Wednesday, November 29, 2023


Beginner’s Guide to RVing Newsletter #20

Welcome 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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Monday, August 3, 2020

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

RVing Basics

Is it a good idea to rent a motorhome before buying one?
Not only is it a good idea, it’s a great idea! You will learn a lot about RVing in just one short trip. Based on what you learn, you may have a better idea of the size of a rig that will suit you and what features are important. If you’ll be traveling with a partner, you’ll likely get a good idea of how well you’ll get along in a tight space. This is especially important for RVers considering taking up the full-time lifestyle. There are many places to rent a motorhome, travel trailer or truck camper. Cruise America and El Monte RV are the best known motorhome rental companies in the USA. Peer-to-peer rental companies, operating like Airbnb except for RVs, have become popular lately. The best known are and Expect to pay, on average, around $80 a night for a pop-up, to as much as $200 or more a night for a Class A motorhome.

I understand that I can write off the interest on an RV like it was a second home. Is this true?
Yes, as long as the RV is used as security for the loan and it must have basic sleeping, toilet and cooking accommodations. The IRS publishes two booklets that contain helpful information on this subject. Copies of “Publication 936 — Home Interest Deduction” and “Publication 523 — Selling Your Home” are available by calling the IRS at 1-800-829-3676 (may have a hard time getting through during the pandemic) or online here.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of a wide-body RV?
The advantage of a wide-body is livability. There is more room inside these spacious units. The disadvantage is that many states have rules prohibiting wide-body RVs on at least some of their roads. By wide-body, they mean the 102-inch-wide coaches, which are six inches wider than the standard-width RVs. Wide-body RVs can be driven on all Interstate highways, but getting off on the back roads in some states may be illegal. Travelers who plan to spend a lot of time on secondary highways and two-lane back roads might want to stick to a standard-width RV (up to 96 inches wide).

Save money with these reusable silicone bags
RV Travel Newsletter Issue 913Never waste money on plastic bags again! This 4-pack of reusable silicone food bags have an airtight seal and are leak-proof, keeping food fresh for longer. Easily freeze the bags, and even run them through the dishwasher once you’re done using them. This plastic bag alternative won’t harm the environment, and instead provides a solution that you can wash, rinse and reuse to your heart’s content! Learn more or order.

Quick Tips

Weather app perfect for traveling RVers
“May I suggest an app that might appeal to many RVers? It’s called MyRadar. They have Android, iPhone, PC and Mac versions. Just the free high-definition weather radar is great (which can also show wind directions and intensities), but with a small additional charge, you get additional things like wildfire reports, earthquake locations, and even hurricanes, all shown on the map. It also shows ALL weather warnings/watches in the entire USA. (Like flood warnings, which just might save someone’s RV!). It can even send a notification on your phone for warnings. It’s a great app! I’ve been using it for at least five years on my phone, and at least two on my Windows 10 laptop as well as my Chromebook. Works great and never lets me down.” Thanks to Gary Gilmore!

Secure the water heater door
“While taking a walk with Josie the Beagle recently, I found a metal water heater door which fell off some RV driving along. I thought about a tip: Take a small, metal key ring loop and thread it though the plastic closure which secures that door in place. This will prevent it from coming off if you hit a bump.” Thanks to Dennis Napora!

Climb into a warm and cozy bed
Cold and damp out? If not, keep this in mind for when it is. If you’re in an RV park, use an electric heated mattress pad to pre-warm your bed. You’ll save LP from not having to crank up the heat. Inverter users beware: Not all mattress pads and electric blankets can “digest” inverter power!

“Reusing” a bumper sticker
Want to remove a bumper sticker and then use it again later? Use a heat gun to gently heat up the sticker, pull it loose, and “stick it” on a piece of waxed paper. When you’re ready to reuse it, pull it off the paper and slap it back on the bumper.

Removing an overhead mattress
Need to remove a mattress from your motorhome or truck camper overhead? It can be a tight proposition! Start to roll up the mattress, then bind it around with ratchet-style tie down straps. Cinch them up tight, then pull the mattress out. Or buy your new mattress from an outfit that will deliver and install it!

We welcome your Quick Tips: Send to

Common Terms Used by RV Salespeople

FULL BORE: To sell an RV for the full sticker price with no discount.

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

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: 

“Rent before you buy. The money will be well spent by letting you know what works for you. Buy used and not one that has sat, but one that has been used frequently. Subscribe to RVtravel, you will learn and learn and learn.” — Ron (Thanks for the shoutout, Ron!)

  • Camco 90-Degree Hose Elbow eliminates stress/strain on RV water intake hose fittings. Click.
  • Camco Plastic Water Pressure Regulator prevents damage to RV water hoses and pumps. Click.

Random RV Thought

Being on an RV trip is great, but the week before you go is even better; thoughts race around your head about where you’re headed and the roads you’ll take. Anticipation is high for the sense of freedom you’ll feel when you turn the ignition key, hear the engine roar, and roll out your driveway, your home right along with you.

• 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!

Read previous issues of Beginner’s Guide to RVing newsletters 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.

Mail us at 9792 Edmonds Way, #265, Edmonds, WA 98020.

This newsletter is copyright 2020 by



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Martha H. (@guest_89843)
3 years ago

I’ve been RVing for several years but this newsletter is still very helpful. I learn something new every day!

John Koenig (@guest_89795)
3 years ago

You state; “ Not all mattress pads and electric blankets can “digest” inverter power!”

Can you advise which mattress pads have problems when used on an inverter? Is there a phrase or technology to watch for or avoid? Thanks!

D Kaiser (@guest_89832)
3 years ago
Reply to  John Koenig

I am also curious. Mike can you address this in a later issue? Maybe with pure and modified sine wave issues.

Larry Byers (@guest_89790)
3 years ago

Here is my suggestion for “Tell a new owner one thing”. Make sure to check your tire pressure EACH time you start a trip! Make sure to do this while the tires are cold. For a great cost effective gauge, check this one out:

Kevin Hampton (@guest_89786)
3 years ago

RVing is like the Peace Corp, the toughest job you will ever love. And always keep in mind what Gary Smalley said, “Going on an RV trip with your family is like scheduling disaster.”  But, those disaster trips are the ones will talk about forever and become legends in your family! We are always up for another one!!
RV Pastor Kevin

cee (@guest_89782)
3 years ago

Great tip to secure the water heater door!

Snayte (@guest_89868)
3 years ago
Reply to  cee

I think I would rather used a small carabiner, much easier to remove when you need to open that door.

cee (@guest_89891)
3 years ago
Reply to  Snayte

You’re right, easier – faster removal. Thanks Snayte!

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