Welcome to full time RV living! We are new to the RV lifestyle, but we are learning and would love to share with you a few of the RV newbie tips that we have picked up in our first few weeks of RV camping with full hookups. There have been a few challenges and obstacles to overcome as we get settled in, but we are getting there!
Are you considering full time RV living? If so, we hope that by sharing our experiences your transition will go just a little smoother. So let’s jump in!
In this video, we are working on cracking homegrown walnuts from Tania’s cousin’s ‘nut farm’ as we talk through some of our RV newbie lessons learned and how we have addressed some of the challenges.
Overview of Our RV Newbie Tips
We talk about issues such as…
- Dealing with RV condensation
- Propane vs space heater for heating an RV during a mild winter
- How to deal with your RV’s black water
- How to unclog an RV toilet system
- How to keep your RV water supply from freezing
- Working out the kinks of RV living
Note: We are including links for the items we have found work for us to help solve our RV issues. In most cases, these are affiliate links which don’t cost anything for you to use. If you use the links we may get a few pennies. Thanks for the support in keeping the adventure (and blog) going!
Dealing with RV Condensation
We are still working out how best to deal with condensation in our RV windows. We would love to simply drive south to a warmer climate! But for now, we are dealing with this by cracking the windows a sliver during the day as much as possible. We also occasionally wipe down the interior windows with an absorbent cloth that we hang to dry between uses. It also helps to be sure to turn on your vent fans whenever you cook or shower to exhaust as much of the steam as possible. Lastly, use lids when cooking, especially when boiling water or cooking anything that produces lots of steam.
The space between sleeping areas and exterior walls can also be a trouble spot. We address those spots with a rolled up towel between the mattress and the wall which we change out weekly and that seems to work well.
We have not yet invested in a dehumidifier but we might end up doing so if we can find one that would work in our limited space. Any suggestions?
Heating the RV
We have mostly been using a standing ceramic space heater. We occasionally will turn on the RV’s propane heat but this will drain the propane tanks really fast. Considering that we are on full hookups and electric is included for no additional cost, we find that relying on the electric space heater is most cost effective for us at this time. Here is a link to the Lasko Ceramic Tower Space Heater (751320) that we bought years ago for supplemental heat in the cold areas of our house. We are now using it in the RV. I like that it doesn’t take up much space and it oscillates.
Managing the RV Blackwater Tank
I’m going to keep this section short… let us know if you have any questions. ?
The trick with the RV blackwater is that even when on full hookups you should close the valve that drains the tank into the septic hookup, wait for the tank to fill somewhat, and then empty it all at once. If you don’t do this, there simply isn’t enough water running through the system to flush toilet paper and ‘such’ and you will end up with a clog. Nobody wants that!
The way we do it is we keep both the gray water and the black water valves closed most of the time which allows the tanks to fill. Then when it is time to empty the tanks, we open the black water valve and let the tank empty, then open the gray water valve and let that empty behind. This way the gray water rinses your septic line after the black water goes through.
If You Get a Clog in Your RV Toilet
For starters, don’t bother with a plunger. We found the only thing that works for a toilet paper clog on an RV toilet is a drain auger. You don’t need a long one, twelve feet should be plenty. We now keep the one we bought on hand and just store it where we store the septic drain hose when it is not in use.
Ok… moving on.
How to Keep Your RV Water Line from Freezing
We have had a very mild fall/winter here in the PNW. So far, we’ve only had two nights that dropped to around 28F degrees. This is not cold enough to freeze the lines inside the RV, but it was enough to freeze our supply line, even with the water running on a trickle. We bought a heated RV drinking water supply line to address this issue. According to the park ranger, we don’t need to worry about the state park’s frost free water supply freezing, so this should be enough for us in the mild PNW winters. We will let you know if we learn otherwise. For now, the heated water line is our strategy.
Working out the Kinks of RV Life
Just go for it!
Something tells me that being a bit of a ‘handyman / handywoman’ is a necessity in RV life. When you come up against a problem, just do a little research, troubleshoot your issues, and get them solved.
You can do this!
READ MORE: The early days… A PNW Camper Christmas
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