Friday, December 9, 2022


Beginner’s Guide to RVing Newsletter #18


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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Thursday, July 30, 2020

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

RVing Basics

My wife has a physical disability that makes it hard for her to get around in most RVs. Are there any RVs made especially for people who are physically challenged?
Yes. Winnebago and Newmar Motorhomes make Class A motorhomes for people with physical challenges. Check with your local Winnebago dealer. RVs are also great ways to travel for parents with disabled children who might not be able to conveniently travel otherwise. For example, we know of an RVing family with a young daughter who needs oxygen round-the-clock. With their motorhome, the equipment is easily transported along. You should also contact the Handicapped Travel Club, which is a California nonprofit corporation formed to encourage RV traveling for people with a wide range of disabilities. For free information, contact Mark Neurohr, 1465 N 32nd Rd. Ottawa, IL 61350 Phone: 815-252-1868 or email Also, check out’s Facebook group, RVing with a disability.

I’m not sure of my credit rating. How can I learn it before applying for a loan?
To see where you stand on your credit, you can get a free report from It will include your credit score for all three of the major agencies: Equifax, Experion and TransUnion. Generally, a good credit score for buying at the lowest interest is about 690. Many institutions look to see a credit score of 660 to 700 before offering a loan, but some will offer loans on credit scores as low as the 500 to 600 range, but beware of the high interest rates that may be charged!

Is it hard to drive a motorhome? They look so big!
While some people are initially intimidated by the size of a motorhome, after driving one for awhile they report it isn’t much different than driving the family car. Because an RV is generally larger, there are special considerations to keep in mind — like watching for overhead branches and overhangs, using mirrors more often, and making wider turns than in the family car. A survey of RV owners by Lou Harris and Associates found that three out of four RV owners do not feel that driving or towing an RV poses any difficulty. Experienced automobile drivers already have the basic skills to drive a motorized RV. Automatic transmissions and power brakes and steering are typical.

Quick Tips

Easy ways to add water to batteries
“When adding distilled water to your batteries, try a plastic a turkey baster. Makes the job very easy rather than trying to pour in the water.” —Our thanks to Ruth DeBay and several other of our sharp readers.
Speaking of filling batteries, reader DW/ND suggests the following: ”Take a plastic ketchup bottle and insert a 1/4″ piece of plastic tubing. Insert the tube down into the distilled water and GENTLY squeeze the bottle. When finished pull the tube up above any remaining water to eliminate drips and accidental flow when handling the bottle. Works like a charm and re-purposes and recycles too!” —Thanks, DW/ND!

Wash out your water heater!
“A lot of people overlook washing out their water heaters a minimum of once a year. It’s simple. Your Suburban water heaters usually have an anode rod. It takes a 1-1/16 socket to remove it. Your Atwood water heater only needs a plug, no anode rod. Also, after you clean your water heater do not (do not!) turn it on right away. Make sure water is back in your heater before you turn it on or you will burn up the motherboard. Give it about a half-hour before turning it on. If your faucets are not running well after cleaning, remove the screens on each faucet and clean them.” —Thanks to Steve Korsvall for the tip from the RV Advice Facebook page

Protect yourself from kingpins at night
“A cheap set of rope lights around the pin box of my 5th wheel keeps me and others from walking into the kingpin (connecting piece on the front of the trailer that slides into the hitch), especially at night. I turn them off at bedtime in respect of my neighbors. I use two sets and run them along the side of the RV.” —Thanks to George Bliss for this bright idea!

To YouTube we go…
“One of the best tips I have given other RVers when they have a small or simple problem (and some big ones too) is to look on YouTube for a solution. There are thousands of how-to DIY videos on maintenance, fixing and solving RV problems. Even those who first think their problem is beyond their capability, after searching their problem on YouTube and seeing how someone solved it or something very much like it, they give it a try and fix it. Fixing your own problems will save you time and money, and give you the confidence to move on and give the next one a try. If you don’t try then you will never know if you can do it. Good luck on your next RV project and wish me luck on mine.” —Thanks for the tip, Dick Kashdin!

Where to place the remote thermometer transmitter
Can’t find a good location for your remote reporting thermometer transmitter? Stick it out in the sun and it may report way too high. Look for a location under your rig’s steps – in the shade, but close to your inside unit, making it a sure receiver “pickup.”

We welcome your Quick Tips: Send to

Common Terms Used by RV Salespeople

DE-HORSE: This is when you take a customer out of his trade-in and let him temporarily drive the newly purchased RV before the purchase has really been finalized on the dealer’s books. The idea is to keep the customer from shopping around and finding another deal somewhere else.

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

Cheap tire tool can save you tons of trouble
What gives when you think your tires are “good to go” but down on air again the next day? Your valve stem valve probably isn’t tight enough. A loose, leaking valve stem can cause a tire failure due to low pressure under load at highway speeds. So do yourself and your vehicles a favor – pick up one of these very inexpensive tools and make sure your valve cores are snugly seated in the valve stem. Click here to order.

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: 

“Buy used and have a thorough 3rd party inspection. Apply some of your savings to a solid extended warranty.” — Buttercup

Random RV Thought

When hitting the road, before pulling out, double-check that the doors of your cupboards and refrigerator are closed. Otherwise, you could have a big mess on your hands (not to mention your floor).

• 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!

Stay free on private property across America
Boondockers Welcome is a great alternative to expensive, crowded RV parks or even Walmart parking lots. With a membership you can stay free in your RV at more than 1,000 private property locations across America. And, wow, will you meet some great people! Learn more or sign up.

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

Temperature sender in middle of spare tire under tire cover.

David Onder
2 years ago

I put the remote temperature sensor on the stabilizing jack near the front door. That way I will remember to remove it at the end of the trip.

Sharon B
2 years ago

It was nice to read that one Gentleman indicated he turns off his kingpin lights at bedtime. Those lights always disturb others who come camping for a dark sky with peace and quiet. Many of the 5th wheelers also have those awful decorative lights on the camper and leaves them on all night. Bad neighbors and I blame the campground for not putting it in the rules and regs. 🙁

2 years ago

Regarding the water heater, make sure to relieve the water pressure BEFORE unscrewing the anode!!! Otherwise, it can become a missile, shooting past your head under pressure, in a spray of water (don’t ask how I know). Pull up on the pressure relief valve first.

Terry Hennessy
2 years ago
Reply to  Alan

and I suspect you also had trouble unscrewing; hard to turn? 🙁