Ultimate Guide To RV Parking And Reversing

Useful tips to help you park your RV

Ultimate Guide To RV Parking And Reversing

If you’re new to driving an RV, you may be a bit nervous at the thought of reversing. The good news is, with a little practice, combined with our helpful tips, you’ll soon be reversing like a pro.

In this useful guide, we share some tips on where you can park your RV in Australia. We also offer some solid advice to help make reversing as easy as possible.


RV parking options 

If you’re looking at RVs for sale, you’ll need to know where you can park your campervan. Here are a few key pointers:


Suitable on-road parking 


 parked up over a view

As a general rule, you can use regular on-road parking spots as long as your RV fits and doesn’t obstruct others. You’ll need to follow the parking laws just like any other vehicle. Remember, because your RV is longer, wider, and higher than a car, you’ll need to take extra care when attempting to park.

Try not to park anywhere near an intersection where the height of your RV may obstruct the view of other drivers.

If you’re still getting used to parking, choose a generously sized spot where you won’t feel rushed or overwhelmed.

Parking up overnight is a different story. You can’t just park up for the night on the side of the road or wherever it suits. In Australia, freedom camping is only allowed in permitted areas. The rules around freedom camping in Australia differ from state to state, so it's a good idea to look into the local council guidelines before your trip.

Here are a few general rules to follow:


  • Some free camping sites may not provide waste disposal areas, but you should still do all you can to find one nearby. Keep an eye on when you might need to get rid of waste.
  • This is generally every two to three days. You can then make a plan to detour as necessary.
  • Australia’s precious wildlife rely on us to look after their home. It’s important to be respectful of how we dispose of rubbish and food.
  • Wherever you choose to park up for the night, ensure you Leave No Trace and do your part to help protect Australia’s environment.



Caravan and holiday parks 


Many RV travellers choose to stay at caravan and holiday parks as they explore Australia. These parks provide cost-effective and safe overnight RV parking as you travel. Not only that, but they also have all the facilities needed for a comfortable and enjoyable stay. You’ll have access to a powered site which means you can recharge your batteries for the next leg of your travels. Holiday parks also usually have playgrounds for children, laundry and kitchen facilities, dump stations etc.

Read our top tips for setting up your motorhome in a caravan park.


 parked up over a view


National parks 


Another great option for parking up on the road is in one of Australia’s 600+ national parks. Spend the night sleeping in a rainforest, next to a lake, or watching the sun set over a beautiful beach.

National parks in Australia offer a mix of free camping and low-cost camping, depending on the location. To find a park and check the costs, it’s a good idea to check the state national park website ahead of time:



How to reverse your RV 


Now that you’ve got a good idea of where to park, it’s time to think about how! When you’re parking up for the night, it’s a good idea to park with your RV facing forward. This way, if you need to leave in a hurry, you don’t have to think about reversing out. Wherever you decide to set up camp, you’ll need to know how to reverse park safely.


1. Check for loose items in the RV 


  • It’s important to make sure your RV is secure before you start reversing.
  • Put away and secure loose items such as the kettle, cups, anything sitting on the bench etc.
  • Close and secure cupboards, windows, doors, and hatches.


2. Do a walk around 


Once everything is secure, it’s time to do a walk around of your RV. This will help you get a sense of the surroundings and identify any potential hazards.

  • Check for children or animals nearby.
  • Note any vehicles or structures alongside your RV.
  • Look for overhanging branches or structures above your RV.
  • Put your hazard lights on to alert other drivers.


3. Ask for help if you can 


If you’re travelling with another adult, ask them to hop out and provide guidance while you’re reversing. Remember to take your time and move slowly.


4. Use your mirrors and reversing camera 


Good quality mirrors are a must-have RV accessory. Before you begin to move, check your side and reverse mirrors to ensure they are clean and angled for the best visibility.

A reversing camera can be very helpful. But physically checking your surroundings first, and using mirrors in conjunction with your camera, is essential.


5. Take your time 


If you feel under pressure to move or rush, it’s more likely things will go wrong. Take your time, especially in the early days when you’re still getting used to your vehicle. You may find it helpful to practice reversing somewhere away from the crowds with plenty of open space.

Worried about how to parallel park your RV? Remember, the rules are similar to a car. You’ll probably feel slow and cumbersome at first but take your time and keep practising.


6. Make your manoeuvre 


When you’re ready to move, remember to make sure the handbrake is off. KEA motorhomes are all automatic, so you just need to put it into reverse then slowly ease off the brake. You may need to accelerate a small amount if you’re not moving fast enough or reversing back up a slope.

  • If you’re reversing on an angle, you’ll want to turn your steering wheel towards where you want to reverse.
  • Once you’re in the right spot, straighten up your wheels. This will ensure your wheels aren’t sticking out and likely to get scuffed.
  • Now put your vehicle into park and apply the handbrake so it doesn't go anywhere.


Accessories for reversing your RV 


There are two must-have RV accessories that will help you confidently reverse your motorhome:


  • Mirrors: As mentioned earlier, good quality mirrors are a must-have for manoeuvring your motorhome. Many new RV owners fall into the trap of buying the lowest-cost mirrors available, but this can be a mistake. Some cheaper units tend to lack mounting stability. This can result in vibration which reduces effectiveness and can be very frustrating.
  • Reversing cameras: Even if you have a rear window, a reversing camera is a worthwhile investment. As with most technology, you get what you pay for when it comes to reversing cameras. If possible, choose a unit that gives views not only behind the vehicle but also on both the left and right sides. Damage often happens when the driver is focusing on the rear of the vehicle but neglects to check the sides while turning.


Accessories for parking your RV


Once you’ve parked up your motorhome, there are a few RV accessories worth having on hand to keep it level and secure:


  • Levellers: Ensuring your motorhome is level is important for a few reasons. Obviously, it is much more comfortable living and sleeping in your RV when it’s not sloping or uneven. But being level is also important for ensuring that your water system and appliances, such as your fridge, run properly. There are a few different types of levelling systems available for your RV. These range from level ramps that can be manually lodged under your tyres, to fully automated systems that are deployed with the touch of a button.
  • Chocks: Once you’ve levelled your RV, wheel chocks are used to help prevent any accidental movement. Where possible, choose chocks that are made from lightweight sturdy material and are UV-resistant.
  • Tyre savers: If you’re planning to park up for a long period of time, you may like to use tyre savers. These help prevent flat spots on your tyres.



Drive your RV confidently with KEA 


Now that you’ve got some great tips for parking and reversing, it’s time to put them into practice!

The first step on your journey to motorhome ownership is to start researching an RV for sale. One of the best places to look is at KEA’s great range of new and used RVs for sale.

Not sure if a motorhome is right for you? Why not give it a trial run? KEA Motorhomes lets you try before you buy. You might also like to pop into your nearest KEA dealership and have a chat with the friendly staff. Our team are all motorhome and campervan experts. They can help you find the best campervan or motorhome to suit you and your travel lifestyle.

Keen to know more about RV ownership? Check out more of our helpful blogs: