Saturday, October 16, 2021


Beginner’s Guide to RVing Newsletter Volume 2, Issue 23

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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Wednesday, June 2, 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: Prepare early for your RV trips – you’ll be glad you did

RVing Basics

What’s the best way to get started RVing after I buy my RV?

After you drive your new RV away, plan a two- or three-day shakedown trip close to home. Try to use all of the onboard systems on your first trip, even the air conditioner in the middle of winter – to be sure it works. Be sure to use your hookups, but it’s also a good idea to spend at least one day dry-camping so you can become familiar with the self-contained aspect of RVing. Take notes on anything that doesn’t work right or that you may need to consult with your dealer about. Nine out of ten RVs will have problems that need fixing, most of them easily addressed, but some serious enough to keep an RV in the repair shop for weeks on end.

Where else could I keep my RV if I can’t keep it on the street or in my driveway?

Look for RV storage businesses in your area. They can be hard to come by, or booked solid. Also, many mini-storage businesses have space for RVs. In a rural area you may pay $50 a month, but in or near a big city, it could be $400, $500 or more a month. Be sure where you store your RV is secure. RVs in storage lots are common targets for thieves. Some RVers store their rigs at the homes of friends or family with extra room on their property. A 2019 survey of readers revealed that slightly more than half of the 4,800 respondents paid to store their RVs. About 20 percent of those RVers paid more than $100 a month with 1 percent paying more than $500 per month.

RVs seem so tall. Does that cause problems?

For most RVs most of the time, the answer is no. But for the largest Class A coaches and fifth wheel trailers, it’s essential to know the total height, including roof-mounted air conditioners, so that you can avoid low-clearance problems. Drivers do need to be alert for overhead obstructions like low tree branches and drive-through awnings. A trucker’s GPS can be a big help avoiding low bridges and tunnels, but a much less expensive option is to purchase Rand McNally’s Motor Carriers’ Atlas which lists low clearances in the USA.

Say goodbye to goop!
Have you ever seen the sediment that collects in your water heater? You probably don’t want to. Camco’s water-tank rinser is an easy-to-use gadget that is a must-have for any RVer. The tank rinser will get out all the yucky sediment that’s been sitting at the bottom of your water heater, and, most importantly, will extend the life of it too. Read the many positive reviews, and get one for yourself here.

Quick Tips

Easy way to get water out of sewer hose before storage
Putting away a recently used sewer hose can make a wet mess. After rinsing the hose, leave the “output” end of the hose connected to the drain, and starting at the RV-end of the hose, push a couple of feet of hose toward the output end. This forces the water out of the pleats of the hose. Wait a moment, and then repeat the process until you’ve pushed the hose together, and the water out. Now store your hose without the watery mess.

Noisy bathroom fan?
Bathroom fan so noisy it drives you nuts? Look for a replacement fan with a 12-volt high-capacity computer cooling fan. You may need to modify the mounting a bit to make it stay in the same place, but a little creativity can bring a “silent night.”

Best way to park safely during strong winds
During a strong storm with high winds, try to camp with your RV pointing toward or away from the wind. The RV will be more stable than if the wind was hitting it sideways. And beware of close-by trees. If they don’t look strong and healthy, camp a distance away … just in case!

Important “rest stop” safety checks
Do a safety walk-around at every “rest stop”: Thump your tires – they should all “sound” the same. Feel the wheel hubs – excessive heat is a warning. Check lighting, hitch, safety chains, breakaway cable. Look for “loose stuff,” like a bumper-stored dump hose. Save time, save money, maybe save someone’s life.

Save power while reading at night
Inveterate bookworm but looking to conserve power? A “Kindle” or other e-reader device with backlight doesn’t need much ambient light to read at night. During the day, plug it in and recharge it while driving.

Free 90-day membership to the Dyrt Pro camping app. Learn more or sign up.

Common Terms Used by RV Salespeople

RATE SHEET: The Dealer Reserve Schedule used by an F & I (Finance & Insurance) salesperson to determine the amount of the kickback they will get from the bank or another lender who is going to finance the sale, in exchange for bumping the interest rate up above the minimum rate that the lender actually wants to get on the loan.

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

For less than $20 this could save your life. Millions sold. Click.

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: 

“Don’t go anywhere until you find and read all the manuals supplied with your RV. Ensure you have a manual for everything and if you don’t, find them online. Then organize them and sit down and read them again while taking notes to help you remember how to operate, maintain and troubleshoot all your equipment. Finally, go and physically locate everything you have a manual for.” —Rock

Random RV Thought

Treat your campground neighbors as you would want to be treated. Don’t play your music so loud that they are forced to listen to it. They may not share your love of Buck Owens. Would you want to listen to their music? Always be considerate.

• 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!

Camco baggage door catch to the rescue!
Install these well-priced and highly rated baggage door catches to any RV baggage compartment or door and you’ll save yourself a lot of hassle. The doors won’t ever bop you on the head again, and you’ll get your loading and unloading done twice as fast. Order this pack of two here.

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.

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Rock & Tina
4 months ago

The Rand McNally’s Motor Carriers’ Atlas you recommend is fine as long as you are on major highways and byways but most campgrounds are not right off the exit. If you have a Class A or a 5th wheel you really need a GPS made for large vehicles. We wouldn’t leave our driveway without our Garmon RV GPS.

4 months ago

As to “rest stop” safety checks. Anytime that you are out of sight of your RV, check the hitch, be it a travel trailer or 5th wheel. There are people out there who will tamper with the hitch of an unattended RV. As to the Random RV Thought, doesn’t everyone really love Buck Owens?

4 months ago

Why would you “thump” your tires? Any truck driver with more than a week of experience will tell you that’s how you spot the rookies. They are the ones that are “thumping” the steering axle, which is a single tire. You only “thump” tires when you have more than one mounted on an one side of an axle. The full one will support a flat, and you won’t know that it’s flat. “Thumping” lets you compare the sound between the two. You never “thump” a tire that is alone on one side of an axle.

Richard Hughes
4 months ago

When you first get your RV, sanitize the water system. After you sanitize, drain, fill and drain. Then, fill and smell for bleach. If you still smell bleach, drain it again. Our first trip out was to a Bluegrass Festival. I decided to take a shower. When I met my wife, who was holding our seats, she said “what happened to your hair and why do you smell like bleach?”
My hair was totally white!
Even though I had drained the tank, it hadn’t rinsed clean..

4 months ago

“Don’t go anywhere until you find and read all the manuals supplied with your RV. Ensure you have a manual for everything and if you don’t, find them online. Then organize them and sit down and read them again while taking notes to help you remember how to operate, maintain and troubleshoot all your equipment. Finally, go and physically locate everything you have a manual for.” —Rock

I would add: when you physically locate the items, write the ID and model numbers down in the manual for each item. When you have questions, always go to the manufacturer and their helpful videos first. I have found 75% of the online advice either doesn’t apply to my RV or is just plain wrong. For instance, I keep hearing about polishing tires, and covering them. Polishing tires breaks them down. My Goodyear tires specifically say do not cover them. The mfr. sent me a drawing of what parts of my sway bars & WDH to grease and which not to. Contrary to a lot of online advice.

4 months ago
Reply to  Irene

Also, if check the recall lists regularly. It’s important to know if your stove has the pinched gas line that causes fires, or if your toilet is one of the recalled ones that you can’t get the stinky smell out of. If you send in the notice cards that come with the manuals you are more likely to get notice of recalls.

4 months ago

Re: Reading manuals

When we bought our RV, there were several weeks before delivery.

I took all the manuals home with me and read them before picking up the RV. It helped me fully understand what was being said during the walkthrough and I could ask any questions based on my reading.

4 months ago

The hint above for getting the water out of a sewer hose is questionable. The description sounds like you trying to get the hose to shorten accordion style. No RV sewer hose I’ve ever handled accordions easily. Instead you leave the outlet end connected, as you describe above and simply lift the RV end of the hose until it drains out of the outlet.

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