Saturday, December 9, 2023


Beginner’s Guide to RVing Newsletter Volume 3, Issue 54

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!

Thursday, August 18, 2022

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

RVing Basics

How do RV toilets work?

They look much like a toilet at home except they use hardly any water. After use, you pull a handle or press a lever and a drain opens to allow the waste to fall into the holding tank while water swirls around to help the process. We prefer toilets where, when you flush, the tank empties into the tank directly below the toilet. On some fifth wheels, the pipes may take a right or left turn on their way to the tank. Some RVers report problems with this setup.

Do I need special toilet paper?

No, unless you want to toss away your money. You can buy special biodegradable toilet paper in RV supply stores, but it costs double or triple the price of regular toilet paper. Most brands of plain, white, single-ply paper will decompose fine and save you money. Costco’s Kirkland brand toilet paper is a good choice. Never put Kleenex, wipes or anything else down your tank even if it says septic safe – just toilet paper.

RV Daily Tips Newsletter Issue 1170Is your RV too cold in the winter and too hot in the summer?
Camco’s vent insulator and skylight cover features a thick layer of foam which helps stop heat transfer, keeping you warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer. Installation is easy. The insulator is designed to fit standard 14″x14″ RV vents. Learn more or order here.

Quick Tips

Buy battery-powered CO and smoke detector(s)
George Bliss offers this important tip: Carbon monoxide and smoke detectors come together in a single unit. They are cheaper than dinner in a restaurant, and the battery ones will last 10 years. But be sure to buy one that runs on battery power. If you have one that plugs into 110 volts it’s no good when dry camping or overnighting without power. Thanks, George!
Editor: Here are several to choose from on Amazon.

Easy nighttime lighting for walking safety
Wolfe Rose says: “If you’ve walked your dog or star-gazed after dark and don’t have your flashlight along, you’ve likely found the firepit when it hit your shin or tripped over buried boulders and tree roots. Pick up several solar LED garden lights at the dollar store and such hazards will be lit without having to leave your RV lights on.” Get idea! Thanks, Wolfe!

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: 

“Don’t just let it sit … get out and see the land!!!” —Jim

A video about campground courtesy
Josh The RV Nerd has some good advice about campground courtesy for newbie RVers. Even if you’ve been RVing awhile, you will enjoy this entertaining video.

Random RV Thought

Don’t forget to bring along a fly swatter on your RV trips. An option to getting rid of a fly is to open a door or window to let the fly flee. But that’s gambling: Instead of the fly flying out, two of its buddies may fly in. And then you have a fly-fest, which nobody wants. So a fly swatter is the way to go.

Say goodbye to goop!RV Travel Newsletter Issue 910
Have you ever seen the sediment that collects in your water heater? You probably don’t want to. Camco’s water tank rinser is an easy-to-use gadget that is a must-have for any RVer. The tank rinser will get out all the yucky sediment that’s been sitting at the bottom of your water heater and, most importantly, will extend the life of it too. Read the many positive reviews, and get one for yourself here.

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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Glenn (@guest_198666)
1 year ago

Have used regular TP in my boats and camper for over 30 years. Never had a problem. Charmin Ultra Strong usually now. The tanks are just holding tanks. Nothing special happens there. As long as you have enough water in the tank, it drains fine.

John Young (@guest_95873)
3 years ago

…..have put about 50K on our class B over the last 7 yr…..this ‘beginner’s’ site is a super refresher….& some very useful new info.
Thanks for putting it out there.

John &Pam. 04 Rialta QD

mark pullmann (@guest_198566)
1 year ago
Reply to  John Young

John, If you have a Rialta, you must join Rialta Owners of America on facebook. It is a bible for owners.
Mark 97 Rialta RC

Tony Grigg (@guest_95870)
3 years ago

For centuries man has endeavoured to get his waste as far from his living space as possible, culminating in our present system of flushing toilets, municipal plumbing and waste treatment systems. NOW you suggest that I store my used toilet paper in a can beside me in a very small room for days at a time. Noooo thank you. I’ll just use low quality paper and plenty of water in my black tank. 😬💩😬 …. 😊

Drew (@guest_95863)
3 years ago

I’d suggest using something more dis solvable than household tp- especially for people who don’t use enough water when they flush. I’ve had to unclog some pretty big tp messes in the past (and I also have one of those 90 degree angles at the bottom of the toilet, which is exactly where the clogs were.)

steve (@guest_95860)
3 years ago

Much better than a fly swatter. And makes killing flies fun.

(Amazon carries these too but I can’t put in a link that benefits RV Travel)

Irv Goomba (@guest_95857)
3 years ago

Costco’s Kirkland brand toilet paper is 2 ply, so I’ve never understood the “it’s ok” recommendations. I think the *amount* of TP is almost as important as the type. You can create a clog with too much of anything.

Bob Weinfurt (@guest_95855)
3 years ago

As for using toilet paper, if it isn’t stained (like after a #2), put it in a waste basket lined with a plastic bag instead of in the toilet. When the bag gets full, toss it in the garbage. That’ll drastically cut back on any TP related problems.

Last edited 3 years ago by Bob Weinfurt
Pete Z (@guest_95856)
3 years ago
Reply to  Bob Weinfurt

We started using the biodegradable doggie bags for the used TP. Worked
great and definitely made the dumping a lot “cleaner.”

Tom Akers (@guest_95858)
3 years ago
Reply to  Bob Weinfurt

Agree, that’s what I do!

snayte (@guest_95861)
3 years ago
Reply to  Bob Weinfurt

We do that whether it is “stained” or not. We have a small waste bin with a lid just wrap a little extra paper around the soiled TP. Using the bin also allows the use of flush-able wipes.

steve (@guest_95864)
3 years ago
Reply to  Bob Weinfurt

Or, get a bidet seat and forget the tp altogether.

Michelle Smedley (@guest_95867)
3 years ago
Reply to  steve


Irv (@guest_134032)
2 years ago

Yep! Yep!

Marie Dalzell (@guest_95869)
3 years ago
Reply to  Bob Weinfurt

Then you have people like us with teeny bathrooms with barely room to turn around let alone put a waste can of any size!

Robert Weinfurt (@guest_95874)
3 years ago
Reply to  Marie Dalzell

I have tight quarters too so my waste basket had to be small enough to fit between the wall and commode.

Marie Dalzell (@guest_95884)
3 years ago

We have a corner three tiered shelf that is squished in there with a couple towels and toilet paper! Our next TT will have a bathroom I can get dressed in.

Bob (@guest_134005)
2 years ago
Reply to  Bob Weinfurt

Agree wholeheartedly. If you’re worried about an odor, empty the waste basket daily. And probably less odor than when the ball is open while flushing.

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