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Old 03-18-2010, 08:39 PM   #1
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Chalfont, PA
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Extremely new and don't know what to do

Hi all
We just bought a 31 foot Flagstaff with bunks. We have two kids under 12 years old. We live in PA. Any suggestions on what to do first? We have a dog too...should she be included in the adventures? My hubby is nervous to tow this baby....he has a chevy tahoe. Any advice for him??

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Old 03-18-2010, 08:52 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by EXGMTech View Post
Hi all
We just bought a 31 foot Flagstaff with bunks. We have two kids under 12 years old. We live in PA. Any suggestions on what to do first? We have a dog too...should she be included in the adventures? My hubby is nervous to tow this baby....he has a chevy tahoe. Any advice for him??
Hi Missy.

Well I don't blame him. It's gonna be a learning experience for sure. When we moved up to our Georgetown from our old rig I was as nervous as a long tail cat in a room full of rockin' chairs. I got used to it. When we bought our boat last year again, I was real nervous about backing it into the lake and not looking like an idiot.

Try and make it a fun experience. Head to the store and outfit it with all the household necessities, towels, bedding, cookwear (don't but a whole bunch of heavy stuff though like cast iron skillets and such). My wife had a great time picking out the plates, cups, bowls, silverwear, etc. In all my years of RVing I had never though to buy square plates and bowls until she came home with them. By darned if they don't fit into square RV cabinets much better and take up less room!

You also need holding tank chemicals andcleaners for your new "house". Non skid for the cupboards is a must!

Take the dog, we do. They are our "kids". If it's a small dog be sure to put towels or small blankets on the seats and couch at the end of the travel day. We have found that travelling tends to upset their stomachs and usually one of them ends up puking on either the driver or passenger chair at some point .

Put all your commonly used medications like asperin, Sudafed, etc in a basket or tray and keep it in your cupboard at home. When you're ready to hit the road, just grab the basket, no need to sort through the cupboard for what you want to take with you.

Have fun with it. Learning is half the experience.

"I can fix it, and if I can't fix it, I can fix it so no one can fix it!"
Ed & Wendy
2009 Georgetown 378TS | 1998 Jeep Wrangler | 1998 Skeeter ZX202C
Nights camped in 2009: 53 | Nights camped in 2010: 55
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Old 03-18-2010, 09:05 PM   #3
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to the Forest River Forums.

Camp in your driveway if possible to learn all you can about your new trailer. Hook up and use everything except the bathroom( unless you have a convenient dump station or sewer connection). This gives you an opportunity to learn how everything works in the comfort of your driveway. Don't have 30 or 50 amp service at home. You can get by with 15 or 20 amp, just don't run the A/C. Everything else should work fine as long as you don't run too many things at once.

Stock your kitchen with what you normally use at home for lighter fare. Stock your bathroom with normal supplies that can stay in it, and make of list of items you need to take on a trip by trip basis.
Make a list of things you need to get while you are camping in your driveway and you can go get them. You can also post questions here and someone will get an answer for you.

Good luck and ask anything you need to ask. The only dumb questions are the ones you don't ask. We all started at one time and there are a lot of experienced campers here so take advantage of their knowledge.

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Old 03-18-2010, 09:48 PM   #4
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Take it out for a test drive for a minimum of 50 miles. 100 miles is better. Go up hills and flat straightaways. Pull into gas stations and see how it works. Practice backing it up. Always, and I mean ALWAYS, do at least a twice walk around of the camper to insure everything is hooked up, hooked up properly, stowed away and put in place. Many are the times I have stopped folks exiting the campground to tell them to stow their antenna, steps, covers for propane tanks etc... Its a a whole nuther world out there but worth every minute of it.
And another and dogs multiply the dirt factor by ten.
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Old 03-18-2010, 09:50 PM   #5
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Get a good hitch with sway control. Tow it around the block a few times. Ease on the expressway, and stay right and slow, with flashers, and work your speed up as you feel comfortable. Remember to make wide turns, maybe practice in a parking lot, turning at a white line and stopping halfway through and checking how far inside the trailer tracks. Mainly slow and easy, and when they do pass blowing the horn, don't let it bother you. Slow and Easy, and arrive safely.
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Old 03-19-2010, 01:51 AM   #6
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Welcome to the great adventure. If you live close enough to a school, hubby could hook up on the weekend and tool around the parking lot for a little while. Can practice turning and backing with out many obstacles. One thing we do whenever we buy a new camper is put a pen and tablet right on the kitchen counter. Where ever you go, write down anything you forgot, or anything you would like to add. Don't say exactly where in PA you are, I live between Allentown and Quakertown. Can give you some close by campgrounds if you're interested. You can PM me if you like.
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Old 03-19-2010, 06:45 AM   #7
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Hi XGMtech, and welcome to the forum, and the camping life! Remember that the speed limit is just that....the LIMIT- that doesn't mean you have to do it! Go slower at first- without being a nuisance, say 55/60 on the highway to see how it all feels. The worst thing by far is the semis that pass you- it creates a vaccuum effect that pulls you and your rig towards it. The best way to counter this effect is to stay as far as you can to the outside of the rig- in other words if he's passing you on the left, then try to hug the right side line while he passes, to give more vaccuum area between you and them. Also, if you crack open a window slightly one on each side- you'll barely feel that effect at all! Try it both ways and see what you think. And don't waste your money on "RV"toilet paper- Wal Mart sells Angel Soft 2 ply that I've used for 2 years now, that works just fine. Any brand that states "septic safe" on it will work. To test it, take a glass of water, and a spoon, and put a piece or 2 of your test subject in the water. It should start dissolving right away as you stir it slightly. Note; The expensive home stuff for the most part won't work.
Remember also that this setup won't stop as well or go as well, either! Give yourself at least twice the following distance of the car ahead, and when turning, you'll have to turn wide to clear curbs on the camper's wheels. Some gas stations you just have to avoid, because of entry/exit problems. Don't wait till the last resort station to fill up! And speaking of gas, you'll be getting about 7 to 9 mpg pulling that rig. I can go about 200 miles between fill ups. 27 gal. tank, 5.7 hemi. Is your Tahoe equipped with a transmission cooler, or a heavy duty radiator? Tow package? And you'll nedd a good electric brake set up, as well as a good anti-sway hitch (Reese Dual Cam and Equalizer, to name a few). Good Luck with your new camper, and hopefully this bit of info may help ease your worries- Above all, be safe, and be careful!! Randy
/SIGPIC]'08 V-lite Flagstaff 30WRLS
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Old 03-19-2010, 06:57 AM   #8
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Hi Missy,

I'll agree to all above.
I think a good safety point here, especially with a short wheel base tow vehicle, is a quality hitch set-up. You didn't say what type hitch, if any, was purchased with your trailer. If you haven't bought yet, I'd suggest a Hensley or ProPride hitch.

Have fun and be safe,
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Old 03-19-2010, 08:30 AM   #9
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I would only echo all of the above as it is great advise.

Welcome to FRF!
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Old 03-19-2010, 09:47 AM   #10
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Chalfont, PA
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Hi all, "hubby" here
Thanks for all the advise....Missy & I have been "shopping" for 3 or more years now, gone to countless rv shows and this year we bit the bullet.

We actually had a deposit on another brand and when we saw the quality & look of the Flagstaff we promptly got our deposit back from the "other" dlr! There REALLY is a difference in manufacturers!

I was in the camping scene back in the early 90's with a little 17' Sunline and currently tow our 5000 lb Crownline boat so I know the ropes with trailering but never anything this big. I must say I'm very impressed with the capability of our Tahoe...the boat feels like a jetski trailer, hardly know it's there. I just hope an extra 1500 or so pounds isn't that dramatic of a I'll be real close to the Tahoe's advertised limit of 7200lbs. I'm certainly not expecting to keep up with the flow of traffic on the interstates.

I guess my biggest concern is the w/d and sway control systems out there...there are so many out there and just as many opinions as to which is best. I already have the brake control (Prodigy) so that part is out of the way. I sure hope we don't regret this!


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