Tuesday, June 6, 2023


Beginner’s Guide to RVing Newsletter #7

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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Wednesday, July 15, 2020

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

RVing Basics

What is a folding camping trailer?
Also called “pop-up trailers,” these canvas-covered RVs are great for family summer vacations when the weather is mild. They are also the least expensive RVs and can be pulled by smaller cars (even subcompacts) than those required for regular trailers. As their name implies, folding camping trailers fold up for rolling down the highway. Once at the campsite, however, they are easily expanded into remarkably spacious RVs with most of the conveniences found in bigger units, including a porta-potty and even shower in the largest. Smaller units usually include one or two queen- or king-size beds, a sink and a 12-volt refrigerator, and a little bit of cupboard space. Folding camping trailers are often the first RVs of young families, and they provide many memorable vacation memories for children. Two hard-sided trailers that also fold for travel are the Aliner and TrailManor.

I’ve heard about “toy haulers.” What are they?
This term applies to RVs that have a rear bay designed for transporting ATVs or motorcycles. There is a full-width door in the back that opens down to serve as a ramp for loading vehicles. The rear bay is often equipped with options that enable it to be used as a spare room when not loaded with “toys.” Many are equipped with beds that are raised toward the roof while traveling, but can be lowered at bedtime. Toy hauler models are available in larger travel trailers and fifth wheels, and sometimes motorhomes. Sales of toy haulers have boomed in recent years.

Do RVs come with bunk beds?
Yes, some do, and it’s a good use of space for families with young children. These RVs are sometimes called bunkhouse models. We recently came across a trailer from Heartland with two full-size bunks (so four double beds) that, with other beds, sleeps 14.

An alternative to RV parks: Stay free at farms, wineries and other scenic and peaceful locations for free. Save 15% on membership. Learn more.

Quick Tips

Clean your Plexiglas shower door without scratching it
If your RV shower door is Plexiglas, it’ll scratch real easy. Here’s a recipe/directions for cleaning without scratching:  To an empty spray bottle add 1 cup of water with a ½ teaspoon of dish-washing detergent. Add 1/4 cup of vinegar. Mix contents GENTLY. Now spray the Plexiglas with a light, thin mist. Let sit a few seconds and wipe clean with a soft, lint-free cloth. Wipe in large circles. Repeat until clean.

Read your manuals
Got a new RV? Take the time to sit down with all those manuals and read them through. Use a highlighter as you go to “accent” those tiny maintenance suggestions and requirements. Then go back and build your own logically ordered notebook – and give reference points back to the original manual.

Is your roof air conditioner dripping?
Got a dripping roof air conditioner, but it’s not raining outside? If the a/c drips when operating, you’ve probably got clogged drain holes inside the unit. Disconnect shore power, shut off the generator. Remove the shroud from the unit and look for debris blocking drain holes in the bottom plate of the roof-top unit.

Forgetful? Here’s help …
Fearful of things forgotten? Reader “jjmessy” sends this idea: Tie a string from one end of the driver’s sun visor to the other end. Now use clothes pins on the string to attach notes like, “Turn off propane,” “Raise jacks,” etc. When ready to move simply remove the notes as the task is performed, and slip the pins to the dash mat or elsewhere, keeping the notes for “next time.” Thanks, JJ!

Preserve the coating on nested cookware
Don’t let nested coated cookware scratch while bumping down the road. Toss oven pads or dish towels between the pans.

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

☀ Run your RV air conditioner with only a small portable generatorYes, it’s true!

Common Terms Used by RV Salespeople

DIP: This is when the customer needs additional or all of his cash down advanced by a finance company.

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: 

“Check out your dealer very closely before making your decision to purchase. Compare the out-the-door price. Many dealers add on extra charges like dealer fees and inspection fees. Also check out their service dept. and service policy. Do they make you leave it on their lot for months until the parts come in or do they call you after the parts arrive to schedule your service? What is the time frame in the shop? A few days or a few months?” — William Duff

Time to cool off!
This compact, battery-powered, highly rated (the highest-rated one on Amazon!), low-noise fan is just what you need to stay cool in your RV this summer. The rechargeable battery charges quick with a USB and will keep you cool for up to six hours at a time. Clip it to your table, bedside, driver or passenger seat or by your chair outside to stay cool. Learn more or order

Random RV Thought

How did we ever get along before GPS? For many of us, it’s hard to think of going back to those analog days. Yet, there is still something magical about unfolding a paper map, spreading it across a table, and plotting/dreaming of where we might head on an adventure.

• 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!

Bars ensure nothing moves while driving
RV Travel Newsletter Issue 857It’s happened to most RVers – you open the fridge (even slowly) after a day of driving and a heavy jar falls on your toe – “Ouch!” Never have that happen again with these easy-to-install spring-loaded refrigerator bars. They’re also useful in cupboards and closets. Order for a good price.

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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2 years ago

Instead of a string they make these things that go on your steering wheel that remind you to bring in your steps, etc. You used to have them as an recommendation on RVtravel, and I bought a set then. I use them every time I’m camping.

Connie VH
2 years ago

About GPS…. I collect old maps for this very reason. I love looking at them as we travel (by car only at this point), just to see how the area we’re in, or the road we’re on, has changed over the years…decades. Many times, towns are shown that are no longer in existence. Highways change or get enlarged.

So if I see an old map or map book at a garage sale, it goes home with me. Every time.

2 years ago
Reply to  Connie VH

Agreed. Nothing like laying out a paper map and dreaming of roads to be travelled.

2 years ago

If you tow a vehicle check with a dealer that sells that vehicle to see if you need to add anything for it to be towed. Do not forget to unlock the steering wheel if using a tow dolly or tow bar.

Gloria Sluder
2 years ago

You can use paper plates between skillets and lots & pans

2 years ago

Yes, PLEASE read your owner’s manual. Not just for your RV but also for your tow vehicle if you use one. I read several forums and inevitably a newbie asks a question that they would find the easy answer to if they just looked at the manuals. It doesn’t take that long but gives you a lot of information. People used to do that before the internet. Now it’s easier to type a question. But don’t be lazy. Read the manuals.

2 years ago
Reply to  Cindy

Not all manuals come with pre-owned RV’s. And when they do, they are apropos to several years & several models. That manual will not tell you where the water pump is located, etc. My manual will not give me specifics about my model/year. Both my TT and MH are like that. I call the manufacture directly to answer questions; they have always been very helpful without attitude. I don’t consider myself lazy but the manual is generic.

2 years ago

Our ACs have always dripped from day one. Not sure about this particular advice.

2 years ago
Reply to  Cindy

I think they mean dripping inside. Ours drip condensate outside of course but dripping inside is not normal.

2 years ago
Reply to  Cindy

Correct, you WANT dripping outside- that is a good thing.

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