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RV University this Week 2/23/2009

  • Monday, February 23 2009 @ 03:59 pm UTC
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RV News and Stories

RV University this Week
Your weekly source for interesting
RV articles, tips, tricks, video clips and advice

From the Industry Leader in RV Education:
RV Education 101
U of RV Journal #6- February, 23 2009

You cannot teach a man anything; you can only help him find it within himself. ~ Galileo

Hi Everybody,
I have always been an advocate for proper tire care and maintenance. You know the old saying; the only thing between you and the road are your tires and the air that is in them. This is never more true than with RV's. Overloaded tires, under inflated tires, old tires and neglected tires all result in problems for RVers.

One thing I have always stressed about tires is to never depend on your eyes to determine if they are properly inflated. A seriously under inflated tire can look the same as a properly inflated tire. To prove this point I posted two photographs of the same tire (one inflated to 45.5 psi and the other at 65.5 psi) at the RV Net blog, and challenged readers to tell the difference. The photos were sent to me by a retired tire design quality engineer with over 39 years experience who now gives tire seminars at RV events.

Even though there was a 50% chance you could guess correctly numerous people guessed incorrectly. If you would like to test your eyes go here to read the article and Take the Visual RV Tire Test

This was a fun way to demonstrate this point but the lesson was the importance of checking your tire pressure, and that you do it with a quality tire pressure gauge.

Be sure and check out this weeks special, our RV Care & Maintenance DVD, which covers RV tires and lots more to keep your RV in top operating condition.

I hope you enjoy this week's edition,

5 Easy Steps to Help Keep RV Dump Stations Open
There is a real concern about what the future holds for RV dump stations. RV dump stations everywhere are closing down operation because of several reasons. Some, but not all of these reasons are the costs and headaches involved to keep them operating and properly maintained. Read the article

BY Mark Polk
The first step after dumping your black tanks is to add enough water to completely cover the bottom of the tank. Four or five toilet bowls full should be enough depending on the size of your black tank. Water will assist a great deal with controlling holding tank odors. You always want the contents of the tank to be covered by water. Next, fill the toilet bowl and add the proper amount of holding tank chemicals, usually four ounces for every forty gallons the tank holds. Flush the toilet. Repeat this procedure every time you empty the black water holding tank. Some holding tank chemicals like RV Trine also contains valve lubricants to keep the valves operating properly and extend the valve seals life.

Tin Can Tourists keep bygone era alive-
The Covered Wagons were among the highest selling travel trailers made.....

If you would like to learn more about the history of RV's plan an RV trip to the RV/MH Hall of Fame, Museum & Library In early 2007, the foundation moved into its new facility at 21565 Executive Parkway in Elkhart Indiana. The 56,000 square foot building houses the RV/MH Hall of Fame honoring industry leaders, a museum of vintage units from 1913 to the 1970's and the library.

...with Mark
Q. Hi we have an 18 ft single axle travel trailer and are towing it with a 2008 Dodge Dakota 4x4. We have a weight distribution hitch & a friction sway control. The trailer has lots of tongue weight. When traveling over 90klms/55mph the trailer starts to sway I have the weight bars & hitch adjusted so the tow vehicle & trailer run level. Should I lower my weight bars one link to put more weight on the truck, I don't know how to correct this problem but it is uncomfortable to tow. Any suggestions would be really helpful. Thanks in advance

Mark Says:
Lots of factors come into play here. For starters single axle trailers are notorious for sway issues. With that already being a factor that you really can't control you need to look at what other factors you have some control over.

It is important that you actually know what the tongue weight of the trailer is. You want to measure the tongue weight when the trailer is fully loaded for travel. The other weight you will need is the actual trailer weight when it is loaded for travel.

To get these weights take the tow vehicle and trailer to a set of public scales. Pull the trailer onto the scale and leave the tow vehicle off the scale. Unload the trailer from the tow vehicle by raising the front of the trailer until the coupler is completely off of the hitch ball and record the weight. Then lower the coupler back onto the hitch ball (don't use a weight distribution hitch) and weigh it again. The difference between the two weights is the tongue weight.

The optimum tongue weight for a single axle or dual axle trailer is 10 to 12% of the fully loaded trailer weight. Take the fully loaded trailer weight you recorded and multiply it by .10 and .12 to determine the optimum tongue weight and compare it to the actual tongue weight you recorded. If the tongue weight is less than 10% of the trailers fully loaded weight it has a natural tendency to sway. It may be necessary to redistribute some weight in the trailer to optimize the tongue weight.

Have you experimented with adjusting the amount of friction on the sway control? You can add more friction in small increments and test drive the trailer until you reduce as much sway as possible. It may also be possible that the WDH adjustments are off. If the tongue weight is already on the low side of where it should be try taking some of the tension off the WD bars one link at a time, adding more weight back on the hitch. Sometimes by correcting these adjustments you can control the amount of sway better.

If the TW is good and the WDH hitch is adjusted properly and the friction sway control is adjusted properly and you still experience sway at speeds over 55 mph it is most likely due to poor trailer design in general, and because it is a single axle trailer.

Let RV Education 101 help you save money in 2009
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About us:

Our goal with RV University This Week 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 2000 to start my own company, RV Education 101. We produce educational videos, DVDs and e-books on how to 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. We are a small company. 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. We have two boys, Tyler 12 and Josh 18, both avid RVers and two dogs, Gracie and Buck. Gracie is the good one. If you would like to learn more about us and RV Education 101 feel free to visit our website> www.rveducation101.com

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Happy Camping,

Mark & Dawn


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RV University,a site providing Recreation Vehicle safety, RV maintenance information, RV tips, RV advice and RV instruction for using and maintaining an RV by Mark Polk.
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