Sunday, December 5, 2021


RV Daily Tips Newsletter Issue 1200

Wednesday, October 30, 2019
Welcome to another edition of RV Travel’s Daily Tips newsletter. Here you’ll find helpful RV-related and living tips from the pros, travel advice, a handy website of the day, tips on our favorite RVing-related products and, of course, a good laugh. Thanks for joining us. We appreciate you. Please tell your friends about us.

Today’s thought

“A man cannot be comfortable without his own approval.” —Mark Twain

Need an excuse to celebrate? Today is National Candy Corn Day!

• Did you miss our Sunday recap of all important news for RVers from last week? Click here to read it.
• Oh, and if you missed Mike Sokol’s monthly RV Electricity Newsletter, also published Sunday, it’s here.

Tip of the Day

The half-full, half-empty (container) question

Which is better, two half-full containers or one full and one empty? If the containers are drawers or lockers in your RV, you will fare better by packing one drawer/cabinet full and leaving one empty than by partially loading both of them.

When you travel, the lurching about of your rig will soon release anything packed away from their restraints, resulting in a jumble or at worst, a pile of broken pieces. Pack your cabinets or drawers as tight as is reasonable to prevent unnecessary shifting or flying about. You can relocate some of the items to the empty drawer/cabinet when you arrive at your destination.

Do you have a tip? Submit it here.

Rain clouds coming — Should you retract your slide-out?

You have your rig settled down in a wonderful camping spot. Your camp chairs are set up, and music is softly rolling out the door. But, uh-oh — look out there. Here comes a nasty-looking rain cloud. Do you immediately jump out of your camp chair, head inside and push the switch to roll in your slide-outs? Slide-outs and weather could be put in the “great ongoing RV controversy” file. Here are some things to think about.

Reader poll

Helpful resources


Did you buy a lemon RV? Here’s more about RV lemons and lawyers who will represent you if you need help.

Best-selling printed directory of free and inexpensive campgrounds. Click
Flat tire repair kit. Use in an emergency. Click
Space heater uses less than two amps! has one, loves it! More

Quick Tip

When not to stop your generator

Do not stop your RV generator with the air conditioning running. Doing so can damage the air conditioner’s motor.

Random RV Thought

If you keep your RV on your property and you have kids, then you probably know how much those kids love to play with their friends in the RV. It’s like their private clubhouse. So, if you yearn for a little peace and quiet around the house, dispatch the kids out into the RV with some snacks and a board game or two. They’ll be happy and you’ll have peace.

Lap desk puts your back to rest!RV Travel Newsletter Issue 868
If you find yourself using your computer on your lap, reading your Kindle on the couch, or having a hard time holding that heavy hardback, you need this lap desk! Staff writer Emily uses this when she works and highly recommends it. The desk has eight adjustable levels and even has a stopper to hold objects upright. Great for those who have lower back pain or terrible posture. Learn more or order

Website of the day

What to do if you come across a bear
RVers are out and about a lot, sometimes in bear country. What should you do if you come across a bear while walking or on a hike? This is good advice.

Popular articles you may have missed at

(Mis)Adventures with pull-throughs.
• Which cell carrier will save your day?
• How to find your rig when boondocking on unmarked roads.

No more sticky windows!RV Travel Newsletter Issue 868
An reader recommended this white graphite powder as the perfect fix for sticky windows. Frames can contract in cooler weather, making things tight. He said his fix is lubricating the window tracks with a simple “puff” of white graphite powder. Why the white? “It doesn’t make a mess like the black stuff!” he explained. (AMAZON AFFILIATE AD)


In 1955, Johnny Cash gave Carl Perkins the line “Don’t step on my blue suede shoes.” Cash heard it while standing in a chow line in the service. Perkins wrote the song a few days later after noticing a man struggling to keep his girlfriend off his blue suede shoes at a sorority dance. Elvis Presley’s recording of “Blue Suede Shoes” was the first song to become a hit on three charts: R&B, country and pop.

Leave here with a laugh

We found this on the Camping Facebook page and it gave us a good chuckle. Click to enlarge.

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Check out our Facebook Groups: RV Horror Stories • RV Advice • RV Electricity • RV Parks with Storm Shelters • RV Buying AdviceNorthwest RV CampingSouthwest RV Camping and NEW RV Crashes and Disasters.

Did you miss the latest RV Travel Newsletter? If so, read it here.
Oh, and if you missed the latest Sunday news, make sure to catch up here.

RV Daily Tips Staff

Editor and Publisher: Chuck Woodbury. Managing editor: Emily Woodbury. Senior editor: Diane McGovern. Marketing director: Jessica Sarvis. Financial affairs director: Gail Meyring. IT wrangler: Kim Christiansen.

This website utilizes some advertising services. 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.

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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2 years ago

When we were traveling from Fort Laramie, Wyoming, to Fort Robinson State Park in Nebraska, we left Lusk, WY, and found that US 20 was being repaired. It was torn up down to the dirt. So for 20 miles until we got to the Nebraska border, we pulled our travel trailer on an unexpected rough dirt road. We didn’t have much choice, but it was awful.

2 years ago

We do not travel dirt roads. And when we were in the market for a used RV in the past, we’d walk right on by anything that had been used on rough roads, or similarly abused. It is not hard to spot them, they’re generally falling apart or so stone bruised they are a mess. When we sell our units people line up to buy them, we keep things very nice, but still use our rigs fully. We understand this is a hardship for some folks, and that’s all right too, each to his/her own……….

John T
2 years ago
Reply to  Alvin

Not true at all. I’ve towed my trailer down many dirt roads over the past 2 years, and it is still as good as new.

2 years ago
Reply to  John T

Don’t dispute you at all John, and you might be right I very well may have it wrong, after working experiencing the topic hundreds upon hundreds of times in a big three dealership where I dealt with the subject for over 40 years.
What I’ve found by being observant over many decades in my work and personal life, is that when someone tells you in an ad or by whatever means what he or she is selling is MINT, his or her definition of that overused description is often wildly different than mine, and potential buyers.
What they often really have may look “like new” but what they really have upon inspection is an abused used piece of junk and they know it – the very reason a very high percentage of folks “trade” choosing to take a severe kicking, after they recover from the wild ride of depreciation.
I’m thrilled to know there’s one person out there who has a different experience travelling “dirt roads” Continued safe travels and thanks for replying to my comment.

Bonnie Bowers
2 years ago

Can we discuss about built in generators? Mine work fine, drove 100 miles, I parked, went to start it (yes I have RV unplugged from outlet), it wouldnt start. I’m above 1/4 tank of gas as it wont start if I’m at 1/4 tank. What can be the problem?

2 years ago
Reply to  Bonnie Bowers

Lots of information missing in your question. Such as: What make and model is the generator? Is it diesel or gas? Does the engine turn over but not fire or does the engine not turn over at all? How cold is it outside where you are located? Are there any error codes (aka blink codes) displayed on the start switch?

2 years ago

The problem with good dirt roads is the dust. It gets inside and coats everything in the truck and trailer.

Tommy Molnar
2 years ago
Reply to  Irv

Dust is just part of boondocking. Period. We drive slowly on dirt and just live with it. It’s a small price to pay for ‘getting away’.

2 years ago
Reply to  Tommy Molnar

The more prone areas, like the rear storage access door and basement doors are taped using wide painters tape. Made the mistake once (with driving too fast) and EVERYTHING was coated with a fine layer of dust. Took weeks to clean it all out properly.

Gary Reed
2 years ago

When allowing to let your children use your RV as a play house , as a safety precaution be certain the propane is completely turned off at the tanks. Most people turn off their tanks when traveling or when they arrive home, but a confirmation check is always best.

Tommy Molnar
2 years ago
Reply to  Gary Reed

If our kids were still here (they’re in their 40’s now!), the LAST place I would want them playing would be in our trailer. I’d leave them in the house while WE enjoyed the peace and quiet of our RV – ha.

RV Staff(@rvstaff)
2 years ago
Reply to  Tommy Molnar

Good plan, Tommy! 😆 —Diane at

2 years ago

I think the Quick Tip of the day is completely bogus. When stopping a generator with the A/C working it will damage your Auto Transfer Switch as it arcs the relay contacts in the ATS due to the heavy amp load at the time. Your A/C motor simply turns off same as hitting the off switch on the A/C control.

STEPHEN P Malochleb
2 years ago
Reply to  Dr4Film

If you turn off the generator it does not just shut down. For that short time afterwards the rpm decreases and voltage drops slowly. I believe that’s when you could see a problem. This is a good question for Mike Sokol, the electric guru.

Mike Sokol(@mike)
2 years ago

Of course, an inverter (DC) generator doesn’t act like this, only traditional AC spinning copper generators are dependent on engine RPM for output frequency and voltage. But I don’t think that a few seconds of the voltage dropping would create enough extra amperage draw (due to reduced back EMF) for a long enough time to damage the compressor motor coils. However, the ATS relay would be subject to extra current while opening the contacts. How much that would degrade the contacts is the real question. I’ll askmy contacts at Progressive Dynamics and Southwire if they’ve ever seen this issue.

Karl Eby
2 years ago
Reply to  Dr4Film

Actually it’s not good for the generator as it needs a couple minutes to cool without a load, the possibility of arcing my occur at the contacts but that could occur when you start your generator with loads that you don’t/ can’t turn off. The A/C compressor itself is tough and durable but the controls for the compressor may be damaged but unlikely.
Best is to treat all electrical components with as much care as possible that way if it fails at a later date you know you did what you could to prevent a problem.

2 years ago
Reply to  Dr4Film

Hi there,

Here’s a piece from the Onan manual:

910Starting And Stopping ProceduresYour Cummins Onan generator can be started and stopped from the integral control panel on the generator, or from the optional remote control panel inside the vehicle if your RV is so equipped. Your Operator’s Manual outlines the simple steps for starting and stopping. Remember to:• Before starting the generator, turn off air conditioners and large electrical loads. • Before starting in cold weather, turn off all appliances for best long-term performance.• Prime by holding stop (all Quiet Diesels, Quiet Gas 3600-7000).• To start- press and hold start at the control panel or at the set. – Quiet Diesel: auto pre-heat flash, then crank/start- Don’t over-crank with no start• Before turning on appliances, let the generator warm up for a few minutes.• Turn off air conditioners and large electrical loads and allow the generator to run for 3-5 minutes before stopping, to allow the generator to cool down

2 years ago
Reply to  Drew

Excellent advice. Just follow the manufacture manual instructions and you will never go wrong.