Beginner’s Guide to RVing Newsletter #94


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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Friday, November 13, 2020

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

RVing Basics

Once the borders reopen, can I travel in Mexico and Canada with my RV?
Yes, but contact your insurance company first to be sure you are covered. In Mexico, you will need a special policy. Be sure you do this, because if you get in an accident in Mexico without the proper insurance, you can get into a lot of trouble. For Mexico travel, your insurance must be issued by a recognized Mexican insurance company. You’ll need a passport or PASS card to get in and out of both Canada and Mexico. So be sure to check before starting your trip.

Unless you own your RV (and/or tow vehicle) outright, you’ll need a NOTARIZED letter from the lienholder, lender or rig owner granting you permission to use these vehicles in Mexico.

Additionally, if you drive your RV or travel trailer beyond Mexico’s “Free Zone,” you’ll need to purchase a Mexico Vehicle Import Permit. The Mexico Free Zone (Liberated Zone, Perimeter Zone, or Free Trade Zone) is an area along the Mexican international land borders running inward up to the point where Mexican Customs authorities have their first “interior” check point. This is usually about 12 to 16 miles from the border towns. There are exceptions on the Baja California Peninsula and places like Puerto Peñasco where it runs to the ocean front along the main highways. You DON’T need this permit if you stick to driving on the Baja Peninsula or the Sonora Free Zone. On the latter, the permit is required if you drive farther than Kilometer 98 on Mexican Federal Highway 15.

You may also be asked to have an internationally recognized credit card that bears the same name as the RV owner.

Quick Tips

Do you level your RV?
That’s a question repeatedly posted on RV forums – regarding leveling an RV when stopping at the end of the day. Here’s a typical response: “I try to get it relatively close unless it’s just for an overnight stop, in which case I don’t bother.” Unless it’s an overnight stop? ALWAYS level your RV. Another comment tells you why: “I’m on my second Dometic 4-door. I level METICULOUSLY every time I stop to camp and I check level every morning. I refuse to go thru all that replacement AGAIN.” RV refrigerators need to be level to work properly, and to prevent damage. No absorption-type RV refrigerator has ever read the fine print that says, “Don’t count the damage caused by operating off-level if it’s only overnight.” Seriously, damage to an RV cooling unit is CUMULATIVE, and every “only overnight” adds up. Can’t level? Shut off the fridge.

Tire air loss
Did you know that your tires can lose up to two psi of air pressure every month? That means if the RV sat in storage for three or four months the tires could be seriously underinflated. Try to get in the habit of checking tire pressure before each trip you take with your RV. Always check the tire pressure when the tires are cold (before traveling more than one mile.) Don’t forget to check your automobile tires periodically, too. —Tip from Mark Polk, RV Education 101.

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

Keystone Outback 260UMLToday’s RV review…

In today’s column, industry insider Tony Barthel reviews the new farmhouse-style 2021 Keystone Outback 260UML Travel Trailer. As he reports, “This is a tasteful, very usable, and quite pleasant travel trailer floor plan for a couple.” Learn more.

Did you read Tony’s review yesterday of the $190,000 Bowlus Road Chief Travel Trailer? If you missed it, you can read it here.

For previous RV reviewsclick 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: 

“The blue ribbon and trophy for being the first one up that big hill was won long ago. So pay attention to your vehicle, take your time and realize that going slow gives you the best view.” —Jerry Glazman

Random RV Thought

This is a bad situation: You pull into a campground beneath a beautiful pine tree. You dine,
enjoy a campfire, then go to sleep. At dawn, a loud “boom” explodes on your rooftop, waking you from your peaceful slumber. Then there’s a second, and a third! Explosives on the roof? No, just a squirrel dining above on pine cones, dropping them when done. You step outside and see him 50 feet above you. You say “Shoo!” and he looks at you with authority and says, “No, the food is good and you can’t do anything about it.” And you realize that we humans do not always have the upper hand with nature, even small rodents.

Fire Extinguishing Aerosol, Two-packfire extinguisher
The First Alert Tundra Fire Extinguishing Aerosol Spray is easier to use and discharges 4 times longer than traditional fire extinguishers. With an aerosol nozzle and portable size, it’s suited for the kitchen, car, garage, boat or RV. The formula wipes away with a damp cloth & is biodegradable. Learn more or order.

• 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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3 months ago

Today, Norcold recommends that their refrigerators operate within 3 degrees off level side-to-side and 6 degrees off level front-to-back.

3 months ago
Reply to  Glenn

Is a gimballed (sp?) fridge a possibility?

3 months ago

Wouldn’t it be nice, if we put the same restrictions for traveling from Mexico to America and from America to Canada as those countries put on us to travel to them. In fact I don’t understand why we don’t put on the same restrictions to every country for people travelling, or wanting to live here, into America that those countries put on us to travel, or live in, to theirs.

Leonard Rempel
3 months ago
Reply to  M_J

Relax there! As a Canadian, I have to live by rules set by the American government if I want to travel in your great country. Please understand that you don’t get to make the rules for all the countries, just your own. Sheesh.

3 months ago

I think traveling to Mexico is not worth the trouble. It’s not a safe country either, just ask the people traveling to a wedding.

Bob Weinfurt
3 months ago

Seems like it’s a hassle to go into Mexico.

M. Will
3 months ago
Reply to  Bob Weinfurt

I wouldn’t take my RV into Mexico for any amount of money anytime!!