Welcome to the Beginner’s Guide to RVing from RVtravel.com. The information we present here every Monday through Friday is for brand-new RVers – those in the market to buy their first RV and those who just purchased theirs. If you are an experienced RVer, this material may be too basic for you.
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July 20, 2020
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DID YOU MISS reading this morning’s RV Daily Tips Newsletter? Good stuff there.
Which RV is best for me: a motorhome, travel trailer or something else?
A motorhome is a good choice if you move around a lot with brief stays in each place; you won’t necessarily need another vehicle for sightseeing or chores. If you need a touring vehicle, however, you can tow a small car or truck. An advantage of a motorhome over a towable RV (trailer or ﬁfth wheel) is that you have access to the interior of the unit while you’re on the road. It’s easy for the passengers to grab a quick snack, for example, or use the toilet in an emergency (although it’s always best to pull off the road to do so).
A trailer or ﬁfth wheel is often the best choice for full-timers because they can park it and then drive the tow-vehicle for shopping, errands and sightseeing. For RVers who spend weeks or even months in one place, a ﬁfth wheel or trailer is often the best choice. Towable RVs are also much less expensive than motorized ones because there is no costly engine (and its maintenance).
A truck camper is an excellent choice if you already own a truck. You’d be surprised how many features are packed into these compact units.
For infrequent family camping trips, and for campers on a tight budget, a folding camping trailer is an excellent choice. These are the lightest and least expensive RVs, and can be pulled behind a small to medium-sized car. They are not suited to cold weather camping.
How much of a price reduction can I negotiate with an RV dealer on a new RV?
First of all, never pay Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP). This is top dollar, a number pulled out of a hat by a manufacturer. If you pay it, you’ll be the RV dealership’s sucker-of-the-month. This is a complicated subject, but you should be able to negotiate at least 25-35 percent (or more) off the sticker price if you have patience and know what you’re doing.
Collapsible containers ideal for RV kitchen
If you don’t have collapsible food containers for your RV yet, you’re missing out. This set of four is BPA free and microwave, dishwasher and freezer safe. Never worry about taking up room again, these fold practically flat! These containers come with air-tight lids which keep food longer, and keep food safer. Order for a great price here.
Keep your battery terminal clean
It doesn’t take much crud on your battery terminal to shut things down. Make it part of your regular maintenance to keep them clean – and your electrical system operating at optimum. Wire brush ’em, and shoot them with terminal spray from the auto parts house.
Time to defrost the fridge?
RV refrigerator seemingly not as cold as it should be? Open the fridge door and examine the cooling fins at the back of the compartment. If they’re coated with ice, it’s time to defrost. Shut off the fridge, remove the food to an ice chest with ice, insert a pan of hot water in the fridge and close the door. Prepare to mop up the meltdown. Restart and reload.
Keep your powder-type fire extinguisher contents loose
Every month turn your RV “powder-type” fire extinguisher upside down and shake it hard, even tap the bottom of it with a screwdriver handle. The constant shaking and rattling of going down the road can compact the dry chemical in the device, and you need to loosen it up to ensure it comes out when you need it.
Handy hints for using a gas oven
If your oven at home is electric, adjusting to a gas stove in the RV can be a trick. Gas ovens usually don’t heat as evenly and may have hot spots. Turn your items several times when baking to even out the cooking. And here’s another suggestion for using gas RV ovens: Mary Lowe suggests using a heat deflector. If you can’t find one at a kitchen supply store, take a cookie sheet, turn it wrong side up on the oven rack and place your baking dish/pan on top of it. This eliminates food burned to the bottom of the dish. Thanks, Mary!
Important to know when buying new tires
Need new tires for the rig? It may be best to stick with the same tire specification as the original equipment. If you do decide to change specs, make sure you always match up your tire and wheel capacity. For example, NEVER mount a 3,000-pound capacity tire on a 2,000-pound capacity wheel.
We welcome your Quick Tips: Send to email@example.com
Common Terms Used by RV Salespeople
THIRD BASEMAN: An individual who accompanies a prospective buyer because the buyer feels he is better versed in haggling over the price of the RV and/or knows more about it mechanically, thereby decreasing the chances of getting stuck with a “lemon”.
Another one next issue. Courtesy of the Burdge Law Office.
‘Earthquake Putty’ keeps stuff in place
Do you have items in your RV you like to keep in place — on a table, bedstand or counter? You need this. Collectors Hold Museum Putty is designed to keep items secure in earthquakes! Hey, a moving RV is a constant earthquake! To use this, pull off what you need, roll until soft, apply to the base of the object then lightly press it to the surface. Later, it comes off clean. RVers love it! Cheap, too! Learn more or order.
If you could tell someone new to RVing just one thing, what would it be?
From the editors: We asked our readers this question recently. Here is one response:
“Make checklists and USE them!” — Diane Fox
Random RV Thought
Always keep your RV ready to go in case of an emergency, which should include a full tank of gas. Residents near, or in, the disastrous 2018 Camp Fire in Paradise, California, had almost no time to escape their homes. Those with RVs who could escape and then returned later to a pile of charred rubble at least had their RV to live in while they rebuilt or figured out Plan B.
RECENT RV RECALLS: See if your new rig or tow vehicle is on the list.
• If you buy a defective RV and are unable to get it fixed or its warranty honored, here is where to turn for help.
• If you need an RV Lemon Law Lawyer, Ron Burdge is your man.
Read previous issues of Beginner’s Guide to RVing newsletters here.
RV Travel staff
CONTACT US at editor@RVtravel.com
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 RVtravel.com or this newsletter.
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