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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Thursday, October 29, 2020
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DID YOU MISS reading this morning’s RV Daily Tips Newsletter? Good stuff there.
What are the best guides to campgrounds?
The only major directory still published is from the Good Sam Club. It’s primarily a guide to commercial RV parks rather than public campgrounds. It’s available at Camping World and most RV dealer stores. KOA publishes a free annual directory of its campgrounds that also includes a good road atlas of the USA and Canada. There is a plethora of information on campgrounds and other camping areas on the Internet, and there are several fine campground apps available for tablets and smartphones, both Android and Apple.
I need to get online. Do campgrounds offer Wi-Fi service?
Increasingly, yes. But if you really, really need to get online, don’t depend on the campground’s Wi-Fi service. It is often unavailable or painfully slow because too many other RVers are hogging the limited bandwidth by watching videos. Sometimes, the Wi-Fi system itself may not reach the entire park. Some parks will charge for a faster service. If you want to be sure the Wi-Fi is adequate for your needs, call the park. It’s not a bad idea to drive through the park before selecting a site, if allowed, as the Wi-Fi may be excellent in one area but weak or nonexistent in others.
How else can I get Internet access away from public Wi-Fi?
Check with your wireless phone provider (Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, etc.). You may be able to use your cell phone as a Wi-Fi hotspot. Better yet, buy a Mi-Fi device that can be connected to a cellular network to provide internet access for five to ten devices. Our experience is that Verizon has the most reliable coverage, including in rural areas.
Keep insects, rodents and bird nests out of your RV furnace
Wasps, mud daubers, birds and rodents pose a serious threat to the furnace on your RV. They can enter through the furnace vents. Their nests can interfere with airflow and cause serious damage. Camco 42141 (Model FUR 200) Flying Insect RV Furnace Screen fits Duo-therm and Suburban furnace vents. Camco offers several furnace screens so check that this screen will fit your vent. Learn more or order.
You probably already know that you should never put hot food in the freezer. That can cause nearby food to partially thaw and then refreeze, and may alter its texture and taste. Always let your food cool to almost room temp, and then cool even further in the refrigerator before transferring to the freezer. Be sure the food has room in the container to expand when it freezes.
We welcome your Quick Tips. Submit them here. Thanks!
Today’s RV review…
In today’s column, industry insider Tony Barthel reviews the 2021 Fleetwood Discovery LXE 36HQ 25th Anniversary Edition. As he reports, this 36’ diesel pusher motorhome celebrates the company’s quarter of a century in business by creating a premium model with some noteworthy features. Learn more.
Did you read Tony’s review yesterday of the Alliance Paradigm 310RL? If you missed it, you can read it here.
For previous RV reviews, click 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:
“I would tell purchasers of new RVs to expect to spend time in your dealer’s repair facility. So make sure to select a dealer that will treat you well and advocate with the brand and manufacturer of your unit. Spend some time at the dealership and observe how they treat customers. Read comments from customers following repairs. You will find that when you sign your purchase contract dealers do not warranty anything. Service and strong advocacy by the dealer is important.” —Robert D. Smith
50 States, 5,000 Ideas, perfect gift for RVer!
This book from the experts at National Geographic showcases the best travel experiences in every state, from the obvious to the unexpected. Sites include national parks, beaches, hotels, battlefields, dude ranches, museums and more. Each entry provides detailed travel information and fascinating facts about each state that will help fuel your wanderlust and ensure the best vacation possible. The book also includes a section on the Canadian provinces and territories. Learn more or order.
Random RV Thought
In a bad windstorm, pull off the road and wait for weather conditions to calm down. One big gust of wind can toss your RV into another lane or off the road. So just wait it out and be safe.
“What’s the best modification you’ve made to your RV?”
From the editors: We asked our readers this question. Here is one response:
“–Upgraded suspension – tows a lot better
–Both LP tanks were on the same side – split them, one on each side
–Added insulation to front storage bay – using 2″ R-13 Dbl. foil-faced foam board
–Had the original Bristol dump valves removed – they leaked like a sieve – and Valterra valves installed
–Plugged all holes that vermin could use to get inside
–Moved spare tire from underside front to rear bumper
–Installed spare battery opposite side of original
Just think if the manufacturers of RVs would only do a better job of building them, one would not have to go through what I have done to make my RV more enjoyable…” —Travilenman
• 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.
Read previous issues of Beginner’s Guide to RVing newsletters here.
RV Travel staff
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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.
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