Sunday, June 20, 2021
Sunday, June 20, 2021

Beginner’s Guide to RVing Newsletter #78

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.

This newsletter is funded primarily through advertising and voluntary subscription contributions from our readers. Thanks to all of you!

If you shop at Amazon, please visit through our affiliate site (we get a little commission that way – and you don’t pay any extra). Thank you!

Thursday, October 22, 2020

If you did not get an email notifying you of this newsletter, sign up here to get one every time it is published.

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

RVing Basics

My husband and I want to travel full-time in an RV, but I am very sensitive to chemicals and cannot tolerate strong scents. Does the smell of the propane or smoke from campfires get inside the RV?
You should never smell any LP gas inside your rig at any time, even when running the furnace or generator, unless there’s a malfunction (in which case get your system checked immediately as propane is nothing to fool with). You will have to be selective about your campgrounds, though, as it can be impossible to keep campfire smoke out. Many private campgrounds do not allow campfires, so there will be no problem there. But public campgrounds, like those in National Parks and National Forests, can be terribly smoky on summer evenings, when everyone wants to roast marshmallows by the campfire.

If the evening is warm, you’ll swelter without your windows open (and using the air conditioning for anything but a short burst of time is not appropriate at these places because it involves running the generator), so the smoke will pour right in. The RV itself, too, might be your biggest problem. Chemicals and glues used in materials will linger for a long time in a new unit and there can be other fumes from exhaust, toilet chemicals, etc.

In the answer above, you said it’s not appropriate to run a generator in National Park and National Forest campgrounds. What do you mean? Is this a law?
No, it’s not necessarily a law, but a rule in some campgrounds. In these pristine places, it’s incredibly rude to run a noisy generator (and they all make some noise) except for brief periods during the day. Your neighbors will likely be there on vacation, and forcing them to listen to engine noise rather than the sounds of nature is just plain inconsiderate. In most National Parks and many other public campgrounds, hours will be posted when it’s okay to run a generator.

micro-2-762Microwave cover collapses for easy storage
When heating your food you don’t want to spend 10 minutes later cleaning the splatters inside the microwave. Here’s the solution — and perfect for RVers: it pops down flat for easy storage. Lid perforations allow steam to escape to keep food moist. Doubles as a strainer, too! Learn more or order at

Quick Tips

Inspect your rig often to avoid “damage” surprises later
Have you ever noticed a dent on your RV long after returning home from a camping trip? Unfortunately, you probably won’t ever figure out how or why it happened since you didn’t spot the damage when it occurred. Just as rental car agencies inspect company vehicles prior to handing the keys to customers, you should perform a quick visual inspection of your rig whether you’re stopping at a rest area or parking for the season.

First, walk around your RV and scan the exterior from rooftop to tires. Ensure all antennae are stowed, windows are closed, and awnings are securely rolled up. Pay careful attention to your tires by checking for bulges, nicks, or items lodged inside treads. Examine the sidewalls and valves for cracking or breakage.

Finally, pay close attention to the bottom half of the rig where damage is most likely to occur. Look for scratches, nicks and dents stirred up by road hazards, bad weather or damage caused by a car that made contact when you didn’t feel it. A complete visual inspection only takes a few minutes to perform. Taking the time to do it can bring peace of mind and save you money on repairs over the course of owning your RV. Tip from Mark Polk, RV Education 101.

Hanging heavy TV on inside wall
Want to hang a TV mount on an RV inner wall? Tap carefully, you may find there aren’t any “studs” to tied into. Now look on the other side of the wall – is there yet another piece of thin paneling or laminate? If you’re dealing with a closet on the other side of your proposed TV hang-out, you may have a sweet set up.

Carefully remove the wall in the closet, and measure the dead space between the two walls. Is there room enough for a 3/4″ piece of plywood? Cut one to fit inside the space, then reinstall the closet wall. Mark the spots for your TV mount screws, and drill through the wall. From the TV side, use BOLTS, not screws, long enough to go completely through into the closet side. Then use fender washers and cap nuts to make a finished, non-snagging way that will securely mount your TV. Using wood screws as attaching hardware may pull out as the leveraged weight of the TV bounces down the road.

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

The Rockwood A-frame 242RK

Today’s RV review…

In today’s column, industry insider Tony Barthel reviews the Rockwood A213HW A-frame trailer. As he reports, they are an ideal choice for those who camp only a few times a year or don’t have a full-sized pickup.  Learn more.

Did you read Tony’s review yesterday of the Keystone Springdale 242RK? He reports this is one of the most livable and usable travel trailers he’s come across. If you missed it, you can read it here.

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: 

“Once you buy, PRACTICE driving and parking it in a deserted parking lot for several days before you journey out. Pretend you are backing into a campsite, especially if you have a 5th wheel. Be aware that the rear of the trailer or motorhome makes a larger arc than the wheels. You can’t just make a right turn from the right lane without keeping an eye on the car in the next lane and your tail end.

“Your first trip should be to a local campground close to home – learning how to use your new RV and figuring out what you forgot to bring or need to buy.

“Choose larger campgrounds the first few outings – they have the experience to help you. Also, do not be embarrassed to let them help you park, and pay attention – they do this every day and have learned the tricks. They are happy to help you learn how to back up your rig.

“Lastly, be really observant of what and how other RVers, with lots of experience, do it. RVing is like joining a new club: Most everyone is super friendly and helpful. Do not be afraid to strike up a conversation or ask why they did something in a certain way. Most veterans enjoy sharing what took them a long time to learn.

“Have fun and be careful out there.” —George

Random RV Thought

The more “stuff” you carry in your RV, the more fuel your motorhome or tow vehicle needs to haul it. Once a year, go through your drawers and cupboards and remove things you haven’t used in the last year.

Did you hear? We published a book!
The third edition of editor Chuck Woodbury’s book The ABCs of RVing is now available. Every question you’ve ever had about RVing is answered in this easy-to-understand book. The book is for RV beginners, those just getting started who don’t even know the right questions to ask about buying or using an RV. It’s quick reading and will get newbies up to speed on choosing the right RV (for them), buying it at the best price, and then using it. Learn more or order here.

“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 have 2 best mods for my RV: (1) I installed a slide topper – no more climbing a ladder on uneven surface to sweep off the tree debris; and (2) a 5-inch fence post with rain-gutter insert for the sewer hose and attachments – no more stinky slinky in the storage bay!” —Jim Knoch

• 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.

Mail us at 9792 Edmonds Way, #265, Edmonds, WA 98020.

This newsletter is copyright 2020 by

Related Articles

Notify of

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
7 months ago

To the lady with low tolerance to strong scents, I would advise renting a newer unit and take a week or so in a local campground to see how it affects your problem. Good luck, I look forward to meeting you somewhere in this wonderful country.

Bob Shaw
7 months ago

W/regard to noise discipline, light discipline is very important as well – It is hard to ‘enjoy’ the night wall to wall stars if your neighbor finds that he just can’t live w/o an oversized light show of his own –

Follow us!