Maybe it’s your first time camping in your RV or maybe it’s your one-hundredth time. Nothing beats the feeling of road-tripping with your family to your favorite Texas destination, while playing camping games and listening to Mom and Dad yell at each other over yet another missed turn. Nobody ever said hauling a 12,000-pound RV behind your vehicle was going to be easy. So we asked our camping experts (basically just a bunch of cool Dads we know who sport cargo shorts and a YETI cooler on the reg) what their best tricks of the RV trade are, and this is what they said:

1. Make your camping reservation months in advance. Weekends and holidays fill up quickly. A good rule-of-thumb is to book at least six months prior. However, if you’re interested in campgrounds like Garner State Park that are steeped in history, you can bet on scheduling at least a year in advance.

“Our family has staked out this exact campsite, on this exact weekend, for 35 years!”

2. If you visit state parks frequently it is in your best interest to purchase a State Park Pass. The Texas State Park Pass is good for one year and includes unlimited free entry for you and guests to more than 90 parks in the state of Texas. This option is great if you are traveling with the family!

Pro Tip: Don’t let your entire extended family know you have one!

tpwd.texas.gov

3. Plan your trip route in advance. Not all roads are RV friendly.

“This here ‘Old Potato Road’ looks like a beaut to take an RV down.”

4. Bring a portable grey water tank if you plan on staying more than a couple of nights. Unloading any type of water tanks on the grounds of your camp can stick you with a hefty fine. With a portable grey water tank, you can unload your dish and bath water legally, without having to creep around in the middle of the night.

“I don’t know where all this soapy water came from, Mr. Park Ranger.”

5. Before draining your black water tank, dump a bag of ice down it and drive your RV around for a little while. This will ensure all the toilet paper will be removed so that it won’t stop up your valve and float.

Always practice the tried but true camping saying,“If it’s brown, flush it down. If it’s yellow, let it mellow.”

6. Install an extra gas line for your BBQ pit so you don’t have to tote around those little green gas bottles of propane. Also, it’s probably much safer in transport.

“What’s worse than a bad day of fishing? Setting your RV on fire.”

7. Install quick-release fittings on your city water connection for faster connection to water. This fixture is located on your hose and screws into the side of your RV. It allows you to hook up to the drinking (we still recommend bottled water) and bathing water faster.

Pro Tip: Take outside showers in the summer so your grey water tank doesn’t fill up too quickly. We recommend singing shower songs as loud as you can so your neighbors can hear.

8. If your RV does not have built in levels, set a glass of water on the counter to re-level.

Nobody wants to be getting dizzy walking around in your RV funhouse for a week.

9. Buy an extra set of pots, pans and dishes so you don’t have to tote any of these items from your home.

“Billaay! You forgot the griddle! Now how am I supposed to cook the kids pancakes?”

10. Always sign up for Roadside Assistance and an RV Policy through your insurance company. Call An Agent to find out exactly what is covered on both policies before you hit the road.

11. And last but certainly not least…may you NEVER get your black water tank confused with your grey water tank.

No explanation needed here.

Safe travels!