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Mark’s RV Garage Episode #2

Posted by RV Education 101

Mark’s RV Garage Internet TV show is a streamed video. You will need an Internet connection to view the program. Total Run Time 32:49

This episode of Mark’s RV Garage is sponsored by:

 KOA Campgrounds , Camping World and RV Education 101

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See Highlights of Episode 2 Below:

Mark’s RV Product Spotlight: One of the least favorite jobs having to do with RV’s is emptying the holding tanks. I am all for anything that can make this job easier, and trust me when I say not all RV sewer hoses are made equal. I have tried lots of different sewer hose products over the years and the brand of sewer hoses and extensions I use are EZ Coupler and Dominator.

The EZ Coupler and Dominator sewer hoses and extension hoses make the not so fun job of emptying the holding tanks a breeze. Get more information on these products or purchase a sewer hose kit go to Camping World. 


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What do I consider to be a vintage trailer? Well, when you talk about vintage trailers lots of folks think about trailers that were built in the 30s, 40s or 50s, or they think about a particular brand name like airstream, Spartan or Prairie Schooner. I think any trailer you find today from the 30s through the 60s are classic vintage trailers. When I started to consider a vintage trailer restoration project I wasn’t as concerned about a name or era of time as I was about a finding a trailer with a good foundation at the right price.

I think there are lots of these old vintage trailers sitting around out there that can be found and restored back to a useable condition at a fairly reasonable cost.  Find an old trailer that you like the looks of, or one that has some character. If you can find an old trailer with a semi solid structure at the right price and you like the way it looks it can make a fun vintage trailer restoration project. I say go for it, you only go around once, have some fun!


Marks RV Mailbox

Question #1  Hi Mark: I’ve been trying to find information about orphan RVs and if they will be supported in some way or another.  So far, I’ve come up with nothing concrete.  In particular, I’m talking about Fleetwood Discovery, 2006-08 model years.

We understand that Fleetwood has been bought by another company and I’ve written them asking this very same question.  Have you heard if people are having difficulty finding parts for their orphaned RVs?  We are getting closer and closer to selling our house to go fulltiming so we are honing in on which RV will work for us.  I’m pretty much focused on the Fleetwood Discovery because of its floor plan and side aisle bathroom.  However, we want to be armed with as much information as possible so that our choice is a smart one.

Kind regards, Vickie

Mark’s Answer:  Good question Vickie. Let me start by explaining what an orphan RV is for those of you not familiar with the term. An orphan RV is an RV that was built and sold and at some point after the sale the RV manufacturer went out of business , leaving the consumer with no warranty, parts or service network. Unfortunately this happened with lots of RV manufacturers across the country during the recession

Orphan RV’s have been a problem for lots of RVers as more manufacturers have closed their doors. Fleetwood however will continue to support RV owners in warranty, parts and service. If a person owns a motorized Fleetwood product, built prior to the new Fleetwood ownership, warranty work and service work will be honored at current Fleetwood dealerships.

This isn’t to say they will all be happy to do the work (it’s sad but some dealerships don’t like to work on units they didn’t sell) but they are supposed to work on Fleetwood products. So, its safe to say there is a pretty strong network regardless of where your travels may take you.

One other thought is to consider a good service contract on the unit so it will still be covered after any factory warranty expires. Just do your home work and make sure it is a reputable company with a good network of dealers around the country who will honor the contract.

There are many orphaned RV owners who can’t get any support whatsoever and that is a sad fact, but motorized Fleetwood products do not fall into that category. I hope this helps answer your questions and concerns and thanks for writing.


RV Trivia

The way the RV industry measures growth is by the number of RVs that are shipped from manufacturers to dealers each year. After many years of steady growth RV shipments reached a record high 390,500 shipments in 2006. RV shipments declined when the recession hit and RV dealer inventory levels hit record lows in 2009. The number of RV shipments fell to 65,700 that year. Moderate growth of RV shipments are expected to rise to 259,600 units in 2011 according to statistics provided by the Recreational Vehicle Industry Association.


RV Training Products by:

RV Education 101


Question #2:  Hi Mark, I’m new to the RV world and can use some help. Last year we bought a 2011 31 ft. Class C motorhome. When we went on our first trip to Florida everything ran fine, and I stayed between 60 & 65 mph. We were running pretty light as we carried no water and minimal personal belongings. All of the mileage was highway driving. What I want to ask you is if there is any way to increase this mpg without voiding the warranty or incurring great cost? Maybe a new chip or something will help. I have no idea what to do, this is just a little too poor mpg and will limit our use very much. I look forward to any help you can provide.

Mark Says:  Well Ernie, I am assuming that your Class C is powered by a Ford Triton V10. If this is the case you can really only expect to get about 8 mpg on a good day with a tail wind. I am a little heavy footed and average about 7 to 7 1/2 mpg on most trips we take in our 35 foot Class A.

Of course weight and personal driving habits have a lot to do with it, so the larger the motorhome, like your 31 foot Class C, the more it will be affected than say a 24 foot model would be.

There are engine tuners or chips available for most engines that improve the performance, and in many cases the fuel economy. I suggest you ask a local Ford dealer about performance chips and how it would affect the vehicles warranty. One interesting thing I have heard about the Ford V10 engine is that fuel economy improves slightly after you put the first 12,000 miles or so on the engine. This may be where it goes from the 6 mpg you are experiencing to the 71/2 mpg that I get. Either way it’s not very good, but you can’t expect a lot from a V10 engine designed to be a workhorse.

Lots of folks talk about upgrading to a performance exhaust system or dual exhaust system and upgrading to a cold air intake system. These types of modifications can result in a slight increase in fuel economy, but you will need to determine if the cost of these improvements out weigh the benefits they offer.

The good news is there are a number of things RV owners can do to maximize their fuel efficiency lets take a look at some right now.


These fuel economy tips were taken from our Drive your Motorhome like a Pro DVD. This DVD is full of great RV driving information by a professional driver  and hosted by yours truly. If you want to learn how to drive your motorhome like a pro in the comfort of your own home or RV this is the DVD that will teach you.


Trivia History of the Yellowstone Trailer

In 1945, Elmer Weaver organized the Yellowstone Coach Co. in Wakarusa Indiana just outside of Elkart. After World War II travel trailer production quickly grew in the Elkhart Indiana area and by the onset of the next decade there were over 35 companies manufacturing trailers in the Elkhart area alone. By 1950, Elkhart was tagged by many as the trailer capital of the world.

Yellowstone trailers were popular during the time and were said to be exceptionally well built, but a little on the heavy side. It was also said Yellowstone travel trailers were the choice for traveling carnival employees.

Here are some interesting facts about our Yellowstone project trailer. It is a 1967 Cavalier model. From tongue to bumper it measures 16 feet long, and based on some old advertisements I found it weighed in at just under 2,500 pounds, with a hitch weight of 245 pounds. The interior height is 6 feet 2 inches and the overall width is 7 feet. The standard measurement for a travel trailer in the RV industry is from the front of the tongue to the rear bumper. This means a 16 foot trailer will have approximately 13 feet of useable living space. Not much room based on today’s standard, but back in the day that was a pretty nice amount of space for a camping trip. Old Yellowstone advertisements I ran across stated  that “a well-balanced 13-footer is 6’6” wide, sleeps 4 to 6 or 4 to 8 very comfortably in your choice of floor plan” I hope those 8 people get along really well with each other, especially if it’s raining outside.


RV Trivia Question:  Approximately how many RV manufacturers went out of business during the recession?

a) 10

b) 15

c)  More than 20

Answer c) approximately 22 RV manufacturers and  over 160 RV dealerships went out of business or filed for bankruptcy during the recession


Cool RV Destinations

If you’re looking for a great coastal area to go camping along the east coast don’t miss out on the KOA in Myrtle Beach South Carolina. Let’s look at why this is a must visit destination for 2011.

You simply won’t find a better camping location in this vacation mecca than the Myrtle Beach KOA. Established more than 40 years ago, it’s now in the heart of this coastal city’s myriad attractions. The Myrtle Beach KOA is  within walking distance of two amusement &  water parks, four miniature golf courses, live music theaters like the Carolina Opry, more than 40 restaurants and, of course, dazzling sand beaches. Don’t forget to visit the NASCAR SpeedPark and if you like to play golf practice your game on the more than 100 golf courses in the area.

With all of this fun and convenience right outside of your RVs door, you will be delightfully surprised by the campground’s setting, with shady sites scattered among mature trees. If you don’t have an RV don’t worry there are plenty of kamping kabins, lodges and park homes to accommodate you and your family.


For current RV news and entertainment join us on Facebook and Twitter. The information is updated on a regular basis and we offer discounts and specials to all of our friends on these social networks. To join in on the fun just go to www.rvconsumer.com and click on facebook or twitter and happy RV learning.


Thanks for joining me today in my RV garage. Travel safe and have fun in your RV and remember when it comes to learning about RV’s we’ve got you covered. Be sure to take a minute and visit www.rvconsumer.com and we’ll see you right back here next on our next episode of marks RV garage.

Mark Polk


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Thank-you to our “Mark’s RV Garage” show Sponsors:

KOA camping is different Our Great People make sure of that. We’re near most every attraction and national park in America. Wherever you want to go. At every one of our over 475 locations our focus is you. KOA is by far the largest group of affiliated campgrounds on the continent.
From Wi-Fi and cable to fire rings and food service, KOA has you covered. Your experiences. Your enjoyment. Your memories. Your camping.

Camping World
Camping World began with one small store and a mail order business in an old farmhouse heated by a wood-burning stove. A tobacco barn served as their first warehouse. Since then, Camping World has grown into America’s leading RV accessories and service experts, bringing you everything you need for your RV, with Nationwide SuperCenters, an award-winning website, and full-color catalogs.

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.

RV products are designed with your comfort in mind. With over 80 years in the RV industry, Dometic has become a leader in manufacturing innovative, high-quality RV products that enhance the living space in your RV, motorhome or coach.

RV-500 Space and Water Heating Systems for Recreational Vehicles
The RV-500 delivers on demand hot water
efficiently and conveniently with up to 55,000 BTU’s of power.
The RV-500 is quiet and efficient.

ASA Electronics
brings you the high quality electronics that mobile applications require. ASA works side by side with your designers, engineers, and sales team to develop and provide customized solutions through exclusive engineering,
thorough testing, and tailor made product designs

Progressive Dynamics Inc.
The source of bright ideas since 1964
Progressive Dynamics offers quality Recreational Vehicle products to the RV industry. And in recent years has developed several
new products for the RV Industry

The original MaxxAir product was a louvered vent cap cover, but from that we have engineered and manufactured several ventilation products for the RV market. The best way to describe MaxxAir is to say
it’s in the air moving business
— RV ventilation to be more specific

DirecLink ActuLink ActuLink ABS Module
A Complete System with each Component Linked Together by a Digital Control and Diagnostic Network. The systems of your tow vehicle don’t work independently of each other. Network computer control systems link them so they work seamlessly together.

Why would you want the brake system of your towable working in isolation from your tow vehicle? Vehicle control networks have evolved into powerful and flexible systems.

It is this technology that has paved the way for a revolution in towable braking systems. The DirecLink Network-Based Towable Brake System is the new standard.

Kodiak Trailer Components was established in December 1989, as a manufacturer of products for boat trailers. The product range has varied greatly during our evolution, but since 1994, Kodiak has been the leader in developing hydraulic disc brakes for the trailer industry.

Kodiak’s product line now includes multiple options to select from, with disc brake sets ranging from 2000 lb. axle sets through 10000 lb. axle sets. Our customers represent all types of trailer manufacturers including marine, RV, horse, commercial/industrial, cargo, and even certain operations from the military.

The automotive industry converted to disc brakes for good reason. Specify Kodiak disc brakes on your next traileryou’ll be glad you did!

Charlie and I (Robert) are the third generation in the business(RV Product Accessories). We have scraped knuckles making proto types, and traveled the roads to meet with customers in their back yards. At our facility we talk about ISO-9000, CNC Machinery, Capability Studies, and developing reliable manufacturing systems. But on the road we talk to our customers about their goals and their vision, what lies ahead for them over the next five years. Until we understand what lies ahead for our customers we can not orchestrate our business. Serving your needs is the only way we can achieve success. Then the secret is to never stop chasing the needs of your customers. How can we help you today to be successful tomorrow? RV accessories such as electric tongue jacks, scissor jacks, hand rails and much more…

The Original Equal-i-zer® Sway Control Hitch, with 4-Point Sway Control™, helps the driver be in control and the passengers be at ease. It has been specially designed to tackle the three biggest problems found with conventional trailer hitches: trailer sway, weight distribution, and complicated hook-ups. We continually strive to move forward and be innovative in all our activities.