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RV Daily Tips Newsletter Issue 851

Issue 851 • February 19, 2018
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RVing Tip of the Day

Do more than just let your thoughts keep you warm
By Jim Twamley
Winter is upon us, and winter calls for heat, right? So how do we economically heat our RVs?
Most every RV is equipped with a whole house propane furnace. These work great and we use ours to heat up the entire RV in the morning, or when our small electrical heater is not keeping up. However, this can get expensive, so I recommend you get a good quality portable electric heater with adjustable thermostat and automatic turn-off switch if it gets knocked over (our heater gets knocked over once in a while and the auto-turn-off switch works great). We use a Patton-brand heater for this purpose. Since you are already paying for the electricity at your site, you might as well take advantage of it and save money on the expense of propane. Also, my wife enjoys pointing this little heater directly at her feet – you can’t do that with a propane heater.
If you do a lot of boondocking (dry camping without hook-ups) you may want to install a ceramic propane heater, like this one from Amazon. I installed a unit like this in our last 5th wheel and it worked great. The nice thing about these heaters is that they use much less propane than your whole house heater and they don’t use battery power. Your whole house heater will run down your battery bank in a day or two (even less in some cases), while these ceramic heaters will not.
You can operate these heaters with one panel ignited or two or three, depending on the model you purchase. I recommend you install them permanently, although you can use them in a stand-alone fashion. You need to remember that you need to run a propane hose to the unit, so place it accordingly. Also, when using this type of heater you need to open a vent or window so as to allow adequate ventilation as per the manufacturer’s directions. Some of the newer RVs have a built-in fireplace which also radiates heat and looks good at the same time.
Many RVs also have a heater unit combined with the air conditioner unit. These work great but some people complain that they are too noisy – they also require full electric hook-ups. There you have it – keep warm out there.

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Waterless trap for your RV plumbing system
Make foul smelling odors a thing of the past!
Already used by major RV manufacturers, the revolutionary HepvO waterless trap is a fantastic alternative to a conventional ‘P’ trap and it won’t fail due to evaporation, movement, freezing or leakage. Its unique membrane prevents foul air from the grey water tank entering your RV and its in-line design helps create extra storage space! Learn more


Prevent your awning from opening while traveling
Worried your awning might open while traveling? Put the awning in “transport” position, then carefully bore through the closed awning arms, installing a snap lock safety pin. It’ll prevent the arms from opening up without first being removed.

Build your own RV reference manual
Got a new RV? Take the time to sit down with all those manuals and read through them. Use a highlighter as you go to “accent” those important tiny maintenance suggestions and requirements. Then go back and build your own logically ordered notebook – and give reference points back to the original manual.

Customize your trailer stabilizers
Use a portable electric drill with the appropriately sized socket to run the trailer stabilizers up and down. Saves time and frustration. Bringing an extra battery or charger for the drill isn’t a bad idea — especially on long trips with lots of stops.

Has Good Sam Man been hijacked by Gander Man?

The best book on RV electricity, hands down!
RV Travel contributor Mike Sokol is America’s leading expert on RV electricity. Mike has taken his 40+ years of experience to write this book about RV electricity that nearly anyone can understand. Covers the basics of Voltage, Amperage, Wattage and Grounding, with additional chapters on RV Hot-Skin testing, GFCI operation, portable generator hookups and troubleshooting RV electrical systems. Learn more or order


How all 50 states got their names
Have you ever wondered, as you’re traveling around the U.S. in your RV, where a state got its name? Well, then, here ya’ go — they’re all here, for your state identification edification!

Literary landmarks: Seven famous authors’ homes you can visit.
These homes of famous authors are “scattered throughout the United States. Spanning centuries and genres, these seven homes celebrate some of America’s most treasured wordsmiths.” Very interesting!

Amazing American caves to visit
Explore some of America’s greatest natural caves. The caves, which are scattered across the U.S., are fascinating and fun for the whole family.

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

Motorhome and RV Retirement Living
This highly regarded book by Jerry Minchey reveals how full-time RVers make their lifestyle work in retirement. Minchey lives full-time in his motorhome. His honest descriptions of the RV lifestyle will answer your most pressing questions as well as those you probably never even thought to ask. Learn more or order


Cargo trailer converted to RV
Wow! It’s hard to believe such a beautiful little RV could be created from a small cargo trailer. Watch as the owner gives you a tour of the inside to show you what’s packed into this little beauty (even a “bathroom”). Very cool!

See all of our videos on our YouTube Channel.

State, Regional,
City and U.S. maps
A GPS is great, but there’s nothing like a folded map to plan a trip or guide you where you’re going once you’re underway. Just about every folded map you would ever need is here. Most sell from about $2 to $6. Check ’em out or order.


Worried you’ll forget something?
Fearful of things forgotten? Reader “jjmessy” sends this idea: Tie a string from one end of the driver’s sun visor to the other end. Now use clothespins on the string to attach notes like, “Turn off propane,” “Raise jacks,” etc. When ready to move simply remove the notes as the task is performed, and slip the pins to the dash mat or elsewhere, keeping the notes for “next time.” Thanks, JJ!

Protect your rooftop air conditioner
Is your RV going to “sit tight” in one location for a while and not be used? Maybe you’ve been a snowbird for the winter and are heading north but leaving your RV south until next winter? Think about covering your rooftop air conditioner. It will protect it against UV damage and keep debris out of the unit.

Do you have a tip? Send it to .

Power tools galore!
If it’s not at it’s probably not easily available anywhere! Check out this huge selection of power tools — drills, saws, air compressors, impact wrenches, car vacuums, sanders, polishers, tool boxes — the list goes on! See what’s available and maybe pick up a great deal!

Join us: On RVillageOn FacebookOn TwitterOn YouTube.

Joe and Ed, both from Duluth, Minnesota, were standing in the shallow end of a swimming pool at the Fountain of Youth RV park at California’s Salton Sea discussing how happy they were to be in sunny California rather than back in frigid Minnesota. As they were talking, Ed noticed something funny about his friend’s ear. “Joe,” he said, “do you know you’ve got a suppository in your left ear?” Startled, Joe replied, “I have a suppository in my ear?!” “That’s right,” said Ed, “you have a suppository in your ear.” Joe immediately pulled it out, then said, “Thanks. Now I know where I put my hearing aid.”

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


Pot of Gold. Did you win?
Here are today’s Zip and Postal Codes. If you’re the winner, let us know immediately. If you are, you’ll win $124. Good luck!

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RV Daily Tips Staff
Editor and Publisher: Chuck Woodbury. Managing editor: Diane McGovern. Staff writer: Emily Woodbury. Contributing writers: Russ De Maris, Bob Difley, Gary Bunzer, Roger Marble, Deanna Tolliver, Mike Sokol, J.M. Montigel and Andrew Robinson. Advertising coordinator: Gail Meyring.

ADVERTISE on and/or in this newsletter. Contact Gail Meyring at Gail(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 website utilizes some advertising services. Sometimes we are paid if you click one of those links and purchase a product or service. Regardless of this potential revenue, unless stated otherwise, we only recommend products or services we believe provide value to our readers. Amazon and the Amazon logo are trademarks of, Inc . is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to includes links to other websites. We cannot control the content and/or privacy policies of those sites. Please be aware when you leave this newsletter or any other section of to read the privacy statements of any of those websites that collect personally identifiable information. Our own privacy policy applies only to and its affiliated blogs.

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


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Lois Lato
4 years ago

Any good suggestions for securing an electric awning when going down the road?

4 years ago

Maybe accidental awning deployment is a problem for electric awnings (?), but my manual awning has 4 discrete mechanisms preventing unfolding… 1) arms latch-lock together when they collide, 2) U-shaped lockbar holds bars together from outside, 3) a latch locks that U-lock in place, and 4) the ratchet ON the awning won’t allow unrolling until reversed. Once THOSE all fail, I’m not sure a 5th lock is going to help your insanely bad luck. 😉

Brian Jensen
4 years ago

You know you are camping correctly when the honking that wakes you up in the morning is coming from the geese on the lake and not cars.

D 'n C
4 years ago

Electric heat doesn’t work for us because we rarely camp with hookups. We really like the idea behind ceramic heaters BUT we really don’t like the risk of CO poisoning. So, we’re stuck with the forced air furnace and all of the drawbacks for the time being (sigh!).

Instead of drilling holes (that some future buyer may not appreciate), we find velcro straps to be an easy, cheap, and effective way to prevent inadvertent opening of our awning. We simply secure each extension arm with a strap before traveling. Unless your awning differs from ours, the fabric can’t unroll unless the arms extend.

4 years ago

I use a lot of LP heaters (ceramic wall heater at home, torpedo heater in the shop, Buddy for portable, tank-top, etc etc), but using anything ventless in an RV scares me… Too much heat needed, to little air even if you open windows (venting that heat).

As for remembering things, I used to use a bungee loop system stuck to the nose Jack, but now I use an e-ink/LCD electronic memopad as shown here:

4 years ago

On the survey: “How many miles did you travel with your RV in 201?.” Ey responded “More than 20,000 miles.” On the road three years with 67,000 miles on my 2015 F350 Diesel with an Arctic Fox on top.
My motto is: “Burn Diesel and use paper plates, the one with the biggest carbon footprint WINS.’

Tina GAllagher
4 years ago

Like others, I keep trying to open today’s zip code contest page, but I get the error- Page Can’t Be Found. what’s up?

4 years ago
Reply to  Tina GAllagher

It’s happening to me, too.

Jeff McClintick
4 years ago

Is there some reason why the Pot of Gold page is so old? The up coming list of pages is over a week old and there is no February 19th page.

Thank you.

4 years ago

On your TIP for keeping your awning from opening while traveling, could use a diagram or a video to make it easier to understand. On the other hand our old 99 Winnebago had a built in buckle straps that kept the arms from opening, but didn’t keep the awning material from coming out as it did on one of our trips. I finally put a strap around he center and attached it to the side of the motor home, it was a real hassel to do, but kept the awning material from unwinding!
Your joke of the day was just awesome, well except for the mouthful of coffee all over my computer screen!

4 years ago

Can’t get into page with pot of gold zip codes. It says error, page not found

Hugh Steckel
4 years ago

Really enjoy your newsletter

4 years ago

The Ceramic heater works great but, only at lower elevation. If u try to use it the unit will pop when and if it lites. The higher elevation does not provide enough oxygen for the unit to operate correctly