Thursday, June 1, 2023


Beginner’s Guide to RVing Newsletter, Volume 3, Issue 43

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, August 3, 2022

If you did not get an email notifying you of this newsletter, sign up here to get one every time it is published.

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

RVing Basics

We plan to travel by motorhome but we won’t pull a car. This will limit our traveling in the evening after we pull into a campground. Will we get bored?

Your options after settling in for the night are far more limited without a car than with one. That’s pretty obvious. There are a few tricks, though. First, try to find campgrounds that are within walking distance of places where there’s something to do — a store, restaurant, small town main street or even a lake where you can fish or swim or hike. Use Google Maps or Google Earth to identify these places.

A very good idea is to bring along bicycles, which will vastly expand the area you can explore. If you don’t have room for a bike rack, buy folding bicycles. For even more mobility, bring along a small, lightweight motorcycle or scooter. Have you seen the electric bicycles on the market? They’re not much heavier than a regular bicycle, but can move along effortlessly at about 15 miles per hour. Or you can pedal them if you want to extend their range and get some exercise, too.

But the real answer to your question is that you will likely find many things to do right in your campground, including just plain relaxing. Read a book, sew, draw, putter around the rig, watch TV, write letters (remember those?), listen to music, sit by the fire, visit with other campers, email and surf the web if you have internet access, etc. The list is endless.

How do you level an RV when a campsite is not level?

Most mid- to high-end motorhomes have leveling systems — some fully automatic. With less expensive units and trailers, wooden planks or plastic leveling blocks under a tire or two will do the job. Read tips about RV leveling here.

Aren’t most campsites level?

No. In private parks, perhaps two-thirds are level or close to level. But in public campgrounds, especially those in National Forests, most campsites will require you to level up. It’s not uncommon to find campsites that are so out of whack that getting level is impossible.

Tiny LED button lamp perfect for RV’s small, dark spacesRV Travel Newsletter Issue 913
This 6-pack of tiny, battery-powered LED “Button Lamps” is just what you need for your RV’s closets and storage spaces. The tiny lamp is ultra-bright and has all the power of a normal-sized lamp. Backed with a strong adhesive, these little lamps will stick to any surface. They’re waterproof and good to have in case of an emergency. Learn more or order.

Quick Tips

Prepare for flip-top bottles that can blow their tops at higher altitudes
Planning an RV trip that’ll take you to higher altitudes? The change in altitude can raise Cain with stuff in bottles that have flip tops. Sunscreen, shampoo, these kinds of products can “blow their tops,” making a real mess if the stuff squirts out in your cabinets. Put those fractious flip-top bottles in zip-close bags before leaving the lower elevations.

Easy way to keep floor heat registers clean
From Lou P.: “To keep floor registers clean, I place fiberglass window screen material on the bottom side of the registers with a little hot glue. Cut the screen mesh a little larger and fit it in place – a few dabs of hot glue holds it there. The screen keeps the dog hair and other stuff out of the duct work and it is easy to vacuum out. I now only need to remove my registers about once a year for a good cleaning.” Thanks, Lou!

Transport propane tanks securely
“We got a TailGater Strap System to transport our cylinder to get it filled. We absolutely love it. There have been times when, on the way to get it filled, I’ve done some geocaching and the tank holds rock-steady over hill and dale and gullies and rocks in the desert. Works great for pickup truck owners.” Thanks, Penny.

Don’t mess with working lights
Assume you have hooked up your tow car (trailer, dolly, whatever) and you get in your coach to check the lights. The co-pilot stands behind the car and waves to indicate each light is working (brake, tail, and turn signal lights). Fine. Then the co-pilot walks up to visually inspect the hookup (a good thing). Although it is commonly done, the co-pilot should not reach down and “jiggle” the connection. The connection was good and you verified that when you checked the lights. If they jiggle it, something may become disconnected and you cannot determine this without checking it again. Thanks to Ron Jones,

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: 

“Close up all the slides. Then walk around and see if you can access the bathroom, the refrigerator, the bed, a sink, the pantry, your clothes, whatever else you think might need while traveling. If you can’t, reconsider purchasing it.” — Nancy M.

Random RV Thought

When is the last time you checked your RV’s fire extinguisher? It’s probably time to check it again. Disposable (non-rechargeable) fire extinguishers should be replaced every 10 years. Rechargeable fire extinguishers should be inspected and recharged every 6 years. And while you’re at it, get a second one for extra safety.

• 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.


0 0 votes
Article Rating
Subscribe to comments
Notify of

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
9 months ago

Our first years we went without a toad. We tried rentals but they were never near where we were. We used Uber etc. but that was only good if you wanted to just be at one stop it was not very good for hopping about site seeing. We than got a small car to tow and it really made travel so much more enjoyable. Also use it for runabout at our stick and bricks because its cheaper to use. One small bonus has been since we started towing a toad has been a .3 mpg increase in mileage. Most believe its because the toad brings up the wind behind MH

9 months ago

In addition to spitting flip up bottles, liquid soap pump bottles will pump themselves if too full. I use a foaming pump dispenser-never had one leak. Also beware that bags of potato chips can blow up. Make sure to open the bag with a small hole to let excess pressure out before altitude changes.

1 year ago

Why would you throw away a perfectly good fire extinguisher, simply because you haven’t used it in a year? If you’ve used it, either toss it or, if it is refillable, have it recharged. Some advice that I see in this column needs to be vetted by more than one person. Just because it was submitted doesn’t necessarily make it true, or even good advice.

Sue Hoffman Losinger
1 year ago

I covered my floor registers with a panty hose I just slipped it on, cut to size and screwed the register. You could use knee highs, too….

Rock & Tina
1 year ago

Random Thoughts. Once again your fire extinguisher does NOT have to be shaken. See Myth #1 on the Ameren web site. also please refer to

Pablo Flaifel
1 year ago

We get around using Uber or Lyft instead of towing, they also serve as our designated drivers. If not available, then we can always rent a car nearby.

Roger B
2 years ago

An easy way to check your trailer lights and can be done by one person. After connecting turn your tow vehicle parking lights and emergency flashers. This will have all lights working and you can do a walk around. Test this on your particular rig but it will work on most.

2 years ago

In many areas you can rent a car. Much cheaper!

2 years ago

Instead of the $19.95, plus S&H, Tailgator strap, I use plastic milk crates to transport my tanks, The tanks fit almost perfectly, and the square crate offers lots of stability, For even more stability, I use a bungee cord to secure the tank in a corner of the truck bed.

Mark K
2 years ago
Reply to  Jim


1 year ago
Reply to  Mark K

Plus, having the strap wrap around the tailgate can and will cause damage to the paint.
I also use a milk crate, but secure it with ratchet straps connected to the cargo rings on the sides of the bed inside. Not going anywhere.

1 year ago
Reply to  Jim

We do the same.

2 years ago

I learned the hard way about flip top containers

Last edited 2 years ago by Tom

Sign up for the

RVtravel Newsletter

Sign up and receive 3 FREE RV Checklists: Set-Up, Take-Down and Packing List.