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Author Topic: All things RV  (Read 1866 times)


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All things RV
« on: November 16, 2017, 12:34:14 PM »
This is probably going to be an impossibility but thought I'd ask. This forum is indispensable for various information but being totally new to RV'ng I was wondering if there is such a source for all things RV for newbies? Some kind of beginners course or something? I find it very overwhelming trying to figure out the workings of an RV, what I can and can't do with the electrical systems and batteries, generators, holding tanks etc. and the list goes on and on and on :o Any suggestions on an all inclusive course of some kind to learn from square one? Or does it just come down to experience is the best teacher? Just trying to avoid costly mistakes that experience can teach you by being a little more prepared upfront. I have a lot of time before my first actual purchase and want to learn as much as I can before purchasing and living in the RV.

Larry N.

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Re: All things RV
« Reply #1 on: November 16, 2017, 01:27:28 PM »
Probably not exactly what you are looking for, but a lot of good information can be found by looking through our Library ("button" above) and reading the various articles, which cover a variety of subject matter, from checklists to how-to's to driving tips, and including Newcomers need to know. Also, the Glossary above will define a lot of unfamiliar terms for you.

Of course you can also sift through the various post over the years in the various sections of this site, perhaps starting with this Newcomer's Corner section.
Larry and Mary Ann N.
2016 Newmar Ventana 3709 -ISB6.7 XT 360HP
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Formerly: Trailmanor 2720SL, Bounder, Beaver
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Re: All things RV
« Reply #2 on: November 16, 2017, 01:49:29 PM »
Larry is right, the best source for learning about all things RV is this forum. Near the top of every page here is a link to "Show unread posts since last visit." Bookmark that page and then when you visit here click on that link to get you here and then read every post that deals with RVs. There are also a lot of great videos on YouTube that will teach you a lot. Experience is definitely the best teacher but you must first buy an RV to get that experience. Don't worry about not making mistakes, costly or otherwise, there is no way to avoid all of them. Every experienced RVer can tell you lots of stories. You might want to rent an RV for a weekend and go camping just to get the flavor of what we are talking about. But most important, there are no stupid questions. 90% of the people who visit this site are not registered and don't comment but they also have questions and are too shy to ask for fear of being accused of asking a dumb question. So if you have a question there are probably a dozen other people reading this forum that have the same question. The only real dumb question is the one you did not ask. It takes many months of shopping before you should pull the trigger and buy one so take the time to educate yourself. Do you live out west? If so consider going to the Quartzsite Rally in January and meet a bunch of us. You don't need an RV to attend. Just show up, introduce yourself and be prepared to meet some of the nicest people on the planet (I am looking at you two, Jerry and Ardra). Just about every one there will be happy to show off their RV and explain things to you. Check you area for an RV show. Go to it and walk through as many RVs as you can but do not bring your checkbook. Lastly, all RV salesmen would lie to their own mother to sell an RV so don't listen to them.
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Re: All things RV
« Reply #3 on: November 16, 2017, 02:45:54 PM »
You mean something like Escapees Boot camp? https://www.escapees.com/knowledge/boot-camp  while I have never done it myself, I have heard some good things, to me it seems like a lot of money for what is covered, but you do get hands on help.

2002 Safari Trek 2830

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: All things RV
« Reply #4 on: November 17, 2017, 09:12:26 AM »
There are various books and videos available but I haven't reviewed them and can't comment on individual ones. I'll include links to a few below, though.

Based on reports seen here and elsewhere, it seems that most of them have some flaws, or at least some things stated as rules or important actions that many other RVers might disagree with.  That happens on this forum all the time as well.   When I come across questionable advice from one of those sources, it is usually something I consider "overkill" rather than something dangerously wrong.  Take the advice from various sources as suggestions rather than gospel truth and you will be OK.  Try to cross check multiple sources to see if there is a consensus.

Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL


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Re: All things RV
« Reply #5 on: November 17, 2017, 10:52:26 AM »
  You would help yourself right off the bat by being more specific,,RV is a slang term for anything from a motorcycle to a boat and is mostly generic.. By being specific as in a such & such motorhome,,5th wheel,, trailer,pop-up, etc,etc....Takes less time and effort to determine what you need and eliminates assumptions.>>>Dan.
« Last Edit: November 17, 2017, 10:57:33 AM by Utclmjmpr »
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Rene T

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Re: All things RV
« Reply #6 on: November 17, 2017, 11:24:19 AM »
  You would help yourself right off the bat by being more specific,,RV is a slang term for anything from a motorcycle to a boat and is mostly generic.. By being specific as in a such & such motorhome,,5th wheel,, trailer,pop-up, etc,etc....Takes less time and effort to determine what you need and eliminates assumptions.>>>Dan.

It would also help if you went into your profile and created a signature of yourself telling us a little bit about you after you purchase a RV.
« Last Edit: November 17, 2017, 05:44:35 PM by Rene T »
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Re: All things RV
« Reply #7 on: November 17, 2017, 11:30:26 AM »
Just trying to avoid costly mistakes that experience can teach you by being a little more prepared upfront. I have a lot of time before my first actual purchase and want to learn as much as I can before purchasing and living in the RV.

IMO there is no better teacher than direct experience.  That's how we learn.  Reading owners manuals doesn't hurt either.
I understand not wanting to make mistakes that is something that almost everyone would rather avoid.

Until you get your own coach (if that's what your looking for) you will be just grabbing at straws for info. 
If your trying to decide on a type then all we can do is offer opinions as everyone is different in there needs and desires.

When you have your own you will quickly learn what you need to know.  IF you can't figure it out - that is where this forum shines.

2002 Rexhall Rose Air  Cummins 8.3  350hp
West MI Summer   Central FL Winter

John From Detroit

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Re: All things RV
« Reply #8 on: November 17, 2017, 05:38:59 PM »
Back when I upgraded to a class A there were two books that were recommended.. Pick one,, they is not enough difference between them for me to say which is the best, they both cover just about everything

The RV Owner's handbook
The RV book

ONe is a Woodalls/Good Sam's publication you can find at CW.. The other is not and that is the main difference.   The one I have (forget which now) was actually BETTER in a couple chapters than the factory manuals.

These book are written BY and FOR RVers, not by Factory Engineers but by people like US. For US.

IN addition to that.. You commented on the Forum being a valuable resource.. We actually like answering questions. We both help you in some cases and learn in others.> Thanks to the Forum I have helped many folks "offline" with issues including some Water Heater issues. and power issues.

Mostly using info I learned on the forums..

If you have any questions remember: THe only stupid question is the one you DO NOT ask..

We have easily a thousand years of RV experience so odds are someone will know the answer.
Nothing adds excitement like something that is none of your business
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Re: All things RV
« Reply #9 on: December 02, 2017, 12:38:21 PM »
Go to the Escapees website. Besides the info on their website, they have yearly or bi-yearly rallies which provide indispensable info for newbies. Also Rvbasics website. Also Geeks on Tour - their website is down, but check Youtube for their videos.


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Re: All things RV
« Reply #10 on: December 02, 2017, 02:46:44 PM »
You can read all the books and watch all the videos and I would be willing to bet my next paycheck (I'm retired so not much of a bet) that the first thing that goes wrong is the thing not covered in the books or videos. The best teacher is OJT, on the job training. There is a million years of experience on this forum and I would posit there's at least one situation that has not presented itself in those million years. You can be prepared but you can't be prepared for everything.


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Re: All things RV
« Reply #11 on: December 16, 2017, 10:59:35 AM »
Certainly this forum is giving me lots of information and direct feedback to my questions.

I have also found RV videos on YouTube to be of value.


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Re: All things RV
« Reply #12 on: December 19, 2017, 08:12:15 AM »
I am new to RVing (motorhome) ownership myself. I have just googled and youtubed tons of information and anything I could think of that I might want to know. I have read every "new to RVing" article, journal, or post I could find. I have not come across any serious problems yet...well except for my generator leaking oil...I will be repairing that soon. I have found several threads on this site to be very helpful. Don't hesitate to ask questions...the folks on here have been so nice and forthcoming with information. I love my RV and so glad I got it after all these years of ..."someday I will get one". Enjoy!
Steph & Mak
2007 Four Winds 5000 28A
Class C motorhome.
2009 Toyota RAV4
2 Pescador Pro 12' Kayaks
Newbie owner/operator


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Re: All things RV
« Reply #13 on: December 19, 2017, 11:06:13 AM »
As they said, read as much as you can and you will pretty much know what to do with run of the mill things. When it comes to things like generators, solar, converters, inverter or other up grades you want to be careful and be sure of what you are doing. I always say that none of this stuff is one size fits all so one person gets by on a 100 watts of solar and the next guy needs 1000.  If you run out and buy X product it may not be compatible with other components when you realize that you want to expand farther. For example, IDEALLY when building your solar system you would buy all the panels at one time. It's not a disaster if you have miss matched panels later on but again it's better if they are the same. 

Another example might be a converter upgrade where you by one that only does 13.6 volts or even 14.4 volts and later you want a deep cycle battery and the manufacturer recommends 14.8 volt charging.  Again, it isn't a disaster but you want to spend your money most effectively.  As RV'ers say, it's best to buy your last RV first rather than buying and selling your way through them and wasting money. Parts and pieces are similar.

« Last Edit: December 19, 2017, 11:18:46 AM by QZ »


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Re: All things RV
« Reply #14 on: December 20, 2017, 09:38:27 PM »
KG, first I should say I am still researching RV's, specifically Class A dp's.  Plus I need DW to retire.  But, since I caught the RV bug about 2 months ago, I've been looking all over for information on the RV lifestyle.

First, this forum is great.  I read it almost every day.  A lot of the questions I don't understand, much less the answers, but that's okay - I'm not a DIY type person.  However, there are still lots of comments and threads on stuff that are of interest (I was just reading a thread on sway bars and copied the thread for future reference - didn't understand all of it but enough that I wanted to flag it for future reference.

I also have searched through YouTube but you've got to watch a lot of lousy videos to see a few good postings.  I saw a great one on pivot points and overhangs that answered lots of questions.  However, I have yet to find a good video on pivot points when towing the dinghy.

I also went out and bought a subscription to Motorhome Magazine.  Its not as comprehensive as this forum for the wide variety of topics but I'm retired - what else do I have to do?

I did search Amazon for books on RV'ing but when one author, in a chapter on boondocking, suggested you could save water by bathing in a nearby lake, I gave up on the book idea.

So, don't despair just keep your eyes and ears open. 


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Re: All things RV
« Reply #15 on: December 27, 2017, 05:21:25 AM »
It is overwhelming trying to learn everything about an RV in a short time. So take your time and ask questions. Google is your friend and ask google if you have a specific question. Likely you'll end up right back here or on another RV forum and that's always a good thing.

I had a twin diesel boat before I got the RV bug. There are many similarities between boats and RV's but there are many differences too. I was on these forums for a year before I bought my 40 DP coach. In that time I learned a lot and I felt I was an educated buyer when I pulled the trigger.

In very general terms I felt there are 3 areas you need to be at least a little familiar with before you buy an RV.

1. The buying process which includes what kind of RV, how to finance, the mechanics of paying for it, titling it, avoiding scams, insurance, etc.

2. The camping experience which includes how to operate the systems on your RV, camping protocol, how to make reservations, what kind of camping you want to do, driving the RV, parking the RV, what to take with you, towing a car or not, etc. For example I reviewed several u-tube videos before attempting to park my coach in my driveway. I also took the Lazy Days driver confidence course before driving mine.

3. Maintenance, routine and fixing things when they break, which includes determining when you need help and when you can fix it yourself. Knowing who to call to get help. This forum will save you a ton of money when it comes to determining how to fix something.
For example when something breaks that I don't know much about I pose the problem on the forums. I always get a fix and then I must determine if I'm able to fix it based on the advice I get. If not at least I know about the problem and how to fix it so when I take it to a repair facility they won't try just replacing stuff until it works. Many mechanics operate that way.

I know this is a lot to digest but remember you won't learn it all it a week or two. Ask questions and most importantly take notes. I have 10 pages of notes written on MS Word that I made before I bought my coach. Remember it took me a year to get to the point I was comfortable with my purchase.   But bear in mind a pop up camper won't take the in depth research a 45 ft tag axle DP (Diesel Pusher) will. Good luck and ask away.
Tampa Bay
'07 American Tradition DP 40', 1.5 bath
'14 Honda CRV