Jamey, and congrats to you on your new trailer.
My best advice to a new owner is to relax and try to have fun as you are learning about your new camper. But ... do take the time to learn your systems, use your manuals and ask other campers for help when needed (this is key at a campground the first few trips you make). Finally, plan extra time for everything until it becomes second nature.
As for specific tips, I suggest starting with the following:
- Read through the various threads in the Hybrid section to get a feel on what to expect. Feel free to post any questions.
- If you are in a warmer part of the country right now, then set up and camp a night or two in your driveway before going to a park. This experience will help you to get used to the various systems - water, heating, cooling, stove/oven - and the various procedures for your Surveyor.
- Tow your Surveyor to an empty parking lot and practice cornering, backing up and general awareness of how your tow vehicle and trailer work together. Learn how to use your side mirrors.
- Its good to start a checklist of sorts that will help you to set-up and take-down your camper. You can search the site for lists that people have made to help them but I think its best to create your own departure and arrival checklists.
If you are interested in getting a head start on some maintenance items, then the following is good ...
- Locate all of your manuals if you got them with the purchase or download them so you have these handy when you camp. We have many manuals in our Files area. Many people newish to camping in a trailer have questions regarding the water heater, furnace, and electrical systems so those are good places to start. When problems occur (as they inevitably do) it will help you tremendously to have at least a passing familiarity with these systems.
- One of the most important items with any trailer, but especially an older model, is to check the sealing on the roof and outside walls. Climb onto the roof and inspect all seams, gaskets, and any place where the roof material has been cut or drilled. Bring some LAP sealant with you (Dicor will work) and apply the sealant as needed.
- Locate all of your fuses. You have a fuse panel near your converter and you probably have an inline fuse between the battery and the converter. Make sure you have spare fuses before your first trip (just in case).
- Did you get a new battery? Read this on how to maintain it. Read the 12-Volt Side of Life to help you become familiar with your power system.
Forgive me for being long-winded, but you did ask for tips and I think these are a good start