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Old 04-09-2011, 02:18 PM   #11
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I have the same FW. We have not had many problems. Mostly small stuff like screws coming out of the wall from the shades, which is an easy fix with a molly. I think we used too much muscle with them in the beginning. The base speaker for the surround sound in the rear cabinet where the TV retracts was not attached to anything, moved and blocked the TV from going all the way down. I was new to RV'g when we purchased the Cardinal and attaching the electrical cable connection on the FW was an issue for me. The TV cable connection in the docking station was a small issue and the sewer hose was fun too. The dealer forgot to move the switch on the hot water heater to the on position and it is under the flooring accessible from the basement. Learning how to use the refrigerator is interesting as well as the heating and air conditioning. Other RV'rs and the RV web sites like this one and the Cardinal RV Club have been very helpful with the nuances. I consider this all small stuff and have learned that buying an RV if vary different from buying a Mercedes. The most fun has been learning how to tow it!
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Old 04-10-2011, 08:17 AM   #12
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I know what you mean bigbird. I've gotta try and use the dump station on our way out, and it will be the first time for that too. Im wondering what else is going to go wrong on this trip. Hopefully I can get it figured out and survive the dump station. They didn't cover that very well at the dealership.
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Old 04-10-2011, 09:17 AM   #13
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if this is the first time u've plugged in, make sure the water heater has water in it before u turn it on. there is a switch on the water heater and a breaker to it. hopefully one of them is off. mine was all on when i got it and empty. the water heater element doesn't last long when tank is empty.
leveling is with shims under the tires. get it level side to side before u disconnect. then when u drop ur landing gear, they should find near level (i put boards under them for a little extra pad). then u extend the landing gear until it comes up off the hitch (if it tries to lift the truck, u may have to put the truck in gear and let it move abt a 1/2" to relieve the bind between the king pin and hitch...usually any movement is enough...don't want to move enough the move the trailer with landing gear down). this is when u make sure the two legs are rising together ie the pins set in the landing gear legs.
once u can see clearance between the flat part of the trailer and the hitch flat part, release the hitch, disconnect the cord between trailer and truck and drive off. level front to back. then go to ur check list.
i usually hook the water first and crack it open very slightly and bleed any air from the system first then the electricity. mainly because of the water heater.
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Old 04-10-2011, 01:30 PM   #14
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AT

I hope you purchased a hose for cleaning the black holding tank and the drain lines. This is not the same hose as you use for fresh water. In your docking station there is a hose connection. Attach the hose to this connection and to the available water source. Once you have emptied the three tanks run water for about 10 minutes. This will clean out the black holding tank and the drain lines. I run water through the flex hose to make sure that is clean as a last step. I always wear a pair of leather gloves. I store all clean out tools in a plastic storage box. I also put the flex hose in a garment bag. I keep soap in the docking station dispenser as well as rags to clean up and disinfectant for hands. I use the shower fixture in the docking station for personal clean up. A lot of people wear jump suits when doing a sewer clean out. My only consolation with this job is the guy with the $330,000 Allegro bus has to do it too.
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Old 04-10-2011, 05:55 PM   #15
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Well I made through the dump station!!!!! It wasn't as bad as I thought it would be.

The only thing that gets me is, like the site we were on had a slope in it. I couldn't get the camper level front to back. Side to side was ok, but front to back was horrible. It felt like climbing mt. Everest!!!

How do you level front to back?
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Old 04-10-2011, 08:28 PM   #16
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raise or lower the front jacks (landing gear). if u are getting to an extreme with the jacks extended and still not level, put the truck back under it so the hitch will support the trailer, then put blocks under the landing gear and take it back up. if the front has to go too low, i would look for another site or put shims under both wheels. actually, i would look for another site. the lower the front goes, the more blocks u will have to put under the rear stabilizers.
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Old 04-10-2011, 08:49 PM   #17
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Im going to save this one so I don't forget that
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Old 04-10-2011, 09:27 PM   #18
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I'm learning the 5th wheel thing, too. We camped this weekend at Natchez Trace State Park and my wife insisted on a lake side campsite that required backing downhill into the campsite and unhitching from the truck with the truck and trailer at different angles. I've done this many times with a TT, but not a 5th wheel. It worked out pretty well. I think the main thing is just to get used to it.
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Old 04-10-2011, 11:43 PM   #19
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Im just not use to having all this electrical gadgets, and sewer lines and stuff. After everything that has gone wrong this weekend, we have come to the conclusion, that we really enjoyed seeing all the Amish people.

We made some good friends, and planning on going back in two weeks. We are putting together a pretty good list for the dealership, so they can fix all the problems (hopefully). I think im going to invest in some leveling blocks before we go camping again!
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Old 04-11-2011, 12:39 PM   #20
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You might look into a tripod for the king pin or a stabilizer kit for the front jacks. They take out a lot of floor movement. I hope you have chocks. To balance the FW I have two levels; side to side and front and back. An RV acquaintance gave me two pieces of 2X6 the length of the width of my truck bed, and a tripod. When I get the FW in position at a camp site I check the side to side and if I am low on a side I pull forward lay a 2X6 on the low side of the tire track and back on to the 2X6. One usually balances me, but if I need two I do the procedure again and add the second piece of wood. I am told not to go three. The front to rear can be taken care of with the jacks and the rear stabilizer. Puts chocks tight against the tires, install the tripod and you should be level and have a firm floor.

Leave for Texas Wednesday.
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