Saturday, June 3, 2023


Beginner’s Guide to RVing Newsletter Volume 3, Issue 36

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.

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Monday, July 25, 2022 

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

RVing Basics

What are the advantages and disadvantages of a private campground over a public one?

Each has its pluses, and it’s difficult to generalize. However, the plus side to a private campground (usually) is that full hookups are available (electric, water and sewer), and it’s likely that other amenities will be available like Wi-Fi, telephones, laundry, playgrounds, swimming pool, TV lounge, propane, and a small general store. Private campgrounds also tend to be located closer to towns and/or tourist areas. Public campgrounds, on the other hand, like those in state and national parks and national forests, are more often in scenic or recreational areas, and campsites may be larger and more private. But we generalize here. Individual parks, private and public, vary hugely in appearance, location and amenities.

I have heard that some campgrounds will not allow RVs older than ten years to stay there. Is this true?

Yes, it’s true. The park is trying to prevent old, beat-up RVs from trashing their appearance. Some parks will ask you to send a photo of your older RVer before letting you make a reservation. The solution is to drive something that isn’t old and ugly – or simply avoid such parks.

Is it true that some RV parks do not allow children?

It’s only true in some regions popular with retirees, usually “snowbird” RV parks where older folks head for the winter. A few of these private “senior-only” parks (most of them located in Arizona or Florida) will even deny camping to anyone under 55 (with exceptions). But all public campgrounds allow people of every age, as do perhaps 99 percent of all private RV parks.

Ah, the open road – 11 people plus film crew, no seatbelts in sight.

Reality TV show spotlights stupid RVers

This is horrifying. The star named Andrei, of a TV reality show titled 90 Day Fiance, sets off at the wheel of a motorhome for an insane 400-mile trip. Why is it insane? Because nobody knows the first thing about RVing or RVs, and so they pack 11 people and a film crew into the motorhome and set off on a [badly] made-for-TV adventure. Learn more and watch a video clip!

foil-757Fix it In Foil! Tasty Recipes. Easy cleanup!
Easy prep, great taste, good nutrition, quick cleanup! “Fix It In Foil” includes 51 fantastic recipes to make in foil — plus instructions for cooking in an oven, on an outdoor grill, or on a campfire. Fix it in foil and forget about scrubbing pots and pans. And, with plenty of substitution suggestions, enjoy a whole new list of recipe possibilities! Great for RVing! Learn more or order.

Quick Tips

Do one final walk-around before departure
You may have a mental “departure checklist,” but Richard S. suggests a “once more around the block” approach. You “think” you got it all, but before turning the key, just walk around “one more time” to double-check. Citing his own experience, Richard wrote, “A couple of times I have found something loose, hatch cover not locked, antenna up, etc., especially on the tow dolly (forgot to put the pin that locks the platform down). I painted the pin red so it stands out. Would have been a disaster had I not done one more walk around.” Thanks, Richard!

Important RV park Wi-Fi tips
Planning on using RV park Wi-Fi? Before you park, ask: Does your signal cover the entire park, or just my site? Is there an extra charge for using Wi-Fi? Do I need to know the network name (SSID) or a password? If you do, ask for the information when you make your reservation so if you get in after the office is closed, you’ll still be able to log onto the Wi-Fi service.

“Polish” those pesky ants
Here’s a “one we haven’t tried, but” tip: Faithful reader PennyPA swears by the use of Glade furniture spray — not just for quick dust-ups, but for chasing pesky ants out of your rig. Says our informant: “(1) It’s safer to use around pets (but still follow the instructions). (2) It kills the ants immediately and if you spray along a trail of them, it kills the ants on the trail and acts as a repellent for almost a week. (3) It’s much less expensive than ant spray. (4) It smells so much better than ant spray! We currently are using apple/cinnamon but, so far, it appears any fragrance will work.” She adds a cautionary note — unless you like the sound of your smoke alarm, keep the spray away from it. Thanks, PennyPA!

Measure your RV at its full height
After reading a story on the importance of measuring and knowing your rig’s height to avoid “low bridge” problems, Richard B. adds an important reminder: If your rig has an air suspension system, be sure to start up your rig and let the air bags fill before measuring your height. Thanks, Richard!

Help your RV fridge cool down faster
Want to speed up the “pre-cooling” process when you first turn on your RV refrigerator? If you have room in the sticks-and-bricks freezer, toss in two or three-gallon milk jugs filled not quite to the top with water. When starting the RV fridge, stuff these “cold ones” in the warm refrigerator and it’ll cool faster. Put a rag or towel underneath each to catch condensation.

Common Terms Used by RV Salespeople

MICKEY: Slang term used to describe a down payment loan that is arranged by the dealership. This is referred to as completing a deal in a Mickey Mouse way.

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: 

“First and foremost is have enough financial resources to properly maintain the RV and fix anything the warranty does not cover (most things). Remember that if it says ‘RV’ the cost of parts and repairs is usually much more than the same repair at home. Think of it this way: You are pulling or driving the equivalent of your house down the road hitting bumps, potholes, etc., and something will break – and the cost of repairs can shock even the deepest pockets. That said, buying an RV from a manufacturer with a quality reputation might cost more but be less expensive going down the road.” —Arthur Jacobson

ABC's of RVingBook for newbie RVers a must-have!
If you are planning to buy your first RV or are just getting started with your first rig, this book by founder and publisher Chuck Woodbury should be a must-read. The ABCs of RVing answers important questions that newbie RVers don’t even know enough to ask! Read this, and you’ll save countless hours of research and avoid making costly rookie mistakes. It’s available in both a Kindle version and printed edition.

Random RV Thought

It can be depressing when you’re traveling by car and not with an RV, and you pull into a rest area and see happy RVers walking in and out of their RVs, or maybe inside having a snack. As you observe them you realize that all you have is a car, which is totally boring compared to an RV.

• 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

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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10 months ago

Since we started in the RV lifestyle, we decided that we both needed checklists to assure we were dotting all of the i’s and crossing all of the t’s. Now that we are much more experienced, we rely on those checklists to assure all is ready to go. We have one for ‘before we hit the road’, one for setting up, one for breaking down, and then back to the ‘before we hit the road’. We have caught ourselves many times missing an important step by going through the detailed checklists. Probably the most missed items for folks is forgetting to retract the manual step on their trailers. I see it all the time when we are on the road.

Victoria Drost
1 year ago

A friend wanted to “borrow” my Class C Minnie Winnie. She does not have any experience with an RV. After politely refusing, I sent her a copy of Chuck’s new book purchased on Amazon. Figured if she eventually may purchase one she should know ahead of time what she’s up against.
She loved it!

Steven N
2 years ago

Both my wife and I do separate “once more around” the RV, then I pull out while she monitors things as I do so. She does one last look for things left behind before getting in the truck and us departing.

Richard H
2 years ago

We had planned on attending our Bluegrass clubs camp out and booked a year in advance to assure our reservation. Last week we thought, since we have been in quarantine most of the year, we would see if there were any spaces available for the days following the camp out. I called to confirm the original booking and much to my surprise I was told that the booking had been changed and my name no longer was on that site. I asked if the last name on the original site was the and was told “due to privacy concerns” they could not give me the name. Discouraged I notified the club we would not be there. The camp out organizer went into action and after being like a dog with a bone, she found that we were still booked. I had originally booked the site for 4 days. After talking it over, we decided to come a day sooner to get settled in. My wife called to add the day and whomever took the call changed the booking to her name. Moral: Always use the same name when booking a site.

2 years ago

Random RV Thought: ABSOLUTELY!!! Also depressed staying at my sticks & bricks this year.

Debbie Nadkarni-Simmons
2 years ago

My husband and I were all set to rent an RV for our October vacation as a “shake down” to see whether we liked it before taking the plunge and purchasing one of our own. Our intention was to travel to southern Utah and visit the National Parks and Monuments. You can’t imagine my disappointment when I went to make reservations and discovered that there was no room at the inn!! I was unable to find a space anywhere at or even near any of the parks/monuments during our time frame. The RV has been cancelled — very sad.

How things seem to have changed!! I am a veteran of many years of trailering with my parents and 3 siblings. Just imagine — we always just took off without reservations. The only time this was ever a problem was on Cape Cod, our very first time out!! Poor dad — we drove around for hours before eventually finding a spot. In the days before online reservations and of infrequent use of long distance, this was our only near disaster!!

Del W
2 years ago

Along with the WiFi tip above, be aware that most campground WiFi is public and has little or no security. So, be careful of what you do while connected others maybe watching.

Mario Nunez
1 year ago
Reply to  Del W

If you are using a public wifi network, ALWAYS use a VPN services. It will protect your device (phone, tablet, notebook, etc).

Lester R
2 years ago

A pretrip inspection should be part of your routine prior to departure.

2 years ago

When you do your final walk around before heading out on the road, be sure to look up and under your RV. A tree branch might have come down onto your roof and once you pull out of your campsite take a look back to make sure something you need didn’t get hidden next to the inside of a tire ie: toy, ball, etc.

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