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April 2012 Volume 2 Issue 4

DISCOVER ENJOY

Check Now or Pay Later RV Packing Tips from the Pros 10 Tips to Save Money Camping

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How-To Make Small Fiberglass Repairs

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Table of Contents

April 2012 – Volume 2, Issue 4

IN THIS ISSUE 5

Getting your Trailer Road Ready

Time to go camping, but is your pop-up, travel trailer or 5th wheel up to the task?

9

How-To Make Fiberglass Repairs

Need to make a small repair to your RV fiberglass exterior? Here’s how you do it.

15

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Check it Now, or Pay Later

Some simple pre-trip checks can save headaches down the road. Here’s what to check before you leave on a trip.

16 Page 15

RV Packing Tips from the Pros

Most RV’s have many areas of wasted space. With a little effort it’s easy to transform these out of the way places into creative storage spots.

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10 Ways to Save Money Camping

Discover 10 easy ways to save money on your RV camping trips.

DEPARTMENTS 4 Editor’s Desk 11 RVing with Mark Polk & Friends An interview with Jaimie Hall Bruzenak, book author, freelance writer, and RV lifestyle expert.

18 Favorite RV Destinations The Las Vegas KOA at Circus Circus

26 Page 18

RV Product Spotlight

RV drinking safe hoses with a lifetime guarantee by Apex.

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From the editor’s desk

Mark Polk

RV101.TV

“Travel by RV beats travel by automobile, train, plane or bus period!” ~ Mark Polk

RV Consumer Magazine Hello Fellow Campers, April is always the month I consider camping season to be in full swing. It’s finally time to load it up, hook it up, fuel it up and In this issue of RV Consumer eMagazine we’re going to discuss some last minute preparations to help make all of this year’s RV trips safe and fun. It’s kind of like when I get on my motorcycle for the first ride of the season. You want to go over things and check things out so it’s a safe and enjoyable ride. The last thing we want or need is to forget how to do something, not check something or have an untimely and unnecessary breakdown on our first RV trip of the season. Sit back, relax and let’s get our RVs ready to roll down the road! Happy RV Learning,

Mark www.rveducation101.com www.rvconsumer.com www.rvuniversity.com

150 Bay Ridge Rd. Harrells, NC 28444 910-484-7615 www.rvconsumer.com Publisher: RV Education 101 Editor: Mark J. Polk mark@rveducation101.com Contributing Writers: Peggi McDonald Jaimie Hall Bruzenak Marketing Director: Dawn Polk dawn@rveducation101.com Advertising Information: MEDIA KIT Copyright 2012 RV Education 101, all rights reserved, RV Consumer Magazine is published by RV Education 101. This publication cannot be reproduced without the expressed written consent of the publisher. Advertisers and/or advertising agencies or representatives assume all liabilities for any printed content appearing in RV Consumer Magazine. Articles and opinions expressed in this publication may not be the same opinion of the magazine, its staff or its advertisers.

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Getting your Trailer Road Ready By Mark Polk

Okay, your pop up, travel trailer or 5th wheel trailer has been sitting in storage for most of the winter, and now it’s time to start camping again. Assuming you have the proper hitch work, hitch adjustments and brake controller do you: 1) Hook it up and head down the road? or 2) Consider what preventive maintenance and routine maintenance might be required on the trailer before you take it camping? Hopefully your answer was #2. It’s quite common for RV batteries to discharge, tires to be low on air and the trailer plug contacts to get dirty and corroded while your trailer sits in storage. If the trailer brakes don’t work properly because of a bad contact in the plug, or if a tire fails going down the road it puts you and others in harm’s way. In addition to performing some preventive maintenance prior to your first camping trip of the season it’s important that you perform routine maintenance on the trailer too. This routine maintenance includes, but is not limited to: an annual or 5,000 mile inspection of the trailer brake components and the wheel bearings.

Note: If you don’t feel comfortable performing this type of maintenance you should have an authorized RV service center do it for you. They have the proper equipment and knowledge to perform the required maintenance.

If you decide to tackle the job yourself there are several safety precautions that need to be followed before removing any tires or wheels to inspect and/or work on the trailer. The trailer must be parked on a hard flat level surface. The tires on the opposite side you plan to work on must be chocked to prevent any possible movement forward or backward. The trailer must be jacked up according to manufacturer instructions using a proper sized jack and properly rated jack stands installed in the correct locations to support the trailer’s weight while the work is being done. You can find some of this information in the trailer and axle manufacturer owner manuals that came with new RVs. Whether you or somebody else does the work the inspection should include the following items: 1) Brake Linings: Inspect the brake linings for wear and contamination that may affect the operation of the brakes. It’s not uncommon to see grease and other contaminants on the brake linings.

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As brake linings wear or are contaminated the braking force diminishes. 2) Brake Drums: Inspect the brake drums for wear and scoring or grooves that can affect the operation of the brakes and cause damage to the brake linings.

2)

3) Springs & Hardware: Inspect the return springs and hardware for proper mounting and operation.

3)

4) Brake Magnets: Inspect the magnets for wear. If excessive wear is evident (i.e., you can see the windings through the surface) the magnet needs to be replaced. Inspect the wiring for rubbing, cuts or wear and repair as required.

4)

5) Brake Adjustments: As the brake linings begin to wear the brake actuating lever must travel further to apply the same braking force against the brake drums. Eventually the brake linings cannot effectively reach the drums and manually adjusted brakes need to be adjusted. This requires a brake adjusting tool and proper clearances from the manufacturer. It’s probably best left to the professionals. 6) Wheel Bearings, Races & Seals: Another common problem with trailers is the lack of wheel bearing maintenance. I’m sure you have seen boat and RV trailers sitting along the roadside in need of bearing repairs. Bearings need to be inspected for any damage and proper lubrication. Seals and bearing races need to be inspected for damage.

5)

6)

Use Maxx Air vent covers to ventilate your RV rain or shine www.maxxair.com

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Battery Maintenance: Don’t forget to include routine battery maintenance too. The trailer break-away switch will not operate if the auxiliary battery is not connected or properly charged.

 Check and adjust tire pressure in accordance with the federal certification label on the trailer or using the tire manufacturer load and inflation tables.  Check the condition of the battery. Check To help prevent these types of things the water level in each cell and add distilled from happening I am including a simple water as required. Check the battery state of pre-trip trailer checklist you can follow to charge with a multimeter or battery make sure your trailer is road ready. hydrometer. If you don’t feel comfortable After properly hitching the trailer (i.e. working on or around lead acid battery’s have WDH adjustments, sway control, safety battery maintenance performed by an chains) to the vehicle make the following authorized service center. checks:  Annually o every 5,000 miles schedule a  Inspect the trailer plug and vehicle trailer brake and wheel bearing inspection for receptacle contacts for dirt, debris and your trailer. RV 101 corrosion. Clean the plug and contacts as required, ensuring a proper connection. Plug the cord in and test all trailer lights.  Connect the trailer break-away lanyard to a secure connection on the tow vehicle.  Test the operation of the trailer brakes. Remove any wheel chocks. Pull the trailer forward slightly and depress To stay current with what’s the brake pedal to verify the trailer brakes are engaging. happening in the world of RVs  Test the brake controller manual between magazine issues visit override for proper operation. If you our Blog. We post informative question the operation of the trailer brakes or the brake controller adjustment RV tips and information a couple have it checked by an qualified RV service times per week. There is also an center before using the trailer. option to follow the Blog via e Check all tires for abnormal wear and any weather cracking/checking. If mail. Just look on the right there are cracks in the tire sidewalls, sidebar and when you sign up or if there are signs of abnormal wear you’ll be notified every time we have the tire inspected by a professional before towing the trailer. make a post.

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RV Education 101 has a brand new RV video site designed to help educate you on RV how-to topics, RV products, RV tips and much more. With over 50 informative RV videos RV101.TV is your #1 RV video source on the web. The videos are grouped by category covering every RV topic imaginable, so it’s easy to find what you are looking for or what you want to learn more about. When you visit the site just click on the video category you are interested in to start watching and learning right now.

Learn about your RV the easy way at RV101.TV

Help your Engine Breathe A dirty or clogged air filter can rob life from your engine. When the engine can breathe properly it not only lasts longer but it is more fuel efficient. Recommendations for checking and replacing air filters are normally based on driving conditions. It only takes a couple RV Quick Tip minutes to check the air filter. I check mine when I change the engine oil, and it gets replaced if it’s dirty. RV 101 www.rvconsumer.com

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By Mark Polk

Repairing a small crack in the fiberglass exterior of your RV is not that difficult. If you are a do-ityourselfer you can make the repairs in one afternoon. You’ll need to make a trip to the auto parts store and pick up some fine (220) and heavy (60) grit sandpaper, fiberglass reinforced body filler, regular Bondo, squeegee, a shredder and some spot paint. You can get the paint code for the RV if you want a perfect match.

before

Here are the basic steps to follow: 1)

The first step is to rough the surface up around the area of the crack. Make sure you extend it out far enough on both sides to allow enough room to work with the filler. I drilled a hole through the fiberglass at the end of the crack to keep it from spreading any further.

2)

Using the heavy grit sandpaper, sand the outside perimeter of the area around the repair. You want the fiberglass surface to be scratched so the fiberglass filler has something to grab ahold of.

3)

Get enough filler from the can to fill the surface area being repaired. Mix the fiberglass reinforced filler with the hardener according to the instructions. This type of body filler has strands of fiberglass in with the Bondo and is much stronger. Use this filler for the first application. www.rvconsumer.com

Step 1

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4)

Using the squeegee spread the filler evenly over the entire surface of the area being repaired. Do not apply the filler too thick. It’s easier to make a second application than it is to sand large amounts of filler. Allow sufficient time for the filler to set-up.

5)

Make sure the filler is completely cured. At this point I like to use an auto body shredder to remove some of the high spots from the hardened filler. Removing the high spots will make it a little easier to sand. Another option is to sand the filler using a sanding block and heavy grit sandpaper.

6)

With the high spots removed take a sanding block with heavy grit sandpaper and evenly sand over the repaired surface. This will eliminate the remaining high spots and even the filler out. Once the surface is sanded you can run your hand over it to see if there are any low spots that need another application. There usually are. You can use an electric sander, but for small repairs like this I prefer hand sanding.

7)

Mix some regular Bondo with hardener and apply a second coat over the surface being repaired. This application is used to fill in all of the low spots and to end up with a smooth surface. The depth of the low areas will dictate how much Bondo to use.

8)

Allow it to cure completely. Sand the surface first with a heavy grit sandpaper followed by a lighter grit sandpaper. You want to feather all the edges out until you cannot feel any difference between the repaired surface and the fiberglass exterior itself.

9)

It may be necessary to apply a 3rd coat of Bondo. You can also use spot putty or a glazing product to fill in any remaining scratches. The goal is to have a completely smooth surface. Now you can sand the outer perimeter that will be painted using a light grit sandpaper. Clean the surface with a tack cloth, mask and paint. Let the paint dry completely and buff to blend. www.rvconsumer.com

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We often boondocked, spending nothing on camping unless we were employed and received a site.

Though I now only travel part-time with George, my new husband, I love helping people see that they can make their dreams come true. RVing gives people choices and lets them see they can create the life they want to live- either on or off the road. Jaimie Hall Bruzenak is a friend and colleague and of ours. Jaimie is an author, freelance writer, and RV lifestyle expert. She has traveled full-time with her husband George and offers a vast amount of knowledge on RV travel and working on the road. Let's meet Jaimie. MP: Welcome Jaimie and thanks for taking some time out to talk with us . JHB: Hi Mark, thank you for having me. MP: Jaimie can you tell our readers when your passion for RV travel began and how it has evolved over the years? JHB: Well let’s see, my late husband and I met full-time RVers in 1991 on a trip out West and were astounded to find people traveling and working on the road full-time. We ended up selling our house and hitting the road at age 47. We soon fell in love with the lifestyle. We loved the freedom - both physically to roam where we wanted and also financial freedom.

George & Jaimie

MP: Were you always a writer, or did the necessity for finding employment to support traveling in your RV result in becoming an author? JHB: My writing evolved out of the RV lifestyle from sharing my experiences in letters and later articles. My passion was actually finding out about working on the road and finding jobs that paid decently. We worked as seasonal maintenance workers for the National Park Service plus had other work experiences for 10 years. While working, I became a resource for others wanting to work on the road and then wrote about it.

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Since there was no how-to book, I decided, with the encouragement of other RV writers, to write one. Support Your RV Lifestyle! An Insider's Guide to Working on the Road came out of that. I then joined with my RVing friend Alice Zyetz and we co-edited RV Traveling Tales: Women's Journeys on the Open Road and then later, several e-books. MP: Wow, that’s great! What is the best piece of advice you could offer a person or couple who is contemplating full-time RV travel, but is leery to take the plunge? JHB: Whenever the topic comes up - do you have any regrets about going fulltime RVing- people nearly always answer: "My only regret is not doing it sooner." While RVing is a life-changing decision, it's more about the experiences and the path your life may take as a result. If you RV and then decide to get off the road, you probably won't slip back into the same life you had. It's just a decision. You can always make a new one. RVing opens up so many options and choices. There are so many ways to live this lifestyle. You can be part-time or full-time. There is no "right" way to do it. Technology has made it easy to stay in touch with family, friends and to make new friends. There is so much good educational material available to help you make decisions and get knowledge about the RV lifestyle. RVers are a helpful, friendly bunch too.

You'll find them willing to help- on forums, in RV parks and along the way. Relax and enjoy the adventure!

George & Jaimie’s 5th wheel & truck

MP: That’s some great advice. I know you mentioned a couple of your books a moment ago, but what books have you authored that can help educate people who have the desire to live and work from the road? JHB: Support Your RV Lifestyle! is a how-to book for working on the road, covering resumes, interviews, the legal issues plus more than 350 ideas for working and volunteering on the road. In addition, with my writing partner, we've co-authored two e-books to help people get started in the RV lifestyle. Retire to an RV: The Roadmap to Affordable Retirement addresses the issues and decisions someone thinking about traveling in an RV needs to look at. We've done the same for women who want to travel on their own. The Woman's Guide to Solo RVing covers the basics plus many issues women are concerned about. In all of our books, we include stories and advice from other RVers so the reader can see how others have handled that situation .

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RV Traveling Tales: Women's Journeys on the Open Road is an anthology of contributions from 52 women about all aspects of RVing. Some will make you laugh; some will make you cry. Married, solo, older RVers and a teenager girl contributed their stories. This is a good book to enjoy but also, for someone who is reluctant to try, RV Traveling Tales gives you a glimpse into life on the road. Men enjoy it too!

RV Safety Tips I know I say it all the time, but with camping season in full -swing remember the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning. Carbon monoxide is deadly! You cannot see it, taste it or smell it.

JHB: Thank you Mark, it has been a pleasure. Take care and maybe we’ll see you on the road.

Never use your range burners or oven as a source of heat. If your RV is not equipped with a carbon monoxide detector you should purchase a battery operated model designed for use in RV’s. Always test the carbon monoxide detector for proper operation before each trip. Inspect the generator exhaust system prior to using the generator and never use it if the exhaust system is damaged.

Note: Be sure and read one of Jaimie’s articles on page 25 of this issue.

Know what the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning are:

MP: That’s some great information and great resources for folks interested in learning more about living and working on the road. Thanks for spending some time with us and for every thing you and Alice do to help educate RV owners and enthusiasts.

Dizziness Vomiting Nausea Muscular twitching Intense headache Throbbing in the temples Weakness and sleepiness Inability to think coherently

RV101

If you or anyone else experiences any of these symptoms get to fresh air immediately. If the symptoms persist seek medical attention

Support your RV Lifestyle 3rd print edition www.rvconsumer.com

Be safe and have fun! ~RV 101 13


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Check it Now or Pay Later! Let me ask you a question. If you were planning a 500-mile trip in your family automobile would you check the vehicle out before leaving on the trip? I mean would you check the fluid levels, tires, lights and windshield wipers to make sure everything was operating properly before attempting to travel 500 miles in the vehicle. I hope your answer was yes.

If your answer was no there is a possibility you will be one of those vehicles you see stranded along the side of the Interstate, 200 miles away from home or your destination. Okay, we established that it is a good idea to make a few simple checks before heading out on the first camping trip of the year, but what exactly should you check. Regardless of the type of RV you have here are a few things you should check.  Check and adjust the air pressure in all tires. Always check the tires when they are cold, before traveling more than one mile.  Check the lug nuts on the wheels. Discoloration and stains around lug nuts indicate they may be loose.  Make sure all items in the storage compartments are secure. Lock all outside compartments.  Make sure the power cord, water hose, and sewer hose are disconnected and properly stored.  Raise all stabilizer jacks or hydraulic leveling jacks.  Check all fluid levels for motorized RV’s and tow vehicles.

 Make sure all slide-outs are in the travel position and any travel locks are securely in place.  Make sure the TV antenna and / or satellite are down and stowed in the proper position for traveling.  Check the awning. Make sure it is securely stored and all travel locks and knobs are tight and locked. Look under the RV for any indications of leaks (motorized) or anything out of the ordinary. Have any leaks checked out and repaired before leaving on your trip.  Stow or retract the steps.  Fill the fresh water holding tank with enough potable water to get to your destination.  Double check all hitch work on towable RV’s and on vehicles being towed behind motor homes.  Check all running lights, turn signals, brake lights and headlights on the RV and tow vehicle.  Check all safety devices for proper operation.  Make one final walk-around the RV for anything you missed. RV 101

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Inside The RV Frequently the space inside the cupboards is high, so there is mega wasted space above the first level of contents. By adding an extra adjustable shelf, all space can be utilized.

By Peggi McDonald www.rvliving.net

Peggi McDonald is a friend of ours, an RV book author, presenter and fulltime RVer. Peggi and her husband John have been living and traveling in an RV for over 27 years, so when she speaks RV owners listen. One of my favorite quotes from Peggi is, “If you haven’t used an item in the past year you obviously don’t need it.” She goes on to make the point that driving an overloaded RV reduces handling ability and dangerously stresses tires, brakes, axles and everything else on your unit. In no particular order here are some of Peggi’s RV packing tips to help you organize your RV. Most RV’s have many areas of wasted space. With a little effort it’s easy to transform these out of the way places into creative storage spots. Try to make as many areas as possible do double duty. The following should help to pique your imagination. Since each RV is different, check yours to find more spaces. Here we go!

 Cutlery trays and long plastic trays keep drawer spaces organized.  Square or rectangle lidded plastic tubs stack well - again doubling or tripling tier space.  Remove cereal, snacks etc. from boxes and store them in Zip Lock bags to control bugs. It also frees up wasted pantry space.  Browse home design stores to find under-the-counter shelves and appliances. Holders for Kleenex, paper plates, napkins, coffee pots etc are designed for this unused space.  Containers are available for remote controls, alarm clock, drinks, and more. Search Bargain stores, Discount Furniture places, Thrift shops etc. for ideas.  Check for spaces under a motorhome dash or on the passenger side of your tow vehicle to place plastic file holders for maps or campground directories.  There is also space under most couches that can be transformed into drawer access.  Finally someone has devised an effective solution to organize shoe storage. Some RV dealers now sell shoe racks that connect to the bed frame much like a bed skirt.

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 Bread stays fresh when stored in a tub in an airtight oven or microwave.  We keep important papers in top loading plastic page protectors to store in binders – the binders fit in upper cupboards.  To extend working space in a kitchen lay a sink cover over an open drawer during food preparations. A special tray cut to fit over a drawer adds a night table in the bedroom.  Tubs and trays can double as moveable drawers for socks, underwear & rolled T’s.

Outside the RV  Large lidded tubs stack well in the basement storage areas.  Classy but costly slide-out trays in the base of the storage pods assure everything is accessible.  We found two hollow areas under each step on our last motorhome. By adding a piano hinge to the back of the top step, two great storage areas opened up for our duck boots etc.  Hanging PVC pipes inside or outside the RV Frame can extend storage. Depending on the circumference these can also be used for fishing poles, cleaning brushes, extra sewer hoses, folding ladders etc. I recently saw a class C with two mounted on the roof. Look AROUND. You will be surprised at all the easy access available storage places you’ll find. Travel safe, Enjoy your RV and your adventures. For more RV tips & hints visit www.rvliving.net

Peggi is the author of the book titled RV Living in the 21st Century and two e-books titled, RV Travel to Canada & RV Packing Tips Our “Go for the RV Gold” program is a self-paced online RV training program offering over 45 one-on-one RV training videos, 50 feature articles, 60 RV tips and much more. Learn More www.rvconsumer.com

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Favorite RV Destinations by Mark Polk

Las Vegas KOA at Circus Circus You have been thinking about a trip to Vegas, why not make it an RV road trip? How fun would that be? A cross-country RV trip and lodging at the Las Vegas KOA at Circus Circus, within walking distance of the famous strip. A top family resort, Circus Circus features an indoor theme park , a midway with daily circus acts, swimming pool, spa, award-winning restaurants and more. Circus Circus presents world renowned live circus acts, free everyday, and for the thrill seekers don’t miss the Canyon Blaster a double-loop, double-corkscrew roller coaster. Whether you are going to Vegas on business or on vacation there is something for everyone. When you need a break from all the action you can enjoy a dip in the pool or ease those tired muscles into a hot tub or sauna. And with more than eight restaurants Circus Circus has food for everyone’s appetite. RVDA Convention Vegas www.rvconsumer.com

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Don’t have an RV? No problem. Just pack your clothes fly-in and rent one of the fully furnished Airstream travel trailers at the Las Vegas KOA. And for RV owners there are 350 plus big-rig friendly sites with full-hookups. The Super Sites feature 60-80 foot pull-thru sites with grass, patios and outdoor furniture. And if you feel like venturing off the Las Vegas Strip, there are some great places to visit like the Grand Canyon or Red Rock Canyon Hoover Dam and Valley of Fire State Park. You can’t go to Vegas and not try your luck in one of the three full-size casinos. The 101,000 square feet of gaming area features 2,200 slot and video machines, single deck blackjack, roulette and specialty games So whether you’re going to Vegas to beat the odds, or enjoy some of the most spectacular hiking, mountain biking and other outdoor activities the area has to offer, the Las Vegas KOA is a great place to stay.

JUST RV IT! It’s said that the first RV was PierceArrow’s Touring Landau introduced back in 1910. The camper model had a back seat that folded into a bed, a water tank, a chamber pot toilet and a wash basin that folded down from behind the seat of the chauffeur. It had a rear boot for trunks and extra storage boxes on the sides where you normally would see running boards. The chauffer stayed in touch with the campers using a telephone. The base price was slightly over $8,200 and with options it could exceed $8,500. For that price in 1910 it better come with a chauffeur!

RV Trivia

Photo courtesy of Go RVing

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Drive your Motorhome Like a Pro

Tow your 5th Wheel Trailer Like a Pro

Whether you want to learn how-to drive your motorhome like a pro or how-to tow your 5th wheel like a pro we have an RV training DVD to meet your specific needs. If you prefer an instant download video we have that too. Campground Security Even though the majority of campgrounds you visit are for the most part safe and secure you shouldn’t leave your guard down too much. Leaving valuables sitting around the campsite unattended, or leaving your door open or unlocked is asking for trouble. Not everybody is as honest as you may be. Unsecured bicycles, scooters, video games, hitch-work and other valuables can be an easy target for the not so honest camper. RV 101 www.rvconsumer.com

Join the JUST RV IT campaign. Bumpers stickers are available for $2.95 BUY NOW 20


RV Speak RV Terminology Arctic Package – An RV that is equipped with additional insulation and heated holding tanks for cold weather camping. Axle Ratio – The number of times the drive shaft must turn to turn the axle one complete revolution. If you have a 3.73:1 axle ratio, the drive shaft turns 3.73 times for each full turn of the axle. The higher the numeric value of the axle ratio, the better the vehicle will tow; and the higher the numeric value the more gas you will use. Ball & Ball Mount – Hitch balls have three basic measurements, the ball diameter, the shank diameter and the shank length. Ball diameter sizes come in 1 7/8”, 2” and 2 5/16”. The ball size must be the right size for the coupler on the trailer you are towing, and be rated to tow the trailers GVWR. The ball mount is the removable portion of the hitch that slides into the hitch receiver. For Weight Carrying (WC) hitches it may be necessary to find a ball mount with a drop or rise to help level the trailer when its hooked up to the tow vehicle. An adjustable ball mount is used for heavier trailer applications. Adjustable ball mounts allow the ball to be raised, lowered or tilted to compensate for trailer tongue weight and to attain proper height adjustments. Adjustable ball mounts are normally used with Weight Distributing (WD) hitches. Basement Storage – Storage compartments or storage area located below the floor of the RV. You access the storage from outside. Some storage areas are referred to as pass through storage, which means it goes from one side of the RV to the other with no dividers, and can be accessed from either side. Breakaway Switch – A switch that is wired into the trailers brake system. It is attached from the trailer to the tow vehicle by a cable lanyard. In the event that the trailer and vehicle separate, the cable pulls a pin from the switch and the trailer brakes are activated. The switch must have a 12-volt source to operate. Converter – An electrical device that converts 120-volt AC power into 12-volt DC power. With the exception of the roof air conditioner, microwave, TV and the electric mode of the refrigerator almost everything in an RV operates on 12-volt DC power supplied by a battery. When you are plugged into a 120-volt electrical source the converter changes the 120-volts AC to 12-volts DC so everything can operate without draining the battery(s). The converter also has a battery charger that will keep the battery(s) topped off when you are plugged in to a 120-volt power source.

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RV Patio Space I thought it would be fun to take a look at some RV outdoor living spaces I saw at some RV shows. This is one of my favorites by Open Range. Not only do you have a slide-out, the slide-out opens up to a covered outdoor patio. I don’t know how long it takes to set up, but it sure is cool. For more information take a minute to visit Open Range

How about a Winnebago Era Class B motorhome with a built-in screen room to extend your outdoor living space? Not only does it increase your living space, but it keeps the bugs at bay too. www.rvconsumer.com 22


RV Outdoor Living After you unload your toys from the toy hauler you can convert the ramp into your own personal outdoor patio. This set up includes side rails and recliner seating for two.

Another example of outdoor living includes a swing-out portable grill. This particular model clamps right unto the rear bumper of a travel trailer. When you’re ready to grill swing it around and throw the steaks on.

When it comes to RV outdoor living my personal favorite is the good-old patio awning with a sun-screen. There’s nothing like a lazy afternoon enjoying the shade under the patio awning and taking in a perfect view.

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Here are ten tips on how you can save money on campground expenses: 1)

Use a directory: You can minimize driving miles off your route and pick out lower priced places to stay. Call ahead to verify rates and availability.

2)

Join a membership park or join a halfprice camping club: Both offer lower rates to members. The half-price clubs cost around $50/year so if you stay in three or four parks at half price, you'll be ahead of the game.

3)

Extend your stay: Many parks offer weekly and monthly rates that lower your nightly rate.

4)

Try boondocking: When you are traveling and are only stopping for the night and not needing or using campground facilities, find a boondocking spot. Many RVers blacktop boondock at Wal-Mart parking lots or at truck stops. (Be sure to follow proper etiquette)

5)

Choose cheaper sites: If you don't need to dump your tanks, request a site that has only water and electric for a cheaper rate than a full-hookup site.

6)

Set up your rig for boondocking: Add solar panels and a catalytic or ceramic heater to your RV so you can boondock for extended periods of time on public land. There is an initial setup cost but camping is free or low-cost.

By Jaimie Hall Bruzenak

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7)

Look for free camping. Some towns, particularly Midwestern ones, have municipal RV parks where you can stay free for a night or two.

8)

Stay in public campgrounds. Many public campgrounds operated by federal and state agencies are less expensive than private facilities. Many will not have hookups but are in beautiful locations.

9)

Stay with friends or fellow club members. Several RV clubs have lists of members who welcome club members to stop overnight for one night on their travels.If you stay with a friend or club member, don't abuse your privilege. Offer some money or take them to dinner.

10) Work or volunteer where you get a free site. Many volunteer or Workamper jobs come with a free or reduced-rate RV site. For more information visit The RV Lifestyle Experts Jaimie Hall Bruzenak is an RV lifestyle expert who writes about living and working on the road. She has authored: Support Your RV Lifestyle! An Insider's Guide to Working on the Road plus co-authored : RV Traveling Tales: Women's Journey's on the Open Road Retire to an RV: The Roadmap to Affordable Retirement and The Woman's Guide to Solo RVing with Alice Zyetz.

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RV Product Spotlight

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Apex RV Hoses

RV Drinking Safe Water Hoses by APEX By Mark Polk Let me ask you a question. As an RV owner how many times have you had to replace your RV drinking hose. If you have been RVing for awhile I’ll bet your answer was “more than once.” Me too. What if I said there is an RV drinking safe hose that doesn’t ever kink and comes with a lifetime guarantee? Sounds too good to be true, but I recently discovered just a hose. It’s called the NeverKink and it’s by APEX. Ever since I tested these hoses it’s the only hose I keep in the RV. Watch this informative video on the complete line of APEX RV drinking safe hoses and you decide if this is the hose for your specific RV needs. Watch the Video

Q&A with Mark Polk Question: We are shopping for new tires for our tow vehicle we pull our camper with. We are not concerned about mileage ratings since we don’t put that many miles on our tow vehicle. I want to make sure we purchase the right tires though. Is there a particular brand of tire you would recommend? The tire size is P265/70R16 and I definitely want to stick with the same tire size that came on the vehicle when it was new. Click here for Mark’s answer www.rvconsumer.com

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Safety during a Storm When you arrive at a campground ask at the check-in desk about an emergency plan in case of a bad storm i.e. tornado, or high winds. If they don’t have a plan, make your own. Locate a structure that is safer than your RV, like a bathhouse or the campground office. Brief everybody with you on your plan. RV’s are not safe in damaging storms! Potable Water You never know the condition or quality of potable water at various campgrounds. Always use a water filtration system to filter the drinking water in your RV, or take bottled water with you for drinking water. Fuel Economy Speeding and rapid acceleration reduces fuel economy anywhere from 5 to 33% depending on your individual driving habits. Opening Refrigerator Try to limit the amount of times you open the refrigerator or freezer doors and the length of time you leave the doors open. Every time the door is opened it loses a few degrees of cooling. On a hot summer day it won't take long to lose all of its cooling capacity. Fuel Economy Speeding and rapid acceleration reduces fuel economy anywhere from 5 to 33% depending on your individual driving habits. RV Tire Tip Ozone and UV rays from the sun shorten the life of your RV tires. You should keep the tires covered with covers that will block out the sunlight when not in use. I also recommend that you place some type of blocking between the ground and the tires. Make sure that whatever you use is larger than the footprint of the tire. No portion of the tire should hang over the edge of the tire blocking. This can cause internal damage to the tire.

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Quality RV Service By Mark Polk

Finding a good mechanic to work on your automobile can be difficult. You want somebody who is honest, reliable and does quality work. When you do find a good mechanic you keep them close at hand. It can be even more challenging trying to find a good RV technician to work on your RV. It might be that you don’t have a local dealer to service your RV or the local dealer doesn’t do a very good job of servicing customers RVs. It might be that you have an older RV that’s difficult to work on or find parts for. Or maybe your RV is set up on a semi-permanent or permanent basis and nobody is in the area to work on it. Good RV technicians can be few and far between and if you find one you like and is honest, reliable and does quality work you better hang onto them. This article won’t help everybody, but for those RV owners who are in the Kissimmee Florida area or the Myrtle Beach South Carolina area you’re in luck. I recently ran across a company called Camping Connection. Basically this is a dedicated group of experienced RV parts and RV service professionals. It is not a dealership, all these folks do is professionally repair and service RVs and help you locate the right parts for your RV, even when the parts are difficult to find. Their philosophy is, by focusing solely on the parts and service needs of RV consumer they will always be able to outperform and outpace competition. These guys are certified professionals dedicated to exceeding their customers expectations. It’s not very often that I put my reputation on the line when it comes to recommending where to get you RV repaired, but I feel so strongly about Rob Cochran and his commitment to provide excellent customer service that I highly recommend him and his team of RV parts and service professionals. Trust me when I say these are the guys you want working on your RV. It doesn't stop there. They also offer a mobile RV maintenance, installation and repair service. This mobile on-call RV service is available anywhere within their service area. For the Kissimmee Florida area this includes Kissimmee, Clermont, Davenport, Haines City, Lakeland, Polk City, Winter Garden, Disney World, Tampa, Orlando, St. Cloud and surrounding areas. The Myrtle Beach location services all of The Grand Strand and surrounding areas. If you are in the Kissimmee FL. or Myrtle Beach S.C. areas make sure you have this phone number or website available at all times. In Myrtle Beach S.C. call 843-238-3329 and in Kissimmee FL. call 407-397-2267, or visit Camping Connection. A quality RV service facility can be difficult to come by. RV 101 www.rvconsumer.com

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2012 Media Kit

RV Education 101 Learning RVs the Easy Way

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RV Consumer Magazine April 2012  

RV Consumer Magazine is a digital e-magazine designed to inform and educate the RV consumer on RV products, RV information, RV videos and RV...

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