RV Education

RV 101: A Guide for RV Beginners

Let me start by saying, be careful where you get your RV information from on the Internet. Below I am providing some information on RV topics I get a lot of questions about:

What items do I need to purchase when I buy an RV?
RV 101® Guide for Beginners Essential Items for every RV Trip
Nearly 20 years ago I developed what I refer to as my RV essential items and my nice to have items, for RV camping trips. Today I want to discuss my top 5 RV essential items you need to have on every RV camping trip.
RV 101 Guide to my RV essential items and my nice to have items, for RV camping trips

What is a park model RV?
Recreational Park Trailers (RPTs) are designed to be used as temporary living quarters for recreation, camping, or seasonal use. In most cases these seasonal cottages are taken to a vacation spot, set-up and left there. This can be in an RV park, resort area, or a tranquil location in the mountains, or along the coast, usually within a few hours drive from the owner’s residence.

What is a Class C or Type C motorhome?
Type C Motorhomes, also referred to as mini-motorhomes, are built on a cutaway van chassis. With larger and heavier models being built, some manufacturers are using heavy duty truck chassis’ with higher Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) capacities to build Type C motorhomes on.

What is a Class B or Type B motorhome?
Type B Motorhomes are the smallest of the three motorized RV types, ranging in size from 16 to 20 plus feet. They are conversion vans that have been modified and equipped with all of the comforts and amenities found in other RVs, in a compact size.

What is a Class B or Type B motorhome?
Type A Motorhomes are the largest and most luxurious of motorhomes, ranging in size from 25 to 45 feet. They are the type you see that look similar to a bus, and depending on the price can be equipped with features like a washer and dryer, back-up camera, hydraulic leveling jacks, multiple slide-out rooms, satellite dish, home entertainment system and much more.

What is a Travel Trailer?
Travel Trailers are a popular choice among RVers because of the wide variety of floor plans available. Whether it’s for two people or a family of eight you can find a model that will suit your needs. As with other towables a travel trailer can be disconnected and set-up when you arrive at your destination. This allows you the benefit of using the tow vehicle to make a trip to the store, or to go sight-seeing.

What is a 5th wheel?
Fifth Wheel Travel Trailers are the trailers you see that extend over the bed of the pickup or custom tow vehicle. This bi-level design results in fifth-wheels offering the most living space of any towable RV. They range in size from 21 to 40 feet.

What is a Sport Utility Trailer?
Another addition to travel trailers is the Sport Utility Trailer (SUT), also referred to as toy haulers and Sport Utility RV (SURV). These trailers have living quarters in the front and cargo /storage space in the back.

What is a Hybrid Travel Trailer?
Another version of the travel trailer is a Hybrid Travel Trailer. The concept is a small, light-weight travel trailer with pull-out or drop-down bed ends, similar to a pop-up.

What is a Pop Up?
Folding Camping Trailers often referred to as pop-ups are the least expensive RVs. They are designed to be lightweight and for the most part inexpensive while still providing many of the comforts and conveniences found in a travel trailer. A pop-up incorporates a lift system to raise the roof. When the roof is in the raised position there is a tent fabric, either one piece or several sections, attached to the roof and the box, and it expands out to accommodate the pull out bed ends.

How can I protect my tow vehicle?
When you spend fifty thousand dollars or more on a tow vehicle you don’t intentionally neglect the vehicle. But, it is quite possible to neglect certain things without even knowing it.
What happens to the tow vehicle’s suspension if you don’t have the hitch set-up properly?
Why is heat your tow vehicle’s worst enemy?
Before you layout your hard-earned on a tow vehicle make sure you know how much the vehicle can really tow. What does that mean? It’s unfortunate, but vehicle salespeople don’t know, or don’t understand what a vehicle’s tow rating is. To complicate matters more, in any given model year truck manufacturers offer hundreds of different configurations in the truck and SUV lines they sell. You can take two trucks that are the identical model, year, cab configuration, engine and transmission, and the tow capacities can be thousands of pounds different.
Do what you can to protect your tow vehicle

Question: We own a motorhome and my question is; when we are not using it, and this could be for several months at a time, should I start the engine periodically?
Mark’s Answer: The quick answer to your question is yes, but there are other factors that need to be considered too. You didn’t mention if the motorhome was gas or diesel, or if it does or does not have an on-board generator.
The primary reasons for starting an engine during storage is to keep engine components lubricated. and prevent the fuel from tarnishing and gumming up. Both of these conditions can result in expensive repair bills to correct the problem. Diesel fuel can tolerate storage better than gasoline, but you still have concerns about keeping engine components lubricated.
Here’s what I recommend: CLICK HERE

Can I drink the water in my RV water holding tank?
Take a minute to think about the water system on your RV. First, consider that you add and use water from a different source every time you take the RV camping. Second, consider that some water remains in the RV water lines and in the fresh water holding tank, even after you drain it. This water could potentially sit for several months at a time between RV trips and during storage.
Do I need an RV water filter?

What is the difference between a 30 amp and a 50 amp RV electrical system?
In this RV how-to video Mark Polk, with RV Education 101, explains why you can use more electricity in an RV with a 50 amp service then you can in an RV with a 30 amp service. Watch this RV educational video to find out:



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