Monday, December 4, 2023


RV Daily Tips Newsletter Issue 892

Issue 892 • May 1, 2018
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RVing Tip of the Day

Protect your pets from wily coyotes
National parks require pets to be on leash mostly to protect the local wildlife, but where coyotes roam, it’s the pets that need the protection. As they have in many expanding suburbs, coyotes in national parks have become so accustomed to people that they often forage in plain view.

If left tethered to an RV in a campground, cats and small dogs are easy prey for these quick, powerful predators. One ranger at Death Valley National Park almost lost his cat when a coyote grabbed it outside his residence. He chased the animal, which dropped the cat and ran off before hurting it.

Even on a leash a cat or small dog can become a meal. The same ranger tells of a man who was walking his poodle near the Death Valley’s Furnace Creek campground several years ago when a coyote suddenly charged out from the brush, snatched the dog and retreated, yanking the leash from the man’s hand.

No trace was found of either dog or leash.

A prankster added the nose bulb to this sign in Death Valley.

PEOPLE THEMSELVES are partly to blame for pets being more vulnerable around frequented campgrounds than in seldom-visited ones in the boondocks, where wild animals live in greater numbers and variety. By feeding wildlife near campgrounds and leaving garbage unsealed, people encourage highly adaptable animals like coyotes to associate humans with food. Visitors driving in the north end of Death Valley, near Scotty’s Castle and the Mesquite Spring Campground, often spot a coyote in plain view by the roadside, waiting patiently for the next handout.

So in national park campgrounds — or even in outlying suburbs — never leave a small pet unattended. Keep the leash short when walking by potential hideouts, and don’t create pests of any wildlife by feeding them. 

Read yesterday’s tipMake that screen door grab handle easier to reach.

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

THIS NEWSLETTER IS MADE POSSIBLE in large part by the more than 2,400 readers of who became “voluntarily subscribers.” Won’t you please consider pitching in? Consider the enormous amount of helpful information our paid staff provides you in a year’s time in more than 200 issues (not to mention our other newsletters). A one-time donation of $10 comes out to less than ten cents an issue! Many readers set up an ongoing contribution, typically $5 or $10 a month. Learn more or contribute.

Don’t Pay for RV Repairs this Travel Season
Bad news: the average RV repair costs $300 per hour between parts and labor! The good news? You can protect yourself from these trip-ending costs with reliable RV protection from Wholesale Warranties! Get your Free Quote for an RV Warranty you can count on today, and travel with peace of mind tomorrow.


Check between your duallies
Take an occasional peek between your dual tires to make sure nothing has wedged in there. If it seems like something has been there a while, it might be best to have a tire shop inspect for damage.

The RV’s circuit breakers need exercise too! 
With electricity expert, Mike Sokol
Be sure to exercise all the circuit breakers in your RV’s power distribution panel at least once a season. Breakers that don’t get to trip occasionally can rust tight inside and not trip when you need them to. As part of your preflight checklist, flip each one off and back on. If something feels funny or doesn’t reset all the way, then have it checked and replaced. You don’t want a dead circuit in the middle of nowhere.

Hook up an extra hose for convenience and safety
Reader Jim Schrankel offers this suggestion when making camp: “I put a splitter on the hose bib and add a 50-foot hose and sprayer. This is not only handy for hosing down the dirt, etc. — it’s also my insurance against a fire, not only for my rig, but the ones adjacent to me. I leave it turned on to ensure it’s ready at a second’s notice.” Thanks, Jim!

New FMCA magazine is disappointing.

‘Earthquake Putty’ keeps stuff in place
Do you have items in your RV you like to keep in place — on a table, bedstand or counter? You need this. Collectors Hold Museum Putty is designed to keep items secure in earthquakes! Hey, a moving RV is a constant earthquake! To use this, pull off what you need, roll until soft, apply to the base of the object then lightly press it to the surface. Later, it comes off clean. RVers love it! Cheap, too! Learn more or order.


75 cross-country attractions!
A helpful guide to attractions off major highways for a cross-country road trip! Experience everything from museums and monuments, to natural wonders and parks. Have fun! 

Ghost towns of America
Feeling like having a spooky summer? Explore these 13 American ghost towns and abandoned buildings. Adrenaline is healthy … right? 

AllRecipes – Camping!
You’ve probably heard of AllRecipes before, the mecca of online recipes, but did you know they have an entire section dedicated to camping recipes? Yep. Yum!

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

corps-book-748Camping with the Corps of Engineers
Many RVers consider Corps of Engineers campgrounds to be the best in the country. This guide is just for RVers — boat-in and tent-only sites are not included. Of all the public lands, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has some of the best parks and campgrounds available. In fact, it’s the largest federal provider of outdoor recreation in the nation. Learn more or order.

News from around the Web

Camper vans and tiny homes collide in gorgeous home on the range.
•Thousand Trails guests watch as Sheriff deputy shoots transient.
Part of Hilton Head National Property may become luxury RV park.
RV Shipments set new record. Another big year predicted.
RV scammer demands RV payment in gift cards. Buyer falls for it.

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. This should be essential reading for all RVers. Learn more or order.


Remove pesky flies with Windex
To get rid of flies, instead of swatting them and getting guts everywhere, just spray them lightly with Windex. They will fall to the ground temporarily incapacitated and you can then remove them with Kleenex. When you wipe up the Windex (if the fly was on the window), you’re also cleaning at the same time! Thanks to Ray Burr at RV Happy Hour.

Check your safety chains to prevent fires!
Pay particular attention to the length of the safety chains connected to a towed trailer or vehicle. They must be long enough to allow a full turn without binding, but short enough to not hit the ground. Wild fires along the highway have been traced to dangling safety chains causing sparks and igniting dry grass and tinder. Thanks to Fred Campbell for the hot tip.

Do you have a tip? Send it to Deanna (at) .

Batteries last a long time!
Motion detection nightlights can last a year on a set of batteries
When you need a nightlight when without hookups, these are great: they light only when they sense motion, shutting off after 30 seconds of no movement. They use no wires & install in less than 5 minutes. Use outdoors, too. Lights come in a 3-pack. Can last up to a year! Watch the short video for a demonstration or learn more (or order at a great price) at

Join us: On RVillageFacebookTwitterYouTube.

A mechanic was removing a cylinder head from the engine of a class A motorhome when he spotted a well-known heart surgeon in his shop, waiting for the service manager to come take a look at his RV. The mechanic shouted across the garage, “Hey, Doc, can I ask you a question?” The surgeon, a bit surprised, walked over to where the mechanic was working on the motorhome. The mechanic straightened up, wiped his hands on a rag and asked, “So, Doc, look at this engine. I open it up, take the valves out, repair any damage, and then put them back in, and when I finish it works just like new. So how come I’m paid so little compared to you when we’re doing basically the same work?” The surgeon paused, smiled, and leaned over and whispered to the mechanic, “Try doing it with the engine running.”

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

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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.

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john stahl (@guest_24360)
5 years ago

Want to get your RV serviced in a timey manner? Forget it. If you get in and out in 3 weeks you are a very lucky person. Most RV repair facilities are super busy. Why? Too many need repairs and there are not enough workers available. And there pay is not very good at Holiday World, Camping World, or an other independent repair show. They mean well but do not have the manpower to get to the work in a timely fashion. Many will say they are waiting on parts but that is a minor part of the big problem. More repair shops and trained workers are what is needed to keep up with the demand. If you get in and out in a month count your blessings.

John Crawford (@guest_24375)
5 years ago
Reply to  john stahl

Use the mobile repair guy and order your own part.

Chuck Boone (@guest_24337)
5 years ago

Question of the Day – We have two RV’s 35 ft Class A and a 36 ft 5th wheel

Jillie (@guest_24336)
5 years ago

As I plan to get one, I will carry a concealed weapon. If a coyote decides to make meal of my dog the coyote will get theirs. I am defending my property. Look it up. You have the right to defend your property. Now the campground might take issue but the law won’t. So I hate to say it, don’t make off with my property unless I make a meal out of you. IMO

Chuck Woodbury
5 years ago
Reply to  Jillie

Jillie, so you’ll take a loaded gun with you every time you walk the dog?

Ron (@guest_24326)
5 years ago

While I understand many people are ignorant of electrical systems, there are those of us who by experience, education, or trade, have more than sufficient knowledge. However, modern motorhomes have evolved (electrically/electronically) to the point that it is almost certain there will be problems associated with these systems. It would be nice if Mike Sokol (or someone of his rv expertise) would publish a publication that dealt strictly with “troubleshooting RV electrical systems”. His current book deals with the electrical basics and is geared towards the ignorant and does have some troubleshooting info provided. With these modern systems, we need a much more extensive publication.

Chuck Woodbury
5 years ago
Reply to  Ron

Ron, Mike is working on a new, vastly expanded edition of his book about RV electricity. I suspect it will include what you are looking for.

Mike Sokol
5 years ago
Reply to  Ron

Chuck and I are also working on a secondary website that will not only be the repository of all the RV Electricity articles I’ve written over the years, it will also include technician-level troubleshooting as well as manufacturer-level information on how these various electrical systems interact. So while I’ll continue to write at the consumer level for most of you, there will also be a resource that goes down the rabbit hole to deal with really complex troubleshooting issues. Stay tuned.

Ken (@guest_24512)
5 years ago
Reply to  Mike Sokol

Hi Mike, great idea. Would be nice to know how to hook up an invertor, solar. ABT switch (gen/shore) and replace some of the questionable “factory” wiring.

Eldon Rhodes (@guest_24321)
5 years ago

Question of the day…I also have a truck camper. I’m sad too!!

Jane Morgan (@guest_24318)
5 years ago

Question of the day…we have a truck camper. Now we’re sad because our rig wasn’t mentioned. How about an “other” category even?

Tom (@guest_24323)
5 years ago
Reply to  Jane Morgan

Me too! My truck camper is very sad to be excluded from the poll.

Chuck Woodbury
5 years ago
Reply to  Jane Morgan

Jane. Oops! How did we miss that? We did not intentionally leave truck campers out. I apologize — Chuck

Patrick L Donaldson (@guest_24314)
5 years ago

You have mentioned the effect of booking RV sales on campsites. You might also mention the effect on repairs. I bought my class A from a major retailer. Of course I bought an extended warranty. Yesterday I stopped by on the way from camp to storage for a problem with my inverter., Only to be told I needed an appointment and the earliest one was weeks away. The service writer’s excuse was they had sold so many they had to prep for delivery… They had no room to park a unit waiting for repair. My last visit for annual service and a chassis upgrade took almost 3 weeks. It is a good thing I’m not a full timer! The difficulty getting service will be the next big issue with so the new units in the road. Just a thought for your expressions of RV wisdom in the future.

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