Saturday, December 9, 2023


Beginner’s Guide to RVing Newsletter Volume 3, Issue 51

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!

Monday, August 15, 2022

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

RVing Basics

Should I turn on the campground’s water faucet all the way?

Most of the time, it’s fine. If the water pressure is high—and at many campgrounds a sign will warn of that—make sure to put a pressure regulator on the hose. These inexpensive devices will prevent the high water pressure from damaging or even destroying your RV’s water system. It’s a good idea to use a regulator all the time. It can’t hurt, and may save you a lot of inconvenience and expense. When you use a pressure regulator, put it between the campground faucet and your RV water hose. That way, the regulator will protect both RV and hose.

Where can I fill up with fresh water when I’m not able to hook up?

First of all, plan ahead. If you think you’ll be in the boondocks and far from an easy water source, then fill up whenever the opportunity presents itself and be extra careful about water use. And when you run low, just keep an eye open as you head down the road. Most rest areas with a dump station will also have a fresh water spigot. When you fill up at a gas station, ask the attendant if you can fill up with water, too. We’ve filled up at all kinds of places through the years — city parks, schools, businesses where a faucet was handy (after asking the store manager if it’s okay), picnic grounds, churches, etc. Ask permission if you think it’s necessary, especially if you suspect the water you use is charged to its owner by volume and not a flat fee (in which case we would offer to pay a dollar or two). This is hardly ever necessary, though. Some RVers carry filled five-gallon plastic water jugs for when their regular tank runs low.

Is it okay to just pull off in the middle of nowhere to dump the holding tanks?

No. Never! Just think if everybody did this! The countryside would be polluted and it would stink! Don’t ever do this! Only dump in approved places. If you park your RV at your home, it’s probably okay to use your gray water to water plants if you use earth-friendly soaps and shampoos. But never do it in public places.

Keep rain out and fresh air inside your RV
RV Travel Newsletter Issue 878Few add-ons are more enthusiastically endorsed by RVers as MaxxAir vents. This is the original and a best-selling model. Install this over your RV vents, then keep them open in any weather. On rainy days, air from inside your RV can exit without a single drop of rain coming inside. Keep your vents open during storage and while driving. Learn more or order

Quick Tips

What does your liability insurance cover?
Got campground liability insurance on your RV? That’s the kind that “covers you” if somebody gets hurt in your campsite. But what if you’re away from the campsite while on a trip and conk somebody on the noggin with a golf ball? Homeowner’s liability insurance will probably cover you there—provided you have a home. If you’re a full-timer, check with your insurance agent to see where you stand on weird situations.

Replace the waste valve handles with metal ones
Over the course of three years I had all three original factory-installed plastic waste valve handles crack or break in my hand. I’ve replaced all with metal handles. They are nice to use and should last as long as I have the rig. Thanks to Ray Burr at

Be careful when resealing around TV antenna
Resealing your RV roof and its accouterments? Be careful not to put too much sealant around the TV antenna or you may find that the system won’t rotate freely.

Handy carpet stain remover
Mysterious and/or stubborn carpet stains can be particularly annoying, especially on a lighter carpet. Try a little whitening toothpaste on a small brush—maybe even a toothbrush. Apply to the stain(s) with enough pressure and moisture to create foam, then blot excess, let it dry and vacuum to “re-fluff.” You should have regained your original carpet color. Just be sure to use a white toothpaste, not a red-and-white striped or a green or blue gel! (Editor’s note: It might be a good idea to test in a hidden area, such as a corner, first.) Thanks to Tim Slack!

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: 

“The smartest RV decision we made was to rent an RV before buying and go on a week-long trip. We rented one in the size we were considering buying. We learned so much. We had spent 18 months beforehand reading RV magazines and online forums so no drastic changes in our plans. But the trip made us much more comfortable with our plans and that our truck could handle the RV.” —Irv

Random RV Thought

Unless your motorhome or tow vehicle is “headlights always on,” always switch to your parking lights when driving in a campground after dark. Your neighbors will appreciate it.

Easy way to add water to your batteries!
Never, ever, let your automotive or RV deep cycle batteries run out of water. Here’s a simple way to keep them topped off for maximum performance and long life. Just use this syringe with distilled water. So easy. Learn more or order.

• 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.


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Gloria Sluder (@guest_95661)
3 years ago

My husband uses a gallon size gardener sprayer filled with distilled water to fill batteries on our motor home.

Joe (@guest_133692)
2 years ago
Reply to  Gloria Sluder

It is hard for me to see the level in some of my house batteries even with the tray pulled out. I installed the EZ Battery check to fill them, they replace your existing caps with ones with a sight gage float. The floats will tend to stick so you will need to unscrew them and then put them back in to check the level. They come with a siphon hose to put in a jug of distilled water to fill them. With this system I do not have to worry about overfilling and making a mess.

Edi Watts (@guest_95642)
3 years ago

Definition of a beginner is someone who is clueless! You’re giving all of these tips that sound great, if I knew what you were talking about. How about a virtual class that starts with “we call this an RV?”

cee (@guest_95653)
3 years ago
Reply to  Edi Watts


Last edited 3 years ago by cee
Bev (@guest_198247)
1 year ago
Reply to  Edi Watts

I would be the first to sign up!

Chuck B (@guest_95637)
3 years ago

Not sure I would be driving around a campground with no headlights at night.

Bob (@guest_95625)
3 years ago

Water pressure:
Not turning on the faucet all the way does not decrease pressure. Only volume.
A regulator is the only way to go.

Tom (@guest_95635)
3 years ago
Reply to  Bob

many people don’t understand that, thanks you beat me to it.

Brenda (@guest_95645)
3 years ago
Reply to  Bob

I read somewhere I needed to use a hose “vacuum breaker” attachment… but don’t know which end of the water hose it’s suppose to go on. Help!

Bob (@guest_198219)
1 year ago
Reply to  Brenda

The vacuum breaker is more commonly called an anti-siphon valve or check valve. It prevents water from flowing back to the water source. A lot of campgrounds have these installed permanently on their faucets.

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