Thursday, October 21, 2021


Beginner’s Guide to RVing Newsletter Volume 2, Issue 27

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.

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

Tuesday, June 8, 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: This is the one thing RVers MUST do outdoors

RVing Basics

What’s a toad?

This is RV jargon for the automobile that many people tow behind their motorhome for sightseeing and running errands when camped. A toad is also referred to as a “dinghy.”

How much wear and tear can I expect with my toad?

You will, of course, sustain tire wear, but less than if you drove the car the same number of miles. You will want to check with the manufacturer for additional service suggestions. Some RVers use a “dolly,” a small trailer that carries the toad’s front wheels. This reduces some wear on the toad. Not all cars can be “flat towed,” that is, towed with all wheels in contact with the pavement. Expensive damage can occur if you tow a car not designed for this, so always check your owner’s manual before towing it.

How is driving with a toad different?

Probably the biggest difference is that you must never back up a motorhome with a vehicle in tow four wheels down. So be extra careful about entering parking lots and campgrounds. If you must back up for any reason, you will need to unhitch the toad first and move it out of the way. Also with your toad hitched, your total length will be extended by 20 feet or more. You’ll need to remember that when stopping or parking. The added weight that you’re towing may affect the performance of some coaches, particularly smaller ones.

NEW Our favorite RV camping guidebooks. Our staff uses these excellent books for research and on our trips.

Quick Tips

Don’t use non-skid pads on refrigerator shelves
Non-skid pads have their place – but not on refrigerator shelves. These can block air circulation and make it hard to cool food. Reserve their use in the fridge for door shelves only. To keep things from falling out of the fridge and onto your toe when you open the door after driving on bumpy roads, use some expandable refrigerator bars, available on Amazon.

Help for emptying tanks on a slope
Pull into a dump station with a slope away from the dump? Getting the tanks empty can be difficult – until you crank up your leveling jacks on the far side of the rig to give your sewage a little lift.

Keep bugs from sticking so hard to your rig
Bugs sticking to the front of your rig making you buggy? Get ’em off easily. Apply plenty of wax to the front of your rig when doing your “spiff and clean” routines. Some RVers swear by dampening dryer softener sheets with water, then wiping the front end down with the sheet – bugs practically jump off with a quick wipe down later.

Organizing “stuff”
Limited space in your RV’s bedroom? Where to keep all that “pocket junk” men have to carry? Try a small plastic tray where you can dump your keys, wallet, sunglasses, etc. Bigger stuff, like iPad, water bottle, book? Just use a bigger plastic tray.

Keep your Welcome mat flat
Parked on a concrete RV pad? Keep your Welcome mat from blowing away or bunching up by sticking it down with duct tape.

Common Terms Used by RV Salespeople

IRON: This is an old, used RV valued at nothing more than the price of iron.

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

Mini finger hot pads great for RV
Ouch, don’t burn yourself! These clever silicone pot holders are just right to grab a heated dish out of the microwave or a hot pan handle off the stove or out of the oven. And being small, they’re easy to store. Grab a set of these “pinch grips” on Amazon for about $10.

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: 

“Research, research, and more research! Learn everything you can about the RVs you’re interested in before you buy anything. RV Travel, YouTube, internet forums, RV shows. There is tons of information out there. Take your time – it’s a big investment!” — PMac 

Random RV Thought

Don’t bring your firewood from home with you to a distant campground. It could carry bad bugs. Many campgrounds these days do not allow such “imported” firewood.

• 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!

Our top ten sellers at Amazon last month
Many of our readers do their Amazon shopping through our affiliate program. We get a small commission and customers pay the same price as if they went directly to the site. Here are the top ten products they purchased in May.

•  #1 TankTechsRx – RV Holding Tank Treatment & Cleaner
• Save a Drop Water Meter
• National Geographic 2021 Road Atlas, Adventure Edition
• Tick Twister Tick Remover Set
• Caravan RV Sensor and Tank Cleaner
• Mission Automotive Trailer Hitch Lubricant
• Southwire Neutral-Ground Bonding Plug
• Camco 17″ RV Double Cupboards Bar (holds food and drink in place when traveling)
• RV Camping in Corps of Engineers Parks (guidebook)
• Camco 3-in-1 Sewer Adapter Hose Seal

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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4 months ago

If you are going to raise your unit to dump your tanks, ensure that they are “leveling jacks”, not just stabilizers. If you have a fifth-wheel, you may have “leveling jacks”. If you have a travel trailer, you may only have stabilizers. These are not meant to support the weight of the trailer, and should not be used to raise it, even a little bit.

Roger Becht
4 months ago

For those of us who do not have leveling jacks. You can pull your right side tires up on what ever you use to level your rig to make it higher and get your tanks to drain.