Monday, June 5, 2023


Beginner’s Guide to RVing Newsletter, Volume 3, Issue 9

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, much of 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, June 16, 2022

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

[activecampaign form=38]

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

LIFESAVER: Every RVer should carry this inexpensive item in their RV. It could save their life in an emergency. Get this.

RVing Basics

I understand there are different ways that slideouts work. Are some better than others?

There are two types of slideouts, based on the type of equipment used to move them. Electric slides, generally found on smaller slideouts, use an electric motor for propulsion. They can be sensitive, so when buying an RV with an electric slideout, slide it in and out watching and listening closely. Hanging up while moving or making scraping or loud popping noises could indicate a problem. Electric motors can fail on these units, and gears can need replacement. Hydraulic slides use a pump and fluids to move the slide in and out and are more complex in design than electric units. Their failure points include valves, pumps, and hydraulic line leaks. They’re more often found on larger, heavier slideouts. If a slide shows any signs of glitches when in use, it’s best to get it looked at right away, rather than risk being stranded with a stuck slideout.

We have a lot of stuff. Which type of RV has the most storage space?

Class A motorhomes have the most capacity for motorized RVs, followed by Class C’s (space is very limited in Class B motorhomes). Larger units typically have more than smaller ones. If you are considering a towable RV, fifth wheels usually have more storage space than travel trailers of equivalent size. Be sure when you consider storage space that you also consider how much weight an RV can accommodate. It’s easy to overload an RV, which, if done repeatedly, can shorten its life. And overloading can be dangerous to occupants as well.

Can I ride in an RV while it’s moving?

Yes, in a motorhome or truck camper, but keep all seat belts fastened. If a motorhome sleeps four, then it should have four seat belts. If it sleeps six, it should have six belts. But, except for rare occasions, it is not legal to ride in a travel trailer or fifth wheel trailer. We strongly advise you never, ever allow any passengers to ride in them even if it’s technically legal – too dangerous.

Quick Tips

Keep your sink drain clean to avoid “stink”
Working in the RV galley generates all kinds of small waste particles. If they go down the sink drain, they can form a “stink generator,” and they can foul up your tank level probes. Head to the hardware store and obtain the appropriately sized stainless steel sink drain screen. Clean it out frequently – by tossing the contents in the trash, not down the drain.

Easy check for water leaks 
Check your RV for plumbing system water leaks easily. With water in the fresh tank, turn on your water pump. After it shuts off, signaling the system is pressurized, it won’t turn on again until you “call for water.” If it does turn on, you have a leak.

Keep track of the fridge temperature
Keep a thermometer in your RV fridge and check it often. A remote reporting sensor-type thermometer placed inside the cooler is an easy read without hassle.

Check the battery’s water level before charging
Need to charge your batteries but the “water level” is low? Wait until after you’ve charged them, then fill. Exception: If the level is below the top of the plates, fill to just cover the plates, then charge. After charging, complete the “fill up.”

Easy tip to help back up the trailer
Trouble backing up your fifth wheel or travel trailer? You know that you need to turn the wheel the opposite direction of where you want the trailer tail to go, but training yourself is the hard part. Hold the steering wheel at the bottom with your hand – whichever way you move your hand when there, the trailer tail will follow.

Common Terms Used by RV Salespeople

LOT LIZARD: The salespeople who stand around an RV dealership, usually in small groups of two or three, waiting for a customer to come along so they can pounce on them to make a sale. [No, we’re not referring to truck stop of rest area lot lizards.]

Another one next issue! Courtesy of the Burdge Law Office.

If you could tell someone new to RVing just one thing, what would it be?

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

“Have a knowledgeable friend or professional inspect the RV prior to purchasing!” — Claude Comeau

Random RV Thought

Dumping the holding tanks on an RV sounds like a disgusting job. But it’s normally fast, easy and seldom unpleasant. Just wear gloves.

Need a quick, easy access point for those gloves? Try this.

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.


0 0 votes
Article Rating
Subscribe to comments
Notify of

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

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Bob M
11 months ago

In reference to slides, avoid the Schwintek Slide. Many RV owners complain they have issues with them and getting to the motors is difficult. Some RV manufactures use the Schwintek Slide on to large a slide.

2 years ago

To avoid using another not so nice word I’ll just say it is very unwise to ride in a truck camper. They are made no better than trailers and in an accident they break apart like a match stick box.

Gary Johnson
2 years ago

For safety reasons, when possible, always park your vehicle, or towed vehicle pointing towards your camper. If someone or something startles you late at night, just hit your key fob to light up the campsite. For real trouble, hit the panic button! Also, should someone knock on your door late at night, do not go near or open the door. Simply open a kitchen window and inquire. If they require the police, tell them you’ll call. If it’s a crank call, they’ll take off, but you’ll be safe.

Sign up for the

RVtravel Newsletter

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