Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 06-17-2014, 09:35 AM   #1
camping newbies
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Casselberry, FL
Posts: 13
Newbies here - Buying our first travel trailer

We finally either did something extremely stupid or extremely gratifying - we just bought our first camper - a used 2014 Rockwood Roo that we pick up this Wednesday.

We have always been tent campers and we have a weight limit with what our Expedition could tow, so a hybrid seemed like the logical choice, and the prices seemed right too. We have been debating this for a year.

Now we have to learn everything about towing this sucker. Have I said we haven't done this before? Wife is extremely nervous, she'll probably be on prozac before it's all said and done, and that's not helping my nerves at all either. If anyone wants to throw out some "life lessons" learned from first time experiences - love to hear them.
__________________

__________________
vanceandsheri is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-17-2014, 09:41 AM   #2
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Gahanna, OH
Posts: 1,414
Get a weight distribution hitch if you don't already have one. Don't be shy to ask questions here and while on a campground. Campers are 99.9% eager to help when needed.

Mistakes will be made, but it's part of the fun.
__________________

__________________
2014 Georgetown 351DS
-TruCenter -Front/Rear CHF -Hellwig Links -Tiger Trak -Ran McNally GPS -ScanGauge -Truck Systems TPMS -5 Star Tune
alparmer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-17-2014, 09:47 AM   #3
Senior Member
 
rburns4147's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Northeast Tennessee
Posts: 188
Welcome to the forum from Indiana and congratulations on the new trailer! After you have towed a couple of trips, it will become second nature. You will learn a lot of tricks once you have done it a while, but here is one to start.

If you have a weight distributing hitch (and you should), back the truck to the trailer, drop the trailer onto the ball, lock it, then use the tongue jack to lift the trailer and truck a bit. It will then be a LOT easier and safer to hook up the weight distributing bars. If you don't take the weight off with the tongue jack, you can actually slip when pulling up the chains and things can go flying everywhere. Once the chains are secured, crank up the tongue jack to the travel position and you are good to go.
__________________
Ron and Elizabeth
2014 Rockwood 8285-IKWS
2006 Ford F250 6.0 Diesel 4x4
rburns4147 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-17-2014, 10:23 AM   #4
Senior Member
 
KMP44's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Central New York
Posts: 1,025
If you want to upgrade from a tent, and want to keep the weight down, a hybrid is a very good choice. Did you buy from a dealer or was it a private sale? Just asking because either way, if your new to towing, you'll want to get some basic instruction on setting up the weight distributing hitch. Once you get the basics down, it doesn't take too long to get comfortable towing.

With any trailer, but especially a hybrid, you want to make sure you inspect the seals and the roof sealant regularly and take take when closing the bunk ends not to get the canvas caught - you want to avoid leaks. Again, having a good local dealer can be very helpful. We've found the good ones will take the time to answer questions and show you the best way to do things. And this site has a ton of helpful info as well.

Spend a night or two camping in the yard/driveway if you can first. Use all the systems / appliances to get familiar with how it all works. Its a lot easier to figure things out at home and make a list of what you need at home.

Then get out and enjoy!
__________________


2017 F-250
2013 Rockwood Roo 23 IKSS
KMP44 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-17-2014, 10:31 AM   #5
cogito ergo moo
 
Cowracer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Imperial (St. Louis) MO
Posts: 2,326
I've given this advice before, and I'll give it to you...

Hook up the trailer, and head to a big, empty area like a parking lot (the local High School on a saturday is perfect), and spend 3 or 4 quality hours learning how your truck/trailer combo works together at slow speeds.

Pay attention to how far the trailer 'in-tracks' during tight turns. Notice how much the tail of the trailer swings. Back up. A lot. Take cones with you if you can and use them to designate parking places, and practice backing the trailer up into them. Pretend they are campground spaces. Back into them from the left side and the right. Try doing a straight-in around an offset. Back up in a straight line over a long distance. (Some people are incapable of doing that simple thing). Pay special attention to how much or how little steering correction is required to keep it straight. Learn to use and trust your mirrors.

Pulling a trailer down the open road is easy. It's the low-speed stuff that can be tricky. Way too many people get so nervous about maneuvering that they go out of their way to find gas stations that are easy to get in and out of, and I have seen people work themselves up into nervous wrecks just thinking about backing into a campsite. My set up is pretty long, and is not the best in terms of maneuverability, but I have no hesitations about taking it into any gas station or other tight area, because I know what it can do.

Each truck/trailer combo is different. Trust me, you don't want to be learning how to back into a campsite at 9pm at the campground. Spend a couple hours making all your goofs in a nice, safe, open area. You'll thank me later.

Tim
__________________
FROG Member MO-0008-571 Since 20124444444444My Project Blog: https://cowracer.blogspot.com/
2016
Rockwood Signature Ultralite 8329ss44444444"And Cowracer is right..." - Bikendan
Rallies Attended:
Cowracer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-17-2014, 10:40 AM   #6
camping newbies
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Casselberry, FL
Posts: 13
Thanks guys - oddly enough, we ended up buying from a motorhome dealer that had taken this along with a motorhome in on trade. Supposedly the guy had 7 kids, wife and nanny so he towed this 23ss behind the motorhome! My wife would never have survived that. The towing experience I mean!

Anyway - i don't think we're going to get much help/knowledge from salesman, and we asked about a stabilizer/anti-sway and he said it came with it, and it was a Reese anti-sway. That wasn't the one we had decide on prior when we thought we were buying new from another dealer, so not sure if it's decent or not?

Unfortunately, our HOA is not going to allow us to park the camper in our drive to test drive the experience so to speak, so we're looking at a local campground this weekend that's only a few minutes from the house to practice.
__________________
vanceandsheri is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-17-2014, 10:42 AM   #7
camping newbies
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Casselberry, FL
Posts: 13
@Cowracer - great advice - THANKS! We actually have a mall here that is struggling to stay afloat so plenty of room to practice doing just what you said - maybe we'll camp there this weekend LOL! Seriously, though, great advice - thanks. Definitely doing that.
__________________
vanceandsheri is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-17-2014, 10:47 AM   #8
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 1,101
If you do camp close to home make sure you bring something to make a list and keep it handy, that way when you think of something you need you can wright it down. I know my memory is not what it used to be so writing things down helps.
__________________
Ontario

Vibe 6501
1 Prospector Canoe
2 Mtn. Bikes
4 Hiking Boots
Happy Vibe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-17-2014, 10:48 AM   #9
Senior Member
 
BamaBob's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Whereever our Berkshire is Parked!
Posts: 6,987
Vance,

First welcome to the forums from Huntsville AL! Ask away, tons of folks here with bunches of RV knowledge!

X2 what everyone has said so far. ESPECIALLY the WDH (Weight Distribution Hitch) and make sure the one you get has anti-sway bars as well.

Practice backing ABSOLUTELY! Using cones or some other soft markers is a good idea. And YES let your wife practice as well (this will probably decrease her Prozac use as well )

Here is my tip: Get a NEW quality sewer hose...this is the ONE area of the RV you never, EVER want to fail!!

This is the connection virtually all of us in the FROG use:
Amazon.com: Camco 39761 RhinoFLEX 15' Sewer Hose Kit with Swivel Fitting: Automotive
__________________
Bob & Anne-Marie [BamaBob & 6 Actual]
| 2017 Berkshire XLT 43A with Ultrasteer Tag | Blue Ox Avail + KarGard II |
| SMI AF-1 Air Brake | 2016 Jeep Cherokee Overland TOAD | Pedego Bikes |
Nights Camped: 2013 - 24 • 2014 - 42 • 2015 - 56 • Jul 2016 - Fulltime •
BamaBob is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-17-2014, 10:57 AM   #10
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Gahanna, OH
Posts: 1,414
Quote:
Originally Posted by HSVBamaBob View Post
Vance,

First welcome to the forums from Huntsville AL! Ask away, tons of folks here with bunches of RV knowledge!

X2 what everyone has said so far. ESPECIALLY the WDH (Weight Distribution Hitch) and make sure the one you get has anti-sway bars as well.

Practice backing ABSOLUTELY! Using cones or some other soft markers is a good idea. And YES let your wife practice as well (this will probably decrease her Prozac use as well )

Here is my tip: Get a NEW quality sewer hose...this is the ONE area of the RV you never, EVER want to fail!!

This is the connection virtually all of us in the FROG use:
Amazon.com: Camco 39761 RhinoFLEX 15' Sewer Hose Kit with Swivel Fitting: Automotive
We had the 4 point equalizer and loved it. Couldn't even tell it was back there.

x2 on the Rhino Flex.
__________________

__________________
2014 Georgetown 351DS
-TruCenter -Front/Rear CHF -Hellwig Links -Tiger Trak -Ran McNally GPS -ScanGauge -Truck Systems TPMS -5 Star Tune
alparmer is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
newbie, trailer, travel, travel trailer

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



» Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by




ForestRiverForums.com is not in any way associated with Forest River, Inc. or its associated RV manufacturing divisions.


Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 09:25 AM.