Tuesday, September 26, 2023


Beginner’s Guide to RVing Newsletter, Volume 3, Issue 50

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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Friday, August 12, 2022

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RV Advice: Have a question for other RVers? This Facebook group is a very helpful resource.

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

RVing Basics

How do I put fresh water in my RV?

There are two ways. To fill your freshwater storage tank, first hook up a hose to a water faucet. Insert the male end of the hose into the opening in the fresh water fill up area on the side of the rig. Turn on the hose and let ‘er go until the tank begins to overflow, then turn off the water. This water will later be pumped by the water pump from an onboard tank to your faucet, shower or toilet during those times when you are unable to hook up directly to a water faucet. Here’s a helpful article about using a water meter for your tanks.

However, when you are able to hook up, attach the male end of the hose to the RV and the other to the campground faucet, then turn on the water and keep it on. The water will bypass the storage tank and feed right to the RV’s faucets, etc. When you are hooked up like this with the sewer hooked up you can run water just like at home without worrying about draining your water supply or filling up your waste water holding tanks. It’s a good idea to filter all the water that goes into your RV. Inline filters are available at most RV supply stores or at Amazon.

Will a regular garden hose work to fill my RV’s tank?

It will work, yes, but the water may pick up an odor or off-taste from the hose. RV supply stores sell special potable water hoses for RVs that allow the water to pass through without picking up an odor or taste. The hoses are inexpensive. Amazon has a large supply of these hoses.

What do I do with the sewer hose when it’s not in use?

In most Class A motorhomes, the hose will store right inside the compartment where it is used. Many RVs have tubular rear bumpers that accommodate the hose. Some RVers attach a section of four-inch plastic pipe beneath their rigs for storing their hose. By all means, keep it as far from your fresh water hose as possible. Here’s a list of no mess, no hassle RV sewage hose storage tips.

Quick Tips

Handy ice cube tip
Reader Thelma T. sends along a “cool” tip: “Bags of ice can take up a lot of valuable space in an RV refrigerator. We start the trip out with a ziplock bag of ice from home and fill two ice cube trays. Once a day we empty the ice trays and we never need to buy ice. This saves space as well as money by not having to buy ice.”

Baby powder the RV’s inner slide seals
A great way to keep your slide seals from sticking is to coat them with good ol’ baby powder. Just bring in the slide and look around the inner edge for a rubber seal. With a soft cloth, coat it with a layer of baby powder and the seal will stay nice and supple and won’t stick when the slide is in for extended periods. Thanks to Ray Burr at loveyourrv.com. [Editor: Thetford has a great slideout rubber seal conditioner and protectant, available here.]

Adjust convex mirrors to prevent blind spots
Before traveling in your RV, adjust both convex wing-mirrors to allow you and the co-pilot to see down both sides of your coach. Convex mirrors help increase your field of view to see objects and vehicles that might otherwise “hide” in a blind spot. The convex mirrors usually do not have to be readjusted regardless of the size of the driver. Remember, objects in the convex mirror are closer than you think. Do not use them to judge distance as they can distort distance perception! Always make sure to use your mirrors – even in the rain. Thanks to Ron Jones, AboutRVing.com.

Estimating campsite lengths
You can estimate campsite lengths using Google Earth, but reader John Z. adds a piece of cautionary advice: “Length may also be limited by the access road to the campground. This is particularly true of National Parks and Forests – Zion and Glacier are two prime examples where vehicle size limits are imposed on roads leading in or through the campground.” Thanks, John.

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: 

“If you are buying an RV because it is cheaper than a hotel room, then don’t buy one!” —Gary Loeb

Keep your knives sharp with this small, easy-to-use knife sharpener. We’ve got one in our RV! Click here.

Random RV Thought

If you are having a bad day at home and your RV is nearby, escape to it for a while. Close the door and just sit quietly. The change of scenery plus the “good feeling” of the RV might improve your spirits.

• 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

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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.

RVtravel.com 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 Amazon.com. 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.


  1. Having a bad day ? Many is the time I have visited my RV, sweep the floor, putter around, and pretty soon my day is going well !

  2. Be sure the water pressure in the system you’re hooking up to is less than 50 LBS or you could end up doing significant damage to your RVs water system and flood your RV. Using a pressure regulator with a gauge .is the best way to eliminate that situation. Always turn the water supply spigot off when leaving your RV as unexpected disasters can and do happen.
    I set mine between 25-30 LBS and find that to be more than adequate.

  3. When I hook my water line up to the RV from the faucet I do the faucet end first and then run water through the hose to full it, then shut the water off and hook the hose up to my RV with the water still in it. This gets that extra amount of air out of the hose rather than coming through the tap, water heater or toilet (whichever you turn on first). In my favourite campground, my preferred site has the water tap at the front so I use a 50 ft. water hose – that is a lot of air to blow through a tap.

  4. When you are hooked with hose connected to fresh water inlet up like this and sewer hooked up you can run water just like at home without worrying about draining your water supply or filling up your waste water holding tanks.

    Provided you grey tank valve is open.

    • Keeping the grey water valve open will let soap scum and food particles to accumulate in the bottom of the grey tank. Best to keep the valve closed and empty it as needed.
      The rush of water will help clean the tank.

      • They grey water also helps flush the hose after draining the black tank. Drain black tank first, then grey tank. It will flush most of the black tank residue from the hose.

  5. re: garden hose

    Also mold, algae, bacteria, and chemicals leaching from the hose.

    I used a garden hose at a friends house one time and let it run for a minute before hooking it up. A few days later, no water was coming out of the trailer’s kitchen faucet.

    I removed the aerator and it was clogged with algae and other crap.


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