Monday, June 5, 2023


Full-Time RVer Newsletter #13, September 29, 2021

Volume 2. Issue 13
Welcome to the Full-Time RVer Newsletter, published every other Wednesday by Here you’ll find helpful RV-related and full-time RV living tips from the pros, travel advice, and anything else of interest to full-timers or those who aspire to be. Thanks for joining us. We appreciate you. Please tell your friends about us.

Please consider signing up for other newsletters from Easy unsubscribe if you don’t like what you see.

Quote of the day

“We wander for distraction, but we travel for fulfillment.” —Hilaire Belloc

Wildlife Refuges – often National Park next-door neighbors

By Russ and Tiña De Maris
RVers spend plenty of time on America’s public lands. National Parks are a natural. National Forests get plenty of visits. Many have discovered the Out West treasures managed by the Bureau of Land Management. But one part of your public lands sometimes gets neglected – Wildlife Refuges, managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Staying at Wildlife Refuges near some of the country’s better-known National Parks could be a great alternative to a crowded and far-in-advance reserved campground. Here are a few you might want to write into your travel plans.

Did you miss last weekend’s RV Travel Newsletters?

If so, here is some of what you missed…
Here’s another RV dealer perspective on the quality of new rigs
Rock strike! Who’s responsible for your broken windshield?
Dear RV parks: Do you purposely set me up for driving disasters?
Cargo ships can’t unload, so keep waiting for that new RV or its parts for repairs

PLUS: Our latest RV Travel Podcast, hosted by Scott Linden
This episode:
Home improvement … on wheels! Brian Pursel of “RV With Tito” shares some of his top upgrades from solar to plumbing, suspension to seating. News you can use, industry info, and your thoughts on going without electricity all this week on the podcast.

Don’t miss today’s RV Daily Tips Newsletter! Read it here.


Some of these articles are from past issues of and have been updated for this newsletter. 

Don’t forget to service your RV range

The RV range is a pretty simple device, and usually works when lighted. However, without a little maintenance it can fail, which will leave you by the creek without any supper! As with the range at home, a clean range is a happy range. Here are the steps to achieve a happy range.

I broke into my own RV in minutes! Stop burglars with this easy fix

By Tony Barthel
“Despite seeming impossible, we lost all the keys to our RV. All of them. Including my dealership master key that I kept juuuuust in case. In other words, there was no getting into our RV. So now we were locked out of the trailer and locked out of the baggage compartments. And even locked out of the outdoor shower, for that matter. Now what?” Read how Tony breaks into his RV in under 15 minutes (yup, it’s that easy) and learn how you can protect your RV with this handy gadget. Read about it here.

View your campground reservations on your map

Wouldn’t it be nice if your campground reservations showed up on your map? That’s what Google thought anyway. So now, when you have reservation information in your email, or on your calendar, that information will show up on your Google Map! Read more.

Let your drill clean your RV, really!
This 4-piece cleaning brush attachment connects right to your drill – no more scrubbing for you! Deep-clean virtually any surface with hardly any effort. The drill brushes are perfect for grout lines, corners, tiles, tubs, showers, carpets, wooden furniture, windows, shower doors, siding, linoleum, stoves, counters, fiberglass, grills, marble, and more. You can even wash your dishes if you want! Learn more or order here.

Reader poll

What type of RV do you own?

Come on over and tell us here.

Quick tip

Make your TV/cable connectors in basement storage more accessible

If the TV and/or satellite cable connectors are stashed away inside a basement storage unit (and probably under a “weather-tight cover,” too), you’re probably tired of skinning up your fingers and breaking your back when hooking up. Phil P. has a workaround. “What I did was get two short sections of cable that would reach to the outside of the trailer. That way I would only have to fight my way thru connecting to the RV once. I then put male adapters on the ends. I have one hooked to the cable input and one to the satellite input. It makes life a lot easier, and no skinned fingers!” Thanks, Phil!

Here’s why diesel pusher radiators overheat… Don’t let this happen!

By Kate Doherty
Last summer, our ’08 diesel pusher with a rear-facing radiator kept overheating, especially when climbing small hills. Initially, we rationalized that the two-speed fan wasn’t shifting from low to high, so we changed the fan relay – to no avail. We didn’t want to climb the Rockies with this problem, so we queried a local radiator shop and were instructed to spray the radiator at the back with low-pressure water from a garden hose. Continue reading.

Be careful where you put your satellite dish or this can happen

Many RVers invest in a television satellite dish. It’s nice to have reliable TV wherever and whenever you want to tune in to your favorite shows, but be careful where you choose to install your TV satellite dish. Read what resulted from this “genius” idea of where to put a satellite dish.

Innovative system for winter RV living

By Tony Barthel
If winter camping is your thing, one of the ways many campers have kept their water systems from freezing is by blocking airflow from underneath those rigs. In the past, I’ve seen people use hay, cardboard and all manner of other materials. But if you’re Jim Phelan, you take your background in creating innovative products and invent AirSkirts. AirSkirts are inflatable skirts that fit under an RV to block airflow during cold winter months. Continue reading.

Your assignment

What advice would give an aspiring full-time RVer?

From the editors: We asked our readers this question. Here is one response: 

“Costs for us are about the same as our home. Expense categories are different but add up to the same total. Campgrounds are hard to get in and rates are going up. We don’t live lavishly at all. Don’t be fooled by the idea of living cheap!” —Lee Kissell

Tiny LED button lamp perfect for RV’s small, dark spaces
This 6-pack of tiny, battery-powered LED “Button Lamps” is just what you need for your RV’s closets and storage spaces. The tiny lamp is ultra-bright and has all the power of a normal-sized lamp. Backed with a strong adhesive, these little lamps will stick to any surface. They’re waterproof and good to have in case of an emergency. Learn more or order.

Featured recipe

Slow Cooker Shredded Taco Chicken
by Karie Houghton from Milton, WA

An easy, delicious, tasty, and versatile way to cook chicken with a Mexican flair. Basically, place the chicken in the slow cooker, add Mexican seasoning, and let the Crock Pot do its magic. In a few hours, the entire house smells like a Mexican restaurant. This chicken is super flavorful and has a little bit of a kick. You can serve this shredded chicken in so many ways!

Easy and delicious? Count us in! Get the recipe.

If you want to have a wonderful day, send $10, $50 or $100 to a local food bank. There are millions of our fellow citizens, including little kids, who are going hungry because their parents lost their jobs. You will feel so good if you contribute — helping people less fortunate than you go to bed without the pain of an empty stomach. Here’s where to donate. Staff

Publisher: Chuck Woodbury. Editor: Emily Woodbury. Associate editor: Diane McGovern. Senior editor: Russ and Tiña De Maris. Senior writers: Nanci Dixon, Tony Barthel, Mike Gast. Contributors: Mike Sokol, Gail Marsh, Roger Marble, Dave Solberg, Dave Helgeson, Janet Groene, Julianne Crane, Chris Guld, Machelle James, James Raia, Kate Doherty, J.R. Montigel, Clint Norrell, and Chris Epting. Podcast host and producer: Scott Linden. Special projects director: Jessica Sarvis. Moderators: Gary Gilmore, Linda Brady. Financial affairs director: Gail Meyring. IT wrangler: Kim Christiansen.

Editorial (all but news)
Editorial (news)
Help desk:
 Contact us.

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 or this newsletter.

Mail us at 9792 Edmonds Way, #265, Edmonds, WA 98020.

This newsletter is copyright 2021 by


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1 year ago

I know for a fact the RV dealer has the key to the top tumbler, but doesn’t have the key to the deadbolt. The author has it backwards.

1 year ago
Reply to  Bill

Bill, that’s what I’ve found too. I move a lot of RVs and tell the owners DO NOT lock the deadbolt if it’s going to an RV dealer for repairs as they cannot then open the door.

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