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 With a wide variety of RV batteries to choose from, their prices range just as wide. The cheapest RV battery on the market is the Apex Group UI RV battery that costs $48.25, and the most expensive battery being a Lifeline GPL-8DA deep cycle RV battery for $699.88. All RV batteries have the same purpose, but not all are equally created. So, what kind of bang are you getting for your buck? We asked our veteran RV tech Darrel what his opinion is. Darrel has worked in the RV industry for decades and personally installed his share of batteries.

Battery Blog 1

Duracell ultra-high capacity battery for deep cycle 6v RV-$109.99

• This is a 6-volt battery with 230 Ah
• 12-month free replacement warranty
• Easy twist and release vent caps for watering

Trojan Reliant-$377.97

• This is a 12-volt battery with 150Ah Battery Blog 2
• This battery is made with robust plates that extends the life cycle and comes with a low calcium grid alloy that reduces gas emissions
• A separator of glass fibers serves to isolate the positive and negative plates while acting as a blotter to absorb the electrolytes

Lifeline GPL-8DA-$639.99

• This is a 12-volt battery with 255Ah
Battery Blog 3• This battery is specifically manufactured for deep cycle applications 
• All Lifeline batteries are Coast Guard approved and handmade in the USA, backed with an industry leading five-year warranty


Which one does Darrel recommend?

Darrel recommends the Trojan Reliant. When talking with Darrel he said he recommended this battery because, “the brand produces quality batteries that have been around for years, and they are high capacity batteries that are durable.”

How many batteries do I need for my trip?
Depending on what kind of trip you are taking, you may need anywhere from two to five extra batteries. Extra batteries are always a good thing to have on hand. You are able to expand your power capacity and extend your trip with having extra batteries. Any of us who go off-roading or off-grid boon docking understand the importance of having that extra power to be able to use light bars as well as our stereos. For those of us who travel, whether it’s in a trailer or RV, we all appreciate being able to use the appliances because we have enough power to do so. Having extra batteries brings convenience and many luxuries to the outdoor life.

Where can I store these extra batteries?

Battery Blog 4

Torklift has designed a high-quality locking aluminum solar battery box featuring a lockable slide top that can easily be accessed no matter the mounting location. This box comes with a precision laser cut 100% aluminum bright tread diamond plate featuring a black high impact powder coated frame. Boxes can bolt directly to RV, trailer tongue, camper bumper, etc. It features an access port that will allow electrical wires to pass through the side wall of the box to easily connect to your electrical circuit system.

PowerArmor DH Solar/ PowerArmor Max Solar
The PowerArmor solar boxes extends battery life up to 400% and prevents premature battery replacement with the 10-watt solar panel bolted through its lid.

PowerArmor Solar DH starting at $468.99

• 24-inch box can hold up to two group 24-27 batteries
• 26-inch box can hold up to two group 24-27 batteries, and two group 31 batteries

PowerArmor Max Solar starting at $651.99

• can hold up to two group 24-27 batteries, two group 31, four 31 or 27, or five group 24 batteries.

PowerArmor DH/ PowerArmor Max

This battery box design has the same features as the PowerArmor Solar and the PowerArmor Max Solar minus the solar panel. The PowerArmor Max comes with adjustable dividers to customize storage compartment size.

PowerArmor DH starting at $310.99

• 24-inch box can hold up to two group 24-27 batteries
• 26-inch box can hold up to two group 24-27 batteries, and two group 31 batteries

PowerArmor Max starting at $525.99

• Can hold up to two group 24-31 batteries with ample room to store additional hitch or RV towing related equipment by utilizing the storage dividers, or as many as four group 27 or 31, or five group 24 batteries.

Each battery box comes with Torklift International’s Legendary Lifetime Warranty.

Still not convinced? Picture this: You are on a camping trip when you leave your trailer to go on a hike. Your two Trojan Reliant batteries are sitting unsecured in the factory installed brackets on the tongue of your trailer. You then return back to a crime scene. That’s over $750.00 in batteries disappeared not to mention hundreds to repair the cut wiring left by thieves! The PowerArmor box will protect your investment with its key entry system.

The PowerArmor Solar boxes take it a step further. The 10-watt solar panel on top will trickle charge the batteries and extend their life by up to 400%. The trickle charge helps by keeping the battery in optimum condition year-round unlike batteries sitting in storage that may suffer from sulfating (caused by undercharging). The solar panel easily maintains battery life by not under or overcharging them, keeping them in great condition and extending your battery investment. Even without direct sunlight the solar panel on the PowerArmor Solar absorbs reflective light. Each PowerArmor box comes with Torklift International’s Legendary Lifetime Warranty and is proudly made in the USA.

To start protecting your investment, call us at 800.246.8132 or visit our website Torklift.com.

 

shyannWritten by Shyann Guerra:
Being in an environment in which I can problem solve is where I flourish. Every answer to a problem leads me to a new concept to understand or a lesson to learn. Whem I'm not solving problems I enjoy camping and going to festivals with my family - from the local city center festivals to the mountains of Wenatchee at the Winter Grass, blue grass music festival. Experiencing culture is where my heart is content. 

 

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Posted on in RV Products

Getting in and getting out of your RV is the first and last thing you do at the beginning and end of every journey you take. With so many step options available how do you decide what way is best for you? From the do-it-yourselfers to Lippert’s Solid Step, MORryde’s StepAbove and Torklift’s GlowStep Revolution, which is going to meet and exceed your needs?

The DIY options
Best RV Step Blog 1If you’re a do-it-yourself kind of person there are a couple options for you. The first project idea I saw was a pallet staircase that was four broken down pallets that were cut and stacked to create stairs. This project was affordable and the materials seemed easy to find. Another project layout I saw, was a staircase cut out of plywood with slats to insert as the steps. These kinds of projects do take time but materials are both affordable and readily available. The downside might be the time it takes to build it, and also finding a place to store it if you are traveling.

Best RV Step Blog 2Lippert SolidSteps
These steps operate through a range of heights with adjustable extensions. The riser height is 8 inches. The design comes parallel to the ground reducing the risk of slipping or falling during use. The step system stows in the doorway inside the RV. This set of steps is a manual steel step with aluminum tread with optional LED tread lighting. The Lippert Solid steps has a 400-pound capacity. It’s a sturdy step, but be sure to double check that the steps are brushed off to prevent any water, snow, or other debris from getting inside.

MORryde StepAbove
Best RV Step Blog 3This is a set of steps that provide stable entry and exit from your RV. A twist handle is used to release the steps and they store right inside the door. The steps seem simple to use. You lift the bottom of the step up and close it above your head- similar to a drawbridge. Many see concerns with the height of the twist handle from the ground. As the twist handle is not at a low point for access, this might be difficult for a shorter person or a child to lower the step. As with the Lippert step, there is a possibility of debris like water, sand, dirt or mud inside the RV since it stores inside the door opening. Parking within narrow spaces is also concerning because this step requires about 5 feet to deploy with its drawbridge design. It features adjustable feet for uneven terrain, however just like the Lippert step, it provides no elevation adjustment for overall step height adjustment that is often needed when leveling an RV. This step has a step riser gap from 8 to 9 inches depending on the model. You can purchase the StepAbove stairs in a three step or four step series with an optional handrail and 500-pound weight capacity for both sets.

Torklift GlowStep Revolution
Best RV Step Blog 4With seven inches of precision elevation adjustment, three positions of upper adjustments between RV and top step, five positions of lower adjustments, plus All Terrain Landing Gear adjustable feet you are guaranteed the safest entry and exit of your RV. These steps are composed of 100 percent rust-free aircraft grade aluminum and are self-illuminating, glowing in the dark for up to 10 hours with no batteries needed and recharge with five minutes of light exposure. It has a specifically engineered hinge assembly unlike any in the industry using a bushing bearing design. Unlike many camper steps available, the GlowStep Revolution has a riser gap of only 7.5 inches where others have a range of 8 – 11 inches. This step system stores and locks under the door way, making it easy to deploy and store. Many accessories are available for the GlowStep Revolution such as the GlowGuide handrail, SafeStep pet barriers, and the DirtDestroyer. Torklift’s GlowStep line of RV steps guarantee longevity, durability, and quality with a lifetime warranty. Check out what Trailer Life Magazine has to say about the GlowStep Revolution here.

So there you have it, the different types of steps that are available for your trailer! In order to enjoy the GlowStep Revolution, give us a call at 800.246.8132 or email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  to get your set today. 

 

shyannWritten by Shyann Guerra:
Being in an environment in which I can problem solve is where I flourish. Every answer to a problem leads me to a new concept to understand or a lesson to learn. Whem I'm not solving problems I enjoy camping and going to festivals with my family - from the local city center festivals to the mountains of Wenatchee at the Winter Grass, blue grass music festival. Experiencing culture is where my heart is content.

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On June 13-18, at the County Fair Grounds, in Elkhart the 2017 North American Heartland Owners Rally will take place. This rally is for anyone who owns a Heartland RV, and is a paid member of the Heartland Owners Club. With an expectancy of more than 550 people, we are all looking forward to seeing the latest and greatest from Heartland.

What kind of units can you expect to see at the rally?
With anywhere from 275- 300 units to be present, there will be a wide variety of Heartland RVs and fifth wheels. You can expect large groups of Bighorn, Big Country and Landmarks. As an RV enthusiast like many of you reading this we are all excited to see the latest from Heartland. Big Country's new 3560 SS is going to be something we are hoping to see. Coming in at 13’3” feet tall, 40.7 feet long, and 8 feet wide, it has the ability to sleep four people. This Big Country offers a master suite (queen standard, king optional) and a full bath with many other options available like a fire place or theater seats. Another unit we are hoping to see is 3575 Elite designed by Big Horn. It’s 8 feet wide, 13’3 feet tall and 39’4 feet long and able to sleep four people. This RV has standard hand crafted cabinetry with Amish-crafted natural hardwood cabinet doors with hidden hinges and drawers. With an optional electric fireplace, large four door refrigerator, or a programmable safe, this RV is the top of the line.

Heartland Blog 1

Will Torklift be there?
We wouldn’t miss it! Our very own Kyle Bonita will be there giving a demonstration of our GlowStep Revolution. He will be comparing a factory step to the GlowStep Revolution and all of the features it has to offer. We are hoping to see Heartland family member Kelly Barnett, owner of a Landmark Key Largo who loves our GlowStep Revolution. She personally wrote a article to Heartland that was posted on their Heartlands’ blogs and event page, about the replacement of her factory steps and installation of our GlowStep Revolution and what difference it has made to her:

A quote directly from her write-up is, “There is a major difference in the stability of the old steps and the new. Walking up and down the steps there is no ‘give’ because the steps are supported by the legs that rest upon the ground and don’t just hang freely in the air. The GlowStep Revolution makes you feel more safe and secure while going up and down the steps.”

Another Heartland owners club member we are looking forward to see is user Coram8. He posted on the forum with a couple questions and concerns, and was wondering if the GlowStep Revolution would solve these issues. Our steps have a weight capacity of 375 pounds, so there is more than enough support. As far as the clearance between the ground and the first step on your RV steps Torklift’s GlowStep Revolution is your solution! Our steps connect to the RV and directly to the ground eliminating the unstable and unsafe diving board feeling. We have also designed an accessory called SafeSteps that may benefit you as well! This is a protective panel that creates a vertical barrier closing the gap between the steps to prevent your children or pets from falling between the steps. Check out this GlowStep Revolution thread on the Heartland Owners Club member forum at Heartlandowners.org.

Heartland Blog 2

Gimme my GlowStep Revolution- find out how to get one free
Heartland Owners Club member Avviclif was wondering if Torklift was going to have any rally specials, and with a lot of excitement about our GlowStep Revolution Torklift will be running a promotion this year. For this rally, attendees must post a photo of their current steps on our Facebook page using the caption, “Gimme my GlowStep Revolution!” with #Torklift in order to be entered to win. The rally director will choose and announce the winner of a free set of GlowStep Revolution steps. Let’s see your steps! Check out Avviclif’s post on the 2017 Goshen Rally- Vendor Specials thread.

Heartland Blog 3

As much as we are all excited about seeing the latest and greatest from Heartland, we are very excited to see all of you as well. For more information of our GlowStep Revolution and any of its accessories contact us at 800.246.8132 or visit Torklift.com

 

shyannWritten by Shyann Guerra:
Being in an environment in which I can problem solve is where I flourish. Every answer to a problem leads me to a new concept to understand or a lesson to learn. Whem I'm not solving problems I enjoy camping and going to festivals with my family - from the local city center festivals to the mountains of Wenatchee at the Winter Grass, blue grass music festival. Experiencing culture is where my heart is content. 

 

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Picture1The answer to this question is yes! You always want your truck camper to have maximum support. Whether you are returning to your summer home or preparing for your journey out, making sure your camper has proper support is essential. Torklift has designed two structural supports to accommodate both your long-term and short-term needs. One being the Camper Packer and the other being the FastGun Wobble Stopper. Both products will maintain your truck camper’s structure by eliminating frame damage and jack twisting which cab lead to a disaster or risking your personal safety. 

Why the DIY isn’t cut out

FGWS Blog 2Safety is something you never want to compromise. When traveling to different areas with your truck camper you should be prepared to experience various wind speeds and anything the weather has to throw at you, along with just regular usage like walking from the bedroom to the bathroom. The last thing you want to do is rely on cinder blocks or a DIY project that’s made out of 2x4 wood to support your truck camper when it can get hit with 60 MPH winds while in storage. Without proper support, you not only risk sustaining jack or frame damage but having your trailer tip over completely jeopardizing your safety as well. Wind isn’t the only contributing factor - simply being in your trailer causing an uneven distribution of weight can also lead to damage or tipping. Over time, the floor can begin to dip inward due to the weight of the camper. We have a way to prevent this. The only way to ensure both the integrity of your truck camper and your safety is to use the proper structural support.

FGWS Blog 3The Camper Packer for long term storage

The Camper Packer is the industry’s only structural truck camper support base and solution for maintaining campers structure during long term storage. It’s 50 inches side-to-side and made of special treated lumber to endure harsh weather that folds up for compact storage. The Camper Packer is the best option for long-term storage as it allows you to lower your truck camper, and can handle twelve times the weight capacity of a typical sawhorse at 6,000 pounds per pair. Having a stable support when properly installed will allow you to avoid the jack twisting as well as frame damage. Distributing the weight amongst the structure minimizes sway and lifts the weight off the four corners reducing the amount of stress on the frame. The Camper Packer is USA made and comes with a five-year warranty.

The Fast Gun Wobble Stopper Stabilizer for short term storage while camping

FGWS Blog 4

This option reduces stress from camper’s jacks and frame with a supportive connection between front camper jack legs and the camper body. The FastGun Wobble Stopper also accommodates your comfort needs as well by eliminating sway that can cause dizziness or nausea from motion sickness. When traveling the FastGun Wobble Stopper stabilizer features a quick disconnect lever action handle that only requires seconds to install or remove with a square or round jack application. It provides all the support you need with convenience. The connection bar is composed from high impact powder coated stainless steel and aircraft grade aluminum. Keyed alike locks are also available to prevent the camper from being backed up into and stolen. This product is also USA made and comes with a lifetime warranty.

If you're interested in learning more about the Torklift International storage solutions including the Camper Packer and the FastGun Wobble Stopper, there are a couple of options for you! You can call us at 800-246-8132 and our tech support would be happy to answer your questions. Or, you can find one of our Certified Dealers near you by clicking here, and they can help get your truck camper set up with the latest and greatest Torklift security products.

 

shyannWritten by Shyann Guerra:
Being in an environment in which I can problem solve is where I flourish. Every answer to a problem leads me to a new concept to understand or a lesson to learn. Whem I'm not solving problems I enjoy camping and going to festivals with my family - from the local city center festivals to the mountains of Wenatchee at the Winter Grass, blue grass music festival. Experiencing culture is where my heart is content. 

 

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Posted on in RV Products

For a while now, we’ve been sharing with you some of our favorite fan mail that we get, which we’ve published here and here. Recently, we had a friend of ours send in the ultimate fan mail letter, and we just had to share with you. Read below to learn all about Steve Thune and his new steps.

Steve Thune Blog 1Steve's setup at night! Looks like his dog is ready to go inside!“I should begin by first stating that I was not asked to write a review of Torklift’s GlowStep Revolution, but the product is a significant enough change to my RV that it must be done!

My family and I currently own a 2016 Mallard M32 travel trailer. This is our fifth camper and it was a downsizing from our last travel trailer. We didn’t go on any long trips with it last year, but in our history of camping we have managed to pull a travel trailer pretty much from one coast to the other. The Mallard has met all of our expectations, if not exceeding them. The only complaint we consistently had was how high off the ground (even on level ground) the first step into the trailer was at both doors. This consistently presented issues for each family member, including our dog and extended family. We dealt with it by purchasing two of those exercise steps that can be slightly adjusted for height. That worked – sort of.

To find out what we could do about it, or what others were doing, I joined in on forum discussions – starting with a forum where other Mallard owners were active. I asked a simple question and was introduced to the GlowStep Revolution. Not convinced, but still impressed with the design, I engaged in continued conversations and went to YouTube to further research.

Steve Thune Blog 2Getting ready for installation!Our GlowStep Revolution arrived in early Iowa spring. It sat in my garage for almost ten days before I could get my camper home and install them (again, Iowa spring). The installation went very well and while I did attempt to do it myself, my wife was called in to help. I decided to not remove the steps from their framed box and to simply install it all at once. In reflection, if I were to do it again, I would have an assistant from the start, or I would follow the optional directions for a single person install.

The steps have been on our camper for the past two or three weeks and we were finally able to get the camper out and use them at a local park. GlowStep Revolution trailer steps are, in a word, amazing.

Steve Thune Blog 3Steve's steps installed! What do you think?

Since acquiring the Mallard we have found ourselves almost exclusively using the ‘back’ door, the door into the restroom. That door is very convenient, and helps to keep the overall warmth or coolness of the camper from going straight out the door. After using the GlowStep Revolution, we have discovered that we are not using that back door much, if at all. In fact, we want another set of the steps for this door now!

The performance of the steps is spot on. Initially the art of deploying, adjusting, and storing takes some practice. Not to imply it is difficult, it isn’t – there are just steps you need to take and you need to do them in order. Once you have that down, the process becomes second nature. On initial set up we have found them to be slight bit ‘creaky’ with respect to noise. Once you have walked up them once everything settles into place and have never heard any further noise. If you need to adjust them for height, you have options. So far I have started with lowering the top step first and then repositioning the bottom legs second. Each is easy to do, especially with a bit of initial practice.

Steve Thune Blog 4Now everyone in Steve's family can easily get in and out of their trailerThe solid platform of each step seems to give each family member a more confident footing. The step platform did greatly impact the confidence and ease at which our golden retriever enters and exits the camper! We are even experimenting with the RV carpet for steps on the first two of our four-step system. It doesn’t cover the glow feature and has so far worked well, giving us two steps to kind of wipe our feet before entering. The consistent spacing of the step’s rise and run also makes entering and exiting much less labor intensive for those of us with bad knees and especially for my mother who also has an artificial hip.

Camper rock when entering and exiting has almost been eliminated. This is a huge bonus and directly impacts comfort, especially if you have at least one camping family member that is a night owl – coming in after others are settled into bed.

Steve Thune Blog 5Awesome campsite Steve!

Communication with Torklift has been outstanding. In truth, I have only corresponded with one person. Kerstin has been supportive, helpful, and has responded to all inquiries in a timely manner. If she represents their typical employee, this company understands that out of all the resources it may need – the human one is the most important.

In summary, the GlowStep Revolution in my opinion, should be the industry standard on any camper. They improve step safety, all but eliminate camper rock (also that diving board effect), and can be adjusted quickly to meet each new camping situation. On a scale from 1 to 10, with 10 being the highest, I would put them at a 9.5. The deduction of .5 for the slight learning curve (not really avoidable)!"

Thanks for the wonderful review Steve! We are so happy to hear you love your steps. Remember – we’re always here to answer your questions about these upgraded trailer steps by either calling us at 800-246-8132 or by emailing us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , we’d love to get you set up with a set of your own GlowStep Revolution steps for your trailer! Until the next piece of fan mail friends…

Take a look at the GlowStep Revolution Challenge:

 

Written by Steve Thune:
Steve Thune is located in Waterloo, Iowa and is a veteran of the Waterloo Iowa Community School District. He has worked 20 years as a teacher in elementary and middle school, as well as a 8 years as a school principal. He has a wonderful family and is an avid camper who absolutely hates paying for a hotel when camping could be, and should be an option. 

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