Saturday, June 3, 2023


RV Daily Tips Newsletter 923

Issue 923 • June 25, 2018

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Keeping your distance – on the highway
“I try to leave a healthy distance between me and the vehicle in front of me and especially when driving my motorhome. The problem with that is when you leave a large gap, someone will always try to fill it and there goes your gap. The faster you go, the more apt this is to happen. So, with the motorhome, I find I can maintain this distance better when I’m traveling pretty much the same speed as the big rig tractor trailers and the higher speed vehicles will pass up my gap.” Thanks to Ron!

Trailer swaying? Stay off the brake pedal! 
If your trailer starts to sway, a natural reaction will be to hit the brake pedal – a sure-fire recipe for a major disaster! “Applying trailer brakes manually will usually dampen a sway, and cause the trailer to follow the tow vehicle rather than to jack-knife.” How do you do it? Reach down and slowly slide the manual override lever on your trailer brake controller to apply braking power to the trailer, while keeping your tow vehicle freely rolling. From Trailers & Fifth Wheels Made Easy

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

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Stinky holding tank odors? Here’s the solution
Eliminate disgusting tank odors for less than $1 per treatment with formaldehyde-free Unique RV Digest-It. Unique’s highly concentrated, non-toxic blend of tank cleaning microbes maintains clean sensors, eliminates odors and liquefies the solids in your tank, ensuring no backups. All without harsh chemicals or dangerous ingredients. Try it once and you’ll be shocked at how clean your tank can be! Learn more or order.


Don’t let your extinguisher misbehavepaddle it!
Got a fire extinguisher in your RV? Of course you do! When was the last time you picked it up and paddled its behind? The factory provided fire extinguisher is a “dry chem” unit that blasts powder out of the nozzle with a jet of inert gas. Well, that’s what it’s supposed to do. But bouncing down the road tends to make all that chemical powder settle at the bottom of the case, and when needed, it may be so packed together it won’t come out and do the job of killing the fire. At least once a year, pick up your extinguisher, flip it over, bottom side up, and give it several good, sharp raps. A rubber mallet is ideal, but a screwdriver handle works, too. Now shake it and listen to hear that powder move around. Check the gauge while you’re at it – if it’s below the “charged” level, get it serviced immediately.

Make it easy on your slideout
Open or closing the slideout? When you get close to the end of the travel range, STOP for a moment – that is, get off the switch. Now complete the range of travel by using short stop/go touches of the switch. Why? It’s easier on the stops (and/or your wall) as they won’t get hit hard. Simply stop when the seals have made contact. BUT DO NOTE: Not all slide-outs are created equal. Check your owner/operations manual. Always go with the manual if it gives specific instructions that counter this suggestion.

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

Camco vent insulator keeps you warm…and cold!
Is your RV too hot in the summer? Too cold in the winter? Camco’s vent insulator and skylight cover features a thick layer of foam which helps stop heat transfer, keeping you warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer. Installation is easy, simply push the fitted foam into your skylight, reflective side up. The reflective surface blocks sunlight, preventing it from heating your RV in the hot months. The insulator is designed to fit standard 14×14 RV vents. Learn more or order here. 


TV Food Maps
Watch an episode of something and wonder the name of the restaurant where they ate? Consult this handy website and see where everyone eats on TV! 

The RV Doctor
We love The RV Doctor, Gary Bunzer (as you know!). This is his official website where you can read all of his helpful articles. Thanks, Gary! 

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

Thanks to George B. (who travels 1,870 miles to winter as a snowbird) for suggesting this interesting poll!

Brain teaser from today’s email alert: Job, Polish and Herb are pronounced differently when the first letter is capitalized.

Amazon Deals of the Day!
Here are more than 1,000 special deals, just for today. And the items just keep on changing. If you can’t find a great deal here on something you want, then, well, you must not need anything. If nothing else, it sure is fun to poke around here to see the incredible array of cool stuff that’s available at this very moment at bargain prices! Click here for today’s deals!

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I couldn’t believe that the highway department called my dad a thief. But when I got home, all the signs were there.

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RV Daily Tips Staff
Editor and Publisher: Chuck Woodbury. Managing editor: Diane McGovern. Associate editor: Deanna Tolliver. Staff writer: Emily Woodbury. Contributing writers: Russ De Maris, Bob Difley, Gary Bunzer, Roger Marble, 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.

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This newsletter is copyright 2018 by

UPDATE HISTORY: 2018/07/17 1124 PDT: Updates advice on operating slide-outs to include need to observe manufacturer’s instructions.


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S WDhd
4 years ago

Found a similar pedestal, severely rusted in a campground on the Columbia River near Portland, OR. I checked it with my surge suppressor test before hooking up and discovered a ground fault. The management responded promptly with their electrician least I find another CG. It was telling that they had someone immediately available. When I got a look inside of the pedestal, it was a horror show; burnt connectors and one fried connection. Recommend everyone check the circuits before plugging in, particularly in very wet climates and older parks.

4 years ago

In my defense, I failed to indicate the speed I normally travel when using the technique mentioned in the tips above. We almost exclusively only travel on the west coast where speed limits for trucks and vehicles towing is either 55 or 60. Based on that, I usually find myself fallowing trucks that are doing between 60 and 65 and since we tow a GMC Terrain where the max towing speed is 65, this technique works out perfect for us. I normally never pass another vehicle….except on hills of course where the loaded trucks struggle.

Dave Telenko
4 years ago

I used to stop a bit before my slides were all the home & then finish it till it stopped until it leaked on one of them. I mentioned it to my dealer & he said it’s best to NOT stop as the motors get a bit off sequence & the slid may not seat right. So I suppose each for their own.

4 years ago
Reply to  Dave Telenko

I was taught the “stop when near, and then pulse” routine this article suggests as well. What I wonder is why (at least below Class-A mega-rigs) ALL slides don’t simply have bump-switches that can be set at the correct distance? “Hold the switch until it stops itself” seems MUCH better than “let go once gears grind.” And then, once there are bump switches, why not just make automated in/out a standard feature for all of the 25 cents it would cost? This isn’t “solid marble counters” upgrading — slides that aren’t designed to break themselves seems like a basic minimum.

The more I repair and upgrade my own and friends’ rigs, the more ABSURD cheapness and stupidity I find… Last week Chuck referred to “stick and tin” rigs targeting low-budget/young users, but I think it’s more of an intentional “cheap sample” model like a drug dealer — they’ll get you RVing so you see the appeal, but they’ll knowingly sell you complete garbage the first time so they’re guaranteed to sell at least 2-3 rigs before you cough up 6 figures for basics that SHOULD have been included at 1/5th cost. I don’t need marble counters, Amish cabinetry, or other “deluxe” features, but how bout a water pump installed at the factory to not sound like a jackhammer? Some 12V plugs? Doors that don’t rip off at the first bump? Chuck is right that RV makers cut EVERY corner you won’t see on the lot. I’m unusually capable to be able to fix all their stupidity, but WHY should I need to? We’re at the QC equivalent of cars being sold without operational steering wheels or “optional” brakes. As Peanuts would say, “Good Grief, Chuck!”

4 years ago
Reply to  Wolfe

Totally agree. Not sure about other manufactures, but Tiffin encourages new owners to come to the factory and watch their coach being built…piece by piece. Questioning the technicians, taking pictures and inspecting each and every aspect of the build is also encouraged and welcomed.

Phyllis Avella
4 years ago

We have Lippert slide apparatus installed onourmotorhome. I have had a couple of long time RVer’s tell me that when I extend or retract the slides, I should hold the controll for several seconds to allow the motors to “catch up” with themselves by making sure all motors have made the same number of revolutions. Has anyone else heard this or have I been the victim of misinformation?
Thank you all for any help.

4 years ago
Reply to  Phyllis Avella

Yes, we have been told the same and this is what we have practiced

4 years ago
Reply to  Phyllis Avella

And we’ve read the exact opposite…do not hold the slide switch any longer than it takes to bring the side in…or out. Confusing, no?

4 years ago

We stay at home and enjoy our winters. If we go it’s only for a short, maybe 2 week getaway.

4 years ago
Reply to  Neks

We do the same as our desert winters at our home are very mild to the winters we would endure on the Oregon coast where we go for the summers. So I guess we are called Sunbirds.

Don Peterson
4 years ago

How about asking today’s question the other way around. We are residents of Spring, TX and get out of Dodge during the summer time. Spent four months going around Lake Superior last summer. Heading to Glacier, Yellowstone and Grand Tetons this summer.

4 years ago

Can a 1994 manual Ford Mustang convertable be flat towed

4 years ago
Reply to  Lola

Look it up Motorhome magazine or FMCA’s web site they have complete towing guides. Offhand I’d say it was impossible due to the fact that manual transmissions depend on splash lubrication of the bearings. Unless you can come up with a way to spin all the gears to splash the oil into the bearings you’ll burn out bearings in a few hundred miles.

4 years ago
Reply to  Bob

Bob, actually that is the exact reason his Mustang “can” be towed as his manual transmissions uses the splash technique to lubricate the gears. Older manual transmissions are pretty much (if not all) towable as the gears are setting in 90w oil all the time…with the output shaft rotating with the driveshaft and therefore lubricating the bearings and other gears. Newer manual transmissions use an oil pump to lube the gears and are therefore not towable due to the pump only working when the engine is on.

Glen Scofield
4 years ago

I–and I’m sure, others–have the same problem as Ron: we cannot keep a consistent gap when driving because of the vehicles that move into it. Because I’m unwilling to travel the same speed as the trucks when pulling our trailer, I count to keep the gap going. I choose something the vehicle in front of me just passed, and I count one-one thousand, two-one thousand, three-one thousand until I meet that same “something” and I maintain that distance, checking often to keep that gap going. “Three-one thousand” is the minimum space I maintain. As our speed increases, so does the gap. So, when a poacher moves into the gap, the counting starts all over again with the new vehicle. That does two things: it maintains the safety space I require, and it keeps me alert. Because I rarely drive over sixty mph, the occasional “mobs” of cars and trucks move right past, I get much better gas mileage and I reach my destination rested, having actually enjoyed the drive!

4 years ago
Reply to  Glen Scofield

Amen, I’m with you. We flat tow a Chevy Equinox that towing instructions require speeds of 65 or less, plus our motorhome can get up to 11 mpg towing 60-62 mph and we arrive much more relaxed. Our daughter and son-in-law travel at the speed limit and when we travel to the same destination they arrive between 30-60 minutes sooner than us and have to take a nap because they are worn to a frazzle from the tension, we arrive relaxed.

richard ackroyd
4 years ago
Reply to  Bob

Glen, Bob. I’m with you guy’s on this one. Our Honda C-RV has a flat tow liming of 65 but “MY” comfort level is 60. I try and leave twice the length of our RV+ car as a safe gap, nothing to do with the stopping distance, I have air brakes on the RV plus air assisted braking on the Honda, the gap is my “thinking ” distance. It give me time to think what I need to do, not like some who have to jump on the brakes every time the vehicle in fronts brake lights come on.
Richard. Retired Age 67.

4 years ago
Reply to  Bob

Every driver-ed teacher understands and teaches why harsh driving isn’t much (any?) faster, but burns a LOT more fuel and “mental energy.” If you floor the gas on green so you can lock up on red, you’ll just wait longer at the same lights that I roll through without stopping. No one ever listens to me…

I’ve “raced” friends for multiple hours with the rule that my tach won’t break 2Krpm — and we arrive within minutes after hours of them bumper-surfing and dodging. I’ve “fuel-challenged” friends buddy-driving their 3L cars against my 6.4L 2500HD truck — and we have similar MPG pump bills. I’ve even stopped at rest stops and had people come up to me and comment how they “couldn’t shake me” on the highway because “everytime they got into traffic, there I was again behind them.”

It’s human nature to feel that lane-jumping and faster peak speeds HAVE to be faster, but the average gains prove neglible. A half million miles have proven it to me, but lead-footing is a hard habit to break.

Joe Allen
4 years ago

We also find that traveling the speed of the semi’s works for us and saves some on fuel as well. Keeping it just under 65 mph helps.
Always continue to look at least 5 or 6 vehicles ahead for brake lights, quick swerves or congested traffic. When in the slow lane and you see a vehicle coming down the on-ramp, see if you can move to your left to allow them to come in safely or slow down to allow them in front. This not only makes for safer driving, being considerate never costs a dime! Thank you Ron!

4 years ago
Reply to  Joe Allen

I do not change my speed when a car is coming down the ramp. You have no way of knowing it that is what they intend to do to merge. I maintain my speed and let them figure out if they want to speed up to get in front of me or slow down to get behind. More than once I have been slowed to almost a stop while entering the freeway because a car in front of me and the car on the freeway were both slowing to let the other in. Meanwhile the car behind me is about in run into everyone because he is looking back for an opening to merge into.

Please, if you are already on the freeway just maintain your speed.

Tom Fitch
4 years ago
Reply to  Snayte

I wholeheartedly agree! The vehicle with the right of way needs to stay predictable and consistent and not hinder the traffic behind them. The merging vehicle needs to figure out how to do so safely.

4 years ago
Reply to  Snayte

Totally agree — professionally — with driving consistently over courteously.

If I CAN, I’ll drift left to let someone enter smoothly, but if I can’t SAFELY change lanes, I absolutely do not change lane or brake to let people enter. I’m not causing an accident for their impatience, and if I’m 70′ long making it harder for them to mesh, that’s 70′ of reason for me to NOT move erratically.

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