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Old 07-18-2019, 01:38 PM   #1
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171 RBXL

Hi All,
I am new here and have done some poking around and searching through the message boards. This weekend, my husband and I are planning on driving 7 hours to look at a RBXL 171 that unless we find something significantly wrong with it, we plan on purchasing. (Locally, the TT selection is extremely slim.) I know it is not ideal to purchase a TT and then immediately start a trip with it, but that's our plan. So, given that, I have a ton of newbie questions.

I'm wondering if anyone has any suggestions of immediate must-haves for our camper? I know we'll need water and sewer hoses, and obviously regular camping basics, but any other necessities for just starting out?

It currently has one new deep cycle battery. I think we'll eventually purchase a generator, but I'm guessing we won't get one for this trip. The first night I'm looking for a camp site with electric, so we can at least partially charge up the battery. If we find a camp site with electric every-other night, would that be sufficient? Or are we likely to lose power? (We're in Alaska, so finding electrical every night may not be practical.)

I've looked through the forum about generators and am pretty confused at all the options/types, and what would be needed to help power this smaller TT. If anyone has this model and an inverter generator recommendation, I would appreciate suggestions.

My husband is getting trailer brakes set up on his truck, and I think eventually he'll get a anti-sway hitch - but again, may not have it for this trip.

I apologize as I know there are a lot of questions in this post. I just want to make sure I'm not forgetting something basic before heading out of town with this trailer. (We are used to back-woods tent camping, so honestly if we have to end up using our trailer just as a dry place to sleep and store everything, we'll be just fine until we can figure the details out. Just trying to get a head start.)
Thanks!
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Old 07-18-2019, 03:44 PM   #2
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One group 27 deep cycle battery probably won't last two days, without damaging the battery. Discharging the battery below 50% does permanent damage to the battery, even with a deep cycle battery. You will want two 12V batteries wired in parallel, or two 6V golf cart batteries wired in series. The later is the preference of most boondockers as they fit in most OEM battery trays and typically provide more amp hours then two 12V group 27 batteries. If you want to go the route of golf cart batteries ask your dealer for a credit for the standard drop cycle battery. Either way the batteries should match and be replaced at the same time so the other option is to ask the dealer for a second battery and the cables needed to wire it.

I have had a Honda EU2000i generator for ten years. It has 1500 hours on it and is still going strong. Just be sure you follow the recommended service, the first oil change interval is shorter the subsequent ones. It runs everything in my 21RB but the air conditioner. It's not cheap, I think they currently run around $1000. If you want to be able to run the AC standard advice is you need at least a 3000 watt generator, though I know people who have gotten by with a 2500.

I got a great buy on a 1500 watt inverter generator at Aldi last November. It was in one of their weekly flyers in August for $350, if I remember right. I got it for $150 on a second mark down. The oil change interval is half that if the Honda, it's a little noisier, but not bad. But I don't have enough experience with it to really recommended it. My Honda dealer recommends ethanol free gas, and I've followed his recommendation for both generators.
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Old 07-18-2019, 04:38 PM   #3
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Just remember the A/C and microwave only work when plugged in to electric. The fridge runs on 12 volt and propane when not plugged in. Lights and radio are also 12 volt. So a lot depends on how much you plan to use 12 volts.
Carry tools (and jack) to change tires if needed. A small tool kit can come in handy. Blocks of wood or similar for leveling. Fridge needs to be reasonably level to work (but not perfectly level.) A "dogbone" adapter for 30 amp female to 15 amp male is good to carry as 30 amp not always available.
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Old 07-18-2019, 04:49 PM   #4
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As for your shopping list:

8-12 10" pieces of 2x8 to put under your stabilizing jacks. I prefer pressure treated, I've had mine for years. This time of year you should be able to find the $1 mini crates in most back to school sections. Four will fit in a crate.

Lynx levelers are great for leveling the camper side to side, about $30 if I remember right.

Tank treatment for the black tank. I prefer TST because it is biodegradable. I also use it in my grey tank which can get just as smelly.

You DON'T need special RV toilet paper, any septic safe TP is fine.

A 30 amp to 15 amp plug adapter.

A spare hitch pin and a spare coupler pin, with the appropriate cotter pins. Both are easy to misplace and it sucks spending half an hour looking for them because you are going anywhere without either one. Ask me how I know .

Door mats for inside and outside your door.

I'm sure others will with in with other must haves for them..
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Old 07-18-2019, 04:53 PM   #5
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Be certain you get a good PDI. Ask lots of question. Have them show you fridge operating, on elec and propane. Check stove and oven. Flush the toilet, run water in shower and sink, have them demonstrate how to dump tanks. How to hook up water and elec. Where your control panel for electric is located, including switches and breakers and fuses. Demonstrate hot water heater, location of bypass valves and how to properly set them. Verify the trailer brakes and break-away switch work.
You will most likely want a weight distribution hitch.
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Old 07-18-2019, 05:15 PM   #6
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Thanks, this is all super helpful! I've done quite a bit of research, but the more I research the more overwhelming it all becomes. I appreciate all of these recommendations, from what to inspect before buying, to shopping lists and power ideas.

This is probably a dumb question - but what does the water pump run off of? Is that the 12v battery, or shore/alternative power like the AC & microwave?

We are purchasing from an individual off craigslist, so won't have the benefit of a dealership swapping batteries out, etc. to fit our needs. But, it's a 2017 model so I'm hopeful everything works properly! (Also, while we are new to TT, we recently borrowed my uncles 35 year old motor home, so at least we have the very basic concepts of how some of these things work.)

Again, thank you for everyone's input. this is so helpful and I appreciate the quick responses!
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Old 07-18-2019, 05:32 PM   #7
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The water pump is 12 volt.
Have the individual you are buying it from demonstrate the things I listed. I would expect, even want, to do it with one I sold.
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Old 07-18-2019, 06:30 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CedarCreekWoody View Post
Have the individual you are buying it from demonstrate the things I listed. I would expect, even want, to do it with one I sold.
X2 Since this is a private sale, make sure everything is working. If they are plugging the camper into a 15 amp outlet they won't be able to demonstrate the AC, that's a risk you are taking.

Open all cabinets and inspect for water damage and mold, a flashlight helps highlight any surface irregularities. Lift all cushions and mattresses and inspect the bottoms and sides that are against outside walls for mold. Closely inspect the floor for signs of water damage including discoloration of the vinyl. A few years ago I avoided a deal with a dealer with a one year old used camper because I detected water damage to the floor that discolored the vinyl enough that it was visible in the pictures in the web site. Also make sure they have a ladder available so you can inspect the roof.
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Old 07-18-2019, 06:54 PM   #9
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Have it hooked up to water, so you can make sure all the faucets/toilet work and there's no leaking water lines.
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Old 07-18-2019, 07:04 PM   #10
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If you want to DM the link to the Craigslist ad, I'd be happy to look at any pics and see if there is anything that shows that raises concerns. Of course you will be able to see things much better in person.
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