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RV University This Week 09/06/2010

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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 #74 - September 6, 2010

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"Experience: that most brutal of teachers. But you learn, my God do you learn."
~C.S. Lewis

Are you an RV dealer? RV Education 101 created a program just for your customers! The RV Orientation Online Training Program.

We also offer bulk discounts on our training materials. Our Walk through DVDs have helped tens of thousands of RV consumers learn how to properly operate and maintain their RVs. Hundreds of RV dealers across the country are benefiting from what our program has to offer the customer oriented RV dealership. Contact Dawn today for your RV dealership pricing: dawn@rveducation101.com

by Mark Polk

Hi Everybody,

I hope you enjoyed your Labor Day weekend. We tried to make last minute reservations for an RV trip to the beach, but campgrounds were full and it didn't work out. Instead, my weekend was spent on some outdoor projects around the house.

Over the last 2 weeks we filmed all of the footage for the new "Tow your 5th Wheel Trailer Like a Pro" DVD and I have been editing day and night. Right now it looks as though it will be close to 90 minutes in length and packed with some great information on 5th wheel trailers.

My goal is to finish the editing before I leave for the Pennsylvania RV trade/retail show next week, where we will be working on some new RVTV segments.

Until next week, plan your trip, travel safe and enjoy your RV experiences. Remember, getting there is half the fun!
Mark Polk

Polk’s Top 7 Tips for Maximizing your RV Refrigerator’s Efficiency I receive a lot of e-mails with questions about how to make your RV's refrigerator work more efficiently. RV refrigerators, for the most part, are efficient. In many cases it is something the owner does that makes the refrigerator less efficient........ Read the article

...with Mark Polk

Overhang –
On a motorhome, it is the portion of the RV that extends from the rear axle to the bumper.

Hitch Weight –
Hitch weight or Tongue Weight (TW) is the amount of weight pressing down on the vehicle’s hitch from the coupler of the trailer when the trailer is fully loaded for travel. For trailers that weigh over 2,000 pounds TW should be 10 to 15 percent of the loaded trailer weight. For fifth wheel trailers hitch weight should be 15 to 20 percent of the loaded trailer weight

Check out this week's poll: "Do you own a navigation system?" To participate in the poll, look on the left hand column (here at RV University) towards the top

...with Mark Polk

Q.I have a new 5th wheel with dual batteries hooked up sitting in my driveway and I keep it plugged into an outlet in my garage. Is this good or bad? Will I ruin the batteries? Should I disconnect the batteries and just let them sit there when not in use and charge them overnight before we use the camper? Should they be removed from the camper during the winter (We have mild Winters where I live in Oregon)? I've heard so many warnings about batteries being ruined due to; overcharging, draining, catching fire, etc .......... I asked the dealer and they said not to worry about overcharging BUT I'm still not comfortable about leaving power on them all the time the trailer is parked.

Mark Says:
There are several things to consider with your RV batteries. First there is no real reason to leave an RV plugged in all of the time unless you use the refrigerator as a second cold food storage space, or perhaps you have another reason to leave it plugged in.

The big concern is the type of battery charger the RV converter has in it. If it is a higher-end converter it will have a 3-stage battery charger that will only charge the batteries based on the current condition. If or when they are fully charged a 3-stage charger will only provide a float charge to maintain the batteries, and won't generally harm the batteries.

If on the other hand the converter has a single stage charger it will eventually overcharge the batteries and they will lose electrolyte until the batteries are damaged (if you don't check the water levels on a regular basis). If you don't have any reason to leave the RV plugged in, other than the batteries, you can just plug it in for about 8 to 12 hours a month and allow it to top off the batteries state of charge. Your literature that came with the RV should specify the type of charger the converter has.

If you have a battery disconnect switch make sure it is always disconnected when the RV is not plugged in so nothing is draining the batteries as it sits in storage. There are parasitic loads on the batteries that will drain them over time.

If you have mild winters, there is no need to remove them from the RV. The important thing is a battery will freeze much quicker if it is not fully charged. If you leave them in the unit just make sure the batteries stay fully charged.

You can purchase an inexpensive multimeter at a auto parts store to get a quick idea of the battery state of charge. A 12 volt battery that is fully charged will read about 12.7 volts and a 6 volt battery that is fully charged will read about 6.4 volts. When they drop below 12.4 or 6.2 respectively they are at about a 70% charge and need to be charged.

by Mark Polk

Mark's RV Quick Tip:
Camping Tip: A 30 amp electrical system on an RV has the capability of using 3,600 watts or 30 amps before you will overload the system. 120-volts X 30 amps = 3,600 watts. Think of it like this, you could use 36 one hundred watt light bulbs and when you turn the 37th one on it will probably trip a breaker. You should never run more than one major appliance at a time i.e. air conditioner or microwave.

DNR reminds campers to be careful with campfires
Even as cooler weather dominates the forecast for some parts of the state, the state Department of Natural Resources will maintain its statewide burn ban. During the ban, campfires may be allowed, but only in approved fire pits in designated campgrounds. Campers are not allowed to build their own fire pits.........

Hole-in-one could land golfer in new park model
"Diamond Dan" is the talk of the town - especially at the beautiful Juniper Ridge RV Resort. True to his nickname, he's donated the sparkling hole-in-one prize for the upcoming Juniper Ridge 9-Hole Golf Tournament.........

176 FEMA trailers still occupied across Mississippi"
After Hurricane Katrina forced families into more than 45,000 FEMA temporary housing units, only 176 of the travel trailers are occupied in the state today . ......

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A product that Mark personally uses: Camping/RV Battery Chargers- BatteryMINDers® are the new generation of SMART, pulse type "computer-on-a-chip" chargers, that safely charge and maintain all size / type / brands of batteries including starter, deep cycle and sealed types including AGM “dry” made by OPTIMA, ODYSSEY, EXIDE, INTERSTATE, et al. They do all of this without ever overcharging, no matter how long they are left on charge – days-weeks-or even months. Dubbed the chargers with "brains," they are the first to fully-automatically reverse the primary cause of early battery failure known as "sulfation". Sulfated batteries once considered beyond recovery can now be brought back to long-term useful condition. Certain models of BatteryMINDers® can more than double the useful life of new batteries.

RV Education 101 & RV University went mobile!
Check us out on the go
from your phone!. .....

Share your thoughts & experiences with other RVers and Campers

16 RV Single DVD Titles in our Library

An Introduction to RV's
Drive Your Motorhome Like a Pro
RV Awning Use, Care and Accessories
RV Safety Features, Tips and Tricks
Pop Up 101
Travel Trailer 101
Class A Motor Home 101
Class C Rental / Owner
Winterizing & Storing your RV
EZ RV Add Ons and Must Have RV Products
Trailer Towing, Weights, Hitch Work & Backing
Motorhome Towing
RV Campground Basics
Marks Recommended 10 minute RV Essential Items
Deep Cycle Battery Care & Maintenance for RV's and Boats
RV Care and Maintenance

Money Saving DVD Sets Available

Travel Trailer / 5th Wheel Training DVD Sets
Class A Training DVD Sets
Class C Training DVD Sets

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The Original Checklists for RVers
Winterizing and Storing your RV
THE RV BOOK now available as an ebook
The Three Primary Systems of an RV
Insider's Guide to Buying an RV
RV Buyers Survival Guide
Trailer Towing, Weights, Hitch Work & Backing
A Collection of RV Tips
Pop-Up Basics 101
Dinghy Towing
Deep Cycle Battery Care and Maintenance
RV Awning Use and Care
RV Safety Features, Tips and Tricks
RV Care and Maintenance
RV Campground Basics

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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 13 and Josh 19, 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 http://www.rveducation101.com

RV University This Week © Copyright 2010 Mark J. Polk, except where indicated otherwise. All rights reserved worldwide. Reprint only with permission from copyright holder(s). All trademarks are property of their respective owners. All contents provided as is. Advertisers are solely responsible for ad content.

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Happy Camping,

Mark & Dawn


RV Education 101
150 Bay Ridge Rd
Harrells, NC 28444-8896



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