Saturday, September 23, 2023


Beginner’s Guide to RVing Newsletter #1

Welcome to the Beginner’s Guide to RVing Newsletter, where we guide you through RVing basics every Monday through Friday. The content in this newsletter repeats every six months. By then you should know the ropes.

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July 7, 2020

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From Publisher Chuck Woodbury
Welcome to the first edition of the Beginner’s Guide to RVing Newsletter. This newsletter is aimed at people planning to buy an RV and those who just purchased their first RV and are asking “Now what?”

This is about the very basics – knowledge that any veteran RVer could answer in a heartbeat. But not every new RVer has someone like that around. So here we are, at your service.

We’ll post new issues every Monday through Friday. You can read them by visiting the website or signing up for an email reminder notice with a link to click to take you right there. And don’t worry if you miss an issue now and then – you can always read them in the archives.

We hope you enjoy this. Happy (and safe) travels!

DID YOU MISS reading this morning’s RV Daily Tips Newsletter? Good stuff there.

mark polkHelpful eBooks from
Insider’s Guide to Buying an RV Training CourseRV Battery Care & Maintenance Training CourseTrailer Towing Basics Training CourseOwning & Operating an RV Training Course VIDEO COURSE: Drive Your Motorhome Like A Pro Complete Online Video Training Course


QUESTION: How many people do RVs sleep?

ANSWER: Four to six on average, but sometimes less and sometimes more.

QUESTION: How can a Class C motorhome sleep six people? I read the ads, but can’t figure out where everyone would sleep.

ANSWER: Here’s how. Two people can sleep in the cab-over bunk. The dinette area also makes into a double bed, so that’s two more. If there’s a couch, it will fold out into another double bed for another two people. That makes six. It’s not roomy, but it works. But keep in mind that a motorized RV that advertises that it sleeps six does not necessarily mean you should be traveling with six people on board: their combined body weight and belongings could put the RV well over its weight capacity (CCC), which could impact the RV’s performance on the road, increasing the chance of an accident. An overloaded RV will also stress it and shorten its life.

Now, use your air conditioner in situations never before possible!
At we don’t see too many products that we go nuts over, but the SoftStartRV™ is a game changer. Here’s what it can do:
• Run two air conditioners on a 30-amp hookup.
• Run one air conditioner using only a small portable generator.
• Run one air conditioner on 20-amp household current.
• Run an air conditioner or two using your onboard inverter system. Read more.

QUESTION: What does “getting upside down” mean?

ANSWER: This term refers to when a buyer makes little or no down payment on an RV (typically a new one) and stretches the payments for a lengthy term. In essence, after a couple of years the value of the RV will have depreciated up to 40 percent or more while the balance on its loan has decreased far less. For example, a 2-year-old RV may have depreciated to a value of $60,000, but its owner may still owe $75,000 on its loan, meaning he will need to pay $15,000 just to get someone to take the RV off his hands. It’s not uncommon to be $50,000 “upside down” on an expensive rig. Financing an RV for 20 years (very unwise) almost guarantees being “upside down” for years.

QUESTION: Why is it that two RVs of the same size, with basically the same features and amenities, can vary so much in price?

A motorhome like this may sell for $79,995 while one that looks almost identical sells for $129,000. What’s the difference? Mostly, QUALITY!

ANSWER: In a nutshell, the higher priced unit is built better and will last longer, or, said another way, “You get what you pay for!” Much of the difference in price is not so obvious at first glance — the type and quality of the materials used and construction, the craftsmanship, the insulation in the walls, etc.

When buying an RV, it pays to look very carefully in the nooks and crannies of the unit to see how it’s built. RV makers have practiced the art of the “bling,” building RVs that look great but are built quickly and cheaply out of eyesight.


Do you have a blog you’d like to host?
If we accept you, you’ll earn money from the first day you post. Tip: No blogs about “we went here and did this.” Good writing important. Submit your blog idea.


• If you take your RV across a speed bump, you may find it pops open cabinet doors. Avoid this issue by taking on the speed bumps “dead-on” and slow, rather than hitting them at an angle. An angle approach causes more coach rocking.

• Check your RV for plumbing system water leaks easily. With water in the fresh tank, turn on your water pump. After it shuts off, signaling the system is pressurized, it won’t turn on again until you “call for water.” If it does turn on, you have a leak.

• Some bugs like to lay eggs in cozy little spots – like in the keyholes of locks on RV storage compartments. Once in there, the stuff’s like glue. If your locks are steel, get small disc magnets from the hardware store and “stick” one over each lock.

We welcome your Quick Tips: Send to

• If you’re a member of Facebook, be sure to sign up for our groups RV Buying Advice, RV Advice and Budget RV Travel. For a list of all our groups and newsletters, visit here.

• If you buy a defective RV and are unable to get it fixed or its warranty honored, here is a where  to turn for help.

• If you need an RV Lemon Law Lawyer, Ron Burdge is your man.

Why you should never finance an RV for 20 years!

RV Travel staff


Publisher: Chuck Woodbury. Editors: Emily Woodbury, Diane McGovern.

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. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases. Regardless of this potential revenue, unless stated otherwise, we only recommend products or services we believe provide value to our readers.

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

This newsletter is copyright 2020 by


  1. To keep bugs out of your locks, a few drops of WD-40 once a year will do the trick as they don’t like the smell and any “nest” they want to make won’t adhere to it. Works on propane jets too.

    • I’ve read that WD-40 should be kept away from RVs because if it gets on any plastic, it will make it brittle and crack. I’m assuming you’re putting very little in. 🙂

  2. This is very timely for us!
    We pick up our Montana 5th wheel tomorrow! I have done as much reading and research as I can over the last several years to prepare for this new adventure but until we actually start it will be somewhat new, and definitely exciting!
    Thanks for all you do!

  3. Oops. My two class Bs had a valve where you connect the. Water hose. This allowed it to fill the tank or to supply water directly to the system. That valve would have a very small leak allowing the system to leak a very small amount back into the fresh water tank. Hence, a leak, but no water lost. The small leak would make the pump run for a second to rebuild the pressure. Harmless and much cheaper than replacing the valve. My C does not have this feature.

    I didn’t know about the magnets on the locks, thanks. Keep up the good work.

    • WOW you may have just given me the answer to the reason my water pump occasionally runs. It does it a few times a day (I have an accumulator tank) and I have never been able to find a leak. No water anywhere. I never considered that the water might be going back into the fresh tank through that valve.

  4. Just purchased our first Motorhome three weeks ago. So far we have stayed at one campground in Sanibel, FL and now in our fifth day of our seven day trip in Sarasota. We are definitely still learning and have enjoyed treading RVTravel and this NEW newsletter. Looking forward to many more days of camping as well as reading Chuck’s new newsletter.
    Questions???? Boy we have plenty and are making lists.
    Thanks for the tidbits.

    • My thoughts exactly. Been RVing since 1981 and thought a review of the basics wouldn’t hurt – and might even be something I’ve forgotten!

  5. Where the heck is the newsletter? Two questions and answers, a bunch of ads, and that’s what you’re calling a newsletter? Am I missing something?

    • Apparently speed reading is not your strong suit! Slow down and read it again and you might pick up more. And yes, you missed something! Lots of intro classes and several more questions than two and several tips!!

    • I like the ‘small bites of information’ along with a few links as the intended audience are new to the RV experience – and those who may need refresher/reminders. I like it… Well Done RVT!

    • Roxi must have rolled out of the wrong side of bed. This item is well written and supported with plenty of significant adds. Well done Woody

    • Hi, Roxi. Thanks for the reminder that we forgot to turn off the auto-inserted ads in this newsletter. But there are more than two questions and answers, plus additional tips. Just sayin’. —Diane at

      • Thanks for the reminders and even us old dogs learn something. Sometimes I think I have forgotten more than I knew in the beginning. Glad to be here.

        • Thank you for your kind comment, Jesse. We’re very glad to have you here! Have a great day, and stay healthy. 😀 —Diane at

  6. Thanks for the newsletter! Learned about speed bumps and magnets – first issue! Always took things at an angle – good to know


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