09 May

Girl Camper: Episode 83 – Weight Distribution Hitches

Friend of the show and industry expert Mark Polk is on the show  today to help us understand weight distribution hitches. Mark is the man before the camera in the informative videos produced by RV Education 101 which is owned and operated by Mark and his wife Dawn. They also have a You Tube Channel where Mark gives hands on demonstrations for everything RV. Mark is also a blogger and frequent guest speaker at RV shows and industry events.

I love the chance to catch up with Mark and Dawn in person. This couple has dedicated their time and energy to increasing safety and therefore enjoyment to all RVers!

I called upon Mark to help me determine if I needed a weight distribution hitch and to help me understand the criteria used to make that determination. Once we  determined that I could indeed benefit from one I needed to know if they came in different sizes, if I needed it professionally installed, how to choose the right one and if Mark preferred or recommended a specific brand. Mark answers all of these questions and more on today’s show. Safety is always the first thing to pack when you Go RVing. If you don’t feel comfortable towing your rig, chances are you won’t continue and you will miss out on many adventures. There is a safe way to enjoy RVing and Mark Polk is here to put your mind at ease.

 

Mark helps explain what happens when too much tongue weight is on your hitch and how a weight distribution hitch distributes the weight evenly to the front and back of the rig making all the systems function better.

The Equalizer brand hitch is the one Mark and Dawn use themselves and it is one I will be looking at when I choose my new hitch. This brand offers a weight distribution and anti-sway component in one device.

In other big news Go RVing has published the long awaited but worth waiting for, video on Girl Campers. It was so much fun filming  last summer and I hope that it lets Girl Camper wannabes know two things – Number one – the RV industry has you in their cross hairs. Manufacturers and dealers are no longer looking only at families with small children and retired to couples to make and sell RVs to. It’s never been a better time to find support for this endeavor.

We had so much fun on the set and the team from Explore Media were very gracious.

The whole team got in the spirit and donned Girl Camper tshirts!

When Go RVing approached me to make this video with them I felt such satisfaction in knowing that the Girl Campers are now an industry demographic, we have buying power and the smart folks are listening and building and stocking trailers that are designed for the way we travel. Number two – If you have been watching the Girl Campers and stalking them on social media, it’s time to jump in and join us. You don’t need a trailer to be a Girl Camper. You need a willing spirit. You are going to want a trailer to make your own but those camping in their kids tents that got left in the garage when they moved out and in their mom vans or renting campground cabins are having just as much fun as those that have mastered hitching, towing and setting up their own trailers. There is no wrong way to Camp Like A Girl and this is the year I want to entice everyone on the sidelines to get in the game. I hope this video inspires you. There are two more coming out in June! Click the link below to see the first of three!

This stunning shot was taken by Go RVings still photographer. We did about eight takes on this clinking of glasses scene. They really were cocktails so we didn’t mind!!

 

https://away.gorving.com/girls-just-wanna-have-fun/

 

 

 

04 Apr

Girl Camper: Episode 78 Long Haul Driving Tips

On this week’s show I am talking about long distance driving.  When you hit the road this summer whether it’s a big trip of thousands of miles or across your state there are ways to make the drive more of a journey and less of a chore. Getting there can be half the fun if you follow a few simple principles for driving  while towing.

Travel and towing can be a pleasure if you follow a few simple rules.

Be rested when you leave. Sometimes we pack up and get the feeling that we have to get going because  we’re “burning daylight”. It’s always a good idea to be rested and non stressed when you head out. The process of getting ready can take longer than we think and be stressful in itself. Try to adapt a “journey” not “destination” attitude about travel.

Take a break every two hours. Even if you don’t feel tired it’s a good idea to get out and stretch your legs every two hours or so. I park as far from the rest area bathroom as possible and jog over to the building. It’s good to get your blood flowing and take in some fresh air. If the driving conditions are stressful it’s even more important to stop for the mental clarity as well as the physical boost. Take a cat nap in your trailer if necessary. Staying alert means staying safe.

Eat light. Nothing brings on drowsiness like a pile of carbs from a rest stop fast food restaurant. You are barely burning calories behind the wheel and the food you take in should help you stay alert not make you tired. I keep a cool pack on the passenger seat with fresh fruit, nuts, string cheese and humus. I only drink water after my morning cup of coffee. My favorite thing is knowing that a great dinner awaits me at the campground. I like to have a marinating chicken breast or steak waiting to go on the grill when I have arrived and am set up and look forward to that on my drive.

I keep this soft pack cooler on the passenger seat for a quick healthy pick me up while driving.

Slow and steady wins the race. It’s always better when you can approach the drive to your ultimate destination as part of the vacation too.  If you are in a “just get there” mindset you will miss the beauty along the way. Study a map and see if you can plan a stop along the way. Be willing to get off the highway and drive a stretch on a county two lane. Be willing to stop in a town and find the local mom and pop diner, quirky gas station slash museum, or weird roadside attraction that you will be talking about ten years from now. Most of the cool things on vacations are unplanned. Be willing to be open to back road travel.

A friend of mine tipped me off to the town of Granville TN which is southeast of Nashville. I took the opportunity to get off the highway and visit. I was so glad that I did!

The General Store in Granville had fallen into extreme disrepair and had been closed for a long time when a descendant of the original builder who was doing family research visited the town and saw it. He purchased it, renovated it and donated it back to the town where it is used as a Saturday night dance hall and dinner spot now.

Mark Polk’s blog on trailer sway is worth the read. He always provides so much insight into the causes of RV issues. Please take the time to educate yourself on ways to minimize trailer sway and handle it when it does happen.

There are lots more tips and travel help in this weeks podcast as well as all the news on the News Roundup and Campfire Chat! Hope you enjoy this weeks episode!! Happy trails!!

 

 

06 Dec

Girl Camper #61 Talking Tow Vehicles with Mark Polk

 

On this week’s show I welcome returning guest Mark Polk of www.RVEducation101.com. Mark talks trucks and towing, torque and horsepower, gross vehicle weights and towing capacity. I invited Mark on the show to help me navigate “truck language” and help me figure out if the Ford F-150 of my dreams has the capacity to tow my 3000 pound Riverside Retro with ease.  There’s much to learn about engines, towing and safety in this episode.

My 2017 Riverside Retro has a dry weight of 3037 pounds. The manufacturer says the maximum load the axel can hold means I cannot safely carry more than 832 pounds of cargo in it.

My 2017 Riverside Retro has a dry weight of 3037 pounds. The manufacturer says the maximum load the axel can hold means I cannot safely carry more than 832 pounds of cargo in it.

My old Ford F150 had a V8 5.4L engine with plenty of power for my little 1966 Vintage trailer.

My old Ford F150 had a V8 5.4L engine with plenty of power for my little 1966 Vintage trailer.

The Society of Automotive Engineers along with the automotive manufacturers developed a set of real life towing situations which standardized the methods which manufacturers use to guage towing capacities. One of the tests is towing on an incline with the air conditioner running.

The Society of Automotive Engineers along with the automotive manufacturers developed a set of real life towing situations which standardized the methods which manufacturers use to guage towing capacities. One of the tests is towing on an incline with the air conditioner running.

 

New technology has enabled the V6 engines of today to be able to do the work of the V8 of ten years ago allowing for more horsepower and torque and better gas mileage.

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26 Jan

Girl Camper #16: Trailer Throw Down, New Vs. Vintage

I this weeks episode we are talking about the pros and cons of new and vintage travel trailers. Some Girl Campers wouldn’t have anything but vintage and others would only do new. My travel buddy Carol and I discuss our own experiences with vintage trailer ownership and why we would both consider jumping ship. There is also some encouragement in our Camp Fire chat along with the announcement of our latest trip, Paint Like a Girl. Artist Mary Gregory is opening her Texas ranch to Girl Campers and wannabes for an art workshop called, Paint Like a Girl. November 4-6, 2016 will be the dates for this all inclusive, true Texas experience. Details are on the Meet Up site on the Camp Like a Girl group page. You must join the Camp Like a Girl Meet Up group to attend.

Mary Gregory;s Studio

 

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19 Jan

Girl Camper #15: Hiking the Appalachian Trail

On this weeks episode I had the pleasure of interviewing Laurrie Pottiger and Hope Midock from the Appalachian Trail Conservancy office in Harpers Ferry, West Virginia on all things AT. How the trail is maintained and who does all that work along with the AT lingo. What’s a SOBO and a NOBO and what is trail magic? This 2100 mile National Scenic Trail is a national treasure and if you are anywhere on the Eastern seaboard, part of it is right in your backyard. I also chatted about the difference between “ST”,  Special Trailer tires, and “LT”,  Light Truck, tires and the debate about whether “ST” tires are absolutely necessary on your travel trailer. In the Girl Camper News Roundup there is news about my GoRVing blog. It’s a year round thing now!! You will get to read the profiles of all the women who are Girl Campers year round. Whether you’re a martini and tutus Girl Camper or a boondocking, hiking, catch your own supper, Girl Camper you will enjoy reading about how these ladies made it happen.

RV Tires by Mark Polk

Janine’s Go RVing blog

Appalachian Trail Conservancy

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