Monday, June 5, 2023


Beginner’s Guide to RVing Newsletter, Volume 3, Issue 39

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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Thursday, July 28, 2022

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

RVing Basics

What are check-in and check-out times at campgrounds?

Most often check-in time is 2 p.m. or 3 p.m. Most RV parks request you leave by 11 a.m., but many others will allow you to stay until noon or even 1 p.m. What check-out time do readers think is fair? See how they voted in this poll.

What about spending the night at rest areas?

Many RVers stay in them on occasion without problems, at least in those rest areas where overnight stays are legal (in about half the states). But every so often you will hear a horror story. Our advice: Stay in rest areas only as a last resort (and only when legal). And when you do, don’t open your doors for anyone in the middle of the night unless it’s a uniformed police officer. Be aware that the noise of big rig trucks coming and going can be pretty loud. It’s best to not deploy slideouts to avoid the risk of having them run into.

Where can I learn which rest areas allow overnight parking?

Some states allow overnight parking, but put stringent time limits on the practice. Rest areas with “No camping” signs generally mean no camping in a tent, or simply pulling out a sleeping bag and plopping it on a patch of grass. Washington state, for example, posts signs limiting a stay to eight hours. So sleeping for less than that in your RV would generally not be a problem. Here’s a good list of each state’s rules and regulations.

8 things to keep in your RV in case of an emergency
• Lifestraw • Flashlight • First Aid Kit • Fire Extinguishing Aerosol Spray • LED Road Flares • Solar-Powered Phone Charger • Fire Starter • Freeze-Dried Food

Quick Tips

Practice backing up and park like a pro
For new RV owners, backing up a motorhome the first time can be intimidating. Before heading out on your first road trip, find a deserted parking lot to practice backing. Set up a rubber cone and try to align the rear of the rig with the cone, using only your mirrors. Thanks to Ron Jones,

Make extra use of your generator maintenance run
“While boondocking, the wife and I look forward to our weekly generator maintenance run because that’s when we get to run our electric convection oven in our motorhome. Yes, indeed, plenty of baked potatoes for the night’s meal and tomorrow’s hash browns. And how about a loaf of fresh homemade bread and cookies, all while doing a bit of upkeep. And if you don’t have a convection oven? We also have an electric hot plate that we put to good use as well. Sometimes, when we are at higher elevations and the weather is cool, we also run our electric space heater to save on propane or the AC if it is a little too warm for comfort. So don’t dread it, make good use of it.” Thanks to Chris Noble

Eliminate pesky flying bugs in your RV
“You may be familiar with the tennis racquet-type bug zappers. While fun to swat bugs around the campfire, it’s also a useful tool for when bugs get inside your RV. Before you go to bed, turn on one light in the ceiling somewhere and hold the zapper adjacent to the fixture. In minutes every flying insect inside will travel to the light and be zapped by the tennis racket. Great way to rid yourself of gnats and mosquitoes before you go to bed.” Our thanks to Peter F. T. for the shocking suggestion. [Editor: You can find the tennis racquet-type bug zappers at Amazon.]

Furnace won’t turn on? Try this!
George B. has a fix for a cold morning: “I awoke one morning to find my RV furnace would not cut in. I thought I’d need a new digital thermostat but spoke to a very helpful RV tech who said to remove the thermostat’s front panel. Inside there’s a fuse which I removed and checked for continuity and it was fine. Wait five minutes, replace the fuse and, voila, the furnace worked. Two years later, same issue, same fix. It takes less time than replacing the thermostat and a lot cheaper.” Thanks, George!

Make spiders flee – or flea?
“When I bought my rig the RV tech said to put a piece of flea collar in the compartments housing the refrigerator and water heater. He said this would keep any spiders from building webs behind the panel, thus helping to make sure it works the next time you need it to. Replace them about every 3-6 weeks. This has worked wonders for me so far.” Thanks to reader Keith Coyle!

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: 

“Get the RV weighed (all axles, if possible) and don’t overload (don’t forget passenger weight). Make sure you have good tires less than 5 years old (check for dry rot) inflated properly.” —Linda

Random RV Thought

Avoid campsites where a tree branch touches your RV. If the wind comes up at night, the grating noise will annoy you and the branch might even scratch your rig.

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Editor: Emily Woodbury

Editorial (all but news)
Editorial (news)
Help desk:
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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

8 things to keep in your RV in case of an emergency I would think that water should be on the list in the event you found yourself away from a water source

1 year ago

The Ohio Turnpike has 8 service plazas that have 11 spots each with 30/50 amp hookups for RV’s up to 40 feet long. They also have a dump station and water fill at each plaza. I believe the cost is $20.00 per night and is first come

Chuck Woodbury
1 year ago
Reply to  Joe

Joe, do all the plazas have RV parking? I seem to recall that only a few of them do. I believe it is still $20 a night.

1 year ago
Reply to  Chuck Woodbury

As far as I know all service plazas have tractor trailer parking for truckers rest. The largest of RV’s plus toad should be able to park there.

2 years ago

re: don’t park next to a branch.

I once parked where a branch was about a foot above the trailer. Ants dropped from the trailer onto the roof. At the next campsite, birds saw the ants and pecked at them and made pinholes in my roof membrane.

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