Thursday, June 1, 2023


Beginner’s Guide to RVing Newsletter #24

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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Friday, August 7, 2020

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

RVing Basics

I notice that some motorhomes do not have a back window. How do you see what is behind you?
On a smaller coach, like a 24-foot Class C, for example, the side mirrors do the job as long as you remember that you can’t see someone directly behind you (like a tailgating motorcyclist). Most large Class A motorhomes have a video camera mounted at their rear just below the roof line that sends a live picture to a monitor in the driver’s compartment.

Can my family riding in the back of my motorhome move about while I’m driving down the highway?
Yes, but to minimize mishaps they should remain buckled except for brief instances. Up front in the cab, the driver and passenger will need to be belted in at all times, at least in all the states we know. Here’s a site with a state-by-state breakdown of seat belt laws for RVers.

My kids are all excited about riding in the bed above the cab of our Class C motorhome and looking ahead out the window. Is this okay?
We do see this happening, but we do not approve. It’s dangerous! Keep them below and belted into their seats.

sponge91FkFZCzPZL__SL1500_Easily clean those stubborn bugs off your RV
The Microfiber Mesh Bug and Tar Sponge has millions of tiny fibers embedded in the microfiber cloth that grabs and holds the dust and dirt. It is so effective it even cleans without chemicals, saving both time and money. The secret of this sponge lies in its unique, double-layer microfiber mesh. Older nylon bug sponges can harm your clear coat, but this one is completely paint safe. Learn more or order.

Quick Tips

“Clean” firewood
Can’t find a good source of campfire wood? Restrictions to keep invasive bug species at bay make it even harder. Hit the “big box” lumberyard and buy cheap “utility”-grade 2x4s. Cut them in foot or foot-and-a-half lengths. They are easy to chop into kindling, if desired, and they light easily, don’t support bugs, and put out plenty of heat and light.

Must-have safety equipment
Prepare for a breakdown or flat on the roadside – carry a set of warning triangles like commercial truckers use. Folding ones don’t take much space, but their reflectors help out at night. Be sure to place them well behind your rig to give traffic plenty of warning of your presence. Thanks to George Bliss for the tip! (Editor: Here are some at

Dinette cushions sliding around?
Here are two possible solutions: Apply “lines” of silicone caulk in a pattern across the “back” of the sliding cushy. Let the caulk dry before setting back into place – the dry caulk acts as a snubber. Or attach sticky-back hook-and-loop tape to both the cushion and the surface it should “stick” to.

“Whitening” discolored exterior plastic
Exterior plastic on your RV gone or discolored? Some RVers say if it’s white plastic, try spraying it with water with a little bit of Rit brand blue dye. Be sure to mask off any unaffected areas with shop towels taped into place to keep the solution from drooling down where it shouldn’t.

Safely plugging into shore power
When plugging your RV into the power pedestal at an RV park (or anywhere), make sure the breaker switch is in the “off” position. Switch it on after you have plugged in.

We welcome your Quick Tips: Send to

Common Terms Used by RV Salespeople

GOLD BALLS: One who has excellent credit and usually a considerable down payment.

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: 

“Don’t let the RV sit. Use it as often as you can in as many ways as you can.” — Kent

Random RV Thought

If you brew coffee or another hot liquid, put it in a Thermos rather than reheat it over and over. You will save propane or use of your generator. This Thermos will keep your coffee hot from Michigan to Montana.

• 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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Vanessa Simmons
2 years ago

Did I read it right in the Seatbelt article that several states don’t require people to wear seatbelts in pickup trucks? That’s crazy! I’d make sure and check those individual states just in case. I don’t think this article will stand up in your explanation to the LEO of why you aren’t wearing one.

2 years ago

NH does not have a seat belt law for adults.

Charles Powell
2 years ago

I’m looking at purchasing a new Leisure Travel Van, Class B+ Wonder MB. 2021 Ford gas AWD; 200 Watts of solar; 4 KW generator; white uppercase cabinets doors; Key Fob entry for door; lithium upgrade; auto acquisition satellite dish. Price listed excludes sales tax, registration tags, and delivery fees. Anything I should not be charged for? Like PDI or Admin/Doc fee. What percent discount can I expect from the dealer? Thanks!

2 years ago

Just a note about “kids riding in the overhead bunk”, when I was “younger” in the 1960″s, my family had a pickup camper and we would most always ride up there as there was a window we could look straight out ahead. Just think of how dangerous it really was and if we had been involved in an accident!

Vanessa Simmons
2 years ago
Reply to  GaryM

Back in the 60s I slept on the back “shelf” or stood up in the front seat between my parents.

Donald N Wright
2 years ago

The scrap wood from HD or the other place, often this wood is treated so not to attract insects. Don’t burn the greenish wood.

2 years ago

Don’t burn any painted or treated wood. It will give off toxic fumes that can make you ill.

Bob Weinfurt
2 years ago

Another bit if information: An off color flame (red, green, etc) is usually is a sign of a chemical burning.

2 years ago

Another solution for keeping the dinette cushions from sliding around is to use rug grippers, or the rubber drawer liner under them.

2 years ago
Reply to  Gregg

These both also help to keep pet beds from sliding all over the place.

Jacques Lemieux
2 years ago

An addition to the excellent tip of the day: Always use a surge protector or EMS device. Plug device in, turn on the breaker, make sure you are OK by the device and then plug into the device.

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