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Mark’s RV Garage Episode #8

Posted by RV Education 101

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Mark’s RV Garage Internet TV show is a streamed video. You will need an Internet connection to view the program. Total Run Time 31:50

Also available for viewing on YouTube (scroll down to the bottom of this post) You may embed the YouTube video (or the video player below) on your blog, Facebook or website….help us spread the word!)

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

Explorer RV InsuranceKOA Campgrounds , Camping World and RV Education 101

See Highlights of Episode 8 Below:

**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!

Our friends at Microsoft streets and trips were gracious enough to send us 5 copies of the streets and trips with GPS locator. This is a 70 dollar value and we are giving these away for free, but there is a twist. Send me your best RV camping tip and if I use it on a show episode you get a copy of Microsoft streets and trips absolutely free. I’ll even pay for the shipping. You can’t beat that. So here is what you do. Send me your best RV camping or RV tech tip. For example to remember that your RV antenna is in the raised position hang your tow vehicle or motorhome keys from the antenna handle. That way you can’t drive off with youtr antenna up. Man I should give myself a copy for a great tip like that. So what are you waiting for send your tips today and start planning your RV trip with streets and trips tomorrow. E-mail me (Mark) your best tip and put my camping tip in the subject line.
The winner of this week’s Microsoft Streets and Trips is John.

Tip by John Z:
Here is a tip I believe covers safety, functionality, efficiency and environmentally friendly. 

Purchase solar landscape lighting to place around the perimeter of our awning area. Here’s why:

1) The sun will charge the internal batteries through the solar panels and will light up the area of our awning perimeter to prevent people who occasionally walk through camping areas from bumping their head on our awning in the dark as well as letting them know where our patio perimeter is. Safety.

2) While it’s lighting up our perimeter, it will provide enough light around the door areas at night for security. As you’ve said, not everyone in a campground is trustworthy. Functionality and Efficiency.

3) Again while it’s lighting up our perimeter, it will provide a soft ambiance while relaxing in the evening and provide a sense of “style” to our campsite. Functionality and Efficiency.

4) They are powered by the sun; no need for electrical cords or step stools to hang lights around the edge of the awning for a chance of falling. Safety and Environmentally Friendly.

5) Ease of use. You simply push them into the ground a few feet apart, the sunlight charges them up, then just pull them up when you’re ready to leave the campsite. I figure 6 should do the trick; 4 around the outside of the perimeter and 1 on either side of the perimeter. Safety, Functionality, Efficiency and Environmentally Friendly.

You can get them just about anywhere. Kim & I have found them at Big Lots, Wal-Mart, Home Depot and Lowe’s Home Improvement for just a couple of bucks a piece or you can buy them in sets of 6, 12, 24 or more relatively inexpensive, too! They’re small, lightweight, inexpensive and no additional cost for use. They even come in a wide variety of shapes, styles and colors to match anyone’s RV.


Thanks John Z, keep checking your mailbox, your free copy of Microsoft Streets& trips with GPS is on its way. We still have one copy left so keep the camping tips coming and it could be you that gets the next free copy of Microsoft Streets and Trips.

RV trips are fun, but it’s important that you understand all of the safety features on your RV just in case on an emergency. This includes LP gas, water and electrical system safety, fire safety and emergency weather planning,  just to name a few. It sounds overwhelming, but we have a DVD to help make it easy. Check out our RV Safety features, Tips & tricks DVD

Mark’s RV Product Spotlight:
Did you ever want some light in your RV where there is no light? I think it happens to most of us, you would like a light in a closet or under a cabinet to make it easier to see. Wiring a 12 volt or 120 volt light in your RV is not always possible, so what other options do we have? I found the perfect solution for lighting up those hard to see areas; it’s called Rite Lite wireless LED puck lights.

LED stands for light emitting diode. These wireless LED lights are extremely energy efficient and work off of 3 triple A batteries. They have 5 super bright white lights that will last up to 100,000 hours. They feature a one touch on/off switch with a dimmer and the light head swivels and pivots for easy positioning of the light. Another great feature is the optional light sensor. If you place it in a closet the light will automatically come on when ambient light is detected and it turns off without ambient light. There is a setting for high ambient light or low ambient light. There are no wires, plugs or difficult installation. It installs in seconds with the hook and loop tape or with the screw provided.

The Rite Lite wireless LED puck lights work great in all those dark or dimly lit areas of your RV and they are great to have during power outages too. I use them in the RV and around the house. These are long lasting energy efficient lights. Don’t leave home without them. ~ Mark Polk

BUY HERE from Camping World

Marks RV Mailbox:

Q: Mark,
I currently have two T105 6-volt batteries in my fifth-wheel. These two
batteries barely fit in the small external battery compartment.  I would
like to add additional batteries if possible.  Is it okay to mix battery
types, such as installing a couple of AGM or similar type batteries in my
system in a front enclosed storage compartment while keeping the lead acid
batteries? Thank You for any information you can give me.

Mark says: The quick answer to your question is no, you should never mix battery types, sizes or age of batteries in the same battery bank. The batteries will seek out the weaker or older battery and cause multiple problems. Another rule of thumb is to never replace just one battery. If one battery needs to be replaced you need to replace them all at the same time.

For more information on RV battery care and maintenance check out our  Deep Cycle Battery Care and Maintenance for RV’s and Boats

RV Buzz Quick Tip: The other day John L. wrote to me with this quick tip. My wife and I have a set of awning lights, similar to those featured on episode #6 of Marks RV Garage.  Even using 15 watt bulbs, I kidded my wife that we could be seen from outer space.  Therefore, we went to Lowes and purchased an extension cord with a built in dimmer.  Now we use the awning lights without disturbing our neighbors and even aircraft. Thanks for the tip John L.

Trivia question about Mark: How does Mark usually refer to the travel trailer restoration project?

A) The vintage trailer,

B) The old Yellowstone trailer,

 C) Old yeller

ANSWER:  B) The old Yellowstone trailer

Tin Can Tourists: Have you ever heard of the tin can tourists? The Tin Can Tourists is an organization committed to the celebration of all make and model classic trailers and motor coaches. Its goal is to promote and preserve vintage trailers and motor coaches through annual gatherings of owners and friends.

In 1998, Forrest and Jeri Bone renewed the club as an all make and model vintage trailer and motor coach club. The renewal gathering was held at Camp Dearborn, Milford, Michigan. The group has been growing steadily, currently holding Annual Gatherings in Michigan, Florida, and regional rallies at various locations in the US. Its goal is to abide by the original group’s objectives and guiding principles as well as the promotion and preservation of vintage trailers and motor coaches through Gatherings and information exchange.

The new version of Tin Can Tourists is open to all. There are currently over 800 members. TCT offers you a chance to meet and have fun with other owners who share an interest in vintage RV’s. All you need is a love of these vintage “Kings of the Road”. If you would like more information on the tin can tourists, or if you would like to join the tin can tourists go HERE

Watch the RV Cooking Show: A virtual cooking class on wheels with an RV travel component, The RV Cooking Show takes viewers on adventures to some of the most sought-after or interesting but little-known RV locations in the country and then creates a healthy, easy, delicious destination-related dish in host Evanne Schmarder’s RV kitchen.Each less-than-10-minute episode – part travelogue, part cooking show – shares travel tips, ideas and recommendations on popular RVing locales and products then walks viewers through the preparation of a delicious destination-related dish. Past episodes include a tour of Albuquerque’s 505 Chili Factory and Huevos Rancheros, Mojitos and the Fabulous Florida Keys and a salmon dinner in conjunction with the spectacular Olympic National Park.Viewers have the option of watching the RV Cooking Show on YouTube, various RV-related websites such as Camping.com and RVDreamRadio or on the RV Cooking Show website. So as not to miss a single savory episode, viewers may subscribe to the show on YouTube or on this website. An RV industry insider, full-time RVer Ms. Schmarder connects with viewers in part by “living the (their) RV dream”. She is a professional speaker, writer, foodie and unabashed explorer.

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


Media Kit

Contact Dawn Polk for Pricing

Watch Episode #1

Watch Episode #2:

Watch Episode #3:

Watch Episode #4:

Watch Episode #5:

Watch Episode #6:

Watch Episode #7:

Watch Episode #8:

Watch Episode #9:

Watch Episode #10:

Watch Episode #11:

Watch Episode #12:

Watch Episode #13:

Watch Episode #14:

Watch Episode #15:

Watch Episode #16:

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.