Saturday, June 3, 2023


Beginner’s Guide to RVing Newsletter Volume 3, Issue 38

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!

Wednesday, July 27, 2022

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

RVing Basics

Does it matter what order I hook up water, electrical and sewer?

Not technically, but it’s a good idea to start with the electrical hookup while your hands are dry. Then hook up the fresh water while your hands are clean. Finally, hook up the sewer lines and then wash up.

How much do campsites cost?

Forest Service campgrounds range typically between $8 and $25, and in some places they are still free. State park campgrounds go from $15 to $50, depending on the state and location. Private campgrounds with full hookups average from a low of $20 in out-of-the-way places to $40 to $60 in popular locations, with many $80 or more. Most public campgrounds have a fixed fee, no matter how many campers occupy a site (within reason, of course, to avoid an army at one campsite). Be prepared to pay an additional reservation fee if you reserve a space rather than just drop in and take your chances of being turned away. The rates at most private campgrounds, including KOA, are based on two campers per site. An additional dollar or two per extra camper may be charged as well as a fee for daily visitors.

Do all campsites at a commercial campground cost the same?

No, a non-hookup site will be the least expensive. An option for a water and electric hookup may be offered, which will cost more. And full hookups, which include use of a sewer, go for the highest price. Some campgrounds may not offer all of these options. An extra charge may also be levied for more than two campers in one site as well as a per-pet charge. Often more desirable sites, such as waterfront or view sites, are priced higher. In the most popular resort areas, a campsite along a beach or lake may go for $200 a night or more.

Eliminate hose crimping at the faucet!
Sometimes it’s a real pain hooking up your hose to a faucet or to your RV. This Camco flexible hose protector is the answer. Its easy gripper makes attaching the hose effortless. It’s compliant with all federal and state low-level lead laws, too. Every RVer should have one or two of these. Super low price, tooLearn more or order.

Quick Tips

Safely plugging into shore power
When plugging your RV into the power pedestal at an RV park (or anywhere), make sure the breaker switch is in the “off” position. Switch it on after you have plugged in.

Double your covers, double your space
Sink covers are a classic “mixed blessing” in an RV because they are nearly useless while preparing food because they totally eliminate access to the sink but may, in fact, almost double your workspace (kitchen counter). Cutting larger sink covers in half will allow the cook access to the sink without sacrificing all the surface area plus actually extend the countertop work area — a definite win-win! Thanks to Ron Jones,

Protect your knees
For knee pads, I use old carpeting and keep one in each bay so they are always handy. They can be as little as 6″x18″ — just enough to protect the knee caps. No cost, and they can be changed out any time they become too soiled. Thanks to JR Thornton!

Check the drip tube in the back of your fridge
It’s a good idea to occasionally take a peek in the back of your RV refrigerator. They have a drip tube that channels off water from evaporation. Sometimes this tube leads to a drip container (often near the chimney) that evaporates off this water; others may “port” the water out of the rig harmlessly. In any event, if the tube gets loose and starts dripping water onto your RV framework, it can lead to damaging rot.

Simple custom-sized trash cans
Finding suitably sized trash cans for RVing can be a hassle. Visit the plasticware section of your local discount store and pick up a plastic cereal storage container. The same bag the cashier packs it in fits great for a trash can liner. If it threatens to slide around, use double-stick Velcro tape on the bottom.

Common Terms Used by RV Salespeople

RULE OF 78: A mathematical formula used in figuring a rebate of unearned charges or premium, when these charges were pre-computed and prepaid. Also referred to as “78 ways we get to keep your money.”

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: 

“Wear rubber gloves when dumping your tanks.” — Dave Laton

A road atlas for kids makes geography fun!
Give this National Geographic Atlas to your kids or grandkids before they hit the road. It features simplified yet real road maps of all 50 states, and interesting information on each place and route. There are even themed maps on nature, population, energy, climate, and more, that delve deeper into key issues. It makes a great gift! Learn more or order.

Random RV Thought

Don’t feed wild animals. When you feed a wild animal, it could become dependent on human food instead of looking for food as nature intended. When winter comes and the tourists are gone, the animal could starve to death.

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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Karen McKiernan
10 months ago

New to RVing. Which we are. Go to you tube for every question. People are willing to help. Watch more than one so you have comparisons.

10 months ago

I always hook up my sewer hose first. Initially it was because I had difficulty getting to the drain end at the RV once the slide came out. Now I prefer the sewer hose to be on the lowest level with the electrical cord, water hoses (fresh and flushing) and satellite cables over it just in case there might be a leak in the sewer connection then everything else doesn’t get contaminated.

10 months ago

How much do campsites cost? Some private campsites charge a flat fee or per KW fee for electricity when staying for a month or more, however the monthly “lease” rate for the actual site may be at a discounted rate from the usual nightly or weekly fee. Be diligent and verify if electricity is included in the monthly rate or not before booking.

10 months ago

Tip about using rubber gloves for dumping tanks, use disposable gloves. They are cheap and easy to find in most big box stores. Look in the paint department for vinyl painters gloves. You can even find a box of surgical type gloves for less than $10 for a box of 50.
Using the same pair of gloves over and over still subject you to contamination every time you touch the outside of the gloves.
Harbor Freight sells strong 7 mil nitril gloves, $10 for a box of 100. They can also be used to keep your hands clean when working on the RV.

James Starling
1 year ago

You want to make sure power works incase you might have to change sites. Even use your surge protector to test pedestal when first arriving.

Richard Hughes
1 year ago

Another hint when plugging in. Some places use solar and ask that you have everything turned off, or the house breaker off, because it can cause a glitch in their network. I don’t know, but I have the main breaker off each time I hook up anyway.

1 year ago

As far as what to hook up first, we always hook up the power first. That way you can turn on the air conditioner or heat if needed, while you do the rest of the outside work.

John Armstrong
2 years ago

On trash can for the kitchen we use a portable paper shredder. Take the head off and store until needed. Put tall kitchen garbage bag in base and use. To store we put the can under the table for travel which we use when we stop for snack or lunch.

2 years ago

How much do campsites cost?
If you are 62 you can buy a Senior Pass which allows you free entrance to all National Parks and Memorials.

You pay half price when camping with the Nat. Park Service, US Forest Service, US Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land Management and Bureau of Reclamation.

The pass was $10 when I purchased mine but I believe they are $80 now. That’s a one time fee good for life. But if you lose your card you will have to pay for it again. Excellent deal!

Roger B
2 years ago
Reply to  cee

Another factor in campsite costs can be a “resort tax or fee”, also some have an up charge for 50 amp electric. Both usually charged per night.

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