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Old 02-19-2017, 01:21 PM   #1
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Vital info for RV Newbys

VITAL INFO FOR RV NEWBY’S

1. TIRES: Replace the flimsy Grade “C” and “D” tires that come on a new RV with Grade “E”, 80 psi tires, to guard against a tire failure on a busy highway or in a remote area. Carry a torque wrench to check for 90 pounds of torque on each lug nut and to check your air pressure prior to each trip.

2. WATER FILTER: Remove the filter and its container from the hidden, hard-to-reach internal cabinet; connect the two associated water lines together; and re-install the filter on your external city water supply hose. This will greatly simplify winterizing and filter changes as well as making any filter water leaks visible.

3. CABINET DOORS: Attach one end of a small, short bungee to an eye-screw inside a cabinet; extend the bungee through the closed door and around the door handle---or bungee two adjacent door handles together. This will prevent in and out slide movements from tearing off partially-open doors, as well as preventing cabinet contents from falling out during rough road travel.

4. BATTERY: Replace the somewhat small-capacity battery that comes on a new RV with a bigger, stronger one. (A larger battery box will be required.)

5. NOSE JACK: If the tailgate of your truck will not lower all the way because your tag-along RV that has a nose jack with two barrels that are mounted fore-and-aft, re-mount the jack with the two barrels aligned side-by-side.

6. PROPANE: Do not turn on both tanks at the same time. Use from one tank at a time so that when one is empty, you will still have another full one to use. Promptly refill the empty one and you should never run out of propane.

7. AWNING: Unless you are temporarily closely monitoring your awning, always securely stake it to the ground, and never leave it extended when you go away for any significant period of time. Unexpected wind gusts do suddenly arise which can easily exert enough force on this “big sail” to severely damage both your awning and RV.

8. WRITTEN CHECK-LISTS: Create AND USE a written departure check-list. Believe me---without using one, you will, soon-or-later, go off with something undone that could be disastrous---furnace, water heater or stove left ON, TV antenna left UP, one of seven things on a hitch left undone, or something as simple as can be noted on a last-minute walk-around, not done. My own check-list is two-pages long.

9. WATER LINE: On the RV-attachment end of your city water line, install a shut-off valve and a quick-disconnect fitting, with the other half of the quick disconnect fitting permanently screwed into the RV city water port. On the RV Park end of your water line, attach your relocated water filter, in a protected container, (see item 2, above), and a pressure reducer set to 40 psi. A reducer with a gauge is nice, so that you will know exactly what your pressure is, and can set it a bit over 40 psi, if you dare. The quick disconnect works great and is SO MUCH easier than screwing threaded ends, and the shut-off valve allows you to easily use your hose for other purposes.

10. WINTERIZING: Much bum info has been written about winterizing. Forget all you read about using liquid antifreeze. Buy an adapter with a threaded water hose end and a quick-disconnect compressed air hose end. 1. Screw the Teflon-taped adapter into the port where antifreeze would be poured in.
2. Charge up your air compressor and set it to deliver 40 psi.
3. Turn OFF the water heater switch.
4. Remove the water heater anode rod and the two low-point drain caps.
5. If the water filter is internally installed, remove it, dump the water from its container, leave the filter out, (discard it or save it to be re-installed during the next de-winterizing procedure), but reinstall the empty container.
6. After all water quits running from the low-point drains and water heater, re-install the anode rod and low-point drain caps.
7. Connect your air compressor to the quick-disconnect fitting, to begin supplying 40 psi air.
8. Starting with the faucets farthest from the incoming air, open one faucet at a time until no more water flows---just air. Bleed off the water from the toilet and the in and out door showers.
9. Disconnect the air compressor.
10. Re-drain and then re-cap the low-point drains (and again dump water from the water filter container, if internally installed). Remove the anode plug and leave it out until you next de-winterize.
11. Pour some liquid antifreeze into all wash basin P-traps and the shower drain.
12. Dump all holding tanks.


11. SEWAGE MANAGEMENT:
1. Use a double-length flex hose, which may be needed in some RV Parks where the electric hook-up is far away from the sewer.
2. Install a 90-degree plastic end on your flex hose, that will fit into the top of the RV Park sewer pipe.
3. Keep loose-fitting rubber gloves and a bottle of hand-sanitizer in your flex hose storage compartment to use when dumping sewers.
4. An expandable plastic flex hose support rail that keeps the flex hose evenly-positioned from high end at the RV to low end at the RV Park sewer pipe is really nice for lengthy set-ups. Sewage will not flow through the flex hose if it is even so much as an inch or so lower in the middle than at the RV Park sewer pipe entrance. Without this support rail, it will be necessary to physically pick up the flex hose near the RV attachment end and walk the section of raised hose from the RV, to the RV Park sewer pipe, so that the hose will properly drain.
5. Different RV’s have different size waste water tanks but few of them are large enough to hold more than roughly something like 4-5 days of liquid. Therefore it is REALLY important to park at an RV Park pad that has a sewer connection. Without one, it will be necessary to use the RV Park bath houses and toilets, and/or take “Navy” showers and use minimum water to wash dishes, in which case it will probably still be necessary to hook back up and drive to a dump station every few days, or use a “Toad”….a portable waste water tank on wheels that can be toad (multiple times) to a dump station.
6. It is never permissible to dump gray or galley waste water directly onto the ground in an RV Park. This water may not be toxic, but it is nasty, greasy, and soapy.
7. Sometimes a solid pile of poop may accumulate in the black water tank, directly beneath the toilet, that can stop up the pipe from the toilet. When this happens, put a long, sturdy stick down through the toilet to break-up the pile. It is also very advisable to periodically run a strong stream from your garden hose, directly down the toilet pipe, to clear away solids from that part of the tank.
8. Always dump the black water tank before dumping the gray/galley water tanks, but do not dump the black water tank until it is at least about half full, so that there will be sufficient liquid to create a strong current to carry away solids. After the main flow from any tank ceases, close the valve and leave it closed, because residual waste water (and solids from the black tank) will continue to dribble out of the tanks, long after the main flow ceases. After dumping the black tank, then dump the gray and galley water tanks, both of which will help clean out the common black/gray waste water end of RV dump pipe. Finally, use plenty of clear water to hose off everything---interior and exterior of the flex hose, RV dump pipe areas, spills, shoe soles, etc. Stow your flex hose, cap off the drain pipes, and wash your hands with the sanitizing hand cleaner.
9. Do not leave any tank valve open when not actively dumping as sewer gases might enter the tanks.
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Old 02-19-2017, 01:29 PM   #2
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You have covered a lot of bases with your post. I think it is a good primer.

Now I just gotta ask, which of these commandments did you violate?
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Old 02-19-2017, 01:43 PM   #3
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Damn, I fell asleep reading all that. 😂
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Old 02-19-2017, 01:52 PM   #4
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Old 02-19-2017, 02:00 PM   #5
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That's a hard read without some spaces.
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Old 02-19-2017, 02:08 PM   #6
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Not sure winterizing with anti-freeze is bum info. Probably more personal. I have done it now for four years and no problems (and where I live, it gets pretty darn cold in the winter). Know a lot of people who just us anti-freeze and have had no problems.

When camped in cold weather I will open both propane tanks. Auto changeover valve will show an empty tank and most importantly, don't want the furnace to shout off at 3AM when it is 20 degrees outside.
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Old 02-19-2017, 02:27 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by f5moab View Post
Not sure winterizing with anti-freeze is bum info. Probably more personal. I have done it now for four years and no problems (and where I live, it gets pretty darn cold in the winter). Know a lot of people who just us anti-freeze and have had no problems.

When camped in cold weather I will open both propane tanks. Auto changeover valve will show an empty tank and most importantly, don't want the furnace to shout off at 3AM when it is 20 degrees outside.
That OP has some good advice in it, but it is not applicable to all situations. "RV" is really too inclusive in the title for some of this, as some of it would not be applicable to many RV's and/or motorhomes (ie tires).

I do agree with f5moab about the antifreeze, as it's a personal preference. Same with propane. I also don't think all RV's require an immediate battery replacement, since the battery is usually installed by the dealer, so it is dependent on what they put in. My dealer put an excellent battery in my RV when I purchased it.

I also hope you don't mind, but I edited your post to reflect the correct terminology of anode rod (not anode plug). This is ONLY applicable to Suburban brand water heaters with steel tank (as an Atwood does not have an anode rod with aluminum tank, but does have just a drain plug). Also this doesn't apply to the ever growing number of tankless water heaters more and more RV's are becoming equipped with.



It's a good start, but do keep in mind a lot of this advice is tailored to your particular RV (and your experiences with it), and not what many others may own. It might be better suited to place it in the subsection of the RV you own instead of the general discussion forum.

Just my thoughts, feel free to hate them.
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Old 02-19-2017, 03:03 PM   #8
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Lord if I had to do all the op did I would quit camping
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Old 02-19-2017, 03:15 PM   #9
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My son blew out his water lines and kinda of forgot about the toilet and left a little water there and guess what happened when he came to Myrtle Beach and the toilet leaked. When he got home he pumped in the pink stuff, about two gallons of the cheap stuff from Walmart. I would leave on the tires that came on the camper, after all they made the trip from the factory at speeds greater than you will pull camper at. I would install a good Tire pressure monitoring system that I trust, I use TST 507 that I brought from great rv products.com
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Old 02-19-2017, 03:21 PM   #10
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Have done a lot of RV inspections for an extended warranty company. I have observed that few owners do enough repairs and maintenance, so I agree there are owners that probably should not own an RV...In fact some owners are down right negligent.

When I returned the factory rental for Cruise America, the intake lady said it was the cleanest and most well-cared-for factory rental she had ever checked in. Well, I know those units having put two to six back on the road daily, working six days a week for three months at their competitor. Every day on the rental road I spent time caring for it, by cleaning and verifying there were no problems, and tweaking some minor build issues.
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Old 02-19-2017, 08:34 PM   #11
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Sorry if I preached or offended anyone. I realize my suggestions don't apply to all. As a newby, totally ignorant of RV matters,I fumbled my way through all of these issues. I would love to have had this primer when I first bought my RV. I hope that it will help others who may also be struggling through the learning process. Please feel free to disagree and offer other suggestions or just simply click on your delete button---I was just trying to help newbys who might appreciate my own lessons learned.
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Old 02-20-2017, 07:00 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cadiz Couple View Post
Sorry if I preached or offended anyone. I realize my suggestions don't apply to all. As a newby, totally ignorant of RV matters,I fumbled my way through all of these issues. I would love to have had this primer when I first bought my RV. I hope that it will help others who may also be struggling through the learning process. Please feel free to disagree and offer other suggestions or just simply click on your delete button---I was just trying to help newbys who might appreciate my own lessons learned.
Well written help for those that need encouragement and guidance. It doesn't fit every situation but it does cover a lot. For those it doesn't cover, there are other threads, the search function, and knowledgeable people on this forum that can help. No need to apologize. Job well done.
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Old 02-20-2017, 08:22 AM   #13
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Well written! Defeat comes when you stop! So here's encouragement!
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Old 02-20-2017, 09:39 AM   #14
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Helped me! I printed it off...
Thanks
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Old 02-20-2017, 09:42 AM   #15
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A helpful list to start with!
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Old 02-20-2017, 02:49 PM   #16
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Cadiz Couple

Thank you for sharing your helpful list. I will print it out and use this as a starting point. We previously owned a Class C and found that it just wasn't working for us. We sold it last fall and purchased a 2014 Puma Travel trailer. With the Class C I had made a check list to use, but I let it go with the MH when we sold it. As we only had the Class C for 2 years, we still feel like newbies in the RV field. We are still making mistakes and learning, but having a blast meeting new people when camping. Thanks again and Happy Camping
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Old 02-20-2017, 03:45 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Cadiz Couple View Post
Sorry if I preached or offended anyone. I realize my suggestions don't apply to all. As a newby, totally ignorant of RV matters,I fumbled my way through all of these issues. I would love to have had this primer when I first bought my RV. I hope that it will help others who may also be struggling through the learning process. Please feel free to disagree and offer other suggestions or just simply click on your delete button---I was just trying to help newbys who might appreciate my own lessons learned.
Thank you so much for your list. We appreciate it.
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Old 02-20-2017, 05:56 PM   #18
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Good start 😏
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Old 02-20-2017, 06:08 PM   #19
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Thanks Cadiz Couple. I am a newbie for sure and appreciate the reminders. I think I'll let my new tires go for a while though, I can't afford to replace all 4 of course. I got a double axle for good reason, if one blows I won't kill ourselves. I'll watch them closely. I forgot about getting a torsion wrench, thanks for the reminder, need to add that to my list.
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Old 02-20-2017, 06:26 PM   #20
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Thanks, will save a copy.

Definitely believe in using a checklist, I really like the "Paperless: Lists +Checklists" App, easy to use and at hand.
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