Tuesday, September 26, 2023


Beginner’s Guide to RVing Newsletter, Volume 3, Issue 112

Welcome 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.

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Tuesday, November 8, 2022

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

RVing Basics

Neat tip for parking your RV

From David C. comes this tip: “I went to Harbor Freight Tools and bought some cheap orange-colored straps. I marked the length of my driver side slide so I would know where to place it. I then stretch them out so I have a visual where I want the tires. I store these straps right behind the driver seat for quick access. Parking is so much easier. The only time I have problems is when I get too lazy to pull them out thinking ‘this will be easy.’ I usually end up cockeyed in the site with no reference line.” Thanks, David!

Protect water lines from freezing in the winter

For storage, if draining of the fresh water pipes is not possible, RV stores (and Amazon) sell special nontoxic antifreeze that can be poured into the fresh water tank and carefully pumped through all pipes and faucets. Don’t forget the water supply to the toilet. Regular engine antifreeze must not be used for this purpose – it is poisonous. Don’t forget to pour antifreeze in all sink and shower drains. From Trailers & Fifth Wheels Made Easy with Bill’s Hints

Quick Tips

Snapped shade strings?
From longtime reader Tim Slack: “Constant traveling, pulling shades up-and-down, up-and-down, really wears out the strings, doesn’t it? I sent a few of our blinds to Tiffin to restring (cost $15/each, plus freight) but within a couple of months, some had broken strings – again! I then thought, ‘Hmmm, maybe I’ll try fish line.’ I got the highest-pound-test line I could find – 80 pound – and strung away. Here’s how: Lay the blind flat on a work surface, drawing a diagram as you take it showing how the strings run to create the tension in the blind. Now follow that diagram with your high-tensile fish line. Use braided line or Spiderwire, not monofilament line! Use at least 60 pound – 80 or 100 pound is even better. Smooth any roughness on the metal eyelets of the blind to eliminate early wear. Be sure to leave sufficient line to put tension in the strings when you remount the repaired unit. It’s smart to use two tie-off posts for each line instead of just one; that fish line is slippery stuff! The fish line runs smoothly through the labyrinth of the blind, and I haven’t needed to re-string any of my ‘fishy’ blinds in the last four years. Thanks,Tim!

Easy way to check electrolyte level in “house” batteries
Are your “house” batteries located in such a way that it’s hard to see the electrolyte level when it comes time to check them? Fred Campbell knows your pain, and has one commercial solution. “I found a product that is relatively inexpensive, readily available, and very easy to install. It is the Qwik-fill by Flow-Rite. This device comes in various configurations for different size batteries and is expandable if you add more batteries. It is available from Amazon.com, Camping World and a host of local RV parts dealers. After using this device for two years, I wouldn’t be without it!” Thanks, Fred!

Need a question about RVing answered? Our Facebook group RV Advice is an excellent place to ask it.

“If you could tell someone new to RVing just one thing, what would it be?”

From the editors: We asked our readers this question. Here is one response: 

“I would say slow down. Slow down for everything. Slow down before you buy your RV, slow down and think, ‘Is this the right one?’ Slow down before you sign on the dotted line, slow down before you take out a loan, slow down when you are driving, slow down before you start to reverse into that tight parking spot… Just slow your life down and enjoy every minute you have.” —Richard

Easily hang heavy objects in your RV
RV walls aren’t exactly designed for having screws or nails driven into them. Enter acrylic mounting tape. This is a clear, double-sided tape that is sturdy enough to hang heavy objects and can easily be removed without doing damage to the walls. Get some here.

Random RV Thought

How many pots and pans do you carry in your RV? Which ones have you used in recent times? Those you have not used you likely don’t need. Leave them at home from now on – they’re just extra weight.

• 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!

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Editor: Emily Woodbury

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: chuck@rvtravel.com
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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 2022 by RV Travel LLC.


  1. Regardless of what RV manufacturers say, NEVER put that stuff in freshwater tank unless you never want to use the tank or don’t mind the taste of it, it WILL leach into the plastic. Bad idea all the way around. Install a bypass kit, I’ve yet to find an RV where one could not be installed.

  2. Google “Fix My Blinds” to find diagrams and supplies for restringing most brands of blinds. A very good source of anything that you will need.

  3. Since I added a second rear view camera and 7 inch monitor, I have had no problems backing into any spaces. No blind spots.

  4. RV antifreeze poured into the fresh water tank?? Well that’s a new one. Never put that stuff in your fresh water tank. In addition to getting rid of the taste, you would need multiple bottles for the tank tube to reach it to pump. What a waste! Use your bypass and pump it into the lines using your water pump and a tube in the antifreeze bottle. You shouldn’t need more than two to three bottles.

    • Not all RVs have easy access to the pump and/or a bypass. Fluid is not wasted, excess can be drained from tank and reused. Fresh water will rinse the tank just like you have to rinse the water lines. Your “Low Point Drains” will allow you to save and reuse fluid also, if nothing else but to pour into drains, Gray tank, toilet bowl and Black tank.

      • You are right on. My son’s Coachman was the exact example of not having an acceptable way to the water pump and tank. We had to put the antifreeze into the tank by the fresh water fill inlet after we used low air pressure to blow out the water lines.

        • Very few RV’s and especially trailers have a way to completely empty the FWH. Gallons of antifeeze mixed with the water remaining in the tank is extremely hard to drain completely and takes multiple flushings. The taste will still be there for quite a while.
          Adding a winterizing kit to the pump takes less than 1/2 hour and is a permanent solution.
          There also is no reason to put antifreeze into the holding tanks. Whatever water left in the tanks has room to expand after they are drained.
          Adding antifreeze to the FWH will dilute the anitfrezze with water still inside the tank.

  5. re: Neat tip for parking your RV
    I do something similar with a yellow extension cord.

    I also carry two twelve-inch traffic cones. I use them if there’s something hard to see in the mirror. Could be on the ground or in the air: a branch under 11′, the edge of a culvert, etc.


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