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Old 08-23-2008, 12:00 AM   #1
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Getting ready for our 1st trip

Picked up my overpriced Salem on Wednesday, after 2 attempts we were able to back it in close to where we wanted, good sign. Husband will need to practice some, funny how he gets all snappy when trying to back in.

We starting packing all that will be needed for family of 5. So much fun, the kids insisted in sleeping in trailer in the driveway. Our road is quite busy with trucks during weekdays so it made for a rude awakening.

We will be going to a provincial park, back to nature, somewhat in our condo on wheels. Campfires are what it is all about.

Any tips or tricks you guys have would be greatly appreciated.

Christine
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Old 08-23-2008, 03:22 AM   #2
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Before you go, check the hot water by-pass located under the sink. Ensure it is not engaged. I'm fairly certain you have an "east-coast" model (like we have) and they come from the factory engaged. Most of the warmer area models we have out here dont even have these gawd-foresaken by-pass systems. Unless your dealer 'opened' it, it's prolly closed and you wont have any hot water until it's opened.

I felt like an idiot in front of all four kids and (OF COURSE) the boss when I could see the water heater firing up but no hot water was coming out. When I finally figured it out, she simply looked at me as if to say...OH MY GAWD YER STUPID !!
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Old 08-23-2008, 06:27 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by partyof5 View Post
..., funny how he gets all snappy when trying to back in.

We starting packing all that will be needed for family of 5. So much fun, the kids insisted in sleeping in trailer in the driveway. Our road is quite busy with trucks during weekdays so it made for a rude awakening.

We will be going to a provincial park, back to nature, somewhat in our condo on wheels. Campfires are what it is all about.

Any tips or tricks you guys have would be greatly appreciated.

Christine
Hi Christine, sleeping in the driveway is a great way to test out
the new trailer. I hope you fill it with water, light the water heater,
test all the faucets, fire up the furnace for a few minutes.
(Note-- a new furnace always smells like hot metal when it lights the
first time. We suggest leaving the doors open and letting it run for
at least 15 minutes to burn off smelly coating that's on the heat
exchanger Expect the smoke alarm to go off during this.)
You can look in all cabinets and storage areas for any drips.
I've had 3 new trailers and every one of them leaked somewhere.
All the leaks were simply loose fittings or hose clamps.

As far as backing into a spot--- on our first real vacation trip I did
all the driving and backing. My wife's job was to get out and guide
me into the site. We quickly found that she gave lousy directions.
She'd say things like "watch out" or "get over". I'd yell "watch out
for WHAT"??? Or "get over WHICH WAY"?????
Our conversation quickly deteriorated after that. At the end of the
day, when we were tired but should have been in a good mood because
we had finally ARRIVED, we'd wind up mad at each other.

She suggested that she back up and I stand outside and direct her.
It sounded crazy but we tried it.
IT WORKS FOR US!!
She drives very slowly and I give her EXACT directions like
"turn the wheel left"
"more left"
"center your wheel"
"come on back slowly"
"now cut it right"
"now center"
Bingo-- it's parked, I can't blame anyone but me if it's not
exactly where I wanted it.
She's like my "remote control" while I walk along side and watch
for problems.

She also drives and I direct when we are putting the hitch on the ball.

You don't want to be mad at the beginning of your camping
experience. Try reversing the roles of backing up.

You don't say if you're new campers or just have a new trailer so I
am including a "stuff to bring" list from another trailer group
that I help moderate.

Happy Camping!!!

Stuff to bring list continued next message --->
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Old 08-23-2008, 06:28 AM   #4
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Stuff to bring list-

Get 2 25 foot white drinking water hoses. If you are
close to the spigot you can just use one and you
don't have to fool with an extra long hose.

Get a garden hose pressure regulator. Found in the RV isle
of many dept stores and RV stores.
Less than 10 bucks for the brass one.
Some folks have found the plastic one, which is even cheaper,
not acceptable.

(If your trailer has a built in water filter, you can ignore this part but
you might want to know that these are more or less universal and
you can get replacement cartridges at WalMart and most any
home store or hardware store.)

The campgrounds around here usually have good water but some
folks also use a water filter -- it's up to you.
Last season we had "cloudy" water with heavy chlorine taste and
smell at a CG.
We now have a filter.

NOTE; you can buy a cheap "whole house" filter at most home
stores for around $17. It has 3/4" female pipe connections.
Now you need 2 brass adapter fittings.
One that is 3/4" male pipe threads on one end and
female garden hose on the other end
and
another that is 3/4" male pipe threads on one end
and male garden hose on the other end.

Buy a couple carbon coated filter cartridges at the same time.
Different brands are usually interchangeable.
We found a Culligan "whole house" filter housing without
shut off for the above mentioned 17 bucks.
(You don't need a shut off on the filter body-- it costs less
without it and you can always turn off the hose if you need to.)
There were no Culligan carbon filters but there were
another brand. We got the other brand cartridges and
they fit fine.
Carbon filters should help remove odor and taste as well as sediment.
It's up to you but you can buy a ready to use RV hose filter
for around $20. You need to replace the filter each season whether
you use it once or several times so it's cheaper in the long run to use
a whole house filter. Refills for it are about $7 for a 2 pack.

If you have roof air conditioner get a
30 amp 110v 25 foot extension cord.
http://www.campingworld.com/browse/s...27989&src=SRQB
or similar.
(Maybe your trailer needs a 50 AMP cord!!)

NOTE: you should also have a
50 foot heavy duty (14 gauge preferred) extension cord.
You can run most things in the trailer off that but you
should not run the roof AC without the 30 amp plug in use!
You just need ONE hot night where your cord would not reach
and you'll wish you had the extra 30 amp cord!

Wasp Spray -- be very careful every time you raise the cover
on the electrical hookup box in any campground! Wasps love to
build nests right in the top of these!

You can cut some wheel chocks out of 4 x 4 lumber or plastic
wheel chocks can be found at Wal-mart or the RV isle of most
department stores.
You also need an assortment of 2 x 6 boards cut about 12" to 36"
long with one end cut on 45 degrees.
Use one or more of these under the tires for left to right
trailer leveling.
We also have a dozen 2 x 6 x6 square pads for placing under the
trailer stabilizing jacks.
I also have an 8 x 8 block that I put under the tongue
jack but you can stack what ever you have on hand there.
You can usually find the plastic leveling blocks (they look like
giant Leg-os) at Wal-Mart if you don't have deck lumber scraps to
make your own.

We bought a pair of "stick on" trailer bubble levels.
Found online or most any RV store.
Wal-mart often has them in the RV isle.
They are very handy!
I can stand at the front corner of my trailer and immediately
see if we are level in both directions.
If you use these you need to 1st get your trailer as level as you
possibly can using a good carpenters level, then just stick them on
a front corner- one on the front and the other on the side.

Get a couple 6 foot household extension cords. Our toaster has
such a short cord it won't reach the outlet under the table.
Same for the coffee pot.

Get a cheap coffee percolator and toaster for the trailer.
Wally World under 10 bucks each.
If you plan to boon dock (camping without 110v electricity)
buy yourself a stove top coffee percolator - found in the
camping dept of most stores.

Fly Swatter - you need this!!
Paper towel roll holder, toilet paper holder, small waste baskets
for bathroom and kitchen. Wal-Mart bags make perfect liners for
these small waste baskets.
Most of us hang one or 2 extra towel bars in the bathroom.
We added a towel ring near the sink for the dish towel.
Put a peg or hook on the inside of the bathroom door for
your towel or bath robe.
Broom
Dust buster type rechargeable hand vac

And now a short discussion on TOILET PAPER!
We don't buy RV toilet paper because we don't normally use the
toilet for #2.
The general consensus is that RV paper isn't really any better
at decomposing than most other brands anyway.
Since we camp mostly in state parks- they have clean restrooms and
we use them. Even if we did us our toilet for #2
we don't put toilet paper down the john. That's what the waste basket
in the bathroom is for. Years of house boating has trained us in
this. (You don't put ANY paper down a marine toilet.)

We only use the little 10 foot waste water starter kit hose to empty
our holding tanks on the way out of the CG.
If you are going to use the sewer hookup in a CG you will
need longer sewer hose and others have made good looking
hose storage out of large PVC pipe for the carrying the longer waste hose.
(See Easy Sewer hose container in the photo's section for an example.)

Get some re-useable rubber gloves or disposable plastic gloves for dumping.
It ALWAYS gets on your hands so most of us use gloves since we
are leaving at that point and washing hands may not be convenient.
We have a box of food service gloves from Sam's club.

Wall-Mart or any RV store has holding tank deodorant.
We prefer the liquid because we put some in both tanks.
(Some down the sink and some down the toilet.)
If you just want it in the black water tank you can drop
the granular or tablets down the toilet.
It's cheap and works. Get some.
Add it to the holding tanks after you dump if you
have time i.e.: not a line of people waiting for you to clear the
dump area. Otherwise add it at the first opportunity during
your next stop.

Outside thermometer with suction cups.

We keep a basket in the shower floor for dirty clothes.
We also have 2 small hand baskets -- about the size of a dish pan
for carrying clothes, soap, towels, etc to and from the shower house.

>>>Find some way to fasten your TV to the shelf or it WILL fall
out on the floor the first time you tow your trailer!
(Otherwise set it on the bed surrounded by pillows.)
Now days most TVs are LCD and are mounted to the wall.
Just make sure the mounting arm is secure and cannot swing around
while you drive.

If your clothes hangers fall off the bar while
traveling, hang them with the hook facing the other way and
they won't fall off. THIS WORKS!!

Get a long nose butane lighter for lighting the stove burners.
(Keep a few spare matches just in case....)

Take a note pad and pencil with you so you can write down the
little things you need. You'll soon be stocked up and traveling
high like the rest of us!!

Use check lists every time!!
One for what to bring and one for things to check before you
move the trailer.
I left my jacks down once. It really bends them if you do this!!!
Others have driven off with the TV antenna still up.
USE a check list!!!

Well, I guess this wasn't so short after all.

Welcome to the fold.
You have been assimilated!
Resistance was futile!!
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2004 5.3L Silverado 1500 ext. cab 2WD
1999 Suzuki Intruder Motorcycle
Blue Ox WD hitch, AirLift load levelers

Camping days 2010-53, 2011-47, 2012-41,
2013-41, 2014-31, 2015-40, 2016-44, 2017-63
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Old 08-23-2008, 07:30 AM   #5
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Hi,

We are new to this site and have a new Rockwood 2007 2604S. We are planning on camping in the yard to check things out also. Does anyone know where the By Pass Water Heater Kit is located on our model?

Thanks
Mike and Sharon
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Old 08-23-2008, 10:40 AM   #6
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Should be at the water heater. It is just an inlet valve and a bypass valve. No outlet valve as there is most likely a check valve which you cannot see.
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Old 08-23-2008, 10:30 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KyDan View Post
Take a note pad and pencil with you so you can write down the
little things you need. You'll soon be stocked up and traveling
high like the rest of us!!

Use check lists every time!!
One for what to bring and one for things to check before you
move the trailer.
I left my jacks down once. It really bends them if you do this!!!
Others have driven off with the TV antenna still up.
USE a check list!!!

Well, I guess this wasn't so short after all.

Welcome to the fold.
You have been assimilated!
Resistance was futile!!
KyDan thank you for that list, must have took some time and we greatly appreciate it. After this 1st trip, i will have earned my position in the fold. I will make a check list of things we forgot to bring and will post the results.

You said you camp at state parks we would love your list of beautiful spots to see in the eastern states (if you know of any), we will be heading directly south through US from Ontario, New York to Florida this winter to be on the beach in FLA by Xmas.

Thanks again, this site and its members are great!

Christine
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Old 08-24-2008, 04:55 PM   #8
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Have fun camping! Just a suggestion that you find where you wish to camp at the "Florida beach at Christmas" and make reservations as soon as you can. Very very buzy time in Florida.
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Old 08-24-2008, 05:55 PM   #9
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Two highly recomended Georgia State Parks

Quote:
Originally Posted by partyof5 View Post
You said you camp at state parks we would love your list of beautiful spots to see in the eastern states (if you know of any), we will be heading directly south through US from Ontario, New York to Florida this winter to be on the beach in FLA by Xmas.

Christine
In Georgia if coming south by I-75, in the middle of the state is High Falls State Park. Lots of water and rocks. Clean, with a dollar store, gas stations and a pretty good restraunt at the entrance. If you've not tried southern catfish then try it here.

http://www.gastateparks.org/net/go/p...D=31&s=0.0.1.5

If coming down the coast via I-95 then there is Skidaway Island state park just south of Savannah, where any seafood place that is still open is a good one, 'cause bad ones don't last long. Walk up and down River Street to get a taste of the city.

http://www.gastateparks.org/net/go/p...D=19&s=0.0.1.5

Both are close to the interstate.

My only newbie advise is:

1. If you are in a hurry you're doing it wrong.
2. If you're not having fun, slow down.
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Old 08-27-2008, 04:21 AM   #10
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Mike and Sharon,

Our by-pass is under the sink inside the rig. Two valves (in and out) and the pipes are connected in a U shape with line above the U. Both valves were closed hot water was not flowing from heater. There is also a drain / by-pass outside at your water heater, but you'll know if that is not correct cuz water will flow out...not the by-pass I was talking about.

If you have heater on and no hot water, my first place to look would be under the sink. The heater will actually turn off (safeguard) if it's not getting water to heat...thats a clue.

Good Luck !!
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