Welcome to the Beginner’s Guide to RVing from RVtravel.com. 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, August 11, 2022
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DID YOU MISS reading this morning’s RV Daily Tips Newsletter? Good stuff there.
Why would I want to equip my RV with a generator?
To use it to power an air conditioner, microwave, electric heater or other major power-eaters and to charge your automotive and deep cycle batteries when you are dry camping (camping without utility hookups).
Is a generator really necessary?
No. If you don’t have big power needs while “boondocking,” then you don’t need a generator. Face it, if you never use it or seldom use it, you’re just carrying along extra weight and using space that could be used for storage. If you’re financing an RV that came equipped with a generator, over time it will cost you a lot more than its sticker price when interest rates are figured in. If you ever decide you need a generator you can have one installed at any time. Some people simply buy a small portable generator like those made by Honda and Yamaha.
What kitchen appliances come with RVs?
Most everything you have at home. Microwaves come in all but the least expensive units, and many RV kitchens even include built-in coffee makers. RVs come fully furnished with furniture and appliances that include stove, oven, refrigerator and kitchen sink. Unlike a regular home, where you have to buy furnishings and appliances, an RV is basically ready to live in.
Protect your RV “pigtail”
That 7-way connector on your travel trailer or fifth wheel is a critical component. When not plugged into your tow rig, the thing is susceptible to the onslaught of dirt, rain and even bugs. Here’s a plug cover that slips right over your precious plug and keeps out the crud. One user says, “This works perfectly to keep the plug on my RV clear. I remove it when not in use and place it in my ‘RV emergency tool kit.’ This way, it’s not knocked around when driving.” Learn more or order.
More advice on paying close attention when setting up or breaking down for travel
Monte Kern writes about a concern for RVers when trying to set up or break down for road travel – that is, the dangers of getting distracted while setting up/tearing down, especially hooking/unhooking. “I am always surprised when other RVers insist on trying to visit at that particular time. I understand non-RVers, but not RVers, being a distraction. Our method of defusing this situation: My wife will come to my rescue and engage any chatterboxes while I concentrate on my routine, especially while hooking up our toad. Even then, it is possible to make mistakes. I recently pulled out of our spot with the emergency brake set and flat-spotted the rear toad tires. We do have a routine where my wife watches the tow bar click in and the wheels roll, right after we check the lights. Somehow we goofed this one time and now we need two new toad tires. It has made us somewhat paranoid and MUCH more careful to follow our routine.” Thanks for the important reminder, Monte!
Be careful with your Hitch-Grip!
Traveler Mel Goddard writes this cautionary note: “Be careful when using your ‘Hitch-Grip’ [hitch lifting and coupling tool] on a rotating ball hitch; it can spin off and drop the hitch-head on your toes. Reese has one such ball (that I have), and if it should rotate in the hitch-grip, it will fall off, straight down. Missed my toes by two inches!” Thanks for the warning, Mel!
Safe under-bed storage advice
Regarding accessing “under-bed” storage, Larry Piech sent along this warning. Writing about gas struts that can sometimes fail, Larry observed: “Not only did the struts not hold our bed up, it pulled the screws out of the wood frame holding the strut assemblies in place. To solve the issue I moved the two strut assemblies towards the bottom of the bed eight inches. Guess what? The bed stays up, no torn out screws, and it’s a whole lot easier to raise and lower. Math at work here!” Thanks, Larry, for the elevating suggestion.
Don’t get bug spray on your glasses
Brian Jensen relates this warning to us out-of-doors types: “Spray bug repellent like OFF may pit your glasses and plastic watch crystals. I recently sprayed myself in a breeze and got some on my glasses. Even though I tried washing it off almost immediately, I have ruined my no-line lenses. Then I looked on the can and in tiny print it does warn that it can do that.” Thanks, Brian!
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:
“Go slow and stay focused. Get all the information you can to make a sound purchase. Confer with other RV owners – an awesome source of free information.” —Ted Raymond
Random RV Thought
If you keep your RV on your property and you have kids, then you probably know how much those kids love to play with their friends in the RV. It’s like their private clubhouse. So, if you yearn for a little peace and quiet around the house, dispatch the kids out into the RV with some snacks and a board game or two. They’ll be happy and you’ll have peace.
• 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!
Camping with the Corps of Engineers
Many RVers consider Corps of Engineers campgrounds to be the best in the country. This guide is just for RVers — boat-in and tent-only sites are not included. Of all the public lands, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has some of the best parks and campgrounds available. In fact, it’s the largest federal provider of outdoor recreation in the nation. Learn more or order.
Editor: Emily Woodbury
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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 RVtravel.com or this newsletter.
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My RV is not a play house for the kids. It is my home away from home and to let kids use it as a play house is, in my opinion, unwise.
Brian,Ruined eye glasses from over spray of off. Take your glasses to an optical place where they have lighter fluid that might solve the damage.
I agree with you. It is our home away from home. We didn’t invest part of our life savings for a “Playhouse” for the children or the grandchildren.
Agreed, letting kids of any age in an RV unsupervised is a terrible idea!
Young ones are liable to start a fire playing with the stove. Teens will think it’s even better than a van with a bed in back. 😉