Saturday, September 30, 2023


Beginner’s Guide to RVing Newsletter Volume 3, Issue 65

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!

Friday, September 2, 2022

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

RVing Basics

Can I blow a fuse in my RV like at home?

Yes, fuses are generally used on the 12-volt DC side of your power panel, while circuit breakers are always used for the 120-volt AC power side. So be sure you know the location of your fuse box and to pack extra fuses. Learn how to replace a fuse or reset a circuit breaker in case a fuse blows or a circuit breaker trips.

How does the heater work in an RV?

In most RVs, the heat from a propane-fueled furnace is circulated through the coach with an electric fan. It will run on 12-volt power when you are not hooked up to utilities, but be aware that the fan draws a lot of power and will drain a deep cycle battery (or two) fairly fast if left on for hours on end. So use your heater very conservatively. Some RVers install a catalytic heater for use when dry camping. These units require no electricity, but do require some fresh air for combustion, so leave a window or vent cracked. They can also be bumped into easily, resulting in burns, so avoid installing one of these when small children or pets are along. To save propane when hooked up, some folks bring along a portable electric heater. While many campgrounds say they charge extra for using such a heater, you will almost never be asked when checking in if you plan to run one. Be careful: Many fires are caused by space heaters. Never use a space heater in conjunction with an extension cord.

Fix it In Foil! Tasty Recipes. Easy cleanup!
foil-757Easy prep, great taste, good nutrition, quick cleanup! “Fix It In Foil” includes 51 fantastic recipes to make in foil — plus instructions for cooking in an oven, on an outdoor grill, or on a campfire. Fix it in foil and forget about scrubbing pots and pans. And, with plenty of substitution suggestions, enjoy a whole new list of recipe possibilities! Great for RVing! Learn more or order.

Quick Tips

Try to avoid over-steering in heavy crosswinds
On RV road trips you will occasionally run into strong wind gusts or dust storms. When crosswinds hit a large, flat object (the big, flat side of your RV), they may cause your vehicle to swerve. Drivers will sometimes oversteer or overcompensate in these kinds of conditions, which can compound the swerving. Truckers suggest using one hand on the steering wheel to steer the coach in extremely heavy crosswinds to prevent over-steering. Keep the other hand lightly touching the steering wheel in preparation for emergencies. Thanks to Ron Jones at

Where to put pet bowls in a smaller RV
For pet owners, here’s a suggestion from Steve W. In a smaller RV, dog food and water bowls can be kept on the floor of the shower. This saves space as well as avoids spills on more damageable floors and makes easy cleanup. Water bowls can be easily filled right from the shower itself. If the shower has a door rather than curtain, rig it with a bungee or a magnetic hold to the open position for full-time access for the pets. Thanks, Steve! Here’s an article by one of our writers showing clever ways to store pet food bowls in an RV.

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: 

“Advice we learned from ‘Life on Wheels’ classes (so sorry these don’t happen any longer):
USE IT! Don’t be afraid of various systems on the RV – use them. Let them work for you!” —Marne Parry

Random RV Thought

People who commute alone by car to work 10 or 15 miles a day use far more fuel in a year than 95 percent of RVers in their RVs. Also, most RVers travel as couples – not alone as most commuters do – making the fuel cost per passenger far less than those commuters. People who drive to and from work every day and who don’t know anything about RVs think RVers are gas hogs. They should look in their mirrors.

Tiny LED button lamp perfect for RV’s small, dark spacesRV Travel Newsletter Issue 913
This 6-pack of tiny, battery-powered LED “Button Lamps” is just what you need for your RV’s closets and storage spaces. The tiny lamp is ultra-bright and has all the power of a normal-sized lamp. Backed with a strong adhesive, these little lamps will stick to any surface. They’re waterproof and good to have in case of an emergency. Learn more or order.

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

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

“The best thing I EVER did was to set our trailer up with solar power. Five panels on the roof giving us 700 watts. Two Trojan six-volt golf cart batteries, an MPPT controller, a 2500-watt inverter, and the ability to plug the whole trailer into the inverter and thus power all the 120v outlets. No moving parts. I’ll continue to pull the handles on the drain. I just don’t think it’s a big deal.” —Tommy Molnar

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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2 years ago

You mention correctly to never use a portable heater with an extension cord. I will also add power strips. I do not use them and I do not like them. Before retiring I was a Facilities manager and we had way too many cases of them melting and almost causing a fire. Do yourself a big favor and throw them out! Google recalled power strips and you may be surprised on what you find.

1 year ago
Reply to  Joe

Power strips are one of the biggest fire hazards there are. Though they can be used for small current devices such a phone chargers, laptops and lamps. The plugs in the strip are no more than small electrical contacts mounted in a plastic housing. None are rated at more than 15 amps and the so called circuit breaker is cheap and prone to failure. The cord is not rated for high temperatures and the insulation is nothing but rubber.
Your heaters cord silicone base insulation rated for higher temps. Just feel the cord when running the heater, it’s gets very warm. And never coil up the heater cord when in use.

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