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Old 03-01-2012, 10:16 AM   #1
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Initial Impact Costs after purchase of a Travel Trailer.

Hello,

When we purchased our 2012 Tracer Touring Edition in January, the wife and I were very excited at the new possibilities of family camping. Because we live in the Midwest and did not have a place at our home to store the TT we were lucky General RV included free storage through April.

Since the acquisition, I have been avidly subscribing to multiple forums to read and understand just exactly what we had gotten ourselves into. I have been a tent camper since I was a little kid and also do a lot of camping with my kids and wife as well. So from a gear perspective, I am well equipped to take on just about anything in handling the elements. However, now that we are “camping” in a TT, most of that purchased camping gear will go into the crawl space and will see little use, as most of the amenities we need are already in the TT, except this huge new list!

Items like two mirrors, trailer hitch, roof vent covers (MaxxAir type), TT Cover, rubber tire chocks, water pressure regulators, stabilizer chocks and water filters & hoses, you get the picture. The list gets big in a hurry and so do the costs!

Sure I could have waited and bought this gear over time, but from reading these forums and realizing the benefits of purchasing some of these key items upfront, makes all the difference in the world for an enjoyable experience. That said, I am curious if this has been a similar experience with other folks that are first timers, or if you did a wait and see approach to this.

I’m just find it interesting that there isn’t one consolidated area in forums dedicated in helping people understand what initial purchases should be considered over things that can wait and WHY. I would think this would help the RV MFR’s and Third Party Vendors with targeting even more business for this industry. I realize a lot of this info is out there, it’s just buried deep within the forum issues and mods sections on the forum sites. So just to let those vendor folks know, my initial impact costs exceeded $3K for third party gear only 45 days after the TT purchase. Of course I still have things I’d like to get such as additional battery, solar power and LED lighting… But that can wait.

Thanks and hope to see some good feednack from this!

Joe
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Old 03-01-2012, 10:23 AM   #2
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Yikes! $3K? We didn't spend near that much on the gear we needed.
  • Wheel chocks
  • Lego blocks for leveling
  • Carpeting for the steps
  • Sewer hose & adapter
  • "Blue boy" tank
  • Adapter plug
  • Extension cord
  • Torsion bars for the refrigerator
  • Shelf lining
  • Bed sheets
  • New pillows
We probably spent less than $1K not including the hitch, because that was included in our deal, along with the battery and full propane tanks.

Everything else we pretty much had from 20+ years of tent camping. There are always things we can find to spend our money on, but most of them are not "required" items and fall under the "luxury" catagory.
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Old 03-01-2012, 10:35 AM   #3
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What you are asking is almost impossible, in my opinion. I do understand what you want. The big problem is, no two people camping do the same thing. Some go boondocking, no water, power, or sewer. Some won't go unless they have full hook-ups. Some have to have television, DVD's, stereo surround, etc. Some go to campgrounds with games for the children, and a swimming pool, others avoid them.

I can say this, you will need a water supply, available, or haul it with you. You will need a sewer hose, to eventually dump your tanks, campground or some other dump station. Power cord if the campground has power. If no power, easy on the lights, as a battery won't last long, maybe one night with furnace. Food, and toilet paper.

Of course dishes and pots to cook and eat, maybe clean clothes, towels for a shower, but really depends on what you plan to do while camping, if anything, children, and keeping them busy, pets, if any, and how you want to spend your time.

I am sorry this doesn't help much, but as has been suggested many time, spend a week-end in the driveway. Lock the house when you head for the camper, and don't go back in. Make a list of what you need over the week-end, and have fun.
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Old 03-01-2012, 11:07 AM   #4
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I too have just jumped in head first and my list seems to be almost finished…I had no idea what I was getting myself into. You are right…there are endless items you find out you need as you move forward. We found that taking your time and writing lists helps. Our goal was to have everything outside of clothes and food in the trailer and ready to go at a moments notice. Its going to take a few more trips to iron everything out but I think we are about done.
Must haves (lots scavenged from our house)

1. Larger fire extinguisher for door, One in front storage compartment (Absolute must have)
2. Flash lights accessible in every sleeping area.
3. Linx leveling blocks (2 packs)
4. Spare fuses
5. Wheel chocks
6. Scrap wood for leveling
7. Hoses (sewer, fresh water, general purpose)
8. Clear adapter for sewer hose
9. Extra power cord to hook up at home and an adapter that does not melt!
10. Pots and pans (recycled from home Kitchen)
11. All the linens (again extras from home)
12. Pillows
13. Broom and dust pan
14. Cleaning stuff
15. Water pressure Regulator
16. Small tool kit
17. Stash of grease and dry lube for slides and such
18. Hitch lock
19. Extra set of keys
20. Coloring books and games for kids
21. All dishware
22. LOTS of Can Coozies!
23. Number of clear bins to organize things.
24. Tank chemicals and toilet paper.
25. Battery charger for the winter months
26. Stick lighters
27. Insect screens for furnace, and HW heater.
Nice to have
1. Flip foot for front jack
2. Blender
3. Coffee maker
4. Toaster
5. ¼ turn ball valves for low point drains and fresh water tank.
6. Grill
7. Large outdoor canopy for shade
8. Bunch of light weight chares
The biggest must have IMO is a good knowledge of how all your systems operate and confidence during set up and breakdown. That will save lots of $$$ in the future.
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Old 03-01-2012, 11:33 AM   #5
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I asked about 10 different people when I was waiting for delivery of my Stealth. I got 10 different answers, but most people had a lot of the same stuff. I will say, by the first trip I was pretty set, but I brought a notepad and after the first weekend had a long list. Things I wanted, and things I needed to tweak. One of my favorite purchases was a cheap propane grill. Cooking was so much easier, and cleaner! I strap it down right next to the quads and bikes.

But yeah, $1500 to $2000 in accessories, and I'm not done. Maybe $15k if I find a decent deal on a used diesel truck...
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Old 03-01-2012, 01:21 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeyO View Post
Hello,

When we purchased our 2012 Tracer Touring Edition in January, the wife and I were very excited at the new possibilities of family camping. Because we live in the Midwest and did not have a place at our home to store the TT we were lucky General RV included free storage through April.

Since the acquisition, I have been avidly subscribing to multiple forums to read and understand just exactly what we had gotten ourselves into. I have been a tent camper since I was a little kid and also do a lot of camping with my kids and wife as well. So from a gear perspective, I am well equipped to take on just about anything in handling the elements. However, now that we are “camping” in a TT, most of that purchased camping gear will go into the crawl space and will see little use, as most of the amenities we need are already in the TT, except this huge new list!

Items like two mirrors, trailer hitch, roof vent covers (MaxxAir type), TT Cover, rubber tire chocks, water pressure regulators, stabilizer chocks and water filters & hoses, you get the picture. The list gets big in a hurry and so do the cost


Sure I could have waited and bought this gear over time, but from reading these forums and realizing the benefits of purchasing some of these key items upfront, makes all the difference in the world for an enjoyable experience. That said, I am curious if this has been a similar experience with other folks that are first timers, or if you did a wait and see approach to this.

I’m just find it interesting that there isn’t one consolidated area in forums dedicated in helping people understand what initial purchases should be considered over things that can wait and WHY. I would think this would help the RV MFR’s and Third Party Vendors with targeting even more business for this industry. I realize a lot of this info is out there, it’s just buried deep within the forum issues and mods sections on the forum sites. So just to let those vendor folks know, my initial impact costs exceeded $3K for third party gear only 45 days after the TT purchase. Of course I still have things I’d like to get such as additional battery, solar power and LED lighting… But that can wait.

Thanks and hope to see some good feednack from this!

Joe

Man you went over board !
we just switched from a tt to a 5er and other than the amnenities within that you speak of
I bought a 5er hitch and a step stool .
max air vents not needed to camp
chocks = 4x4 angle cut to fit between tires
stab pads made from plywood
use your hose from home
made my own stabilizers (1/4) the cost

I think people should just buy as needed otherwise your camper will be so full of crap youll never use . EVER

have a and take half the crap back and relax by the fire
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Old 03-01-2012, 02:37 PM   #7
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We spent around the $3k range as well to equip TT. Make sure you get two 50ft power extension cables (30amp) as many times electric box is just out of reach. Same for city water (white hose) and sewage hose.
X2 on Ryand list.
Enjoy your new PT its a good one.
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Old 03-01-2012, 02:58 PM   #8
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Good feedback and replies so far. Don't get me wrong, I'm not ranting here, just an observation/perspective on how I had to "develop" my list of things.

I'm pretty handy and I could have spent the time to make things or use existing items from the house. The Mod sections are filled with great how to's. My thought however, was to buy the safety & neccessity items up front and new, (I like the idea of a larger extinguisher)keep that stuff loaded in the TT and only stock the parishables and clothing prior to an actual outting.

I dislike the time it takes to pack & unpack for tent camping. Grab the house grill, charcoal, extension cords sleeping bags, water, radio, etc then unpack everything and put it away when you return in addition to unloading food and laundry. Its a hassle.

The other point I was referring to, and WindRider & Rod Johnson touched on it, was that everyones needs are different. There are purchases that a new owner must consider, Sewer Hose, Propane Tanks and Batteries for instance. But after that, its an open book, left to your imagination, or lack there of, which was my point on the need to have a topic on RV add-on Gear. Offering feature/benefit (or lack of) on items we all use. This could be a huge asset to a vendor sponsored Forum advertisers. A person could make decisions easier (and faster) with this type of info - newbee or not.

A person shared their disapointment on a water pressure regulator that they purchased in a recent post, BOOM, that helped me eliminate buying that particular brand and even though he didn't mention other brands he pointed out the features that he wished it had (larger gpm flow and adjustable) which helped me with my search. I never realized water pressure would be an issue park to park.

There are a lot of subscribers here on this Forum that could make or break a product, based around feedback - how it worked or not worth buying in the first place because I thought I'd need it. I'm sure you all read similar comments from fellow RV'ers - Wow, wish I knew that before I bought it.

This has become another long post, but education is huge for everyone in buying an RV, why should it be any different when buying add ons/accessories. A cheap $4 plastic chock that slips on the tarmac or crushes under pressure when they could have bought the correct type of rubber chock suited for the weight of the trailer and cost $11. Buy this xxx not that xxx.

Group buys work well in just about every industry, the RV aftermarket should be no different. RV's are homes basically, we need to maintain and upgrade as needed. The economy is still stagnent in most sectors and this is one of those hidden gems 3rd party MFR's could benefit from. Offering volume buys based off a MFR's target goal is simple and they are missing out on it. In case your wondering, no, I do not work for, or am I related to any RV MFR or related vendor, this is just an observation.

Thanks!
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Old 03-01-2012, 03:39 PM   #9
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We came from a tent background as well. I think $3,000 seems like a lot also. Here's my list (adapted from ryand's list)

1. Wheel chocks
2. Scrap wood for leveling
3. Hoses (sewer, fresh water, general purpose)
4. Clear adapter for sewer hose
5. Extra 30 amp power cord
6. Adapter to hook up at home
7. 50 to 30 amp adapter
8. All the linens
9. Broom and dust pan
10. Cleaning stuff from home
11. Water pressure Regulator 2X (lost one)
12. Small tool kit
13. Hitch lock
14. Extra set of keys
15. Games for the kids
16. extra set of silverware
17. Number of clear bins to organize things.
18. Tank chemicals and toilet paper.
19. Stick lighters
20. Insect screens for furnace, HW heater and fridge.
21. Small coffee maker
22. Small toaster
23. Blue tote
24. 4- 6 gal jugs for water
25. Tire pressure monitoring system
26. Trailer Aid
27. Warning triangles
28. Extra set of towels
29. Adco Cover
30. Small table
31. A pair of LED bulbs
32. Inside/Outside thermometer
33. 303 Protectant
34. Nu Finish Wax
35. Large sticker "visited state map"
36. Next Exit book

I estimate with all of that that I spent ~$1,600. That's more than I realized but no-where near $3,000.
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Old 03-01-2012, 04:33 PM   #10
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Quick side note, I bought a used Hensley Arrow hitch. So, that was a good chunk of my initial costs, I'm just pointing out the fact that there is opportunity for vendors, if they were to offer group buys to the subscribers of these forums.

I see it on the car and truck forums all the time and its can be a win win as a result. When I think of my initial cost of the TT, I thought a few $$ more and I'd be all set. Wrong.

So, I just thought it could be benificial to new and new to us owners on the forum in creating a section for reviews and group buys for the mutual benefit of all.
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