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 21, 2020
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DID YOU MISS reading this morning’s RV Daily Tips Newsletter? Good stuff there.
New Facebook Groups
• RVing Over 60
• RVing Fulltime
• RVing with a Disability
• RV Tires: News, Information, Advice, Discussion
Which is best for my motorhome, a gas or diesel engine?
Every year, more RVers opt for motorhomes with diesel engines rather than gasoline engines, but both are popular. The advantages of a gasoline engine over diesel is primarily the price. The super chassis (including Ford and GM) make gasoline engine motorhomes a great buy. Not only are they less expensive than diesel, but they have good carrying capacity. Also oil changes and maintenance are less expensive with the gasoline models.
The diesel motorhome rides quieter, though, because the engine is in the rear on most. They can hold much more cargo including heavier materials in the interior such as Corian countertops, porcelain or china toilets, and so on. Diesel models usually have super transmissions and exhaust brakes which make mountain driving a breeze.
Prices for an oil change on a diesel motorhome are all over the map, but easily start at $200 and can run much, much higher. Much depends on what’s included in the change – oil and filters are essential, but lubing all fittings is important. Some truck stops will beat dealer prices hands down.
One of the biggest differences between a diesel coach and one powered by gasoline is the life of the engine. Expect about 100,000 miles tops with a gas engine, but 250,000 to 500,000 with a diesel. In addition you can expect better fuel mileage with a diesel, although in most instances it will cost more per gallon.
These days, more and more full-time RVers are opting for diesel-powered motorhomes – almost exclusively in Class A models – and manufacturers have responded by offering entry level models in price ranges starting at about $140,000. However, for RVers who don’t expect to put more than 10,000 to 15,000 miles a year on a coach, a gas-powered unit may well be a better choice because of its lower price tag.
Is there a best time to buy an RV?
If you’re shopping for a new RV, a good time to negotiate a great price is at the turn of the model year. Dealers and manufacturers want those “old” RVs off the lots. Sad to say, not all manufacturers have the same time frame for when their new models come out. You may have to do a little research, which is easier if you have a specific brand in mind. On a seasonal basis, winter is considered the best time to shop. Sales are down, particularly in the more northern parts of the country, and dealers are often keen to make a sale. You also may get a better deal shopping on the last day of the month, where a salesman or dealer may be motivated to meet or beat a quota. Just keep in mind that during the pandemic, RV sales are up and production is down.
Keep road flares in the RV for emergency
You should always have road flares in your RV in case of an emergency. This pack of three bright, waterproof, and shatterproof LED disks are perfect to keep tucked away. These bright lights can be seen from a mile away and can be used for traffic control, as a warning light, as a rescue beacon and they can also be used for recreational activities such as camping and hiking. Learn more or order here.
Keep a hose just for dumping tanks
Dedicate a hose strictly for use in tank-dumping operations. Use it for rinsing hoses, flushing tanks, etc. But be sure to keep it completely away from your fresh water hose to prevent cross-contamination. If you can, find a suitable container to keep it safely stored.
Expanded showering opportunities
Got a BIG family or lots of traveling companions? You may find that the RV shower and associated gray water holding tank just aren’t big enough for the whole mob. Consider picking up a “solar shower” system. Heated by the sun and used outdoors, it’s great for showering down after a swim. There are several to choose from at Amazon.com starting at less than $15.
Get ALL your wheels aligned
Got strange tire wear issues? When was the last time you had your RV wheels aligned? Motorhomes are obvious candidates, but even towable RV wheels can need alignment. Not every corner tire shop can do it, so be prepared to make a few phone calls to find a shop that can do it.
Carrying bicycles on a pop-up trailer
Got a pop-up trailer and want to carry bicycles? Because of their lightweight nature, they may not be amenable to carrying bikes on the back bumper. It may be best to carry a bike rack on the top of your towable. Consider roof-mounted bike racks designed for cars.
Check roof vents in case of stinky holding tanks
Stinky holding tanks driving you bats? It’s smart to occasionally check your roof vents to make sure they aren’t blocked with debris, bird nests, etc. Many RVers find vent caps such as the 360 Siphon roof vent to help “raise the stink” out of the tanks are really helpful.
We welcome your Quick Tips: Send to firstname.lastname@example.org
Common Terms Used by RV Salespeople
WALKING FIGURES: When the salesman knows for sure that the customer will not buy an RV at this time because he wants to check out some other dealerships, the salesman will give him a ridiculously low figure to try to beat knowing that, in the end, he will have to come back to him.
Another one next issue. Courtesy of the Burdge Law Office.
Do you know about the incredible SoftStartRV device? If not, read about it here. Every RVer with an air conditioner needs one.
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 are two responses:
“When things go wrong, and they will, no matter what it is, take a deep breath, relax and deal with it calmly. You will get it resolved.” — Peter McDonald
Ron T. responded to Peter’s comment and wrote, “In this same vein, the most important thing you can bring to RVing (or life, for that matter) is adaptability. You will need to go with the flow as everything can and will change nearly every day between when you pull out on the road and when you pull into your final destination (which may not have been your original destination!).”
Random RV Thought
When driving in or with an RV, a crosswind can be dangerous. A headwind is no fun because it destroys mileage and slows you down. But a tailwind is very good for speed and mileage. On a travel day when headwinds are in the forecast, leave as early as possible in the day while the air is still calm.
Endorsed by tire expert Roger Marble!
Outstanding tire pressure gauge
The Accutire MS-4021B digital tire pressure gauge has an easy-to-read LCD display that provides pressure readings from 5-150 PSI. It’s ergonomically designed with an angled head and a rubber-coated easy-grip handle. If you forget to turn it off, it will do so automatically. The included lithium battery never needs to be recharged or replaced. Used by the RV Travel staff. Learn more or order.
• 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 RVtravel.com 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
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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