Posted by: Mark Polk | 2015

Tow Vehicle Rating Facts & Myths

truck & 5th wheelIt’s no secret that for years truck manufacturers have competed for truck sales by boasting to have the “best in class” tow ratings. I have always taken issue with this because the consumer is the loser in the end. Vehicles go through rigorous testing to determine tow ratings, but the problem is there was never a standard manufacturers had to meet or measure the vehicle against to determine a vehicle’s tow rating. Unfortunately this results in biased outcomes.

Let’s start with some background information

My journey into questioning tow vehicle ratings officially began in 2007 after I watched a television commercial advertising a new Ford F-150 with a fully-boxed frame could safely tow an 11,000 pound trailer. That television commercial culminated in my Let’s Talk Half-Ton Trucks article.

A couple years later I wrote a follow-up article after reading a full-size pickup comparison test conducted by Edmunds in 2009. Of the competitors involved in the comparison Ford had the lowest horsepower and torque ratings, but claimed to have the highest tow rating. In the comparison test Ford came in last place, towing a 6,500 pound trailer with a truck supposedly rated to tow 11,200 pounds! I would hate to see what would happen if you added another 4,700 pounds to the trailer’s weight to get to Ford’s advertised 11,200 pound tow rating. This resulted in my second article on the topic, 2010 Update, Let’s Talk ½ Ton Trucks

Now it might sound or seem as though I am picking on Ford, but they brought this on by the claims they made and advertised to the public. In 2012 a Ford truck owner wrote asking for help in determining what his actual tow rating was. He was confused because what he was told the tow rating was, and what was advertised in Ford’s towing guide were two different things.  After some research I discovered there were two different published tow ratings for the truck in question.  That lead to my Caution-Why Truck Tow Ratings don’t add up article.

During my time spent researching and writing these articles I did get a glimpse of promising light at the end of the tunnel. In 2010 I read information about a new towing standard called SAE J2807. This standard would be developed and used to determine trailer weight ratings for all tow vehicles. I don’t always agree with mandated standards, government or otherwise, but this is one standard I am in favor of. The way it developed, very briefly, was several domestic and foreign truck manufacturers worked with the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) to establish standardized testing across the board for tow vehicle ratings. The standard was written, revised, agreed on and established with an implementation date of 2013. This gave all of the manufacturers sufficient time to prepare for and implement the new standard. I applauded these manufacturers for voluntarily reaching this milestone, and anxiously awaited 2013 when the new towing standard would be implemented.

Unfortunately 2013 came and went, and one-by-one (with the exception of Toyota) truck manufacturers opted out of complying with the towing standard they all agreed to implement and use three years prior. That led to my SAE J2807 Truck Towing Standard article.

Read More…

Another fun-filled RV camping season will be upon us. There is nothing quite like loading the RV and hitting the open road to discover the next great RV adventure that awaits you. Each year when the peak travel season arrives we like to remind RV owners and travelers to take a minute and refresh their memory on all the safety stuff concerning RVs and RV travel.

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Posted by: Mark Polk | 2014

RV Consumer Magazine December 2014

RV Consumer Magazine December 2014

RV Consumer Magazine December 2014

In this issue of RV Consumer Magazine get some helpful RV tips and information on RV storage, cold weather RV maintenance, carbon monoxide safety and discover what Mark Polk with RV Education 101 considers to be the top 5 mistakes RV owners make and what you can do to avoid them.

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Stay tuned for the next issue to get an inside look at what’s new and what’s cool with RVs for 2015.

Happy RV Learning

Mark Polk

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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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RV Consumer

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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

www.rvconsumer.com

www.rv101.tv

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

www.rveducation101.com

www.rvconsumer.com

www.rv101.tv

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