We love a great view from our RV home, and will make compromises to get the best vista possible.
We also appreciate having a bit of privacy, ideally so we can keep at least one window open all the time without unintentionally putting ourselves on display to our neighbors or folks passing by. We adore waking up to natural sunlight in the morning.
One of the features we loved about our first full time RV, a 16′ T@b teardrop trailer, is that it could be moved by hand. We’d often use our tow vehicle to get the trailer roughly into the spot, and then spin it around by hand for the best possible view and privacy. We got ourselves into some amazing places that other RVs just couldn’t accomplish.
Obviously, we lost that flexibility as we’ve changed our RV setups. But we still do everything we can to optimize our view and privacy. Here’s some things we’ve learned over the years:
Angles Matter. You don’t have to park exactly straight in your spot. Don’t be afraid to angle your RV into your site as much as you can while still keeping within campground guidelines. If there’s an asphalt or gravel pad, most campgrounds require you stay on them. But we find that angling ourselves cattywampus while still keeping all the tires on the driveway, can make our view a bit better and keeps a window or two obscured from the street.
- Back-In? Nah… Drive-In! With so many different styles of RVs on the road, campgrounds can’t possibly build all sites to always have the best view.
Some RVs have rear view windows, and some don’t (we don’t). One trait we savor about a motorhome setup is that we can usually choose which way we go into a site. If the view is best from where the ‘rear’ should be – we won’t hesitate to go in backwards to get that view out our front windshield instead. Obviously, that’s not usually an option with most trailers and 5th wheels. Having high quality heavy duty extension cords gives us a lot of flexibility to still reach the power pedestal, and being energy independent can help a lot too. We also only do this if we’re not hooking up to sewer anyway, as we’d end up having our sewer hose crossing our outdoor living space (ick). Make sure the campground allows this sort of configuration – some don’t. Especially if sites are close by and backwards parking would disrupt the privacy of someone else’s front porch.
- Know your Visibility. Take some time peering into your RV through windows at different times of days, different states of openness, different lighting conditions and different angles. Know how visible you are, and adjust for that if privacy is a concern for you. Before deciding if we’re comfortable leaving our window blinds open, we walk our site and surrounding roads and make sure we’re not showing anything off to the world we don’t want to be. Don’t forget about any mirrors or reflective surfaces you might have inside that reflect views you don’t intend.
Sun Shades and Tinting. There are multiple ways you can treat your windows so that you have great views out, while keeping privacy. All of our side windows are darkly tinted, which gives us a great amount of privacy during the day with all the windows open. For our front windshield, we purchased sunshades from RV Quick Shades. They were super easy to cut to fit our windows, and they suction cup to our front windows from the inside. We’ve had them for well over a year now, and are very happy with them. We’ve thought about getting a fancy MagneShade setup made for the exterior of our windows instead, but haven’t quite convinced ourselves we want outdoor shades that might be wet when we need to take them down to stow. Of course, with all of these options, as soon as the sun goes down – they reverse visibility. Be sure to be dressed for the occasion.
Wash your Windows! We carry an Unger Squeegee window washer and a telescoping pole to give all our windows a regular cleaning. It’s amazing how much joy a clean window adds to the view. Well worth the few moments it takes. And of course, a clean windshield is essential for driving safety. Part of getting ready for a driving day is washing the front windshield, and I usually clean all of the windows, inside and out, as part of setting up camp for a while.
Taking the time to maximize our view and privacy at each stop is so worth the effort. Every little bit helps add happiness to our travels, and make each stop feel like home.
Mobile Internet Update – you may have seen mention of Verizon, AT&T and Sprint all doubling their data if you claim it by the end of the month, and Verizon deciding not to throttle their unlimited LTE customers. This is excellent and game changing news for mobile internet consumers who need lots of bandwidth. We’re super excited about it! We’re awaiting to see if Millenicom, the previous ‘best deal’, is going to respond before issuing any specific recommendations. We’re tracking this all over at the RV Mobile Internet Resource Center, and will announce anything there.
Here’s our latest article: Our Recommendation: Hold off on any Big Cellular Plan Decisions
We’re also preparing an in-depth guide and hosting a web chat later this week for our Mobile Internet Aficionado members on this topic to help them navigate the choices.