Posted by: Mark Polk | 2016

RV Tire Quick Tip

air compressor picToday I want to talk briefly about RV tires. I cannot tell you how many times I hear tires get blamed for a tire blow-out. The truth is if you dig a little deeper the tire itself is usually not the cause for a blow-out.
The load a tire can safely carry is based on several factors like the tire’s size, the load rating, and the inflation pressure. If you overload a tire, or don’t inflate it properly for the load it can result in tire failure. Understanding RV tires can be confusing. To help simplify it just remember it is the air pressure in the tire that supports the load placed on the tire. 
weight scalesAs an RV owner it is your job to make sure the tires are properly inflated for the load. The first step is to determine the actual load that is on the tires. The only way to do that is to have the fully loaded RV weighed, preferably by individual wheel position. If you discover a tire is overloaded you need to lighten or redistribute the load. After you know the actual loads you can go to the tire manufacturer’s load and inflation tables to see what the correct inflation pressure for the load is. This inflation pressure might be different from the information on the certification label and that is okay, but keep in mind you should never exceed the maximum inflation pressure that is on the tires sidewall.

 

Happy Camping

Mark J. Polk

RV Education 101 http://rveducation101.com/
RV DIY® Channel http://rvdiychannel.com/
Follow us on FACEBOOK http://www.facebook.com/pages/RV-Education-101/77344605305

Posted by: Mark Polk | 2016

My First Truck Camper

military van resizedI have owned and camped in nearly every type of RV there is. When asked my favorite type RV my response is a motorhome, based on convenience, but a truck camper is my favorite for camping in general. I relate my passion for truck campers back to my days in the military. In 1984, as a young Maintenance Warrant Officer, I was stationed with the 3/36th Mechanized Infantry Battalion, 3rd Armored Division in West Germany.  This assignment would turn out to be one of the most challenging during my military career. The Cold War was still going strong, and we spent months out of the year deployed on field training exercises. My primary job was to keep all our assigned wheeled and tracked vehicles operational during this rigorous training schedule, and to oversee vehicle recovery operations.

To help make our maintenance operations more efficient when deployed I took an old M35A2 6X6 deuce-and-a-half truck and a run-down shop van and turned them into my maintenance operations center. This was my first truck camper.

We did not use tents because a mechanized infantry battalion was always on the move and the maintenance operation had to be mobile. On one side of the shop van we built shelving and small compartments to house hard to find parts. These parts could be used for barter, and to help keep our fleet of vehicles operational during field training exercises. On the opposite side of the van we built a counter top for our radio and communications equipment, and displayed maps on the wall above it to plot and track vehicle recovery missions. In the front section of the shop van we built some crude bunk beds for me and the Battalion Maintenance Supervisor.  The shop van was very sparse in amenities, but it had heat, lights and an inverter to operate the essentials like a coffee pot.

Over the course of the next three years I would spent countless days and nights running the battalion maintenance operations from that old shop van mounted on a 2 ½ ton truck. Those field training exercises were hard times, and you would get very little sleep, but the memories of that military truck and shop van would evolve into the passion I have for truck campers today.

Truck campers are equipped with all the amenities you could want but somehow, at least for me, bring back the basics of camping.  When we travel in our motorhome it is similar to being at home, but in a truck camper it seems more utilitarian. It is smaller and more compact, but fully functional. And as opposed to having everything packed that you could possibly need or want on a camping trip you only have room for the essentials. To me this is what makes camping fun.

We had a nice used Lance truck camper, but sold it and now I regret it. One of the most enjoyable RV trips in recent memory was a cross-country trip Dawn and I took in the truck camper. Two adults and three dogs were challenging at times, but fun and memorable. Like towable trailers it is important you have a truck that can handle the weight of a truck camper. We just purchased a new Ram 2500 with a 6.7L Cummins turbo-diesel and still need to be cautious of weights, especially with truck campers. This year we are planning a trip from North Carolina to Las Vegas to attend the SEMA and RVDA shows and from there to Louisville, Kentucky for the National RV Trade Show and then back home. If I have my way it will be in another truck camper on the back of the Ram pick-up!

Happy Camping

Mark J. Polk

RV Education 101 http://rveducation101.com/
RV DIY® Channel http://rvdiychannel.com/
Follow us on FACEBOOK http://www.facebook.com/pages/RV-Education-101/77344605305

 

Posted by: Mark Polk | 2016

RV Consumer Magazine January 2016

RV Consumer Magazine Jan 2016coverWelcome back to another edition of RV Consumer Magazine

In this issue:

  • Explore what’s new in the world of RVs for 2016, and get Mark’s outlook on some trends helping to shape the future of the RVs.

To read flipbook version, click here.

To read PDF version, click here.

If you have friends and family who enjoy the RV lifestyle tell them to subscribe, and to like us on Facebook.

Happy & Safe Camping,

 

Posted by: Mark Polk | 2016

Cold Weather RVing Tips & Tricks

snow driving RVIf you’re like me you enjoy using your RV as much as possible throughout the year. This includes taking RV trips during the colder winter months so you can enjoy the beautiful winter scenery and activities like, snow-skiing, ice-fishing and snowmobiling. Winter RV trips are lots of fun, especially when you and the RV are prepared for the cold weather.

When winter approaches each year I get asked lots of questions about using RVs in cold temperatures. To answer some of these questions would require more than just a short article, and there are no guarantees that your RV can or will be completely protected from the harsh winter elements. With that said I can offer some cold weather RVing tips and tricks that would be helpful if you plan to use your RV during the cold winter months.

Note: These tips and suggestions are for short-term winter camping in your RV. If you plan to take extended RV trips in cold weather there are many other precautions and measures that need to be considered, like using insulated skirting around the bottom of the RV to help protect items from freezing. This article is intended to offer tips on how to protect your RV during cold-weather camping, but it is extremely important that you also understand how to protect yourself and other campers with you from extreme cold temperatures.

One of the first considerations is if you will be traveling in temperatures below freezing. If this is the case, and there is water in the RV water system, your plumbing lines or water heater tank could freeze, resulting in costly repair bills and ruining your winter wonderland RV trip. To help avoid this we travel with the RV water system winterized. It is much easier to winterize an RV than most folks think, and it’s not that expensive. I have winterized and de-winterized our RV three or more times in one winter.

Read More…

Posted by: Mark Polk | 2015

RV Consumer Magazine December 2015

RV Consumer Magazine Cover December 2015Welcome back to another edition of RV Consumer Magazine.

In this issue:

  • Discover 7 preventive maintenance checks to help prepare your RV for cold weather camping
  • Extended Service Plans – Do you need one?
  • Why should you change automotive antifreeze?
  • Emergency items- find out what is on Mark’s top 5 list.
  • RV storage quick tips concerning the RV roof, tires and batteries

Get the digital Flipbook version here

Get the PDF version here

If you have friends and family who enjoy the RV lifestyle tell them to subscribe, and to like us on Facebook.
Happy & Safe Camping,

 

 

Posted by: Mark Polk | 2015

RV Consumer Magazine November 2015

RV Consumer Magazine November 2015 RevisedWelcome to the November issue of RV Consumer Magazine. With colder weather on its way this issue concentrates on winterizing the RV plumbing system and preparing your RV for cold weather storage. This is also a good time to inspect, clean, and reseal your RV roof, so we included some helpful tips and videos on RV roof preventive maintenance. If you have friends and family who enjoy the RV lifestyle tell them to subscribe, and to like us on Facebook.

Happy & Safe Camping,

Mark Polk

RV Education 101 http://rveducation101.com/
RV DIY® Channel http://rvdiychannel.com/
Follow us on FACEBOOK http://www.facebook.com/pages/RV-Education-101/77344605305

 

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.

Read More…

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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: http://shop.rveducation101.com/apps-for-devices-c41.php

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 www.rveducation101.com and hundreds of free RV video tips on their

YouTube channel

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