Beginner’s Guide to RVing Newsletter #30

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Welcome to the Beginner’s Guide to RVing from RVtravel.com. 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.

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Monday, August 17, 2020

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


RVing Basics

Can I pull a travel trailer with my family car?
In many cases, yes. New lightweight towables are popular these days and can be pulled by most six-cylinder cars (and some four-cylinder ones) and sport utility vehicles. Lightweight towables are generally less than 26 feet long and 4,000 pounds or less, with most of the features of heavier units. They typically retail for $12,000 to $26,000. Some small folding camping trailers or teardrop-type trailers can even be pulled behind most four-cylinder cars.

I own a small SUV. Can I pull a trailer with it?
Probably, but be careful. The length of a tow vehicle’s wheelbase is very important. If it’s too short for the trailer it’s pulling, the driver can lose control almost instantly – very bad news. If you question whether you can pull a particular trailer with your SUV be sure you are absolutely certain it is up to the task by asking an expert (and not just an RV salesman, who may not be adequately informed or entirely honest).

I’ve never backed up a trailer. Is it hard to learn?
Almost anyone can learn, but it will take a little getting used to. At first it may seem like you are turning the wheel the opposite direction from where you want to point the trailer. Plan to take your trailer to a large empty lot and practice for a couple of hours before trying to back into any tight spots.


Stay for free at more than 1,000 wineries and farms!
With a Harvest Hosts membership, you can stay overnight at more than 1,000 wineries, farms, breweries, etc., for free! Harvest Hosts offers an alternative to traditional campgrounds, where members can meet interesting people, taste great wines, eat fresh produce and stay in peaceful settings. Learn more.


Quick Tips

Check your tire pressure
Once a week, check your tire pressure. Low pressure can wear out tires and increases fuel consumption.

Keep refrigerator contents in place
Stuff get loose in your refrigerator while rolling down the road? An alternative to tension rods is foam “swimming noodles,” or large water pipe insulation chunks. You may need to split the noodles in half down the middle for areas they’re otherwise too large for.

Be careful when putting on spare tire
Had to put on a spare tire? If you don’t have a torque wrench, stop by a tire shop and have them torque the lug nuts to specification.

Lube your bat-wing antenna
Got a Winegard bat-wing antenna? Shoot a little silicone lubricant down the crank shaft that leads down into your rig. It’s a twice-a-year job that will not only help keep the sealing ring from drying out so it moves easily, but it will also help keep the rain outside your rig.

Expand your shower space
Feeling “closed in” in the shower? If your shower is equipped with a shower curtain, get a curtain tension rod and mount it a few inches outside the existing shower rod. Run the curtain over the top of the new rod, then back into the shower stall. Gives a few extra inches of space for your shoulders.

We welcome your Quick Tips: Send to editor@rvtravel.com


What’s a cook to do in an RV kitchen?

By Terri Nighswonger    
Apparently, RV designers don’t believe that much cooking goes on in their rigs. Unless, of course, you live in one of those ultra-fancy models that have full-size refrigerators, full-size ovens, dishwashers and king-sized beds. Oh, and a washer and dryer. Don’t I wish! Continue reading for some advice about RV kitchens.


Protect your RV’s awning from rips and tears
awning-749Camco RV Awning De-Flapper is designed to protect your RV awning from costly rips and tears while preventing noisy wind flapping. The De-Flapper holds securely with hook and loop straps and is made of durable nylon with UV stabilizers. It’s chemically and rust-resistant with a universal fit. It features soft, non-marring grippers that protect the awning fabric and can be used with screen room in place. Learn more or order.


Common Terms Used by RV Salespeople

KINK: A problem with a deal due to “miswriting,” misrepresentation, misquoting or mishandling.

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: 

“Before you go shopping for the RV, have some deep conversations to find some agreement about what you are expecting from the RV lifestyle … making short weekend jaunts to resort parks might require a completely different sort of vehicle and setup than a full-time lifestyle or than one of constant on-the-move with a lot of boondocking. Sinking a lot of money into an RV to find that it won’t really work could be the start of a contentious, upsetting episode. Talk to your partner and do some homework” — Sharon


Where to camp for free or less than $20. Thick guidebook from Don Wright lists thousands of locations.


Random RV Thought

Always put your campfire totally out before leaving your campsite. Stir up the ashes with
water until they’re like mud. A fire is totally out if you can touch a piece of paper to the ashes or charred wood without any visible heat effect to the paper.


RESOURCES:
• 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 RVtravel.com 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!


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


RV Travel staff

CONTACT US at editor@RVtravel.com

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 RVtravel.com or this newsletter.

RVtravel.com 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 Amazon.com. 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 RVtravel.com.

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Bobkat
1 month ago

One can tow a trailer with nearly any vehicle, if the trailer is sized for the tow rig. We have a couple hundred thousand miles, in both North America and Europe, of trailer towing by motorcycle. We have a Honda GoldWing and tow a tent trailer that is specifically built for motorcycles or small cars. Our longest trip with it was an 8 month trip around the USA. The worst problem with it is that there is no indoor plumbing!

Gordy
1 month ago

When backing up, if a newbie or old salt, get out and check where you intend to go. Check for objects on both sides, over head limbs, wires or anything else that might come in contact with your rig. When backing, if your hand is at the top of the steering wheel you need to go the opposite way with your hand that you want the trailer to go. If you place your hand at the bottom of the steering wheel you simply move it in the direction you want the trailer to go. While learning, turn a small amount at a time. Do not hesitate to pull up or get out and look if in doubt about where you are in relation to where you want to be. Practice, practice, practice and suddenly one day it will become second nature. Just remember it costs less to look than repair!

Admin
RV Staff (@rvstaff)
1 month ago
Reply to  Gordy

Great tips, Gordy! Thanks! 😀 —Diane at RVtravel.com

Bob
1 month ago

I keep a torque wrench in my trailer. It is not a real expensive one, but is probably within a few foot lbs of the higher priced ones. They can be purchased for under $40.
Just remember to set it to “0” before you store it.

Dave
1 month ago

Buy your own torque wrench.
Visually check your tires every time you stop. Optimally, buy a tire pressure monitor to monitor tires in real time as you drive. Far second option, check pressure every day you start driving. Forget weekly.

Richard Hubert
1 month ago

Re: Suggestion for Checking Tire Pressure weekly –

Sorry – tire pressures should be checked before departing on a travel day.
Tire safety is far too important to just do only weekly. One might easily pick up a nail, or scrape a tire sidewall one day – and if one waits a week to then check their tires – it is already too late.

For our Class A I always check tire pressures, as well as do a quick visual inspection, of all tires before leaving a campsite. I have found that I had loose valve stem extensions at one point by doing this, but since I also carry an air compressor I was able to correct the situation.

Better yet – RVers should install a TPMS so tire pressures & temps can monitored in real time while driving. Again – tire safety is too critical as a blowout can not only cause severe RV damage but could also easily cause a bad accident.

brian
1 month ago
Reply to  Richard Hubert

Yes check pressures at least daily and visual or thump checks at each stop if no TPMS