Friday, June 9, 2023


Beginner’s Guide to RVing Newsletter #19

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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Friday, July 31, 2020

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

RVing Basics

What are RV shows and how can I learn where and when they are held?
Except currently, during the pandemic, RV shows are held throughout the country, usually in the first three months of the year and then again in the fall. Some are far bigger than others, but all showcase a wide range of RVs sold by area dealers. Vendors sell products and services, and RV factory representatives are sometimes on hand to expertly answer questions about their company’s products. In addition, most shows also offer free seminars on a wide variety of topics about RVing. RV shows present a superb opportunity to leisurely examine a wide range of RVs and gather extensive information. The biggest and best show in the United States is held each September in Hershey, Pennsylvania (canceled for 2020). Some tricky dealers will stage their own RV shows, but only with their own products. Don’t get sucked into one of those buying traps. [The editor just heard an ad on the radio for one of these the week this newsletter is being published.]

Will I get a better deal buying an RV at an RV show than elsewhere?
(Keep this in mind for future reference.) Sometimes, but not always. You will almost certainly find RVs marked down at RV shows, and sometimes significantly, often as much as 30 to 35 percent of MSRP. But in most cases you can get the same price a week or two later at the same RV dealership. It’s best to attend an RV show to either start your research or add to it by inspecting your narrowed-down choices side by side. Never go to a show to buy an RV to take home. Salesmen will say whatever they can to make a sale to earn their commission and “spiffs” (bonuses to sell right there and then). Big dealers like Camping World will bring in special sales people – all-stars who are experts at turning “lookers” into “buyers.” They have every trick up their sleeve to sell you right then and there. Don’t fall for their pressure. Overheard at an RV show: Salesman to customer: “What can I do to get you out camping with this next week?”

Is it true that you cannot drive long motorhomes in certain states?
No. In the last couple of years all states have amended their laws to permit motorhomes of up to 45 feet in length. RVers with large trailers or fifth wheels should check with states where they plan to travel about combined length limitations. This AAA site has state-by-state details.

Say goodbye to goop!RV Travel Newsletter Issue 910
Have you ever seen the sediment that collects in your water heater? You probably don’t want to. Camco’s water tank rinser is an easy-to-use gadget that is a must-have for any RVer. The tank rinser will get out all the yucky sediment that’s been sitting at the bottom of your water heater and, most importantly, will extend the life of it too. Read the many positive reviews, and get one for yourself here.

Quick Tips

Be prepared in case of fire
One of my biggest fears as a full-timer is fire – not just something that could start in my rig, but also to a neighbor’s unit parked nearby. As a preventive measure, I use a water “splitter” or manifold at my site’s water spigot. One side supplies water to our rig, but the other has my extra 30-foot hose that I could use to fight a fire in my rig or a neighbor’s. This precaution, in combination with smoke detectors in our living area and one in basement storage, helps me sleep better at night. Thanks to Jim S.

Water pump cycling too frequently?
While water pump cycling is one sign of a plumbing system leak, it is also caused by air in the hot water tank. Thanks to Lee Cataneo for the reminder

Secure your RV awning while traveling
Reader Mark Walsh says he gets peace of mind regarding his RV awning while traveling. How? “I use a large piece of Velcro wound several times around each arm of the awning up near the top. I have to use a picnic table or ladder to get it there but it takes away the worry.” Thanks, Mark

Camp overnight at a casino?
Want to overnight in a casino parking lot? Most don’t mind, but it’s best to check first – some are now issuing a permit to be displayed – unless you don’t mind being rousted by security at 3:00 a.m. Check at or get the 2020 American Casino Guide to locate RV-overnight-friendly casinos.

Safely store aerosol cans
After the cap came off one of my spray cans and emptied its contents into a storage bay, I decided to see if I could find a better way to store them. I found that the popular plastic bicycle water bottle cage works for most of my cans. Just mount the cage(s) to any appropriate surface, then stuff the otherwise-runaway aerosol cans in the cage.  Our thanks to Jim Anderson for the “canny” idea

We welcome your Quick Tips: Send to

Common Terms Used by RV Salespeople

PUT TOGETHER: This means much the same as “laying someone away.” In other words, the maximum gross profit to be made on that deal was accomplished. The customer was “nailed to the wall.”

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

Going full-time? Need a home base? This is the best.
New and interesting finds on AmazonWow! It’s fun exploring 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: 

“Take your time and do your research on RVs, RVing, how you want to use an RV, how to buy an RV, how you want to travel and where, etc. There are plenty of general RV advice and experience books that will help you understand all this without getting too technical. My wife and I read several of these and it helped us a lot. There is also lots of technical info and advice available when you are ready. With some basic knowledge, we were able to buy our first and only RV, a 5th wheel, and our first and only truck to tow it. Fast forward 10 years and we are still happy with the choices we made.” — John Goodell

Random RV Thought

The amount of difficulty backing your trailer/fifth-wheel into its spot increases exponentially by the number of fellow RVers watching you. Submitted by Jim Schrankel. 

• 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!

Keep stinky odors out of your RV (relied on by the RV Travel staff). Click.

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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Bill B.
2 years ago

Thanks for this beginners newsletter. It helps to review the basics, and is invaluable as a pointer to in-depth research for newbies. Great job!

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