Editor's Note: Dave has a wealth of RVing knowledge. We'd like to share more of that with you on the topics you are most interested in. Please let us know in the comments below what you would like to see in future blog posts.

youtubeNew Years is a time to reflect back upon the year that has passed and a time to anticipate what the coming year holds. Now that February has arrived and we are a month into the New Year, I have been thinking about the thousands upon thousands that have read my blog entries over the years.

I really have no idea who my readers are. Are you young, old, male, female, longtime RVers, just entering the lifestyle, live in the northwest, live in the east, belong to an RV club, maybe you live abroad, pet owner, fulltime RVer, or some may just be looking for interesting places to travel?  I suspect there is a mix of everyone I have just listed. I have been camping and enjoying the RV lifestyle my entire life. I can remember the days before RVs had gray tanks, you didn’t need a battery to operate your furnace or refrigerator and most travel trailers were pulled by cars.


Looking for some new destinations in 2021?


Want to learn more about dry camping (boondocking)?

On the RV industry side of the equation, I have held every position in an RV dealership (including ownership) other than bookkeeping (my wife handled that end of things), so I understand how the industry (sales and service) works, its strengths and weaknesses. In addition, I have served as the President of the local chapter of the RVDA (Recreational Vehicle Dealers Association), on the MHRV Show Association board of directors and currently as their Show Director. In recent years I have been presenting RV lifestyle seminars at shows and RV conventions.


Dave sharing his RV knowledge at an RV convention

In the years I have been blogging, millions of new RVs have been purchased, some by those already enjoying the RV lifestyle and others just joining in the fun. While I don’t have statistics to confirm it, I am certain there have been at least a million first-time RV owners join the RV lifestyle since the onset of the COVID pandemic. That said, I would love to help my readers (whoever you are - young, old, seasoned or new to the RV lifestyle) reach your New Years RV resolutions by addressing blog topics you are looking to tackle in the months to come. Maybe it is: camping more often, being a better dry camper, tow vehicles, finding out of the way places to explore, keeping certain parts of your RV maintained, activities, conserving water, diagnosing appliance issues, safety, what type of RV is best for me, etc.


Need to learn more about your electrical systems?

Please use the comment box at the bottom of the page to give me a rough idea of who you are, what type of RV you have, and what you would love to learn more about in future blog posts. Or you can drop me an email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. While it is unlikely I can respond to everyone’s request, I will do my best to write entries that address the subjects I am qualified in and of interest to many.  Hope to hear from you soon and may the balance of 2021 hold many memorable trips in your RV right here in the Pacific Northwest or wherever you call home.


What tips and tricks would you like to learn more about?

Dave Helgeson
Author: Dave HelgesonEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Dave Helgeson is the MHRV Show Director. He and his wife love to travel across the west in their RV. Dave writes about all things RVing but loves to share destinations and boondocking advice.

Comments   

0 #16 Dave 2021-03-02 19:04
I will add that to the list of future topics. Thanks for writing.

Quoting Clifford Hackney:
Dave, I
have been RVing since the 70's. First RV was a DIY Ford Econoline van. I am now 79 years old and drive a 27 foot Class A. I would like to see more 20 foot long Class C's for those looking to downsize.

The Class B choices are very expensive and usually do not have a place for the occasional guest to sleep.
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0 #15 Dave 2021-03-02 19:00
Great idea for a future topic, watch for it next fall!

Quoting Michele Tonnemaker:
My husband is a farmer so our primary time to RV is winter. We bought a 32' 5th wheel in 2019 and have added on so it would be more winter friendly. In addition, I have used the RV myself to take my Grandkids on adventures. Last year "2020" we did Yellowstone. This winter my husband and I did Mt Bachelor and Mt Hood. Got quite proficient chaining up truck & 5th wheel. I am working with a Ranch in Eastern, WA that offers riding wine tasting tours. They have offered a group of us to Boondock on the ranch late-August or Early-September. I will be retiring in about 3-4 years and look forward to spending more time traveling in the RV.

Our first trip in the 5th wheel was to follow the Amgen-Tour of California, bicycle race in May of 2019. In and out of Lake Tahoe was an adventure.

Looking for more Ski Resorts that have power hook ups like Mt Bachelor in Oregon and Stevens Ski Resort in Washington. We normally boondock at Hyak Ski Area, Snoqualmie Pass.
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0 #14 Dave 2021-03-02 17:39
Mike,

Regarding your batteries I expect you were drawing more amps out then you were putting back in. The furnace probably draws 6-7 amps when running and given the age of your RV you probably have a "dumb" charger which typically only charge at 3 amps per hour. If you do have dumb charger you didn't do yourself any favors by leaving it plugged in continuously. Read this https://www.doityourselfrv.com/rv-power-converter/ to learn more. To check the batteries take them to a automotive battery distributor and have them load tested.

Quoting Mike Swanson:
Hi Again, really like all the info you have here.
I think I might have battery problems, I bought my 06 Sandpiper25 a few years ago, they installed a new awning and two new deep cycle batteries at time of purchase. after hunting camp last year which was a week long dry camp, and temps down in the teens, I noticed my batteries were dead within 5 hours of the generator quitting in the night. Granted the furnace was kicking on a lot. Is there a easy way to test batteries? Or does the furnace fan put a huge drain on batteries? It was so cold that the water lines froze on the last morning which made the on=demand water pump kick on and stay on till we got out of our frozen beds and shut it off, It worked normally later that morning when everything warmed back up. I also keep it plugged in 110 continuously at home during storage, is that good for it, or is there a better way?
Thank-you
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0 #13 Dave 2021-03-02 17:36
Mike,

Glad you enjoy the information we provide.

Regarding the low point drain caps: Feel free to install valves if you find them more convenient. Take the caps down to your local home improvement store and they should be able to help you find suitable valves to fit your RV.

Quoting Mike Swanson:
I just "found" and uncapped my low water lines for the first time this year. I recently bought an older trailer 06 Sandpiper25 with two slides. I have seen people installing valves in place of caps. My caps are an older type, and I am not familiar with this type of plumbing supply tubing/fittings. Do you have a recommendation of what would be the best valve to install, or if its worth the hassle of installing some?
Thank-you
Mike
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0 #12 Dave 2021-03-02 17:22
Eric,

Glad you enjoy the articles. Be on the lookout for more do it yourself type articles in the months to come.

Quoting Eric:
Love the articles.
We are not full timers as retirement is still a few years off but we are in to DYI improvements on both our stick and brick and our moterhome. Ideas, process and other's projects on improving "things" on there RV's are of interest.
We are in our 50's, Live and travel the PNW but are looking to expand our area of travel as the years go by.
RV: 2002 Fleetwood Southwind 33'. We tow a Fiat 500. Purchased 3 years ago, parked in in the driveway, gutted the interior and remodeled from the floor up to get rid of the "RV" style and make it an extension of our home. Although we are done with the remodel, we are always looking for and doing one improvement after another so tips, ideas and knowledge in this area, as well as all things RV and travel are why we like reading your articles.
Thanks
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0 #11 Dave 2021-03-02 04:40
Mike,

I agree that cable controlled valves can be a problem. Where you can gain access use WD40 or a similar product to lube the cables and the metal "stem" of the valve. Another old trick is to dump a little vegetable oil into the gray and black tanks to lube the blade of the valve.

Quoting Mike Andler:
Hi Dave. More and more manufacturers are utilizing cables to control dump valves. Valve access can be quite a problem, depending on where the valve is. There are chemicals to help prevent sticking valves and good flushing always helps, but what are some tricks to help prevent sticking valves?
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0 #10 Dave 2021-03-02 04:29
Rick,

Love it! Three generations camping together. Thanks for sharing.

Dave

Quoting Rick Sleister:
Originally we were tenters. About eight years ago we bought a large tent trailer. Sold that after a few years and purchased a 26’ travel trailer which we love. We camp about 10 times a year, anywhere from four days to two weeks each time we camp.
My wife and I are 68 years old. We camp with our adult children and grandchildren (they have their own rigs). The time we spend camping is so precious.
Thanks for asking,
Rick
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0 #9 Dave 2021-03-02 04:23
Pauline,

Watch for an article on batteries and systems hooked to the batteries in future articles.

Quoting PAULINE BRUCE:
Hi, I'm a new RV owner and I'd like to know more about the batteries and systems connected to those batteries in my 2016 RoadTrek M-B Sprinter van.
Thanks for your help.
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+1 #8 Clifford Hackney 2021-03-01 18:49
Dave, I have been RVing since the 70's. First RV was a DIY Ford Econoline van. I am now 79 years old and drive a 27 foot Class A. I would like to see more 20 foot long Class C's for those looking to downsize.

The Class B choices are very expensive and usually do not have a place for the occasional guest to sleep.
Quote
+1 #7 Michele Tonnemaker 2021-03-01 16:46
My husband is a farmer so our primary time to RV is winter. We bought a 32' 5th wheel in 2019 and have added on so it would be more winter friendly. In addition, I have used the RV myself to take my Grandkids on adventures. Last year "2020" we did Yellowstone. This winter my husband and I did Mt Bachelor and Mt Hood. Got quite proficient chaining up truck & 5th wheel. I am working with a Ranch in Eastern, WA that offers riding wine tasting tours. They have offered a group of us to Boondock on the ranch late-August or Early-September. I will be retiring in about 3-4 years and look forward to spending more time traveling in the RV.

Our first trip in the 5th wheel was to follow the Amgen-Tour of California, bicycle race in May of 2019. In and out of Lake Tahoe was an adventure.

Looking for more Ski Resorts that have power hook ups like Mt Bachelor in Oregon and Stevens Ski Resort in Washington. We normally boondock at Hyak Ski Area, Snoqualmie Pass.
Quote

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