Tuesday, November 28, 2023


RV Daily Tips Newsletter Issue 894

Issue 894 • May 3, 2018
This newsletter is brought to you Monday through Thursday by RVtravel.com and is funded primarily through voluntary subscription contributions from our readers. Thank you!

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RVing Tip of the Day

Changes to this newsletter coming next Monday.
Read our announcement
(posted in this space yesterday)

Do-it-yourself custom sink-matched cutting board

By Greg Illes
Our RV kitchen came with a small board that filled in part of the sink area. This was handy because the whole sink is not always in use and counter space is at a premium.

After a few outings we found out that our water-savings plan meant that the sink was very rarely in use. We also found out that the filler board (made from countertop material) needed an additional cutting surface to prepare food. Thus began a search for a combination counter/cutting board. We soon found that no such off-the-shelf product exists, much less customized for our Itasca sink. So off to the plastic shop we wandered to buy some HDPE.

“What?” – I hear you cry in great confusion. Ah, Grasshopper, that little acronym stands for high-density polyethylene, the gold standard for cutting-board material. This stuff doesn’t soak up fluids like wooden boards, it’s easy to clean, very easy to fabricate, and is available in thicknesses from 1/2 inch to 1 inch and greater.

To build one of these, it’s best to make a cardboard template to match the outline of your cutting board. Trim this exactly to where you want the board to fit. Then measure the depth from your countertop to your sink edge – this is the board thickness you will need. Buy the next thinnest standard material and use some nylon screws as shims to make up the thickness so your finished board will sit flush (the screws are needed because stick-on feet don’t stick very well to HDPE). If you are handy with a router, you can buy thicker material and rabbet-down the edge. We were lucky – a 3/4-inch standard layup fit our setup perfectly.

Note that if you have a flush-mounted sink, this project gets a bit more demanding. You’ll need an oversized template, and a rabbeted edge (which needs a router to cut), and the board can’t sit completely flush.

The HDPE cuts easily with hand or power saws. File and sand the edges smooth and you have a custom-fit counter extender and cutting surface, all in one. I also chose to cut a sink-access hole so that we wouldn’t have to lift the board out for pouring out a stale cup of coffee (or whatever).

Greg Illes is a retired systems engineer who loves thinking up RV upgrades and modifications. When he’s not working on his motorhome, he’s traveling in it. You can follow his blog at www.divver-city.com/blog.

Read yesterday’s tipChanges coming to this newsletter.

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 RVtravel.com who became “voluntary 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.

Is your RV sitting in your driveway?
It could be earning you money! Cover the costs of your monthly payments or fund your next trip by renting out your RV. A Class A motorhome, for example, can earn you up to $4,250 a month! Join thousands of happy RV owners who are earning money from their underused vehicles. Find out more at Campanda.com.


Save time and equipment when leaving your spot
Force yourself to walk around your rig TWICE before you move, and once again after you pull forward. Reader Jim Wheeler says, “We always police the area and sometimes pick up a forgotten item.” Thanks, Jim!

Storm coming? Move out from under that tree!
With Mike Sokol
Remember what I’ve said about being careful when parking your RV under trees during a storm? Well, this a picture sent to me from the Escapee forum which shows what recently happened to an RVer’s trailer parked in their backyard. Luckily, there was nobody inside when this happened, and the insurance company is supposed to pay for a replacement. This wasn’t even a big tree, just a good-sized branch. It totally destroyed the trailer. So, if you’re in a campground under the trees and there’s a big windstorm, find better shelter than a trailer or motorhome. It’s just not worth the risk to ride a storm out in your RV if there’s any chance of a falling tree hitting your camper with anyone inside.

Easy way to remove splattered bugs
To clean the bugs off the front of your RV, use a dampened fabric softener sheet. Then wipe with a clean, soft cloth. Takes them right off. Thanks to Kathy Payne for the slick suggestion.

Ripped off surge protector needed protecting.

Odors that make special appearances in extreme heat? Say goodbye!
The Unique Tank Odor Eliminator is the leader in hot weather odor elimination. If you’re tired of those disgusting smells coming from your RV bathroom in hot weather, or when you’re off the grid, say no more! These drop-in tablets work in both gray and black tanks, and will completely remove, not just mask, odors. Perfect for dry-campers who are worried about using too much water. Drop in a tablet, and flush! Learn more or order here. 


The oldest restaurant in every state!
This place has been open how long?! Wow! Go back in time and eat while doing so? Sounds fun!

Rave Reviews
Rave Reviews is a great website for reading reviews of products and places. Learn about everything from the best coffee shops and breweries, to the best websites for your dog, to the most iconic American restaurants. 

America’s prettiest spring destinations
Not sure where to head next? Consult this list and find your next adventure! It’s sure getting nice out there … finally! 

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

slideout-seal656Protect your RV’s slideout
with this rubber seal lubricant
If you don’t take care of your slideout you’re asking for problems including dangerous, costly water damage. This rubber seal lubricant from Thetford prevents fading, cracking and deterioration. It cleans, conditions and shines, keeping seals flexible and protected from sunlight destruction. It is also useful on door seals and window seals. It’s a mineral oil product and also acts as a lubricant. Learn more or order

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.


It’s important to know your location
Always know the name and location of your campground including your site number (and GPS coordinates if possible). If it’s a public campground with no street address, then know which highway it’s along and the direction of the closest city. In an emergency you may have to call for help. If you don’t know where you are, you may have a serious problem.

Use “Truck Entrance” when fueling at truck stop
When approaching a truck stop, look for the “Truck Entrance” sign. Don’t go in the “car” side if you want the truck pumps. You typically cannot drive from one side to the other without exiting the property. You may find “RV Lanes” and these usually have both gas and diesel tanks. Larger rigs may have trouble in these RV Lanes. Truck lanes may not take credit or debit cards. You usually have to pay inside. Thanks to Ron Jones, AboutRVing.com.

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

A dog was resting in a campground and an RVer was reading nearby on a lawn chair. “Excuse me, sir, but does your dog bite?” a recently arrived camper asked. The RVer looked up over his newspaper and replied, “Nope.” Yet when the camper approached the animal, it began snarling and growling and then attacked his legs. After pulling away from the crazed animal, he yelled, “I thought you said your dog didn’t bite!” The RVer muttered, “Ain’t my dog.”

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: 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 RVtravel.com and/or in this newsletter. Contact Gail Meyring at Gail(at)RVtravel.com .

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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This newsletter is copyright 2018 by RVtravel.com


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Ron V (@guest_24387)
5 years ago

Be prepared to pay higher taxes for your fuel in the Arizona if you use the truck lane. And if I remember correctly what the Pilot/FlyingJ rep told me is there there is at least one other state where truck lanes have higher taxes.

Terri Metzger (@guest_24678)
5 years ago
Reply to  Ron V

If you go back inside, they will give you back the 8 cents tax the truckers pay in AZ, if you can’t in OR they don’t have an RV lane.

RV lanes have the reduced tax price

rob (@guest_24379)
5 years ago

I do a little wood working so I made mine of white oak sanded and soaked in butcher block oil Ours is a double sink so its actually 2 with a finger hole to lift up each to use. Sure adds a lot more usable counter space. Each season before camping we wash and put on new coat of oil

Eric Meslin (@guest_24378)
5 years ago

On my first adventure to a Pilot truck stop with my 30 foot travel trailer I found only diesel at the truck lanes. If you want gas you need to go in the car entrance. This is a challenge. Wish I could use the truck lanes.

Phil Atterbery (@guest_24376)
5 years ago

Great idea for the sink. For the RV’er that isn’t handy, a web site called “custom cutting boards” could create a board from a template. I asked this company to create a board for my drawer slide. I submitted the size & material to them, paid the quote on line. One week later had the board. Fit perfectly. Very happy.

John Crawford (@guest_24400)
5 years ago
Reply to  Phil Atterbery

It would be nice if you gave us the website.

Wolfe (@guest_24374)
5 years ago

Good cutting board article, Greg, but I’ll add a couple tips. First if you do too good a job fitting the board into an undermount sink, that hole is going to be the only way to remove it again! Also, position the hole where the water can pour through, so that you can use the water even with the cutting board in place.

For an under hung sink, rather than rabbeting the edges, the easier way is to simply screw on rubber feet in the correct locations to interlock with the sink edges and not slide around – rubber so it can also be used at the kitchen table where i often prep instead of standing at the counter.

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