Monday, January 30, 2023


RV Daily Tips Newsletter 1236

Thursday, December 19, 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.

If you will shop on Amazon this holiday season, please visit through our affiliate site (we get a little commission that way – and you don’t pay any extra). Thank you!

[activecampaign form=34]

Today’s thought

“Once you have traveled, the voyage never ends. The mind can never break off from the journey.” —Pat Conroy

Need an excuse to celebrate? Today is National Oatmeal Muffin Day!

Tip of the Day

Don’t kill the good bacteria in your RV’s black tank

Reader Mike Buchanan advises: “When cleaning your RV toilet, be careful what you clean with. Any cleaner that contains bleach, peroxide or germicides of any kind will not only kill surface bacteria, but will also kill all the good bacteria that is contained in your waste water treatment. It’s that good bacteria that is eating up and breaking down that solid waste.” He adds, “If you want to kill surface bacteria, use a disposable germicidal wipe such as Lysol and dispose of it in your regular waste.” Thanks, Mike!

Do you have a tip? Submit it here.

Modifying your RV toilet for a better fit

If getting older also means it’s getting a bit harder to get on and off the throne, then this article may be of interest. Too often RV toilets are on the short side. But Russ and Tiña De Maris found that a relatively inexpensive upgrade that really helps is to install a riser to give your toilet a bit of a lift. Here’s how to do it.

Yesterday’s featured article: How to install an adjustable water heater thermostat

Have you decorated your RV for the holidays?
Do you decorate your campsite and/or your RV in celebration of the holiday season? If so, we’d love to see. Send a photo (or two or three) to Emily (at) Send pictures of interiors or exteriors. We’ll post as many as we can. Thanks!

The only tool you’ll need – perfect stocking stuffer!
RV Travel Newsletter Issue 872

This multifunctional tool is seven-in-one! This heavy-duty pen tool features a handy tablet or smartphone stylus, a sturdy screwdriver, a bubble level, a universal inch/cm ruler and a handy Phillips screwdriver flathead bit, and it’s only the size of a pen! Perfect for any weekend project, and it makes a great stocking stuffer. Learn more or order.

Reader poll

Quick Tip

Always retract your steps when parked temporarily!

“I pulled into a gas station and jumped out to see if I had pulled far enough forward to reach the fuel filler with the hose. Seconds later as I came back around the RV to get in, a car was trying to squeeze in between my RV and the pumps and ran over my steps! In my hurry I had not flipped the switch to retract the steps when the door is closed.” —Thanks to Jimmie Crawford for letting us learn from his painful lesson!

Buy these wire cutters for easy, precise cutting!
With electricity expert Mike Sokol
For you DIY types out there who have to cut and strip wires, there are few things more frustrating than nicking the copper or pulling the insulation off. What you really need is a great pair of wire strippers. But not all wire strippers are created equal. I’ve gone through dozens of them during the 50 years I’ve been working on electronics and power wiring, and these Greenlee Grip P10 strippers are simply the best and what I keep in my own toolkit. They’ll strip anything from 10-gauge wire (for electric brakes and TT-30 wiring) all the way down to 24-gauge wire (for electronics and control wiring).

Random RV Thought

An excellent thing about traveling in your RV is that you know who slept in your bed the night before. And the night before that. You don’t know that in a hotel, and really, you may not want to know.

Website of the day

How to find true north without a compass
Whether you’re lost in the woods or you’re trying to install a sundial in your yard, this website demonstrates several ways to find true north.

Come last-minute shopping with us! RV Travel Newsletter Issue 872
RVTRAVEL.COM HAS ITS own store! We’ve hand-selected all of our favorite must-have RV items, our famous gift guide, neat kitchen gadgets, pet gear and so much more. Check it out here and get all your holiday shopping out of the way. There’s still time to order before Christmas!

And the Survey Says…

We’ve polled readers more than 1,500 times in recent years. Here are a few things we’ve learned about them:

• 14 percent have never traveled outside North America.
• 24 percent own a fifth wheel.
• 38 percent have had to pull off the road at least once due to high winds.


Mandarin Chinese is the most spoken language in the world. It has more than 950 million native speakers, and another 200 million speak it as a second language. Wow!

With 221,800 islands, which country has the most islands in the world? We told you in yesterday’s issue.

New 2020 Casino Guide includes RVer info and coupons!
The 2020 American Casino Guide provides detailed information on more than 750 casino/resorts, riverboats and Indian casinos in 41 states including which have RV parks and/or allow RV overnighting for free. Includes maps and more than $1,000 in coupons. Discloses the actual slot machine payback percentages for every state’s casinos. Learn more or order.

Leave here with a laugh

What did the mother buffalo say to her little boy when he went off to school? … “Bison.”

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

Join us: FacebookTwitterYouTubeRVillage

Check out our Facebook Groups: RV Horror Stories • RV Advice • RV Electricity • RV Parks with Storm Shelters • RV Buying AdviceNorthwest RV CampingSouthwest RV Camping • RV Crashes and DisastersNEW Free Campgrounds

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

Become a Member!

This newsletter is brought to you Monday through Friday by and is funded primarily through voluntary subscription contributions from our readers. Thank you! IF YOU APPRECIATE THIS NEWSLETTER and others from, will you please consider pledging your support?  Learn more or contribute.

RV Daily Tips Staff

Editor and Publisher: Chuck Woodbury. Managing editor: Emily Woodbury. Senior editor: Diane McGovern. Advertising 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

Related Articles


If you value what you learn from, would you please consider becoming a voluntary subscriber by pledging your support? Every contribution, no matter how modest, helps us serve you better. Thank youLearn more here.

Facebook Groups you might like
RVing with Dogs
RV Tech Tips
RV Advice
Towing Behind a Motorhome
RVing Over 70
. . . and the official Facebook page

Winterizing your RV this season? Amazon has a wide choice of RV antifreeze.


0 0 votes
Article Rating
Subscribe to comments
Notify of

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
3 years ago

I blue tooth my television thru my phone. I have never had a problem with reception and I get to watch what I want. If I watch local television I google for a local listing of what is what on local television. Otherwise I listen to my tablet reading to me my book whilst I knit.

3 years ago

We haven’t had the satellite receiver on in 3 or 4 years.
We watch movies on disc or complete seasons on DVD.

I only see live TV when visiting my mums, and that is predominantly during winter as I live on-site at work and only get off mid-winter. I find that over that 9 month period I’m at work, the commercials get more stupid and treat us as idiots, gets worse every year. Realizing that they’re aimed more-so at the younger generations, it scares me to think that kind of crap is what it takes to get them to buy into the products!

Used to enjoy watching some of the Reno shows when visiting mum, but they’re just conflict shows now; bickering, fighting, the inevitable cliff-hanger before commercials, and worst of all, they repeat half of the previous footage that played before the commercial (is every-ones memory that bad now they have to keep re-showing what happened minutes earlier? No real info anymore.

Except maybe Maine Cabin Masters, my jury is still out on that show, this season as I haven’t seen any of their new episodes yet; I’m still out here in the bush until mid-January.

Note, our Bryan Baeumler has had some good shows but as soon as his wife is involved it is constant fighting. (a Canadian renovator)

Y’all have a Happy Christmas and a safe New Years,
Live life, enjoy it as it’s too short.

Geoff, Francesca & the golden teenage delinquent (or should I say retriever) Lucy

Diane Mc
3 years ago

We only watch a few things. Other than major breaking news, we DVR everything we watch. We love all forms of motor racing and golf. DVR the programs, then go out and sightsee, eat shop or just relax outside with a book. Watch the programs later at night. And we definitely fast forward thru all the commercials.

Gene Bjerke
3 years ago

The option to fast-forward through commercials only applies when you are looking at a recorded program. I said “always” but, of course, that only applies when watching something I have recorded.

Michael Schwarz
3 years ago

Are you sure about bacteria in the black tank? Maybe a septic system has bacteria in it. As far as an RV is concerned, nothing stays in it long enough for bacteria to act on it. I would be more concerned with downstream pollution than killing bacteria in my black tank.

Normally, I don’t put any additives in the black tank unless it gets stinky, usually in hot weather. That only happens once or twice per year.

Big T John
3 years ago

Fully agree on this. It’s a holding tank, short term and temporary. It’s not a septic system in the true sense.

3 years ago

We do not watch tv…and that would include commercials

3 years ago
Reply to  Sharon

Yes Sharon, that’s how the Mrs. and I fast forward through commercials too – we do not watch TV either.
We are minimalists so don’t need someone telling us what we need, and another point worth mentioning is that there isn’t at least last time I checked in, much on TV that will make you smarter, plenty to make you dumber.

Diane M
3 years ago

I’m old. I never heard of fast-forwarding through commercials. I would do it if I could.

3 years ago

Oh, Today’s Thought really resonated with me today. We **used to** be full-time RV’ers, and it was The Best Way to Live! My mom always said I got her gypsy genes. But then…. we found a house. It was a necessary and rewarding move… at the time.

But I am SOOOO itching to get back into full-timing, I can’t stand it! Still a few months off, and as it happens, we’re shopping for a new RV (since we sold the other one. [insert sad face here]).

I am still on the journey….. even though I’m not, I am.

Steven G Pfohl
3 years ago

A topic I would like to see in the poll section is how many people use or monitor a CB radio while traveling.

Phil Atterbery
3 years ago

Jimmy, it’s unfortunate that a inconsiderate motorist tried that. I try to practice defensive parking.

3 years ago

Without commercials, when does one get a chance to pee ??????

Diane Mc
3 years ago
Reply to  Dave

When you hit the pause button?

Bob p
3 years ago

There is a difference between a Bison and a Buffalo.

Tim Bear
3 years ago

Two comments: 1) the only way to fast-forward through commercials is if you’ve DVR’d the program — we don’t but we do mute commercials; 2) when we watch a Super Bowl (rarely), we mute the game and watch/listen to ONLY the commercials! Not big sports fans, we are…

Frank Mac
3 years ago

If you know a way to fast forward a commercial while watching TV please share it with the public. It would be a boon for society! Perhaps you live in a time warp?

Jerry Riggins
3 years ago

I said yes, if we have recorded them other wise we just mute the commercials. Hard to believe how stupid most of them are.

Captn John
3 years ago

Commercials are great. Never watch them, take the dog out, make a sandwich, check email… so many uses of that time that does not require watching what I’m not going to buy anyway.

3 years ago
Reply to  Captn John

(Twitter. Shhhh!)

Hoss Smith
3 years ago

We don’t watch live TV unless Wife demands to watch the old news at bedtime. If she does she watches the commercials/news alone while I am getting ready for bed. I’ve already read the news and commercials are not worth my time. What little other TV we watch is recorded so we can skip the commercials.

Gary Reed
3 years ago

We cannot fast forward thru commercials even with our cable connections, so we just mute the tv until the commercial/ s are over.

3 years ago

The “Tip of the Day” is not accurate. An Rv holding tank has nothing to do with a sewage treatment system and does not need beneficial bacteria to break down waste. It is a holding tank only and temporary holding at that.

Sink Jaxon
3 years ago
Reply to  Steve

I have to disagree with you…there’s always residual waste in a black tank, not just the bottom, but the sides and top also. The beneficial bacteria will not only break down or “eat” waste, it keeps the smell down also. You can purchase probiotic bacteria to add to your tank after every dump, like TankTechsrx. It’s pricey, like $40 a liter, but it lasts me a year cuz all you need is a capfull. I have a 35 gal black tank and I travel about a 7-10 days a month all year long. A healthy black tank is a non-smelly black tank. You can use for the gray tank also! 😉

3 years ago
Reply to  Sink Jaxon

ANY bacterial breakdown produces the “smell” you say you don’t have…so I would say you have no bacterial breakdown. Just keep spending your good $$ on “snake oil”.

Stay cool

Bob p
3 years ago
Reply to  Steve

During the week between dumping, bacteria is processing waste, anything to help decompose waste just speeds the process.

3 years ago
Reply to  Steve

Came here to say this. I’ve never read anything discussing breakdown of waste in the black tank being desirable. All the additives I’ve seen are made to prevent any bacterial action along with maybe some detergents/surfactants to break up fats/greases to keep them soluble so they will flow out of the tank when draining.

ken wahl
3 years ago
Reply to  Steve

And don’t dare put those wipes down the toilet.

3 years ago
Reply to  Steve

I agree. It’s just a holding tank, not a septic system.

3 years ago

We don’t fast forward through commercials because we watch TV over the air, antenna TV. Can’t do the fast forward thing.

3 years ago
Reply to  Dan

FYI, there *are* OTA DVRs… no subscription of course — its just a modern digital VCR…