Beginner’s Guide to RVing Newsletter #104


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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Friday, November 27, 2020

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

RVing Basics

Inspector Detector?
Replaced your detectors lately? Pull your smoke, LP, and carbon monoxide detectors down and check their labels. Detectors are “good” within a certain date, and even if they seem to be “working” after the expiration date, don’t risk it – replace them. Here are some combination smoke/CO/LP detectors from Amazon.

Pulling trailers in the mountains
If you plan to pull a trailer through mountainous regions, take caution. A gas engine will lose 3 to 4 percent of its available power for every 1,000 feet above sea level. Ford Motor Company recommends a reduction in gross vehicle weights and gross combined weights of 2 percent for every 1,000 feet above sea level to maintain performance. —From Mark Polk, RV Education 101.

silicon tape to fix leaksTape it to the limit…
Rather than an adhesive, this type of tape fuses to itself. It makes a totally waterproof seal that can be used to repair the insulation on electrical wiring in the field. It has all kinds of other emergency uses advertised, such as a quick fix for a leaking radiator hose, so it certainly deserves a place in your RV toolbox since it’s a multi-tasking piece of equipment that could save your bacon. Learn more or order.

Quick Tips

Leak behind the toilet?
The Number One suspect for a leak behind the toilet is your fresh water valve. These guys often leak if they were not properly winterized. The hardest part of the job? Probably getting the toilet pulled loose from the bathroom! Unless you’re a contortionist, space limitations usually require a remove-fix-reinstall operation.

A better use for dishwater
Reader Thelma T. saw a tip about keeping plenty of water in your black tank. Thelma says: “A tip I saw and have shared often is to place a plastic dish pan in the kitchen sink for washing dishes. When done, dump the dishwater down the toilet. This not only adds water to the black tank, it helps decrease odors and also frees space in the gray tank for showers.” Thanks Thelma!

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

2021 Boho camper vanToday’s RV review…

In today’s column, industry insider Tony Barthel reviews the Boho Camper Van. As he reports, “Boho might make a lot of sense for people with dreams of creating their own van but doing it well within a certain budget.” Learn more.

Did you read Tony’s review yesterday of the Palomino Backpack HS-750 Truck Camper? 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: 

“Pack only the bare necessities. Add or remove as you camp in all locations.” —Suze Southwell

Keep insects and bird nests out of your RV furnace
Wasps, mud daubers, birds and rodents pose a serious threat to the furnace on your RV. They can enter through the furnace vents. Their nests can interfere with air flow and cause serious damage. Camco 42141 (Model FUR 200) Flying Insect RV Furnace Screen fits Duo-therm and Suburban furnace vents. Camco offers several furnace screens so check which one will fit your vent. Learn more or order.

Random RV Thought

When driving or pulling an RV, be careful of low-hanging objects when you pull into a campground or gas station. Low branches can be nasty to RV exteriors and so can roof overhangs. There is, however, an advantage to hitting one of these obstacles: You will end up with an extra source of air conditioning, but probably not the type you would want.

• 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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Jerry Austin
5 months ago

I am planning to do outdoor camping after this pandemic and thank God I get across your article. At least I could make good preparation of my howqua tents. Please make more articles like this, I will follow your blogs.

5 months ago

Be careful. If you plan to pull a trailer through the mountains you’ll lose all power at 25,000 feet.

5 months ago
Reply to  Impavid

You’ll lose consciousness before then! (Unless your tow vehicle is pressurized)