Friday, June 9, 2023


Beginner’s Guide to RVing Newsletter #14

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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July 24, 2020

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

RVing Basics

I know the make and model of my RV, but my local dealer wants $1,500 more than a dealer about 200 miles away. Which should I buy from?
You’ll likely find that service issues are more easily dealt with if you buy from the dealer closer to home. While both dealers are theoretically set up to handle warranty work for the manufacturer, RVers report that when they bought an RV elsewhere, they find themselves waiting in a longer line to get service work done at the local dealer, or even denied service at all. It may not be fair, but that’s the way it is.

And when buying a new RV, you can pretty much be assured that you will encounter warranty service issues – sometimes a lot of them. You’ll need to crunch the numbers and see if your money – and time – are worth the savings associated with driving back and forth a distance to get the bugs worked out. A survey at revealed that nearly 30 percent of the readers traveled 300 miles or more to buy their RV.

If I buy from an RV dealer locally and then have a problem far away on the road, will the same manufacturer’s dealer there agree to fix it?
No. Unlike car dealers, where any dealer of your make of car will agree to fix it, RV dealers have no similar policy. If you buy a Winnebago in Denver and break down in San Diego, the local Winnebago dealer there has no legal obligation to fix your RV.

Should I sign up for an RV driving school?
Some would-be RVers find driving schools can help them get over the intimidation of driving a large Class A motorhome or towing a trailer or fifth wheel. Some RV dealers provide limited driving instruction, but a driving school will cover more aspects in greater depth. Classes are offered at FMCA conferences, and other rallies. Do a Google search for RV driving schools.

Pan liners protect kitchenware while driving
RV Travel Newsletter Issue 912These 9 pot protectors come in three sizes and are perfect for placing between pots, pans, plates and bowls while driving down the road. Nobody likes arriving at the campsite to find broken or scratched kitchenware! Learn more or order.

Quick Tips

Check your roof
If you have not inspected your RV’s roof lately for possible leaks, do so now. Allowing water into your RV can result in large repair bills if not attended to quickly. Do not take a chance. Inspect soon or have a professional check.

Watch your step (literally) at night
For just a few bucks at your local Walmart you can by a “spotlight” style solar-charged patio light. Pound a short length of rebar into the ground near your RV and slap the spotlight over the rebar stake and you’ve got a no-batteries night light to guide your feet. Also, staked solar spotlights as well as staked solar walkway lights (cute and practical!) are available at Amazon.

How to use a basement storage door as a table
You can use a basement storage door as a table, provided you can open it to “level” and then support it. Hit the thrift shops and buy a used photo tripod – the three legs make it sturdy and you can set and lock it at nearly any desirable height.

Having trouble with a stuck-on decal?
Trying to get rid of an unwanted (or worn out) RV decal? Use a “vinyl eraser” mounted to your corded electric drill. The rubber disc erases the sticker without damaging the rig’s finish. Search for these on the Internet using the keywords: vinyl eraser, arbor.

We welcome your Quick Tips: Send to

☀ Run your RV air conditioner with only 20 ampsYes, it’s possible!

Common Terms Used by RV Salespeople

LIAR LOAN: This is where the dealer alters the buyer’s credit application income or expense data without the customer knowing about it and then submits the falsified application data to a third party lender for loan approval; it may also include telling the lender that the vehicle being sold has optional equipment on it that it actually does not have in order to increase the appearance of the vehicle’s value as collateral for the loan.

Another one next issue. Courtesy of the Burdge Law Office.

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: 

“If you are afraid of figuring out basic problems with ‘things,’ or don’t like using hand tools, or freak out when something doesn’t work, don’t RV.” — Jim D.

Protect your RV’s slideout with this rubber seal lubricantslideout-seal656
If you don’t take care of your slideout you’re asking for problems including costly water damage. This Thetford rubber seal lubricant prevents fading, cracking and deterioration. It cleans, conditions and shines, keeping seals flexible and protected from sunlight damage. Also use on door and window seals. The mineral oil product acts as a lubricant. Learn more or order.

Random RV Thought

An RV is the best “house” that a lot of people will ever own.

• 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


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.

This newsletter is copyright 2020 by


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2 years ago

Re: buy local. Most warranties are only for a year. After that, your best friend is a set of basic tools and the ability to figure out and fix things yourself. Even under warranty, the wait for service might not be worth it if you can fix the problem yourself. And as someone else mentioned, most if not all problems will happen on the road. Happy Trails

2 years ago

Absolutely need solar lights for at night. I bought such a set at Harbor Freight. On sale for around $30. I used it at home in my backyard. Has motion detector too. Bright. At Home, I mounted it on a 2×4 post and cemented it into a coffee can in the ground. Plenty bright. And cats in the neighborhood got surprised! Perhaps a folding or telecoping pole for RV storage. I’m buying an RV soon. And will take mine with me

John Koenig
2 years ago

I have to take issue with your recommendation to “buy local”. In theory that should give you the best service results BUT, in reality, unless you do all your camping locally (or at least most of it), chances are you’ll be miles (and possibly even states) away from that “local dealer” when the need for service arises. A big problem with ALL dealers is that a customer is VERY likely to hear a dealer cry that; “we’re waiting for parts” (which is an all too common occurrence and, one that’s going to get worse as Covid19 slows or stops deliveries from China). A buyer would do VERY well for himself if he were to find and hire a PROFESSIONAL RV inspector. Such an inspector can save a buyer from making an expensive mistake by doing a GOOD PDI. Such a PDI will be expensive but, the buyer is far more likely to get a trouble free RV. Yes, a selling dealer SHOULD do a THOROUGH PDI to find and fix deficiencies. MOST of the time, the dealer falls as short as the factory personnel did re a QC check.

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