Tuesday, October 26, 2021


Beginner’s Guide to RVing Newsletter Volume 2, Issue 113

rv travel logoWelcome to the Beginner’s Guide to RVing from RVtravel.com. 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.

This newsletter is funded primarily through advertising and voluntary subscription contributions from our readers. Thanks to all of you!

Wednesday, October 6, 2021

If you did not get an email notifying you of this newsletter, sign up here to get one every time it is published.

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

Today’s Tips of the Day:
Beware buying an RV with evidence of water leak
Ask Dave: What can I do about fluctuating fridge temperature?

Today’s RV Review:
2022 Rockwood Mini Lite 2104S

RVing Basics

Handy leveling tools

Got levels? Having bubble levels on the side and front or rear of your rig makes it easier to level up when you’re setting up. Or use a small “torpedo” level. With your rig known to be level, see if your storage bay trim or windows are also level. If they are, you can use a torpedo level lined up on the trim anywhere it’s convenient.

Heat pump versus regular furnace

New to RV heat pumps? They work pretty well until temps hit into the 30s. If frost is in the weather forecast, best to use your regular furnace – they usually pump heat to the plumbing system, where the heat pump only warms up the interior of the coach. You don’t want frozen pipes!

Quick Tips

Furnace troubleshooting tips
Leigh read a tip on furnace troubleshooting. This alert reader adds, watch out for flow from the tank. “If the valve at the tank is opened too quickly it can trip the limit switch: a safety feature designed to limit the flow if the line is cut or burned allowing a surge in gas. Simply closing and reopening slowly for the first quarter turn may solve the problem by allowing adequate flow. One can also check the flame on a stove burner. If the flame is weak, there won’t be enough gas for the furnace.” Thanks for the pointers, Leigh.

Place step ladder by the fire escape window
Our RV comes equipped with a special fire escape window in the bedroom. If for some reason we are unable to escape a fire through the regular door we would have to shimmy our way out the window. It is designed to open up fully but then we would be faced with about an 8-foot drop to the ground. Because of this I always place a small step ladder under the window to aid us if we ever need to evacuate the rig. Thanks to Ray Burr at loveyourrv.com.

We welcome your Quick Tips. Submit them here. Thanks!

“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: 

“Not to discourage them, but I would make them aware that as my friend said, ‘Owning an RV is a giggle a minute.’ There will rarely be a time when everything will be working as it should. If you are a perfectionist or can’t handle inconveniences, then purchasing an RV is not for you.” —Jerome Friedman

RV SlippersA cozy gift for your favorite RVer (or for you!) 
These adorable trailer-themed slippers are just what your favorite RVer needs to get them through the winter months. They’re ultra-soft, warm, and comfortable and have nonslip soles so you won’t slip and slide across your RV’s floors. They come in two sizes, S/M and L/XL, so every foot will be happy! Check ’em out here.

Random RV Thought

Pay attention to the wind when making a campfire. If it’s blowing toward your RV you could end up breathing its smoke later when you go to bed. And be considerate of your neighbors if they are close by: It’s not nice to “smoke ’em”!

• 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 RVtravel.com 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!

RVtravel.com 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 RVtravel.com or this newsletter.

RVtravel.com 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 Amazon.com. 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.

Editorial (all but news)
: editor@rvtravel.com
Editorial (news)
: mikegast@rvtravel.com
: Advertising@rvtravel.com
Help desk:
 Contact us.

Mail us at 9792 Edmonds Way, #265, Edmonds, WA 98020.

This newsletter is copyright 2021 by RVtravel.com

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20 days ago

As far as being new to RV’ing. One thing I have told friends who are looking into it. It is NOT like staying a motel or cabin. Setting up and breakdown takes time. Things must be stored securely before traveling. There are a LOT of things to learn, a LOT of maintenance. Plus learning how to drive or pull an RV or TT and backing it up. The extra time it takes to reach the destination.
They are used to flying or driving to a motel and RV’ing is whole new ballgame.
Plus the initial expense of the RV or TT and tow vehicle. The cost of some campgrounds rival the cost of a nice motel, and spots are hard to find in the popular areas.
I was not trying to discourage them, well maybe a little, but wanted them to know what they were getting into.
We have a person close to us and the TT has not moved in the year since they bought it.

Mike L
20 days ago

Although part of the fun of camping is having a fire but the trend is turning toward no open wood fire. Also, most campgrounds will not allow you to bring your own wood and instead charge you big time for a few pieces. I have spent $45 to $50 a night just for the pleasure of a live fire. We have now outfitted our MH with a propane port on the outside of it and plug our propane fire bowl into it. Turns out it uses very little propane, is smoke free, easy to start and when going to bed it is easily extinguished. With so many campsites all cramped together, we think a propane fire bowl is an suitable alternative.

10 months ago

re: furnace troubleshooting tip

Does this only happen when all of the following are true?

  • the propane has been shut off (e.g., changing a tank or switching tanks)
  • the thermostat is calling for furnace or hot water heat
  • the propane is turned back on

I don’t understand what triggers this sudden flow of gas as the tank is opened.
(Maybe the safety-limit switch in the tank is bad–as in: too sensitive.)

Brenda G
10 months ago

I, too, have thought about “what if” I need to exit out the bed area escape window in case of a fire. I recall reading somewhere to place a folded blanket over the bottom edge of the window to protect your body as you slide out on your stomach (feet first) through the window. Supposedly, once you’re dangling along the outside of RV, your feet should be within a reasonable distance to the ground. I hope I never have to find out whether or not this is factual.

10 months ago
Reply to  Brenda G

Our situation was the same as the article. We replaced the large rear window with a slider that lets us just step out onto the roof ladder. The company builds custom RV, boat, car etc. windows to your dimensions. The company is Motion Windows in Vancouver, Washington. We love our new window.

Pablo Flaifel
10 months ago

I would like to thank Leigh for his tip on furnace tripping. Since I purchased my RV, my furnace tripped every time, I had given up on it and purchased some space heaters. Tried his tip and bingo, it’s working as it should.
What a great place for the RV community is rvtravel.com. I’ve been reading both the beginners and daily articles and benefiting from them, but never decided to subscribe, a mistake I will reverse today. Many thanks to Leigh and everyone contributing to this site

RV Staff (@rvstaff)
10 months ago
Reply to  Pablo Flaifel

Wow! Thanks, Pablo! We’re glad the tip helped you solve the problem, and we’re glad you’re going to subscribe. We appreciate that, and we sincerely appreciate you! Take care and happy RVing! 🙂 —Diane at RVtravel.com

Pablo Flaifel
10 months ago
Reply to  RV Staff

Diane, my pleasure, by subscribe, I actually meant donate, I am already subscribed to your weekly, daily and beginners magazine. Well deserved donation also done, should have done it sooner, this magazine is well worth it, and your time dedicated to serving the RV community deserves more than just praise. Again thanks for the service to the communikty.

RV Staff (@rvstaff)
10 months ago
Reply to  Pablo Flaifel

Thank you, Pablo. You’re very kind, and generous! Happy and Healthy Holidays to you and yours. 🙂 —Diane at RVtravel.com

10 months ago

Furnace Troubleshooting Tips – Should clarify that you are referring to the propane tank valve. Not clear to a new user