VIDEO: Greasing Your Trailer’s Wheel Bearings

May 14, 2014 by · Comments Off 

If you're new here, you may want to subscribe to our E-mail Digest or RSS Feed. We will then send you the stories that are posted each day in an e-mail digest. We use a service called Feedburner for delivery of these emails. You will receive an e-mail from Feedburner after you subscribe and you must click on that email to activate your subscription. Thanks for visiting and enjoy all the information! RV.Net Blog AdminOne of the most vital regular trailer maintenance jobs involves wheel bearings. And yes, if you prefer you can buy your own wheel bearing kit ( and do-it-yourself. If your bearings just need grease instead of replacing, get some Royal Purple bearing grease ( Own a trailer? As you prep your rig for summer travel, don’t forget this crucial task. Wheel bearings are a key component of the trailer axle. They are lubricated with grease. It’s absolutely critical that wheel bearings on an Airstream or other travel trailer are inspected and receive fresh grease every 10,000 miles or so. Yes, you can buy a wheel bearing kit and do this job yourself. (Click the pic for more info.) The cost of this maintenance is a couple hours of labor, which usually is around $200-250. No one enjoys shelling out cash for seemingly mundane maintenance items, but it simply must be done. What’s the downside risk to not doing this maintenance? Read more  Read More →

RV TOWING: Is the “Value” Antisway Bar Worth a Try?

November 9, 2013 by · Comments Off 

Last year our old antisway bar got bent (and I don’t mean it developed a drinking problem). So we went shopping for a new antisway bar and discovered the “Value Friction Sway Control” ( which is simply a lower priced antisway bar. We decided to give it a try on our rig. The "value" antisway bar weights over 13 pounds and costs less than half the price of a standard bar. (Click the pic for more info.) Why bother with an antisway bar? These bars reduce trailer sway and improve handling in adverse towing conditions. For example, when you’re hauling your rig across a wide open stretch of West Texas on a windy day. The idea is that the antisway bar improves the stability of your rig and therefore increases towing safety. If you are towing a trailer any substantial distance, you really need one of these antisway bars working for you. It’s a cheap form of insurance. In some scenarios, a humble antisway bar may help you avoid a disastrous accident. Now on to the bar itself. From the word “value,” I was expecting compromises from this bar. So far, after a full season of camping and literally thousands of miles of towing, I have found none. As Buzz Lightyear might say, the value bar has performed to my expectations – and beyond! The "value" antisway bar appears to be a great, well, VALUE. (Click the pic for more info.) This is a solid, heavy, well constructed piece of gear. The value bar weights 13.2 pounds. The kit... Read more

Use THESE When Backing Up Your RV

September 16, 2013 by · Comments Off 

When we RV camp – especially when we are backing up our travel trailer – we need direct reliable communication. Smartphones don’t always cut it. That’s why we use “walkie-talkies” (two-way radios) like the Midland LTX600VP3 ( We carry a pair in our truck glovebox and use them daily. The Midland LTX600 "walkie-talkies" also include NOAA WEATHER ALERTS, so you get 2-in-1 functionality. (Click the pic for more info.) Walkie-talkies simply work better than smartphones in certain situations. There’s no dialing, no connecting, no signals dropping, no accidentally hanging up. You just mash a button and talk. Bingo! No delays, no fiddling with a Bluetooth or headset. Just talk and go. The Midland LTX600VP3 walkie-talkies are especially handy because they also include NOAA weather alert. So you are getting 2-in-1 functionality with these two-way radios. Our dedicated weather radio is a Midland unit. I would rather own the LTX600VP3 to cover both needs. >We keep our walkie-talkies handy and use 'em daily! (Click the pic for more info.) Walkie-talkies work in rural and urban areas and you can take ‘em places your cell services won’t go. For us, this means Canada – there are no roaming fees with walkie-talkies. In fact, there are no fees of any kind! Walkie-talkies – don’t go RV camping without ‘em. Click here to get your own Midland walkie-talkies.  Read More →

Why Use Cetane Boost in a Diesel Pickup Truck?

July 30, 2013 by · Comments Off 

Why do we use cetane boosting fuel additive ( in our diesel pickup truck? Last year our diesel truck “SEEMORE” suffered a catastrophic engine failure. Specifically, the EGR cooler failed. We ended up needing to replace both the EGR cooler and the oil cooler with new units. It was quite an ordeal, and not easy on the wallet. As we were leaving the service center, I had an interesting chat with an engine technician. We're now running this diesel fuel supplement in our Ford F250 pickup truck. One 80 oz. container treats about 250 gallons of fuel. If it delivers the claimed fuel economy benefits, the additive pays for itself! (Click the pic for more info.) “What should we do,” I asked, “to help maintain our engine in the future? Are there any products you recommend?” “Get a cetane booster fuel additive,” he replied. “It will really improve the fuel.” He then went on to say some unflattering words about what the government has done to diesel fuel in recent years. So I picked up 80 ounces of this stuff: Power Service Diesel Fuel Supplement. This 80 ounce container treats 250 gallons of diesel, so that’s about 10 fill-ups in our truck. It's a sad day when your tow truck gets towed. This is exactly what we're trying to avoid happening again. Will a fuel additive help? It doesn't seem to hurt! (Click the pic for more info.) What are the claimed benefits? It cleans dirty fuel injectors and prevents injector sticking. It boosts... Read more

What’s the Secret to RV Closet Space?

July 29, 2013 by · Comments Off 

Lately on our Facebook page ( we’ve been talking about RV storage space. We love our 25-foot Airstream Classic travel trailer. It’s comfortable, cozy, and has been a wonderful home on wheels to us in a variety of adventures. But one thing it’s not… is spacious. We don’t have a lot of storage space. Forget about measuring storage space in terms of square feet. We need to talk about square inches. Maybe even millimeters (if you can stomach the metric system). Every little bit matters. What’s the secret to making the most of the space on hand? This is a pressing topic for most RV travelers, especially those who go on extended long term trips. These hangers are great for RV travel - they are THIN and also NO SLIP (so clothes don't fall to the floor during travel). Click the photo for more info. First of all, it’s important to only pack items that you need and/or will really use. This is harder than it sounds. In fact, this is one topic that has (gasp!) created some husband/wife relationship friction in our RV travels. We’ve made some memorable mistakes in the packing department. I dare not go into too much detail here, else our website may be renamed Short Short Marriage. Suffice to say that we’ve both been guilty of bringing items on our trips that ended up being unnecessary. Some large, some small. Even after years of taking our Airstream on long term journeys, we still make mistakes. The... Read more

The Weak Link In RV Dash Instrumentation

December 7, 2012 by Lug_Nut · 1 Comment 

A Lug_Nut Thought.  Dash instrumentation has become more and more precise over the years.  Complex informative data can be displayed with near pin point accuracy.  Full “Glass Dashes” like that used in aircraft today are finding their way and showing up on some high end motor coaches.  Digital readouts have become common place in everyday automobiles over the past decade.  Engine temperatures can be observed to the single degree as can speed, engine RPM, manifold pressure, boost pressure, transmission temperature and much more.  In the average vehicle, these multitude of real time data information readings are of little value, outside of a cool looking gimmick.  In most cases “Idiot Lights” would probably suffice.   However, for large vehicles, like heavy motor homes and truck trailer combinations, this information can be vital and of great value.  Observing various data trends and digital readout behavior while travelling, can reveal issues that require attention.  That attention may necessitate an operation strategy change, or, if necessary, a physical investigation. But, there is one instrument that every vehicle has and is used daily.  It has not really evolved operationally over that available when we were born.  While some sensor changes have been made, it is still about as inaccurate as they were 30 years or more ago.  That instrument is the fuel gauge.     Every vehicle I have ever owned, or driven, seemed to have the same inaccurate tendency. ... Read more

Let’s Talk NOOK !

January 2, 2012 by · 25 Comments 

Let’s Talk NOOK ! Recently I wrote an article about the Amazon Kindle (one appropriately if unimaginatively titled Let’s Talk KINDLE !). The crux of my essay was that e-readers are the best thing to hit RV’s since flush toilets. There are many e-readers available for your purchasing pleasure. One of the most popular rhymes with “book.” Why did I choose to focus on Kindle? Conspiracy theories abound. Am I biased? Have I loaded up our investment portfolio on AMZN? Or am I merely an Amazon fanboy who wears Jeff Bezos pajamas? Nah. While I may be a bit of an Amazon fanboy, I wrote about Kindle because Amazon is currently KING KONG of the e-reader world. Yes, if recent sales figures are to be believed, Amazon is now perched on a skyscraper high above E-Reader Metropolis with Fay Wray sitting on its lap. Or is that Jeff Bezos in a dress? Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos in a dress? This is wrong on many levels. Anyway, with Kindles selling faster than mouse ears at Disney World, it’s good to be King Kong. But if there’s a pesky swarm of biplanes on the horizon, it’s the Barnes & Noble NOOK. The author's book on his wife's NOOK. The Nook is a series of e-reader devices sold by everyone’s favorite brick-and-mortar bookstore behemoth. These range from inexpensive e-ink readers (Nook Simple Touch) to more robust tablets (Nook Color & Nook Tablet). You can buy Nooks online, in 90,000-square-foot bookstores, in shady back alleys,... Read more

Mark’s RV Garage Season One Finale Released

September 26, 2011 by Mark Polk · 1 Comment 

RV Education 101 releases the season finale of the new Internet based RV How-To series titled “Mark’s RV Garage.” The new episode is available for viewing at and on You Tube            After 16 bi-monthly episodes the highly anticipated season finale is released, revealing the completed vintage trailer restoration for the very first time. Season finale highlights:  * The Old Yellowstone trailer gets a fresh coat of paint. * Polk installs a new 3,500 pound Dexter axle. * The electric brakes are converted to disc brakes with the addition of new brake rotors, calipers, and a Actulink electric/hydraulic brake actuator. To complete the new braking system Polk adds a DirecLink Network Enhanced brake controller. * Before the trailer can hit the road for the first time Polk installs an Equalizer hitch. * Mark Polk reflects back on season one through a series of Q&A. * All of this and more on the season finale of “Mark’s RV Garage”   If you missed previous episodes of Mark’s RV Garage they are archived at for easy retreival and viewing Happy RV Learning, Mark Polk  Read More →

Tow Ratings Standardization: Comparing Apples to Apples

August 31, 2011 by Rex Vogel · 24 Comments 

Have you ever wondered if 10,000 pounds of towing capacity means the same for trucks manufactured by GM, Ford, and Dodge? Towing Capacity Overkill. What could possibly go wrong here? (Credit: You will soon know the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. Automotive manufacturers agreed in 2008 to standardize tow ratings as specified in the SAE’s Surface Vehicle Recommended Practice J2807 to take effect by 2013. The industry alliance includes Ford, GM, Chrysler, Toyota, and Honda, along with several leading trailer and hitch makers. Until now, each manufacturer was free to test using proprietary conditions ideally suited to a truck’s towing strengths and decide their own maximum trailer rating. They could pretty much advertise whatever ratings they wanted since there was no “apples to apples” comparison between brands or models. Each company designed its own test, and—surprise, surprise—their trucks always aced the tests. Imagine the EPA didn’t exist, and car companies could just make up fuel-economy figures to boost sales. Kinda like, catch me if you can—on my towing ratings! Makers would boast about the pounds their pickups and SUVs could tow, and their exhaustive testing used to determine the towing capacity. But when a new truck claimed a higher number, the other manufacturers would rewrite their spec sheets with increased towing capacity and, as if by magic, match or beat the new kid on the block. And there was nothing... Read more

Homemade Teardrop Trailers Make Comeback

March 2, 2011 by Rex Vogel · 439 Comments 

Gary Daniel and Don Wheeler are two -it-yourselfers who built their own teardrops—compact, efficient travel trailers measuring just 4 feet by 8 feet. Central Illinois Recreational Show David Clemente of Janesville, Wisconsin, built a teardrop trailer from the information in a 1939/1947 Mechanix Illustrated magazine. It is nicely finished and used regularly for camping. Photo courtesy Allen Penticoff and Rock River Times Daniel and Wheeler will be among teardrop owners who will display their rigs at the Central Illinois Recreational Show at the Peoria Civic Center from Friday (March 4) through Sunday, the Bloomington Pantagraph reported. The show used to be just for motorhomes, travel trailers, and fifth-wheels, but it has expanded in recent years with the growth of the Civic Center. Now, besides recreational vehicles, vendors will represent campgrounds, tow-vehicle dealers, boats, three-wheeled motorcycles, trail bikes, all-terrain vehicles, and even golf carts sales. This year’s highlight will be the small pull-behind trailers known as “tear-drop trailers.” Teardrops have been around since the 1930s—many were home-built—and were popular because of their sleek, aerodynamic design and lightweight materials. Several tear-drop trailers designed by local campers will be on display at the show. What is a teardrop? (The following information on teardrop trailers courtesy Anyone who has ever owned (or used) a teardrop trailer can tell you that the most... Read more

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