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Old 06-12-2013, 02:10 PM   #1
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First Time!

It will be our first time camping this weekend in our new TT! A little nervous about the setting up (never done it and forgot to tape the demo, OOPS!) so hopefully we will have some nice neighbors if we need a little help Any tips for first timers ( I am going through the board looking but not having a search on the app sure makes that hard) would be appreciated!!

2 days!!!
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Old 06-12-2013, 02:44 PM   #2
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get into your spot, make sure you're level side to side, put wheel chocks at the wheels, unhook your trailer, level front to back, get your awning out, put out your chairs, get better half to get medication for you, have a sip....or two then continue to get your trailer in order. Wheel chocks...first thing to happen when setting up and last thing when ready to pull out. Make sure the power pedestal breakers are off before plugging in..prevents arching when you plug in. Have fun, stay safe & enjoy.
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Old 06-12-2013, 03:11 PM   #3
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Piperman pretty well nailed it- the 2 biggest pieces of advice I can give is:

A) take your time! there's no rush (just leave yourself twice or thrice as long as you think you need)

B) take your sense of humor!

Yes, other campers will come rescue you if things get in a bind or you look confused.

My first trip out with the fifth wheel, we tried 17 ways to Friday to get it backed into a site. An old guy happened to be walking by, smiled and said "if it were me, I'd pull forward a little more". So I did. A day or two later, I was out by my truck, my neighbor chatted me up and asked about the camper. Hearing it was brand new (literally taken to the campground on day 1), he asked if my dump handles were open or closed and recommended I needed to keep the black closed. I knew that already, but it was kind of him to ask. He even double-checked later when I was dumping gray- stated he'd never seen handles that stuck out so far. And finally, hitch up day- I had my iPad out with the B&W instructions PDF open. We were going uber slow and step by step (just the wife and I). A fellow 3 or 4 sites above us came down and remarked that we were going slow and wanted to make sure we were doing OK. I assured him we were following the book and he was content. He still stuck around for a bit, complimented us on the camper and welcomed us back (he was a seasonal).

Good stuff. On the flip side, now that I've done this for a little bit - I've spoken up to a person a time or two- especially if they look confused. Helped a lady check her tire pressure, little stuff.
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Old 06-12-2013, 03:11 PM   #4
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First time is great! Just take your time and don't rush. And yes make sure the wheels are chocked. Take your owners manual it will help.
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Old 06-12-2013, 03:26 PM   #5
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Thanks for the tips! I told the hubby about the wheel chocks, he didn't believe me at first so i had to show him all the posts on here about putting them in first before unhooking
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Old 06-12-2013, 03:35 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BnD View Post
Thanks for the tips! I told the hubby about the wheel chocks, he didn't believe me at first so i had to show him all the posts on here about putting them in first before unhooking
I *heard* a trailer shift and fall once from about 8 sites away. That was enough for me!

I *never* not-chock. Even when I take the RV in for service and leave it on their lots, I chock it with my cheap plastic chocks. If they're lost while it's at service, then I replace them with new cheap plastic chocks (which are my backups).
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Old 06-12-2013, 03:41 PM   #7
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Consider when you hook up the water, just crack the valve and check the trailer to make sure there weren't any faucets left in the open position or your low level drains are closed. Once you are sure they are all closed, you can open the valve the rest of the way.

Consider that your hot water heater will need to be filled before lighting it so open a hot side water faucet to let the heater fill.

Oh and make sure the propane is turned on.
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Old 06-12-2013, 03:49 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BnD View Post
It will be our first time camping this weekend in our new TT! A little nervous about the setting up (never done it and forgot to tape the demo, OOPS!) so hopefully we will have some nice neighbors if we need a little help Any tips for first timers ( I am going through the board looking but not having a search on the app sure makes that hard) would be appreciated!!

2 days!!!
Time's a little tight for you now, but a lot of your nerves would be soothed with a trial run setting up and taking down in your driveway one or two times.

Also, there are departure and arrival checklists that you can use, but I think the best lists are the ones you make yourself. So... bring a pen and paper this weekend and use this as an opportunity to begin writing down all of your steps for arrival at the campground and departure from the campground.

Other tips would be:

  • Start the fridge 24 hours ahead of time to allow it to pre-cool.
  • Make sure there is water in your water heater before starting it up.
  • Bleed your propane lines by lighting the stove top on arrival.
  • Bring your manuals.


Quote:
Originally Posted by BnD View Post
I am going through the board looking but not having a search on the app sure makes that hard
That's strange - There is a search on both the iPad and iPhone apps.
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Old 06-12-2013, 04:16 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BnD View Post
I am going through the board looking but not having a search on the app sure makes that hard)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Triguy View Post
That's strange - There is a search on both the iPad and iPhone apps.
On the iPhone, to get to the search - I have to perform the following steps:

1) Touch on the " . . . / More" button at the bottom
2) Touch the "Search" item in the list
3) Enter my search criteria
4) Touch the magnifying glass in the upper right corner (or touch "search" when the keyboard is open)

I assume the Android is similar, but I don't know how those second-class citizens function.
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Old 06-12-2013, 04:38 PM   #10
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Good luck BnD, finally getting ours out of the driveway this weekend,been years since we had a trailer, was running with a pop-up the last 12 years ,heading to Haas Lake to make sure everything works.
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Old 06-12-2013, 05:25 PM   #11
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Regarding water at the site: 1. Ask what the CG pressure is. If it's 40 lbs., you don't necessarily need your pressure regulator - you do have one, right?
2. Run the water through your hose, filter included, for a solid minute before connecting. Hold the male end up when turning the faucet off for connection to rig. This all but eliminates air in your lines.
3. If your rig has a filter of its own, then use one or the other. Or you'll have LOW pressure.
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Old 06-12-2013, 06:49 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arjerram View Post
Regarding water at the site: 1. Ask what the CG pressure is. If it's 40 lbs., you don't necessarily need your pressure regulator - you do have one, right?
2. Run the water through your hose, filter included, for a solid minute before connecting. Hold the male end up when turning the faucet off for connection to rig. This all but eliminates air in your lines.
3. If your rig has a filter of its own, then use one or the other. Or you'll have LOW pressure.
All good stuff here.
One thing on the hoses - I like to keep mine stowed with the ends connected so nothing gets into them. That way I know they are clean inside.
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Old 06-13-2013, 07:35 AM   #13
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Have a great time . and dont feel bad about forgetting things, been camping a long time and still forget things...
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Old 06-13-2013, 09:04 AM   #14
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I always recommend doing your first camping in your own driveway. Should anything go wrong that would make your stay a bitter disappointment the house is there. If you forgot something you do not need to drive somewhere to get it.

If you are not going to driveway camp then do somewhere not too far from home and interesting enough. You will find that most of that first trip is just learning how to use your gear. If you find out you needed some kind of tool, hopefully there will be a store close by or home is not that far away.

We usually always travel with at least 10 gallons of water on board. That is more than enough to run the toilet and sink which can be a real Godsend on the road. If your refer can handle it a big bag of ice in the freezer is a heck of a convenience.

Since we take our RT to Cowboy Action Shooting matches frequently, besides storing a lot of period wear in the RT, we also stash a few days worth of clothes. All to frequently we will forget a few things and having those extra clothes means we do not have to head to Wally World.

Speaking of Wally Worlds, they are nice places to overnight as you travel to your real destination. Not all WWs will let you stay in their lots, but it is amazing the ones that do. There are web sites for proper etiquette at WW.

Also find out where the dump stations are and the procedure for dumping the tanks. Some places charge, and others do not. RV parks will either let you dump at the site, or have station somewhere on the property.

If this is your first RT, take about an hour at a parking lot to get familiar with manuvering your rig.

Another handy thing are smartphones. We use an app called YP to find gas stations for us. Since our phone has GoogleMaps, you feed in the location to Google and then use satellite or street view to see if we are going to have difficulty getting to the gas pumps.

Hope this helps...
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Old 06-13-2013, 09:24 AM   #15
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Great advice here from folks who have been through their maiden voyage and are still around to tell about it...

I was so proud of myself when we first went out. Backed the trailer in nice and straight; followed the checklist to the 'T' and thought to myself: 'This ain't so hard!'

Then we packed up to leave with folks behind us watching and DUH; I couldn't raise the entry steps. I tried, then looked at 'em and thought, 'well dang it all, this is probably the simplest step in the process and folks are watching me'... Musta looked like a real idiot as I continued to try when finally the nice campers behind me came over and simply lifted them correctly, then smiled and stated "Hey, we've all been there'. It was then we realized how much help you have around you.

I'm now able to help when others ask and it is a nice feeling as I remember our early experiences...

Take your time and have some fun!
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Old 06-13-2013, 09:24 AM   #16
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We bought a TT in February and this is what we have found out.

1. Take your time.
2. Make a check list and use it. We have are still making changes to our check.
3. Most important...HAVE FUN!!!
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Old 06-13-2013, 09:38 AM   #17
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Our next "TT"

I agree, staying close to home - in the driveway - is a good idea for the 1st time. When we take delivery of our CC in July, we're going to stay at the Lazydays dealership for two nights. Then it's off to Goshen! Prior to that, in our other firsts, we stayed closeby as well.

Carrying at least 1/3 tank of fresh water is a must, I agree. We also carry food so we can stop at roadside rests or in large parking lots - out of the way.

We have enrolled in "All Stays" and have downloaded the app to our iPad. This service tells you where you may park safely and legally overnight for free. Sometimes, on people's private prop.

There's one more item we carry that I've yet to see mentioned - flares.
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Old 06-13-2013, 09:41 AM   #18
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Thanks for the tips! I told the hubby about the wheel chocks, he didn't believe me at first so i had to show him all the posts on here about putting them in first before unhooking
Years ago I forgot to chock the wheels before unhooking. It made me a real believer in the effectiveness of safety chains. I would suggest chocking the wheels and also leaving the chains connected (just in case) when taking the trailer off the hitch.
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Old 06-13-2013, 09:49 AM   #19
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The first time we backed in to our spot, camper was all perfectly level, exactly where we wanted it.

Chocked wheels, unhooked and pulled a few feet away.

I hooked up the power and the DW got in to push the slide out while I put down the stabilizers. Just happened to be putting down the back driver side when I looked and saw the slide was about to push into the power poll.

Well we had to put everything back in/up re-hook and pull forward a few feet.

I know look there first!
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Old 06-13-2013, 11:06 AM   #20
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EDIT: Added a step 0 to note awning pole position

Another setup item...be careful with your awning. My first time or two I did not do things in the right order (didn't remember the demo as well as I should have), resulting in a lot of stress at the awning mount points at the top, so much so that I could see the brackets flexing the screws!

Here's my procedure now (btw, I have a 23SS w/ a manual awning...if yours is power, you can stop reading now):

Definition:
vertical awning pole = the large pole that connects at the bottom of the camper frame. I call this vertical because you can detach this from your camper, and set it up vertical from the awning down to the ground (or you can leave it attached, in which case it's more of a 45 degree angle)
horizontal awning pole = the thinner pole that, when the awning is set up, extends from the top of the camper straight out to the awning. It is the piece that has the tension knob.

0. take note of the vertical arm position so you know where to return it when you take your awning down; if necessary move the stop pin to the hole closest to the vertical pole (see picture here)
1. get your awning hook out and ready near the pull strap
2. unscrew (loosen, do not remove) the tension knobs on each horizontal awning pole
3. click the two locking tabs to free the vertical awning pole from the horizontal poles
4. using the awning hook, flip over the lever on the top right side to allow the awning to be pulled out
5. using the awning hook, grab the strap and pull the awning all the way out
6. slide the horizontal arms up until the click in securely at the top of the vertical awning poles (do not yet tighten the round knobs)
7. on each side, release and extend the vertical arms to raise the awning up to the height you want (2 people is best here)
8. now go back and tighten up the knobs, so that the top bars are tight and support the awning from retracting or flexing. This is very important!
9. Leave a slight angle so water can drain, if rain is expected

Reverse these steps to return the awning to travel position.

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