Saturday, September 30, 2023


Beginner’s Guide to RVing Newsletter Volume 3, Issue 64

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, September 1, 2022

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

RVing Basics

How do RVers do their laundry?

Most use a coin laundry. Most RV parks have at least a few washers and dryers, but sometimes you need to stop at a commercial laundromat. Many seasonal or full-time RVers in larger coaches have built-in washer-dryers. They have very limited capacity, but they do the job.

Can I use an electric blanket on my bed?

Yes, as long as you are hooked up to electricity. Some RVers use a 12-volt mattress pad instead, which goes beneath the bedding, not on top. Turning it on about 15 minutes before bedtime makes a bed very cozy when it’s time to climb in. These pads draw about seven amps an hour when warming up — about the same as two incandescent light bulbs — but only 20 percent of that amount through the night, making it possible to keep them on until morning (providing you have well-charged deep cycle batteries). Some mattress pad models will operate on either household or 12-volt current at the flip of a switch. A good way to stay warm on a cold night besides using an electric blanket or other covers is to wear a wool stocking cap. You’d be amazed how much this will warm you up. Another option is using a pure sine-wave inverter with a 120-volt home-style electric blanket. Using a cheaper, modified sine-wave inverter will often permanently damage an electric blanket control.

Do standard bed sheets fit RV beds?

Not necessarily. Just because a manufacturer says a particular coach has a queen-size bed, do not assume it’s the same size as your queen bed back home. RV beds are not created equal. Before buying sheets, measure the bed. You may have to visit a specialty RV store to buy the proper-sized sheets. A product called adjustable bed sheet straps can help secure oversized sheets, so that’s an option.

Quick Tips

Don’t forget to winterize the outside shower
Stuck in the cold highlands of New Mexico, Fred C. sent this reminder: “It is 16 degrees this morning. Luckily, I winterized my motorhome last week so the cold doesn’t affect me. While adding the antifreeze, after draining the fresh water system, I nearly forgot one of the most susceptible and least used water points in my RV, the outside shower. I caught this error before I completed the task and ran the shower until I saw that wonderful pink color.” Thanks, Fred!

Have tire chains in case of snow
Always carry drive wheel and trailer wheel chains when you travel in snow country. Know how to put them on. Chains are needed for both the tow vehicle and for one axle of the trailer. If you have a motorhome with dual-rear wheels, you will need chains for one tire on each side. From California DMV

Dumping tanks in freezing weather
Be careful when dumping holding tanks in freezing weather. Blade valves can freeze, and plastic fittings and handles may become brittle and break. Thanks to Ron Jones at

“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: 

“Stay calm. Things WILL go wrong.
Reduce your driving speed. Don’t let others on the road make you feel you have to drive faster or get out of the way. Watch that you are not disobeying speed limits but enjoy the adventure – it is not all about the destination.” —Linda Irons

Random RV Thought

Rest areas are like little cities with a constantly changing population. Most RVers love rest areas. They are good places to stretch one’s legs, walk the dog, or to prepare a grilled cheese sandwich for dining at a picnic table.

Do you know where the world’s largest rest area is? Find out here.

Inflatable foot rest is comfortable for couch and passenger seat
Now that’s cool! Miss your favorite recliner no more! This inflatable foot rest is perfect for lounging on the couch, in the chair by the campfire, or in the passenger seat for long drives. Take it on a plane ride, or take it to the grandkids’ sports games (we know those can get long). It weighs less than 1 lb. and folds down small for travel. Learn more about this comfy foot rest here.

“What’s the best modification you’ve made to your RV?”

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

“I have made numerous mods to our Outback Sydney Edition trailer. The one that has had the most impact is the solar system I installed last year. We now do not need to depend on overcrowded campgrounds and making reservations to have a place to spend the night, a few days or even a season.” —Corky

• If you’re a member of Facebook, be sure to sign up for our groups RV Buying Advice, RV Advice and Budget RV Travel. For a list of all our groups and newsletters, visit here.

• 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

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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Donald N Wright
1 year ago

I tend to drive the speed limit or 5 MPH slower, never more than sixty, When a couple of vehicles are behind me, I look for a spot to move over and let them pass.

1 year ago

My wife and I prefer to use a 12V heated blanket to warm the bed before we get in. Once the bed and other blankets have warmed up, we’ve never needed to turn the 12V blanket back on. We camp without hookups, so anything running on 12 volts uses less of the battery than 120 volts (big loss in running the inverter).
Heated mattress pads have gotten better, but I still feel the wires or connections between wires with the pads.

Rock & Tina
2 years ago

You can get RV sized sheets on Amazon. Measure your bed and then search Amazon for Short King or Short Queen sheets. You’ll probably find they’re a match.

Tony F Stekar
2 years ago

When I lived in California and travel back to montana every winter , I didn’t chain up but was told if I got stuck or slide off road It would be a very stiff fine. ALSO WARNING if you have someone at the turn out to put your chains on CHECK OUT when they say they are done; I heard they put only one chain on and keep the other one to sell. Your loss! 4×4 may not require you to have to chain-up , I never did in the 10 years I travel back and forth. Back home in MT. and do have chains ; in 40 years of living here I used them twice!

2 years ago

My DW’s driving instructor gave her great advice in regard to speed. He said, if they are stuck behind you they should have left a bit earlier.

2 years ago

I sort of disagree with your tell someone new to RVing section. You stated in there “don’t feel you have to get out of the way”. If you’re holding up traffic and you can safely use the turn out where you may have to pull over and stop to let 2 or 3 other vehicles passed, please do so. In many States it is the law. And why not be a courteous driver and let faster traffic pass you by?

2 years ago
Reply to  Matt

I agree with your concept of pulling over but when I’m doing the speed limit and I get a little car come up behind me and rides my bumper, I figure if he spent another $10 on a few more horsepower he could have passed me. IMHO

2 years ago

California and a few other western states will ticket you at certain times of the year if you do not have chains on certain roads with varying weather conditions. If you travel the mountains in snow season be aware of the state’s requirements. I know big rigs are required to have chains (needed or not) at certain times of the year, but I am not sure if it is the same for RV’s. California for one has check points to verify.

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