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 and enjoyment!

Table of Contents

RV Newbie FAQs

Do I Have to Use RV Toilet Paper?

Last I counted, there were approximately 1,492,709 threads about RV toilet paper.

So here’s the scoop (sorry, poor choice of words).

You don’t have to use RV-specific toilet paper. But try to avoid the soft, cushion-y triple-ply stuff, alright? The thicker the paper, the longer it takes to break down. Plus, the thicker the toilet paper, the more likely you’ll clog up your pipes or cover up your tank sensors.

Can I Plug Regular Household Appliances Into My RV?

Yes, but they’ll only work when you’re plugged into shore power (aka, at a developed campground). Otherwise, you need an inverter.

Is My Truck Big Enough?

Sorry, no easy answer to this question!

If you forced me to answer, I’d say, “No, probably not.”

Most tow vehicles cannot tow anywhere near their stated capacity once cargo and passengers are loaded.

If you’ve never towed before, start here!

How Do I Winterize My RV?

Every RV blogger in the world (except me) has a YouTube video on how to winterize your RV. Here’s a good one. Or this one. Or this one.

How Do I Get Internet on the Road?

Asked and answered at Changing Gears.

Another great resource is the Mobile Internet Resource Center.

Why Does My Mattress Suck?

Sorry about your RV mattress. Manufacturers don’t want to spend the extra $100 – $200 on a decent mattress, so you get the cheap stuff.

Plan on either adding a mattress topper or replacing the mattress entirely. Or keep it, if you enjoy the ascetic monk lifestyle.

What Are the Best RV Manufacturers?

Decide for yourself! Here’s my guide to judging RV quality with nothing more than a walk through.

But How Do You Shower?

With soap, water and a loofa. Next!

What Kind of Gas Mileage Will I Get?

The bigger (aka more horsepower) your tow vehicle, the less effect an RV will have on fuel efficiency.

Also, the size (height, width and length) of an RV has more effect on fuel efficiency than the weight.

Figure 8-15 mpg for most motorhomes or tow vehicle-trailer combinations. If you’re seeing more than 15 mpg, you’re either towing with a heavy-duty truck, or you’re driving a Class B van!

How Do I Receive and Send Mail?

Asked and answered at Changing Gears.

Who Is The Best RV Manufacturer?

Yeah, no such thing.

I wouldn’t buy a molded fiberglass travel trailer from the same company I bought a full-time luxury 5th wheel from.

Should I Buy an RV or a Tiny Home?

Are you comfortable living on the fringe of legality in a home that cannot be easily sold to the mass market? Or do you want to be a mobile adventurer? Then an RV it is!

How Do I Keep Everything From Falling Over?

  • Velcro
  • COMMAND hooks
  • Sticky putty

Um … How Exactly Does an RV Toilet Work?

Read my guide here.

Can I Run My Air Conditioner/Microwave/Fridge Off Battery?

Unless you’ve invested a few grand in upgraded deep-cycle batteries + inverter, no, you can’t.

I got a lot of content on this type of question. Here’s my answer to the air conditioner question.

Can I RV With Pets?

Yup. Lots of people do. Be prepared to de-hair every day! (A lint roller is a life-saver). 

Do I Really Need a Surge Protector?

Yes, you do. Here’s why.

Do I Really Need a Weight Distribution Hitch?

Yes, you do. Here’s why.

What Appliances Run on Propane?

In most RVs:

  • Stove
  • Refrigerator
  • Furnace
  • Water heater

All run on propane. The furnace, water heater and refrigerator can also usually run on 120V shore power.

Is My RV 30A or 50A?

Easy test: Look at the power inlet. See three prong holes? It’s a 30A. See four prong holes? It’s a 50A.

Don't See Your Question Here?

Gear I Think You'll Love!

This is not just any list of parts and accessories, oh no! I’ve hand-curated this list because these products work. I have a Champion generator sitting in my garage and a roll of EternaBond in the cabinet above. (Just be warned: Buying RV accessories can become an addiction!)


Meet the Author!

RV technician & design engineer by day, intrepid blogger by night (and sometimes weekends). My website is about how RVs work, and sometimes why they don't.

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