Saturday, December 10, 2022


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 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!

Best Club for RVers: Escapees. Click here to learn more or join. Endorsed by


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)


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

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
Best-selling RV products and Accessories at

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

Did you miss the latest RV Travel Newsletter? If so, read it here.

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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.

ADVERTISE on and/or in this newsletter. Contact Emily Woodbury at advertising(at)

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.

Mail us at 9792 Edmonds Way, #265, Edmonds, WA 98020.

This newsletter is copyright 2019 by

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3 years ago

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.

3 years ago

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.

3 years ago
Reply to  Alicia

My smoke alarm came with a shower cap of sorts for when painting or sanding. Hold onto them for TEMPORARY protection. Do NOT mount your detector in a box where you’ll leave it. SMDH

Bob Weinfurt
3 years ago

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.

3 years ago

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

3 years ago
Reply to  Martine

3 ways are seriously rare IMO, because they draw down your battery if you’re not actively driving with an alternator. If you WANT a three way and understand this problem, just run a tiny inverter and put the fridge in AC mode.

3 years ago

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%.

3 years ago

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
3 years ago

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.
3 years ago

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.

3 years ago

HUH? Canadians call themselves Canadians.
Mexicans call themselves Mexicans.
Argentinians call themselves Argentinians.
And I, as an American, will continue to call myself an American.
I’ve traveled to Europe or Asia. They’ll call me an American over there!
The term in used globally so why try to change it??
3 years ago
Reply to  Ray

Nothing to change, it’s a mindset of belonging to a continent like Europeans, Asians, Africans, etc. All of us on the continent are Americans. Mexico’s official name is the United States of Mexico.

3 years ago

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.

3 years ago
Reply to  Bd2

We purchased an RV GPS. We punch in all of our dimensions and weight, and the GPS routes us safely to our destination. We do know GPS’s sometimes give wrong info, so we do know our dimensions and are watchful of all signs. In the 3 years we’ve owned it, it has not failed us.

3 years ago

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

Jim Langley
3 years ago

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.

3 years ago
Reply to  Jim Langley

I like the Tupperware idea too, just I would/will add a long piece of flagging tape (or similar) to the container so as it dangling would remind me to remove the container base, but not that intrusive to our movement in the RV.

Stay cool

3 years ago

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.

3 years ago

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!!

Tommy Molnar
3 years ago
Reply to  Ron

Not sure I understand your post. Did you hit something, or did you take the Maxxair covers off because you couldn’t fully open your vents?

3 years ago
Reply to  Tommy Molnar

Hi Tommy,was turning around in parking garage,rv height was fine,however max air vent clipped concrete beam!

Ian Anderson
3 years ago

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.

3 years ago
Reply to  Ian Anderson

Bad idea. The recommended pressure is for cold tire. If you add extra, you’ll change the handling and overwear the tires.

Tommy Molnar
3 years ago
Reply to  Ian Anderson

Not sure “most people” do this . . .

3 years ago
Reply to  Tommy Molnar

I have never heard anyone recommend preemptive over pressuring. Two wrongs and all that. Sounds like shooting the horse in case it gets sick later.

3 years ago

The interview with Don Humes was so interesting!

3 years ago

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
3 years ago

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.

3 years ago

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.

3 years ago
Reply to  Dan

Why didn’t you and Jeffrey just click on the “Always or almost always on electric” choice?

3 years ago

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.

3 years ago
Reply to  John

If this guy created enough smoke to activate the Smoke Detector for Bacon. How about opening a Window or Windows?

3 years ago
Reply to  Jeff

Alas, I feel their pain. We used to own a DRV Mobile Suites. The smoke detector would also go off when we cooked bacon, even with all the windows open and the fan going. And no, I didn’t burn the bacon. – lol! I like this idea! Due to the poor quality of RVs, we sold our DRV, bought a plain Sundowner cargo trailer and built our own 2-story RV (well, 1 and 1/2 stories) tall. We are full timers. We put in a good smoke/CO2 detector, and no longer have this problem. Thanks for sharing your good idea!

Rory Roberts
3 years ago
Reply to  Jeff

Not all rv’s have windows that can be opened

3 years ago
Reply to  John

I agree, and the worst part is that this newsletter is publishing this stupid idea, just get a smoke detector with the hush button

Kaeleen Buckingham
3 years ago
Reply to  Pierre

The hush button doesn’t last long enough. In our RV, it is not just bacon that sets it off. Almost anything does. Opening the doors and windows and turning on the hood fan only helps for a couple of minutes. Turning on the roof vent fan hurts as it pulls the fumes right past the smoke detector. And no, we do not normally burn our food.

Tommy Molnar
3 years ago
Reply to  John

Same problem with bacon, or just toast! So when it’s time for either of those two, we take the detector down and put it under our bed pillow. That way we don’t forget to put it back up.

Bob p
3 years ago

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