Beginner’s Guide to RVing Newsletter #60


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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Monday, September 28, 2020

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

RVing Basics

Do RVs have both hot and cold water?
Yes. Virtually all RVs have a water heater (six gallons is most common), powered by propane or electricity (flip a switch to choose). The water will heat up in about 15 minutes and provide an adequate shower.

How do you take a shower in an RV?
If you are relying on your onboard water supply and waste water tanks, generally you’ll have to be a water miser. However, if your rig is fully hooked up to water and sewer you can shower just like at home. When “boondocking” or camping without water hookups, RVers generally take a “Navy” shower — first getting themselves wet, then soaping with the water turned off, and then rinsing. You’d be surprised how little water it takes when you conserve this way. The hot water tank on even the smallest RV will provide enough hot water for one comfy shower before heating up again for the next one. And when brief “Navy” showers are taken, one tank of hot water will be easily adequate for many showers, depending how efficient the bather controls the water flow.

Stay free on private property across AmericaRV Daily Tips Newsletter 1075
Boondockers Welcome is a great alternative to expensive, crowded RV parks or even Walmart parking lots. With a membership, you can stay for free at more than 1,000 private property locations across America. And, wow, will you meet some great people! Learn more or sign up.

Quick Tips

Speed bumps and cabinet doors
Purchase the “childproof” latches for cabinets. Get the ones that reach across both cabinet handles where you have matching doors. Don’t get the ones that attach to the inside of the cabinet door. Latch those doors together when you drive and be sure to go over those speed bumps dead slow. Thanks to Ron Jones at

Clean iron-stained porcelain toilet with toothpaste
One time when camping in a park with heavily iron concentrated water our porcelain toilet bowl got badly stained by the iron. I tried many things to get rid of the reddish-brown stains. Finally I gave a whitening toothpaste a try and voila, the stains scrubbed right off. Thanks to Ray Burr at Love Your RV.

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: 

“Buy and install a ‘blade valve’ right at the point you connect your sewer hose. This WILL eliminate any surprises when you remove the sewer cap on your RV!!” —Larry Byers

Random RV Thought

The next best thing to actually being on an RV trip is studying a road map before going and dreaming of what’s to come.

“What’s the best modification you’ve made to your RV?”

From the editors: We asked our readers this question. Here is one response: 

“We have made several alterations and modifications in our RV since we purchased it 1.5 years ago but I feel the most important one made is the full security system. This system includes all doors contacted, smoke detection, temp and water sensors in critical locations and cellular connections for monitoring. This allows us to remotely monitor our RV by smartphones for security, power outage, arm/disarm, water leaks, low temp and fire. If an alarm occurs we can notify the authorities for response. One of our favorite features is that we can leave the toy hauler rear door open for view and fresh air and still have the security system on for the screen doors. We have done this at night and not worried about unwanted visitors in the RV. With this system, we no longer worry about theft of the unit or break-ins while away from the RV and, best of all, we sleep better with the security system on. We do use the security system year-round, even when closed up for the winter. The security system brand is DSC and the communication system is” —Steve Lawrence

• 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

Need help? Contact us.

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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20 days ago

The best mod ever is the add-on hybrid Gaza’s/electric furnace kit we added that allows us to heat with electric rather than gas when we are plugged at the RV park. With the cheapheat system now our furnace works like our hot water heater where we can choose between gas or electric at the flip of a switch. It’s great I’ll never have another RV without the upgrade.

21 days ago

Tip to new RVer shopping for a motor home. Especially a class B. If at all possible test drive on an interstate in the right lane just slow enough for trucks to pass. This causes the worst wind effect. Meeting trucks on a two lane road does not cause near that much disturbance. (My first Interstate 4 passing truck blew me off the road. I never cured that RV.)

21 days ago

The best mod we’ve made to our RV was to cover the screens in our front door with polycarbonate lexan. We can have the door open winter and summer and not feel closed in.

Gary Swope
21 days ago
Reply to  Debby

What exactly is polycarbonate lexan that you use? Please explain in more detail. Thank you.

J Walsh
21 days ago
Reply to  Gary Swope

Lexan is a brand name of polycarbonate plastic. You can get it at any hardware or big box store.

21 days ago

The best modification I’ve done is to install a totally separate water system to that already present in the RV. The supply is a 5 gallon plastic jug (I have two) the same as those that go onto a water cooler. A hose goes to a pump dedicated to this system and a hose runs from the pump to a tap with a toggle handle that’s in the kitchen. No more worries about how pure or impure the water is in the main tank.