Saturday, January 29, 2022


Beginner’s Guide to RVing Newsletter Volume 2, Issue 1

Welcome to the Beginner’s Guide to RVing Newsletter, where we guide you through RVing basics every Monday through Friday. If you are buying your first RV and planning to travel with it full-time we suggest you subscribe to our every-other-week newsletter Full-time RVer. Sign up here.

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May 3, 2021

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Welcome to round two!

By Emily Woodbury

This newsletter is brought to you by

If this newsletter looks familiar, there’s good reason. It’s the first issue of our second round of publishing it (with tweaks and updates). We’ll run the series Monday through Friday for the next six months, then take a break for about six months and then begin our third round. We figure that if you read each issue, in six months you’ll be well informed about how to use your RV. And if you haven’t purchased one yet, we’ll teach you the right way (and the wrong way) to do it.

If you already read the first volume of this newsletter and believe you’ve mastered the basics, you can easily unsubscribe from the email alert. If you’re new here, welcome! There is much to learn. 

The newsletter is about the very basics – knowledge that most veteran RVers already know. But not every beginning RVer has someone like that around. So here we are, at your service.

You can read each issue by visiting the website or signing up for an email reminder notice with a link to transport you to the latest issue. And don’t worry if you miss one now and then – you can always catch up in the archives.

We hope you enjoy this newsletter and benefit from the information!

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

New free directory lists every U.S. RV manufacturer and their makes and models
How many different makes and models of RVs are there in America? has the answer in a new, free, comprehensive 73-page directory that lists every U.S. manufacturer and every brand and model they make. “RVs: Who Makes What” is available free as a public service from in PDF form. Learn more and/or download a free copy.

RVing Basics

QUESTION: How many people do RVs sleep?

ANSWER: Four to six on average, but sometimes less and sometimes more.

Learn how our readers responded when we asked them how many people had ever slept at one time in their RV in this recent poll

QUESTION: How can a Class C motorhome sleep six people? I read the ads, but can’t figure out where everyone would sleep.

Class C motorhome

ANSWER: Here’s how. Two people can sleep in the cab-over bunk. The dinette area also makes into a double bed, so that’s two more. If there’s a couch, it will fold out into another double bed for another two people. That makes six. It’s not roomy, but it works. But keep in mind that a motorized RV that advertises that it sleeps six does not necessarily mean you should be traveling with six people on board: their combined body weight and belongings could put the RV well over its weight capacity (CCC), which could impact the RV’s performance on the road, increasing the chance of an accident. An overloaded RV will also stress it and shorten its life.

From the book the ABCs of RVing by’s Chuck Woodbury, available at in both Kindle and print editions.

Recent articles that may be of interest

What I’ve learned about RVing in 5 short years
Why do my RV batteries only last a year or two?
Strategies for saving $$$ at the pump
Can you RV camp at a military campground?

Now, use your air conditioner in situations never before possible!
At we don’t see too many products that we go nuts over, but the SoftStartRV™ is a game-changer. Here’s what it can do:
• Run two air conditioners (with two SoftStartRVs) on a 30-amp hookup.
• Run one air conditioner using only a small portable generator.
• Run one air conditioner on 20-amp household current.
• Run an air conditioner or two using your onboard inverter system. Read more.

QUESTION: What does “getting upside down” mean?

ANSWER: This term refers to when a buyer makes little or no down payment on an RV (typically a new one) and stretches the payments for a lengthy term. In essence, after a couple of years the value of the RV will have depreciated up to 40 percent or more while the balance on its loan has decreased far less. For example, a 2-year-old RV may have depreciated to a value of $60,000, but its owner may still owe $75,000 on its loan, meaning he will need to pay $15,000 just to get someone to take the RV off his hands. It’s not uncommon to be $50,000 “upside down” on an expensive rig. Financing an RV for 20 years (very unwise) almost guarantees being “upside down” for years.

EXPERT ADVICE: Never buy an RV with no money down. You will regret it later.

QUESTION: Why is it that two RVs of the same size, with basically the same features and amenities, can vary so much in price?

A motorhome like this may sell for $79,995 while one that looks almost identical sells for $129,000. What’s the difference? Mostly, QUALITY!

ANSWER: In a nutshell, the higher priced unit is built better and will last longer, or, said another way, “You get what you pay for!” Much of the difference in price is not so obvious at first glance — the type and quality of the materials used and construction, the craftsmanship, the insulation in the walls, etc.

When buying an RV, it pays to look very carefully in the nooks and crannies of the unit to see how it’s built. RV makers have practiced the art of the “bling,” building RVs that look great but are built quickly and cheaply out of eyesight.

From the book the ABCs of RVing by’s Chuck Woodbury, available at in both Kindle and print editions.

Reader poll

Quick Tips

• If you take your RV across a speed bump, you may find it pops open cabinet doors. Avoid this issue by taking on the speed bumps “dead-on” and slow, rather than hitting them at an angle. An angle approach causes more coach rocking.

• Check your RV for plumbing system water leaks easily. With water in the fresh tank, turn on your water pump. After it shuts off, signaling the system is pressurized, it won’t turn on again until you “call for water.” If it does turn on, you have a leak.

• Some bugs like to lay eggs in cozy little spots – like in the keyholes of locks on RV storage compartments. Once in there, the stuff’s like glue. If your locks are steel, get small disc magnets from the hardware store and “stick” one over each lock.

We welcome your Quick Tips: Send to

If you’re a member of Facebook, be sure to sign up for the group RV Buying Advice, RV Advice and Budget RV Travel.

If you buy a defective RV and are unable to get it fixed or its warranty honored, here is a where to turn for help.

• If you need an RV Lemon Law Lawyer, Ron Burdge is your man.

Best Club for RVers: Escapees. Click here to learn more or join. Endorsed by

Help find these stolen RVs. Let’s get them back to their owners and put the crooks who stole them in the slammer.

Why you should never finance an RV for 20 years!

ABC's of RVingNow free with Kindle Unlimited
Book for newbie RVers a must-have!

If you are planning to buy your first RV or are just getting started with your first rig, this book by founder Chuck Woodbury should be a must-read. The ABCs of RVing answers important questions that newbie RVers don’t even know enough to ask! Read this, and you’ll save countless hours of research and avoid making costly rookie mistakes. It’s available in both a Kindle version and printed edition.

RV Travel staff


Publisher: Chuck Woodbury. Editor: Emily Woodbury. Managing editor: 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 2021 by


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Gary Swope
8 months ago

Thank you for bringing this column back. It’s a quick read with a lot of good info.

Bob Weinfurt
8 months ago

It’s great to see this column again.

Richard Hughes
8 months ago

I smiled when I answered the survey. Every one seems to think they are ” very knowledgeable,” but like me we have more questions than we know.

Len Brzozowski
8 months ago
Reply to  Richard Hughes

My interpretation of being knowledgeable is knowing many things on a subject and being open to learning what we don’t know. I feel that I am knowledgeable about RV’ing but I don’t know everything. Reading these newsletters I always learn something I don’t know or have forgotten. As the saying goes “we don’t know what we don’t know “.