Skip to comments.Vanity--Just bought an RV Tailer. Now what?
Posted on 05/01/2013 7:58:48 AM PDT by Vermont Lt
I just took the plunge and purchased a small travel tailer (25 ft.) My wife and I will use it for mostly stationery camping at a lot we own on a lake in Northern VT. We have all of the power and water hook-ups there, and it will be our vacation and weekend home for the summer.
The trailer is brand new and has all of the normal, mid range functions: Refrig, TV, stereo, Queen bed, one slider, shower, etc.
I am writing to ask other trailer owners what things they would get at the outset to make their lives easier. We do not expect a lot of road travel over the next year, although going cross country in 2014 is a probability.
Looking back on your experience, what things do think of and say, "Boy...it would have been nice to have....."
Any advice is welcome. The last time I had any kind of a camper was a pop-up deal in 1976, so consider me a complete newbie. The fact that this has a refrigerator and TV seems like cheating, but I am older now, so that is OK.
Thanks in advance for your responses...serious or otherwise!
My wife came about her distate for camping when she was young. She’s the oldest of five kids, and every year her family went camping in northern Wisconsin during deer season. She had all her normal chores she would have at home (consisting mostly of taking care of her younger sibs) without the benefit of running water or electricity.
I, on the other hand, have a lot of good memories of camping trips. As a kid, my family would do some sort of camping vacation every summer (dad was a high school teacher) and we visited a lot of parks in the western U.S. I was well into my 30’s before it occurred to me that we did trips like that because it was what we could afford!
Our accomodations got better as time wore on. I can remember a dilapidated tent trailer my dad bought which no longer had its tent; Dad would just secure a tarp to the hoops to give us a little protection (very little, especially if it rained) from the elements. Then we got another tent trailer which DID have a tent, followed by a slide-in camper. My folks currently have a 32’ fifth-wheel trailer which they pull behind an F250 turbodiesel.
I might get to the Dakotas and figure I hate it....so that sounds like a good destination.
I just traded my 29’ Cougar for a 32’ Sabre. A few things I would recommend:
1 - Hydraulic jack for changing tires. Unless you park it all the time you WILL have tire problems.
2 - Before you do any travelling swap the crappy load range D tires that came on it for load range E tires.
3 - Buy a couple of Copper Rockers from Camping World. They are inexpensive and really comfortable.
4 - Buy a ground cloth or carpet. Some are really expensive, but Camping World sells one that is very reasonable. They also sell the expensive ones.
5 - Buy a Hughes Autoformer. Expensive, but cheaper than replacing your AC unit.
6 - Good Sam road service...you WILL need it at some point.
7 - Level indicator you can see in your rear view mirror.
8 - Portable table. Walmart has a 48”x24” that folds in half.
9 - Water pressure regulator.
10 - Toilet wand for clearing clogged toilet. Attaches to the end of a hose.
11 - Toolkit. Put together a good toolkit to keep in the camper at all times.
12 - Portable step. If you camp on a site that is less than level it will help with that first step going up into the camper.
13 - Step stool for reaching high cabinets.
14 - Electric impact wrench for raising and lowering stabilizer jacks and changing tires. Be sure to keep the battery charged.
15 - Short bungie cords for securing cabinet doors while in motion.
16 - Camping World Euro Top mattress. If the mattress that came with the camper isn’t comfortable (and most aren’t), this is a mattress I can recommend from personal experience.
Probably lots more...that’s all I can think of at the moment.
oh.. electric brake module for your truck if there isn’t one built in. very important.
After owning an RV I dread hotels; my bed, kitchen, floor and bathroom are clean in my 5th wheel, at hotels it’s a game of chance.
Our first was a 24 ft. bumper pull. You guys will have so much fun!
one other thing I didn’t mention, if you plan on using a bath house then a small tote bag and cheap flip flops are handy to have. Oh and don’t forget the marshmallows, graham crackers and chocolate bars (smores are yummy)
#1: Portable outdoor grill!!!!!
It is only camping when there isn’t a 2nd bathroom.
Theoretically the truck should handle it, but from my experience you really need 3/4 ton diesel for any serious travelling. At minimum you should install a transmission cooler and make sure you have a GOOD hitch. Mine is a fifth wheel and I don't know a lot about ball hitches, but you want one that has some kind of sway control.
The best advice I can give you after doing the seasonal site camping thing for the past 10 years is to keep your roof taken care of. If you have a special rubber type roof, wash it and coat it once per year with the appropriate material. Check all silicone seals at all joints like vents, pipes, antennae, etc. Look for cracks or gaps.
Then, look at the Southern sky from your new camper and if it is unobstructed...not so much as a tree branch...then call up DirecTV and get them to put in a dish for you. They have a 6 month on/6 month off package that is ideal for seasonal campers.
I know that's not why you go camping but it sure is nice to have HD TV when it's raining and a camp fire just isn't possible.
Outdoor Gas grill because you don’t want to cook indoors.
Smartphone that can be a hotspot and a computer work just as well. But I don’t watch network TV
I thought my own wife posted that. Turns out she still doesn't have a FR account. I coulda swore.....
Your biggest headaches with be with hookups. Buy some gear to make these chores as easy/clean as possible. Extensions are often required. Spraying black water over your camp site or a dump site will RUIN your day.
Don't hook up to sewer & leave the valves open - it will not all trickle out. Let the black & gray tanks fill, then empty black, then gray. Otherwise, the black tank will not completely empty.
Leveling is a must. Those cheap lego-like blocks work fine.
Sometimes heaters work, sometimes they don't, especially gas heaters. RVs w/o heat = refrigerators. Bring a cheap but safe space heater & some extra blankets.
If the RV has fuses, bring some extra. Bring extra of anything that could end your trip. Refrigerators can be finicky & often blow fuses.
Be prepared to learn about electrical power. You can't run everything, all at once, on a 30 amp hookup. With the A/C running, you can't run the microwave & a hair drier w/o tripping a breaker. You'll have to learn what works together & what doesn't. It's a pain when the whole RV goes dark.
I suggest you camp several times before you hit the road. That, above all, will tell you what you need.
These are all things I learned mostly the hard way.
I thought that was the time you are supposed to make tricycle motors.
Paint it cammo and stock it with preps.
Put a trailer hitch on the back of it so you can also tow your horse trailer. Put a hitch on the back of your horse trailer so you can also tow your boat trailer. Put a hitch on that so you can also pull the trailer for the four wheelers. Put a hitch on that so you can tow your Mini Cooper. Get a fancy navigation system so you only have to make left turns because making a right turn with that much behind you is grounds for the death penalty in most states. Have your wife buy some pet costumes so you can dress up any baby bears you find. Nothing makes a mama bear happier than listening to her little one yelling in glee about his/her new clothes. Buy a grenade launcher so you can fish from inside the camper. A good 40mm can send a lure clear across the lake. Keeps the neighbors quiet, too.
I’m with ya.
My idea of ‘roughing it’ is a ten year old Holiday Inn.
Please, pretty please, stay out of the “hammer” lane from 3-6 PM, especially in and around central PA.
Always put a couple gallons of water in toilet after you dump the black water tank. This keeps the smell down. Also get dryer sheets and place them under wheel covers to help keep creepy crawlers out
Wheel covers as in "hub caps" What specific location do you refer to?