Melanie Scroggins
by Melanie Scroggins
Posted November 15, 2017

One of the first things you will need to do in preparation for your RV vacation is learn your way around your RV rental. However, all rigs are different and, therefore, have different compartments and storage spaces you may not know about.

When my husband and I first started looking at RVs, we knew it was important to peruse different floorplans to better understand which rigs worked for us and which ones didn’t. Little did we know, there was much to be discovered no matter the make or model of a rig.

NOTE: All RVs are made differently depending on their make and model. The pictures and info I’m sharing are based on our 2001 Winnebago Minnie.

Outside the RV

Water Heater

The water heater for our Minnie is located underneath the refrigerator area. Depending on which aspect of the water heater you need to get to, there is an entry on the inside and outside of the rig.

Knowing the location of the water heater is handy for many reasons, but it just so happened that our water heater went out our first night on the road. Through trial and error and with the help of a couple YouTube videos, we learned it was an issue with the pressure release valve.

The valve had gone bad and needed to be replaced. We knew we could access it from the outside, so the hardest part of the process was figuring out the size of the valve and waiting two days for it to arrive (thank you, Amazon!).

Gas Tank

where to locate the gas tank around an rv
Our LP gas tank.

Located on the outside of the rig, the gas tank hasn’t caused us any issues at this point. However, we’ve learned to monitor our usage because it can get pricey. When staying in cnewer climates during the winter season, the gas tank can be your best friend or your enemy.

We’re currently in Oregon and the weather is much cooler than us Texans are used to, so we have been using more gas here than we would back home.

Besides its location, the best thing to know about the gas tank is where to take your rig when it’s time to fill up.

The RV park we’re currently living in has a propane tank on the property. So, this week we unhooked everything and drove up to the front of the park to fill up. Easy peasy. I will say though, we’re currently utilizing two small space heaters so we don’t use as much gas. They both work well and will save us some money this winter.

Black Tank

A couple weeks ago, we talked a lot about the black tank. You now know the black tank is located on the exterior of the rig (thank goodness) and how to best go about maintaining the tank.

There isn’t a whole lot of mystery when it comes to the black tank. Once you have a good handle on where to store your tank supplies and how to hook up, you should be set.


Our generator is located just past the black tank. Right next to the generator is where we store our cable for hooking up to electricity.

Inside the RV

Living room

The living room is where you’ll probably spend most of your time when you’re inside. No matter the make or model of your rig, it tends to be the largest part of an RV.

I was pleasantly surprised that our living room offers a secret storage space underneath the couch.

Under the couch cushions, there is a small flap that you can pull down to reveal space under the couch. I am embarrassed to admit this took me a while to notice, but now it serves as the main storage space for our shoes, broom, and Swiffer mop.

extra storage around an rv
I was so excited to find this gem of extra storage space!

Dining area

Our dining area consists of a small table and two couch seats. There is a lot of storage above and underneath the seats. Because we don’t need all of the space underneath the dinette, we’ve taken the door off one compartment as a sleeping or hiding space for our cats. On travel days, that is their go-to spot.


As one of the most important parts of the rig to me, it was essential that I knew my way around the kitchen.

Our pots and pans fit well in the deeper drawers, while our plates, bowls, etc. go above the sink. Since our pantry space is limited, we redesigned the area above the microwave that once held a TV and made it into a pantry. Renovating this area is one of the smartest design decisions we’ve completed in the rig.

finding pantry space around an rv
Who knew an area that held a TV made in the early 2000’s could become a beautifully renovated space?


The bathroom is… small. A couple cabinets and one drawer are about all there is to it.

However, one day I was fiddling around in the bathroom and realized there is a panel that comes out to reveal the top of the black tank. Whoa! I thought. Then, Jeremy and I realized we could take out the panel and lay down a piece of plywood to create more storage space in the bathroom! You never know what you’re going to learn about your rig.


The bedroom is one of those spaces in a rig that must fit your lifestyle. For us, it was important we had plenty of storage space for extra clothes, shoes, and linens. What we have with us is all we’ve got!

We lucked out. Our bedroom houses multiple cabinets of different sizes perfect for everything from socks to linens as well as two small wardrobes. There is also a lot of extra storage under the bed itself, which was a pleasant surprise.

While taking our first tour of motorhome, Melvin, we learned that the freshwater tank is located underneath the front of the bed. We use one side of the space for storage and the litter box, and the other side is the home of the freshwater tank. Crazy!

Learning our way around an RV was completely new to my husband and I. Neither of us had owned or traveled in an RV since we were small children. When we bought our rig, we wanted to be sure we knew about every nook and cranny.

Knowing your way around your RV rental makes it easier to locate a problem in the rig. We’ve learned a lot by living in an newer rig, but most of our newly found knowledge came from trial and error.

It’s all a learning process. Take some time at the beginning of your vacation to get to know your rental. I promise you’ll have a lot of fun exploring your new space.

How has knowing your way around your RV helped you? 

Melanie Scroggins


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