Posted by: Mark Polk | 2015

How to Back a Travel Trailer the Easy Way

backing-2A problem I see at campgrounds, and that I get asked about frequently, is how to back a trailer into a campsite. Backing a trailer is perhaps the most nerve-racking part of owning a travel trailer or 5th wheel trailer. For some RV owners just the thought of backing the trailer prevents them from taking trips and enjoying their RV. Based on my observations at campgrounds backing a trailer has probably contributed to more than one failed marriage too.

If you tow a trailer you more-than-likely have heard different versions of the “best” or “easiest” method for backing a trailer, like: 

1) Put your hand at the bottom of the steering wheel and turn the wheel in the direction you want the trailer to go.

2) Use walkie-talkies.

3) Look out the window, over your shoulder, and back-up.

4) Just use your mirrors.

5) Use a spotter at the rear of the trailer and watch their directions in the mirrors.

These backing techniques might work for some people, but the fact of the matter is they don’t work for most.

To be proficient at almost anything, like backing a trailer, requires practice but all the practice in the world won’t help if you don’t have a basic understanding of how it is done in the first place.

I learned to back trailers in the military, but working for an RV dealership is where I became proficient at backing trailers. We rearranged the entire sales lot about twice a month, moving and backing trailer after trailer. Eventually I was put in charge of organizing and setting up numerous RV shows where travel trailers and fifth-wheel trailers had to be backed within inches of walls, obstacles, and other RVs.

To do this successfully, time and again, required a bullet-proof backing technique and a few general guidelines. Let’s start with the basics.

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In today’s age of technology consumers want instant access to the products they purchase. The new RV Education 101 App gives consumers what they want in both Apple and Android operating systems.

Android app on Google Play

RV Education 101, an RV training video and information company, envisioned the future of video content delivery nearly a decade ago, and continued working diligently to perfect it.

Owner Mark Polk said, “In February 2007 we launched our first instant RV video download program, but technology was limited at the time. Tablets and smart phones are forecast to be the majority platform for video by 2016 and we wanted to offer our customers a bulletproof method for instant video content delivery. Our goal was to perfect this technology, for both download and streamed video, so our customers could view the content with or without an internet connection. It took us over eight years of working with downloads to find a solution. Our new RV Education 101 video App perfected the instant video download process.”

The biggest technological feat RV Education 101 faced was developing a system that worked 100% of the time for portable devices using Apple and Android operating systems. Dawn Polk, co-owner explained, “Every time we got our current download process to work on one device a new product came out that it didn’t work on.” That problem was solved when RV Education 101 developed the new video App. Apps are faster, more convenient and provide additional functionality, like the capability to download videos directly to a device for offline viewing. The new App is appropriately titled “RV Education 101” and is available through both Apple and Android App Stores. The IOS App works on iPhone, iPad and iPod touch devices. When you open the App’s main menu it lists all of the full-feature RV training titles currently available, and the consumer has the option to purchase individual chapters, or the entire video. Dawn Polk added, “And because it is an instant download with limited overhead we are able to pass the savings onto the customer.”

To go to the App go here:

RV Education 101 is currently updating more RV training videos to add to the App. RV owners and consumers can select video titles that pertain to their specific type of RV and instantly download the videos to their device. After the download is completed there is no requirement for Internet access to view the videos.

RV Education 101 will continue to offer physical DVD sales via several Internet sites, Amazon and at physical Camping World Super Center Stores. However, Dawn Polk added, “Instant video downloads through the App Stores eliminate waiting for the product to arrive, shipping charges, and are priced lower because there is less overhead.”

RV Education 101 also offers a free monthly RV newsletter at and hundreds of free RV video tips on their

YouTube channel

Posted by: Mark Polk | 2015

RV Consumer e-Magazine September 2015

RV Consumer Magazine September2015coverWelcome to the September issue of RV Consumer Magazine. This month Mark discusses Hitch Receiver Ratings vs.Tow Vehicle Ratings, RV Fall & Winter Safety Awareness, RV Maintenance After the Trip and much more. If you missed our RV Project Video Series earlier this summer check out all the RV DIY videos in this month’s issue. If you have friends and family who enjoy the RV lifestyle tell them to subscribe, and to like us on Facebook. Enjoy this issue of RV Consumer Magazine.

Happy & Safe Camping,

Mark Polk

RV Education 101
RV DIY® Channel
Follow us on FACEBOOK


hitch receiver weight labelThere has always been confusion over hitch receiver ratings as it pertains to tow vehicle ratings. This confusion applies to both motorhomes towing a dinghy and vehicles towing trailers. For example, when I was selling RVs many years ago I had a customer who just bought a brand new truck and came to the dealership to purchase a travel trailer. He and his wife found the perfect trailer on the sales lot and wanted some pricing information. When I researched the truck’s tow capacity I informed them the truck was not rated to tow the weight of the trailer they selected. The customer told me that was impossible because the truck salesperson showed him a label that stated the truck could tow 10,000 pounds. He proceeded to take me out to the truck and pointed at the label on the hitch receiver that read 10,000 pounds. I explained the 10,000 pounds on the label identifies what the hitch receiver is rated at, but the truck itself was only rated to tow 6,000 pounds. It was a very expensive lesson on finding the RV you want to purchase before you purchase the tow vehicle.
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Posted by: Mark Polk | 2015

RV Consumer e-Magazine – August 2015

RV Consumer Magazine Cover August 2015Camping season is in full swing and the heat is on so this month’s issue discusses hot weather preventive maintenance tips, consumable items you should always keep in your RV, and how to stay cool in your RV this summer. Also included are some newly released RV videos, and if you tow a trailer don’t miss reading the trailer towing tips article by Equalizer hitch. Enjoy this issue of RV Consumer e-Magazine.

Happy & Safe Camping,
Mark Polk
RV Education 101
RV DIY® Channel
Follow us on FACEBOOK

There are lots of things to remember when it comes to owning, operating and maintaining your RV and sometimes we learn things the hard way. In an effort to help prevent some of these common and expensive mistakes RVers make from happening to you I want to offer what I consider are the top 5 mistakes RVers make and how you can avoid them.

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When you go camping in your RV there are items that are essential like a drinking water hose and RV sewer hoses, and there are nice to have items like a GPS designed for RVs and a portable BBQ grill. Today I want to talk about consumable items that you should always have on-hand in your RV.

In no particular order here are my top 10 consumable items we keep in the RV.

1) For starters you need holding tank treatments to treat the black water holding tank after you empty it. There are dry and liquid type holding tank treatments available. I suggest products that are biodegradable and environmentally friendly. Camping Tip: After emptying the gray water holding tank you can add some liquid dish soap down all the drains and run the water long enough to get the soap past the P trap and to cover the bottom of the tank. The dish soap and water will help control odors and assist in cleaning the tank.
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In partnership with Keystone RV, RV Education 101 launched a series of RV DIY® project videos to demonstrate some RV how-to projects, RV DIY projects and RV product installations RV owners can do on their RVs.

Click on a title to watch the RV DIY Project Video:

How To Protect your RV Water System

How To Protect your RV Electrical System

Must Have Trailer Towing Accessories

How To Install a Maxx Air RV Roof Vent

Extend-A-Line Campground Clothes Dryer

How To Install an RV Battery Disconnect

How To Level a Travel Trailer

How To Install an Electric Tongue Jack

Click Here to Watch the Entire Playlist

Happy Camping,

Mark Polk

RV Education 101
RV DIY® Channel
Follow us on FACEBOOK

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