Wednesday, November 29, 2023


Beginner’s Guide to RVing Newsletter Volume 3, Issue 83

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!

Wednesday, September 28, 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

What are the best guides to campgrounds?

The only major directory still published is from the Good Sam Club. It’s primarily a guide to commercial RV parks rather than public campgrounds. It’s available at Camping World and most RV dealer stores. KOA publishes a free annual directory of its campgrounds that also includes a good road atlas of the USA and Canada. There is a plethora of information on campgrounds and other camping areas on the Internet, and there are several fine campground apps available for tablets and smartphones, both Android and Apple.

I need to get online. Do campgrounds offer Wi-Fi service?

Increasingly, yes. But if you really, really need to get online, don’t depend on the campground’s Wi-Fi service. It is often unavailable or painfully slow because too many other RVers are hogging the limited bandwidth by watching videos. Sometimes the Wi-Fi system itself may not reach the entire park. Some parks will charge for a faster service. If you want to be sure the Wi-Fi is adequate for your needs, call the park. It’s not a bad idea to drive through the park before selecting a site, if allowed, as the Wi-Fi may be excellent in one area but weak or nonexistent in others.

How else can I get Internet access away from public Wi-Fi?

Check with your wireless phone provider (Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, etc.). You may be able to use your cell phone as a Wi-Fi hotspot. Better yet, buy a Mi-Fi device that can be connected to a cellular network to provide internet access for five to ten devices. Our experience is that Verizon has the most reliable coverage, including in rural areas.

Keep insects, rodents and bird nests out of your RV furnaceinsect-screen-761
Wasps, mud daubers, birds and rodents pose a serious threat to the furnace on your RV. They can enter through the furnace vents. Their nests can interfere with airflow and cause serious damage. Camco 42141 (Model FUR 200) Flying Insect RV Furnace Screen fits Duo-therm and Suburban furnace vents. Camco offers several furnace screens so check that this screen will fit your vent. Learn more or order.

Quick Tips

Freezing leftovers?
You probably already know that you should never put hot food in the freezer. That can cause nearby food to partially thaw and then refreeze, and may alter its texture and taste. Always let your food cool to almost room temp, and then cool even further in the refrigerator before transferring to the freezer. Be sure the food has room in the container to expand when it freezes.

“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: 

“I would tell purchasers of new RVs to expect to spend time in your dealer’s repair facility. So make sure to select a dealer that will treat you well and advocate with the brand and manufacturer of your unit. Spend some time at the dealership and observe how they treat customers. Read comments from customers following repairs. You will find that when you sign your purchase contract dealers do not warranty anything. Service and strong advocacy by the dealer is important.” —Robert D. Smith

50 States, 5,000 Ideas, perfect gift for RVer!
This book from the experts at National Geographic showcases the best travel experiences in every state, from the obvious to the unexpected. Sites include national parks, beaches, hotels, battlefields, dude ranches, museums and more. Each entry provides detailed travel information and fascinating facts about each state that will help fuel your wanderlust and ensure the best vacation possible. The book also includes a section on the Canadian provinces and territories. Learn more or order.

Random RV Thought

In a bad windstorm, pull off the road and wait for weather conditions to calm down. One big gust of wind can toss your RV into another lane or off the road. So just wait it out and be safe.

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

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

“–Upgraded suspension – tows a lot better
–Both LP tanks were on the same side – split them, one on each side
–Added insulation to front storage bay – using 2″ R-13 Dbl. foil-faced foam board
–Had the original Bristol dump valves removed – they leaked like a sieve – and Valterra valves installed
–Plugged all holes that vermin could use to get inside
–Moved spare tire from underside front to rear bumper
–Installed spare battery opposite side of original
Just think if the manufacturers of RVs would only do a better job of building them, one would not have to go through what I have done to make my RV more enjoyable…” —Travilenman Staff

Publisher: Chuck Woodbury. Editor: Emily Woodbury. Associate editor: Diane McGovern. Senior editors: Russ and Tiña De Maris. Senior writers: Nanci Dixon, Tony Barthel, Mike Gast. Contributors: Mike Sokol, Gail Marsh, Roger Marble, Dave Solberg, Dave Helgeson, Janet Groene, Julianne Crane, Chris Guld, Machelle James, James Raia, Kate Doherty, J.R. Montigel, Clint Norrell, Darian Armer and Chris Epting. Podcast host and producer: Scott Linden. Special projects director: Jessica Sarvis. Moderators: Gary Gilmore, Linda Brady. Financial affairs director: Gail Meyring. IT wrangler: Kim Christiansen.

Honorary CorrespondentsLoyal readers who regularly email us leads about news stories and other information and resources that aid our own news-gathering efforts.
Tom and Lois Speirs • Mike Sherman • George Bliss • Steve Barnes + others who we will add later. 

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.

Editorial (all but news)
Editorial (news)
Help desk:
 Contact us.

Mail us at 9792 Edmonds Way, #265, Edmonds, WA 98020.

This newsletter is copyright 2021 by


0 0 votes
Article Rating
Subscribe to comments
Notify of

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

Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

HappyCamper7424 (@guest_204205)
1 year ago

I find to have the best and most comprehensive reviews for our travels.

Gordon den Otter (@guest_204177)
1 year ago

On the question of Wifi access, you can check out satellite internet providers. Most aren’t good for online gaming (too much latency) but good for other access. One provider that is getting more coverage every week is Starlink by SpaceX. Check their site for a coverage map.

Irv (@guest_139650)
2 years ago

RV refrigerators during the summer often can barely keep frozen food frozen. Even after an overnight cool in the refrigerator, I wouldn’t try to freeze more than a cup or two of leftovers. Place the container so it’s touching the cooling plate in your freezer.

Samuel Shryock (@guest_104847)
2 years ago

In response to your quick tip, the time in which you take to cool the food is important. Potentially hazardous foods requiring refrigeration must be cooled by an adequate method so that every part of the product is reduced from 120 degrees Fahrenheit to 70 degrees Fahrenheit within two hours, and from 70 degrees Fahrenheit to 45 degrees Fahrenheit or below within four additional hours. Bacteria that cause food poisoning grow at temperatures between 45 degrees Fahrenheit and 120 degrees Fahrenheit. The cooling requirement limits the length of time that potentially hazardous food is in the temperature range at which harmful bacteria can grow. Foods particularly important to meet the cooling requirement include soups, sauces, gravies, stews, rice, chili, whole turkeys, turkey breasts and whole roast beef. Food temperatures should be measured with a stem thermometer.

Sign up for the

RVtravel Newsletter

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