Tuesday, November 30, 2021


Beginner’s Guide to RVing Newsletter Volume 2, Issue 50

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, July 9, 2021

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RV Advice: Have a question for other RVers? This Facebook group is a very helpful resource.

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

Today’s Tip of the Day: Why didn’t I think of that?! An easy trick to keep your sewer hose clean

RVing Basics

How do I put fresh water in my RV?

There are two ways. To fill your freshwater storage tank, first hook up a hose to a water faucet. Insert the male end of the hose into the opening in the fresh water fill up area on the side of the rig. Turn on the hose and let ‘er go until the tank begins to overflow, then turn off the water. This water will later be pumped by the water pump from an onboard tank to your faucet, shower or toilet during those times when you are unable to hook up directly to a water faucet. Here’s a helpful article about using a water meter for your tanks.

However, when you are able to hook up, attach the male end of the hose to the RV and the other to the campground faucet, then turn on the water and keep it on. The water will bypass the storage tank and feed right to the RV’s faucets, etc. When you are hooked up like this with the sewer hooked up you can run water just like at home without worrying about draining your water supply or filling up your waste water holding tanks. It’s a good idea to filter all the water that goes into your RV. Inline filters are available at most RV supply stores or at Amazon.

Will a regular garden hose work to fill my RV’s tank?

It will work, yes, but the water may pick up an odor or off-taste from the hose. RV supply stores sell special potable water hoses for RVs that allow the water to pass through without picking up an odor or taste. The hoses are inexpensive. Amazon has a large supply of these hoses.

What do I do with the sewer hose when it’s not in use?

In most Class A motorhomes, the hose will store right inside the compartment where it is used. Many RVs have tubular rear bumpers that accommodate the hose. Some RVers attach a section of four-inch plastic pipe beneath their rigs for storing their hose. By all means, keep it as far from your fresh water hose as possible.

Quick Tips

Handy ice cube tip
Reader Thelma T. sends along a “cool” tip: “Bags of ice can take up a lot of valuable space in an RV refrigerator. We start the trip out with a ziplock bag of ice from home and fill two ice cube trays. Once a day we empty the ice trays and we never need to buy ice. This saves space as well as money by not having to buy ice.” [Plus, sometimes stores run out of ice, like during a recent unusual heatwave in the Pacific Northwest.]

Baby powder the RV’s inner slide seals
A great way to keep your slide seals from sticking is to coat them with good ol’ baby powder. Just bring in the slide and look around the inner edge for a rubber seal. With a soft cloth, coat it with a layer of baby powder and the seal will stay nice and supple and won’t stick when the slide is in for extended periods. Thanks to Ray Burr at loveyourrv.com. [Editor: Thetford has a great slideout rubber seal conditioner and protectant, available here.]

Adjust convex mirrors to prevent blind spots
Before traveling in your RV, adjust both convex wing-mirrors to allow you and the co-pilot to see down both sides of your coach. Convex mirrors help increase your field of view to see objects and vehicles that might otherwise “hide” in a blind spot. The convex mirrors usually do not have to be readjusted regardless of the size of the driver. Remember, objects in the convex mirror are closer than you think. Do not use them to judge distance as they can distort distance perception! Always make sure to use your mirrors – even in the rain. Thanks to Ron Jones, AboutRVing.com.

Estimating campsite lengths
You can estimate campsite lengths using Google Earth, but reader John Z. adds a piece of cautionary advice: “Length may also be limited by the access road to the campground. This is particularly true of National Parks and Forests – Zion and Glacier are two prime examples where vehicle size limits are imposed on roads leading in or through the campground.” Thanks, John.

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: 

“If you are buying an RV because it is cheaper than a hotel room, then don’t buy one!” —Gary Loeb

Keep your knives sharp with this small, easy-to-use knife sharpener. We’ve got one in our RV! Click here.

Random RV Thought

If you are having a bad day at home and your RV is nearby, escape to it for a while. Close the door and just sit quietly. The change of scenery plus the “good feeling” of the RV might improve your spirits.

• 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!

Affordable tire tool will save you tons of trouble
What gives when you think your tires are “good to go” but down on air again the next day? Your valve stem valve probably isn’t tight enough. A loose, leaking valve stem can cause a tire failure due to low pressure under load at highway speeds. So do yourself and your vehicles a favor – pick up one of these very inexpensive tools and make sure your valve cores are snugly seated in the valve stem. Click here to order.

RVtravel.com Staff

Publisher: Chuck Woodbury. Editor: Emily Woodbury. Managing editor: Mike Gast. Associate editor: Diane McGovern. Senior editors: Russ and Tiña De Maris. Senior writers: Nanci Dixon, Tony Barthel. Contributors: Mike Sokol, Gail Marsh, Roger Marble, Dave Helgeson, Janet Groene, Julianne Crane, Chris Guld, Machelle James, James Raia, Kate Doherty, J.R. Montigel, Clint Norrell, Randall Brink 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.

Editorial (all but news)
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Editorial (news)
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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.

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This newsletter is copyright 2021 by RVtravel.com

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Bob Weinfurt
4 months ago

Be sure the water pressure in the system you’re hooking up to is less than 50 LBS or you could end up doing significant damage to your RVs water system and flood your RV. Using a pressure regulator with a gauge .is the best way to eliminate that situation. Always turn the water supply spigot off when leaving your RV as unexpected disasters can and do happen.
I set mine between 25-30 LBS and find that to be more than adequate.

1 year ago

When I hook my water line up to the RV from the faucet I do the faucet end first and then run water through the hose to full it, then shut the water off and hook the hose up to my RV with the water still in it. This gets that extra amount of air out of the hose rather than coming through the tap, water heater or toilet (whichever you turn on first). In my favourite campground, my preferred site has the water tap at the front so I use a 50 ft. water hose – that is a lot of air to blow through a tap.

1 year ago

When you are hooked with hose connected to fresh water inlet up like this and sewer hooked up you can run water just like at home without worrying about draining your water supply or filling up your waste water holding tanks.

Provided you grey tank valve is open.

1 year ago
Reply to  Tom

I thought if you do this with sewer line hooked up and valve open you would potentially get poo piles in black water tank?😳🤔

11 months ago
Reply to  Steve

You only keep your gray valve open; not the black tank valve. Two separate tanks. Make sure you close gray valve for a day so you can have your wash water go rinse out hose after dumping black.

4 months ago
Reply to  Cecilia

Thank you for clarifying!

4 months ago
Reply to  Tom

Keeping the grey water valve open will let soap scum and food particles to accumulate in the bottom of the grey tank. Best to keep the valve closed and empty it as needed.
The rush of water will help clean the tank.

1 year ago

re: garden hose

Also mold, algae, bacteria, and chemicals leaching from the hose.

I used a garden hose at a friends house one time and let it run for a minute before hooking it up. A few days later, no water was coming out of the trailer’s kitchen faucet.

I removed the aerator and it was clogged with algae and other crap.