Thursday, December 8, 2022


Beginner’s Guide to RVing Newsletter, Volume 3, Issue 116


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.

This newsletter is funded primarily through advertising and voluntary subscription contributions from our readers. Thanks to all of you!

Monday, November 14, 2022

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

RVing Basics

Storage tip for small batteries

“Mr. Pinto Bean” offers this addition to your winterization checklist: “With winter closing in and we start winterizing the RV, one important tip I would like to offer: Remove the batteries from all remote controls and store the batteries in a small pill bottle your prescription was in. If the batteries leak, the leakage remains inside the bottle, and they are just transparent enough to see what is inside.” Thanks for the great tip!

Trouble lighting your water heater? Try this

Got troubles with your direct spark ignition water heater? Drew suggests this: “Readers who have issues lighting their water heaters should know that if there’s been wet and/or humid weather when the rig has been in storage, they should try lighting it manually with a log lighter while another person turns the switch on inside. This works well if you do not hear the clicking sound of the igniter. The contacts get wet and won’t conduct – the log lighter dries and then ignites the heater. After that, the igniter will dry out and you should be OK.” Thanks, Drew!

Quick Tips

What to do with batteries with “whiskers”
“Have you ever removed the battery cover of your radio or other device to find the alkaline batteries covered with crystalline whiskers? If crystals have formed on the radio battery terminals, no worries! Try a cleaning product for calcium, lime and rust removal. CLR brand is the product I use but others should work fine. Use an old toothbrush with just a little product to remove the crystals and corrosion from the radio terminals. Wash the residue off the terminals with clear water – the terminal will shine as new. Caution: Be careful not to allow any liquid to enter into the radio’s case. Allow 24 hours to pass before using.” —Thanks to Hugh R. [Editor: There are several types of calcium, lime and rust removers available on Amazon.]

Switch out the light bulb in your fridge to save some power
Save electricity or battery power and also help with food storage in your fridge. While many RVers have switched to LED lighting in place of incandescents, one bulb that we never seem to consider is the refrigerator interior bulb. The next time you’re preparing a meal and leave the fridge door open for 20 or 30 seconds, reach up in there, pull off the light cover and touch the bulb. Ouch!!! It’s hot. Where does all that heat go once you close the door? It’s going to raise the temp in the fridge slightly and make it work harder to cool the interior back down. That uses propane, or electricity, or battery power if yours also works on 12-volt power. It can also slightly warm the food on the top shelf near the light and possibly shorten the life of the food if it warms up frequently. So switching this bulb to an LED – that gives off virtually no heat – can have even more benefits than other RV bulb changes. Thanks to Fred B.!

“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: 

“You will have to find a place to stay every night you are RVing. If you’re full-time, this means 365 nights a year! That is not easy! Reserve ahead, especially now. Fifty years ago you could just drive wherever and then pull over on the side of the road for the night, but today you can’t do that unless you are boondocking, which sounds very romantic, but then you have no utilities. RVing is an adventure, for sure, just not perhaps the way you are thinking. You have to go with the flow and not freak out when things don’t go as planned.” —Ellie

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Random RV Thought

If circumstance does not allow you to level your RV perfectly, then consider the position of your bed. “Level” it so that if it’s not exactly level, your head will be higher than your feet when you sleep.

rv travel logoContact information

Editor: Emily Woodbury

Editorial (all but news)
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Help desk:
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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 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 2022 by RV Travel LLC.

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1 year ago

Don’t mix batteries from one remote to another. Some sets may be almost dead and others almost full. The weakest battery in each set if you mix them will hasten the demise of the better batteries.

1 year ago

With many absorption fridges, the light goes off after 20 seconds or so. The heat is negligible. What’s not, is leaving the door open for long periods- it takes a long time to make that warm air cold again and taxes the cooling unit. Plan your “openings” by thinking about what you need and where it is before leaving the door open. Fridges are one of the most expensive items to replace and repair- right there with slide outs.

1 year ago

Per the article about batteries with whiskers. Thje lime and rust removers may cause damage to the device. It also removes the coating on the terminals.
A very good cleaner for this is DeOxit D5. It’s a cleaner for sensitive electronic equipment. Just spray it on and leave it sit for while. A small paintbrush will remove the crud.
It’s safe for use on plastic.
It is a little pricey, but a little goes a long way, and actually protects the contacts.
great for spraying on the bulb sockets outside the RV.

James Starling
1 year ago
Reply to  Bob

Baking soda & water paste, brush or Q-tips work fine on leaking batteries/contacts.

24 days ago
Reply to  James Starling

it’s worked wonders since the very first car batteries

1 year ago
Reply to  Bob

I agree with the Deoxit. I carry a can in my TT. You can spray it directly on the fuzzy batteries and contacts. It is safe for plastics as said above.
I also spray my 7 pin connector to the truck and the power cable terminals to the TT. Helps keep corrosion buildup to a minimum.