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Old 06-15-2014, 09:41 PM   #1
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Help! I'm new at this... looking for advice

Hello expert RVers! I just bought my first RV a couple days ago and I'm looking for some expert advice.

First things first, I bought a 2000 Winnebago Chieftain 34y. Its been well taken care of, has low mileage, and I took it to a local expert who spent hours with me walking through everything and it all checks out to be a great coach in great shape. We're getting the couch, dinette, recliner & captain chairs re-upholstered, and new carpet put in.

My question is, what do I need to put into it? What items or upgrades can you experienced weekend warriors just not live without? What are the coolest new accessories? We got it for what I feel like is a fantastic deal, so I don't mind putting a little money into it. Don't know if it may help, but we're in our mid-thirties and have 4 young kids.

Any help would be much appreciated!!
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Old 06-15-2014, 09:50 PM   #2
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I don't know what type of entertainment system you have on the MH, but with 4 young children, I would make sure you have a good TV and DVD player to keep them entertained especially when travelling. Spend some time in it close to home, you will soon realize what things are important to have on board.
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Old 06-16-2014, 01:50 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chiefwin View Post
Hello expert RVers! I just bought my first RV a couple days ago and I'm looking for some expert advice.

First things first, I bought a 2000 Winnebago Chieftain 34y. Its been well taken care of, has low mileage, and I took it to a local expert who spent hours with me walking through everything and it all checks out to be a great coach in great shape. We're getting the couch, dinette, recliner & captain chairs re-upholstered, and new carpet put in.

My question is, what do I need to put into it? What items or upgrades can you experienced weekend warriors just not live without? What are the coolest new accessories? We got it for what I feel like is a fantastic deal, so I don't mind putting a little money into it. Don't know if it may help, but we're in our mid-thirties and have 4 young kids.

Any help would be much appreciated!!
Chiefwin..... Welcome! You've come to the right place for answers and advice. I know you-- and your family-- will enjoy this immensely.

Now, as you said, first things first! For the moment, forget the bells and whistles and "coolest new accessories". You're carrying your whole family in this brand-new-to-you vehicle, so tell me what the tires are like, and how old they are, and tell me what your local expert said about them. By the way, its very good and smart that you had someone knowledgeable check the machine over for you. Its very important that we all know what we don't know, and act accordingly. Tell me if you're going to tow your car behind the MH, and what kind of towbar you plan to use, and what kind of supplementary braking system you will use.

With that taken care of, you can jump online to Tweety's or PPL, or run down to CW in person and buy all sorts of neat stuff for RVs and while you're out stop buy Autozone and pick up one of those chrome accessory gas pedals with the individual toes, you know what I mean? Way cool!

Good Luck!, and I hope you have years of fun with this! Your kids will remember this their whole lives, don't doubt that for a minute!
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Old 06-16-2014, 06:31 AM   #4
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Welcome to irv2. You'll get lots of cool / must have ideas here.
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Old 06-16-2014, 06:42 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chiefwin View Post
Hello expert RVers! I just bought my first RV a couple days ago and I'm looking for some expert advice.

First things first, I bought a 2000 Winnebago Chieftain 34y. Its been well taken care of, has low mileage, and I took it to a local expert who spent hours with me walking through everything and it all checks out to be a great coach in great shape. We're getting the couch, dinette, recliner & captain chairs re-upholstered, and new carpet put in.

My question is, what do I need to put into it? What items or upgrades can you experienced weekend warriors just not live without? What are the coolest new accessories? We got it for what I feel like is a fantastic deal, so I don't mind putting a little money into it. Don't know if it may help, but we're in our mid-thirties and have 4 young kids.

Any help would be much appreciated!!
Not actually an upgrade, but a must have for me. A pair of walkie-talkies is a nice thing to have to assist in back in campsites, with the added benefits of being able to use them in communicating with the kids around the campground, etc... Much easier than yelling back and forth with head stuck out the drivers window!! Saves a lot of "I was trying to tell you stop...too close...you hit tree...etc"
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Old 06-16-2014, 06:45 AM   #6
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Greatest accessory is Traveler auto satellite dish.
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Old 06-16-2014, 07:06 AM   #7
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I agree with a TV upgrade. Like our MH you probably have an old tube TV or two. We have replaced the bedroom one with a flat screen HD and have another still in the box to do the front. Even if not using HD the picture is much better and bigger. The new ones are also about 1/4 the weight. Search here for TV upgrade and similar for lots of info. We bought a 29" that will fit in the old front TV cabinet without much modification. We will see how that goes.

Safety wise, yes check the age of the tires. Here is how http://www.tirerack.com/tires/tirete....jsp?techid=11 Same thing goes for discussion here for tires, lots of info. Also make sure to have smoke and carbon monoxide alarms. Can't have too many. Remember people near you may be running their generator producing CO. Your rig should have come with an LP detector I would think. Make sure it is working.
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Old 06-16-2014, 07:13 AM   #8
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Old 06-16-2014, 07:17 AM   #9
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Old 06-16-2014, 11:47 AM   #10
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Welcome to the best thing you have ever done, ignore any skeptics. We too had four young kids when we got our 1st RV (5 to date) and now the grand kids we have never looked back. Tent trailer 1983 to diesel pusher 2009
1 Do not pack for the end of the world, we have found that minimizing on house hold items such as bed linens, towels etc. cuts down on loading/unloading/washing/storage of clean and used. Sleeping bag on beds work great for kids and really save on bedding/ making/unmaking making beds every day. Just roll up the sleeping bag, buy The cheap ones it does not get that cold in a RV! Easy to wash/store as well.
2 Do not buy too much up front take your time as a lot of the stuff you see looks great but is not really functional and is a lot of work Less clutter means ease of use = calmness = more enjoyment
3 I would invest in a good sewer hose system with the quick connects etc. as is will make life easier If I were starting from scratch I would buy a 20ft and a 10 (stiff collapsible to 3ft) with the appropriate ends, I use my 10ft a lot and its quick and easy, in some places you need the 20ft to reach, also the flexible drain support system
4 Definitely do the TV/DVD its worth it, I do not have the satellite just an updated batwing antenna
5 The most important is have fun, its great for family

Best of Luck!

Mike
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Old 06-16-2014, 11:50 AM   #11
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What do I need to put into it? Well that's a loaded question for sure. Why, Because you and I are two different people.

For sure, You, Your significant other, Food, cloths, Cleaning supplies. and other household things.

OH, you mean RV stuff...

Well if you do not already have you need a fresh water hose. 10 feet, Id carry two of them or carry one 10' and one 25'

Sewer hoses, I have a bunch but 15 feet will do for most uses.. The one I am using most right now is a Tethford Smart Hose.. The first time I had a real hard time putting it together but it's been easier since. Very good hose. I also have a pair of 10-15 foot extension hoses. But rarley need them and so far never more than one..

SUGGESTION: if there is a good spot for it a 7" Retangular vinyl fence post makes a great sewer hose holder.

IF your rv is 50 amp: A 50-30 dogbone and one 50 amp extension cord (Do not often need to extend but if you do you will be glad) also a spare Camco Power Pull or Marinco equivalent 50 amp plug. (Park Power?)

If it is a 30 amp a 30-50 dogbone and again a spare plug.

Also a 15-30 PUCK style adapter and a Three Light outlet Tester.

Black tank chemicals: Forget 'em

A spray bottle with about 1 ounce of bleach per quart of water or chlorox type cleaning wipes and disposable gloves (in the compartment where you hook up hoses and such) not a bad idea.

Beyond that I can not advise.. Levelers (Lynx Levelers) may be helpful and of course a Grill, Chairs and such for sitting out.
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Old 06-16-2014, 11:59 AM   #12
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Congrats on the new rig! When we bought our MH I immediately made two major upgrades.

It had the old tube-type TV hanging down over the dash where I cracked my head on it almost every time I went in! I removed the TV, had a cabinet shop rebuild the cabinet so it was level with the other overhead cabinets, bought a 40" flat-screen, and installed it behind the couch on a remote-controlled motorized mount. This is what I did:

The head-banger is finally GONE!

I also replaced the cooling unit on the Norcold 1200LRIM fridge with one of the Amish-built units from RV Cooling Unit Warehouse. Even though the fridge was working fine, I didn't want to take a chance on becoming a "crispy critter".

I replaced all the shocks with Bilsteins to stop the "porpoising" and smooth out the ride a little bit.

We have also upgraded the surround sound system and are getting ready to replace the carpet and ceramic tile with vinyl tile.

Good luck, happy trails, and God bless!
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Old 06-16-2014, 12:35 PM   #13
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I'd put all my extra dough into fuel and campground receipts.

Go see the world and don't take any of the kids electronic toys along so that they will see the world too.

Ask anybody on here about their camping experiences as a child and they will all agree it is a wonderful thing for kids.
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Old 06-16-2014, 01:25 PM   #14
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All of the above is good advice but you mentioned that you were having the carpet replaced. If there is still time to stop the new carpet install, I suggest you at least think about replacing the carpet in the living area with vinyl tile or luxury vinyl tile. Carpet in the bedroom is fine since traffic there will be minimal. However, kids will be constantly in and out of the MH and carpet will get dirty & worn real fast. With tile, you can put down some throw rugs if you want to and clean them as needed. The dirt or sand in the tile can be easily swept up or sucked up by a small vacuum.

Have fun with your "new" MH. When our 3 kids were young we camped in a Prowler trailer. Our kids still talk about those trips.

------- Jim
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