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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Friday, September 4, 2020
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DID YOU MISS reading this morning’s RV Daily Tips Newsletter? Good stuff there.
Do campgrounds have restrooms with showers?
Nearly all private campgrounds (RV parks) and many state and national parks have these facilities, but other public campgrounds may not. All but the most primitive have toilets, although in some cases this might mean an old-fashioned outhouse. Caveat: There may be restrictions on the use of these facilities during the pandemic.
Can I pick my own campsite at a campground or is it picked for me?
In most public campgrounds you select your own spot from what is available. But in perhaps half of private campgrounds, the site will be assigned to you when you arrive. If you don’t like it, you can request another one, space permitting.
I see RVs with solar panels. Are they a good idea?
These RVers probably boondock or dry camp a lot — that is, stay in places without power for long stretches. You see this a lot in the winter in the Arizona desert. With solar panels, RVers can keep their rigs’ batteries charged or, at the very least, slow their discharge. Solar power has its limitations depending on factors such as time of year, weather, amount of tree cover and region of the country. But the answer for most RVers is ”yes.” Some are able to provide nearly all their electrical power needs from photo-voltaic solar panels mounted on the RV roof and stored in a bank of deep cycle batteries. For others it reduces the time they need to run their generators when dry camping, saving fuel and eliminating noise and exhaust fumes
Just bought a trailer or fifth wheel?
If so, you have a lot to learn. And here’s the best way short of having an expert teach you one-on-one. Let RV Education 101 walk you step-by-step through all the systems of your RV using written text, full-feature video segments…with downloadable segments, short video segments, related articles written by your instructor, helpful tips & tricks and more. Learn more about this exceptional program.
Recycle gray water to help clean black water tank
Neil G. writes: “Another source of extra black water tank washout could be done by saving used dishwater and rinse water in buckets, etc., instead of the gray water tank, and dumping it down the toilet. The sudden flood helps dislodge ‘materials’ in the holding tank directly below the commode. Very helpful in dry camping, as well! Many dry-campers use this for their entire flushing process to save water.” Thanks, Neil
Handy reminders for specific items — so you don’t forget anything
“I used to hang my keys on the antenna crank but needed more reminders. Already using the bungees for normal purposes (binding hoses, etc), and with how cheap the balls are, I’ve been using a stack of them and keep each on the safely stored item (hoses, electric cord, jack handle, awning, antenna crank, etc.). Each bungee ball is LABELED and gets hung on the nose jack while the item is deployed. I won’t hitch until all balls are back on their safely stored items again.” Thanks to Wolfe Rose
Grease fire suppression safety
“Richard Smith passes along this reminder: Please be aware that if you use a fire extinguisher too close to a grease fire it could also spread the fire due to the pressure. You should be about 5 feet away when you start to spray the extinguisher and then move closer if necessary.” Thanks, Richard! [Editor’s note: Some fire experts suggest even more distance from the fire to start with, six to eight feet, and moving closer as the flames diminish. And always remember to aim for the BASE of the fire, not the flames.]
Guidelines for putting your slides in, out
There is no one correct way to open or retract your slides in the RV, so follow your manufacturer’s recommendation. Some slides are designed to correctly go out and in after leveling. Some go out and in before leveling. Some slides won’t go out if the ignition key is in the “on” position but may come in. Some manufacturers may recommend that you start the engine to provide maximum power to the electric motors that operate the slides. Thanks to Ron Jones, AboutRVing.com.
We welcome your Quick Tips: Send to firstname.lastname@example.org
Boondockers Welcome — Stay at homes of RVers who welcome you in their driveways, yards, farmland or other space on their private property. Great alternative to crowded RV parks. Modest membership fee. Learn more.
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:
“After seeing results of a blown tire, I knew why my RV mentor suggested we invest in a Tire Pressure Monitor System for our coach and tow. The peace of mind was well worth it. Even with new tires you may develop a problem the system will warn you about. Happy trails!” — Terry
Camco vent insulator keeps you warm or cool!
Is your RV too hot in the summer? Too cold in the winter? Camco’s vent insulator and skylight cover features a thick layer of foam which helps stop heat transfer, keeping you warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer. Installation is easy. The insulator is designed to fit standard 14″x14″ RV vents. Learn more or order here.
Random RV Thought
When traveling with your RV and in no hurry to get somewhere, stay put rather than drive into headwinds. Wait until the wind is calm or, better yet, at your back. Your gas mileage will improve significantly.
• 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.
Mosquito repellent spray for dogs and cats is a must for camping. Click here.
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.
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