Getting your RV stuck on a muddy road or campground can turn a good a day into a frustrating one. The best thing is to avoid this situation altogether.
But, if you do find your tires several inches in the earth, a little bit of knowledge and equipment may make the difference between a delay and a major tow bill.
Quick tips to avoid getting your RV stuck:
- If you are unsure of the surface you will be driving on, get out and walk the road or campsite first. Is the earth firm enough to support the weight of your RV? Many RVers will probe the ground with a stick to determine firmness.
- Get out and check for adequate traction when driving on slick surfaces like snow, ice, and mud.
- Also, when the conditions are really bad, be very cautious about turning around. If the roadbed is questionable, the shoulders are likely to be worse and might give way under the weight of an RV. It’s best to back up to an area that seems safe to turn around.
Avoid expensive tows
If you can’t avoid getting your RV stuck, here are several tips and tricks that will get you moving again.
- If your tires spin relentlessly in soft, dry sand, pour a few gallons of water in front of your RV’s path helps compact the sand. This makes it easier to continue driving. Further, learning what you need to know about RVing on a beach is wise if you have plans for this type of camping.
- Carry tire chains for the drive wheels. Most associate tire chains as a traction device for use on snow. But, chains can get you going again when clay roads are slick from rainwater.
- Also, get something solid under the tires for traction. The leveling blocks you carry to level your RV may be just enough to free your rig. But, if you find yourself in these situations often, consider purchasing traction products.
By following these tips you can avoid the need to call a tow truck—because this is one adventure in RVing nobody wants to experience.
Dave Helgeson’s many roles in the RV industry started before he even had a driver’s license. His grandparents and father owned an RV dealership before the term “RV” had been coined, and Dave played a pivotal role in nearly every position of an RV dealership. He and his wife Cheri launched their own RV dealership in the Pacific Northwest. The duo also spent 29 years overseeing regional RV shows. Dave has also served as President of a local chapter of the Recreational Vehicle Dealers Association (RVDA), worked on the board of advisors for the RV Technician Program of a local technical college, and served as a board member of the Manufactured Home and RV Association. Dave’s reputation earned him the title of “The foremost expert on boondocking,” bestowed by RV industry icon, the late Gary Bunzer (The RV Doctor). When he’s not out boondocking, you’ll find Dave in the spotlight at RV shows across the country, giving seminars about all things RVing. He and Cheri currently roam in their fifth travel trailer, with Dave doing all the service, repair and modifications to his own unit.