Top 5 Mistakes RV Owners Make & How to Avoid Them


In this RV how to video host Mark Polk, with RV Education 101, offers his top five list of mistakes RV owners make, and how to avoid them. The list includes not stowing RV steps & TV antennas, RV height clearances, backing RVs without spotters, improperly matched tow vehicle and trailer and RV battery maintenance.

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Mark Polk

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19 replies
  1. Oderus Urungus
    Oderus Urungus says:

    I'd like to add from my own experience.

    Matching the GVWR of the trailer with your truck without some padding is a bad idea. I matched my truck so my max trailer weight was higher than the max weight of my trailer but only with 200 lbs to spare. This means any wind or hills means my tow vehicle struggled and that means bad MPG. My 5.7L Hemi in my Ram 2500 got 5 MPG on my most recent trip and it was mostly due to high winds and lots of rolling hills. I bought my truck used so I didn't have a choice of gearing as it came with 3.73 and I think 4.10 would be much better as 4.10 gears ups the max tow weight by 30%. I think I'm going to end up getting a 6.7L Cummins.

  2. Capt. Sirk
    Capt. Sirk says:

    I just bought my first RV. It has about a foot of electrical cord in the back that has a 30 amp connector and looks the same as the cord on my dryer. Can I plug this into 220v or is the RVs system only good for 110? I know little on this subject. Thanks

  3. terry waller
    terry waller says:

    Never had a problem backing without a spotter. Do a through walkthrough of where I am backing into set two cones for reference check for anything over hanging. Not hard. I have seen more fights from couples where one is spotting and the other driving.
    Other things to watch when pulling out make sure you disconnect everything and secure the awning. Seen water lines, power lines and sewer pulled out.

  4. K. R. V.
    K. R. V. says:

    Ok nice list. But you technically made a mistake yourself. When using a spotter, it is the spotter that needs to keep the driver in sight, not the driver keeping the spotter in sight! How can the driver see the spotter, if the spotter cannot see the driver!

  5. George AKA Dad
    George AKA Dad says:

    Couple of tips from a retired guy who spent his early carrier as a Yard Jockey constantly backing tractor trailers into parking slots and loading bays.

    Before maneuvering into an unfamiliar spot always get out and look for hazards.  Up down and debris that could do damage. 

    The position of your coach approaching a turn or preparing to back into a slot is arguably the most important step in making a safe efficient turn especially when backing in to a slot.  You know those wizards that pull up and back into a slot in one shot and make it look easy?  That has a lot to due with proper position before they make the turn or backing maneuver.  You can practice this using your grandkids toy bus or tractor trailer.  It's not exactly the same but you can get a good feel of the difference position makes when attempting these maneuvers.

    You the driver are always the captain of the ship.  It's your responsibility to maneuver safely, not the spotters fault.

    If you can't see your spotters eyes they cant see you, Your spotter should always be able to see your eyes also.

    If you get frustrated and we all do at some point.  Stop get out take a good look around talk it through with your spotter calm down and give it another try.

  6. Adam Selene
    Adam Selene says:

    The battery thing is typical; almost everyone wrecks a battery bank at first, but these days AE gear is getting pretty good and there are reasonable alternatives to lead/acid. The rest is just driving, but then, 1/2 the people driving on the roads aren't very good at it. LOL

  7. Allen Williams
    Allen Williams says:

    If you’re about to spend thousands of $$$ for a NEW RV, you may want to read this.
    I can’t go RV’ing because my 2014 HEARTLAND Wilderness leaks grey water all over the ground. I bought it NEW from CAMPING WORLD and have made 6 attempts to get the problem fixed, 4 of those attempts resulted in repairs being made, which have all failed. Camping World (multiple locations) keeps putting a band-aid on a fracture. Camping World only does repairs that Heartland will allow/approve. I have been fighting this battle with CW and HL for over a year now and it seems I have lost. “”As previously noted, CWRV Sales sold the RV “AS IS” and excluded from the sale all express or implied warranties, including the implied warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.””–David Partin, Camping World RV Sales.“Additional components which have been installed in the recreational vehicle, including but not limited to microwave ovens, ranges, refrigerators, leveling jacks, furnaces/heaters, generators, power converters, batteries, and other items not specifically manufactured by Heartland RV, LCC, are warranted by the component manufacturers as detailed in their individual manufacturers warranties, and are not covered by this Limited Warranty” excerpt from my Heartland owner’s manual.So between the two above “disclaimers” good luck getting your Camping World/Heartland RV repaired correctly under warranty. My warranty has now expired, while sitting at a Camping World location awaiting repairs, after having spent almost half its life in repair shops. Do your research, make your own decision and good luck RV’ing. Beware…Heartland makes, and Camping World sells a lot of brands. Items that have fallen off, broken, or failed: spare tire cover, holding tank drain cap, holding tank T-handle, TV mounting screws, rear bumper end cap, oven wouldn’t stay lit, exit door threshold, stabilizer mounting screws, shore power coupling mounting screws, kitchen sink drain plumbing, bathroom sink drain plumbing, external propane coupling, water heater wiring bundle, kitchen drawer, main entry door, main entry screen door, mattress collapsed, TV cable connector, shower faucet valves(both), SHOWER DRAIN PLUMBING LEAK, slide out leak while traveling. Oh yeah, it was still winterized upon delivery and the tires weren’t even aired up.If this sounds like sour grapes, it is, because I have a brand new, at time of purchase, $20,000 RV that I can’t use and can’t get fixed. Thanks CAMPING WORLD and HEARTLAND for putting an expensive and disheartening impediment to my retirement.

  8. bob woerner
    bob woerner says:

    ..i currently have a 6×10 haulmark transport cargo trailer.reg says 2990 gvwr. it has 205/75d14 tires on it.,,,,,my problem is my garage door opening is 84 " high .but the trailer measure aprox 86 1/2 inches high. i was able to get it into my garage just barley by flattening the tire. but makes it very unpractical to use having to re-inflate and deflate with every use. have to keep it garaged due to HOA rules i'm thinking of changing the rims and tires from the 14 inch to a 12 inch in the homes of gaing the clearance i need to pull it in and out without messing with the tire inflation…… but can my trailer run safely on a 12 inch tire with a d rating ? also will the 12 inch give me the additional aprox i need to clear the garage height ?…….any thoughts or recommendations?


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