Wednesday, December 1, 2021


Beginner’s Guide to RVing Newsletter Volume 2, Issue 43

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 30, 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: Roof air conditioner leaks during a heavy rain

RVing Basics

We plan to travel by motorhome but we won’t pull a car. This will limit our traveling in the evening after we pull into a campground. Will we get bored?

Your options after settling in for the night are far more limited without a car than with one. That’s pretty obvious. There are a few tricks, though. First, try to find campgrounds that are within walking distance of places where there’s something to do — a store, restaurant, small town main street or even a lake where you can fish or swim or hike. Use Google Maps or Google Earth to identify these places.

A very good idea is to bring along bicycles, which will vastly expand the area you can explore. If you don’t have room for a bike rack, buy folding bicycles. For even more mobility, bring along a small, lightweight motorcycle or scooter. Have you seen the electric bicycles on the market? They’re not much heavier than a regular bicycle, but can move along effortlessly at about 15 miles per hour. Or you can pedal them if you want to extend their range and get some exercise, too.

But the real answer to your question is that you will likely find many things to do right in your campground, including just plain relaxing. Read a book, sew, draw, putter around the rig, watch TV, write letters (remember those?), listen to music, sit by the fire, visit with other campers, email and surf the web if you have Internet access, etc. The list is endless.

How do you level an RV when a campsite is not level?

Most mid- to high-end motorhomes have leveling systems — some fully automatic. With less expensive units and trailers, wooden planks or plastic leveling blocks under a tire or two will do the job. Read a recent article about RV leveling here.

Aren’t most campsites level?

No. In private parks, perhaps two-thirds are level or close to level. But in public campgrounds, especially those in National Forests, most campsites will require you to level up. It’s not uncommon to find campsites that are so out of whack that getting level is impossible.

Tiny LED button lamp perfect for RV’s small, dark spacesRV Travel Newsletter Issue 913
This 6-pack of tiny, battery-powered LED “Button Lamps” is just what you need for your RV’s closets and storage spaces. The tiny lamp is ultra-bright and has all the power of a normal-sized lamp. Backed with a strong adhesive, these little lamps will stick to any surface. They’re waterproof and good to have in case of an emergency. Learn more or order.

Quick Tips

Prepare for flip-top bottles that can blow their tops at higher altitudes
Planning an RV trip that’ll take you to higher altitudes? The change in altitude can raise Cain with stuff in bottles that have flip tops. Sunscreen, shampoo, these kinds of products can “blow their tops,” making a real mess if the stuff squirts out in your cabinets. Put those fractious flip-top bottles in zip-close bags before leaving the lower elevations.

Easy way to keep floor heat registers clean
From Lou P.: “To keep floor registers clean, I place fiberglass window screen material on the bottom side of the registers with a little hot glue. Cut the screen mesh a little larger and fit it in place – a few dabs of hot glue holds it there. The screen keeps the dog hair and other stuff out of the duct work and it is easy to vacuum out. I now only need to remove my registers about once a year for a good cleaning.” Thanks, Lou!

Transport propane tanks securely
“We got a TailGater Strap System to transport our cylinder to get it filled. We absolutely love it. There have been times when, on the way to get it filled, I’ve done some geocaching and the tank holds rock-steady over hill and dale and gullies and rocks in the desert. Works great for pickup truck owners.” Thanks, Penny.

Don’t mess with working lights
Assume you have hooked up your tow car (trailer, dolly, whatever) and you get in your coach to check the lights. The co-pilot stands behind the car and waves to indicate each light is working (brake, tail, and turn signal lights). Fine. Then the co-pilot walks up to visually inspect the hookup (a good thing). Although it is commonly done, the co-pilot should not reach down and “jiggle” the connection. The connection was good and you verified that when you checked the lights. If they jiggle it, something may become disconnected and you cannot determine this without checking it again. Thanks to Ron Jones,

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: 

“Close up all the slides. Then walk around and see if you can access the bathroom, the refrigerator, the bed, a sink, the pantry, your clothes, whatever else you think might need while traveling. If you can’t, reconsider purchasing it.” — Nancy Mantelli

mark polkHelpful eBooks from
• Insider’s Guide to Buying an RV Training Course • RV Battery Care & Maintenance Training Course • Trailer Towing Basics Training Course • Owning & Operating an RV Training Course • VIDEO COURSEDrive Your Motorhome Like A Pro Complete Online Video Training Course

Random RV Thought

When is the last time you checked your RV’s fire extinguisher? It’s probably time to check it again. At the very least, remove it from where it’s stored and give the bottom a few smacks against the pavement to shake up the insides. Better yet, if you haven’t even touched it in a year or more, replace it. And while you’re at it, get a second one for extra safety.

• 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!

Boondockers Welcome — Stay at homes of RVers who welcome you in their driveways, yards, farmland or other space on their private property. Modest membership fee. 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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5 months ago

Why would you throw away a perfectly good fire extinguisher, simply because you haven’t used it in a year? If you’ve used it, either toss it or, if it is refillable, have it recharged. Some advice that I see in this column needs to be vetted by more than one person. Just because it was submitted doesn’t necessarily make it true, or even good advice.

Sue Hoffman Losinger
5 months ago

I covered my floor registers with a panty hose I just slipped it on, cut to size and screwed the register. You could use knee highs, too….

Rock & Tina
5 months ago

Random Thoughts. Once again your fire extinguisher does NOT have to be shaken. See Myth #1 on the Ameren web site. also please refer to

Pablo Flaifel
5 months ago

We get around using Uber or Lyft instead of towing, they also serve as our designated drivers. If not available, then we can always rent a car nearby.

Roger B
1 year ago

An easy way to check your trailer lights and can be done by one person. After connecting turn your tow vehicle parking lights and emergency flashers. This will have all lights working and you can do a walk around. Test this on your particular rig but it will work on most.

1 year ago

In many areas you can rent a car. Much cheaper!

1 year ago

Instead of the $19.95, plus S&H, Tailgator strap, I use plastic milk crates to transport my tanks, The tanks fit almost perfectly, and the square crate offers lots of stability, For even more stability, I use a bungee cord to secure the tank in a corner of the truck bed.

Mark K
1 year ago
Reply to  Jim


5 months ago
Reply to  Mark K

Plus, having the strap wrap around the tailgate can and will cause damage to the paint.
I also use a milk crate, but secure it with ratchet straps connected to the cargo rings on the sides of the bed inside. Not going anywhere.

5 months ago
Reply to  Jim

We do the same.

1 year ago

I learned the hard way about flip top containers

Last edited 1 year ago by Tom