Thursday, June 8, 2023


Beginner’s Guide to RVing Newsletter #8

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, July 16, 2020

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

RVing Basics

Park model

What is a park model RV?
The RV Industry Association (RVIA) defines park model RVs as “a unique trailer-type RV that is designed to provide temporary accommodation for recreation, camping or seasonal use.” According to the RVIA, nearly 70 percent of park model RV owners locate their unit within several hours’ drive time from their primary residences and use them for weekend camping trips. Park models almost always remain in one place, rather than move from place to place like other RVs. They are more like small “mobile homes” than what most people consider a recreation vehicle. Another term the industry is beginning to use for these is “destination trailer.”

Slideout dramatically expands the living space of this travel trailer.

What’s a “slideout?”
A slideout is an option that allows RVers to expand the space inside their rigs once they reach their destination. At the touch of a button, a portion of a room – usually the living room or bedroom (or both) – slides out as much as two to three feet. Most RVs today, except small ones, include this option. Some units have two, three, four or even five slideouts and some Class A motorhomes have “full wall” slides. The interiors of RVs with slideouts are so spacious it’s hard to tell them from a regular home. It’s best to avoid slideouts that include the stove and refrigerator because of the weight which can put a strain on the slideout.

TIP: Before buying a particular RV with slideouts, be sure to see the RV with the slideouts fully retracted, as they will be on the road. With some models, you won’t be able to get to the bathroom, kitchen and/or bedroom, which would be very inconvenient when you wanted to pull over at a rest area to make lunch, use the bathroom or take a nap. We recommend you avoid buying these poorly designed rigs (which are fairly common).

Where can I learn if my truck can tow my travel trailer?
Trailer Life offers an annual guide, the “Good Sam Guide to Towing.” It outlines critical information about hauling travel trailers, fifth-wheels and truck campers. Visit for a free guide. This Facebook group is also a good resource.

Tiny LED button lamp perfect for RV’s small, dark spacesRV Travel Newsletter Issue 913
This 6-pack of tiny, battery-powered LED “Button Lamps” is just what you need for your RV’s closets and storage spaces. The tiny lamp is ultra-bright and has all the power of a normal-sized lamp. Backed with a strong adhesive, these little lamps will stick to any surface. They’re waterproof and good to have in case of an emergency. Learn more or order.

Quick Tips

Be sure to check your RV batteries frequently in hot weather
Traveling in hot country? It’s hard on people – and on RV batteries. Check the electrolyte level in your RV batteries often and keep them filled with distilled water.

Simple custom-sized trash cans
Finding suitably sized trash cans for RVing can be a hassle. Visit the plasticware section of your local discount store and pick up a plastic cereal storage container. The same bag the cashier packs it in (if it’s plastic) fits great for a trash can liner. If it threatens to slide around, use double-stick Velcro tape on the bottom.

Easy way to clean your showerhead 
Can’t get your RV showerhead off to clean it? Fill up a plastic storage bag with white vinegar, “bag” the shower head, and hold it in place with a rubber band or other tie. Leave it hanging overnight to dissolve mineral deposits.

Another way to keep your awning shut while traveling
Worried your awning might open while traveling? Put the awning in “transport” position, then carefully bore through the closed awning arms, installing a snap lock safety pin. It’ll prevent the arms from opening up without first being removed.

Trailer stabilizers
Use a portable electric drill with the appropriately sized socket to run holes up and down your trailer stabilizers. Saves time and frustration. Also, bringing an extra battery or charger isn’t a bad idea – especially on long trips with lots of stops.

We welcome your Quick Tips: Send to

☀ Be cool this summer. Now use your RV air conditioner when you could never use it before. No kidding!

Common Terms Used by RV Salespeople

ROLL BACK: To work a deal backward. Instead of working with the purchase price and trying to determine a monthly payment, you would start with a known monthly payment and try to determine a selling price. It also means to “roll back” the odometer on an RV to make it worth more money – highly illegal.

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: 

“The warranty is pretty much useless. Take the time to learn how to fix things on the RV. Things will stop working, break, or y’all just want to improve something on the rig. It will be bloody expensive to have to rely on the dealer, or paying someone to do it.” — Fred Crowley

Endorsed by Roger Marble of!
The best tire pressure gauge
The Accutire MS-4021B digital tire pressure gauge has an easy-to-read LCD display that provides pressure readings from 5-150 PSI. It’s ergonomically designed with an angled head and a rubber-coated easy-grip handle. And all this for about $12! Learn more or order.

Random RV Thought

When you sleep in a hotel bed, you never know who slept there before you. In your RV, you always know.

Need a place to store your RV or belongings? Rent available space on private property near you at Save money over commercial facilities. It’s like the Airbnb of storage. Learn more

• 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.

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

This newsletter is copyright 2020 by


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Vanessa Simmons
2 years ago

“socket to run holes up and down your trailer stabilizers.” Why would I want to put holes in it. 🙂

Gary Smith
2 years ago

Your recommendation that people use portable electric drills to operate stabilizers should include a caution not to use impact style drivers. Not only are they likely to damage the stabilizers, the racket is annoying as he!! to the rest of the campers.

2 years ago

With the stabilizers please use a drill. Nothing worse than listening to someone using a driver to put them up and down. There is a difference! Kind of like an inverter generator versus a contractor generator.

2 years ago

For awnings we wrap a Velcro strap around the bars, but you could also use a bungee cord. Just keep it closed while traveling.

2 years ago

To know if your truck/vehicle can tow your trailer, check the owner’s manual when you know the GSWR of the trailer you want to tow. It’s a good idea to subtract 10% from that number as a safe bet on what you can tow with the trailer loaded.

Primo Rudy's Roadhouse
2 years ago

great advise to new RVers. I bought a used toy hauler and was able to improve and fix everything myself. I like being “handy”

Chuck B
2 years ago

An awning can still unroll, even if the arms are secure. The awning roller must be locked in place to be sure it does not unroll going down the highway. There are various ways and locks to prevent that from happening. But you didn’t cover those. Chuck

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