Thursday, June 1, 2023


Beginner’s Guide to RVing Newsletter #17

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, July 29, 2020

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

New Facebook Group: RVing During the Pandemic. Life has changed. We’ve changed. Let’s discuss how we as RVers are adapting. Learn more or join the group.

RVing Basics

I am about to buy a new motorhome. I don’t understand why it has 2,500 miles on the odometer.
Motorhomes are driven from the factory to dealers, which can account for the mileage. It may also have been driven to an RV show or two as well, which will add additional miles. The warranty of the rig will begin at the odometer reading when you buy it, not at zero.

Is one manufacturer better than another?
There’s no easy answer for this question. Some people love a particular manufacturer or brand of RV while others think the same ones are junk. All manufacturers make good RVs, and all make crummy ones. Generalizing, we’ll just say you get what you pay for: a cheaply built RV will not be as durable or last as long as a more expensive one. But that’s not always true.

How are RVs financed?
Loans for new, large RVs typically range from 10 to 15 years, with some extending even 20 years. Whether the purchase is financed through a bank, savings and loan, finance company, credit union or RV dealer, seven out of ten lenders require less than a 20 percent down payment. Ten percent down loans are more common now than ever. You will see offers of zero down, but never, never buy that way or you will be horribly upside down on your loan from the moment you drive off the sales lot. The better your credit, the wider your options of financing. Our advice is never finance an RV for 15 or 20 years. And, by all means, avoid loans longer than 10 years on inexpensive units. You will likely be upside down in your loan for the life of the loan, meaning if you want to sell the RV you will need to come up with cash to pay it off. That could perhaps be only $5,000, but on an expensive RV it could be $50,000 or more.

Best-selling small-space organizers
It can be hard keeping everything organized in a small space like an RV, right? Here’s Amazon’s list of best small-space organizers so you can keep everything in check. You’ll find everything from under-the-sink kitchen organizers, to clothing and closet organizers, to tiny bookcases. Explore these helpful items here.

Quick Tips

I didn’t hit the pedestal; I have proof!
When first going into an RV park, you should consider taking a cell phone photo of your site before you pull in. Take another cell phone photo when you leave the site. This will prevent unscrupulous RV park owners and managers from trying to say you damaged something on the site and they want you to pay for it! Believe me, they are out there! Thanks for the tip, Jeffrey Torsrud!

Cheap device prevents accidental RV sewer overflow
Doug Swarts ( and Chuck Woodbury of discuss how a simple, inexpensive device can save the day (as well as a lot of money on a major repair) when cleaning out an RV’s black water (sewer) tank. Watch the video.

Stop the microwave turntable rattle
Randy Coleman has this great tip: “I’ve seen many strange ways to stop the rattling of the microwave turntable in an RV while going down the road. What works the best for me is to cut a piece of the non-skid rubberized shelf liner (has holes in it) to full width of the bottom of the microwave, place under the turntable, then replace the turntable upside down on top of it. Works great. You won’t forget to remove it, since you always open to put something in it before starting the unit. No more rattles, safe, effective and lightweight.” Thanks, Randy!

An easy way to control food costs
Keeping food costs down can also result in keeping time spent in the galley reduced, providing more time for other pursuits. Here’s a tip for the rolling chef: When preparing meals, consider if your menu choices can be prepared in larger portions and reprised at a later date. Can you make double or triple portions, and put the leftovers in the freezer? You’ll save on time, often on ingredients, and later, after a long day on the road, your frozen meals can be popped in the microwave or gently reheated while left in the bag and warmed up in a pan of water.

The best wallboard anchors
“At some point, we all are going to have to secure something on the inside of our campers. I have found self-drilling drywall anchors to be the absolute best in the RV wallboard.” Thanks for the tip, Jim Brand!

We welcome your Quick Tips: Send to

Common Terms Used by RV Salespeople

NICKEL: Refers to the amount of $500.

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

Use your car to provide power to your RV
Use your car or RV engine to generate clean 110 power with a CarGenerator. It’s cheaper, more reliable, and so light even a child can lift it. Use to power your RV accessories, and recharge batteries for continued use of CPAP machines, etc. Perfect supplement to solar on cloudy days. At home, use for backup power when the power grid goes down. Learn more.

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: 

“It’s all about the driving and backing up. Before backing into the site, pull up on the same side as the site, then back into the site. People forget they need swing room. Don’t begin from the middle or far side of the campground road because backing into the site will not give you enough room to swing your vehicle or RV. If you are new to camping go to a big empty parking lot and practice practice practice. Also, your partner needs to practice enough to get your RV home in case of an emergency – very important. Also, talk about the signals you and your partner will be using when backing up.” — Connie

Random RV Thought

Never consider using an RV’s leveling jack to lift a wheel off the ground to change a flat tire. They are not strong enough for that purpose. Every year people die doing this!

• 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!

Pan liners protect kitchenware while driving
These 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.

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

I think the 1000 watt pure sine inverter written about here is a total ripoff. You can get a 1000 watt pure sine inverter from Amazon for under $200. The one advertised here is $600. The ones for sale at Amazon are not protected from rain, but for $400 I bet I could figure out something to keep it dry. I live in Florida. The last hurricane I connected my 2000watt inverter (not pure sine wave) to my hundai v6 and ran two fans, two refrigerator freezers, a freezer, and a 65 inch TV for two days. The ad talks about connecting your RV and that has one power plug to hook up. Easy and works great. In a stick house you have to run multiple long extension cords to individual items. He prepafed.

Charles Powell
2 years ago

I’m looking at purchasing a new Leisure Travel Van, Class B+ Wonder MB.
2021 Ford gas AWD; 200 Watts of solar; 4 KW generator; white uppercase cabinets doors; Key Fob entry for door; lithium upgrade; auto acquisition satellite dish.
Price listed excludes sales tax, registration tags, and delivery fees. Anything I should not be charged for? Like PDI or Admin/Doc fee.
What percent discount can I expect from the dealer

David Kendall
2 years ago

Sorry, but to me backing up is not nearly the most important part of owning an RV. Knowing HOW to tow (speaking of towables) is far more important. For your safety, buy tire pressure monitors.

Knowing how to tow is critical to your safety. Suggest reading articles on how to tow, topics such as: managing hills, brake gain adjustment, how to prevent sway, avoiding overheated brakes, preventing truck overheating, etc.

2 years ago

Personally, the anchors I’d recommend are these:

comment image -They expand as you tighten the screw and won’t tear up the wall behind. They’re on the same page as the link given.

2 years ago

The screw in anchors are good for drywall since it is thick enough for a few of the threads to grab. The walls on RV’s and TT are only about 1/8-1/4 inch thick.
A better device is the moly anchor. You drill a hole the size of the anchor and then tighten the screw.
They come in multiple sizes depending on the thickness of the material. On the back of the anchor, wings spread out to secure it.

Tatiana B.
2 years ago

I would not say that all manufacturers or RVs make good and bad RVs. I would say some are OK, some are crappy and some are not to touch even in million years Few years ago, when we just started we did not know anything about RVing or RVs. But we needed to buy one. How not to make a mistake? And I found a service that rates RV brands. I am not sure I can share a name here but it is easily googled. That service thought me a lot of things about brands, how their RVs perform and how they are constructed, how they behave and how many problems they have down the road, some have excellent customer service and some do not support their product at all, etc. Well worth the money. We all know that we pay one way or another, very little in the beginning or thousands later (+health, sleepless nights, and time). Knowing now what I’ve learnt I will not touch some brands, period! Do your homework, people, and good luck! Also, the book How to Inspect and Buy RV helpful for buying used.

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