RV Daily Tips Newsletter Issue 1118


June 12, 2019

Welcome to another edition of RV Travel’s Daily Tips newsletter. Here you’ll find helpful RV-related and small-space living tips from the pros, travel advice, a handy website of the day, our favorite RVing-related products and, of course, a good laugh. Thanks for joining us. We appreciate your readership.

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Stifle that oversensitive smoke detector

Reader Jim O’Briant shared this post he’d found on Facebook: “We have a crazy sensitive smoke detector. To the point that we can’t cook bacon, which is not acceptable… I mean it’s bacon! I’ve read that a lot of people just take them out but I want the peace of mind at night to know it will wake me up if there is a fire.

“So I came up with what may be one of my greatest life hacks to date… cut a hole in a cheap glad lock Tupperware container lid with a slit to get it over the smoke detector. When cooking, just press the container into the lid and it won’t go off. When done cooking, remove container and the smoke detector functions as normal.”

An interesting approach, and one that could “draw fire” from safety experts. If you forget to pull the lid off your smoke detector, it could obviously lead to catastrophic results, so use this idea at your own risk. Better you should spend a few bucks more and get yourself a smoke detector equipped with a “silencer” button that shuts off the alarm for a few minutes, then automatically returns to “sniffing out trouble.” Here’s one that can be used in RVs (*Note: The RVtravel.com staff uses this smoke detector!).


Why aren’t keyboard keys in alphabetical order? When manual typewriters were first invented, the keys were arranged in alphabetical order, but people typed so fast that the mechanical character arms got tangled up. So, the order was redesigned and the keys were randomly positioned to slow down typing and prevent key jams. It’s been the same ever since!

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Know your RV height

Post a note on your dashboard showing the height of your rig in both feet and inches. When out of the country, post it in meters. Be careful at older service stations: Clearance signs may not have kept up with repaving jobs that can slightly raise the height of the drive. In the USA, most bridges in the West are high enough for an RV to pass under, but be careful east of the Mississippi, where many old bridges will rip your RV’s roof right off if you try to pass beneath them.

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 under-inflated. Try to get in a 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.

Do you have a tip? Send it to Russ (at) rvtravel.com


Things to do in America at least once in your life

This is a pretty in-depth list of everything (well, 60 things) you should do (and see) in America at least one time in your life. There are some pretty unique things here and the list is worth a look.

Check out the long list of great RVing-related websites from RVtravel.com.

A DEET-free mosquito and tick repellent … that works! 
Well, it’s that time again (unfortunately.) If you’re one of those people that mosquitoes love (we all know at least one person like this), this product is for you. A very impressive number of five-star reviews. This awesome DEET-free insect repellent works for mosquitoes, ticks and other biting insects. Keep this one handy, folks. As RVers, there’s a good chance you’ll probably need this. Learn more or order here.

Photo by @zoogirlsd, Instagram


This hilarious sign in the Wallingford neighborhood of Seattle, WA, is so funny (and popular) that it has its own Facebook page and Twitter account. Check it out here.

Today’s Daily Deals at Amazon.com
Best-selling RV products and Accessories at Amazon.com

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More than 14,000 campgrounds and other places where you can stay for free or nearly free. Learn more at Overnight RV Parking.

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RV Daily Tips Staff

Editor and Publisher: Chuck Woodbury. Managing editor: Diane McGovern. Contributing writers: Russ De Maris, Bob Difley, Gary Bunzer, Roger Marble, Mike Sokol, Greg Illes, J.M. Montigel and Andrew Robinson. Advertising director: Emily Woodbury. Marketing director: Jessica Sarvis. Financial affairs director: Gail Meyring. 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 RVtravel.com or this newsletter.

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This newsletter is copyright 2019 by RVtravel.com

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Regarding the Tupperware over the smoke detector…

Try using these alternate ideas…

Use a battery operated or 120V desk fan pointed at the smoke detector. You can shut it off when you’re finished cooking. We used to set the detector off all the time with the the toaster or bacon. We just set the small fan on the island counter. It does not take up any room. For a really smokey event, use a box fan.

Other ideas are to use the microwave exhaust vent or the Max Air vent in the kitchen.


In regards to smoke detector solution – I just put a hotel shower cap over the case while cooking & remove it when done. No complicated installation necessary.

Bob Weinfurt

I have a 3 way fridge. 12 volts when traveling, gas when I’m stopped, 120 volts when I’m plugged in. That way it’s always cold and frozen food stays frozen.


Am I the only one that owns a three-way refrigerator? Use half electric and balance of use between battery & propane.


As fulltime RVers, during the winter we are hooked up to electricity and use that exclusively. During the other seven or eight months we vary boondocking and hookup camping about 70%-30%.


We dry camp 99% of the time so refrigerator is on Propane. I plan in the near future to install a residential refrigerator. I have 540 watts of solar and six 6 volt batteries to support it.

Tom Gutzke

Smoke detectors do NOT last a lifetime. When they first came out there was no life span. Now they should be replaced every five years. Dust buildup in photo-electric circuit, dust on circuit board, and other factors can affect its operation. Mine started acting up just before reaching its 5th year anniversary. Some detectors seem to be over-sensitive, too. Retired firefighter 28 years on-the-job.


Very disappointed with “Things to do in America at least once in your life”. I believe it was mistitled. I should have said, “Things to do in the United States of America at least once in your life”. I was hoping to see sites dedicated to countries throughout all of the Americas. After all, we are all Americans be it Canadian, Honduran, Ecuadoran, Argentinian, etc. Rvers from around the world travel through all of Central and South America not to mention the thousands that trek south each winter to Mexico.


I measure height empty and added a bit for angle of approach under some old E.coast bridges. I then put that number on the dash so I can refer to it before I enter bridges. Also took the mirror to mirror dimension and put it on the dash also [road construction sometimes post limits on width]. Saved me once in Niagara Falls NY…….I backed out.


2018 Winnebago Travato, Nova Kool refrigerator runs on 12 volt or electric, not propane.

Jim Langley

I actually think that smoke detector Tupperware cover to prevent it going off when you’re cooking is very clever. For us it’s a common occurrence for it to go off and the only way to shut it up is to pull it down and remove the battery – not so easy because the little drawer the battery sits in inside the alarm seems designed to be impossible to open by human hands. Of course, then you have to remember to put the battery back in and put the alarm back up on the ceiling.

Thank you.


Residential refrigerators do not have the option to use propane. And our S&B smoke dectectors (which automatically dispatch emergency services) come with a cover to prevent false alarms when cooking. As long as you are aware and remove the cover, I don’t see an issue.


Just tore off my Maxx air roof vent,unable to open my fantastic fan from inside,wanting $50 bucks for vent,fantastic fans going for over $500,was a bad decision on my part,rv was fine however those vents are almost 2 feet high,lesson learned the hard way!!

Ian Anderson

Tire Air Loss

This is why most people add at least 5 – 10 psi to the minimum pressure required to avoid any air loss and to take care of any other anomalies such as weight imbalance etc.


The interview with Don Humes was so interesting!


On Measuring the Height of your RV! 2 measurements should be taken.
1.) The Unloaded Height of your RV
2.) The Loaded Height.

When your RV is empty, it will sit higher (obviously).
When you ADD a Ton of Crap in your RV, it will ride lower!

Example: My 5th wheel Loaded, runs at 13 ft. 3 inches to the Tops of the Air Conditioners! So, I am safe on the Interstate Hiways, but have to watch closely on County Roads and other Country Roads!

Jeffrey Torsrud

Survey of the Day:
One item on the list that was forgotten: Don’t Use Propane, as I have a Residential Fridge that runs off my inverter!
Many Newer RV’s, including Travel Trailers, 5th Wheels and of Course Motorized RVs have Residential Fridges now days.


On today’s poll, it didn’t give the choice for electric only because it’s a residential refrigerator as mine is. So no, I never use propane for mine.


Do not agree with covering the smoke detector even for short period of time. Figure out another option, this one is something that should not be done. You forget to remove – could kill you.

Bob p

I went thru the sign page and someone has a very creative mind for signs. Very good!