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Old 01-11-2014, 06:28 AM   #21
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I have found that throughout the years of camping, when you are camping and have questions about setting up your new camper or inadvertantly forget something don't be afraid to ask your fellow campers, 99% would be glad to help you.
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Old 01-11-2014, 08:54 AM   #22
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When we had our popup, we used to go camping over the Martin Luther King holiday in January. In Virginia, we also got the Friday before as a state holiday (Andrew Jackson day) or something like that.

Anyway, my friend and I would go each year to the beach in SC. It would be 60s during the day, but would get down into the 30s at night.

I would always take an electric heater, but also, we would take two electric blankets. It's wonderful to sleep under that nice warm blanket when the air is cool.

I didn't have heated mattresses, but I did put some of those reflective blankets (not the aluminum foil kind, but the quilted kind you can get at Bass Pro or Cabela's) under the mattresses and we didn't get cold.
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Old 01-11-2014, 02:04 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Packncycle View Post
You guys all hit all the aspects I was thinking about.. ok Im convinced on getting the 2nd LP tank for sure. I will bring an electric heater and yes the mattress does heat up. Im looking forward to checking that out. Also thank you for the Pupupgizmos.. never heard of that but that's very intriquing and I bet it does work. I may look into them down the line.

One of you asked about where I plan to stay in Santa Barbara.. it is an expensive place than I would tend to go to, but for the first time I figured why not go plush while Im trying to figure stuff out. Its OceanMesa. They do have all the hook ups and apparently most or many of their sites overlook the ocean. It is close to El Capitan. I did stay at El Capitan in their little cabins one year and that was a lot of fun and very nice and I used to tent camp there before they changed the camp grounds to all the cabins.

A friend is going with me who also knows nothing about RV's. We should have a lot of fun I had to laugh at one the messages I read where the person was so overwhelmed that they were ready to sell their RV before they got it out. I have had similar thoughts. But a appreciate all of your encouragement. I will hang in there. Sounds like after the huge learning curve, it gets much better. I cant wait. I

I dont think I want to carry an extra battery.. trying to keep weight down. The weight of the RV dry weight is about 2300lbs and the papers say I can add up to about 600lbs but with 2 LP tanks, water (if I carry it), battery and other things, I dont want to max it out. My car is a Highlander so it says I can tow up to 5,000 lbs but I dont want to max it out either. I can see from what everyone has said that its the battery to be more concerned about. I can see that. I dont know if the Solar panels are any good. I hear they are very low powered and only help batteries maintain but if using items that put a lot of drainage on the batter, I dont see how they would really work and for the price, it seems kind of pricey. What do you guys do if you dont carry an extra battery if you do a lot of dry camping?

Staying at a place that you will be comfortable is worth the extra cost and bringing a friend along provide great company too. RV experience or not sometimes it helps to talk things out with someone else.

If you are going to be doing dry camping a second battery can make a big difference. Also not all batteries are created equal so upgrading the one you have might be an good option but please check for feedback from others because I don't have much technical experience or knowledge. When I added a second battery & upgraded the original battery I took into consideration the length of time necessary to recharge the batteries along with cost.

In Goleta (north of Santa Barbara) there is "el Capitan Canyon" and "El Capitan State Beach". Two completely different services. If I didn't have an RV I would check out "el Capitan Canyon" for sure but I do like El Capitan State Beach a lot for my style of camping. If "OceanMesa" is the campground I think its pretty nice. I drove through one that was right next to El Capitan SB campground.

I was the one that considered selling the TT - seriously considered doing so. It had been a really long day with a 5+ hour PDI. I was physically and mentally wiped out. I ran into problems when I tried to unhitched the TT at the storage place. This added to the stress of the day especially the physical portion. I knew for sure that I wouldn't be able to hitch up it myself but the worst part is that I was alone in this without any dependable help from others. As tears started to come something clicked and I got thinking of possible solutions. Morning came and I started exploring options. Long story short - things worked out and I am independent. I still lack a bit of experience with some things which isn't a big thing due to my camping style.

If you would like to share please keep us updated. And remember that pictures are welcome too.



PS: After reading your profile I noticed that we are only about an hour or so from each other so maybe our RVing paths will cross someday.
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Old 01-11-2014, 04:05 PM   #24
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i know Ocean Mesa well, it is expensive!!!

camping in California, for the past 30 years and preferring state parks over the KOA/private campgrounds, we've accepted that we'll need to embrace dry camping.
if you decide to only camp with hookups, you only need one Group 24 deep cycle battery.
but if you are going to do a lot of dry camping, the reality is that you'll need a two battery setup, either 2 6v golf cart batteries or 2 12v deep cycle batteries.
we were popup campers for 20 years and are used to conserving battery power and water.
we have the 2 battery setup, a blue tote tank for gray water and a Honda 2000 to recharge the batteries. we only have to run the Honda once, every 3-4 days, for about 2-4 hours, depending on how low they are.
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Old 01-12-2014, 02:58 AM   #25
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I wanted to respond to Terier for a minute.. we sound very similar in how we started out RVing and I can see you've progressed to the more independent stage which is my goal. Im still in the shedding tears stage.. wondering what the heck I did in buying this thing... .. less now since I found all you guys on this website with all your great support.

Today I was so tired and had some friends stopping by to possibly teach me some things so I was opening everything up. The sun was shinning bright and reflecting off the roof of the RV almost blinding me where i was standing. Anyway I thought I had unlatched all corners but nope, not the one where I was being blinded and I started the power wench to lift the top, heard a slight popping as it usually does and looked and fortunately the roof was only up about 1/2 inch but the corner in the front was not going up. I tried to put it down and send it back up and all sorts of things hoping it would get back on track. I called the RV place and they said for the trailer I have, nope, the cable is most likely broken. Ahhh Apparently some pop ups if that happen they can be taken down and attempted back up and often will reconnect. But mine nope..

So as my friends showed up, a few minutes later a car drove by and slowed down and the guy yelled out his window are you selling that? I said no.. and as he started to take off, I said "I might be.. come back later" he kind of smiled.. . I was so upset. Then as it turned out, my friend had other types of RV's, nothing like a pop up so he helped as much as he could, but not as much as I had hoped. So I will continue to bug all of you with my tons of questions until I get a bit of a handle on this. Terier, I hope we can RV sometime somewhere that would be great. The first place Im going is quite expensive and most likely wont go back for a long time because of that and wanting to go to more less expensive nice places.
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Old 01-12-2014, 04:11 AM   #26
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Packncycle, one thing many of us have, is a setup/pack up list, that lists everything to do when you arrive and everything to do when you leave.

this helps you learn a routine and also to look at when you need to be reminded, especially when you are first learning.
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Old 01-12-2014, 10:17 AM   #27
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uh huh - I broke my lift cable too (that was the newbie mistake I mentioned in another thread). So to give you a laugh - my story:
First off, the dealer did not make a big deal about leveling the camper when I bought it and had the walkthrough. Of course my walk through tended to be a here is this and here is that sort of thing. Sooo, I did not always level it at home. After all, why level it at home, I am not camping - and I am just fiddling around with it, stocking, cleaning, unstocking, cleaning.... The sounds when I lifted the roof changed but I was not too worried, it worked. The roof went up. Until.... one day I was washing the canvas. Had the canvas all washed and was lifting the roof to set it up to dry (I have to lower the roof to get to all the canvas to wash). It was about 1/2 up when the cable broke and the roof came down. I could see the broken cable on the ground under the camper. And all the canvas was outside of camper like the camper had spilled it guts. I had visions of hauling the camper around the Baltimore beltway to get to the dealer with all that canvas flapping in the wind... It took my hubby and my adult son to lift the roof just a little (that is one heavy roof) while I stuffed canvas back in. We got it to the dealer and they were able to get a new cable overnight, but.... we then had a hurricane hit and the dealer lost power for days. Oh, and I had a camping trip with reservations planned so we were under a time crunch. It all worked out and we had a great trip except when setting up at camp, the roof would not go up the whole way so we had issues with the door fitting properly, but managed; I was alittle PO'd about the roof at this time thinking the dealer got a short cable. After our trip, took it back to the dealer and he showed me this little adjustment in the electric lift gear - so that was a one hour trip each way for him to show me a 2 minute adjustment. That was two years ago, and we have not needed any repairs since........ It will get better...

Yes, a check list is a good idea. I feel like we are jet pilots before takeoff and landing, gas off - check, water heater off - check, lights off - check, bathroom down - check ,supports - check, stablizers - check.......
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Old 01-13-2014, 02:31 AM   #28
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Your Story GalsofEscape did make me laugh.... .. at the same time I could really feel for you. I also could see the Baltimore Beltway as I'm from Maryland but I've lived in California since 1995. So I could imagine that visual you gave. How scary though, its a good thing you guys werent in it when the roof dropped.

So are you also saying that the RV should be leveled even at home?? That it can affect how the roof goes up? I also have not been too overly concerned about having it leveled at home either. It's not way off, only slightly off but I figured it was ok even if I opened it up as Im not using any of the units such as refrig, stove etc.

I also see you're from Catonsville. I lived in Woodlawn and Pikesville, and Randallstown. I also went to Catonsville Community College. I miss the trees and all the plush green grass, large yards, rolling hills.
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Old 01-13-2014, 08:29 AM   #29
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Ahh an old neighbor. And the beltway has not gotten any better and people speed at 70 mph outside of rush hour. If you do the speed limit, you are a slow moving hazard.
Yes, apparently being unlevel will affect the lift cables as you may have uneven stress on them. If the bubble on your level is at least within the center lines I think you should be ok. We just expanded our driveway to double wide so I am now able to park the camper on concrete and am just about perfectly level side to side. I leave it tongue low so water drains off the roof. I now only have to level front to back to raise the roof, that is just heaven after 4 years (and I no longer have a dirt spot in the yard).
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Old 01-13-2014, 09:57 AM   #30
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Yes, any time that you raise the roof- you want the camper as level as you can reasonably get it. For some that's spot on, for other's it's close enough. (My wife was my leveler- she'd check the level and decide on boards for under the tire. She was the one who would worry about the bubble being closer to one line than the other.)
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