Saturday, September 30, 2023


Beginner’s Guide to RVing Newsletter #3

Welcome to the Beginner’s Guide to RVing from The information we present here every Monday through Friday is for 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!

If you shop at Amazon, please visit through our affiliate site (we get a little commission that way – and you don’t pay any extra). Thank you!

July 9, 2020

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.


Q: What’s a recreation vehicle?
A. Although the term can be loosely stretched to include just about any vehicle that is used for recreational purposes, a recreation vehicle (RV) is generally a transportable, motorized or non-motorized vehicle that is used for temporary living and contains, at the very least, a bed for sleeping. Most RVs, however, also contain a kitchen area, bathroom, dinette and often an area with a couch or lounge chairs. Recreation vehicles are highly mobile, unlike mobile or manufactured homes, which are intended to be towed once to a location where they will serve as a home. RVs are generally between 12 and 45 feet long, with most in the 15- to 35-foot range.

Q: Is there a difference between a recreation vehicle and a recreational vehicle?
A: No. For years, the RV industry used the term “recreational vehicle” to describe its products. But in the early 2000s, it began using the term “recreation vehicle” instead.

Q: Are tiny houses RVs?
A: No. They are not recognized by the RV Industry Association, and are not required to meet the manufacturing standards of traditional recreation vehicles. Although tiny homes are in the news a lot today, you rarely see them in RV parks or campgrounds.

Q: I’ve heard that travel trailers can sway in windy conditions. Couldn’t this be dangerous?
A: It can be. The good news is that equalizing hitches, also called load distributing hitches, greatly reduce sway and improve control. These are highly recommended for heavier trailers. Another less expensive option is installing a sway-control unit. Larger trailers will require two, but a sway-control can do much to smooth out buffeting winds, particularly when being passed by a big truck when heading downhill. But in high winds it’s a good idea to slow down regardless of which type of RV or hitch you have.


Don’t put anything extra down toilets
What’s safe to put down the RV toilet so as not to create damage or dumping problems? Toilet paper is fine (you don’t need to buy special, high priced, TP. Use far cheaper Costco toilet paper which works fine. As a general rule if you didn’t eat it or drink it first, don’t put it down there.

Some possible financial help to buy an RV
In the market for an RV but aren’t sure you can afford it? Check with your tax consultant – you may be able to write off the loan interest on your tax return. The money you save there might be the edge you need if you’re getting an RV loan.

Don’t use stabilizer jacks for leveling
Don’t try to use trailer stabilizer jacks to bring your rig up into level – most are designed simply to give more stability to the rig once leveled. Using these to try and level a rig can cause damage.

Keep a hose just for dumping tanks
Dedicate a hose strictly for use in tank-dumping operations. Use it for rinsing hoses, flushing tanks, etc. But be sure to keep it completely away from your fresh water hose to prevent cross-contamination. If you can, find a suitable container to keep it safely stored.

Secure your RV awning while traveling
Reader Mark Walsh says he gets peace of mind regarding his RV awning while traveling. How? “I use a large piece of Velcro wound several times around each arm of the awning up near the top. I have to use a picnic table or ladder to get it there but it takes away the worry.” —Thanks, Mark

We welcome your Quick Tips. Send to:

• 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!

Must-have products for RVers:
NEW: Free RV Camping in the American West
50 States, 500 State Parks: An essential guide to America’s best places to visit
RV Slide Out Rubber Seal Conditioner (if you have slideouts, you need this!)
Propane, methane and natural gas leak detector

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

RV Travel staff


Publisher: Chuck Woodbury. Editors: Emily Woodbury, Diane McGovern.

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 2020 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.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Mike Albert
3 years ago

A few months ago in the news letter, there was a recommendation for a sewer hose. It had the wire on the outside with a clear 90 degree elbow with a handle and it fit in different diameter pipe openings. I believe that the hose was a blueish color.
I have searched back issues if the news letters and also in the gadget sections. Any help would be appreciated.


RV Staff
3 years ago
Reply to  Mike Albert

Hi, Mike. I can’t find a recent article like that (looking quickly), so it might have been an ad. I looked on Amazon and the two that were the closest said they “ship in 1 to 2 months.” OY! But here’s one from Camco that we have advertised before and sounds like it has the features you’re looking for (except it’s not blue): Sorry I couldn’t find exactly what you were looking for. Take care. 😀 –Diane at

Frank Mac
3 years ago
Reply to  Mike Albert
Tony Grigg
3 years ago
Reply to  Frank Mac

Yes, that link is for the one that is highly recommended. BUT … be aware that the 90 degree elbow at the exit end is permanently attached to the hose. So if you plan to stow the hose in a hollow bumper, you can forget THAT. You will need a different storage solution.

3 years ago

All the little tidbits of knowledge are great. You don’t realize all the little nuggets you have learned over the years but some things you have to learn by experience.

Robert Mc G
3 years ago

Wow really enjoy the crisp format and valuable information. thank you!

Tom B
3 years ago

Never thought about using velcro to protect the awning. Will try it when I go out tomorrow!

3 years ago
Reply to  Tom B

You can buy a velcro product that actually sticks to itself no matter the length. It’s called one wrap

3 years ago

Since we do not eat it we do not even put TP down the toilet. Like in many foreign lands we keep a small trashcan (with a lid) next to the toilet. Wrap and toss used TP there throw it out with the trash when full.

Tom Monville
3 years ago
Reply to  Snayte

We do the same

Tony Grigg
3 years ago
Reply to  Tom Monville

Really?? OH-kaaaaay then. You might be interested in a reusable TP product. Nice soft, durable fabric that can be washed and reused over and over. Use the same ‘diaper pail’ approach as you currently use, then dump them in the washer when the time comes. Not for me, but might be a fit for you.

Sign up for the

RVtravel Newsletter

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