just don’t think about it anymore. It seems odd to me to make them the subject of a blog post, because it just comes so naturally once you get the hang of the lifestyle.
But, that assurance doesn’t help those of you on the other side of the fence who haven’t tried it yet, so here are my musings.
Reading a step-by-step tutorial isn’t going to be very useful, because you can’t imagine it in your head until you know what it looks like. The method I’ve found to work best is actually quite simple.
- Go on YouTube and look up videos so you can actually see what’s going on. Search terms like ‘how to back up RV‘ and ‘how to hitch a trailer‘ both turn up several good videos demonstrating the process on a variety of RV and trailer types. I have a video on YouTube demonstrating how to hitch up and dump tanks on a Casita and you can find that here.
- Once you pick your RV up, practice! The more often you do it the easier it gets. Before your first trip, take your rig to a large empty lot and spend an hour or two backing it up, and unhitch and hitch it a couple times. Go through the motions of connecting the waste hose and opening the tank valves. Refer back to YouTube videos if you need to. Don’t worry about looking or feeling silly, this effort will pay off when you arrive at your first real camp and actually get to enjoy it because you’re not panicking about never having done it before.
Be patient with yourself and don’t worry about speed. The first few times you’ll be on high alert when you do these activities, and you’ll need to give it your full attention. In the early days, creating a list of steps and checking them off can help until you have the process memorized. Avoid distractions and don’t let anyone interrupt you (the only time I’ve ever gotten into trouble while hitching up was when someone started asking me questions halfway through). Kindly ask anyone who tries to engage you in conversation to wait until you’re done, and don’t let anyone assist – that usually just makes it harder unless you’re use to working together with that other person.
Once you get a routine down it’ll come faster until it feels like second nature. Before very long you’ll be wondering why you spent so much time agonizing over it. Happy camping!
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