Tuesday, October 26, 2021


Beginner’s Guide to RVing Newsletter Volume 2, Issue 115

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!

Friday, October 8, 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:
(Road) Gators ahead!
Ask Dave: The RV’s awning stitching leaks. What can I do?

Today’s RV Review:
2022 Heartland Torque 350 Toy Hauler

RVing Basics

Get a non-contact voltage tester

This simple-to-use little device (non-contact voltage tester) is, I feel, a must-have for any RVer who hooks up to a power pedestal. It is very easy to use. With it you can safely check the campground power outlet for any possible faulty wiring that could damage your RV electrical systems or cause an unsafe condition. It is one of the only ways you can check for a condition called “Hot Skin” condition [a term coined by Mike Sokol based on his research] and where the RV metal frame becomes electrified and very dangerous. Thanks to Ray Burr at loveyourrv.com for this tip.
Read more from Mike Sokol on hot-skin conditions here and here.

Insulate your bed for cold winter night

Mike B. shares this timely tip: “My fifth wheel has a slide for the bed so when extended, the head of my bed is sticking out into open space. During cold months, I find myself piling on the covers but still feeling cold. The cold is coming from under the bed and through the mattress. I still have the insulated pads from my tenting days. Those pads were put on the tent floor to keep the cold from getting through from the ground to me. I discovered that using those pads under the mattress in the RV solves the problem of cold air getting to me from outside. If that’s not enough, try laying an open sleeping bag on top of the mattress under the fitted sheet. Winters in Colorado get really cold at night but my urge to take the RV out of storage is as strong as ever.” Thanks, Mike!

3-in-1 NOAA radio, flashlight and charger must-have for RVers
This emergency hand-crank radio is a necessity for RVers. Keep it somewhere safe – you never know when it will come in handy. The 3-in-1 radio is also a bright LED flashlight and a smartphone charger. The radio can be charged via solar charging, hand cranking or a USB plug. You’ll want to buy one here.

Quick Tips

Protect your dump valves from freezing
Beware the freezing weather, and if you’ve a smaller RV where your dump valves are “low and outside,” you may want to pitch them a protection in the form of a quart or two of “pink” antifreeze. Just pour the stuff down the drains and toilet after you’ve dumped your tanks. The RV antifreeze will migrate to the valve slider to help keep it from freezing shut. Thanks to Steve Willey for the thaw-tfull tip.

Don’t buy an RV that smells musty!
We often hear of RVers who want to know what magic potion can eliminate “that musty smell in an RV.” If you’re shopping for an RV and smell that musty odor, STOP! Musty odors are often attached to water damage – a terminal issue. Look closely for signs of water stains, including inside every single cabinet. If you find water stains or feel a “soft” wall or ceiling, RUN, don’t walk, away from that rig.

“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: 

“Checklist, Checklist, Checklist. This one piece of advice will save you much grief on both packing for your trip, as well as packing up and getting back on the road…. Checklist….” —Badwolfe

Random RV Thought

Always keep your motorhome or tow vehicle’s fuel and propane tanks filled up in case you need to rush out of town in an emergency.

Secrets of RVing on Social Security
Author Jerry Minchey takes you on a journey that lets you discover how you can travel around the country and live the fascinating RV lifestyle for far less than it costs to live in your sticks-and-bricks home. Among other things, he shows you step-by-step how to enjoy the RVing lifestyle while traveling and living on just your Social Security income. Learn more or order.

• 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

Related Articles


Notify of

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
18 days ago

Per the dump valves. I used a connector made for the dump outlet and covered it with some 1/4 inch hardware cloth to keep any vermin out. When store for the winter, after dumping the tanks, I put the connector on and leave the valves open. No way the valves can now freeze closed.

18 days ago

I strongly agree with purchasing a non-contact voltage tester. Since I read Mikes column I have tested every single pedestal prior to plugging in my EMS. It provides one with a level of confidence to move forward. In one case my EMS reported an error code and I was able to contact the park manager to address the situation. Electrical issues can be life and death!

Richard Hughes
10 months ago

Those silver sided, foam insulation sheets from home improvement stores are a great, under mattress insulator. They block the cold and reflect any heat from above. I had a unit that had poor sidewall insulation. I glued the insulboard to the walls around the bed and ceiling, covered it with felt held in place with spray glue and fancy headed tacks, for esthetic appeal. The foam adds very little weight and keeps both heat and cold out.