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RV Daily Tips Newsletter 1010

Issue 1010 • November 29, 2018

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Best RV for a first-time buyer?

Photo by Jerimiah Borkowski

What type of RV is better, a trailer or motorhome? No easy response to this one. Trailer and fifth wheel owners like their rigs because they can be pulled with a truck or van and then plopped into a campsite, leaving the tow vehicle for local trips. Motorhome owners like their vehicles because everything is in one piece, with easy access while rolling down the highway. But when motorhome owners get to a campsite and level up, there is no smaller vehicle for local trips. So many (if not most) tow along a small car (called a dinghy or toad). But that means two vehicles and two engines to maintain. In very general terms, a motorhome may be more appealing to RVers who move around a lot, while a towable may be best for RVers who stay in one place for long times at a stretch — no need to pay for the RV engine that just “sits,” and the tow vehicle can be used for local errands and sightseeing. Also to consider: Motorhomes, with their engines, cost much more than a towable for the same living space. Our advice: Talk to some fulltimers about their RVs, see what they say and then draw your own conclusions.

Cold weather and water lines

While it’s pretty easy to see that camping in below-freezing weather will create issues for the water hose that serves up H2O to your RV, keep the inside in mind, too. When RVing in below-32-degree weather, be sure to leave your cabinet doors open a crack so the water lines inside them don’t freeze.

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Light up those steps!

Quick little safety mod. I add some white reflective strips to the RV’s entrance steps for better visibility at night. With darkness coming earlier and earlier now I thought I’d do a small mod to the RV entrance steps. Our steps are black with brown anti-skid pads on them, therefore they are difficult to see in the darkness, especially if parked on black parking lot pavement. While examining the stairs, I saw the middle of each step has an indentation. I took a strip of white reflective tape and, using a utility knife and a metal ruler, cut thin strips off, just wide enough to mount into the gap. It worked out well. Now the steps are easier to see in the dark, and the strips glow brightly when any light hits them. This is the tape that I use.
Thanks to Ray Burr at

Selling your RV? Here are the important preps

Wash and wax the exterior; and if you can’t do it, get a local professional to do the job. Wash and polish the tires and tire rims, and put tire black on the tires. Have a professional steam clean the engine compartment, so that it will look as clean and new as possible. Clean all hoses, plastics, and metals inside your engine compartment.

Clean all of the RV windows, inside and out so the potential buyer gets a clear view. Make sure that all of the RV’s lights, both interior and exterior, function properly. Open all of the curtains to let as much light into the RV as possible when you are going to show it. Shampoo the carpet to get all of the stains out. If there is a badly worn area in the carpet, place a small rug over the area. Clean the driver’s seat, passenger seat, chairs and the sofa along with any seat cushions to brighten them up. If the seats are torn or badly worn, go online and order some nice-looking fitted seat covers for them. Remember, no buyer wants to have to purchase new furniture for their new RV.

Clean the stove/range. Make sure it shines and there are absolutely no grease or food stains on it and make sure it turns on and heats properly. Clean the fridge/freezer and be prepared to demonstrate that it works properly. With a 2-way fridge design, turn it on the night before showing it, so it will be nice and cold when you show it to a potential buyer.

Clean the filters in the roof AC units, and clean any dust or stains on your ceiling air ducts. Be prepared to demonstrate that the AC cools properly. It should take only five minutes or so before it starts blowing cold air. Be prepared to demonstrate that the TVs all work properly, using the roof TV antenna or even the satellite antenna system. This is a real selling point for almost every buyer.

If the customer makes a serious offer, then be prepared to take them for a drive, to demonstrate that it runs well and handles properly. But if they want to drive it, make sure your insurance covers them if there is an accident. Remember, many first-time buyers don’t have a clue how to drive or tow an RV.
–From The Ultimate RV Owner’s Reference

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RV Daily Tips Staff

Editor and Publisher: Chuck Woodbury. Managing editor: Diane McGovern. Staff writer: Emily Woodbury. Contributing writers: Russ De Maris, Bob Difley, Gary Bunzer, Roger Marble, Mike Sokol, Greg Illes, J.M. Montigel and Andrew Robinson. Advertising coordinator: Gail Meyring. Marketing director: Jessica Sarvis. IT wrangler: Kim Christiansen.

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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.

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4 years ago

Yes I looked at it but missed a spot where the sealant didn’t adhere to the roof in a place that allowed the water to get into a closet. I finally found it and sealed it and have no leaks . I was lucky with where the leak entered the closet.

4 years ago

I made an appt to have the roof inspected and the wheels checked, lubed, brakes and I think they said ball bearings to make sure we are ready for Colorado. They will install a television mount as well so we can hang the television up while watching. Otherwise, I have vertigo and getting me on a ladder and on to roof will have me calling the fire dept to get me down.

John T
4 years ago

Putting on tire black is a sign to buyers that you have always been using tire treatments. Most of these are harmful to the tires, drawing out the chemicals that protect the rubber. Tire experts have told us right here on RV Travel to never use such treatments.

Mark Scango
4 years ago

I didn’t inspect the roof when I bought my trailer because it was brand new and covered by a warranty. The dealer also provided a multi-point inspection sheet verifying they did a pre-delivery inspection which included the roof and all seams. This fall when I did my layup inspection I found where the dealer had added Dicor in several spots they considered to be in need of sealing which enforced my trust in this dealer. I also added a few strips of Dicor here and there and installed Eternabond to both end cap seams to improve my odds of avoiding future leaks.

Tommy Molnar
4 years ago

When camping in cold weather (REALLy cold, that is) we don’t even hook the hose up. We make sure the onboard water is adequate (usually full, which helps prevent freezing) and not worry about frozen hoses. I used to go out every night, disconnect the hose, and blow it out. Too much work. Now we just don’t hook it up. Besides, the water pressure from our pump is usually better than the campground’s pressure-.

Jeffrey Torsrud
4 years ago

I will be contracting RV-ARMOR this coming Spring (2019) to completely strip and seal my RV Roof. I have had No Problems to this point and the RV is 4 years old. But then too, I have stored it in a Large RV Shed out of the Rain and Elements.

Something everyone should consider doing, if you plan to keep your RV for a long time.

4 years ago

We bought a new travel trailer and assumed the roof was properly sealed. Big mistake. Just out of warranty the roof leaked. The whole front seam was the worse lap sealant job imaginable. Must have been done late on a Friday afternoon. It may have been leaking for a while by the time we noticed. My emergency repairs were very sloppy, but at least it’s sealed for the time being. Will probably have the whole roof redone this year.

Sharon B
4 years ago

This was my first travel trailer and new, never titled. Never thought about looking at the roof. But after reading every email and newsletters from this site I would never do that again. I did have a leak and fixed it.

Pat B
4 years ago

Didn’t know to check the roof with the first one, and was too scared to go up there. Having since redone the roof myself and delt with water damage, I will definitely be closely inspecting the next one.

Please bring back the brain teasers, my poor brain needs all the help it can get.

4 years ago

When first time buyer, we purchased a repo travel trailer and had no clue about inspecting the roof. Many years later, bought our first “new” motorhome and since it was new, assumed roof would be perfect. Same with our 2nd new motorhome. If I ever purchased another “used” rv, I would definitely inspect the roof…along with ever inch of the inside for any evidence of water damage.

4 years ago

I looked at it but missed a spot where the sealant didn’t adhere to the roof in a place that allowed the water to get into a closet. I finally found it and sealed it and have no leaks . I was lucky with where the leak entered the closet. It was directly below the the unsealed seam and i found it before there was any damage.

4 years ago

What happened t the brainteaser? It was fun.

4 years ago
Reply to  Jon

yeah, what happened

Gene Bjerke
4 years ago

I didn’t even think to inspect the roof. In my defense, our rig is a Sprinter, so the roof is steel, like the rest of the body. We bought new, so it is reasonable to assume that the items attached to the roof were well sealed.

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