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Old 07-18-2012, 05:56 PM   #1
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Smile First trip w/ 36QBOK (with 3 pics)

We started our first camping trip straight from the dealership this past Saturday thru this coming Sunday. With a camper this size and the amount of crap we're taking, it's felt like moving into an apartment - complete with TVs, clothes, toys, kitchenware, more clothes, bedding, and so and and such and such.

We've taken an "as needed" basis to the hookups. The first night was just the 50amp cable. The next day, we added city water (the dealer had filled the tank for us during the demo). Last night, I had to dump the gray water from 2 tanks and 1 black tank (showers + washing baby bottles for our 6 week old have taken their toll) so I hooked up sewer to one of my sewer outlets. For fun, I waited until 11pm in 9,000% humidity to attempt that. I even held off for a day or two before raising the TV antenna (not sure why I was hesitant to do this).

We haven't had any major surprises. The city water connection leaks a little, but nothing awful. There have been a quite a few staples that weren't completely tacked into place (up in the carpet that hurt a little when stepped on and poking out thru the wallpaper [makes me sad]. But, I figure I won't be always looking this closely at it.

Learning to drive it has been interesting... the dealership sent a tech out with me for a 30 minute test drive. He gave me some helpful tips on driving forward with it (nothing on backing up, but I did tell them I previously had a pop-up). I didn't have any issues out on the road, but I ended up navigating 5 parking lots before getting to the campground. 3 of them, I made it out unscathed. 2 of them, I had "incidents" with curbs all at low speeds (1 brushed curb with the side of the tire, 1 driven over curb and 1 center median completely mangled by truck and camper entering a gas station). I had to go through 2 gas stations due to a bonehead move on my part... I didn't fill up before picking up the camper and my "low fuel" idiot indicator came on before I made it to the campground. It was 2 gas stations because I pulled into the wrong gas station - it had diesel, but only at 1 pump and there was no chance I was making it with the trailer in tow.

Backing into the site took somewhere between 15 and 35 tries... we lost count somewhere in the middle. I finally got it after listening to my wife and starting completely over by pulling almost the hole way out and starting back again.

Getting level was a trick because the camper didn't come with levels stuck on the outside. We were using a level on the floor inside of the door, but it changed how much level it was depending on where you put it. Guess the floor wasn't quite as square as I originally thought it might be!

And finally, unhitching with just my wife and I was easily one of the most stressful things I've ever done. I double-checked all of the steps in my head, but that's a lot of weight! I had read the steps that came with my B&W Companion hitch and figured I was doing everything right. It was still just SCARY.

All told - it's been fun!


First Hookup


Us (sans kids for the demo)


First night camping (Sabre 36QBOK)

p.s. I'm still not sure if beer has made it into the camper. It just doesn't feel right without a couple of cold ones...
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Old 07-18-2012, 06:16 PM   #2
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Congrats on the new camper, it looks GREAT. Keep an eye on the side walls of the tire you scrubbed the curb with. I had a trailer tire get a bubble and start seperating where I scrubbed a curb on a boat trailer.
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Old 07-18-2012, 06:20 PM   #3
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Nice setup! And that's a big 5th wheel too. I'm impressed that you got 30 minutes with a tech even without tips on backing up. I was all on my own even without any towing experience. You should have lots of good times in your RV.

Take care,
Terier
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Old 07-18-2012, 06:20 PM   #4
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nice unit my friend !
congrats all the way !
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Old 07-18-2012, 07:33 PM   #5
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Awesome write-up and great looking camper/truck combo!! Looks like we chose identical campers (36QBOK w/ custom partial paint, JT Strongarms, 2nd AC, etc) and trucks ('12 Ram 3500, 6.7L, 4.10...except mine is a SRW). I put on a heavier duty wheel/tires combo, antiswaybar, and airbags on my truck, but it'll never rival a DRW like yours.

Interesting observation about the non-level floors. Would you recommend the inexpensive levels that you just stick on or would go with something like the CIPA Wireless RV Leveler.
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Old 07-18-2012, 07:45 PM   #6
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Very nice set up with your truck and trailer. Enjoy!
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Old 07-18-2012, 07:48 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bjlowe View Post
Interesting observation about the non-level floors. Would you recommend the inexpensive levels that you just stick on or would go with something like the CIPA Wireless RV Leveler.
I honestly never knew such a product existed! We bought a pair of the cheap stick-on levels (they worked well for us with the pop-up) but I haven't installed them as I'm not 100% committed to our levelness now.

Funny about the matching trucks + campers!
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Old 07-18-2012, 08:44 PM   #8
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Hey I noticed in your 3rd pic that your tv wire is hanging down.
Word of caution kids think those are tree ropes.
I store mine up in the pin box under the cover.
Out of sight out of mind!
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Old 07-18-2012, 08:53 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by f1100turbo
Hey I noticed in your 3rd pic that your tv wire is hanging down.
Word of caution kids those are tree ropes.
I store mine up in the pin box under the cover.
Out of sight out of mind!
Well put Turbo!!! Our 5 year old can't seem to leave the plug
or the break away cable alone.
I have to tuck both completely in the pin box for him to forget about them.
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Old 07-18-2012, 08:58 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by radurecka

Well put Turbo!!! Our 5 year old can't seem to leave the plug
or the break away cable alone.
I have to tuck both completely in the pin box for him to forget about them.
I even padlock my break away cable loop to my junction box after tucking it up out of site.
There was a post not to long ago of some ones getting stolen.
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Old 07-18-2012, 11:21 PM   #11
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Funny. I wasn't actually crazy about it hanging down, but I didn't have a real reason to hide it. My daughter's old enough that she'll only touch it once. BUT- better to avoid a problem than to have one!

The one thing that I'm having issues with is that the decorative covering over the king pin rubs the rails of the truck bed (the Retrax cover rails, actually). It hasn't caused any damage to either, but I dislike it rubbing.
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Old 07-19-2012, 05:12 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by ependydad View Post
The one thing that I'm having issues with is that the decorative covering over the king pin rubs the rails of the truck bed (the Retrax cover rails, actually). It hasn't caused any damage to either, but I dislike it rubbing.
Being that I've copied you on just about everything else, I also have a Retrax (RetraxPro) on my Ram so I anticipate this will be an issue for me.
Please let me know if/how you resolve this.
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Old 07-19-2012, 07:18 AM   #13
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Very nice !
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Old 07-19-2012, 07:28 AM   #14
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Beautiful set up (well, you besides the fact you have to do something about that dodge in the pics ...J/K)

Hope your family has wonderful adventures and enjoy it.
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Old 07-19-2012, 08:52 AM   #15
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Thanks for the nice write up and for keeping your sense of humor. Great looking camper you have there!
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Old 07-25-2012, 05:06 PM   #16
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Nice looking unit !! If I didnt know any better it looks like you bought your 5th wheel at Berks Mont Camping Center?? My wife and I bought our first travel trailer there. Congrats and good luck.
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Old 07-25-2012, 05:48 PM   #17
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Nice set up and glad to hear good stories.
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Old 07-25-2012, 06:51 PM   #18
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Bought our Columbus in MI. drove it back home to NY....about 3am traveling down our road my husband new to a 5th wheel says "here's a flash light so you can help me back this in"......I said NO, drive in & we will deal with it after we sleep. Next morning we spent over an hour getting it the right spot next to the garage (w/o a flashlight!)..... Sounds like you did a good job for your first try into a site.....remember, there is always someone worse doing it (like in golf), Enjoy your rig & extra beer can be stored under the bed.
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