Can you park an RV on a hill?

In this blog post, we will answer the following question: Can you park an RV on a hill? We will explain how to safely park an RV on a hill and discuss the potential dangers of it. 

Can you park an RV on a hill?

Yes, you can park an RV on a hill, although you should avoid it. Small hills will not be a problem, steeper inclines, however, can potentially damage your recreational vehicle. 

Parking in the hills is a delicate operation. The slope of the road can be dangerous if you don’t know how to do it.

Due to gravity, parking on a hill can become dangerous and lead to accidents. This happens to those who do not know well the steps to be taken and do not take the right precautions. If you lose control of the vehicle, in fact, the risk is to cause damage to other cars or, even worse, to other people. Here are our tips to park safely on the hills.

Here’s how to safely park an RV on a hill (step-by-step):

  1. To carry out the manoeuvre correctly, drive the RV parallel to the road curb. If the slope is uphill, leave behind you the space corresponding to the length of another vehicle, in order to move the RV back along the curb. If the slope is downhill, you will leave the space of the entire length of another car in front of you, to proceed with the manoeuvre.
  1. If the parking is uphill, with your foot on the brake, put the RV in neutral and turn the steering wheel completely away from the curb, or towards the curb, if you are parking downhill.
  1. The next step in parking on a hill is to take your foot off the brake and let go of the RV until you feel that a tire touches the curb of the road.
  1. The last step is to park the RV and pull the handbrake.

If you have doubts about the ability of your RV to remain stationary on a slope, always carry wedges with you. They are simple tools of wood, rubber or metal, to be placed under the wheel, in order to block its movement.

If the road has a curb, turn the wheels in the direction of the road. If the RV has a manual gearbox, leave reverse gear engaged if the RV is parked downhill, or the first if it is parked uphill.

The last precaution to park on hills in total safety: always check the maintenance of the brakes.

Parking an RV on a hill, what are the risks?

Who has never heard the story of the neighbour who misapplied his handbrake after parking on a sloping street and unfortunately found his car stuck in a tree? No driver! 

This story is sometimes even brought up during the first hours of driving by the instructor to illustrate the importance of the handbrake in securing a parking lot, especially when it is on a slope. However, it is not uncommon to find that this type of road accident is reported in the news section of major dailies.

 If on country roads, the main risk lies in the fact that the vehicle collides with an obstacle, in town it is often the most vulnerable users who run the greatest risk: that of being run over by a vehicle rolling down a hill. Generally, their low speed of movement does not allow them to avoid accidents, the consequences of which are often fatal.

The importance of the handbrake when parking an RV on a hill

Fortunately, the systematic presence of a handbrake in automobiles ensures that they come to a complete stop when they come to stop. On most RVs, an action by the driver on the lever will have to be carried out. 

However, more and more manufacturers are equipping their vehicles with electronic hand brakes that engage automatically when the engine is turned off. Regardless of its size, its role is to block one or more wheels on the same axle, in order to prevent any rotational movement, and therefore any movement forwards or backwards. This is why its use is essential when it comes to parking in a sloping street.

Parking an RV on a hill: Speed ​​and chocks

In addition to fully applying the handbrake, it is strongly recommended that you engage a gear after switching off the ignition. On vehicles equipped with a manual transmission, drivers will be able to choose between first gear or reverse gear, taking into account the direction of parking on the slope. 

Automatic gearboxes must be positioned on the “P”. Even if this practice is less and less widespread, it is also possible to position wooden blocks under the tires to make parking a little more secure on a slope.

When parking in a sloping street, road users are advised to position their vehicle’s wheels towards the sidewalk, so that they do not encroach on the roadway and obstruct the movement of others. vehicles. In addition, by remaining in this position, they can be stopped by the sidewalk in the event of failure of the brakes.

These few tips apply to the majority of motorized land vehicles: RVs, cars, trucks, buses… However, when it comes to two-wheelers, it is advisable to park so that the vehicle is parallel on the slope, making sure that once the kickstand is engaged, it does not tilt on the slope side.

RVs: how and where to park

One party will use the RV or caravan to spend the rest period, perhaps in more numbers than usual, given the restrictions on planes and trains. This means that it allows a holiday with greater freedom of movement, but with rules to be respected, in particular for parking.

  • Street parking. The Highway Code places motorhomes in the category of motor vehicles and therefore the camper is assimilated to cars for the traffic rules and prohibitions to be observed (and the same penalties). Therefore, it is possible to park the vehicle on a normal road, as long as the stop is not considered camping.

So, obviously, it must be allowed to stop in the place where we want to stop, the vehicle must rest on the ground only with its wheels (without feet or other supports), it must not clutter beyond its volume (no tents or gazebos) and must not emit outflows, except those of the engine. 

If you use the blue stripes, due to the Highway Code, parking costs 50% more than that of another vehicle. For example, if the cost of parking is one euro per hour, with the camper you will have to spend $2 per hour.

  • Camping sites and other equipped areas. There are numerous stopping points dedicated to campers and caravans, in addition of course to campsites. It starts with the camper service, which is also located in motorway service areas, where it is possible to discharge the clear and black water and, in many cases, there are also columns for the supply of drinking water.

The stopping point, on the other hand, is an area with tourist information, some services (usually the camper service), but without delimited pitches and without electricity connections. 

The equipped areas, on the other hand, are public areas reserved for camper parking and are free or, more likely, for a fee. Usually, you can stay for a maximum of 3 days and are equipped with numerous services, from camper service to the electricity connection.

Although it is not difficult to see ‘exceptions’, even in these areas camping is not allowed and therefore, installing feet or wedges, attaching tents or putting tables with chairs outside.

Final thoughts

If you park your RV downhill or uphill, always leave the wheels of your vehicle turned towards the side of the ditch or towards the centre of the road, to prevent the vehicle from rolling away. Also, it is recommended that you use the handbrake.

Please feel free to get in contact, should you have any questions or comments on the content. 

FAQ on Can you park an RV on a hill?

How to park an automatic vehicle on a slope?

Yes, you can park an automatic vehicle on a slope. Here’s how to do it: Step on the brake pedal, place the lever in position N and release the brake pedal. Activate the parking brake. Place the lever in the Parking position, that is, it is the last step we take when the vehicle is completely stopped.

How should you park on a downhill slope?

If you park on a downhill slope, you must leave a full car space in front of your vehicle so that the wheels can roll forward into position. Turn your wheels away from the curb if you are parking uphill.

How should the RV be if it is parked uphill?

Uphill, the RV will fall “backwards”, when turning the wheels to the left, they will collide – and brake – with the curb. To park on the right downhill it is convenient to turn the wheels to the right.

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