Wednesday, September 28, 2022


Beginner’s Guide to RVing Newsletter, Volume 3, Issue 46

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, August 8, 2022

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

RVing Basics

How long can I boondock at one time?

There’s no short answer here. It depends on the fresh- and waste-water capacity of your rig, your battery capacity and whether you have a generator or solar panels, how many people are camping, and how good you are at conserving water and power. If you can bring in additional fresh water and haul away your waste to a dump site, then you may be able to extend your stay nearly indefinitely.

What’s “stealth camping”?

This is a fairly recent term that applies to people who travel or even live in vans, usually without windows behind the driver’s compartment. The idea is you don’t want to draw attention to yourself when stealth camping, so you try to park where you blend in with every other parked vehicle. If the vans do have windows, the occupants may use black-out curtains so they don’t draw attention to themselves. Many stealth campers choose this way to travel, or even live, out of economic necessity. Others are simply minimalists who prefer to live as simply as possible.

I plan to keep my RV at home, but will need a long extension cord to reach an outlet. Is this okay?

Yes, but the extension cord must be rated to carry the maximum amperage that your home outlet can deliver. Be aware that even a 15-amp “Edison” outlet will likely be powered by a 20-amp circuit breaker, so you’ll want to use a 12-gauge extension cord that’s rated for 20 amps. Do not use skinny orange extension cords. And never, ever use an extension cord like you’d commonly use at home.

Sta-Bil Rust Stopper stops rust and corrosion
Of the many gremlins that attack your RV, like mold, mildew, leaks and black streaks, rust is the gremlin that will attack your hand tools, spare parts, door hinges and other vulnerable metal surfaces and moving parts over time. STA-BIL® Rust Stopper prevents rust and corrosion by protecting metal surfaces with a long-lasting barrier while lubricating parts and tools to stop squeaks and sticking. Learn more in this article.

Quick Tips

Two tips for an extra flush-out of commode when dumping black water
• Dan writes: “We carry a plastic pail handy for lots of stuff anyway. But after dumping the black water and still hooked to dump, I depress the commode valve open and quickly dump in a pail of water as fast as possible — it flushes a lot of stuff out.” Good idea, Dan — Thanks!
• Loren M. adds his own approach to the matter of washing away residual “cling-ons.” “Just fill the commode using the foot pedal in the ‘up’ position. My commode holds approximately two gallons of water.” —Thanks, Loren!

Storing cooking liquids
Store bottles of cooking liquids (cooking oils, sauces, vinegar, syrup, etc.) all together in a solid, plastic container or tub. When driving, if one happens to break, the spill will be contained. You will have a small mess to clean but not a disaster. Use an old hand towel or (clean) socks to cushion the glass containers. Thanks to Ron Jones,

Help save your tires with thin cutting boards!
“I found another use for those super-thin cutting boards: Place them under your tires when parked on concrete or asphalt pads. Protects the tires from alkalines and other chemicals in the pads when parked for a long time.” Thanks to Mel Goddard for the tip.

Don’t forget to check your tire valve stems
Dick G. advises: “Check your tire pressure but also move the valve stems around to check their integrity. While cleaning the wheels on my year-old camper I found a leak at the valve stem, thought it might be a crack in the rubber of the valve stem, but on a one-year-old camper that is rare. By pushing the valve stem sideways it leaked air — and a lot of it — so off to the shop I went to replace the faulty valve stem. After removing the tire, I found the valve stem was not cracked but when it was initially mounted the bead of the tire had deformed the base of the stem and allowed it to leak. A new valve stem was installed and potential flat was averted.” Thanks, Dick!

Hot off the press! Sign up for our RV Daily Tips Newsletter! 
Every Monday through Friday you get a short, informational email from us delivered straight to your inbox. Inside each issue you’ll find: quick RV tips, popular articles, reader polls, RV thoughts, helpful resources, a website of the day, RV clubs and organizations, trivia, jokes and more! If you don’t like it, you can easily unsubscribe, but we doubt you’ll want to. Read this morning’s issue here and then sign up here.

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: 

“Practice using everything in and on your RV before you leave for the road trips. Practice, practice, practice.” —Rick K.

‘Earthquake Putty’ keeps stuff in place
Do you have items in your RV you like to keep in place — on a table, bedstand or counter? You need this. Collectors Hold Museum Putty is designed to keep items secure in earthquakes! Hey, a moving RV is a constant earthquake! To use this, pull off what you need, roll until soft, apply to the base of the object then lightly press it to the surface. Later, it comes off clean. Learn more or order.

Random RV Thought

How many pots and pans do you carry in your RV? Which ones have you used in recent times? Those you have not used you likely don’t need: leave them at home from now on. They’re just extra weight.

• 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.

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This newsletter is copyright 2022 by RV Travel LLC.


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Richard Palmer
1 year ago

Be aware that even a 15-amp “Edison” outlet will likely be powered by a 20-amp circuit breaker, so you’ll want to use a 12-gauge extension cord that’s rated for 20 amps.

That is horribly wrong and completely against the National Electric Code. A circuit is rated at it’s lowest amperage component and the breaker should be sized to match that component.

A 20 amp circuit must have a 20 amp outlet. Not to say that someone that is clueless might not install a 15 amp outlet, but if that is the case then the outlet can only deliver 15 amps and the breaker should be changed to a 15 amp breaker to prevent a potential fire. Or the outlet should be changed to a 20 amp outlet.

Trying to pull 20 amps through a 15 amp device is a sure way to start a fire.

1 month ago
Reply to  Richard Palmer

Sorry but you are wrong, 15 amp receptacles are installed on 20 amp circuits every day in total compliance with NEC, in fact the vast majority of homes do not have any 20 amp receptacles installed. A 20 amp receptacle is only required when it is the only receptacle on a 20 amp circuit, as in a single receptacle, even a 15 amp duplex receptacle can be installed legally because it is counted as 2 receptacles. All 15 amp receptacles are rated at 20 amps pass thru. Any user equipment that draws more than 15 amps comes with a 20 amp plug cap that will only fit a 20 amp receptacle which prevents drawing excess current from a 15 amp. However:
As far as the RV hookup, yes the various adapters make it possible to draw more than 15 amps through a 15 amp receptacle but NEC has no jurisdiction over what gets plugged in, and many products are not listed but still legal to sell, so in reality plugging an RV into that outlet could cause a problem. When plugging in at home one should limit use of power in the RV to battery charging and fridge or better yet install a proper RV circuit.

Last edited 1 month ago by Brian
1 year ago

One tip to new RVers make sure your tow vehicle is rate to pull your dream trailer. Might work ok on flat land but what about mountains. The next question is will you be able to stop? Don’t take the salesman’s pitch: sure your Yugo will pull that 16 ft camper. Do your home work.

1 year ago

Regarding the cutting boards under the tires. I purchased 6 rubber & textured door mats & aligned them under my tires.
Various sizes & colors available plus reasonable.

2 years ago

Question: After I’ve combined my syrups, sauces, vinegar, etc into a single container how will I then extract only the one I need at a future date? Sounds confusing.

Marvin Monson
2 years ago
Reply to  Drew

are you serious?

2 years ago
Reply to  Marvin Monson


Dr. Michael
1 year ago
Reply to  Drew

Label the top of the bottles.
That is what we do at the hospital- a lot of bottles of alcohol, peroxide, and a few others are stored in a drawer. All of the bottles are different (alcohol are opaque, peroxide are dark), but all have white caps. We just label the caps. When needed, we pull the bottle, verify the label, and use.

2 years ago

I’ve also had the leaky valve stem problem.

The tip about an RV extension cord was too brief.

First: What equipment on the RV are they planning on using?
Just lights and keeping the battery charged, or are they going to run the air conditioner and/or microwave.

They might need a 30 or 50 amp RV outlet installed.

Second: How long is long? Ten extra feet or 100 extra?

An article from Mike Sokol on this would be good–especially the length issue.

Dr. Michael
1 year ago
Reply to  Irv

I thought the exact same thing about the extension cord question. There are far too many variables to consider and agree that this should be a Just Ask Mike question.
I have ours plugged into a regular outlet while in storage to keep the batteries charged, but when the coach is at the house, I have a 50 amp circuit. I do have an extension cord (30ft), but it is bigger (in diameter) and heavier than the cord on the coach to avoid any voltage drop.

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