RV Education 101® Tow Your Travel Trailer Like a Pro Video Training Program
Our RV 101® online video training programs can be viewed from computers, tablets, and smartphones. This program includes written text, full-feature video segments (with some downloadable segments), related articles written by your instructor, helpful tips & tricks, fun play & learn RV University crossword puzzles and quizzes to help you retain the information.
Now you don't have to pay extravagant fees or tow your trailer across the country in search of a school to learn professional driving & towing skills. And, you don’t need to join any annoying clubs that inundate your email inbox with never ending offers.
Whether you already purchased a travel trailer, or you are thinking about it, this RV training program will teach you everything you need to know before you tow the trailer. Your instructor for the course, Mark Polk, has dealt with trailer towing issues and concerns for over 25 years as the owner of RV Education 101. He felt that an RV video training program was the best way to address RV consumer’s issues and concerns. With this type of thorough visual online RV training you can relax and watch the training videos as many times as it takes to address all of your questions and concerns. Through charts and easy to understand hands-on instruction the training program begins with one of the most important aspects of towing a trailer, how to properly match the tow vehicle and trailer. With that completed it addresses another important topic involving all of the weight ratings and weight concerns for the travel trailer and the tow vehicle.
Did you know that any weight you add to the tow vehicle reduces that same amount of weight from the tow vehicle’s tow rating, to include the weight of passengers? Do you know what the Gross Combined Weight Rating (GCWR) is for your tow vehicle? Tip: Don't forget to download the Weight Terms & Definitions PDF document.
After you have a thorough understanding of all the weight issues the next step is to learn what hitch components are required to safely and properly tow your travel trailer. Your instructor starts this section with the hitch receiver, then covers the hitch ball, ball mount, weight distribution hitches, sway controls, safety chains and brake controls. After a thorough explanation of each component he demonstrates how to properly hitch and unhitch the trailer to the tow vehicle.
In the trailer towing section, your instructor starts with pre-trip safety checks before you hit the road. Tip: Don't forget to download the Pre-Trip Checklist PDF document to use prior to leaving on a trip. Next, he demonstrates towing, making turns, towing speeds, stopping, passing vehicles, upgrades, downgrades and much more. Perhaps one of the biggest concerns addressed is what causes a trailer to sway and what you can do to help control it. After the towing segment you learn two easy methods to back the trailer.
Note: If you own a 5th wheel trailer be sure to check out our Tow your 5th Wheel Like a Pro online training course.
This Travel Trailer Towing online training program consists of 5 RV training chapters:
Chapter 1 - Tow Vehicle Capacity
Chapter 2 - Matching the Tow Vehicle and Travel Trailer
Chapter 3 -Proper Hitch Work
Chapter 4 - Towing the Travel Trailer
Chapter 5 - Backing the Travel Trailer
Additional PDF downloads:
Weight Terminology & Definitions PDF Download
Pre-Trip Checklist PDF Download
Janine Pettit - creator of Girl Camper 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.”
Mark is an RVer and has a very extensive background in the RV industry. He began at age 15, washing RVs at a dealership in North Central Pennsylvania. It wasn't long before he was working as an apprentice RV technician under the guidance of the RV service manager. His maintenance plans were interrupted when he enlisted in the military. Mark completed airborne training in 1979 and served with some of the most elite U.S. Army Airborne units, including Service Company 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne), 82nd Signal battalion, 82nd Airborne Division and the 16th Military Police Brigade, XVIII Airborne Corps. He spent the next 18 years with the U.S. Army eventually retiring as a maintenance Chief Warrant Officer 3.
He managed large fleet maintenance operations, where he not only had to understand vehicle maintenance, he had to teach young soldiers how to maintain and operate expensive vehicles and equipment. These soldiers came to him from very different backgrounds, and their prior experience with heavy equipment and mechanical skills were similarly varied. Mark had to learn how to communicate with all of them clearly, concisely, and effectively, and he found that he had a talent for teaching. The Army agreed, and eventually he was asked to produce written instructional materials, including driver training manuals and operating procedures for motor pools.
When he retired from the Army in 1996, Mark went to work for an RV dealership in sales and service. He talked to customers about their needs and desires and helped them select the right RV for them. He inspected used RVs for trade-in, he serviced customer RVs, and he educated customers on how to operate and enjoy their vehicles. As an RV owner himself, throughout the years, he has owned and used all the classifications of RVs (travel trailer, motorhome, pop up, 5th wheel and truck camper). He even restored, from the ground up, a 67 Yellowstone travel trailer. It was clear to him there were limited resources available to RV owners who wanted to learn more about how to operate and maintain their RVs. Owners’ manuals provide limited information, and most consumers find them confusing.
Anecdotal information learned around campfires from other RV owners is incomplete and can be unreliable.
Mark realized he had the knowledge and teaching ability to fill that gap, and so in 1999, he began writing articles and books about how to choose, buy, maintain, repair, and operate a variety of RVs. To date, he has produced more than 500 educational videos, and authored 15 e-books, 3 paperback books, and more than 1,600 articles educating millions of RVers. His best-selling book, titled The RV Book, has sold over 52,000 copies to date.
Mark's first priority is the safety of his audience. To Mark, this means anticipating the risks and challenges RVers will encounter when following his instructions, ensuring that the information he provides is complete and accurate, and providing enough information so his audience can make informed decisions about when to tackle maintenance tasks themselves and when to take their vehicles to professionals.
His second priority is his audience’ empowerment. He sends his students out on the road with confidence that they are equipped, prepared, informed, and ready to enjoy themselves.Producing material that achieves those goals is a very difficult thing to do. RVs come in a bewildering variety of different types, makes, models, and vintages, and when Mark writes about tasks such as winterizing an RV plumbing system, (as we know there are many ways to winterize an RV), his instructions need to walk his readers through the process regardless of which RV the reader happens to own.
Like his soldiers, his RV students come to him with widely disparate levels of expertise, experience, talent, and motivation, and his instructions must speak to all of them. Mark’s writing and video presentations are accurate and comprehensive. It is also clear, concise, and easy to understand. He breaks complex, intimidating tasks down to easy steps.
Chief Warrant Officer Three Mark J. Polk was awarded a first place US Army maintenance award from General Shelton.
Mark started RV Education 101 in 1999
- Writer/ Columnist/ Contributor for numerous RV consumer & RV trade newsletters and magazines (RVBusiness, FMCA, RV News, RV Companion, Pop-Up Times, RV Free Wheelin’, Trail Blazer, RV Executive Today and RV Magazine,)
- RV Technical Writer for several newsletters and blogs, (Go RVing blog, KOA Kompass Newsletter and Blog, Family Motor Coach Association (FMCA), RV Net Expert Blog, RV University This Week, Camping World e-newsletter, RV Travel, RV Trader, Rollin On TV website, HGTV and Geiko Insurance blog)
- Script and host television segments for Rollin On TV
- Scripted & hosted television segment titled RV Savvy for four seasons (52 episodes) with RVTV on The Outdoor Channel and three Canadian TV Channels.
StartTow Vehicle Capacity - Full Feature Video (7:05)
StartMatching a Tow Vehicle & Travel Trailer - Full Feature Video (7:22)
StartProper Hitch-Work - Full Feature Video (16:19)
StartTowing the Travel Trailer - Full Feature Video (13:39)
StartBacking the Travel Trailer - Full Feature Video (6:22)
StartWeight Terms & Definitions PDF Download
StartTow Vehicle Capacity - Feature Written Course Material
StartTowing Capacity Tip - Tow Vehicle Classifications - Article Tip
StartRV 101 - Axle Ratios - Towing Axles Vs. Fuel Economy Axles - Article
StartGuide to Tow Vehicle & Trailer Weights & Tongue Weight with a Weight Distribution Hitch
StartTow Vehicle Capacity Quiz
Frequently Asked Questions
Thank you for enrolling in the Travel Trailer Towing online training course. Our goal with this course was to teach you everything you need to know to safely and properly tow a travel trailer, and to eliminate some of the intimidation through education. I hope we accomplished our goal. If you would like to continue your RV education we offer several more RV online training courses. Happy Camping!