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RV University This Week 05/23/2011

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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 #100 - May 23, 2011

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"To get many years of reliable service and use from your RV it is imperative that schedules and recommended maintenance intervals are followed. Preventive Maintenance is maintenance you perform on your RV before a problem exists. These types of 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. These checks can help towards enjoying trouble free operation of your RV."
~Mark Polk

by Mark Polk

Hi Everybody,

Several years ago we started sending our e-newsletter out. In the beginning we only had a handful of subscribers. Back then we sent it out once a month. In 2009 we changed the newsletter format to "RV University This Week" and began sending it out weekly. Today we have over 22,000 subscribers and this is our 100th weekly issue of RV University this Week.

It's amazing how fast time flies.

The other day when I was driving to the garage I noticed my truck's odometer had just turned over to 80,000 miles. It seems like just the other day the truck was brand new, off the dealership floor. When I got to the garage I had to take the motorhome for its annual safety inspection. On the way there I noticed it just passed the 30,000 mile mark. It too seems like just the other day it was brand new.

I'm sure it won't be long before I glance down and see the truck's odometer approaching 100,000 miles and the motorhome hitting the 50,000 mile mark. The good news is they both still look and run good. That can be attributed to keeping up with preventive and routine maintenance procedures on the vehicles. Be sure and read this week's feature article where I give you some tips on how to increase the engine life of your vehicles.

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

**REMINDER! Like the RV Education 101 Facebook page. We post helpful RV information often and would also appreciate feedback, tips, RV related photos and comments from you!

Tips to Increase Engine Life Today we’re going to talk about some easy ways to increase the life of your tow vehicle or motorhome’s engine. Actually there are many ways to to increase engine life in a vehicle, but I want to narrow the list to what I consider the most important. When all you hear every day is how poorly the economy is doing, it only makes sense to buckle down and take better care of what you already own. ............. Read the article

RV Education Crossword Puzzle
This play and learn crossword puzzle is "Extend the Life of your RV Awnings", by Mark Polk.
Have fun, play and learn.

by Mark Polk

Battery Ratings:

Deep cycle batteries are rated in Amp Hours and more recently Reserve Capacity. The amp hour rating is basically how many amps the battery can deliver for how many hours before the battery is discharged. Battery manufacturers specify the rated capacity of the battery in amp hours at a specific discharge rate. For example, if a lead acid battery is rated for 105 amp hours at a 20 hour rate it will deliver 5.25 amps for 20 hours at standard temperature conditions.

This same battery would be rated at 89 amp hours at a 10 hour rate and deliver 8.9 amps for 10 hours. The basic formula used is Amp Hours divided by Hours = Amps. We can go one step further and look at the discharge time in minutes based on the discharge current. The same battery used in our example at a 40 amp discharge current would last approximately 83 minutes. At a 5 amp discharge current it would last for over 1200 minutes.

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.

Portable Surge Guard: Available in your choice of 30 Amp or 50 Amp- Surge protection is protection against voltage spikes on power lines. These voltage spikes can cause severe damage to electronic and electrical equipment. With today’s RV coming equipped with sophisticated and sensitive electronic equipment, a few short seconds of faulty power can damage appliances and electronics in the RV like stereos, satellite systems, microwaves, televisions, refrigerators and computers. The TRC Surge Guard family of power protection devices are designed to protect your RV’s electrical system and sophisticated electronics from the dangers of faulty electrical power.

Surge Guard offers total protection with three individual safety circuits. It checks the power pedestal for damaging mis-wire conditions and has a warning indicator for reverse polarity, dangerous current on ground wire and pedestal mis-wiring. It offers Solid state full mode surge protection and Automatic over and under voltage protection. Standard surge protectors do not provide protection for over and under voltage or open neutral conditions, The surge guard is weather-resistant, so you simply plug it in to the power pedestal and plug the RV power cord into the surge guard.

When your RV has thousands of dollars worth of electronic appliances and equipment it only makes sense to protect your investment. One faulty wiring situation or power surge at the campground can cost you 3, 4 or 5 times the cost of a surge guard surge protector. Don’t leave home without it~ Mark Polk Available at Camping World

Check out this week's poll: "How many e-newsletters do you subscribe to?"
To participate in the poll, look on the left hand column (here at RV University) towards the top

...with Mark Polk

Q. I bought a used travel trailer last year that is permanently set up in a campsite. Not knowing anything about RVs, nor asking any questions, I just put my key in the door and walked into a place that I call paradise. After experiencing some problems with the toilet and learning/dealing with the holding tanks I decided to put in a regular flush toilet. I had it installed & the plumber (a RV specialist) said I still had to empty the holding tank. I would not have spent the money to have the same problems/issues.

I asked him if it was possible to leave the holding tank valve open and he said yes, but if there were solids in the toilet I would have to flush 2-3 times, plus put the chemicals in to keep everything flowing & not to let it get hard & clogged. I am okay with that but was wondering if it is safe to do things that way??? I am an elderly lady and usually alone and do not want to play around with holding tanks. My gray water is hooked up direct. Can I leave the black water tank open & flush a few times after solids are put in the toilet??? Thanks so much for your time - I really appreciate it. Have a great day!

Mark Says: I do not recommend leaving the black tank valve open all the time. As the plumber said the solids can get hard and cause clogging and other expensive repairs.

Some campgrounds allow the toilet to be hard plumbed directly into the sewer system. This requires that you eliminate the holding tank altogether and plumb the (house type) toilet directly into the sewer system. Check with management, and if they allow this I recommend getting a couple of quotes from plumbers or RV shops on what it would cost.

Where to buy RV Products featured in Mark's RV Garage episodes
Don’t know where to buy? Check out our list of RV Consumer endorsed places to buy RV parts and accessories...........


E-mail: Dawn Polk for Pricing

Campgrounds Join To Offer Flood Evacuee Discounts
Many families in the flood path are seeking refuge in area campgrounds. To help ease the financial strain Many Louisiana sites are discounting rates.......

As Lake Guntersville State Park reopens, 'it will never be the same'
GUNTERSVILLE, Alabama -- Lake Guntersville State Park, closed since an April 27 tornado tore through one of the state's most popular tourist attractions, will reopen Saturday on a limited basis. But it won't be the same resort along the Tennessee River you're accustomed to seeing..........

FEMA trailers for storm victims not allowed in Cordova
CORDOVA, AL (WBRC) - Dozens of FEMA mobile homes are now on the ground in Alabama. There are set up as temporary housing for people who lost their homes in the April 27th tornadoes. Although, none of them are in the hard-hit Walker County town of Cordova and it is causing a lot of tension........

Job Help Rolls In
People in Macon who are looking for work will have another option a little closer to home. The so-called Mobile Lab from the Macon Office of Workforce Development will begin rolling into neighborhoods Friday. The Recreational Vehicle will park in two key locations every week. The program is reaching out to people who want to go back to school and learn new skills. The money comes from federal dislocated worker funds......

Let RV Education 101 help you save money in 2011
This weeks featured product:

Backing a 5th Wheel Trailer E-Course

Backing any trailer can be frustrating and a 5th wheel trailer is no exception. Let Mark Polk show you some excellent tips and techniques for backing a 5th wheel trailer, saving you time, headaches and possibly some money. This is one online e-course that is easily worth 10 times the low cost of only $5.99. Total Run Time is 11 minutes 50 seconds. The video included in this program is referred to as a streamed video. What this means is you must have an Internet connection for the video content to be viewed. The video is not downloaded

RV Videos on Demand Tip: The backing techniques demonstrated in this online e-course can also be applied to backing a conventional travel trailer.


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Progressive Dynamics Inc. The source of bright ideas since 1964 Progressive Dynamics offers quality Recreational Vehicle products to the RV industry.

Dicor Corporation is a leading supplier of innovative products to the OEM and component manufacturers for recreational and conversion vehicle industries, as well to distributors in the recreational vehicle and automotive aftermarkets.

The 2011 Via® With its introduction, the Winnebago Via® created the exclusive Mercedes-Benz® Sprinter-based Class A category and revolutionized the definition of what a Class A coach could be with unparalleled fuel economy and eye-catching styling. For 2011, the revolution continues and the Via shines even brighter with a host of improvements, including the all-new double-slide 25Q floorplan, an improved design of the Flex Bed Sleeping System featured on the popular 25T and a more powerful Mercedes-Benz diesel engine that provides improved fuel economy. The Class A revolution is here. Join in with your very own 2011 Winnebago Via.

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.

Whether you are brand new to the RV experience or a veteran of the traveled road, learn step-by-step, all the facets of RVing - from the obvious to the “I never realized that”... Go HERE to find out....

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

This online RV training program includes an RV orientation video similar to the walk-through class you receive at the RV dealership. The RV Orientation video is 54 minutes long and is packed with information on topics like campground setup, the LP gas system, water system, wastewater system, electrical system, RV appliances, RV accessories and much more. We even added a bonus chapter on RV safety features, and some bloopers to make it more entertaining. The video is generic and covers all types of RV’s including motorized and towable RV’s. If your RV dealer does not offer this online RV training program you can purchase it here

We also offer RV Dealer 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

RV Education 101 & RV University went mobile!
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Money Saving DVD Sets Available

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

17 RV Single DVD Titles in our Library

An Introduction to RV's
Pop Up 101
Travel Trailer 101
Class A Motor Home 101
Class C Rental / Owner
RV Awning Use, Care and Accessories
RV Safety Features, Tips and Tricks
Winterizing & Storing your RV
EZ RV Add Ons and Must Have RV Products
Tow Your 5th Wheel Like a Pro
Trailer Towing, Weights, Hitch Work & Backing
Drive Your Motorhome Like a Pro
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

15 RV Instant Download E-Book Titles in our Library

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

Go for the RV Gold Program
The Go For the RV Gold program is loaded with one-on-one RV training videos, feature articles, RV tips, crossword puzzles, member discounts for RV services and RV products, quizzes, and much more. This is the only online RV training program that will teach you everything you need to know about your RV at such a reasonable cost, and totally at your leisure with no deadlines. There are customized worksheets provided for navigation, so nothing is missed or overlooked. There is a space provided for you to make notes for each topic and then a feature to print the worksheet when completed.

At the end of the program there is a 25 question final exam. If you pass the final exam (you need a 72% or higher score) you will receive your “Go for the RV Gold” training certificate that you that you can proudly display in your home or RV. P.S. If you don’t pass the final exam, you will be given an opportunity to take it again until you do pass, so you can receive your Go for the RV Gold certificate.

National Interstate Insurance company offers a 5% safe driver discount when you successfully complete the “Go for the RV Gold” program. Just present your “Go for the RV Gold” certificate of completion to an authorized National Interstate Insurance agent.

The membership fee is only $49.95 per month for 3 months. Billing is on a 30 recurring basis until the final payment is made. This equates to only $12.49 for each in-depth weekly RV training course. When you select the recurring billing payment option you receive the a new RV training module each month. You can’t beat this low pricing for one-on-one RV education training in the comfort of your own home or RV. There is no driving to get to the training location, no packed classrooms and no time restraints.

Note: There is second payment option available where you can pay the full $149.85 program price in one payment. If you select this payment option you will receive all 3 RV modules (12 weekly courses) at one time, after payment and registration.

This program compliments our current line of RV Education 101 training dvds!

3 payments of $49.95 or a 1 time payment of $149.85 Buy Now

Episode #1 of "Mark's RV Garage"

Episode #2 of "Mark's RV Garage"

Episode #3 of "Mark's RV Garage"

Episode #4 of "Mark's RV Garage"

Episode #5 of "Mark's RV Garage"

Episode #6 of "Mark's RV Garage"

Episode #7 of "Mark's RV Garage"

Episode #8 of "Mark's RV Garage"

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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 14 and Josh 20, both avid RVers and three dogs, Roxie, Gracie and Buck. 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 1999- 2011 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



Copyright 2011 by RV Education 101

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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