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Old 09-01-2010, 03:42 PM   #1
Join Date: Sep 2010
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Total Newb - Ontario

Hi All,

Total newb here from Ontario. We just purchased our first ever 5th wheel, a 1997 32ft Sierra model. We've owned a GMC Dually for a few years now, and figured we might as well tow something with it

Any tips/hints/for dummies would be great (please). As mentioned, I am a total newb so even the basics of how to hook-up, how to flush the holding tanks etc would be greatly appreciated

Cheerio -

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Old 09-01-2010, 03:49 PM   #2
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We were newbies too in June of this year. There is a tremendous amount of information on this site and really helpful and knowledgeable people willing to share their expertise. Start by reading through the various threads. You will find quite a bit on the basics - hook up, flushing, towing - as well as more complex issues. Congratulations on your new home!

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Old 09-01-2010, 04:16 PM   #3
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I was as new as you just 3 months ago when I bought a my first RV, a Cherokee28bh. Thanks to the encyclopedic knowledge shared by the folks here, I have learned all the things you will soon find easy to do. It seems insurmountable now, but pretty soon, it's second nature.
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Old 09-01-2010, 05:18 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by DageonYar View Post
Any tips/hints/for dummies would be great (please).
I would say with a 13-year-old rig that the things to worry about most would be age-related:

1. Tires
2. Roof
3. Rubber gas hoses
4. Security (nothing to do with age, but still something to think about)

Perhaps the rig was re-conditioned or well-maintained over the years. But even that can be deceptive. My last trailer sat in one place for ten years before I traded it in and the tires looked so brand new that they still had the little rubber knobbies and crayon markings that you see on new tires. Some one may be fooled into thinking the tires are new when in fact they are ready to explode just from age.

If you haven't looked at the roof, I'd say that should be your #2 priority to make sure you don't have any leaks. If the previous owners weren't fastidious about the roof and somehow still managed to avoid water infiltration, then you are on borrowed time.

As to #3, rubber hoses go bad over time and if yours look like they are original or in anyway showing signs of age then it's cheap insurance and a DIY job to just replace all the hoses. Make sure you use the proper teflon tape or pipe dope when you do and it's an easy job.

Finally, is security. Most newbies (and even some old-timers) don't realize that the compartment locks on most RVs use the SAME KEY! That's right, I'll say it again, the keys on almost all RVs are the same! The compartments use a CH751 key. Below is a picture of a lock you can by as a set (mine came from Camping World) that will at least encourage the less determined thieves to invade some other trailer.

The entrance door(s) usually has two locks. The dead-bolt *should* be as unique to your trailer as your car keys are (a few thousand combinations) but the key on the handle can be opened with a master key that all RV dealers and who knows who else have so they can unlock/lock the rigs on display with one key. If I bought a used trailer I would change the locks just as I would when moving in to a new house.

Then last thing about security...worry about securing your hitch (lockable hitch pin) and your tongue. I had a hitch stolen once. I've also heard of people stopping along the road for dinner and coming out to find their rig stolen. When hitched to your tow vehicle (TV) lock the latch. When unhitched, use some sort of tongue lock so no one can just back up and pull off. And if you have nice chrome or aluminum wheels I'd put lug locks on those too including your spare. It isn't 1966 anymore when you could leave your stuff just laying around and never worry about thieves.

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Old 09-22-2010, 09:21 AM   #5
Join Date: Sep 2010
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We picked up our new home away from home this past weekend. The tires were quite low when we picked it up, and appear to have some cracks forming. Guess that will be the first upgrade to do. Time to do some driveway camping

1997 FR Sierra 30RKS
2004 GMC Sierra 3500 Dually CCLB
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Old 09-28-2010, 02:34 PM   #6
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Welcome to the forum. I'm new as well.
Will my veteran insurance pay for a wheelchair van?
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Old 09-28-2010, 07:46 PM   #7
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Welcome from Waco Texas. We were all newbies at one time. Remember the only dumb question is the one not asked. Please ask, there is hundreds of years of experience here. Not that I am saying our members are old, but they have been there done that.
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Old 09-28-2010, 08:02 PM   #8
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BTW, a belated welcome from a fellow Ontarian.
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Old 09-28-2010, 10:01 PM   #9
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Totally glad to have you here. Welcome from another Ontarian. Can't help too much with your 5th wheel as we tow a trailer but this is where you will find your answers. Sorry if this welcome is a bit late but we were camping with no internet so I'm just catching up. Old Guys
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Old 10-24-2010, 09:14 AM   #10
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Where is Kempville?from wallaceburg here Welcome

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