Thursday, September 21, 2023


Beginner’s Guide to RVing Newsletter, Volume 3, Issue 74

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 15, 2022

If you did not get an email notifying you of this newsletter, sign up here to get one every time it is published.

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

RVing Basics

Is it legal to live in an RV full time?

Yes and no. The RV Industry Association, which regulates RV standards, says that RVs are intended for “temporary living.” But people live in them full time, year-round anyway without any issues. At least so far. This could change. But, yes, there is no law against it on a national level. However, most municipalities have laws that prevent full-time RV living in their jurisdictions.

I’m an avid fisherman and plan to travel in my new motorhome throughout the United States. Is there a national fishing license?

No. But there are two options that come to mind. First, you can always buy a short-term license in each state you visit. These may only be a few dollars for a few days. Another option is to seek out the many RV parks with private fishing lakes. Because the lakes (most often ponds) are on the campground’s property with no public streams feeding them, you can fish without a state license. In some parks, you can keep what you catch with no charge; in others, you pay by the fish or by the pound. In many campgrounds, there is no charge to fish, but if you catch something you’ll need to toss it back. You may get lucky by Googling “free fishing day in (name of state).” Most states have at least one day each year when you can fish without a state license. Here’s a 2-minute video from publisher Chuck Woodbury on How to fish without a license across the USA.

Quick Tips

A deduction about induction
In response to a tip on how to keep the inside of your RV cool when needing to cook in a pan or skillet, Rob Stewart puts in his two-cents’ worth: “We have been using a portable induction cooktop. It is nearly 100% efficient at heating the pan and not the surrounding air. We also use it in the cooler temperatures because, unlike propane, it releases no extra water vapor into the coach.” Thanks, Rob!

Keep those air conditioner coils clean
Keeping the coils clean will prolong the life of your cooling unit. Besides dirt and dust, you may also find the “cotton” from cottonwood trees, or the pollen from various other trees, obstructing the coils. The best way to clean them: (1) Turn the unit off while you’re working on it. (2) Use an air compressor to blow out the debris (carefully – don’t bend the fins). (3) Apply a coil cleaning product (here are some on Amazon) and let it soak for a few minutes or the time recommended on the can. (4) Rinse with low-pressure water. (5) Use the air compressor again to blow out remaining water. Thanks to Deanna!

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: 

“Be sure to get an automatic leveling system!” —Dana McCoy

Random RV Thought

An RV stored at home can come in handy as a guest bedroom for visitors. Do any of you have your guests stay in your RV?

‘Earthquake Putty’ a favorite of RVers, keeps stuff in place
Do you have items in your RV you like to keep in place — on a table, bedstand or counter? You need this. Collectors Hold Museum Putty is designed to keep items secure in earthquakes! Hey, a moving RV is a constant earthquake! To use this, pull off what you need, roll until soft, apply to the base of the object then lightly press it to the surface. Later, it comes off clean. RVers love it! Cheap, too! 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: 

“Took out the hide-a-bed couch as it is just my husband and me in the 5th wheel. In the space, put in a long dresser (yay for thrift stores) which added lots of storage. Eliminated the dresser that crowded the bedroom. Also removed the sliding glass doors and shelves in the bedroom area. Now have one long pole that is higher up. Much easier to get to the clothes and more room underneath for shoes, blankets, or whatever.” —Virginia Reeves

• 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!

Read previous issues of Beginner’s Guide to RVing newsletters 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.


  1. As for automatic levelers, my kids have them on their new Redwood 5th wheel. I had to loan them scissor jacks when their levelers wouldn’t come down. Always have a backup plan, would be my suggestion.

    • I’ll be right up, Impavid. Oh, wait. I have a little work to do first. Plus, no passport. Well, it was a nice thought. Gotta get back to work. Have a good night. 🙂 –Diane

  2. The tip is confusing because it isn’t specific enough about which types of RVs do and don’t have automatic levelers.

    Most or all Travel Trailers don’t have levelers at all. They have stabilizers that can’t be used to level the trailer. Trailer frames aren’t strong so they have to be leveled side to side by putting blocks under the wheels. Front to back leveling is done using the tongue jack.

  3. Automatic levelers are a ‘must’? Not in my view. Perhaps if you have limited physical mobility, but for most users leveling is not a difficult or time consuming task. I find it a fun short project each time we park.

    • I agree it is not difficult or time consuming, but I got stuck in a couple rain storms. The automatic levelers would have been nice to retract to leave without getting soaked. Luckily I didn’t have to level and set up in the same storms. Next RV will have automatic levelers.

  4. My Mother-In-Law had her 90th Birthday. The City allows us to park an RV in front of our house for 3 days. Since we had people flying in from all over we had one family stay in the trailer. They loved it! They even cleaned it up prior to leaving.

  5. I got the part about eliminating the “couch area” since it’s just the two of you. But, the part about “Eliminated the dresser that crowded the bedroom. Also removed the sliding glass doors and shelves in the bedroom area. Now have one long pole that is higher up. Much easier to get to the clothes and more room underneath for shoes, blankets, or whatever.”
    It would be much easier for me to understand the modifications if you’re referring to a closet area in the “bunk end” of your 5er (if that’s where your closet is). Pictures would help immensely to see what you’re referring to. Thanks for your detailed description.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Sign up for the

RVtravel Newsletter

Sign up and receive 3 FREE RV Checklists: Set-Up, Take-Down and Packing List.