Issue 890 • April 26, 2018
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RVing Tip of the Day
By Chuck Woodbury
RVing is one of the best ways to travel, whether for family vacations or full-time for retirees or anyone who can combine work and RVing — whether by motorhome, travel trailer or other recreational vehicle. Buying an RV is a complicated process, and the RV is often the second largest investment most people will make in their lifetimes after their homes. It pays to buy “right.” If not, good luck. Here are a few tips on common buying mistakes. If you’re about to buy an RV, pay attention. If a friend is about to buy one, pass this advice along.
• Buying before doing proper research (smart buyers research a year or two before buying) or on impulse.
• Buying an RV without ever having traveled in one. The dream may be far from the reality! (Rent an RV for a week or two to see how you like the experience.)
• Buying the wrong RV for your needs.
• Paying too much. Most dealers and salespersons want top price. Will you be their “sucker of the week”? Start by offering 30 percent off MSRP. Walk away if you can’t get it, or close. You might have your best luck and get your best price buying in the off-season, or at the end of the month when a sales person needs to meet a sales quota to get the commission sooner rather than later.
• Buying at an RV show because “it’s the best price you will ever see!” Wrong! It’s not. You’ll almost always get the same price later at an RV dealership.
• Buying an RV before seeing it with its slides pulled in (sometimes you may not be able to get to the kitchen, bedroom or even the bathroom).
• Buying a motorhome before test driving it.
• Buying before doing a “mock live-in.”
• Buying a used RV with hidden damage. Hire a RV technician to check it top to bottom.
• Buying an RV from a supermarket parking lot or campground.
• Stretching financing out too long (Camping World is known for talking buyers into a 20-year payment plan). Some RVers have ended up in bankruptcy by doing this. Never buy with no down payment. Don’t buy based solely on an affordable monthly payment — you are asking for trouble if you do.
Read yesterday’s tip: Keeping your travel plans flexible.
Did you miss the latest RV Travel Newsletter? If so, read it here.
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Secrets of RVing on Social Security
Author Jerry Minchey takes you on a journey that lets you discover how you can travel around the country and live the fascinating RV lifestyle for far less than it costs to live in your sticks-and-bricks home. Among other things, he shows you step-by-step how to enjoy the RVing lifestyle while traveling and living on just your Social Security income. Learn more or order.
Keep your “lazy Susan’s” contents corralled
Wayne Girard says his wife has found a way to keep the spices and bottles from falling off her galley’s “lazy Susan.” The cagey woman stretches a shower cap over the round table and keeps them from jumping off. Wayne says the cheap hotel giveaway shower caps work best, and they’re clear so you can see through them, too. Thanks,Wayne (and Mrs. Girard)!
With electricity expert, Mike Sokol
In addition to fuses having a specific amperage and voltage rating, they also come in fast-blow and slow-blow versions. The fast-blow fuses are used to protect delicate electronic gear, and thus they’ll open up (or blow) very quickly at the slightest current overload. Some appliances are more robust and can draw a higher starting current. So things with motor loads will typically use a slow-blow fuse that can withstand up to several times the rated current for a fraction of a second without blowing. How to tell which is which? Well if you look at the wire inside of the fuse and see just a single strand like the one on the left, then it’s a fast-blow type. But if you see a little wire spiral or spring gadget like the one in the middle or right, that’s a giveaway that it’s a slow-blow fuse. The different types are not really interchangeable and circuit damage can result if you mix and match. So only use the exact fuse recommended by the appliance or gear manufacturer.
Save money outfitting your RV kitchen
Do you need pots, pans, dishes or silverware for your RV? You have several choices. The most common way is to stock up at your nearest big box store. The second is to borrow from your supply at home (few RVers do this). The third choice, which will save you a lot of money, is to visit Goodwill or another thrift store to buy what you need. It’s easy to supply a kitchen this way and you’ll pay a fraction of what you’d pay buying “new” – and your purchases will support a worthy cause.
HOT TOPIC AT RV TRAVEL.COM
Is RV industry president out of touch with RVers?
Don’t let high water pressure blow out your pipes!
This should be a required accessory for your RV, one that could save you thousands of dollars in repair bills. Some RV parks have water pressure so high it can blow out your system — a big, major repair bill “ouch!” Join the RV Travel staff in using this highly rated item to prevent that from happening. Learn more or order.
WEBSITES OF THE DAY
This is a great site for gear-finding. Fellow RVers buy and review gear — everything from sewer hoses to cooking equipment to camp chairs. Consult this site before buying any new gear!
I Need A Prompt
Say no more! This funky website gives you a writing prompt (and a very random one at that) to get your creative juices flowing. If you love to write (or read) and want a website to do the hard work for you, here ya’ go!
DIY (do it yourself) EVERYTHING. Join others in online classes, or short lessons about any at-home project. Sooooooo many useful things on here.
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
Help diagnose your RV’s A/C health with an infrared thermometer
Chris Dougherty shows you an infrared thermometer and demonstrates how it can be used to help determine the condition of an RV’s air conditioner. A number of infrared thermometers are available at Amazon.com.
See all of our videos on our YouTube Channel.
The EASY way to buy window shades
Carefree‘s Simply Shade Window Awning is the first cash and carry complete window awning system that can be bought off of dealer shelves and installed the same day! Simply Shade Awnings fit windows up to 36″ tall. Click here to learn more.
MORE QUICK TIPS
Boondocking solar lights for indoors at night
“In order to save our batteries, we use solar lights which you find in lawn and garden centers. We have a couple of pots of petunias outside with a solar light and we bring them in at night and put one in each room. The flowers make our camper smell so nice! A couple of solar lights without the stake can be placed on the table to play cards by, or you can put one in the bathroom and one wherever you need a night light.” Thanks to Ray Burr at RV Happy Hour.
Several meal planning tips
Prepare more complicated meals when you have full hookups. It’s easy to clean up afterwards because you have plenty of water and no worry about filling up holding tanks. Consider making a double portion and freeze half for a future meal. When boondocking, keep recipes simple, and use paper plates which you can burn later to start your campfire.
Camping 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
LEAVE HERE WITH A LAUGH
Three guys are stranded on a desert island. One day they find a magic lantern containing a genie. The genie grants them each one wish. The first guy says he wishes he was off the island and back home. The genie grants his wish and poof, he is back home. The second guy wishes the same thing. The genie grants his wish and poof, he is gone, too. The third guy says, “I’m lonely. I wish my friends were back.”
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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