Welcome to the full blog article index at Ask The RV Engineer!

  • You can either scroll down to view blog posts by category.
  • Or you can jump to a full index organized by published date.

I recommend checking out at least one Cornerstone piece.

Enjoy the read! Thanks for coming by.

To learn more AskTheRVEngineer, read my story here.

Tech Guides

Our bread n’ butter, these Guides help you understand the technical innards of your RV or camper!


Nothing to see here yet! We’re too busy writing 😉

Article Index

Just want the facts? Here’s a full article index, organized by date.

Troubleshooting 11+ RV Smells (and How to Fix Them!)

I am blessed/cursed with an awful sense of smell. Cleaning up cat vomit? It’s a blessing. Grandma brings the pumpkin pie out of the oven? It’s a curse. A sharp sense of smell is your first defense when diagnosing severe

How to Fix a Rusted RV Travel Trailer Frame

I may sound like a broken record, but I’ll say it again: Don’t treat your RV like you treat your car. You can drive a Honda CRV for 16 years and 260,000 miles, never paint the underbody, endure harsh northeastern

Can I Soundproof and Insulate My RV?

Sometimes, living in an RV can feel like living in a glass house. I mean … you can hear everything. If the camper’s a-rockin’ … Then soundproof your RV! This article is NOT an in-depth instructable how to soundproof your

Ross Recommends – Clubs and Memberships

This blog tends to lean toward the technical, how-to, DIY side of the RV world. But there’s a whole other hemisphere of RVing: Insurance and financing, buying and selling, Wifi service and pet traveling tips … the list just goes

RV Solar Is Way, Way Easier Than You Think!

The solar industry is dominated by geeks (and I use that term with respect) who love to discuss the ins and outs of monocrystalline panel efficiency, maximum power point tracking, and other technobabble. If you’re not a member of the

Nagging Effects of High Altitude on RV Operation

North America is blessed with some of the most stunning scenery on the planet, from the glaciated Cascades to the snow-capped Rockies to the granite Sierras. Unfortunately, the RV industry is based in Elkhart, Indiana. Elevation above sea level: 748

Common Insidious Causes of RV Roof Leaks

A roof leak is every RV owner’s worst nightmare. It’s scary clowns, black holes, teeth falling out, and going to work naked all rolled into one. If you’re buying or inspecting your RV, a roof leak needs to be the

Pros and Cons of RV Tankless Water Heaters

The typical American shower guzzles about 18 gallons of water at a rate of 2.1 gpm (gallons per minute). It’s warm, steamy, refreshing, exfoliating. If you replicated that same shower in the typical RV, you’d run out of water in

Here’s A Surprising Difference Between 30A and 50A RV Power!

Electricity magically transforms your RV from a hardshell tent into a luxurious living space. It’s organized lightning, blue smoke, 21st-century cocaine. When you plug your RV into a power supply, flowing electricity allows you to flick on your lights, pump

Let’s Talk Tongue Weight: What Keeps You Up at Night?

You can’t tow safely unless you know the tongue weight of your RV. Too little tongue weight can cause uncontrollable trailer sway. Too much tongue weight can overload your tow vehicle hitch and rear axle. As a rule: 10-15 percent

RV Newbie Questions That Everyone Asks

Welcome to the No-Judgement Zone. If you’re an RV Newbie, you’re probably bursting with questions! I get a lot of questions over … and over … and over again. So here they are, all in a row, for your convenience

The Big 7 Misconceptions About Weight Distribution Hitches

If you’ve read my article on the hidden danger of a weight-distribution hitch, you might be wondering what else you thought you knew that isn’t true! I’m a big fan of weight-distribution hitches. If you’re towing with a half-ton truck,

The Hidden Danger of a Weight Distribution Hitch

I have some bad news for you. I know that’s a rotten way to begin an article, but honesty before civility. Almost all RVs should use a weight-distribution hitch. (That’s not the bad news). But … using a weight-distribution hitch

Ross Recommends – Must-Have Gear List for the RVer

Dear Reader, From time to time, I may recommend certain products on this blog. These are typically products I’ve used and loved, or products I’ve heavily researched and believe in. Many times, I’ve spoken directly with representatives of the company.

When Towing, the Weakest Link Breaks the Chain

I contend that towing an RV has ruined more relationships than Tinder. RV weight ratings are cryptic, overlapping, muddled, and nuanced. What’s the difference between curb weight, factory weight, dry weight and unloaded vehicle weight? For some vehicles, all four

Hey, Your RV Is (Likely) Overweight and Overloaded!

Want to hear a dirty secret? RVs are often built with insufficient payload capacity. If I had to bet money, I’d wager most RVs traveling down the road would tip the scales in excess of their GVWR. In fact, I’ve

How Long Will My RV Propane Tanks Last?

“How long will my propane tanks last?” I have the answer. 3 days, 2 hours and 42 minutes. Don’t trust me? Good. Because there is no one-size-fits-all answer to your question. Thankfully, you can easily answer this question for yourself.

Never Towed an RV Before? (Scared?) – Start Here!

It’s your first time. You can feel your heart thudding against your chest. You look around, double-checking everything has been set up correctly. You’ve never done this before. You’ve never connected like this. After this weekend, will life ever be

101 Intro to Your RV Propane System (No Judgment Zone)

Propane is the lifeblood of many RVers. As coursing blood in the body heals and energizes, so does propane carry warmth, enable refrigeration, and help you cook. It’s cheap and abundant – but also easily abused or mishandled. Treat it

RV Insulation R-Values – a Dirty Little Secret

Confession: I kinda have a thing for insulation. R-values excite me. It comes with the brain type, I suppose. I’m an RV engineer by day, intrepid blogger by night. And I DESPISE – that’s all caps – many of the

4 Best High-Efficiency RV Air Conditioners for Boondocking

Old South residents have a saying: “The weather is close today.” According to a New Orleans friend of mine, that means the temperature and humidity are jus’ ‘bout th’ same. Example: 92 degrees Fahrenheit, 91% humidity. If the mention of

5 Reasons Why Your RV Doesn’t Need Solar Power

I admit it. The title of this article is clickbait-ish. Because there are actually dozens of reasons why you would want solar power! But as you’ll see in a few paragraphs, I’m also going to give you five reasons why

RV Solar Newbie? Questions You’re Too Afraid to Ask!

Right now, solar power is basking in the limelight. “It’ll charge your batteries for free,” says the salesman, “and allow you to boondock anywhere you want!” The highlights are legion: Solar power is green. It’s available anywhere. Many RVs come

The Textbook Treatment – RV Subfloors and Leaks

This article is not an instructable on how to replace your RV floor. That’s because there are a hundred of those instructables online and in popular forums like FiberglassRV.com and iRV2.com. Also on YouTube. May I recommend this one from

A Deep Dive into RV Inverters (and Sorcery)

Let’s talk sorcery. Mickey Mouse Apprentice GIFfrom Mickey Mouse GIFs Er, electricity. (Sorry, lots of people get the two mixed up). Actually, let’s talk about one specific electrical component: the inverter. You may or may not have one in your

Every Hack to Get Internet and WiFi While RVing

If you spend any significant amount of time in an RV, you may be wondering, “Can you have internet in an RV?” The simple answer is yes, you can have RV WiFi internet on the go! While your solution will

11 Ways to Stop Thieves from Stealing Your Camper

“Hey! Someone just stole my house!” Not a likely complaint for “normal” families, but for our family of 6 who live in our RV full-time, this is a real risk. Bad news: Surging demand for RVs coupled with low dealer

The Ultimate Techie FAQ Guide to RV Lead-Acid Batteries

Welcome to your complete FAQ guide to RV and camper lead-acid batteries. Not to brag, but this is the BEST online resource yer gonna find about RV lead-acid batteries. This free Ebook contains the answers to many (hopefully all!) common

How to Find and Get Rid of RV Odors (with Examples)

“Ewww ewww that smell? Can’t ya smell that smell?” Let’s hope not. I’m no stranger to odors. I live full-time in my travel trailer with my wife, four rambunctious children, and our boxer Petty (named after Tom Petty, of course).

How Much Do Campers (Actually) Weigh? (2021 With Examples)

The average camper trailer weighs around 5,900 pounds and is about 26 feet long. This includes the weight of the travel trailer without any gear or filled tanks. Expect to add about 200 pounds of cargo per person and 300 pounds of fresh water.

Walkie Talkies: RV Travel Tip

The Colorado Great Sand Dunes, the Louisiana Bayou, eastern Montana Big Sky Country, Oregon’s Hells Canyon, the Pennsylvania Wilds – I’ve been to all of them. And guess what? None of them had any cell phone service. I was traveling

8 RV Newbie FAQs Answered (by Industry Insider)

Hello RV newbie! So you got bit by the travel bug, huh? And now it itches. You’re even hallucinating, now. You see turquoise glacier-fed lakes, amber flames licking against the Milky Way, burnt red arches silhouetted against foreboding canyon backdrops.

Part 2: What Are My RV Battery Life Power Needs?

So, Reader, you’ve heard the evidence from Part 1: What Are My RV Power Needs? And the verdict is clear: You need more power! You need more RV battery life! But how? … You can A) generate more power or

RV Glossary – Terms and Definitions

Have you wondered, “What exactly is a honey wagon? What is a TT? What’s the meaning of life and is there alien life in the universe?” You’re on your own with that last one. But we can help with the

Part 3: The Ultimate FAQ Guide to RV Tires

Affiliate Disclaimer: Some of the product links are on this page are affiliate links. If you click through and purchase, I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thanks! Welcome to Part 3: The Ultimate FAQ

Part 1: What Are My RV Battery Power Needs?

It’s like the 1988 Cinderella rock band hair balad: “You don’t know what you got till it’s goooooone!” Amps are like that. You don’t appreciate them until your battery’s fresh out and you’re buried under three blankets and yesterday’s jeans,

Part 2: The Ultimate FAQ Guide to RV Tires

Affiliate Disclaimer: Some of the product links are on this page are affiliate links. If you click through and purchase, I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thanks! Pssst … Missed Part 1 of the

Part 1: The Ultimate FAQ Guide to RV Tires

Affiliate Disclaimer: Some of the product links are on this page are affiliate links. If you click through and purchase, I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thanks! Whether they undergird a large fifth-wheel or

8 Things NOT to Pack for Your RV Road Trip

“The mountains are calling, and I must go. Oh, but I need to grab my pillow first!” – John Muir, with apologies The weekend beckons. You’re packing the RV on Thursday evening, preparing for an early Friday start. What should

Can My Vehicle Tow My RV? (No, It Probably Can’t)

It all sounded so simple at the dealership. “You drive an F-150, huh? That won’t be a problem. It can tow about 10,000 lbs, right?” says Rick the RV salesman. He grins and slaps the electric tongue jack of a

RV Solar-Prep Package: What’s In a Name?

RV salespeople luuuuuuv solar-ready or solar-prep packages. They’re easy talking points – and oh look, it comes with a sticker! Pretty . . . Unfortunately, they may not mean much else. What Is Included in a Solar-Prep Package? A full