Thursday, November 30, 2023


Beginner’s Guide to RVing Newsletter, Volume 3, Issue 56

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 22, 2022

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

RVing Basics

How do you dump an RV’s waste tanks?

“Dump stations” are located in most private campgrounds, in many public campgrounds, and at some gas stations and highway rest areas. Some are free, but $5 to $20 per use is becoming the norm. The process is so easy that you seldom even get your hands wet, and then usually only from the water faucet when rinsing off the sewer hose.

But how do I actually dump the tanks?

First, put on disposable gloves to protect your health. Then hook up the flexible sewer hose and insert the other end into the dump drain. Dump the gray tank for just a few seconds to coat the hose and check for leaks, then dump the black water (toilet) tank by pulling its handle, usually attached to a 3” plastic pipe located low on the rig on the “driver” side. After it’s dumped and flushed, dump the gray water tank, the one that holds the sink and shower water. These gray water lines are often fitted to a smaller 2” plastic pipe. The gray water will wash out wastes from the black tank, making it more pleasant to wash off your sewer hose afterwards. If you do it in reverse order, put a clothespin on your nose. Here’s more on dumping the tanks.

Quick Tips

Stay in the right lane going up a steep grade
Do not drive in the fast lane on a multiple-lane grade. Stay in the far right lane while climbing a steep grade if your RV or trailer will not maintain the legal speed limit. It would be better to drop to a lower gear and slow down rather than pass slow trucks and tie up the faster lanes because you don’t have enough power.

Proper braking on a downgrade
The use of brakes on a long and/or steep downgrade is only a supplement to the braking effect of the engine. Once the vehicle is in the proper low gear, the following is a proper braking technique: (1) Apply the brakes just hard enough to feel a definite slowdown. (2) When your speed has been reduced to approximately five mph below your “safe” speed, release the brakes. This brake application should last for about three seconds. (3) When your speed has increased to your “safe” speed, repeat steps 1 and 2. For more information read our article: Getting your rig safely to the bottom of that long grade.

If you could tell someone new to RVing just one thing, what would it be?

From the editors: We asked our readers this question recently. Here is one response: 

“Use plenty of water when you flush your toilet to avoid the dreaded ‘poo pyramid’.” —Tim Palmer

Protect your RV “pigtail”
RV Travel Newsletter Issue 880That 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.

Random RV Thought

When you are taking an RV trip and fretting over high gas prices, you may feel better if
you think about your house back home, where the heater, air conditioner and water
heater are off or turned low, thus saving you lots of money.

• 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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James (@guest_96316)
3 years ago

There are no FAST lanes in the United States …..

Skip (@guest_96341)
3 years ago
Reply to  James

Not necessarily true. Especially out West, it is illegal to be in the left lane unless you are passing and you may be ticketed for “Camping” in the left lane.

Gary W Mayberry (@guest_199073)
1 year ago
Reply to  Skip

In Pennsylvania it is also illegal to “drive” in the left lane with the exemption to pass. It is too bad people don’t obey that law, and worse, they don’t get fined enough for not obeying that law.

Mary (@guest_96312)
3 years ago

Great information on down hill braking if your RV has hydraulic or air brakes. Do you have some rule of thumb for the tag along trailers and 5th wheels. I believe there brakes are activated by a 12volt electric system. Any help on how and when to increase/ decrease that power as I go down hill?

Bob Weinfurt (@guest_96320)
3 years ago
Reply to  Mary

As long as they’re working and properly adjusted, there is nothing different to do. You should check that the electric brakes work when you first hit the road and before you go down any grade.

James Starling (@guest_134580)
2 years ago
Reply to  Mary

Look into a Brake Controller to add to your tow vehicle

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