Saturday, September 30, 2023


Beginner’s Guide to RVing Newsletter, Volume 3, Issue 80

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 23, 2022

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

RVing Basics

Sign in Washington state rest area.

Camping at rest areas

Many rest areas across the country have signs that prohibit overnight camping. Some RVers believe this means they can’t sleep in their RVs. Not true! The signs refer to “camping” – as in pitching a tent, sleeping on the ground and/or building a campfire. What do you think all the drivers of the big rig trucks you see at night in rest areas are doing? They’re sleeping (not camping)! Just don’t pitch a tent or sleep outside your vehicle. And observe any signs that limit the length of a stay. And, if you do stay in a rest area, use caution. They are not always the safest places.

Question about RV loans

This was posted on our Facebook group RV Buying Advice: “I just saw a video by a guy who said that unless you own a home, it’s not possible to get an RV loan. I rent and do not want to own a sticks-and-bricks home. Does anyone have experience on this?”

Answer: The advice is wrong. If you have good credit, you’ll get a loan. The better the credit rating, the more favorable the terms available. It is not necessary to own a home.

Quick Tips

Maintain that trailer tongue
The tongue of your camper is a critically important component of your camper and must be maintained properly. Here are a couple of tips to maximize the life and usefulness of your trailer tongue. Oil the tongue jack mechanism, the tow-ball latch, and the jack foot. Don’t forget to grease the tow ball. This ball receives the full weight of the camper and a lot of friction. From 100 RV Tips and Tricks (Mack’s RV Handbook). Available on

Fifth-wheelers, beware hitch chucking
Because fifth-wheel hitches are anywhere from 14 to 18 inches above the bed, they can be susceptible to chucking, where the coupler jaws grab the king pin. This is mainly a problem with less expensive setups. If you spend more on a better fifth-wheel hitch that adjusts to keep a tight grip on the king pin, chucking is all but eliminated.

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: 

“Researching the structure and function of all systems required to run, maintain and repair an RV and towing car is key to choosing the best RV for one’s abilities, pocketbook and travel plans.” —Barbara Saxon

Temperature gun is “essential equipment” for many RVerstempgun-682
Aim this non-contact IR temperature gun to measure the temperature of your refrigerator, tires, A/C and heater output, or, heck, even your oven (and the list goes on). It turns on and begins reading the temperature in Celsius or Fahrenheit with one press of the trigger. A laser light aids in aiming, and can be turned on or off. Many RVers consider this essential equipment. Learn more or order.

Random RV Thought

Why do many RV parks have sites that are not level? If they go to all the trouble to create a park, then they should make sure the pads are level.

“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 last 2 RVs I have owned I put in an on-demand water heater. I will never have a water heater with a tank again. I love my on-demand water heater – within 2 minutes I have hot water and I never run out. I read about the on-demand water heater for a couple of years and when I bought my truck camper I had one put in it. I now have a travel trailer and I put one in that when I bought it. It cost a bit more than what I wanted to pay, but it is worth it.” —Cheryl

• 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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steve roland
2 years ago

My propane/electric works just like an on demand system. If I need a lot of hot water I turn on propane and electric (when available) and don’t run out. Don’t see the big deal in the on demand systems, but, in fairness, never had one.

2 years ago

We don’t have the tankless in our trailer, but do in our house. Best thing I ever did. It really doesn’t use much more water than the conventional water heater. One nice thing is you never run out of hot water. We can run the dishwasher and the clothes washer and still have hot water for showers. It actually uses less gas than the tank type.

Thomas Champagne
1 year ago
Reply to  Bob

With a tankless in my home, i find it almost impossible to take a ‘navy shower’. After wetting down then shutting off the water, it shuts off the combination boiler that creates the hot water. When I’m done scrubbing up and turn the water back on, ITS ICE COLD ! I have to keep the water running to maintain the temperature. Water AND SEWER BILLS GO UP. I very much dislike it !

Roger B
2 years ago

In reference to the random thought. Why do they build the dump station level or slanting away from the drain? A slight angle toward the drain would certainly be helpful.

1 year ago
Reply to  Roger B

All designed by engineers that have never had an RV.

1 year ago
Reply to  Mike

I was also at a state park campground as they were upgrading electric only sites to full hookup. Concrete pads and asphalt-beautiful. They had all the equipment to level the sites but made no effort to do so. Only about 2 of 30 sites are anywhere near level. Many motorhomes set up with front wheels off the ground and trailers may have one end touching the ground and the other end as high as it will go. Makes no sense at all.

Tom B
2 years ago

I have a tankless water heater, and once we learned the tricks, we LOVE it. First trick has to do with the pressure. Get one of those adjustable regulators with a gauge. The pressure of about 50 PSI works great. If you got one of those solid brass in line ones, those are more of a flow reducer, not a pressure one. You can have mine! Second trick is set the water temp to how hot you want it, without mixing with cold water. Then, when you use it, turn on the hot, AND ONLY THE HOT!. As long as water is flowing, the temp will be nice. And DW can do her hair.

Tony Grigg
2 years ago

Two minutes to get hot water from a tankless heater? That’s a LOT of water down the tank. My 5ver has the standard water heater centrally located between the kitchen sink and bathroom. It gets hot water to the sinks in just a few seconds. I guess it’s a choice of reducing propane use or water use. Kinda like at the grocery store … Paper or Plastic.? 🥴

Gary Smith
2 years ago
Reply to  Tony Grigg

I believe he’s saying that the water in the heater is at temp in two minutes from a cold start, not how long it has to flow to become warm.

Standard tank heaters require 15 to 20 minutes to heat from a cold start.

2 years ago
Reply to  Gary Smith

On demand only heats when water is flowing, as far as I know.

Thomas Champagne
1 year ago
Reply to  Gregg


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