Beginner’s Guide to RVing Newsletter #112


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, December 9, 2020

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

RVing Basics

Neat tip for parking your RV
From David C. comes this tip: “I went to Harbor Freight Tools and bought some cheap orange-colored straps. I marked the length of my driver side slide so I would know where to place it. I then stretch them out so I have a visual where I want the tires. I store these straps right behind the driver seat for quick access. Parking is so much easier. The only time I have problems is when I get too lazy to pull them out thinking ‘this will be easy.’ I usually end up cockeyed in the site with no reference line.” Thanks, David!

Protect water lines from freezing in the winter
For storage, if draining of the fresh water pipes is not possible, RV stores (and Amazon) sell special nontoxic antifreeze that can be poured into the fresh water tank and carefully pumped through all pipes and faucets. Don’t forget the water supply to the toilet. Regular engine antifreeze must not be used for this purpose – it is poisonous. Don’t forget to pour antifreeze in all sink and shower drains. From Trailers & Fifth Wheels Made Easy with Bill’s Hints

Quick Tips

Snapped shade strings?
From long-time reader Tim Slack: “Constant traveling, pulling shades up-and-down, up-and-down, really wears out the strings, doesn’t it? I sent a few of our blinds to Tiffin to restring (cost $15/each, plus freight) but within a couple of months, some had broken strings – again! I then thought, ‘Hmmm, maybe I’ll try fish line.’ I got the highest-pound-test line I could find – 80 pound – and strung away. Here’s how: Lay the blind flat on a work surface, drawing a diagram as you take it showing how the strings run to create the tension in the blind. Now follow that diagram with your high-tensile fish line. Use braided line or Spiderwire, not monofilament line! Use at least 60 pound – 80 or 100 pound is even better. Smooth any roughness on the metal eyelets of the blind to eliminate early wear. Be sure to leave sufficient line to put tension in the strings when you remount the repaired unit. It’s smart to use two tie-off posts for each line instead of just one; that fish line is slippery stuff! The fish line runs smoothly through the labyrinth of the blind, and I haven’t needed to re-string any of my ‘fishy’ blinds in the last four years. Thanks,Tim!

Easy way to check electrolyte level in “house” batteries
Are your “house” batteries located in such a way that it’s hard to see the electrolyte level when it comes time to check them? Fred Campbell knows your pain, and has one commercial solution. “I found a product that is relatively inexpensive, readily available, and very easy to install. It is the Qwik-fill by Flow-Rite. This device comes in various configurations for different size batteries and is expandable if you add more batteries. It is available from, Camping World and a host of local RV parts dealers. After using this device for two years, I wouldn’t be without it!” Thanks, Fred!

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

Need a question about RVing answered? Our Facebook group RV Advice is an excellent place to ask it.

2021 Outdoors RV 26VKSToday’s RV review…

In today’s column, industry insider Tony Barthel reviews the new 2021 Outdoors RV Timber Ridge 26KVS MS Travel Trailer. As he reports, “This would be one of those RVs you’d want to take where the views are incredible.” Learn more.

Did you read Tony’s review yesterday of the 2021 nuCamp Cirrus 820 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: 

“I would say slow down. Slow down for everything. Slow down before you buy your RV, slow down and think, ‘Is this the right one?’ Slow down before you sign on the dotted line, slow down before you take out a loan, slow down when you are driving, slow down before you start to reverse into that tight parking spot… Just slow your life down and enjoy every minute you have.” —Richard

Easily hang heavy objects in your RV
RV walls aren’t exactly designed for having screws or nails driven into them. Enter acrylic mounting tape. This is a clear, double-sided tape that is sturdy enough to hang heavy objects and can easily be removed without doing damage to the walls. Get some on Amazon here.

Random RV Thought

How many pots and pans do you carry in your RV? Which ones have you used in recent times? Those you have not used you likely don’t need: Leave them at home from now on – they’re just extra weight.

• 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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Richard Hughes
4 months ago

Since I added a second rear view camera and 7 inch monitor, I have had no problems backing into any spaces. No blind spots.

4 months ago

RV antifreeze poured into the fresh water tank?? Well that’s a new one. Never put that stuff in your fresh water tank. In addition to getting rid of the taste, you would need multiple bottles for the tank tube to reach it to pump. What a waste! Use your bypass and pump it into the lines using your water pump and a tube in the antifreeze bottle. You shouldn’t need more than two to three bottles.

Bob Weinfurt
4 months ago
Reply to  Cecilia

Absolutely That’s how I’ve always done it.

4 months ago
Reply to  Cecilia

Not all RVs have easy access to the pump and/or a bypass. Fluid is not wasted, excess can be drained from tank and reused. Fresh water will rinse the tank just like you have to rinse the water lines. Your “Low Point Drains” will allow you to save and reuse fluid also, if nothing else but to pour into drains, Gray tank, toilet bowl and Black tank.

4 months ago

re: Neat tip for parking your RV
I do something similar with a yellow extension cord.

I also carry two twelve-inch traffic cones. I use them if there’s something hard to see in the mirror. Could be on the ground or in the air: a branch under 11′, the edge of a culvert, etc.