Beginner’s Guide to RVing Newsletter #99


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 20, 2020

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

RVing Basics

The dangers of RV batteries
Batteries can be extremely dangerous. They emit gases that are explosive and contain a very corrosive acid. If you perform your own maintenance, then certain precautions must be taken. Do not use an open flame or smoke around batteries. Avoid any electrical arcing or sparks around the battery(ies). Wear protective clothing and safety glasses, and avoid getting any battery acid on your skin or clothes. If you do come in contact with battery acid, flush the exposed area immediately with a lot of cold water. —Tip from Mark Polk, RV Education 101

Know your own whereabouts
When you get into a new RV park or boondock site, it’s not a bad idea to jot down information on your location, including site number, park phone number, GPS coordinates, etc. If an emergency pops up during your stay, this information might pop out of your mind. A small dry-erase board mounted where you can easily find it makes a great place for this critical information.

Inflatable footrest is comfortable for couch and passenger seat
Now that’s cool! Miss your favorite recliner no more! This inflatable footrest is perfect for lounging on the couch, in the chair by the campfire, or in the passenger seat for long drives. Take it on a plane ride, or take it to the grandkids’ sports games (we know those can get long). It weighs less than 1 lb. and folds down small for travel. Learn more about this comfy footrest here.

Quick Tips

Cleanup tips for stove parts
“I manage a 175-unit apartment complex and have cleaned more stove parts than you can imagine. Here’s a tip that I use all the time. Simply put all your stove parts including the oven racks in a large garbage bag. Then spray the contents with oven cleaner or sudsy ammonia (avoid the fumes, of course), close up the bag and let them sit overnight. A quick scrub with an SOS pad or steel wool and everything will look like brand-new.” Thanks to Steve P.

Know the toll before you roll 
A motorhomer who crossed the George Washington Bridge in New York didn’t check the price before rolling over, using an EZ-Pass. He found out when he saw the bill – $76 for a one-way trip (toll depends on number of axles). Traveling in toll bridge country is new to many from Out West, so a little advance routing research could save you big money.

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

2021 Roofnest SparrowToday’s RV review…

In today’s column, industry insider Tony Barthel reviews the new 2020 Roofnest Sparrow. As he reports, these rooftop tents are “a great alternative to the casual enthusiast looking to go somewhere who wants to step up from a tent.” Learn more.

Did you read Tony’s review yesterday of the 2021 Starcraft Autumn Ridge 182RB 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: 

“Get an independent third party Pre-Purchase Inspection. Regardless if it’s new or used.” —Dennis G.

Need mail forwarding? 
Americas Mailbox is the best. There are many plans available. Learn more.

Random RV Thought

In the early days of the automobile industry, thousands of companies came and went. Anyone with a toolbox and a garage could open a shop. A similar thing occurred in the first half-century of the RV industry. Today, just as it happened to automakers, one by one the weaker RV makers have closed or been bought out – survival of the fittest in action.

• 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.

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Bob Weinfurt
3 months ago

I cross the George Washington Bridge frequently. While the toll on that bridge is extremely high, it only has to be paid crossing it from the west/south. There is no toll collected on the return trip.

Last edited 3 months ago by Bob Weinfurt
3 months ago

If you have to finance an RV and you have a paid off house, look into borrowing money on your house. Interest rates are lower, you can’t deduct interest on av RV loan, but you can on a house loan. If you have cash for the R V, the salesman’s pencil usually gets sharper. Another plus comes from the super rich who lobbied to be able to get a tax break on their “toys” allows you to take a deduction for a second home on your RV.