Friday, March 6, 2020
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.
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“Children must be taught how to think, not what to think.” ―
Need an excuse to celebrate? Today is National Dress In Blue Day!
Tip of the Day
Not boondocking? Here’s a way to save some money
By Jim Twamley
Liquid Propane Gas (LPG) is what we full-time RVers try to conserve. Lots of things can run off of propane in RVs including the refrigerator, stove/oven, heater, water heater and even the generator.
One of the ways to conserve your LPG is to use as many electric appliances as you can. I rarely use the stove unless I am boondocking (dry camping – without hookups). Instead, I use electric appliances like the coffee pot, microwave, electric heater, crock-pot, electric pot and electric skillet. I use the pot and skillet almost every day. I particularly like the pot because it has a vegetable steamer and I like the safety breakaway magnetic cord. We also switch the refrigerator and water to electric when in a campground with hook-ups.
By using appliances we conserve on LPG to the point that we only refill the tanks every three months or so. When we first started RVing we were filling the LPG tanks every few weeks. At campgrounds you have already paid for the use of the electricity, so use it and save $$$.
Do you have a tip? Submit it here.
RV mold: Seek and destroy!
Chris Dougherty, certified RV technician, received a letter regarding mold from a reader while he was serving as RVtravel.com’s technical editor. The reader asked: What is the best way to find out if there is mold in our rig? What are the steps that need to be taken if mold is found? Read Chris’ response.
Yesterday’s featured article: RV Mods: A place to keep your books in the rig
You may have missed these recent popular stories…
- Readers reveal their favorite RV mods or add-ons, Part 2
- Reader asks: What to do with nosy busybodies at RV parks?
- RV shopping? Some trends to be aware of
- Another crazy RV paint job. Wow!
Readers tell us
How often do you have a wood campfire? Find out what your fellow RVers said here.
Get rid of those decal “ghosts”!
If you use a coin to remove old decals from your RV, you may have an unwelcome guest when the job’s done: Decal “ghosts” – shadowy after-images imprinted in the Filon siding. The solution? A heavy-duty oxidation remover! Pour the remover onto a rough sponge and scrub the Filon in circles. The yellow oxidation will come right up and your RV will look good as new! The remover will also remove stains, scratches and water spots. Learn more or order here.
• NATIONAL TRAFFIC AND ROAD CLOSURE INFORMATION.
• ROAD AND TRAFFIC CONDITIONS ACROSS THE NATION.
• WEATHER ALERTS FROM THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE.
• CURRENT WILDFIRE REPORT.
• LATEST RV RECALLS.
RV buying? Beware badly located electric outlets
When buying an RV don’t forget to check the number and location of electrical outlets. Their locations are often awkward to use, or sometimes even missing in areas that beg for a plug. You’d think RV makers would know better. But in too many cases it’s more convenient (and cheaper) to put them in places convenient for them, and not for the consumer. Watch the video.
Check the battery’s water level before charging
Need to charge your batteries but the “water level” is low? Wait until after you’ve charged them, then fill. Exception: If the level is below the top of the plates, fill to just cover the plates, then charge. After charging, complete the “fill up.”
Easily clean those stubborn bugs off your RV
The Microfiber Mesh Bug and Tar Sponge has millions of tiny fibers embedded in the microfiber cloth that grabs and holds the dust and dirt. It is so effective it even cleans without chemicals, saving both time and money. The secret of this sponge lies in its unique, double-layer microfiber mesh. Older nylon bug sponges can harm your clear coat, but this one is completely paint safe. Learn more or order.
Random RV Thought
For many RVers, the slogan “Home Sweet Home” has been replaced with “Home Sweet Roam.”
Website of the day
As their website states, “Travellerspoint brings together a community of people who love to travel. We offer a free platform where you can map out your upcoming travels and organise them into a travel plan, create your own travel blog, browse our wiki travel guides, book your accommodation, discuss plans in our forums and more.”
Clubs and useful organizations
PLEASE NOTE: We may receive an affiliate commission if you join any of these.
• Harvest Hosts: Stay free at farms, wineries and other scenic and peaceful locations for free. Save 15% on membership.
• AllStays: The best website for RVers! Your membership will become your RV-bible.
• Overnight RV parking. Directory of more than 14,000 locations where you can stay for free or nearly free with your RV. Modest membership fee.
• Boondockers Welcome. Stay at homes of RVers who welcome you in their driveways, yards, farmland or other space on their private property. Modest membership fee.
• Escapees. Best Club for RVers: All RVers welcome, no matter what type of RV, make or model.
Secrets of RVing on Social Security
Author Jerry Minchey takes you on a journey that lets you discover how you can travel around the country and live the fascinating RV lifestyle for far less than it costs to live in your sticks-and-bricks home. Among other things, he shows you step-by-step how to enjoy the RVing lifestyle while traveling and living on just your Social Security income. Learn more or order.
In the state of Michigan, you’ll never be farther than six miles from a body of water.
What was Google’s original name, and why? Find out in yesterday’s newsletter.
Leave here with a laugh
I always get pickle and chutney mixed up. It makes me chuckle.
Today’s Daily Deals at Amazon.com
Best-selling RV products and Accessories at Amazon.com. UPDATED HOURLY!
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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.
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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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Campfire depends on where I am…in a campsite at a state park, national park, out in the woods yes it is nice to have when i’m with my family, not necessarily by myself. When in an RV park with RVs on top of each other…no thanks.
We have a 2002 motorhome. We have outlets everywhere. One under the glove compartment (can charge phones, etc on dash), one next to passenger seat, 2 under kitchen cabinets, 1 next to dining table, 1 in bathroom, one by each of our bedsides, where we have nice size side tables. Ever notice even in high end motorhomes, the side tables in the bedroom are in odd positions relative to where you would be if sitting in bed or even very tiny ones. Where do people put their glass of water, book, glasses, phone???? Back to outlets, we have a few them in our outdoor bins as well.
It all depends on the space between rigs.
If there is sufficient space between rigs, like 20 feet or more then its sort of OK.
If were in a campground in a rural / forest setting we often enjoy a campfire.
But I have an issue with campers who build a fire then after a while they climb back in there
RV and leave the fire smoldering the rest of the night..
And of course the winds seems to always blow it our way…
You’re getting desperate on the humor.😂
Chuckle, chuckle. Send us a joke and maybe we’ll use it, John. 😀 —Diane at RVtravel.com
RE; Poll…I may be splitting hairs here but…I think campfires are for campgrounds, like NPS or NF or State Parks (in the forest, or desert, or lakeside). I don’t consider RV Parks as camping. RV Parks have you packed in 10 feet or less from your neighbor, so starting a fire that close to your neighbor would be inconsiderate, or outright torture if your neighbor had breathing problems. So I guess it’s all in how you define RV park (?) But I guess anywhere there’s a fire ring, someone will start a fire in it.
I forgot one more which Winnebago had installed in the overhead cabinet for the microwave/convection oven.
PS: The more electrical power we use – the higher the parking fees go!
We have ample electrical outlets in our Winnebago Vectra Class A. One on each side of the bed over the end tables, one in the bathroom, 2 in the kitchen, 1 at the dinette and 1 in the forward living area by the pull-up table. We aren’t full timers – but they have been more than adequate and very well placed. I did add one in an overhead cabinet for the electric awning/light controller – but only because I wanted the controller out of site.
If we use more electricity then the campground owners just raise the fees to cover their costs. One way or another we all pay. It is just part of the cost of RV life. Enjoy.
Regarding saving money by not using propane. Not all of us are stationary for long but for fulltimers we have to look at the cost of electricity if we over winter somewhere. We have been charged from $0.15 to $0.18 per kilowatt hour. In this case we use a combination of propane (when its extremely cold for heat) and electricity.
We have 2 30# propane tanks where one is shut off completely until the other is empty. . We must be doing something right. Been fulltiming since June 2019 and haven’t had to switch over to the other tank yet. I have the gas flow stop installed and it’s showing in the green still. We only use the propane for cooking. Water heater is on electric, and gas furnace only comes on when the heat pump can’t keep up.
Re Campfires. If we are traveling through not concerned about a campfire but if set up for a few days or longer it would (no pun intended) be nice to have a choice depending on the price of fire wood.
RE: Travelers Point
We boondock on average about 340 days a year. We’re in our 14th year of full timing/boondocking.
We’ve seen huge changes in the availability of our favorite boondocking places because of the advent of social media….and we’re not happy about the current trends, they’re disappointing for the future of our lifestyle for so many reasons too numerous to discuss here.
Please be careful about sharing on social media, it’s a plague; from our experience, our favorite spots that we usually haven’t seen anyone in for many years (we love our solitude and privacy), overnight, have become just like any RV park, anywhere, from just one posting that gets duplicated many times and is out there forever…..
I agree, Robbie. We NEVER give away our boondock ‘hideouts’. The last thing I want is to show up at our “always available” faves only to find someone else already there.
About campfires. I grew up in the 50s and early 60s camping. My father had been a boy scout leader and I was taught how to cook everything over a fire. I taught my kids the same thing. I can make an entire meal over a fire, including bread. I feel it connects me with those who came before us.
With the previous drought in the western states and the fire restrictions (not to mention limitations on wood due to invasive pests) we bought one of those small lp powered camp fires. Almost all campgrounds allowed its use and it fits conveniently in the forward storage compartment. Not quite the real campfire ambience but it beats roasting marshmallows over the stove in the rv.
Its not impossible to add plugs in your RV. I added two in my RV to locations I needed them. I used surface mount outlet boxes above counters that I could get wire runs to. But I agree they tend to put them in weird locations. I have one that is at the foot level under my kitchen table. Any time you plug something into it you have to crawl under the table. LOL
Yup got one of those useless plugs on my ’17 Forest River Pusher. Who the heck would want to go under a table to plug something in, or have to figure out how to look upside down over a counter. Manufactures never seem to amaze me how dumb some of the stuff they do.
I agree with Chuck, there are never enough wall plugs . In our motorhome there are only 4 outlets that are hard to get to. One is under the table on the seat front, one is up on the side of the cabinet in the cab over bed area, and one at the sink that is one of those pull up towers that doesn’t always want to stay up. Then there is one in the bed room that you need to crawl on the bed to reach it.
In your Quick Tip ‘Check the battery’s water level before charging’, it instructs you to fill after charging. That seems counter intuitive to me. Can you tell me the reasoning behind this?
Good question in my 78 yrs I was always told to check and fill the batteries before charging. Makes no sense to me to do it any other way
During charging, the water “expands”. If you fill a battery that is need of charging, the water will leak out as the battery charges and the water “expands”. The advice given is accurate and should be followed. I actually learned this not from my motorhome, but from owning an electric golf cart.
I would like to agree to disagree, as if you fill your batteries to the proper level you should not have a water leaking out issue when its charging!
Water can expand up to 9% when heated, and charging heats the water. But you should never fill your cells to the top anyway. Over the lead but just below the access tube.
ALWAYS WEAR SAFETY GOGGLES!
THIS APPLIES TO LEAD/ACID BATTERIES
I’m a retired auto mechanic and I’ve always topped off but never overfilled batteries before charging them. If liquid comes out you’re cooking it, not charging it. A charge rate at 10 amps, while it will take more time, will charge the battery much better and its overall lifespan will be longer. If you should notice a cell spewing out steam or liquid, it’s probably a bad one so have the battery tested.
I should have stated a charging rate at 10 amps is better than 40+ amps.