Wednesday, September 27, 2023


Beginner’s Guide to RVing Newsletter Volume 3, Issue 13

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, much of 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!

Wednesday, June 22, 2022

If you did not get an email notifying you of this newsletter, sign up here to get one every time it is published.

[activecampaign form=38]

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

RVing Basics

What’s a PDI?

RV dealers should perform a thorough Pre-Delivery Inspection (PDI) on every RV that arrives from the factory. Some dealers will go through the RV carefully, looking in every nook and cranny to be sure everything is in order. But some dealers will do practically nothing. Time is money. These dealers will take a quick look for anything obvious and that’s about it. They figure they can sell the unit, and then fix what’s wrong later under its warranty (in some cases this could take weeks or longer, especially these days).

You may not know which type of dealer you’re dealing with. We highly recommend you hire an independent RV inspector to look over your prospective RV, whether new or used. This could be a local mobile RV technician or a trained RV Inspector who specializes in such work. You can find a certified RV inspection service here. If the dealer will not allow you to hire an independent inspector, then walk away.

A representative of the dealer will offer you the opportunity to do your own PDI, or walk-through, by showing you how everything in the RV operates, providing you the opportunity to ask questions about anything that concerns you, including any defects you may spot. Be sure that you schedule plenty of time for this, take copious notes, and do not let the dealer talk you out of demanding something be fixed before you sign on the dotted line.

Some RVers even video their walk-through for future reference – a great idea. Be thorough. Try every door and drawer, every switch and faucet, every latch and lock. Make sure you learn how everything operates. If anything will need fixing or adjusting, be sure you get what needs to be done in writing and have the dealer sign it. There are also videos on YouTube that illustrate how to use all the systems of an RV.

Give me a few tips about buying an RV that I might never consider.

Okay, here are a few things:
1. Check the locations of electrical outlets. Be sure they make sense.
2. Sit on the couch and lay on the bed. Is the mattress comfortable? Is there head support on the couch? You’ll spend a lot of time in these places.
3. Pull the slides in and see if you can reach the stove, refrigerator and bathroom. In some cases you may not – then you’ll be out of luck at rest areas when you want to use your own bathroom or to make lunch.
4. Sit where you will watch TV. Do you need to twist your neck uncomfortably to see the screen?
5. Sit on the toilet to be sure you can do so with the bathroom door shut, and stand in the shower to be sure you fit.
6. Never trust what a dealer or other seller promises you if your “gut” tells you it’s not true.

Do I need a special license to drive a motorhome?

In most cases, no. But if you will be driving a very large RV, check with your state’s department of motor vehicles before hitting the road.

Quick Tips

Nighttime blackout help
“Day and night” shades not giving you enough “night”? One RVer sews up dark cloth panels with a pocket across the top, sized to fit the window. She attaches the panel, via the pocket, to a tension rod across the top, hidden under the valence.

Drafty motorhome?
Motorhome got a cold draft you can’t account for? After eliminating an open window or roof vent, check your dashboard environmental controls. Vacuum-operated intakes left in the open position when the engine is shut down may well stay open, allowing cold air to infiltrate. Turn the engine on, close the vents, shut engine off. Shut eyelids.

Handy picture hangers
Can’t figure out how to hang pictures in your RV? Check out “Command Strips” from 3M. These adhesive-back strips are strong, and allow you to change out the pictures when you want.

Slow-running kitchen faucet?
RV kitchen sink spout running too slow for your taste? Unscrew the aerator and check the screen for crud. If that doesn’t do the trick you can remove the water-saver fitting.

Easy plastic bag storage
Keep used plastic bags in an old Kleenex box. You will be amazed at how many it will hold. Thanks to Candy A.!

silicon tape to fix leaksTape it to the limit…
Rather than an adhesive, this type of tape fuses to itself. It makes a totally waterproof seal that can be used to repair the insulation on electrical wiring in the field. It has all kinds of other emergency uses advertised such as a quick fix for a leaking radiator hose, so it certainly deserves a place in your RV toolbox since it’s a multi-tasking piece of equipment that could save your bacon. Learn more or order.

Common Terms Used by RV Salespeople

PENCIL: This has two applications. First, a sales manager will pencil a salesman’s deal by crossing out the customer’s offer and penciling in the figure that he wants to get for that RV. The second application is used when a salesman or sales manager changes the selling price or trade-in allowance and covers it up with an increase in the customer’s monthly payment because of the additional cost he expects to pay for Credit Life, Accident and Health Insurance.

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

Today’s RV review…

2022 Heartland North Trail 21RBSS—little trailer, big features

Tony writes, “Today, this review is looking at the Heartland North Trail 21RBSS, a couple’s smaller travel trailer that has a lot of things I’ve seen people ask for, including a true king bed but in a trailer that is easily half-ton towable.”

Click here

For previous RV reviewsclick here.

Our customers come first!
Family-run RV dealer Cheyenne Camping Center, one of America’s largest volume dealers, has served customers nationwide from Iowa since 1966. Get the lowest possible price without need to negotiate. No hard sell!! Long-time supporter. Visit us today, (800) 397-5673.

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’re buying from a dealer, check out their business reputation. Are there complaints about them? Check the internet and Better Business Bureau for complaints. Do they deal in shoddy makes, practice predatory selling techniques, push 20-year financing, have issues with shoddy repairs, and do they fix warranty issues in a timely manner?” — Marty Chambers

Random RV Thought

When you stay the night in a hotel or motel, you have to be careful you don’t leave something behind. But when you travel by RV, your room comes along with you, so you usually don’t have to worry about forgetting something (unless it’s outside).

• 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!

Truck Parts & Accessoriespickup truck
Wow! Just about anything and everything you would need for your truck is at Amazon. Plus, you’ll get instant savings with automotive coupons. No matter what make or model you’re driving, you’ll likely find what you want here, without wasting an ounce of gas or diesel driving anywhere. Explore the huge online store.

rv travel logoContact information

Editor: Emily Woodbury

Editorial (all but news)
Editorial (news)
Help desk:
 Contact us.

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.


  1. I purchased my RV Queen mattress from Amazon. I sleep so well and better then when I had a house! It was a little less than $400.00. I am still amazed how comfortable it is and therapeutic.

  2. Very few RV’s have a comfortable mattress. Expect to buy a replacement. Big Lots is a good place to check. Have DW check out the bathroom carefully to ensure she can do her hair, dry off and anything else she does at home in her bathroom. Learned from experience.

    • Re: RV Mattress. We assumed our mattress would be anything but comfortable when we bought our little bus (Class C). What a great surprise. It’s terrific. I just hope it lasts a long time, as there is no identification on it anywhere.

      • We bought a 2 inch cooling foam mattress topper for ours at Big Lots. Had to cut 6 inches off since we have a short queen. Made a tremendous difference.

        The larger the dealer, the less they do on the PDI, and most don’t do a thorough walk with the customer.

    • We bought a My Pillow mattress topper. If you call them and give the measurements they will specially make it for you at no extra charge.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Sign up for the

RVtravel Newsletter

Sign up and receive 3 FREE RV Checklists: Set-Up, Take-Down and Packing List.