Beginner’s Guide to RVing Newsletter #101


Welcome to the Beginner’s Guide to RVing from 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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Tuesday, November 24, 2020

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

RVing Basics

Avoid becoming an insurance claims statistic
There are lots of folks driving RVs and towing trailers these days. MBA insurance, a leading RV rental insurance company, says the five most common insurance claims for RVs include hitting concrete islands at gas pumps, hitting obstacles when making right turns, hitting overhead obstructions, backing the RV into something, and side swipe damage to the RV. Watch out, and don’t become a statistic. —Mark Polk, RV EDUCATION 101®

Battery safety comes first
When working with RV storage batteries, keep safety in the foremost place. Common flooded-acid batteries produce hydrogen gas when they charge. Unless that gas is thoroughly vented, a single spark can create a great explosion (think Hindenburg). When working with your batteries, always make sure the battery compartment is thoroughly vented BEFORE making a battery connection. For those who have an inverter, you’ll always (or near enough to call it always) get a spark when you reconnect the battery terminals.

Quick Tips

Store a fire extinguisher
Use a Velcro® fastener strap to hold a large-size fire extinguisher in the back corner (or corners) of your closet. The hanging clothes will also help keep it upright. This enables you to store the extinguisher completely out of the way but still easily accessible from the bedroom and bathroom areas. Thanks to Ron Jones,

Safe-following-distance driving tip
Reader Myron B. comments on a reader suggestion about gauging safe following distance by using a vehicle length for every 10 miles per hour of speed. Like some readers, Myron finds it hard to gauge a vehicle length: “Tractor trailer or Smart car?” He uses a landmark the vehicle ahead is passing, then counts the seconds until he reaches the same spot. “The usual count is four seconds,” writes Myron. “When I drive my motorhome, I increase that time to six or seven seconds because of the extra weight I’m carrying and the distance I want between me and the next guy.” Thanks, Myron!

We welcome your Quick Tips. Submit them here. Thanks!

Today’s RV review…

In today’s column, industry insider Tony Barthel reviews the new 2021 Wildcat 368MB Mid-Bunk Fifth Wheel. As he reports, “With a big, comfortable upper bedroom and a convenient, flexible mid-bunk room, this could be a unit that might make sense to change your permanent address to.” Learn more.

Did you read Tony’s review yesterday of the 2020 Black Series Classic12 Travel Trailer? If you missed it, you can read it here.

For previous RV reviewsclick here.

“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: 

“I would suggest when looking at potential RVs, enter the RV with the slides retracted to see how much of the RV can be used with the slides in and not set up for camping (rest stops, Walmart, truck stops) and see if you can use the kitchen, fridge, bathroom – and be able to at least crawl into the bed for a quick overnight stay.” —Tom Horn

Don’t let winter keep you in the dark
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.

Random RV Thought

In our society where virtually everything we eat is purchased from a supermarket, a campsite by a stream may provide a child with the realization that what we eat needn’t always come from a store. It can be a great thrill for Junior, when fishing with Dad, to land a small trout, clean it, and then eat it for dinner. To a child, such an occasion can be an eye-opener that the food that nourishes us was actually once alive, and not just manufactured to be sold at the market.

• 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 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!

Read previous issues of Beginner’s Guide to RVing newsletters here.

RV Travel staff

Need help? Contact us.

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.

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