Friday, December 3, 2021


Beginner’s Guide to RVing Newsletter Volume 2, Issue 17

Blast off 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.

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

Tuesday, May 25, 2021

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

Today’s Tip of the Day: YUCK! There was green algae growing in the water hose we drink from!

RVing Basics

I am about to buy a new motorhome. I don’t understand why it has 2,500 miles on the odometer.

Motorhomes are driven from the factory to dealers, which can account for the mileage. It may also have been driven to an RV show or two, as well, which will add additional miles. The warranty of the rig will begin at the odometer reading when you buy it, not at zero.

Is one manufacturer better than another?

There’s no easy answer for this question. Some people love a particular manufacturer or brand of RV while others think the same ones are junk. All manufacturers make good RVs, and all make crummy ones. Generalizing, we’ll just say you get what you pay for: a cheaply built RV will not be as durable or last as long as a more expensive one. But that’s not always true.

Make sure you take a peek at this free directory that lists every U.S. RV manufacturer and their makes and models!

How are RVs financed?

Loans for new, large RVs typically range from 10 to 15 years, with some extending even 20 years. Whether the purchase is financed through a bank, savings and loan, finance company, credit union or RV dealer, seven out of ten lenders require less than a 20 percent down payment. Ten percent down loans are more common now than ever. You will see offers of zero down, but never, never buy that way or you will be horribly upside down on your loan from the moment you drive off the sales lot. The better your credit, the wider your options of financing. Our advice is never finance an RV for 15 or 20 years. And, by all means, avoid loans longer than 10 years on inexpensive units. You will likely be upside down in your loan for the life of the loan, meaning if you want to sell the RV you will need to come up with cash to pay it off. That could perhaps be only $5,000, but on an expensive RV it could be $50,000 or more.

Best-selling small-space organizers
It can be hard keeping everything organized in a small space like an RV, right? Here’s Amazon’s list of best small-space organizers so you can keep everything in check. You’ll find everything from under-the-sink kitchen organizers, to clothing and closet organizers, to tiny bookcases. Explore these helpful items here.

 2nd edition now available! 
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 105-page directory that lists every U.S. manufacturer and every brand and model they make. We just added 32 pages of new information, including better ways to search quickly for details on particular models.“RVs: Who Makes What” is available free as a public service from in PDF form. Download your free copy.

Quick Tips

I didn’t hit the pedestal; I have proof!
When first going into an RV park, you should consider taking a cell phone photo of your site before you pull in. Take another cell phone photo when you leave the site. This will prevent unscrupulous RV park owners and managers from trying to say you damaged something on the site and they want you to pay for it! Believe me, they are out there! Thanks for the tip, Jeffrey Torsrud!

Cheap device prevents accidental RV sewer overflow
Doug Swarts ( and Chuck Woodbury of discuss how a simple, inexpensive device can save the day (as well as a lot of money on a major repair) when cleaning out an RV’s black water (sewer) tank. Watch the video.

Stop the microwave turntable rattle
Randy Coleman has this great tip: “I’ve seen many strange ways to stop the rattling of the microwave turntable in an RV while going down the road. What works the best for me is to cut a piece of the non-skid rubberized shelf liner (has holes in it) to full width of the bottom of the microwave, place under the turntable, then replace the turntable upside down on top of it. Works great. You won’t forget to remove it, since you always open to put something in it before starting the unit. No more rattles, safe, effective and lightweight.” Thanks, Randy!

An easy way to control food costs
Keeping food costs down can also result in keeping time spent in the galley reduced, providing more time for other pursuits. Here’s a tip for the rolling chef: When preparing meals, consider if your menu choices can be prepared in larger portions and reprised at a later date. Can you make double or triple portions, and put the leftovers in the freezer? You’ll save on time, often on ingredients, and later, after a long day on the road, your frozen meals can be popped in the microwave or gently reheated while left in the bag and warmed up in a pan of water.

The best wallboard anchors
“At some point, we all are going to have to secure something on the inside of our campers. I have found self-drilling drywall anchors to be the absolute best in the RV wallboard.” Thanks for the tip, Jim Brand!

Common Terms Used by RV Salespeople

NICKEL: Refers to the amount of $500.

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

Use your car to provide power to your RV
Use your car or RV engine to generate clean 110 power with a CarGenerator. It’s cheaper, more reliable, and so light even a child can lift it. Use to power your RV accessories, and recharge batteries for continued use of CPAP machines, etc. Perfect supplement to solar on cloudy days. At home, use for backup power when the power grid goes down. Learn more.

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: 

“It’s all about the driving and backing up. Before backing into the site, pull up on the same side as the site, then back into the site. People forget they need swing room. Don’t begin from the middle or far side of the campground road because backing into the site will not give you enough room to swing your vehicle or RV. If you are new to camping, go to a big empty parking lot and practice practice practice. Also, your partner needs to practice enough to get your RV home in case of an emergency – very important. Also, talk about the signals you and your partner will be using when backing up.” — Connie

Random RV Thought

Never consider using an RV’s leveling jack to lift a wheel off the ground to change a flat tire. They are not strong enough for that purpose. Every year people die doing this!

• 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!

Need mail forwarding? 
Americas Mailbox is the best. There are many plans available. Learn more.

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.

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6 months ago

Great idea on taking a pic before and after pulling into a site. I tow lots of RVs and always take a photo of any scratch or damage before heading down the road.

6 months ago

Cut a pool noodle to fit from the glass turntable to the top of the microwave. The thing never moves while traveling.

6 months ago

We remove our microwave tray and put it in the middle of the bed. We once hit the mother of pot holes with our MH and the microwave door sprung open and the glass tray came out leaving a big dent on the woodwork and breaking the tray. A replacement glass tray cost $40.00 +/-.

6 months ago

Those anchors are not made for the thin wallboard in an RV. They are for drywall. Even says that in the description.
I bought some molly anchors for 1/8 inch wall thickness.

6 months ago
Reply to  Bob

I agree. I’ve gone the same route. They hold!

6 months ago

We use a spring loaded toilet paper holder with a dowel attached to put between the microwave plate and the top of the microwave. It has just enough tension to keep the plate from rattling.

6 months ago

re: Tip for wall board anchors.

Make sure it is NOT an outside wall! There’s very little space (if any) between the inside and outside walls.

The space between inside walls might not be enough either. Drill a tiny hole in an inconspicuous spot to check.

High capacity velcro or command strips are safer.