Monday, June 5, 2023


Beginner’s Guide to RVing Newsletter, Volume 3, Issue 79

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 22, 2022

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

RVing Basics

What if my motorhome has mechanical problems on the road? Is it easy to find a repair shop?

It can be, but very often it is not. If the RV’s engine is American-made, you might want to head (or limp) to the nearest dealer, but be warned that some will not work on motorhomes that are too big for their shops. If the problem is with the “home” part of the rig, look for a dealer that sells your brand of RV, but be aware that the dealer may be too busy to get you in for repairs for weeks, even longer. Some dealers, sad to say, will not even work on an RV that was not purchased at its dealership. A general RV repair shop is another choice or, even better, a mobile RV service. In remote areas, however, finding a good repair shop can be a challenge. Your best bet is to fix the problem yourself. It helps very much to be handy if you travel with an RV, and carry a well-stocked toolbox.

I just bought a 9-year old motorhome in mint condition with original tires that look like new. But I’ve heard I should replace the tires. Is this necessary?

Our tire expert, Roger Marble, advises that RV tire life is not based so much on tread wear but, rather, on age. The lifespan of motorhome tires is probably a safe seven years, but certainly no more than ten. For “towable” units like travel trailers and fifth wheels, getting three to five safe years out of tires is the safest call. You can have a tire dealer pull and inspect your tires. If worse comes to worst, if you blow a tire on your motorhome, your reaction behind the wheel may save your life. Here’s a good video from Michelin tires about dealing with a blowout.

Quick Tips

Feeling flush? Your toilet likes more water!
Flushing the RV toilet, when you step on that pedal hold it down for a while. Most RV toilets have another pedal position that will allow you to add water without flushing. If the flush contains toilet paper, fill the bowl with water and then flush. More water in the black tank will make it easier for the enzymes to work, if you use that type of black tank treatment.

How hot are your wheel bearings?
Your axle wheel bearings will need occasional attention. Feel with your hand at the hub to check for one that may be running hotter than the rest. Note: If the bearing is adjusted too tight or is running without grease it can get VERY hot! You must pay immediate attention to a hot bearing. They will either need more grease or adjustment, but replacement may be necessary. This is an excellent application for an infrared thermometer that will indicate the temperature at whatever it is pointed.

Veteran RVer and commercial RV mover George B. adds this comment: It’s a given that your wheel bearings will not get hot if your RV isn’t moving. After moving your RV you need to stop to check the heat at the wheels. When you stop, your RV brakes are applied and heat is created. This will give you a false reading of wheel bearing heat. To find out if your wheel bearings are actually causing the heating vs. the brakes, find a long, safe area with lots of shoulder and downshift until you’re almost at a complete stop. You should now be able to stop using your brakes within just a few feet. This is the time to check your hubs. Your hubs should be cool or cold to the touch and not much warmer than when you touch your forehead. Thanks, George!

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: 

“RVs do not appreciate in value.
If you plan on full-timing – do your research (e.g., RV Consumer Group, iRV2 forum website) as all RVs are not made the same.
Whatever your price point – buy as much RV as you can afford.
Read and understand the owners’ manuals (including installed appliances).
If buying a used Class A, have an extra $25K available to make required repairs and desired upgrades.
Anticipate needing repairs, understanding that scheduling repair service at the manufacturer’s service center may need to be made 6 months ahead of time.
Join and contribute to the RV Travel Newsletter.” —Phil Battin (*We especially like Phil’s last tip! Wink.)

Random RV Thought

People who are “homebodies” often prefer to be home more than anywhere else. But they may like to stray far from home on occasion. Sometimes an RV is good for a person like this because they can combine being at “home” in their RV with traveling to other places.

Something better than duct tape? Yup. 

Duct tape is the greatest thing for on-the-fly repairs of all kinds. But you may want to add Waterproofing Repair Tape to your tape deck. The manufacturer claims this stuff is so good that it’ll stick to almost anything, and it’ll do it even underwater. Read more about this handy tape here. Trust us, it’s sticky, durable, and you’ll want some for your RV.

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

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

“Surprised nobody has mentioned an RVLock electronic lock. We have one and it is hands down the best mod we’ve made to our fifth wheel. No more looking for the keys or trying to get the key into the lock. And, whoever gets to the camper first just inputs the code and opens the door. We’ve done a few other things that are also helpful, but this one is the best.” —Paul T.

• 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!

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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Dr. Michael
1 year ago

How hot are your wheel bearings?
Can you define “hot”?

Gordy B
1 year ago
Reply to  Dr. Michael

They said the wheel hubs should not be much warmer than touching your forehead. If you want an actual temperature, use a temp. gun and read all bearings, if one is hotter than the others by a large amount then that one should be checked out. Also if one is hot or too tight, then it would be a good idea to check and grease all.

1 year ago

Some tires only have the date code on one side. Don’t know why, it just is.

As far as I can tell all 6 of my tires are this way.

Gary Machholz
2 years ago

One of my favorite improvements on my TT has also been the electronic lock, however, I went with the Ultra E Pro Electronic lock after a bad customer service experience with the company that makes RVLock. We really like the Ultra E Pro!

Sharon Boehmer
1 year ago
Reply to  Gary Machholz

We have a RVlock and have had great customer service, twice. Ours even came with a remote, so in bad weather we can unlock before getting out of the truck.

2 years ago

On the subject of tires, we purchased a 10 year old motorhome with the original tires on the rear. We replaced them before using. The fronts were new 2 years prior as we had the bill of sale. When one of the belts inside broke put on 2 new fronts. Both times I checked the tires we were buying to make sure of the date of manufacture to make sure they were not old already. It seems that when the former owner purchased new fronts they were already 3 years old, the tire dealer had ground off the date on the outside but not on the inside. You have to careful as not every tire shop is honest

Gary Machholz
2 years ago
Reply to  robert

Roger Marble can correct me if I’m wrong, but if tires are stored properly at the distribution warehouse it should not be a problem if they are a couple of years old. UV and ozone both deteriorate the natural rubber and I was told that stacking them improperly can damage them, too, but most tire distributors take good care of their inventory.

2 years ago
Reply to  Gary Machholz

But why did the tire dealer grind off the date if he was not trying to hide something

Jeff Kwiat
2 years ago

One of the best things when buying an RV and getting it ready for travel is to make sure you have a wrench, screwdriver, bits, sockets, Allen wrenches, drill bits for every nut, screw, bolt, hole which may come loose or need to be made on the fly.

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