Posted by: Mark Polk | 2014

Top 5 RV Cold Weather Maintenance Tips

I would like to offer some simple preventive maintenance procedures you can follow to not only help prepare your RV for cold temperatures, but to also help prevent untimely breakdowns as a result of the colder weather.

Here are my top 5 RV Cold Weather Maintenance Tips
adding air to RV tires1) RV Tire Tips: During the warmer months of the year I constantly remind folks not to check tire pressure when the tires are hot, meaning after the RV was driven more than one mile. Hot weather and hot tire temperatures cause tire inflation to increase. But something seldom discussed is what happens to your tire pressure when the mercury plummets? The answer is, when it’s cold outside the air pressure in your tires drops 1 to 2 pounds for every 10 degree drop in temperature. This means if you have not checked the tire pressure in your RV tires since that trip you took last August your tire pressure could be dangerously underinflated when you head out for the holidays. The best advice I can offer is to get in a habit of checking and adjusting tire pressure monthly, so it is correct regardless of the temperature. This applies to your automobiles as well.

automotive antifreeze 2) Automotive Antifreeze Tips: When you talk about RVs and antifreeze most folks think about the RV antifreeze used to protect the RV water system from freezing. We will talk about that type of antifreeze in a minute but first I want to talk about the automotive antifreeze used in the RV or tow vehicle engine coolant system. Glycol antifreeze does several things to help protect your engine:

a. When it’s cold out it helps lower the freezing point of water.
b. The corrosion inhibitors that are added to the antifreeze help prevent scale and rust build-up in the cooling system.
c. It provides protection against boiling during the hot summer months.
d. It helps keep the engine operating at its most efficient temperature regardless of operating conditions and outside temperatures.
Just like engine oil the antifreeze in your RV or tow vehicle automotive cooling system needs to be replaced at regular intervals. If you have not had this service performed in the last few years check your vehicle owner’s manual for the recommended intervals and schedule an appointment to have it done.

Read More…

Posted by: Mark Polk | 2014

RV Consumer Magazine November 2014

RV Consumer Magazine Cover November 2014

Welcome to another edition of RV Consumer Magazine. In this issue:

  • Get some tips on how to make your fall and winter camping trips more enjoyable and stress-free
  • Discover how and why the axle ratio in your tow vehicle affects fuel economy and towing
  • Read about Mark’s progress on a tow vehicle restoration project for the 67 Yellowstone travel trailer
  • Get another great recipe from The Cooking Ladies
  • Find out what you can do to help protect your RV water system at the campground

Read all of this and more in the November issue of RV Consumer Magazine

Happy RV Learning,

Mark Polk

 

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Posted by: Mark Polk | 2014

RV Consumer Magazine October 2014

RV Consumer Magazine Oct 2014Welcome back to another edition of RV Consumer Magazine, your premier provider for RV education and information.
  • Mark walks you through America’s Largest RV Show in Hershey Pennsylvania to look at what’s new for 2015
  • For the RV do-it-yourselfer learn how to tune-up your water heater and keep it top operating properly
  • Get some trailer towing tips that are good to know
  • And discover another great camping recipe from our friends, The Cooking Ladies.

Read RV Consumer Magazine Archives

 

Happy RV Learning,

Mark Polk

RV training DVDs and products available at: RV Education 101®

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Posted by: Mark Polk | 2014

RV Consumer Magazine September 2014

 RV Consumer Magazine September 2014
Hi and welcome back to another edition of RV Consumer Magazine.
Our RV DIY Channel launch was successful last month thanks to all our readers. In this issue of RV Consumer magazine discover how to squeeze in a quick last minute summer camping trip, take a look inside Brazil’s RV industry and what it takes to have an RV built, discover how easy it is t o do some preventive maintenance on your RV water pump and get a great sweet onion casserole recipe from the Cooking Ladies.
Stay tuned for next month’s magazine when we concentrate on prepping our RVs for fall camping season.
Subscribe now so you don’t miss any issues

 

Mark Polk

www.rveducation101.com

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Posted by: Mark Polk | 2014

RV Consumer Magazine August 2014

RV Consumer Magazine August 2014 Hi and welcome back to another edition of RV Consumer Magazine.

In this issue we are excited to officially launch our new RV DIY Channel site. After a new RV owner learns the basics (RV Education 101) they want more advanced information about their RV. That’s where our new RV DIY channel comes in. You might say we are advancing from RV 101 level training to RV 201 level training with this new site. To help launch the new RV Do-It-Yourself channel we are including lots of videos and articles I recently posted at the site.

Take a look around the new site and for all the DIYers out there get started on some fun RV projects and upgrades on your RV now. Enjoy this month’s issue of RV Consumer Magazine.

Mark Polk

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Posted by: Mark Polk | 2014

RVs and Bad Weather don’t Mix

RVs with Storm Approaching

A storm while RVing at the Outer Banks, NC

We just returned from an RV trip to the North Carolina Outer Banks.  One afternoon our campground neighbor asked if we heard about the campground in Virginia where 2 campers were killed and 36 were injured from a tornado that went through the campground.

You can read more and watch a video about the tradgedy here.

It wasn’t long after speaking to our neighbor that a storm rolled into the area where we were camping. We have weather alerts on our phone and we have a weather radio so we had some warning of the approaching storm (pictured).

Read More…

Posted by: Mark Polk | 2014

RV Consumer Magazine July 2014

RV Consumer Magazine July 2014

It’s hot outside and in this issue of RV Consumer Magazine find out what you can do to beat the summer heat in your RV. Don’t forget to check out Part 2 of Mark’s Trailer Sway article and  get a great recipe from the Cooking Ladies. All of this and more in this issue of RV Consumer Magazine.

The big news this month is we are preparing to launch a brand new site called the RV DIY Channel. You might say we are advancing from RV 101 level training to RV 201 level training. Especially for those RV do-it-yourselfers out there. My plan is to offer informative RV DIY articles, RV DIY videos, RV DIY projects and to offer information on what I consider to be the keystone of a good maintenance program, Preventive Maintenance (PM).

Have a great 4th of July

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Happy Learning,
Mark Polk

RV at the Campground

A big part of the camping experience is the campground experience. Here are some tips and tricks to help make your next campground stay as pleasant and carefree as possible.

  • If you know where you’ll be staying make campground reservations at your favorite KOA campground in advance, particularly during prime travel season. With a reservation there will always be a site waiting for you when you arrive.
  • Plan to stop traveling while there is still plenty of daylight so you can get set-up, get settled in, and enjoy some of the amenities the campground has to offer.
  • When you arrive at the campground, ask to see the site before you accept it. Ask if there are any pull-thru sites available. If you are not proficient at backing this can ease the stress of having to back your unit into the campsite.
  • Make sure the electrical source is compatible with your RV’s electrical system.
  • Make sure the site will accommodate the length of your RV and vehicle.
  • If it’s hot outside request a site that is in the shade, if possible. This will help the refrigerator and AC work more efficiently.
  • Check the site for any overhead obstacles that might interfere with the campground set-up, and when you position the unit on the site make sure there is enough clearance for slide-outs and the patio awning.
  • Level the RV and chock the wheels before disconnecting from the tow vehicle (for towable RVs.)
  • Test the polarity and voltage prior to plugging the RV into any electrical source. After you test the electrical source turn the breaker off, plug the RV in and turn the breaker back on.
  • Campground voltage can fluctuate depending on the demand. You should use a quality surge protector to protect your RV’s electrical equipment and appliances in the event AC voltage drops below 105-volts or goes above 130-volts.
  • Keep a variety of electrical adapters on hand in case you need them. You should also have an extension cord that is compatible with the electrical system on your RV.  The gauges of wire used in standard household type extension cords are not suitable for RV hook-ups.
  • Use a water pressure regulator at the campground to prevent possible damage to your plumbing system from high water pressure. Always connect the pressure regulator at the water source, then connect the drinking hose to it.
  • Use a white drinking safe hose to connect from the water source to the RV. It’s a good idea to have a 4-foot, 10-foot and 25-foot hose on hand so you can always reach the campground water hook-up. Take a green or black garden hose for all other uses, like flushing holding tanks or cleaning the RV.
  • You should always filter the water going into the RV with a high quality filtration system. The 4-foot or 10-foot drinking hose can be used to go from a water filter to the city water connector on the RV.
  • It’s a good idea to have a 10-foot and 20-foot sewer hose available so you can always reach the campground sewer connection. Spend a little extra and get heavy-duty sewer hoses. Keep an assortment of sewer hose adapters and connectors on hand.
  • If you’re going to be leaving the campground for more than few minutes it’s a good idea to turn the water supply off until you return. Better safe than sorry.
  • Always stow the awning when you’re not going to be at the campsite, and leave it in the stowed position at night.
  • Lock your RV and secure valuables when you are not physically at the campsite.
  • Keep a spare set of keys for the RV and other vehicles.
  • Practice good campground etiquette and leave the campsite in the same condition you found it, or better.
  • If you travel with pets, respect other campers as it pertains to your pets. Always use a leash, control any barking and always clean up after your pets.

Hopefully these campground tips will help make all of your campground experiences good memories, rather than memories you would like to forget. For checklists like this and many more check out my Checklists for RVers E-book

Be safe & have a great time camping!

Mark Polk

www.rveducation101.com

www.rvconsumer.com

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