Sunday, June 20, 2021
Sunday, June 20, 2021

Beginner’s Guide to RVing Newsletter #126

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.

This newsletter is funded primarily through advertising and voluntary subscription contributions from our readers. Thanks to all of you!

Wednesday, December 30, 2020

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

RVing Basics

This may save the toad car battery from dying while being towed
Toad car battery go dead from leaving the switch on to keep the steering wheel unlocked? For SOME tow cars this may work: Turn the ignition switch all the way ON, then all the way OFF, but leave the key in the switch. For some vehicles this will still leave the wheel “free” but eliminate the power drain. Check to make sure your steering wheel remains UNLOCKED before towing!

Keep emergency contact information in several locations
Have several copies of your emergency contact list with road service, insurance, family and health contacts, etc. Both RVers should have a copy, and additional copies left in the rig (glove box, bedside table), maybe even in “basement storage.” If anything happens, your information is always readily available.

New book plans the road trip for you!
This new book by Moon plans the 50 best road trips across the U.S. (organized by region) for you so you don’t have to do a thing! It’s perfect for jump-starting your 2021 travel planning. Each road trip lists must-see places, the best foods, gives you local tips and much more. Learn more about it here.

Quick Tips

Important to know when buying new tires
Need new tires for the rig? It may be best to stick with the same tire specification as the original equipment. If you do decide to change specs, make sure you always match up your tire and wheel capacity. For example, NEVER mount a 3,000-pound-capacity tire on a 2,000-pound-capacity wheel.

A trick for working with trailer equalizer bars
When installing trailer equalizer bars, hitch the trailer to the ball, then crank up the tongue jack an inch or two to raise the tow vehicle. Now hook up the equalizer bars. When disconnecting, leave the trailer hitched and crank the tongue jack to lift the tow vehicle a bit. Now disconnect the equalizer bars. Lift the weight off the tow ball, unlock the coupler, and disconnect.

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

Heartland Big Country 3702Today’s RV review…

In today’s column, industry insider Tony Barthel reviews the new Heartland Big Country 3702FB Fifth Wheel. As he reports, “There is a lot to like about these from a features standpoint,” and they are “a great unit for full-time living.” Learn more.

Did you read Tony’s review yesterday of the Tiffin Allegro Bus? 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: 

“Get a 3rd-party/independent inspection performed BEFORE you purchase your coach! Most people know nothing about RVs and even if you know a little bit, or a lot, when you are considering a coach to purchase you are not trained in the ‘science of RV inspections.’ There are so many aspects, considerations, parts, pieces, systems… You get the idea. RVs are truly ‘homes on wheels,’ and you want to be sure that it is going to perform as you expect as well as carry you, your family, friends and loved ones down the road safely. The NRVIA (National RV Inspectors Association) is dedicated to training and certifying independent inspectors. You can find inspectors here. If you can’t find one in the area where the RV you are considering is located, contact them directly and they will send out a ‘blast’ email to all Level 2 inspectors to see if someone is able to work with you. GET IT INSPECTED!” —Grant Carroll

Random RV Thought

To help keep your RV fridge cold on hot days when traveling without having it turned on, place two or three frozen ice packs inside before departing. When you arrive and turn your refrigerator back on, place the ice packs back in the freezer compartment to freeze for your next journey.

• 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.

Mail us at 9792 Edmonds Way, #265, Edmonds, WA 98020.

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5 months ago

The hitching technique was a good piece!

5 months ago

I’m curious. What is the average cost to hire an RV inspector?

5 months ago
Reply to  Stinger45

We opted for an inspector even with a brand new class B+. We bought from a reputable dealer and a quality manufacturer but since neither of us had any experience with small motor homes, we felt the price was worth the peace of mind that everything was ok with the RV. The inspector was RVIA certified and had experience with our brand of RV. She walked us through the entire inspection, educating us on every system (more than the dealer did). Since it was brand new, there were some items we skipped but the inspection was very thorough. Took about five hours to complete the inspection and we paid ~ $400 to include a written report with photos. The inspector found a few minor issues that the dealer wasn’t aware of and rectified immediately. We felt it was money well spent, at the objection of the dealer, but we gained a great education and peace of mind that all was well with our RV. Highly recommend getting an inspection for any RV.

Jeffrey Campbell
5 months ago

“If you could tell someone new”.

A very good post from Grant Carroll. In fact I just had him do an inspection on a DP just a few weeks ago, and also opted for the fluid analysis as well. That report helped me get a clear picture of the real condition and health of the coach, which now I’m finalizing the deal. I highly recommend getting an inspection on any RV before you commit. Happy New Year everyone.


5 months ago

re: A trick for working with trailer equalizer bars
AFAIK that’s the standard method. My Equalizer brand hitch came with a pry bar for the rare situations where the site is so unlevel that the standard method isn’t sufficient.

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