Thursday, September 21, 2023


Beginner’s Guide to RVing Newsletter Volume 3, Issue 34

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!

Thursday, July 21, 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 does it mean when a campground has “full hookups”?

It means you can plug into electricity, fresh water, a sewer and sometimes even cable TV. When your RV is fully hooked up, you can live pretty much like at home. Some campgrounds, especially public ones, may offer only water and electric hookups. Public campgrounds like those in state and federal parks almost never offer full hookups, but quite frequently provide water and electricity. Many also have an RV dump facility available.

How much power can I use when hooked up to electricity?

All hookups are not created equal. Public parks may offer only small amounts of power – typically 20 amps, enough to run lights, microwave, TV, a space heater, laptop computer – or a combination of a few of these at once. The plug on these sites looks just like a plug at home. Most private RV parks provide either 30- or 50-amp service, which will adequately power air conditioners and other power-hogging devices. The very biggest motor coaches need all the power they can get for their multiple air conditioners: a 20-amp hookup would be woefully inadequate. But read this article about the SoftStartRV – it’s a game-changer!

We plan to camp a lot in National Forests. How long of an RV will fit in their campsites?

National Forests vary greatly in the size of RVs they will accommodate. A small percentage will accommodate the largest rigs, but many will not accommodate a long trailer or fifth wheel with their tow vehicles, or even a 40-foot motorhome. We’re guessing now, but based on years of camping in National Forest campgrounds we’d estimate small- to medium-sized trailers and fifth wheels will fit in about two-thirds of USFS campgrounds. Motorhomes 28 feet or shorter will probably fit with no problems.

If you plan on camping in National Forests, this book will come in very handy.

Stop guessing! This water meter won’t let you overfill tanks
Kate Doherty has found a way to make sure you won’t accidentally overfill your tanks. She uses the Save A Drop P3 Water Meter to add water to her black water tank with precise measurements each time. Read more about it here, then you’ll surely want to order one for yourself.

Quick Tips

Unhooking a “stuck” toad
Jim Riley passed along this hint: “When it’s time to unhook your towed vehicle and it won’t break free because it’s not level, restart the toad and turn the wheel sharply to the right and/or left and it should release the tension and enable you to pull the pins easily.” Thanks, Jim!

Easily and safely dispose of cooking grease
Don’t run grease down your RV drains – it can really clog things up. So when cooking a greasy pot of soup or stew, drop in some ice cubes and stir. The grease will cling to the cubes. Quickly fish them out and toss them in the garbage.

Store dry food items in plastic baskets
Plastic baskets are great for separating and storing dry foods in your RV cabinets. Use bins with holes in the sides to facilitate air circulation. Thanks to Ron Jones,

Heavy-duty stove top cleaning in your shower
Trouble getting the grime off your range-top burner grates, gas control knobs, even the cook top itself? Stop up your shower drain, lay down a towel, and put those grimy parts on it. Now add a couple of inches of hot water and sprinkle a half-cup of dishwasher detergent granules on the scene of the crime. Soak for an hour and rinse away the grime.

Fresher-smelling dirty laundry
Dirty laundry smell running you out of the rig between washings? Stick a laundry softener sheet in the pile to counter the odor. You can use the dryer sheet in the dryer when it comes time to dry the newly cleaned clothes.

Common Terms Used by RV Salespeople

ROLL TERM: As in to Roll the Term. It means to stretch the buyer’s loan out to a longer term without telling the buyer that it is happening in order to keep the monthly payment inside the buyer’s target while still increasing the dealer’s profit in the deal.

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: 

“Learn how to park in a campsite.” — Dave Gobel

Essential equipment for RVers!
Camco TastePURE Water Filter with Flexible Hose Protector
RV Daily Tips Newsletter Issue 1163This best-selling product reduces bad taste, odor, chlorine and sediment in drinking water with a 100-micron fiber filter. Use it at your campsite to keep sediment out of your RV water tank and improve the taste and smell of your drinking water. Many RVers consider this essential equipment. Learn more or order at a big discount.

Random RV Thought

While in a campground, to avoid having annoying headlights beaming into your RV or onto your campsite, choose a spot on a straight stretch of the campground’s road or choose a site on the inside of a corner, not the outside.

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. For newbies: Your tires are your life. Get rid of them if older than 4 years even if they look new. Check them on the beginning, mid and end of a trip. Have a pressure indicator and an inflator in your car or truck at all times. Every time you take off for a trip or stop for a rest, always take a check walk around your rig and check your tires before you take off.

  2. We use empty cans from can goods (ie canned vegetables, soup) for disposing of cooking grease/oil, when somewhat cooled down I put the can with the oil in the fridge for a short time to solidify and into the garbage after that.

  3. I’m not being critical, but today’s tips seem a bit contradictory. A) Don’t put any grease down your grey tank drain. B) Clean your greasy stove top components by soaking them in your shower, then rinse the greasy residue down the drain. That sounds like the opposite of Tip A, to me.
    When we have very dirty or greasy items to clean we take them outside to an area of the site that is NOT part of normal foot traffic, spray them with a Dawn Powerwash ( a spray which we use to wash our dishes normally too), let it sit/soak for 30 to 60 minutes, then rinse them with a bowl or tub of clean water in the same remote location and wipe them down. I have also been known to use GoJo waterless hand cleaner in a similar way, but be sure the items get a very thorough rinse before returning them to a food handling surface. It’s not likely to harm anyone but, .. ewww. ,🙀


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.