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 and I lived in a 5th wheel for about a year. Things that were used the most: a microwave oven, a small electric space heater and a two burner electric hot plate. The propane stove can be a PITA. We cooked almost everything on the hot plate, in the microwave or on a small (tabletop) Weber BBQ.
An attached awning or a stand alone room with netting is a good idea.
Husband and I have a fifth wheel and do a fair amount of traveling. I read through the responses and they’re all great. If you go to Camping World and browse through their web site you’ll find lots of stuff that’ll apply to all situations. Thing is, they are a bit *pricey* and you can probably find it elsewhere (Craig’s List, etc.)
Another good place to get info is rv.net.
It’s a forum for RV owners.
Good luck and HAVE FUN!!
Oh, be sure you have vent covers so the vents can stay open while it’s raining.
Ya never know—LOL!
800 kW would be larger that the largest trailer.
I forgot to mention that if you can, always tow it “dry” meaning don’t add water if you can and make sure you drain all of your tanks(potable, gray, and black) before you head home.
Helps a little with few mileage getting rid of a few hundred extra pounds.
Thanks for the replies.
Yes, its a trailer. Sorry about that.
These are great posts, you cannot imagine how much I appreciate the feedback. Even the funny stuff.
The the Five-Star folks, I just got my lifetime GOLD Marriott Rewards level. It IS possible to get sick of staying in nice hotels—when you do it three nights a week for years.
It is a Cougar Super Lite. I got it new. Not gonna tell you what I paid because I am still happy and don’t want to find out this newbie got ripped off!
The lot is one my brother used to use with his huge Fleetwood Diesel monster—so the ground is level, well graveled and set up for water and power. My dad actually put a shed/toilet next to the pad. So at least I will be using the “indoor” facilities 99% of the time. My wife will not battle spiders at night.
We are excited. And I spend my days at home taking care of her 91 year old mother in law, and the last three years taking care of three 90+ aunts and uncles of my wife. After all of that, spending time with her, alone, is a gift from God that I am not going to squander.
Keep the ideas coming. And even the funny comments. I love them. And I am great at laughing at myself.
>2012 Silverado 1500, gross towning weight is about 9500 pounds, dry weight of the trailer is 5,300.<
My friend swears by the GM/Chevy 6.0 gas engine. He maintains it is a towing powerhouse.
extra propane tanks. you never know when one will run out.
also, a small burner attachment for a standard propane tank is cheap and small, and can be very useful if you’re not where you can hook up power.
jugs of water, just in case you can’t hook up, or the water is total crap.
consider helper springs for your vehicle.
fire starters and a camp fire ring- if you like camp fires.
bug spray and sunscreen- it’s one of those little things you always seem to forget to pack.
shovel, bow saw and axe should be part of your tool kit.
Take it to the Dakotas and sell it for a profit, then buy another one.
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?
Get a good Hitch like a PULLRITE. Get a Voltage Booster to ensure good Votage Staility - such as : Frank’s search ebay to find a good deal.
I see that you have talked with my wife. :-)
Got that right
Going down 84 to 81 mid day is tough in a car, let alone pulling anything.
I full timed for over ten years and still have a Freightliner FL60 Toter and a 36’ Five Slide 5th wheel.
I would consider the ¾ ton truck before traveling much. It isn’t the higher pulling rating, it is the brakes. That is why I have a Freightliner; it is no fun going down a mountain with no trailer brakes.
If you have the rubber roof, treat it with a rubber roof treatment. It will last twice as long.
I haven’t seen awning tie down listed yet. They will save several hundred in replacement costs after a strong wind.
Buy an extension handle and brush from a building supply to wash with.
A “Y” or gang valve for the hose will come in handy.
A water pressure regulator is a must.
You need storage tank treatment for the holding tank. I normally leave the gray open cleaning occasionally and batch treat and drain the black water tank.
Get the best quality sewer hose you can find. The light duty hoses don’t last and sewage everywhere is no fun...
You most likely have two 30# (7.5 gallon) propane tanks on the trailer. Get at least one spare. You likely will want two or more 20# tanks for outdoor cooker, gas grill, prpane lantern connection, etc.
Sam’s Club has a nice Stainless Steel two burner table top gas grill and a lifetime type table with a heavy wire extension to hold the grill. Add a single burner turkey frier cooker and you have a pretty good outdoor kitchen.
You don’t really need RV toilet paper; it sux anyway...
PM me anytime if you have questions.
I wish there was a system here at FR so we could visit each other.
Wheel covers that you buy to keep the sun from dry roting them you put sheet on top of tire.
First and foremost, maintain it. I bought a used RV (34’ Class A a couple of years ago for a reasonable price, but it had been neglected in a lot of areas). Keep the roof clean, check for leaks, re-do the roof/window caulking on a reasonable interval. There are multiple RV forums out there, and you may even be able to find problem areas in your brand to be aware of (they all have problems, from the cheapest clear up to the million-dollar machines).
Nothing short of nuking it from space could remove the odor of our black tank. Oofda!
you want stabilizer jacks in four corners if yours didn’t come with them.
anti-flap clips for the awning on windy days.
Few more things: Heavy duty extension cord and extra water hose. The spot in the campsite where you want your rig is not always close to the power and water outlets, so it’s good to have extra length, just in case.
Water thief. Sometimes the water hose at the dump site is just a wand. The water thief fits over the wand and gives you threads in which to fasten your hose.
French press for coffee, in case you don’t have electric power for the coffee maker.
I suppose you’ve been outfitted with sway bars. They’re a must.
Scott toilet tissue - the basic thin kind - works great and is much less expensive than RV toilet paper.
Not a concern for you now, but it will be soon:
I’m in south Texas, so we don’t do winter, but you will need to winterize your RV when the time comes. I see some helpful FReepers have already provded links to quality RV sites, so when you get time, check out how to winterize you RV.
Smartphone that can be a hotspot and a computer work just as well. But I dont watch network TV
My sister has an iPhone and it can do it as can my son’s smartphone. You need a data plan to do it.
I have a ghetto phone with no data plan.
Oh, I have an unlimited data plan... is it just that one usb cable that has monitor, keyboard, mouse? What does their setup look like?
Ah, yes, you're right, that was a MAJOR typo!
We just last night bought a little 2000-watt gennie, from of all places, Aldi's! Cost us $149. Fits in about a 2ft x 2ft x 2ft cube.
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