Beginner’s Guide to RVing Newsletter #73


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, October 15, 2020

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

RVing Basics

Wouldn’t an awning get torn apart in a storm?
If there’s a chance of strong winds or heavy rain, it’s best to retract your awning. We know one couple who returned to their rig on a clear, sunny day and found their awning flipped right over the top of their rig — an unexpected wind gust did serious damage. Some electrically deployed awnings have wind sensors that automatically retract themselves if an unsafe wind speed is reached. For manual awnings, tie-down straps can be used, too, that place a strap over the entire width of the awning and anchor into the ground at both ends.

Does rain pose any danger to an awning?
Absolutely! Heavy rains, if not allowed to shed off an awning, can cause it to act like a large water reservoir. The weight of the water has been known by some unfortunate RVers to actually bend and break awning arms. If there’s a chance of rain, it’s best to set the awning to a tilted angle, which will prevent rainwater from collecting on the awning fabric. Here’s a video tip on YouTube from reader Wolfe Rose about how he used an inexpensive grommet to easily drain the water from his RV’s awning.

Moldable, flexible glue is like magic
Sugru Moldable Glue is designed to act like Play-Doh right out of the package – roll it, flatten it, mold it into whatever shape you need, apply it and leave it to set overnight. The glue turns into strong, flexible and tactile silicone rubber overnight. It’s waterproof, long-lasting and can be used both indoors and outdoors. Click the image to watch the video to see it in action. Learn more or order here.

Quick Tips

Travel with all RV windows closed on road trips
On road trips, make sure you travel with all RV windows closed. This will help keep fumes outside and prevent dust from entering the living area. In addition, any open rear windows may suck unwanted fumes and odors into the RV. Thanks to Ron Jones,

LP appliances in slideout warning
A reader, who asked to remain anonymous, passed this along: “Do you have any propane appliances in a slideout? If so, most likely there’s a rubber propane hose that flexes every time you put your slideout out or bring it in. Over time the rubber can dry out and can start to leak. The hose can also become kinked preventing propane from flowing to the appliance(s). You should periodically check for problems before it becomes serious.” We’ll let you draw your own conclusions as to the anonymity request! Thanks, Anon E. Mouse!

We welcome your Quick Tips. Submit them here. Thanks!

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: 

“Learn/Study… there are so many aspects of owning an RV (of any type) that it is IMO worse than buying/owning a house. Join RV organizations that offer forums and information, freely. Such as RVillage, join RV oriented groups on Facebook, etc. BUT, remember one thing in everything that you read, everyone can and will have their own opinion on everything, good or bad, that you will find competing ones on nearly every subject. Read all of it and make YOUR own conclusions. Be they right or wrong, you will have done your best to become educated enough to make YOUR right decision.” —KT Gillespie

Escapees is the best club for RVers: All RVers welcome, no matter what type of RV, make or model. Click here to learn more

Random RV Thought

It’s always a good idea to check inside your RV’s microwave oven before hitting the road for the day. A cup of coffee that got heated but then forgotten will certainly spill, making a mess.

SECRET PHRASE: Sitka, Alaska, is the largest city by area

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

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

“I reinforced our rear closet bar structure, using a campground picnic table as my workbench when the entire bar came down on a very rough road. I installed a 2″ dowel diagonal brace from the closet rod bracket to the rear wall structure at the closet floor with some wood glue and a few screws. It will never come down again, and we don’t worry about how heavy the closet bar load is anymore. All in, it took me 2 hours, including finding a local hardware store, and about $25 to do the job.” —Dave Wood

• 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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Rock & Tina
7 months ago

Advice to someone new to RVing. Yes everyone will have an opinion and unfortunately that’s how quite a bit of bad advice becomes accepted “tribal knowledge” and keeps getting passed along as fact. Some of it is even dangerous. If you’re new to this start with your primary sources of real facts. Read and re-read all of the manuals provided with your RV. Call the manufacturers if you’re unsure of anything and subscribe to reputable sources of information such as RV Travel. If you’re unsure of someone’s opinion locate a published source to verify what you’re being told.

Don and Mary Jane, new RV Owners
6 months ago
Reply to  Rock & Tina

When you state the following, “Read and re-read all of the manuals provided with your RV”, you should see the deplorable explanations in the Keystone Manual that is provided with each RV purchased ! Every owner’s manual states, “if applicable” to your RV. I have a ’19 30RLS 5er, my buddy has a 2018 Montana 5er. Both provided manuals state the same, “if applicable” to your RV. Once again, these manufacturers have no interest in providing thorough detailed instructions(by way of a detailed model-specific-manual) on how to function in your specific RV! So, what does a newby, like me, hope to do ? You just hope your mechanical knowledge allows you to fix and figure out the many items the provided manual does not address. So far, I have not “blown up” or “torn apart” anything major in my brand new RV. But, yes I have made some little mistakes, and still have many unanswered questions as to why some particular thing operates the way it does. Very frustrating at times !!!

6 months ago

I have to agree. Most of the manuals I received dealt with the installation of the relevant item. Even the manufacturer online manual was so fluffy to be almost useless. Of course, lots of warnings ⚠️ so they can avoid lawsuits. Very light on actual instructions. YouTube has been more useful than anything, and then it still takes watching several different contributors to glean actual information, and less product promotion.