Thursday, June 30, 2022


Beginner’s Guide to RVing Newsletter Volume 2, Issue 102

rv travel logoWelcome 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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Tuesday, September 21, 2021

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

Today’s Tips of the Day:
Carrying an extra water hose can save frustration
Ask Dave: My fridge doesn’t cool. Can I fix it myself?

Today’s RV Preview:
2022 r-pod RP-201, a no-slide two-axle trailer

RVing Basics

Emergency kits

Be sure to carry an emergency supply kit that is easily accessible. Suggested items your kit should contain: flashlights, batteries, rain ponchos, bug spray, a portable weather radio, first aid kit, non-perishable packaged or canned food, a manual can opener, blankets, prescription and non-prescription drugs, pet supplies (to include a photo of your pet if it should get separated from you), bottled water, and any special items for infants, elderly or disabled family members. Customize the kit to your specific needs. From Mark Polk, RV EDUCATION 101®

How much propane do you have?

You can buy a special electronic gizmo that will help you figure it out. But there are less expensive ways. Check your tank early in the morning when dew hits the bottle. Where the dew line on the metal stops, that’s the level of LP left in your cylinder. Some RVers dump really hot water down the cylinder and look to see where condensation forms. If you have a scale, you can weigh the bottle, and deduct the weight (you’ll find that weight – it’s marked next to the letters “TW” on the carrying yoke) of the bottle. Propane weighs 4.24 pounds per gallon.

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 for free at more than 1,000 private property locations across America. And, wow, will you meet some great people! Learn more or sign up.

Quick Tips

Not-so-tasty water hose?
It could be you’ve developed a layer of slime in your water conduit. Disconnect the hose from both the supply and the RV. Coil it up, as you would for traveling. Pour a cup of bleach down one of the ends, and connect both ends together. Roll the hose about to thoroughly distribute the bleach. Hook the hose back up to the water supply (not the RV end!) and thoroughly blast fresh water through the hose to liberate the bleach – and the blech!

Got the right-sized tools?
“Make sure that you have a lug-wrench and jack that will work with YOUR trailer. The jack must fit under the axle when the tire is deflated.” —From Trailers & Fifth Wheels Made Easy

“If you could tell someone new to RVing just one thing, what would it be?”

From the editors: We asked our readers this question. Here is one response: 

“Never ever finance an RV. If you can’t afford to pay cash for a new one, buy a used one. But always cash.” —Corrina Lee

Penetrating oil can save the day!
It can be a bad day on the road if you break down and need to loosen a screw or bolt and it won’t budge. Here’s help: This rust eater, deep penetrating oil will penetrate rust, scale and corrosion to free parts and assemblies instantly. It will free up rusted machine screws, bolts, nuts, clamps for mufflers and tail pipes, locks and more. You need this! Learn more.

Random RV Thought

When you are driving an RV or pulling one and you want to move from the left lane to the right lane, it is a good idea to confirm with your copilot if the lane is clear. But only accept an answer of yes or no. An answer of “I think so” is not good enough and can get your vehicle smacked.

• 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! Staff

Publisher: Chuck Woodbury. Editor: Emily Woodbury. Associate editor: Diane McGovern. Senior editors: Russ and Tiña De Maris. Senior writers: Nanci Dixon, Tony Barthel, Mike Gast. Contributors: Mike Sokol, Gail Marsh, Roger Marble, Dave Solberg, Dave Helgeson, Janet Groene, Julianne Crane, Chris Guld, Machelle James, James Raia, Kate Doherty, J.R. Montigel, Clint Norrell, and Chris Epting. Podcast host and producer: Scott Linden. Special projects director: Jessica Sarvis. Moderators: Gary Gilmore, Linda Brady. Financial affairs director: Gail Meyring. IT wrangler: Kim Christiansen.

Honorary CorrespondentsLoyal readers who regularly email us leads about news stories and other information and resources that aid our own news-gathering efforts.
Tom and Lois Speirs • Mike Sherman • George Bliss • Steve Barnes + others who we will add later. 

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.

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9 months ago

I bleach out my water hose at least twice a year. I always wonder how to store it when traveling. I drain it and connected the ends together. Thoughts on what others do.

Bob M
9 months ago

On many RVs you can’t put the jack under the axle you’ll damage them. You have to jack up the frame.

9 months ago

Undiluted bleach isn’t good for your water hose. Fill the hose using the same concentration and soaking time as you use for your water tank,

There are differing recommendations but I use one ounce bleach for five gallons of water and let it soak for four to eight hours. Rinse and let dry.

1 year ago

As to the Quick Tip Got the right-sized tools? NEVER, NEVER, EVER jack on the axle. Trailer axles are too weak to jack on and if you do you’ll likely throw out your alignment. You must only jack on the spring if the spring runs under the axle or if the spring runs over the axle place your jack right at the spot where the “U” bolts are located.

1 year ago

Rain-X is a good product but be careful using it if you have a motor home with diamond shield installed on the front. The Diamond Shield website says to avoid rain-x.

Rock & Tina
1 year ago

If no one ever financed an RV the industry would go “belly up” overnight.

1 year ago
Reply to  Rock & Tina

Plus, how many people have up to $150k to buy an RV? We had a hefty down payment, about 30% and put the rest on our house equity line of credit. Low interest rates and no penalty if we paid it off sooner. Which we did.

1 year ago
Reply to  Rock & Tina

Totally agree. We financed and will pay it off this year. The reason for the original tip is that lower priced campers lose 15-20% of the cost the minute you pull off the lot and many people are under-water the day they buy the unit. Given the aggressive sales tactics used by some dealers, the concern is many people will have financial issues if they would lose jobs or they will by up-side down if they try to sell the camper within the next several years or if they want to trade. I agree with the comment that you need to put 30+% down and the loan must be honestly reviewed to make sure you can handle the payments.

Dr. Mike
9 months ago
Reply to  Rock & Tina

I agree, but I would like to make a strange suggestion.

For those who finance their coach (trailer, plane, or boat), purchase enough life insurance to cover the debt. None of us are getting any younger and why leave your spouse/significant other with the burden of the vehicles if you just happen to pass away before it is paid off?

1 year ago

On the subject of water hose and the fact we are talking to new-bees, I think we should mention there are special hoses for drinking water. It takes a special hose, some hoses (not specified for drinking water) will give an odd taste.

1 year ago
Reply to  Gordy

Yes, but a lot of people do not drain the hose after each use. Storing a hose with some water in it promotes bacteria growth if stored for a long period.

Brian Burry
1 year ago

Financing an RV is like ANY purchase, based on ability to pay. Qualifying ratios have been used for purchasing large ticket items, homes, vehicles AND RV’s for 50 plus years. Financial planning is applicable for any major investment or purchase. In our case, we planned for a few years before we bought, and financed, our Class A RV. Upon paying off our vehicle and all other debts other than our mortgage, we purchased our motor home. We can afford our payment, enjoy it while we are able to, and are so very glad we did. Take the time to analyze your finances, be sure of your debt to income ratios (Never exceed 50% debt payments to income) and make your individual decision. We are comfortable and are enjoying our RV so very much!

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