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Old 05-12-2015, 07:54 AM   #1
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Our maiden voyage...What do we do?

Our first MH camping weekend is next weekend.

We have just bought our '95 Rockwood Regent DP, which is 30' long and no slides. We are having service done, on the MH, as we speak. God knows how much needs to be repaired. The coach has 114k miles, while the engine has only 28k miles. Obviously, the coach and all of her amenities/necessities will need more attention than the engine itself. So, assuming that we aren't broke, by week's end from all of the repairs, please give me a chronology listing of the "what to do", once we have entered our campsite.

The first suggestion that we received was to make sure that the MH is parked close enough to water/electric/sewer prior to leveling and unpacking.

But what then? Please remember that we are ABSOLUTE neophytes. So, what you believe is "common sense" is probably as foreign to us, as the "man in the moon".

Thanks for all your anticipated help.

Eddie
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Old 05-12-2015, 08:28 AM   #2
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I always start by hooking up power, then I go to the frig and get a setup beer.
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Old 05-12-2015, 08:28 AM   #3
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Honestly, if all goes well with your coach, I can't think of too many things to suggest other than relax and have a great time. As you said, make sure you are parked close to hookups. Also, when plugging in to the electricity, always turn the breaker switch off at the outlet first (usually they are already turned off), so you don't blow a fuse.


Secondly, if you are completely brand new to this, have you ever practiced emptying your tanks? If not, I would consider running your faucets to fill your gray tank and practice emptying that one first. That way, if you have any mishaps or spills, it will be with relatively clean water. Believe me, you don't want that to happen with your black tank!


Most RV parks I've ever been to are filled with fellow RV-ers who, for the most part, are some of the friendliest and most helpful people you will ever meet. If you have questions after you get there, you can either post them here on the forum or grab one of your neighbors wherever you are, and you will find people to help you.


Best of luck, and have fun!
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Old 05-12-2015, 09:12 AM   #4
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I agree with what RedRaider said. You must, and I cannot emphasize the word MUST ENOUGH, make sure your sewer/gray water hose is connected securely before opening the drainage valve. No need for a Robin Williams moment right off the bat!

Another hint: After hooking up the water, check all faucets including shower right away to see if they are running. I turned on the water and continued to do stuff outside the RV while the shower was spraying thru the open shower door.

I ll think of a few more later.

Enjoy your new freedom!

Brad
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Old 05-12-2015, 09:12 AM   #5
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Look at your site. Visualize parking the RV. Pull in or back in SLOWLY noting the right placement for water, power, sewer hookups. Level, turn on water heater, set heat or cooling to your comfort, set out deck chairs and other camping items and BBQ, GRAB BEER OR MIXED. In all setup go slow and think and yes everyone is watching even if they are not. enjoy

LEN
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Old 05-12-2015, 09:14 AM   #6
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flat helps

I agree with the posters on reaching utilities however I would also mention the relative importance of finding a semi-level spot to park. we found we can deal with a quarter bubble off but in a really hilly campground you can end up spending way more time than is enjoyable just trying to keep that set up beer on the dinette.
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Old 05-12-2015, 10:04 AM   #7
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one more thing

not to pile on but a small hint. this is not an issue at most "modern" campgrounds but overhanging limbs can become a problem, especially when you are concentrating on small children, pets, wildlife, posts, curbs, landscaping, utilities, the reflection of your "helper" in the mirror waving his or her arms, all distractions at ground level. On your first outing the last thing you want is an impromptu skylight created by removal of a rooftop air conditioner.
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Old 05-12-2015, 10:56 AM   #8
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FWIW My suggestion would be to spend a night in the MH in the driveway first. Do it several days before your trip so there is time to generate and settle a punch list if needed. When you get through that you have water in the tank, hot water, a cold refer, and the 12 V side of the power system working. That eliminates a lot of potential problems. It also lets you check for hoses, cords, etc even if you do not use them at the time. If it's hot start the generator to run the AC.


We tend to plug in and set up the refer and water a day or two out from leaving just to cool the refer and get perishables loaded. The water tank is at least half full and the hot water works because we use it while getting ready. We do that on a 20 A extension cord because we do not use any of the big AC current draws. When we leave we just stow the electrical connection. Nothing else is hooked up. The water stays on so the sink and toilet work.

I probably already turned off the gas HW heater because the tank holds HW for hours at a temp high enough for hand washing. It seems like good practice to turn the tank on before breakfast and off after the dishes are done. Ditto Dinner. Lunch tends to be paper and a few things left in the sink.

When we get to camp we park, level if needed, plug in the electric and kick back. That limits potential leak damage to whatever water is in the tank at whatever pressure the internal pump is maintaining. That is all that is required. If it's nice out put out the awning and pull out the chairs. If not then settle down inside.

I also check the water tank level as I go by. As long as it is up the rest of the tanks are OK whether I can read them or not.

Depending on our schedule we shower any time of day. If the water tank is dropping low I set up and dump. Black then gray. I also fill the fresh water tank. If we are staying another day or more everything stays put to do it again. If we are leaving it gets stowed. You do not want the black tank valve left open as solids get left behind, trapped and pile up. Then you have to get rid of them when the pile gets big enough to be a problem. Gray water needs to be fullish to flush the hose after a black dump. Easier to just leave it all closed.

If you are staying a long time there is a rationale to hooking up all the services and go on city water. Then you get into water pressure issues and dump routines.
You will also find places where the power is a problem so it pays to get an AC voltmeter to monitor your line voltage. If you are traveling a lot a conditioner may be in order. If you are parking the same couple of places and know they are OK then you can judge whether there is a problem to deal with or not. These are things you can work into other than the meter. IF the power is wonky pull the plug.

If you are set up and have a towed consider pulling the plug and shutting off the water if you are leaving for more than a few minutes. That minimizes the chance of problems while you are away. (You did turn off the water at home, didn't you?).

All this is a bit paranoid but is designed to minimize problems. We learned a lot on our first unit that was cheap because of high miles but also had age related issues at a lot fewer years than yours. What I describe is cheap insurance. I'm sure there are folks out there who worry less than I do and more than I do. YMMY.
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Old 05-12-2015, 11:21 AM   #9
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If you have to back into a spot make sure someone is out back guiding you. Have them stand so you can see them or use radios.
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Old 05-12-2015, 11:25 AM   #10
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I agree with Air Baron. My kids always fought to obey Rule 1 of camping. " As soon as we are level, get Dad a beer". This worked out pretty well except the time we pulled in early at around 10 AM (delayed by traffic the night before and wouldn't make the 10 PM check in, so a smaller campground on the way worked.) My wife gave me THE LOOK that time. After that they all had a job to do which made set up very quick.

Anyway, remember to relax and have fun. As stated earlier, don't be afraid to ask for help. Most campers love to share their knowledge and show you the 'right way' to do something. Don't be in a rush or you will forget something and make a mistake.

While you are working on the outside, have the other half set up on the inside, although the first few times you should probably do things together so you both know how.

Level, Power, Water, Cable/Sat, Waste, Awning, outdoor mats, grill, outdoor chairs, firewood.

As you learn, create a setup checklist that works for you. Don't be afraid to make changes. Some of your new camping neighbors and friends may have some great ideas for you. Camping is an evolving experience. Also, walk around the campground and look at what other people have done with their sites, or the cool toys that they have.

Best of luck on your travels
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Old 05-12-2015, 11:35 AM   #11
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You are going to have such a great time.
One thing I'd like to add, there was a post on this forum someplace that listed things not to do.

If you can find this list and read some of the misshapes most of us all have experienced, you will find it both informative, and entertaining.

Happy Trails
DTW
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Old 05-12-2015, 11:39 AM   #12
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I get the beer before anything
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Old 05-12-2015, 11:43 AM   #13
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Consider buying some cheap walky talkys. My wife would be back there yellin and i cpould not hear her so i bought a set at radio shacks. They work fine for directions. Then when the grand kids show up i put one behind a picture i hang on the "talking tree". great fun
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Old 05-12-2015, 11:49 AM   #14
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This may have already been mentioned above, but make sure you have a water pressure regulator attached to your fresh water hose. If you don't you could very easily damage your plumbing systems.
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