RV Education 101

RV Water Hook-Up:

At the campground you want to get some water running through the RV plumbing system. At home when you want water you open a faucet and its there like magic. When it comes to your RV there are two ways to get water to flow through the taps.


1. If you want potable water while you are traveling in the RV you can fill the fresh water holding tank before you leave home, and use the 12-volt water pump to get water running through the system. This sounds more difficult than it really is. Somewhere on the RV you have a tank designed specifically for potable water storage. It might be a 10-gallon tank on a pop-up or a 100-gallon tank on a larger RV. Outside you will find a compartment door housing the fresh water fill. Using a hose, designed for drinking water, you can fill the tank prior to leaving on your trip. You can take just enough water to get to your destination or fill the tank completely full. Most RVs have a monitor panel inside that allows you to check tank levels. If weights are a concern remember that water weighs about 8.3 pounds per gallon. Fill the tank accordingly.

2.  When you want to use the water stored in the fresh water holding tank there is a switch inside the RV that will activate a 12-volt water pump. This pump works on 12-volt DC battery power and is designed to pressurize the water system, making water flow the same way it does at home. The only difference is you will hear the pump come on and shut off as you use the water. Every time you open a faucet the pump will come on and when you close the faucet it will shut off.

How much fresh water can you take with you in an RV?

Is it enough? RVs come equipped with a potable water holding tank. This tank is used to store potable water to use while you are traveling to your destination, and if you are dry camping where no water source is available. Fresh water holding tanks can be as small as 10 gallons in a pop-up and over 100 gallons in some larger RVs. Find out what size water tank the RV has and determine if it is enough for the type of camping you plan to do.

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About Mark Polk

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. Mark then entered and served a full career as a ‎Maintenance Warrant Officer in the United States Army. He managed the operation of the motor pool, where he not only had ‎to understand vehicle maintenance, he had to teach young soldiers how to maintain and operate ‎motor pool vehicles. 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 how to operate and enjoy their vehicles. As an RVer himself, through out 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 became clear to him that there ‎were limited resources available to RV owners who wanted to learn more about how to maintain ‎and operate their vehicles. 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 that 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 authored more than 500 educational ‎videos, 15 e-books, 3 paperback books, and more than 1,600 articles educating millions of RVers. His best-selling book, ‎entitled The RV Book, has sold over 50,000 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 that 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 onto 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 a water system, as we know there are many ways to winterize an RV, his instructions, need to guide his readers through the process ‎regardless of which RV his 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.

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