Saturday, June 19, 2021
Saturday, June 19, 2021

Beginner’s Guide to RVing Newsletter #53

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.

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Thursday, September 17, 2020

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

RVing Basics

Where is the propane tank located on an RV and how and where do you fill up?
The propane will be in its own compartment accessible from the outside of the RV. On many travel trailers it will be right up front; fifth-wheel trailers will usually have them up-front, but in a compartment. Motorhomes have permanently mounted units, often out of sight, but with a filler connection behind a door. Propane is most readily available at commercial campgrounds and gas stations. Prices vary, but usually it costs less per gallon than gasoline. There is never self-service on propane.

How long will a tank of propane last?
How much propane used varies widely among RVers. Furnaces or LP-fired heaters chew up gas at a famous rate. Water heaters use plenty of LP, so how often do you shower? Perhaps the “smallest” gas user is your refrigerator, but the hotter the weather, the more gas it will use. Many motorhomes have a gauge that will help you determine how much gas is left in the tank. Trailer users don’t usually have that luxury, so when you see the indicator flag on the propane regulator change color, know that it’s time to fill one cylinder.

Quick Tips

It’s best to have two types of smoke detectors in RV
Smoke detectors come in two “flavors.” The most common in RVs is an ionization detector, which quickly picks up on flaring up, flaming fires. The photoelectric type is better to notice smoldering fires. It’s best to have both types in your rig — but check to ensure what you install is “RV approved.”

Pick a small town for General Delivery mail service
Planning a long road trip and want to use the USPS “General Delivery” system to get your mail? Pick a small town for your General Delivery drops — easier to get your rig to than having to figure out which “branch” your mail goes to. Or check out Americas Mailbox for mail forwarding. It has many plans available and is endorsed by

We welcome your Quick Tips: Send to

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: 

“Sit on the toilet to make sure you can easily ‘take care of business.'” —Tommy Molnar

News for RVers #918, Sunday edition3-in-1 NOAA radio, flashlight and charger must-have for RVers
This emergency hand-crank radio is a necessity for RVers. Keep it somewhere safe, you never know when it will come in handy. The 3-in-1 radio is also a bright LED flashlight and a smartphone charger. The radio can be charged via solar charging, hand cranking or a USB plug. You’ll want to buy one here.

Random RV Thought

If you RV a lot, it’s almost certain you will occasionally camp where the noise outside is annoying or even disruptive to a good night’s sleep. In situations where you cannot control the noise, earplugs can come in handy. They will block out most of the sound. Always keep a pair in your RV just in case.

• 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!

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.

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9 months ago

I would add, don’t trust the sensor panel (the one with black-grey-fresh-LP readouts) to tell you how much propane is in your RV tank. Use the gauge on the tank itself. It’ll be closer to true.

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