Friday, June 2, 2023


RV Daily Tips Newsletter 939

Issue 939 • July 23, 2018

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High-priced motorhome oil changes?
Not every motorhome owner wants to be his own mechanic – not even for oil changes. But we had a report from one RVer who said his local Camping World asks $165 to change the oil in a “gasser,” and pumps up the price to $300 for a diesel unit. He promptly got the appropriate oil filter and took his “gasser” to the local Walmart. In and out the door for $50. Not everyone trusts Wally, but just sayin’ …

Did we strike out with slideout advice?
Back in Issue 923 we offered a tip that suggested when retracting your slideouts, it would be best to stop retracting before the slide is all the way in, then bumping it in the rest of the way. We got plenty of feedback, essentially reminding us that not all slideouts are created equal. Paul Rider says his hydraulic slideout manufacturer instructs that their slides should be pulled in, and the switch held for a few seconds to allow air to purge from the system. Similarly, Randy Coleman advises his system could be damaged by the “stop-and-bump” method, a fact he learned through painful financial means. We’ve gone back and updated our original post. ALWAYS FOLLOW YOUR MANUFACTURER’S INSTRUCTIONS if they should differ from the advice you get here. Thanks to all of you for the helpful feedback!

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.

Answer to today’s email alert brain teaser: 11 cows. All but 11 cows died, 11 cows survived.


Free jack pads – just follow Randy
Randy C. tells us, “When we are ‘breaking-camp’ one of the last things I do is raise the jacks while seated in the driver’s seat. Once they are stowed, I’m ready to drive. At times in the past I have left the jack pads behind, because I don’t have a “reminder.” So, I took a clothes pin, painted it yellow to match the pads and clip it on the ignition key. If the clothes pin is still there I know the pads are under the coach, not in it. Just a simple reminder.” Thanks Randy! Guess it’s pointless to follow you around now!

Tire balancing
“Balance your tires. Uneven wear, once it is severe, can’t be stopped by balancing. Replace worn tires before starting a long trip. You don’t need the aggravation of replacing one on the road.” —From Trailers & Fifth Wheels Made Easy

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

Take Your Turns Seriously
If your vehicle lacks a built-in connector, pick up this Road & Home™ 7-Way Vehicle End Connector. Built with cord and socket casing made of ABS plastic, this connector withstands corrosion and impact damage for safe and dependable use on public roads. Shop connectors for cars and RVs today. 


Love Your RV
Full-timer Ray takes you along on his RVing journey. You’ll find great tips about the lifestyle on this website, as well as his favorite RVing products, DIY projects and more. 

Whether you’re planning a trip or just want to learn a little about the world, TripSavvy is a great, easy-to-navigate website about all the cool things to see and do when you travel. Enjoy! 

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

A DEET-free mosquito and tick repellent that works! 
Well, it’s that time again (unfortunately). If you’re one of those people that mosquitoes love (we all know at least one person like this) this product is for you. This awesome DEET-free insect repellent works for mosquitoes, ticks and other biting insects. Keep this one handy, folks. As RVers, there’s a good chance you’re probably going to need it. Learn more or order here.

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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, Mike Sokol, Greg Illes, J.M. Montigel and Andrew Robinson. Advertising coordinator: Gail Meyring. Marketing director: Jessica Sarvis.

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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 or this newsletter.

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4 years ago

WOW, and the pedestal circuit breaker on/off issue continues on.
Mike’s electrical tip says to have the circuit breaker off before plugging in or removing the plug so as not to pit the plug spades.
Was told by someone just as respected that using the breaker as an on/off switch was a contributing factor to weakening the internals of the breaker and causing arcing in the breaker’s contacts. After awhile the contacts get so burned that you either get a failure or diminished volt/amps due to the burning and/or pitting.
SOOO maybe all of the electrical wizards can get their acts together and decide if the RV public would rather have pitted plugs (easily replaceable) or ruined breakers that keep failing under heavy load and need the campground to round up someone to replace the breaker.
I personally vote to save the pedestal!!

Mike Sokol
4 years ago
Reply to  mikee

Mikee, you need a better slogan such as “Viva la Pedestal” or something like that. Seriously, this is a complex issue for the reason you mention. All I can do is report what the National Electrical Code suggests, and what most manufacturers include in their operators manual. I do have a few contacts in both areas, so I’ll start a conversation going. However realize that one aspect that you didn’t mention was safety, and it’s always safer plugging into a dead-front outlet than a hot one. What price safety?

4 years ago

RE: Clothes Pin reminder. I can’t imagine someone driving off in their motorhome without getting out and doing a walk around or even two….one going one way, and the other going in the other way. Does Randy have other clothes pins for the awning, slides, water pressure gauge, surge protector, power cable, water hoses, sewer hose, tv antenna, compartment doors locked….etc.?

4 years ago
Reply to  Ron

don’t know if Randy does or not but I have been using them for years, the sarcasm wasn’t required Ron. crow is such a nasty thing to eat sometimes.

4 years ago

We feel that the high pressure a dealership puts on buyers to purchase an extended warranty tells us that there is a lot of profit to be made for them and the insurer. Therefore we never buy extended warranties.

4 years ago
Reply to  Mary

I had the same understanding, but a different perspective. The peace of mind an extended warranty gives me is part of what I’m paying for, and how much profit the seller makes on the sale of a product that offers that benefit is irrelevant to me. Whether it’s 100% or 1%, it changes my life not a whit.

4 years ago
Reply to  OnWeGo

If one can afford an expensive rig then have the cash available in case of a problem as battling with companies who are known to hide the small print and not pay without help from trade magazines is just more than I desire as dealing with companies who are designed to con & beat one up when it comes time to pay the claim then they say the dealer charged to much is another strategy they use..POOR investment for sure..Only buy what you can afford & support..I have been RVing since Dec.1977 so I know a thing or they say.

Bob p
4 years ago

In the item about slide outs Mr.Rider should not have air in his hydraulic system as it will severely affect his slideout(s). Air is compressible which could leave his slide out partially open or closed. He should have the air bled out of his system before traveling. As an industrial mechanic I have not seen a hydraulic system that self bleeds itself, they are sealed. That’s what makes them work so well. It’s really easy to bleed the system but unless you have experience it could be a very wet and oily experience. Lol

4 years ago
Reply to  Bob p

I concur as I have had the same working experience with hydraulics.

4 years ago
Reply to  Bob p

I tried it once myself. Just to save some money. I mean, how hard could it be, really? Right?

Next time, I’ll call Bob p. You should, too.

Judy G
4 years ago

Re today’s question: Of course, for us full-timers, it depends on where we’re currently parked.

James harding
4 years ago

Are extended warranties worth it.

Dr4Film ----- Richard
4 years ago
Reply to  James harding

James, there are ONLY if your RV has lots of problems AND the company that you chose for the extended warranty COVERS those problems. If purchasing READ everything that they cover AND better yet what they DON”T cover. I chose to self-insure when I bought my 2002 Windsor PBT and unfortunately 3-4 years later I had a $6000 bill for replacing an Aqua-Hot system in my coach. That was the only event that the extended warranty would have paid for itself.

Bob p
4 years ago
Reply to  James harding

When I enquired about an extended warranty for our “new to us” 02 Mountain Aire with Good Sam I decided to put the $237/month into a savings account instead, so far I’m ahead of the game and the savings are looking good. From what I’ve read about most of them, they have so many ifs, ands, and buts that if you’re not holding your mouth the right way, they don’t cover your problem. After all they are in business to make a large profit and they can’t do that if the pay all the claims they get. Which is why the salesperson makes their commission by selling you on the idea of “bumper to bumper” coverage. NOT.

4 years ago
Reply to  Bob p

I agree,they will pick your bones like a buzzard and if something is not exactly to their liking they will deny..deny..deny.

4 years ago
Reply to  James harding

I, too, agree extended warranties are not worth what you pay for. I often think of the warranty you get with a new fridge or stove. It’s for 2 years parts and labor. I expect them to last 15 or 20 years. I have more confidence in the product than the manufacturer has. As Bob says, bank what the premiums would be and you are most likely to come out far ahead in the end.

4 years ago
Reply to  James harding

It’s just like life insurance you hope to never need it.?

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