Wednesday, November 29, 2023


Beginner’s Guide to RVing Newsletter Volume 3, Issue 70

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 9, 2022

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

RVing Basics

My husband and I plan to RV full-time. We enjoy several TV programs and don’t want to miss them. What should we do?

Sign up for a satellite service. The receiving dishes are small and inexpensive these days and will enable you to receive up to hundreds of stations from wherever you are for a monthly fee that’s comparable to your home cable TV service. Many RVers use DirectTV. The satellite dish can either be portable or be permanently installed on the roof of your RV.

There are also many streaming services that now offer cable TV if you have strong enough WiFi. And check into Starlink.

How do I get access to my bank accounts while on the road?

Virtually all RVers have an ATM debit card that they can use at automatic teller machines almost anywhere they go, often for free but sometimes for a fee of two or three dollars. Most banks offer online banking which makes banking from the road almost as easy as at home. All you need is an internet connection and your PIN. Many banks offer an app that enables you to deposit checks using your smartphone. Check with your own bank to see if it offers a good program and, if not, check around until you find one you like.

Are travelers checks a good idea, too?

In our opinion, travelers checks are as archaic as dinosaurs. They are not necessary,

Quick Tips

Thermostat not working right?
Longtime reader and veteran RVer Steve Willey says: “Our digital thermostat kept the furnace on too long in cold weather and got over 80 inside. The culprit was the location of the thermostat on the panel side of the refrigerator enclosure. The refrigerator is isolated from room heat and vented to outdoors. In freezing weather cold air was surrounding the refrigerator and entering the thermostat through an overly large wiring hole behind it. Sealant and a sheet of foam behind the thermostat cured the problem.” Thanks, Steve!

Cover your rooftop air conditioner
Is your RV going to “sit tight” in one location for a while and not be used – either if it’s parked up north for the winter, or if you’ve been south for the winter and are heading north but leaving your RV south until next winter? Think about covering your rooftop air conditioner. It will protect it against UV damage, especially in the south, and keep debris out of the unit wherever it is.

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: 

“Make sure the bed dimensionally is a good fit for you. An RV queen size is not a real queen size. But don’t worry if the mattress isn’t comfortable because most likely, it won’t be. You can change it out later.” —Dave Green

Random RV Thought

In the winter when the wind is howling, always be careful when opening the door of your RV. A sudden gust can grab the door as if it were a sail and rip it from your hand, thrusting it against the side of your rig, sometimes denting the siding or even smashing a window.

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

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

“We installed electric dump valves years ago. They have paid for themselves many times over.” —Ron Schafer

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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steve (@guest_201453)
1 year ago

Best modification – How does an electric dump valve pay for itself? Do you get a discount on full hookup sites?

Brian Burry (@guest_136816)
2 years ago

Instead of relying on satellites paying 67 $80 must be just sit free get your phone that has unlimited streaming service and data and you rent an adapter that plugs into the HDMI of the television. The TV mirrors what is on your cell phone! So if we put on; Ixfinity TV, Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, BritBox. Acorn or YouTube, a plays on the TV for free!
I think I bought the adapters for $15-$20 on Amazon. So whatever we watch at home we get to watch on our RV TV for free!

Brian Burry (@guest_136817)
2 years ago
Reply to  Brian Burry

Voice dictation didn’t work so well !
instead of paying 60 $70-$80 a month you can get the service free by buying the adapter,

Irv (@guest_136804)
2 years ago

re: travelers checks

I bet most cashiers under 50 have no clue re: Travelers checks and wouldn’t accept them. How would I, who last used one 50 years ago, know if it was real or counterfeit?

Jim (@guest_98442)
3 years ago

I found that dish is the better of satellite units to use when RVing .its cheaper than directv and dish offers a veterans discount whereas direct tv does not. If there is any problems you can contact dish reps directly or via the website After many years with direct tv and trying to resolve their issues, dish was the best way to go. Stay safe

Scott Williams (@guest_201435)
1 year ago
Reply to  Jim

I agree. Dish also has the pay as you go program. Directv doesn’t offer that. Dish is incredibly easy and costs nothing to stop and start your dish service for seasonal camping.

impavid (@guest_98424)
3 years ago

If your mattress is in a room that slides, make sure your new/replacement mattress will fit when the slide is in the stowed position.

Tony Grigg (@guest_98418)
3 years ago

We just replaced our full queen RV mattress with a Sleep Number bed (air filled). A bit lighter than the original version and a LOT lighter than a residential model. And since it is adjustable, we adjust it to fit it to our comfort preference. Luvin it!

Roger B (@guest_102948)
3 years ago
Reply to  Tony Grigg

Be careful with your sleep number mattress. We recently travelled to a higher elevation and the mattress was extremely hard and we had to relieve a lot of air to get back to normal. The pressure had increased to more than the 100 full inflation setting.

Glenn (@guest_98409)
3 years ago

Our rv queen mattress IS full size in our Lance trailer. 60″ by 80″. I agree that many aren’t, but wrong to generalize about all of them. And yes, it is factory.

cee (@guest_98421)
3 years ago
Reply to  Glenn

My factory mattress is a full 60″ x 80″ queen also. It was firmer than I like so I added a 2″ natural foam topper. Very comfortable!

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