Mike Wendland, RV Podcast Episode 193: How to get a complete RV Education
In this episode… we talk about RV Education 101, how to learn how to maintain, repair and operate your RV and all the intricate parts and accessories through affordable online training. Our special interview guest this week is with our friend Mark Polk, who has made available an amazing library of how-to tips,videos and RV training courses. Mark is the best in the business at this and I’m sure you’ll find the wealth of knowledge he is offers will greatly enhance your RV Lifestyle.
You can access Mark's complete curriculum of RV training courses at https://rvonlinetraining.com/
Chuck Woodbury, editor of RV Travel
I met Dawn and Mark back when they had just produced their first video, which must be about 20 years ago. We have worked together ever since in too many ways to count. They're good people, totally committed to what they do and absolutely sincere about their passion to educate RVers. I admire them hugely for their commitment and hard work. Honestly, I can't figure out how Mark can produce so much great content — articles, videos,online courses, books — and still have time to eat and sleep. Anyone who is lucky enough to work with these two will never be disappointed and I mean never.
Here at Rousseau’s RV we find that our customers want to understand how their RV works and how to protect their investment for the long term. “The RV book”, by RV Education 101 is a great source of knowledge, spelling out the details in layman’s terms for easy understanding. I think anyone that owns an RV should be required to read chapter 6 explaining the basic operation of all the mechanical systems in a typical RV. Additionally, many people new to RVs have picked up a copy to not only familiarize themselves with what’s involved in owning an RV but also to help them decide what they really need for their planned usage. Everything is explained in an easy to read format from: “So you’re thinking about a camper…” to “How do I winterize and put my unit in storage off season?” This book is a solid gem of knowledge every RVer should own!
Rousseau’s RV Center
Janine Pettit - creator of and an Ambassador for Girl Campers everywhere has this to say about RV Education 101: “Mark and his wife Dawn run the RV Education 101 website, have produced over 350 YouTube videos, and Mark Polk has a widely read blog on Go RVing. He is an industry leader in safety and education and always provides his expertise and experience to seasoned RVers and newcomers alike.”
Janine called upon Mark to help her determine if she needed a weight distribution hitch and to help her understand the criteria used to make that determination. Find out more about what they talked about HERE
Bob Zagami the Executive Director of New England RV Dealers Association:
Small business entrepreneurs who see a problem, create a solution, launch a business and make life easier for those who buy their products and services drive the economy of this country. I think that's an apt description of what Dawn and Mark Polk envisioned when they launched RV Education 101. The problem was inadequate training being provided to new RV owners, the solution was to create a company that focused exclusively on creating education and training products that would provide exactly what RV consumers were looking for. I've had the pleasure of knowing and working with Dawn and Mark since the first year they were in business (1999), when I was a freelance reporter with RV News. I've never heard a bad word spoken about Dawn and Mark, or a negative comment about their company or their products. They are exactly what every small business in America should strive to become. They have faced challenges head-on and found ways to overcome them. They have survived recessions and the ups and downs of our industry. And they continue to develop new products and services for RV enthusiasts all around this great country. I can recommend RV Education 101 from personal experience as and industry consultant, freelance writer, and as the Executive Director of the New England RV Dealers Association. I think these products should be on the shelves of every dealer and parts and accessories store. I think these products should be provided to customers by dealers when they are delivering a new RV, whether it is that families first RV or the tenth RV. That's how good these products are . . . that's how good this company is . . . and that's how professional Dawn and Mark are. You will enjoy doing business with RV Education 101, and you will quickly appreciate the value and professionalism they bring to our industry and RV consumers every day.
GREG GERBER Founder of RV Daily Report:
Mark Polk has written a superbly insightful book on how to use and properly maintain any recreation vehicle. This indispensable guide will save RV owners plenty of money and countless hours of frustration. With the possible exception of a sewer hose, The RV Book should be the first thing new RV owners buy. After reading it, they should store it in the cabinet above their refrigerator - it will be like taking an RV service technician with them on vacation. As a seasoned RV user himself, Mark knows first hand what all RV owners need to know to enjoy a hassle-free and safe experience on the road and in the campground. Don't have an RV yet? The RV Book can help anyone select the right motorhome or travel trailer based on the unique needs of his or her family. Mark skillfully guides even the most novice of RV users through the sometimes complicated maze of buying, owning, storing and maintaining a recreation vehicle. The book's resource section lists the names of scores of companies and associations directly involved in the RV industry, along with their web addresses should further information be desired. Reading The RV Book is just like buying 10 years of RVing experience.
Rollin' On TV
Rollin' On TV always strives to bring you the highest quality educational, entertaining and informative material, both on TV and on-line. That is why we partnered with RV Education 101 more than 6 years ago. Mark's video tips and articles have been a strong part of our website and social media since then. There are many so-called RV experts out there and you may or may not receive the right answers for your particular situation. The more we learned about Mark's background the more we were convinced that this was the right company for us to work with in regards to RV Education!
If you want to learn from the pro in this RV industry, we highly recommend you look at the collections offered by RV Education 101.
Stephanie and Jeremy Puglisi of RV Travel Atlas
Mark Polk of RV Education 101 is simply one of the most experienced RV experts in the industry today. He started washing campers at an RV dealership when he was just a teenager, and he couldn’t resist tinkering around in the service center even at that young age. After a career in the military, Mark returned to his roots as an RV sales manager and then later, finance and insurance manager.
Now RV enthusiasts are the lucky recipients of all that knowledge he accumulated along the way. After working at the dealership for years, Mark realized that customers couldn’t possibly retain all the information they were given when purchasing their first RV. In a pre-You Tube world, he knew they needed video tutorials that they could refer to again and again.
So RV Education 101 was born.
I reached out to Mark after listening to him speak on a RVFA podcast about towing capacities for travel trailers and fifth wheels. For an RV newbie, calculating all the loads and comparing to the various tow vehicle weight ratings can be a daunting (and incredibly confusing) task. He helped me understand exactly what my vehicle was rated for, as well as some of the lesser-known metrics to consider when figuring out what type and size RV to purchase. His insight was thoughtful and explained in a manner that even the least experienced person can understand. If you’re like me and are looking for an unbiased industry resource, I highly recommend taking the training courses and working with his team to get all your RV’ing questions answered!
Dawn, I have enjoyed the RV101 videos (Travel Trailer). I haven't watched the one dealing with Winterization ( I'll watch in the fall before I winterize) and found them to be extremely useful for a brand new RV'er such as myself. I have watched the videos more than once to help some of the topics thoroughly sink in. The demonstration on "backing up" a trailer was very helpful and made my very first backing attempt go very smoothly to everyone's amazement.
Thanks again!...Marc Levine
Dawn - You guys are the best. We would not take an RV trip without checking on your website first. We are new RVers and would have made a LARGE number of mistakes if you were not there to help us out. Have a great week.
Hi Dawn, We just bought our first fifth-wheel, a used 2002 Keystone Laredo. We have been looking for a few years and along the way, we bought your videos on towing and setting up the trailer which, by the way, are great! Thanks so much for your check-lists e-book. It is packed full of valuable information. We watched your video again last night, and we are so pleased with how straight-forward your husband presents everything. When we first purchased our fifth-wheel, all the information about what you had to do to set it up was so overwhelming, but you guys make it so easy to learn and remember. I am sure we will think of you both as we start "playing" with our fifth-wheel today. We can hardly wait.
Mary H Kloman
Mark, I wanted to personally thank you for all the education material you provide on RVs. I have purchased two of your e-books which came in very useful while purchasing our travel trailer. We are new to RVing and needed a LOT of education. I just finished watching your video on travel trailer/5th wheel info. I am feeling much more confident about taking possession of our 29' Puma tomorrow!!
I have ordered a few more items from your web-site and look forward to watching them and learning more about rving. Thanks again for you do for the industry and for those of us who haven't a clue!!
Hi Dawn and Mark,
I just bought your Travel Trailer/ 5th Wheel Set (can't wait to watch the videos).
We ordered a new Flagstaff 831 RLSS TT and will take delivery on 15 April. I did a search on "Google" to find you and was quite impressed with your site. You offered exactly what we were looking for. I know for a fact that I will be ordering from you again. Can't wait to get "EDUCATED".
I can't Thank you enough for the "Checklist for RVers" (instant e-book). I can honestly say that the both of you are well seasoned when it comes to RVing. It's evident by the way you presented all this valuable information. You laid out everything in laymen's terms. I feel that this should be sitting on book store shelves. You deserve a "HIGH 5" for all your efforts.
I am totally devoted to your web site. Keep up the great work.
Ken & LaDonna Wade....North Carolina
Hi, Mark and Dawn,
My name is Judy Grant and I recently purchased your on Class A Motorhomes and the 10 minute one on what to have with you. I just what to say thank you. These two videos were the best thing we could have purchased. My husband and I are "rookies" to RVing and we have started with a 97 Winnebago Adventurer. The dealership we purchased it from gave us a "walk through" so to speak, but it was nothing like the detail you gave in the video.
Anyway, we are getting better at camping and what we need to do thanks to the video.
Your web site and products and service are ALL fantastic!!!
I would like the other item the 10 minute tips video. And we will certainly be ordering MANY MANY more items from you. Again, your service is unmatched, and I have already watched all three of the videos and read the book. I cannot tell you how helpful this is for "new RVers". We are quickly telling everyone about your site, products and most of all your fantastic customer service. I cannot say enough good things about your company. We will be clients for many years to come. Congratulations on such a marvelous job!
Thanks so much!
Signed - A new RV owner,
We received our videos and bumper sticker last week and watched them again last night. We are really impressed that you have actually put out a product that is all inclusive and fully useful. As I told you before, we are amateurs with a capital A, and you have given us a shot of confidence with all of the relevant information. We are reading the rvu articles often. Thanks for the help.
Lee & Verla......Missouri
I didn't know sites like yours existed and we are so thankful to you and your wife for taking the initiative and meeting this need. We are just beginning to prepare for our dream by educating ourselves. "RV Buying Tips 101" is the first order of business today.
Anyway, all that to say thank you. We appreciate the service you are offering to greenhorns like us!
Lori and Jim Williams
Congratulations on your videos! I must say this was probably the best money I have spent on videos in a very long time. Having purchased our tent-trailer in August of this year, I'm not exactly a seasoned pro, but your videos brought so many details into focus.
My wife and I plan on watching over again a few more times just to make sure we grasp everything you explain.
Cheers and thanks again.
Roger Morin...Quebec, Canada
Your videos are so helpful! My husband and I are new RVers and need all the advice we can get.
Thanks again, Shirley Martin ......
Wow! Wow! What service. Yes, I did open the E-Book checklist and printed all the pages this morning. My husband is SOOO HAPPY! . Thank you for such great service and consideration. This E-Book and the Video will definitely help us in taking care of our motorhome.
God Bless. Judith Gage......Michigan.
Hey Polk folks,
I just wanted to express my appreciation in all that you say AND do. You guys are some of the nicest people I have never met. I would, however, love to meet you someday. If ever you find your travels bring you anywhere near northern Illinois give us an e-mail where you'll be staying. It would be such a pleasure to camp with you guys. Keep up the outstanding work! Looking forward to more of your inspirational words and knowledgeable advice. As my kids say, " You Rock!"
God Bless you guys!
Jeff and Collen and Luke and Danny and Becky
Dear RV Education 101,
We would like to thank you for making such great products! My husband and I recently purchased a Class C motorhome and with our purchase we were given a copy of your video “Learning RV’s the Easy Way, the video pertaining to Class C operation” from our Dealer. This was very valuable. Being first time motorhome owners, we had much to learn and your video helped to answer many of our questions. As a result, we also purchased your RV e-book “Checklists for RV’ers” as well. We have printed it and have it in a binder that we keep in the motorhome – what an important tool!
Your products will keep us from having to learn things “the hard way!”
P.S........thank you for the wonderful customer service. I think all businesses should take a lesson from you! There are so many businesses today that just treat people like a number, not a human being. I appreciated our conversation. Like I said before, it's a big step up for us (owning a Class C motorhome) and there is so much that you have to know! But like the Mastercard ads, never having to go to the restroom in the woods again - PRICELESS! I think the winterizing video would be GREAT! I will get that on Tuesday. A big money saver, for sure! Again, thank you. If you and your family are ever visiting Alaska, come and say hello!
The Welborn Family
HI The 3 videos all arrived on Friday. I got a chance to see them all this weekend. They are fantastic. What a great idea they were. I have never been in a rv before so these will definitely be of use when I pick it up next month. I learned alot from them and feel comfortable now to take the rv out and not have stuff go wrong.Thanks again, Nick Jensen....Canada
By the way we have really enjoyed the video...we're new to the whole RV thing (now too old for tents) and it helped us understand a lot of what we are hearing and seeing.
Regards, Mark Hysong
Just wanted to let you know that I am new to RV'ing (just bought my first expandable last month). I have been using the videos and getting the newletters from RV Education 101 and they have been godsends to a newbie like me.
I am working on the RV education site to get an RV "diploma" as well...much to learn.
Please keep up the great work and pass my thanks on to your husband too! I recommend your site to every RV'er I meet. Good news for your company is that whenever I mention your site, many already know about it. Looks like you're meeting the needs of a lot of people.
P.S. I hope you continue to develop the RV education 101 site. If it grows large enough, maybe you could add more in-depth information for course levels 200, 300 and so on.
"Wanted to let you know that I’ve watched all 3 of the videos and will review the towing one again before I take off. Very well done, I learned what I hoped I would learn and feel better prepared for the upcoming trip.
How to set up the trailer and handle trailer chores was also useful.
"Thank you again Mark for your help, you are a wiz at explaining complicated things. As an owner of three of your videos, I am a very satisfied customer. One of them was your video on towing a trailer that I bought when I first got my Bantam - I’d never towed anything in my life and the video gave me the extra confidence I needed to get started!! The other two were travel trailer 101 and winterizing & storing.
All of the videos have been a great help to me by both explaining the technical aspects of the camper, as well as just taking the edge off of the fear of the unknown. Just seeing it done with ease, makes me feel more confident that I can do it too. Also, I don’t know of many business owners these days who will take the time to explain something to their customers the way you have. I can’t give you enough praise.
Nancy Cote from Massachusetts....
P.S. Your products fill a great need. I’ll be sure to tell anyone I know who needs advice to look up rveducation101.com!
Hi there, I bought your video for Class A Motorhomes, being a new first time owner of a rather “vintage” motorhome. I thought your video was excellent and very helpful and informative.
"Hello to both of you, Dawn and Mark. My name is Stephen Mason, and I live in New Jersey. As you both know, when my wife and I went to pickup our TT, the dealer did a walk through with us. And I did ask many questions. When we got home with the TT, I forgot everything that they told me... I had to call the RV Dealer up a few times, and ask many questions. And I kept getting a different person for a different question. THEN the Asst. Service Manager, told me about your RV Education 101 web site. I hurried home and downloaded the 101 RV Tips E book. Wow, so much good information.
Then I said to my wife, if the E Book is this good, I wonder how good the videos must be. Well, the next day I ordered 3 videos. I had to watch all of them right away. THEY ARE GREAT and very informative. I want to take this time out and tell you both that I am happy that we have people like you both to help people like me who know nothing about anything and now learning a lot from your tapes. Again, thanks to the both or you.
P.S. I also told the RV dealer that they should offer the collection of all your videos and I will pass your name around also Steve....
Your RV Education info sent monthly is beyond "just great". Carol J. Walsh Newsletter
I get your newsletter and find it the best info I've been getting! I also receive another weekly newsletter and like that as well; but you guys are second to none as you offer so much info in your letter as well as links. Love your whole "RV 101" site!! Thanks so much and God bless you!!
"This is by far the best investment an inexperienced or experienced RVer can make. I have been RVing for eight years and am not afraid to admit that I thought I knew everything until I watched the Motor home video. Thanks!
"I received my RV video for travel trailers / 5th wheels and I must say that it was excellent. It explains everything I have wondered about in regard to set up of an RV. I thought Mark Polk was great in his explanation of all the systems. He may not be "Hollywood", but he’s a "star" in my book. Thanks for a fantastic way to "know in advance what to expect, and be better prepared" for RV travel. I can’t wait to get my 5th wheel and hit the road!"
I just wanted to thank you for the information on the video. I went ahead and purchased it for my friend (with a Class B motor home) for Christmas and she loves it. She said all of the things in the promo blurb were true. This, of course, means that I, too, will purchase one to get a feel for all that is involved when the times comes."
"Just to let you know I got my video and was so pleased with the information and quality that went into it. I bought a new Viking in March and have not been able to get it out as often as I had hoped. I had so many questions that were answered in the video that now I feel more than comfortable with the techniques I will be using when using it. Thanks so much, keep up the good work!"
"Every RV owner should own this video. Sometimes people don’t like calling the dealer every time they forget how something works. The motor home video has so much information. It was well worth the money!"
Nancy and Don K
eCampSite.com Pop-Up 101 DVD Review:
Currently owners of a 1980's model pop up travel trailer, the first thing that became obvious to us in the Pop Up 101 DVD was that although the pop up used in the instructional video is a much newer model, the information contained in the video is as useful for the pop up that we own as it is for the pop up in the video itself.
Reviewing the video on DVD gave us the added advantage of being able to watch it completely through or jump from chapter to chapter. We watched it completely through and used the chapter buttons to quickly jump to information we wanted to see again. This can be done on a dvd player, a computer, or as we did on our laptop.
Mark Polk hosts the video and took us step by step through the pop up from making sure you haven't overloaded it which can be dangerous, to backing it in at the campground, and how to hook everything up. He includes do's and dont's that not everyone may realize are important. Mark does not speak over your head, he speaks in everyday, easy to understand language. He speaks slowly, but not too slowly making it easy to follow him and repeats a few things in a variety of ways to help the viewer completely understand. Watching the video, it seems as though he is a neighbor, friend, or family member with RVing experience who has come along with you for your first trip in the pop up.
When we had completed viewing the video, even Michelle felt that she could comfortably take the pop up on a trip alone. Normally her "setting up" duties at the campsite do not involve the camper itself but instead asking when she'll be able to get to the cooler before the kids ask one more time if they can have a pop and when the camper has been set up, she goes about laying out pillows, sweeping the floor, and hanging ropes for wet towels. She now wants to know when she'll get to hook up the brake lights *laugh*.
We believe the RV Education 101 videos (www.rveducation101.com ) to be an essential part of your video library if you are already the owner of an RV, considering purchasing another type of RV, or are considering purchasing a recreational vehicle for the first time. We highly recommend this video to someone who has been given the opportunity to borrow a friends pop up. The value of properly caring for a friends RV is priceless.
If you already own an RV, even if you've owned it for years, the video contains information that you might not be remembering from season to season and it would be perfect viewing for that first warm spring evening when you know you can't pull the RV out yet but the camping bug has made you itch. If you are considering purchasing another type of RV, we can only guess that each video is similar in style and will seamlessly help you make the move. Last but not least, if you are considering your first RV purchase, this video will give you the comfort and confidence of knowing that you'll have many years of enjoyment and value in your purchase, can safely move it from location to location, and will know how to avoid doing damage to your RV that can be costly.
This video will lead you through 60 plus minutes of charts, hands on and easy to understand instruction that will walk you through your pop-up from the time you leave your home, until your trip is over and everything in between including how to store it!
RV EDUCATION 101.COM have redesigned their Videos and E-books as well as added to their extensive library. If you are NEW TO RVING they definitely have something to share with you but even EXPERIENCED RVERS will gain mega information from this reasonably priced line-up of help. From Understanding your first RV (separate walk-thrus of Class A and C motorhomes, travel trailers, pop-ups, rentals etc) to Winterizing to Storage to Must-Have easy Add-ons to Check Lists and so much more. You owe it to yourself to check out their complex selection of available assistance.
Peggi McDonald of rvliving
RV Dealer Testimonials:
George Leduc, General Sales Manager of Longview RV:
"The videos work out well for us. We've had them for over three years, and we try to make sure our customers get them before delivery. They find them immensely helpful. They watch them and write down any questions they may have. And then, when they come in for the orientation, they're light years ahead of where they would otherwise be."
Annette Autry, President of Allsport RV Center in Fayetteville North Carolina:
"The RV training videos help me to provide a more meaningful and informative walkthrough experience for my customers. It really prepares them, so they ask more substantive questions. The videos solve a lot of problems out there and make the customer a happy customer"
"This approach, ultimately helps my customers achieve a higher level of product knowledge. It also lessens the frequency of follow-up phone calls from consumers because the videos answer many of the questions they are likely to have. A good percentage of your complaints from customers reflect a lack of knowledge rather than a real problem. These videos allow them to have an understanding of the whole vehicle."
Steve Schermaul, Parts Manager for Byerly RV in Eureka, Mo:
Dealers feel that Polk's instructional videos are worthwhile. "They make our customers better educated."