Thursday, October 6, 2022


Beginner’s Guide to RVing Newsletter, Volume 3, Issue 30

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!

Friday, July 15, 2022

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

RVing Basics

Can I pull a travel trailer with my family car?

In many cases, yes. New lightweight towables are popular these days and can be pulled by most six-cylinder cars (and some four-cylinder ones) and sport utility vehicles. Lightweight towables are generally less than 26 feet long and 4,000 pounds or less, with most of the features of heavier units. They typically retail for $12,000 to $26,000. Some small folding camping trailers or teardrop-type trailers can even be pulled behind most four-cylinder cars.

I own a small SUV. Can I pull a trailer with it?

Probably, but be careful. The length of a tow vehicle’s wheelbase is very important. If it’s too short for the trailer it’s pulling, the driver can lose control almost instantly – very bad news. If you question whether you can pull a particular trailer with your SUV be sure you are absolutely certain it is up to the task by asking an expert (and not just an RV salesman, who may not be adequately informed or entirely honest).

I’ve never backed up a trailer. Is it hard to learn?

Almost anyone can learn, but it will take a little getting used to. At first it may seem like you are turning the wheel the opposite direction from where you want to point the trailer. Plan to take your trailer to a large empty lot and practice for a couple of hours before trying to back into any tight spots.

Recently updated book for camping areas managed by the NPS
This book from The Ultimate Public Campground Project describes 1,615 camping areas across the United States that are managed by the National Park Service. If you’re looking for new places to camp, this is the book for you. The project has been growing since 2008 and now has a website and an app too. Learn more or order.

Quick Tips

Check your tire pressure
Once a week, check your tire pressure. Low pressure can wear out tires and increases fuel consumption.

Keep refrigerator contents in place
Stuff get loose in your refrigerator while rolling down the road? An alternative to tension rods is foam “swimming noodles,” or large water pipe insulation chunks. You may need to split the noodles in half down the middle for areas they’re otherwise too large for.

Be careful when putting on spare tire
Had to put on a spare tire? If you don’t have a torque wrench, stop by a tire shop and have them torque the lug nuts to specification.

Lube your bat-wing antenna
Got a Winegard bat-wing antenna? Shoot a little silicone lubricant down the crank shaft that leads down into your rig. It’s a twice-a-year job that will not only help keep the sealing ring from drying out so it moves easily, but it will also help keep the rain outside your rig.

Expand your shower space
Feeling “closed in” in the shower? If your shower is equipped with a shower curtain, get a curtain tension rod and mount it a few inches outside the existing shower rod. Run the curtain over the top of the new rod, then back into the shower stall. Gives a few extra inches of space for your shoulders.

What’s a cook to do in an RV kitchen?

By Terri Nighswonger    
Apparently, RV designers don’t believe that much cooking goes on in their rigs. Unless, of course, you live in one of those ultra-fancy models that have full-size refrigerators, full-size ovens, dishwashers and king-sized beds. Oh, and a washer and dryer. Don’t I wish! Continue reading for some advice about RV kitchens.

Protect your RV’s awning from rips and tears
awning-749Camco RV Awning De-Flapper is designed to protect your RV awning from costly rips and tears while preventing noisy wind flapping. The De-Flapper holds securely with hook and loop straps and is made of durable nylon with UV stabilizers. It’s chemical and rust-resistant with a universal fit. It features soft, non-marring grippers that protect the awning fabric and can be used with screen room in place. Learn more or order.

Common Terms Used by RV Salespeople

KINK: A problem with a deal due to “miswriting,” misrepresentation, misquoting or mishandling.

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. Here is one response: 

“Before you go shopping for the RV, have some deep conversations to find some agreement about what you are expecting from the RV lifestyle … making short weekend jaunts to resort parks might require a completely different sort of vehicle and setup than a full-time lifestyle or one of constant on-the-move with a lot of boondocking. Sinking a lot of money into an RV to find that it won’t really work could be the start of a contentious, upsetting episode. Talk to your partner and do some homework.” —Sharon

Fireproof bagFire-resistant bag keeps valuables safe!
This silicone-coated fire-resistant bag will save your money, documents, jewelry, passport and other valuables in case of a fire. It’s made with two layers of supreme fire retardant fiberglass material, making it 100% fireproof. It can stand up to fire and heat up to 1000℉. It’s waterproof, too, so when the hoses arrive, your valuables will not be harmed. Learn more or order.

Random RV Thought

Always put your campfire totally out before leaving your campsite. Stir up the ashes with
water until they’re like mud. A fire is totally out if you can touch a piece of paper to the ashes or charred wood without any visible heat effect to the paper.

• 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!

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.


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1 year ago

Keep refrigerator contents in place, you can also use empty egg cartons. No additional cost, if you use eggs.

Last edited 1 year ago by Tom
2 years ago

One can tow a trailer with nearly any vehicle, if the trailer is sized for the tow rig. We have a couple hundred thousand miles, in both North America and Europe, of trailer towing by motorcycle. We have a Honda GoldWing and tow a tent trailer that is specifically built for motorcycles or small cars. Our longest trip with it was an 8 month trip around the USA. The worst problem with it is that there is no indoor plumbing!

2 months ago
Reply to  Bobkat

I also pull a pop up with my Goldwing. Trailer is about 4′ by 7′ when folded up and weighs close to 550lbs when fully loaded. Expands to 6′ by 18′ feet including the awning. Not as many miles as yours, closer to 40,000 in 10 years. Also, no plumbing but I did wire it for 120 volts inside to run the heater and TV.

2 years ago

When backing up, if a newbie or old salt, get out and check where you intend to go. Check for objects on both sides, over head limbs, wires or anything else that might come in contact with your rig. When backing, if your hand is at the top of the steering wheel you need to go the opposite way with your hand that you want the trailer to go. If you place your hand at the bottom of the steering wheel you simply move it in the direction you want the trailer to go. While learning, turn a small amount at a time. Do not hesitate to pull up or get out and look if in doubt about where you are in relation to where you want to be. Practice, practice, practice and suddenly one day it will become second nature. Just remember it costs less to look than repair!

RV Staff(@rvstaff)
2 years ago
Reply to  Gordy

Great tips, Gordy! Thanks! 😀 —Diane at

2 months ago
Reply to  RV Staff

Holding the steering wheel at the bottom stops all confusion about where the trailer will go.You don’t even have to think about it. Practice in a parking lot using small orange cones. If you do run over a cone, there is no damage except to your pride. Also, if you have a spotter with you, have them stand off to the side so they
can see you in the mirror and you can see them. Practice hand signals and if if you have bluetooth in the vehicle use two cell phones.Better than screaming.
Everyone was a rookie at one time.

2 years ago

I keep a torque wrench in my trailer. It is not a real expensive one, but is probably within a few foot lbs of the higher priced ones. They can be purchased for under $40.
Just remember to set it to “0” before you store it.

2 years ago

Buy your own torque wrench.
Visually check your tires every time you stop. Optimally, buy a tire pressure monitor to monitor tires in real time as you drive. Far second option, check pressure every day you start driving. Forget weekly.

Richard Hubert
2 years ago

Re: Suggestion for Checking Tire Pressure weekly –

Sorry – tire pressures should be checked before departing on a travel day.
Tire safety is far too important to just do only weekly. One might easily pick up a nail, or scrape a tire sidewall one day – and if one waits a week to then check their tires – it is already too late.

For our Class A I always check tire pressures, as well as do a quick visual inspection, of all tires before leaving a campsite. I have found that I had loose valve stem extensions at one point by doing this, but since I also carry an air compressor I was able to correct the situation.

Better yet – RVers should install a TPMS so tire pressures & temps can monitored in real time while driving. Again – tire safety is too critical as a blowout can not only cause severe RV damage but could also easily cause a bad accident.

2 years ago
Reply to  Richard Hubert

Yes check pressures at least daily and visual or thump checks at each stop if no TPMS