Beginner’s Guide to RVing Newsletter #102


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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Wednesday, November 25, 2020

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

RVing Basics

Emergency kits
Be sure to carry an emergency supply kit that is easily accessible. Suggested items your kit should contain: flashlights, batteries, rain ponchos, bug spray, a portable weather radio, first aid kit, non-perishable packaged or canned food, a manual can opener, blankets, prescription and non-prescription drugs, pet supplies (to include a photo of your pet if it should get separated from you), bottled water, and any special items for infants, elderly or disabled family members. Customize the kit to your specific needs. From Mark Polk, RV EDUCATION 101®

How much propane do you have?
You can buy a special electronic gizmo that will help you figure it out. But there are less expensive ways. Check your tank early in the morning when dew hits the bottle. Where the dew line on the metal stops, that’s the level of LP left in your cylinder. Some RVers dump really hot water down the cylinder and look to see where condensation forms. If you have a scale, you can weigh the bottle, and deduct the weight (you’ll find that weight – it’s marked next to the letters “TW” on the carrying yoke) of the bottle. Propane weighs 4.24 pounds per gallon.

Stay free on private property across America
Boondockers Welcome is a great alternative to expensive, crowded RV parks or even Walmart parking lots. With a membership, you can stay for free at more than 1,000 private property locations across America. And, wow, will you meet some great people! Learn more or sign up.

Quick Tips

Not-so-tasty water hose?
It could be you’ve developed a layer of slime in your water conduit. Disconnect the hose from both the supply and the RV. Coil it up, as you would for traveling. Pour a cup of bleach down one of the ends, and connect both ends together. Roll the hose about to thoroughly distribute the bleach. Hook the hose back up to the water supply (not the RV end!) and thoroughly blast fresh water through the hose to liberate the bleach – and the blech!

Got the right-sized tools?
“Make sure that you have a lug-wrench and jack that will work with YOUR trailer. The jack must fit under the axle when the tire is deflated.” —From Trailers & Fifth Wheels Made Easy

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

2021 Keystone Outback 324CGToday’s RV review…

In today’s column, industry insider Tony Barthel reviews the new 2021 Keystone Outback 324CG Travel Trailer. This trailer is designed for people with disabilities and has many thoughtful details. Learn more.

Did you read Tony’s review yesterday of the 2021 Wildcat 368MB Mid-Bunk Fifth Wheel? 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: 

“Never ever finance an RV. If you can’t afford to pay cash for a new one, buy a used one. But always cash.” —Corrina Lee

Tip: An easy windshield de-bugger!
Here’s a tip from one of our readers, A. Fisher: Bugs making suicide runs on your windshield? Get an 8-ounce (or so) container of Rain-X washer fluid additive and just add it to your windshield wiper fluid – works great without all that work! There’s also Rain-X Bug Remover (not concentrated) that does the job. Driving down the road and collecting bugs? Don’t wait for the next fuel stop – just use the windshield wipers!

Random RV Thought

When you are driving an RV or pulling one and you want to move from the left lane to the right lane, it is a good idea to confirm with your copilot if the lane is clear. But only accept an answer of yes or no. An answer of “I think so” is not good enough and can get your vehicle smacked.

• 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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2 months ago

As to the Quick Tip Got the right-sized tools? NEVER, NEVER, EVER jack on the axle. Trailer axles are too weak to jack on and if you do you’ll likely throw out your alignment. You must only jack on the spring if the spring runs under the axle or if the spring runs over the axle place your jack right at the spot where the “U” bolts are located.

2 months ago

Rain-X is a good product but be careful using it if you have a motor home with diamond shield installed on the front. The Diamond Shield website says to avoid rain-x.

Rock & Tina
2 months ago

If no one ever financed an RV the industry would go “belly up” overnight.

2 months ago
Reply to  Rock & Tina

Plus, how many people have up to $150k to buy an RV? We had a hefty down payment, about 30% and put the rest on our house equity line of credit. Low interest rates and no penalty if we paid it off sooner. Which we did.

2 months ago
Reply to  Rock & Tina

Totally agree. We financed and will pay it off this year. The reason for the original tip is that lower priced campers lose 15-20% of the cost the minute you pull off the lot and many people are under-water the day they buy the unit. Given the aggressive sales tactics used by some dealers, the concern is many people will have financial issues if they would lose jobs or they will by up-side down if they try to sell the camper within the next several years or if they want to trade. I agree with the comment that you need to put 30+% down and the loan must be honestly reviewed to make sure you can handle the payments.

2 months ago

On the subject of water hose and the fact we are talking to new-bees, I think we should mention there are special hoses for drinking water. It takes a special hose, some hoses (not specified for drinking water) will give an odd taste.

2 months ago
Reply to  Gordy

Yes, but a lot of people do not drain the hose after each use. Storing a hose with some water in it promotes bacteria growth if stored for a long period.

Brian Burry
2 months ago

Financing an RV is like ANY purchase, based on ability to pay. Qualifying ratios have been used for purchasing large ticket items, homes, vehicles AND RV’s for 50 plus years. Financial planning is applicable for any major investment or purchase. In our case, we planned for a few years before we bought, and financed, our Class A RV. Upon paying off our vehicle and all other debts other than our mortgage, we purchased our motor home. We can afford our payment, enjoy it while we are able to, and are so very glad we did. Take the time to analyze your finances, be sure of your debt to income ratios (Never exceed 50% debt payments to income) and make your individual decision. We are comfortable and are enjoying our RV so very much!