Category Archives: RV Education

Podcast 037 – FMCA’s Chris Smith

[iframe style="border:none" src="//" height="100" width="100%" scrolling="no" allowfullscreen webkitallowfullscreen mozallowfullscreen oallowfullscreen msallowfullscreen]RV owners from throughout North America — members of FMCA, the world's largest not-for-profit association for RV owners — will head to North Dakota August 14-17 in celebration of an FMCA convention milestone, "Magic Minot — 100 Times The Fun" - the theme for FMCA's…
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Podcast 036 – GoPower’s Mark Spilsbury Talks about Energy Options for RVs

[iframe style="border:none" src="//" height="100" width="100%" scrolling="no" allowfullscreen webkitallowfullscreen mozallowfullscreen oallowfullscreen msallowfullscreen]We jump back into energy options this week as we welcome Mark Spilsbury from Go Power. Mark was born and raised in Victoria, BC, Canada, Mark joined the Go Power! team in 2001. Since then he has become a resident Solar Expert, and taken his…
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Podcast 034 – Meet Chad Reece, Chairman of RVIA PR Committee – learn about RVs Move America and more!

[iframe style="border:none" src="//" height="100" width="100%" scrolling="no" allowfullscreen webkitallowfullscreen mozallowfullscreen oallowfullscreen msallowfullscreen]There are a lot of things that go on behind the scenes in the RV industry that help promote RVs and the RV lifestyle that consumers may not be aware of. One of the most important of those is RVs Move America Week in Washington,…
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Meet Dave of a Journey in a Journey and Hear About his Lifetime RV Trip

[iframe style="border:none" src="//" height="100" width="100%" scrolling="no" allowfullscreen webkitallowfullscreen mozallowfullscreen oallowfullscreen msallowfullscreen]Dave Prata is a former Field Network Technician of 14 years with a large cable company, and currently operates a small technology consulting firm on the road, while traveling the United States with a goal to visit every National Park in the lower 48 states.…
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Podcast 030 – Guest Steve Anderson of Workamper News on RVing in New England

[iframe style="border:none" src="//" height="100" width="100%" scrolling="no" allowfullscreen webkitallowfullscreen mozallowfullscreen oallowfullscreen msallowfullscreen]Our guest tonight is Steve Anderson, president of Workamper News. If you have ever wondered how RVers earn money on the road, tune in tonight to find out what Workamping is all about. Check out this episode!
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Podcast 009 – Guests Mark and Dawn Polk of RV Education 101

[podcast src="" height="360" width="100%" placement="top" theme="standard"]Back by popular demand! Dawn and Mark Polk make a return visit to RVing in New England to talk about some of their new education and training products for consumers and RV dealers. The hour will pass quickly! RV Education 101 produces professional RV how-to instruction training videos and DVD's,…
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Understanding your RV Energy and Power Options

As our RVs become more sophisticated with more technology, understanding your RV energy and power options becomes important. On this NERVDA Live talk show, we spoke to Mike Keller of Keller RV and Marine, about this topic.
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Sealtech Mfg RV Leak Detection Systems Show

If you didn't catch this show live, you just might want to watch this video, especially if you have ever had a leak in your RV. Learn all about RV leaks and how you can test for them for peace of mind when you are enjoying your RV. Meet the owner of Sealtech Manufacturing that…
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Have you heard, “This truck has the best towing power in its class”?

We have all seen the TV commercials with a Toyota Tundra pulling the Space Shuttle. We have also been told by our truck sales representatives that, "This truck has the best towing power in its class." With that being said, when looking at campers we become confident that our 1/2 ton truck, which includes F-150, Chevy, Dodge or GMC 1500's, and the Toyota Tundra, can tow the travel trailer we are looking at or own.

If properly equipped, the larger V-8 Chevy, Dodge, Toyota, and the turbo charged V-6 from Ford all have great tow ratings. Many are above 8,500 lbs. with the correct gear ratio. However...there is always a however! There is a weak point with these lighter duty trucks that consumers (and your vehicle sales representative) are UNAWARE of which are the TIRES. Now don't get me wrong, today's 1/2 ton trucks are great! I presently own one myself and Pete's RV in Burlington Vermont owns three. They truly are great trucks for towing and also as our daily drivers.

As I mentioned, the tires are a weak point that we usually do not discover until we tow. When towing a travel trailer behind our 1/2 ton truck especially at highway speeds, we will experience some cross winds or we will be passed by a large vehicle. This will cause our trailer to sway. This is actually the action where our trailer is being pushed to the side causing the tires to roll slightly on the trailer and then snapping back. This is what we call "SWAY" in the RV world. This actually can be extremely dangerous in certain situations! If you have experienced this, you know is it not pleasurable and can make for an extremely long drive to your destination. In addition, this situation is strenuous and exhausting to the driver!

Our lighter duty trucks are more susceptible to sway due to their "P" rated or "passenger vehicle" rated tires. These tires do meet or exceed all of the weight limits and ratings of the truck. However, they have a lighter duty sidewall than we will see on today's 3/4 or 1 ton trucks. The reason the truck manufacturers install these tires is to give us a better ride when we are not towing. When we are using our trucks for daily drivers and grocery getters, we want the best possible ride for our day to day routines. This is important for me too!

How do we combat SWAY when towing and not loose the good ride of our truck when doing our day to day routines? We could spend hundreds to thousands of dollars on new tires that we probably don't require 99% of the time. New tires will also hinder our current great ride! The appropriate alternative is to purchase and use one of todays state of the art load leveling and anti-sway hitch system for our 1/2 ton truck.

There are many systems on the market that will give us the same load leveling capabilities! However, be aware some systems based on price point are made of inferior metals and components (you get what you pay your homework). Anti-sway and the correct load leveling bars are imperative to safe towing. We want a hitch with the best sway control possible for your vehicles tow capacity, tire load ratings, and the trailers tongue weight etc...this is a science with today's advanced vehicles and campers.

When purchasing a new camper, trading up, or buying your first used camper from a private party, I strongly recommend speaking to and listening to your local, reputable RV dealership. Your local RV dealership wants to earn your trust and your long lasting business relationship. I try to explain to all my just made a significant purchase on your camper and tow vehicle. The hitch is the number one safety factor between the two vehicles and your family's safety while towing to your destination. This is not the product you want to save fifty bucks on either in price or self install.

Ask about sway control and get educated about how it works. Inquire about which one will work most efficiently with your half ton truck before purchasing an inexpensive hitch that will work on the load however not great on the sway!

It is also important to load the truck and trailer wisely. Have a trained service technician set up your weight distribution system for the best safe tow.

Happy Camping!