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RV University this Week

Learning RVs the Easy Way

by RV Education 101 Subscribe Now U of RV Journal #126

16 January 2011

From the industry leader in RV Education Inside this Issue:  Mark’s Editorial (Pg 2)  This Week’s Q & A (Pg 3)  This Week’s RV News (Pg. 5)  Feature Article “Take an RV Trip Close to Home” (Pgs 7)  This Week’s RV Buzz Quick Tips (Pg 11)  Article “Easy PM Maintenance for Generators” (Pg 14)  RV Trivia & History (pgs. 16 & 17)  RV How-To Videos for the Do-It-Yourselfer (Pg 18)  RV Play & Learn Crossword “RV Generators” (Pg 18)

Your RV University Weekly E-newsletter is here!

Hi Folks, I am sure all of our regular readers have noticed the recent changes to our newsletter format, and the addition of our new RV Consumer e-Magazine. Along with change comes some confusion, so please allow to explain what we have been up to over the past month or so. Our goal has always been to help educate new and current RV owners on how to use and maintain their RVs. That goal hasn’t changed, but for 2012 we want to expand on that by providing the RV consumer with useful information on RV products, RV how-to topics, rig reviews, RV destinations and much more. The way we can do this is through a more in-depth e-magazine style format and delivery. Think of it as an e-newsletter on steroids. We published a trial issue of the new e-magazine last December to test the waters, and it was well received. At the time my thoughts were to publish the e-magazine quarterly, but with the level of interest the first issue received we made the decision to distribute it monthly. So, what can our readers expect this year? The plan is to send the new RV Consumer e-Magazine out on the first of each month. We are still working on the various magazine departments and features, but it will be packed with great RV information to keep you current with what is happening in the world of RVs. Then in the middle of each month you can expect to see a regular edition of our e-newsletter in your inbox. We apologize for any confusion, but now you know what to expect for 2012. If you have any suggestions for regular monthly departments or features in our RV Consumer e-Magazine let me know what they are. Just drop a line to Enjoy this week’s e-newsletter and until next time plan your trip, load it up, hook it up, fuel it up and JUST RV IT!

Mark 2

This Week’s RV Bulletin Board Question: The front end of my coach weighs 8,260 lbs. Each of my front tires indicate max load 4,675 lbs. (110 psi). Is this weight divided between both front tires for weight computation? In other words, each front tire is rated at 4675 lbs for a total of 9,350 lbs. So I assume I have 1,090 lbs to spare? Answer: Tires and weights can be a little confusing, but yes basically when you combine the two front tires ratings the combined weight should be able to support the weight being placed on the front axle. To get a true picture though you need to weigh each tire position separately to see how much weight is really on each axle end. This is where it gets a little confusing. Your tires can support a maximum of 4,675 if they are inflated to 110 psi. In your situation the tires would be overinflated for the amount of weight that is really placed on the tires (according to the figures you gave me). Tire manufacturers have load and inflation tables that inform the consumer how much air needs to be in a tire for a certain amount of weight being placed on the tire. When an RV manufacturer builds a motorhome they weigh each axle to determine how much air will need to be in the tires for the actual weight placed on the tires. The federal weight data plate/sticker with tire inflation information is normally located close to the drivers area of the motorhome. It will inform you of the correct inflation pressure based on the weight was when the RV was built. If you add weight to the front or rear of the motorhome it is your responsibility to determine the correct tire inflation requirements based on the new weights. You never want to exceed the maximum air pressure for the tires, and you always want the same amount of air pressure in both tires on the end of the same axle (based on the heaviest end). Start planning your The best thing to 2012 do isRV check the tire inflation pressure on federal data plate in the trips now and.. MH for the correct tire inflation pressure, then when the MH is fully loaded have it weighed (preferably by individual tire positions) and adjust the inflation pressure accordingly. Also remember that the overall weight of the MH cannot exceed the GVWR of the coach.


Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn. ~ Benjamin Franklin

The goal with our JUST RV IT campaign is to promote getting out and using your RV more in 2012. We want folks to use their RV even if it’s just for a short weekend trip, 25 miles from where you live. I feel bad when I see RVs just sitting in the backyard, never moving. In today’s busy world I understand there are lots of reasons why people don’t use their RV very often, but we think if you plan an RV trip you’ll take an RV trip.

Get your bumper sticker & join the JUST RV IT movement

Cool bumper stickers!


Plan a trip, load it up, hook it up, fuel it up & JUST RV IT! 4

RV News for the RV Consumer KOA Work Kamper Boot Camp Training Would you like to earn some extra cash during your RV travels? Kampgrounds of America (KOA) is offering a free one-day session of its popular KOA Work Kamper Boot Camp training March 28 at the Branson, Mo., KOA Campground. To register for the March 28 training or to learn more about the KOA Work Kamper program, go to or contact Leah Estep, KOA’s franchisee services programs coordinator, at or by calling 800.562.0899. Texas State Park System Still Struggles after $500,000 Donation: According to NBC 5 Dallas Fort, a nonprofit foundation has donated $500,000 to help out the financially strapped Texas state parks system, which faces a $4.6 million revenue shortfall this year. A statement issued Wednesday by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department announced the donation by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation. The donation comes on top of more than $460,000 raised since the Parks and Wildlife Department appealed for help Dec. 6. The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department is also reaching out to the general public to close the financial gap. They suggest making tax-deductible donations on their website or when renewing vehicle registration and visiting state parks with family and friends, which pays for about half of all park operating costs. The system is beleaguered by attendance losses resulting from heat, drought and wildfires. Copyright Associated Press / NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

Own a Motorhome? Membership in FMCA brings with it a wealth of benefits and services, all specially designed to meet the needs of motorhome owners. The value of these benefits and services far exceeds the cost of the annual dues. Click for info


To get advice on your RV insurance or request an insurance quote, please give us a call at 888-774-6778. An Explorer representative will be happy to discuss your specific RV insurance needs.


This Week’s Feature Article

As part of our JUST RV IT campaign we are promoting the idea to take an RV trip close to home. It is inexpensive, fun and a great reason to JUST RV IT! Let’s face it, sometimes spending your weekend at home is just plain boring. There really isn’t much to do, but on the other hand you don’t have much of time before the weekend is over and it’s back to work again. Why not load up the RV and take a short weekend excursion close to home? Not only can a quick RV trip alleviate the boredom, but it is cost effective too. A 200 mile, or less, round trip from where you live won’t cost much in fuel, food or campground fees and it might be just what the doctor ordered for some well deserved relaxation and time to recharge. continued next page>


This Week’s Feature Article I think the mindset is when you plan an RV trip it has to be a far from home for it to be any fun. Truth is there are probably lots of private, state and/or federal camping locations and other great RV destinations right under our noses that we’re not even aware of, or never visited.

The other day I was searching the internet and came across a website that I visited before, but had forgotten about. It’s called Reserve America and it’s the largest provider of campsite reservations in North America, facilitating over 4- million transactions per year. You can visit Reserve America at Using the sites “Find Camping Spot” feature I searched for RV destinations close to our zip code. Sixteen choices within 100 miles of our zip code popped up immediately. You can scroll down the listing and click on the campgrounds that interest you to get detailed information on the description, services and amenities each have to offer. The “Find Camping Spot” search feature allows you to get more specific too, like searching by park name, dates, length of stay, amenities, size of RV and much more. Quite honestly I was surprised to find so many camping destinations so close to home. With sixteen choices within 100 miles of where we live I think there will be many more cost effective weekend RV trips in the near future for us. It really doesn’t matter if it’s a 100 miles, or 5,000 miles, what’s important is that you JUST RV IT!


Photo Caption Fun

Give us you best photo caption. Just go to our facebook page and write your best caption for this photo, courtesy of our friends at Tin Can Tourists. Here’s my caption: Did you hear Herb and Fran’s new trailer has a shower? What are they tryin to do, show us all up or something? Post your caption now 9

Instant Video Downloads

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Campground Tip

Instruct Children on Campground dos & don’ts Children just want to have fun, but it’s important to teach them campground etiquette. Instruct your children not to run and ride bikes through somebody else’s campsite, or to take a shortcut to the swimming pool or the game room. You are in essence renting the space you are in and it should be just that, your space. You should also explain to children that they need to be extremely careful when riding bikes, skateboards, scooters and running through the campground. There is constant traffic in and out of a campground, especially when it’s busy, and not everybody is watching for small children.


RV Buzz Quick Tips

RV Buzz Tip #1 Always check and add air to the tires when they are cold, before traveling. When tires get hot the air expands and you get a higher-pressure reading. If you let some air out they will be under inflated when they are cold.

RV Buzz Tip #2 Awning tie downs help to protect your patio awning, but you should never leave your awning out during bad weather, or when you’re not physically at the campsite. Wind and rain can damage your RV awning very quickly and it can be expensive to repair.

RV Buzz Tip #3

Our Checklists for RVers E-book has over 90 pages of helpful checklists to assist you

Check the condition of your windshield wiper blades before you leave on a trip. This is one of those things we don’t think about until the next time we need them. Periodically clean the wiper blades with windshield washer fluid.



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Easy Preventive Maintenance for RV Generators Preventive Maintenance is maintenance the owner can perform on your RV before a problem exists. These checks are designed to prevent or identify potential problems that could lead to mechanical breakdown, malfunction or failure of a component or system on your RV. Preventive Maintenance consists of cleaning, inspecting, lubricating, adjusting and servicing your RV. Whether it’s a portable generator set you use at home or the generator in your RV here are some easy PM checks you can perform to keep it in top operating condition. In addition to these checks you should always follow the maintenance schedule and guidelines that came with your specific generator set. Consult your generator owner’s manual for maintenance checks and services for your generator and follow all recommended maintenance intervals. Always check the oil level prior to starting the generator. Starting and running a generator that is low on oil can result in costly damage to the generator’s engine. Add oil as required. Consult your owners manual for recommended oil viscosity. Always check the exhaust system prior to starting the generator. A damaged exhaust system can result in carbon monoxide gas getting inside the RV. Inspect the entire generator exhaust system. Never operate a generator with a damaged exhaust system! Keep the generator set and the compartment it is housed in clean. You can use compressed air to assist in cleaning the generator compartment and a clean shop rag to clean the generator set. While you are cleaning the generator check all electrical connectors for secure connections. Note: always wear safety glasses when using compressed air. Check all of the filters on the generator. A typical generator may have an air filter, fuel filter and oil filter. Check your generator owner’s manual for the types of filters your generator has and where they are located. Maintenance checks and services for a generator are based on hours of operation. Monitor the hour meter on your generator set for all maintenance intervals.


Change the oil and oil filter (if equipped). This is perhaps the most important PM Service you can make on your generator to ensure years of reliable service. Change the oil and replace the oil filter at the recommended intervals. If you don’t feel comfortable changing the oil and filter have an authorized RV service center do it for you. Exercise the generator. There are several reasons why you should start and exercise the generator on a regular basis. Moisture build up can cause damage to your generator. When you exercise your generator it heats up the generator windings and eliminates this moisture build up. This monthly exercise regime also lubricates all of the engine seals and components and helps to prevent carbon build up. When you exercise the generator it should have a load on it and it should run for at least two hours every month. Check your generator owner’s manual for load ratings specific to your unit. Add a fuel stabilizer to the motorhomes gas tank or generator gas tank and run the generator long enough for the stabilizer to get through the fuel system. This will help prevent gas related problems on carbureted generators, like not starting or surging. Fuel stabilizers can protect the fuel system for up to six months, but keep in mind the importance of exercising the generator too.

Follow these simple steps, and the maintenance and service instructions in the generator owner’s manual, and you can get years of reliable service from your generator set. RV 101 Generators are rated in kilowatts (KW). One kilowatt equals 1,000 watts. So a 4 KW generator would be a 4,000-watt generator.

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Some Interesting RV Trivia & History Better roads resulted in even more autocampers. Automobile ownership continued to increase and millions of Americans were autocamping, leading to health and environmental issues. More autocampers meant more problems. Trespassing continued to get worse, and the trespassers were polluting streams with sewage, leaving garbage behind and helping themselves to farmers’ crops. In an effort to deal with this increased trespassing local officials raised the fees levied against trespassers. It was estimated that more than nine million Americans would go autocamping in 1920. By the early 1920s something had to be done to control some of the problems created by autocampers.

Affordable cars and better roads resulted in more autocampers looking for places to camp!

Autocamping surged by the 20’s 16

More Interesting RV Trivia & History A Makeshift Campground Florida was a popular vacation destination, but hotels and resort areas were a bit on the expensive side. Autocampers could enjoy the sunshine state by sleeping on makeshift beds in their car and eating warmed up food out of tin cans, thus the name, Tin Can Tourists. The Tin Can Tourist club was officially organized at Desota Park, Tampa, Florida, in 1919. Their objective was “to unite fraternally all autocampers.� They promoted clean camps, good behavior between campers, friendliness among campers, and wholesome entertainment.


U of RV “How To” Videos Who says learning can't be fun? Let Mark Polk of RV Education 101® give you an inside look into the how-to of RV ownership. Check out our free online how-to video page covering RV topics from: RV types, RV products, RV product installations, RV upgrades, RV tips, RV destinations and much more. These RV how-to videos will help you learn how to properly use and maintain your RV, resulting in enhanced enjoyment in all your RV experiences.

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Play & Learn RV Crossword Puzzle

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RV Generators 18

U of RV E-Newsletter

That wraps up another U of RV e-newsletter. We hope you enjoyed this week’s edition and keep an eye out for next months RV Consumer e-Magazine. If there are topics you would like to see in future issues e-mail me at and let me know what they are. We’ll see you right back here again next week. Until then happy RV learning , Mark & Dawn Polk

ENJOY YOUR RV: Don’t give up on your dreams of exploring the country in your RV; instead plan to make your dreams come true. You worked hard to buy the RV, now you need to work just as hard on enjoying your RV. Plan your RV trip, load it up, hook it up, fuel it up and…


General & Unsubscribe Our goal with this RV e-newsletter is to provide you with helpful information to make all of your RV experiences more enjoyable. I left my position as an RV Sales and F&I manager in 1999 to start my own company, RV Education 101. We produce RV educational videos, DVDs and e-books on how to safely & properly use and maintain your RV. The reason I left my job was due to my concern about the lack of educational and safety awareness material available to the RV consumer, in other words, you. My wife Dawn left her position in RV sales to help start the company and is our Sales and Marketing Director. We currently have a 35-foot Class A motor home & a 16-foot vintage Yellowstone trailer . We have two boys, Tyler 15 and Josh 21, both avid RVers and three dogs, Roxie, Gracie and Buck. Copyright , RV Education 101 except where indicated otherwise. All Rights Reserved worldwide. Reprint only with permission from copyright holder(s). All trademarks are the property of their respective owners. All content provided as is. Not all content may be the opinion of the e-newsletter editorial staff or RV Education 101. Advertisers are solely responsible for ad content. To subscribe please visit our sign up page. All RV Education e-newsletters are opt-in e-newsletters, delivered by subscription only. We neither use nor endorse the use of spam. Your e-mail address will only be used to distribute RV Education 101 e-news and will never be sold or given to any other entity. If you would like to learn more about us and RV Education 101 please visit RV Education 101 150 Bay Ridge Rd. Harrells, NC 28444 910-484-7615 Contact:

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RV University this Week E-News Issue #126  

Welcome to Issue #126 of the RV University this Week e-newsletter for RV enthusiasts, published by RV Education 101

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