RV Information and Tips

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What follows are certain requirements regarding RV's at Kostume Kult, along with certain tips and suggestions (the latter of which you can use or reject as you see fit). For purposes of this discussion, movable and stationary (except as to kitchen/bathroom) trailers count as RV.


  1. As soon as you get your RV, make multiple copies of your keys so that you have no risk of being locked out. Keys for exterior doors generally cannot be made at Lowes or Home-Depot; instead you need to have them made by a locksmith. I have names/locations of locksmiths who can quickly and cheaply do this in Sacramento, Reno and Las Vegas.
  1. Buy a sun-screen for the front windshield- it keeps a lot of the heat out of the vehicle, allowing your A/C to operate more efficiently.
  1. Make sure you know where your vehicle's internal power controls and circuit breakers are.
  1. Make sure that you top off your gas tanks in Empire or Gerlach- you don't know what kind of line you will face in Exodus and don't want to run out of fuel.
  1. Make sure that your grey/black water tanks are empty and that your fresh water tank is full.
  1. You cannot safely drive an RV as quickly as a car- its like driving a large box truck with blind spots all around (particularly on the passenger side). Be careful. Also watch the reduced speed limits on the way from 80 to Burning Man. They are a significant revenue source for the local community. As we have been warned about regarding cars, there are many many spots along the road with very soft shoulders where you can get stuck. Also, never try to drive an RV off road, such as the path down to Pyramid Lake. Rumour has it that a Kostume Kult camper was urged to do just that 11 years ago. Its an expensive tow.
  1. If you have anything on the exterior of your vehicle (e.g., bikes) make sure that they are very very securely affixed.


  1. The location of the RV will be precisely set forth on the camp/POD maps. The RV must be placed at that location; otherwise, the POD (and camp) will not be properly built and space (which is at a premium) will be wasted. Additionally, the providers of both water and waste pump out, will only pump RV's at their designated location.
  1. It is your responsibility, for RV's which are being delivered to the camp to make sure that the vehicle is placed in the proper location. We cannot do that for you.
  1. If your vehicle has slide outs, make sure that there is enough clearance for it (or them) to open. Make sure nothing on the interior is blocking their ability to open.
  1. Make sure that you close your side outs when you leave.


  1. We are using a vendor with whom Kostume Kult has had a long-standing relationship with over the years. The specs call for the provision of adequate power to all RV's. Given our location, we cannot guarantee that power will at all times be working. Equipment breaks, dust and rain storms can impact the delivery of fuel, etc. Our priority with power in case of emergencies is making sure that the food supplies in the kitchen remain safe.
  1. When you arrive make sure that you must tell the power folks that you have arrived and are ready to be hooked up. They will hook you up to the portion of the grid which is dedicated to RV's. It is best that your A/C should be "off" when the power is turned on so that there is not a surge which can damage your unit. If there was an external power situation which required a re-boot, make sure that you turn off your A/C and check both your internal and the external circuit breakers if you power does not go back on. While our power provider has adapters, many RV's come with special adapter which are needed when one goes onto a grid (as opposed to internal power). Make sure you know where this is when you arrive.
  1. While power is sufficient in most circumstances, in past years, in certain units, there have been issues when somebody has a hair drier, A/C and microwave on (or even an A/C and a hair drier)- use common sense- you're at Burning Man and don't stress the situation. If you power 'blows' at that point, check the internal and external circuit breakers. To avoid a hassle, don't use a hair drier and the a/c at the same time.
  1. Please turn off lights, etc. when you are not using them. Fuel costs money.
  1. Under no circumstances can you use your internal generator without the express permission of camp leadership. For example, a few years ago when the extreme rain made it impossible for us to obtain fuel for the main generators and the grid was closed except for the kitchen's refrigerators to protect our food supply, we allowed the generators to be used sparingly.
  1. When leaving, make sure that you are unplugged.
  1. While our power provider has adapters, many RV's come with special adapter which are needed when one goes onto a grid (as opposed to internal power). Make sure you know where this is when you arrive.
  1. When you are going to depart see the power provider so that he can unplug you. Don't leave while still plugged in. I know of somebody who didn't. It was ugly. Also if your adapter was used, make sure you remove it and store it safely. Finally, make sure you plugged yourself into your own internal generator.
  1. Double check, from time to time, to make sure that dust is not building up on the intake vent for your A/C unit and/or the filter. RV filters are not designed to cool vehicles to a perfect temperature when they are on the playa. They reduce the temperature.

Pump and Dump

  1. We've arranged with United Site Services to pump out the RV's (except for Bernie's trailer which doesn't have a bathroom). They are contracted to come on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. Don't ask me what time they are coming- I have no idea. Will they miss a day- possibly; if so, somebody has to go to their office which is a 20 minute bike ride away. We'll look for a volunteer. Last year they were reasonably good at showing up, particularly since they were scheduled to be at the camp daily to pump out the porta-potties. You will be provided two things when you arrive by your pod-lead: Signage and coupons. We will give you a sign to either hang off of your driver's side side mirror (use a zip tie) or prominently affix to the road side of the RV to let the driver know that you are to be pumped (we figure with the map and the signage there is a lesser risk of a vehicle being missed). The driver won't pump the vehicle without a voucher. You can either sit and wait all day for the driver or you can leave it in a designated spot. My suggestion is that we tape them to a prominent spot inside the compartment which has the plumbing equipment that they use to pump you. Use gaffer's tape so it doesn't get lose and disappear. Make sure nothing is blocking access to this equipment. I've used painters tape to make an arrow so that it is easy for the driver to find. But again, no voucher, no pump. If you miss it, its your responsibility to deal with it. In case they come while you are still sleeping, again, its your problem. I suggest putting the voucher out the evening before (Monday, Wednesday and Friday for those who are calendar -challenged). I do NOT suggest putting out all 3.
  1. Do not throw ANYTHING into the toilet except for bodily waste and RV grade toilet paper. Otherwise United will not be able to pump your tanks. You can pick up the toilet paper at many locations (RV stores, RV parks, Walmart, Home Depot, etc.).
  1. After the RV is serviced put the chemicals into the tank. You can get these at those same locations. If you don't, your RV will stink.
  1. Water is delivered the same days by a different provider. Vouchers are NOT required.
  1. The water is potable- its the same water that supplies the rest of the camp. Most believe that it does not taste good in the RVs. I suspect it's something the older pipes in the vehicles. I personally bring some drinking water (or you can fill up containers from the community supply) as use the delivered water for cooking, dish washing, showers, and the toilet.
  1. Its your responsibility to make sure to monitor the gauges in the RV regarding the levels of your grey water, black water, clean water and propane supplies (many RV's use the propane to heat water; others use electricity). It is your responsibility to clean up the moop if you RV overflows grey water or black water onto the surface of the playa. Just before there is water available does NOT mean that the vehicle has been pumped as they are two different providers and you may have more water than capacity (or your grey water tank may be fuller than your black water tank, etc.). Make sure that you don't run out of water--- emergencies happen (heavy rain-mud) which can adversely impact deliveries. Don't waste water- its very expensive on the desert.


  1. If you use the stove, watch for fire hazards (things situated near the stove) and always turn it off when you leave the vehicle.

Tips (these are suggestions)

  1. Always keep the door to the vehicle closed.
  1. Make the vehicle a shoe-free zone. Put a door-mat out front (some folks leave out a bucket for shoes) (if so, make sure that it is under the shade structure, or bring it inside- it does rain on playa).
  1. Always keep all windows closed (get incense for the bathroom so you don't need to use the vent). Some folks use painters tape to double seal them. I suggest keeping window shades closed all around. It keeps the heat out (both from the sun and from law enforcement).
  1. I avoid using A/C when I'm waiting to go in at entry to keep the dust out. I seal all vents in the dash with plastic and painters tape.
  1. You may consider putting some fabric over the seating to keep dust off and make it easier to clean at the end. I've put carpet down on the floor; others have used heavy plastic (make sure not slippery) or heavy paper or cardboard.
  1. For years I decorated my RV (Jungleland) I sort of stopped about 2 years ago. A couple of years ago I started putting up lighting on the outside- I expect to do so again this year.
  1. Most manufacturers of RV's suggest that you start and run the engine on your RV every day because apparently certain systems remain running off of the car battery. I usually am pretty good at this for the first couple of days and then do it every few days for about 5-10 minutes. Be mindful of your neighbors (i.e., folks sleeping).
  1. Door locks easily get jammed up. a) make sure you don't slam them; b) get some sort of lubricant for them (not KY). I understand that dry is better than liquid for this purpose. I also pick up a can of compressed air for this purpose as well.
  1. Keep your headlight near your bed in case of a power interruption.
  1. Most refrigerators on RV's are under-powered. To keep stuff cold, be more mindful about opening and closing the doors. I've had problems with a door once. Make sure you have duct tape.