Issue 3 • January 18, 2019
Welcome, new RVers, and thanks for joining us for another great issue of our Beginner’s Guide to RVing newsletter. We’re happy to have you along for the ride!
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By Chuck Woodbury
It may be hard to believe, but some RV buyers sign on the dotted line and pop down their cash before performing one very important task. What is it?
Retract the slideouts! Bring them in, just as they’ll be when you’re traveling down the highway. At RV shows and in dealers’ lots, the slideouts are always in the out position, revealing the roominess of the RV.
What will you learn by retracting the slides? You’ll learn whether you’ll still have access to the kitchen, the bedroom (for a little nap at a rest area) or even the bathroom. In most RVs there will be no problem, but there are plenty of exceptions.
Watch my short video on this subject.
Did you miss Chuck’s essay, Good Sam Club, Rest In Peace? If so, you’ll want to read it here.
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•News about trucks for RVers
•No RV parking at these Walmarts (weekly update of stores that don’t allow “camping”)
•RV emergency preparedness tips
2019 editions of our favorite RVing books are here!
- The 2019 Wright Guide to Free and Low-cost Campgrounds: Includes Campgrounds $20 and Under in the United States will become your bible for saving money!
- If you carry a firearm on your RV travels, you’ll definitely need the 2019 Traveler’s Guide to the Firearm Laws of the Fifty States. The information will keep you out of trouble when you cross state lines (laws vary!)
- The 2019 Rand McNally Large Scale Road Atlas is a must-have for goin’ down the road. Oh, and here’s their regular road atlas with a National Park guide too.
If you want to play games, eat good food, and get a free night’s stay, you’ll want the 2019 Casino Camping guide.
Water is heavy. Avoid transporting it as much as possible
Campingforfoodies.com says: “RV Packing Tip: If your destination has water available, don’t travel with full tanks. If your camp spot has full hookups, you will have water easily available as soon as you connect to your hookups. In other instances, you may have to fill your fresh water tank at the fill-up station usually located at the campground entrance and then drive to your actual camp spot. The same goes for your gray and black water tanks; empty those tanks before you start driving so you don’t carry unnecessary weight.”
Save on gas!
Be mindful of how many mpgs you get in your rig (it’s probably not a lot). GasBuddy is a huge help, and will save you tons of money at the pump. Through their cardholder program, you’ll get 5, 10, maybe even 15 cents off at the pump, and you’ll also be able to see a map of the cheapest fuel closest to you. It might pay to stop for gas even before you’re nearing empty!
Find a great public campground
From CompactAppliance: A perk of staying at state and national parks is that you typically know what to expect as far as amenities. Plus, they’re location-based, so you will likely enjoy some beautiful scenery, lake access or an interesting monument. Some states have excellent websites with information and booking options, while others provide a simple listing of parks that allow camping. Most federal campgrounds utilize Recreation.gov or ReserveAmerica.com as a central reservation system. If you need additional information, refer to the following sites:
- National Park Service
- U.S. Forest Service
- Bureau of Land Management (BLM)
- U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
- U.S. National Forest Campground Guide
Some government parks operate strictly on a first-come, first-served basis, but most allow for both advanced reservations and walk-ins. Keep in mind, however, that many RV parks charge both a park entrance fee and a camping fee.
Want more quick tips? Be sure to sign up for our RV Daily Tips newsletter, which you’ll get in your inbox every Monday-Thursday. Tons of great tips and information you won’t want to miss! Sign up here.
If you’re buying an RV soon, you’ll absolutely want to follow the instructions in this video. Our friend Alan Warren, from the radio program The RV Show USA, talks with RV lemon law attorney Ron Burdge, who explains nine little-known words RV buyers must insist are handwritten on their contracts when buying an RV from a dealer. It could save you thousands of dollars later. Click the image to play the video and make sure you have a pen and paper handy.
If you haven’t looked through our YouTube channel yet, you can do so here.
LINKS TO HELPFUL ARTICLES:
- VIDEO: RV dealers scam buyers by charging bogus inspection fees
- Camping World customer satisfaction poll deeply lopsided
- Do RV manufacturers “lie with statistics”?
- RV delivery driver tells workmanship horror stories
- Newbie asks: How much propane does my RV refrigerator burn?
- RV buying dilemma – Couple can’t agree on type to purchase
- Seeing through campground reservation “smoke and mirrors”
- RV weight terminology you should know
- VIDEO: RV tail swing. How to stay out of trouble
- What’s best for a beginning RVer, trailer or motorhome?
Make these adorable PVC pipe toothbrush holders for under the bathroom sink. They’re useful for keeping the bathroom organized, and the kids or grandkids will love decorating their own. Nothing like getting the kiddos to help with DIY projects, right? Learn how to make them here.
Be prepared if there’s a roadside emergency
Make sure you keep roadside flares on hand in case you need to stop on the side of the road for any reason – you and your RV need to be seen! You should also have traffic cones, collapsible ones like these are great for storage, and a reflective vest so you and the family stay safe too.
VIDEO OF THE MONTH
How to camp at Walmart for free
Note to new RV drivers
If possible, pull over when you’ve got a train of traffic behind you (or even just one other vehicle). It’s the polite thing to do. You’ll be appreciated.
UPCOMING RV SHOWS:
It’s always wise to attend a few RV shows before you buy — a chance to compare many RVs in one place, talk to salespeople and even factory representatives, and maybe even pick up a bargain (but not always, which is another story…). Here’s a comprehensive list of upcoming shows.
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Beginner’s Guide to RVing Staff
Publisher: Chuck Woodbury. Editor: Emily Woodbury. Managing editor: Diane McGovern. Contributing writers: Russ De Maris, Bob Difley, Gary Bunzer, Roger Marble, Mike Sokol, Greg Illes, J.M. Montigel and Andrew Robinson. Advertising coordinator: Gail Meyring. Marketing director: Jessica Sarvis. IT wrangler: Kim Christiansen.
ADVERTISE on RVtravel.com and/or in this newsletter. Contact Gail Meyring at Gail(at)RVtravel.com .
Everything in this newsletter is true to the best of our knowledge. But we occasionally get something wrong. We’re just human! So don’t go spending $10,000 on something we said was good simply because we said so, or fixing something according to what we suggested (check with your own technician first). Maybe we made a mistake. Tips and/or comments in this newsletter are those of the authors and may not reflect the views of RVtravel.com or this newsletter.
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