Beginner’s Guide to RVing Newsletter #59


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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Friday, September 25, 2020

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

RVing Basics

How does an RV camping vacation cost compare with one taken by car?
The RV Industry Association, whose mission is to promote RVing, preaches over and over that traveling with an RV is the cheapest way to travel. But it’s not necessarily true. If an RV is only used a month or two in a year, then the year-long cost of owning the RV including insurance, registration fees, maintenance and its depreciation needs to be figured in. In that case, RVing is seldom the cheapest way to travel, and often far more expensive. If it’s used much of the year, then, absolutely, it can definitely be more affordable per day of use than staying in hotels and dining out all the time. But, really, who ever does that?

I am on a very tight budget. Does this mean RVing is not for me?
Not necessarily. If you purchase an inexpensive RV that’s in good shape, and are able to do much of the maintenance yourself, the cost of traveling by RV can be very low. Some folks manage to do it on their income from Social Security by limiting their driving and by camping on public lands or in campgrounds that offer low monthly or seasonal rates. Some RVers are able to avoid paying any camping fees by boondocking or spending nights in places like Walmart parking lots, where the stay is free.

Quick Tips

Awning helps divert rain away
When putting up your awning, leave one end slightly lower than the other. This will allow water to run off and be directed away from the RV. Many RVers lower the awning toward the rear of the coach to direct water away from the coach door. No, seriously – all those crooked awnings were set like that on purpose! Thanks to Ron Jones at

Avoid fatigue when driving
Driving is not as easy as it appears. Break up your driving time by taking a 15- to 30-minute rest stop every two to three hours. Get out of your vehicle and walk around. This will help to loosen tired muscles and rest tired eyes. Use this time to inspect your vehicle. It will also improve your alertness.

We welcome your Quick Tips: Send to

SECRET PHRASE: Boring, Oregon Is an Official Partner of Dull, Scotland

Wow! RVing has changed a lot since 1937
See what it was like in this newsreel. Watch the video.

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: 

“Spend a lot of time before a trailer purchase learning about towing specifications. You can’t trust the truck manufacturer or the RV dealer to give you the facts.
The key specification is the door sticker’s Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR). Before you buy a trailer, weigh the truck after you fill it with gas, and load it with your family, pets, and everything you’d take on a trailer camping trip but that you wouldn’t load into the trailer.
Compare that to the GVWR and you’ll see how much tongue weight you can have without exceeding the GVWR. (You need to include 100 lbs. for the weight of the hitch.)
You can’t exceed any of the other towing specifications but the GVWR is usually the limiting factor.
There’s also a sticker with: “The combined weight of occupants and cargo should never exceed xxxx lbs.” (For an F-150 this is usually in the 1400 – 2000 lb. range.) This is a rough estimate of what’s available but doesn’t include any accessories added after the truck left the factory or what you’ve loaded.” —Irv

New feature in this newsletter coming Monday. Check back to see what we’ve added. If you’re not subscribed, you can do so here.

Random RV Thought

Bring along bicycles on your RV trips. They are excellent for short excursions, and the only fuel they burn is calories, which is a good thing for most people’s waistlines.

Our favorite tire pressure gauge. Endorsed by tire expert Roger Marble. Used by the RV Travel staff. Click.

• 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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24 days ago

Regarding tipping the end of an awning. It’s not always easy to do with electric awnings, or the ones that do not have support braces going down. Mine are about 12 feet above the ground

Tony Grigg
24 days ago

Now, just HOW does one lower one end of the awning, you may ask. Designs vary, but usually you can grab the lower support arm near a hinge point and pull down. There should be a knob or latch on the arm that can be set to hold that arm in the new position.
And BTW, don’t leave your awning extended when you are away from the campground. Sudden wind gusts that pop up can fold that awning right over the roof of your camper or even rip it right off. THAT will cost you a buck or two. 🤬

24 days ago
Reply to  Tony Grigg

Sage advice on leaving your awning extended and unattended.