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Old 03-01-2016, 09:15 PM   #1
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Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 8
5th wheeler newbie

So we are fixing to pull the trigger and get a reflection 303. So what advice would anybody have for a newbie to 5th wheeler? Any advice would be greatly appreciated. What kind of things needed, maintenance advice , etc.. Thanks in advance Jeremy

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Old 03-01-2016, 09:43 PM   #2
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Location: Clovis, CA, USA
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Go buy at least one more real fire extinguisher.

The RVIA approved one is good to put a birthday candle out.

2004 Monaco La Palma 36DBD, W22, 8.1, 7.1 MPG
2000 LEXUS RX300 FWD 22MPG 4020 LBS
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Old 03-02-2016, 05:01 AM   #3
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Watch your height as well as the sides when in tight campgrounds or even going down the road. The 12 ft high walls can catch some trees if not careful. Double check u r not high hitched every time when hooking up. And have fun!
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Old 03-02-2016, 07:41 AM   #4
Join Date: May 2015
Posts: 69
First RV too?

Our Solitude was our first. I'll say the biggest thing to remember is TAKE YOUR TIME! Rushing is what gets people in trouble. Second, hooking and unhooking is one of the easiest things I've ever done. It looks a lot harder than it is. My wife that can't hook up a utility trailer with a backup camera can connect our 5th wheel.

I think it came from my MSHA training, however the thing that always sticks with me is GOAL (Get Out And Look!). I have zero issues getting out and looking three or four times while backing into a spot. If I'm not sure, I'll get out and look.

If you're looking for items, buy a surge protector! I had misgivings.. so I bought a cheap one. The first time I plugged my RV in (surge protector first), I found a plug with L2 swapped with the neutral. That was the FIRST podium I went to connect to!

Second thing, water pressure regulator. You can get a cheap one for $10 off amazon that works perfectly well. RV Toilet paper would be item number three. Here again, you can get it off Amazon, 48 rolls for around $25-$30. Trust me when I say you don't want to work on the black tank of your RV..

I also really like waste gate valves off the ends of my flush tubes. Keeps me from getting sprayed when I remove the caps. I also like clear caps.

If you want the full list of everything we picked up let me know. This is our first RV, however I've picked up a LOT of tips and suggestions over our three to four years of looking that served us extremely well.

Lastly, save the Grand Design customer service number. If you're slightly handy, you can go directly to GD for most everything you find wrong without having to wait for a dealer to get you in. I was mailed a replacement fireplace, snaps, bulbs, self tapping screws, a trim piece, and a replacement light fixture in around three days. If you have any questions they'll also tell you have to fix things, find switches, or even get you scheduled with a dealer and parts before you ever go to the dealer. Everyone talks about how helpful they are, it's really hard to grasp until you call them yourself.

Enjoy it!
2015 Laramie 3500 Mega Cab 4x4 DRW Maximum Steel
Aisin | 4.10 | 5th/Goose Prep | Air Assist | 37,800 GCWR
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Old 03-02-2016, 10:13 PM   #5
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Calgary, Canada
Posts: 50
My advice is to focus initially on your process of safe and secure towing.

Keep an eye on wheels & tires:
  • pressure
  • tread anomalies
  • lug nut torque
  • greased hubs

Have a departure check-list and walk-around:
  • exterior doors and hatches secured
  • interior doors closed or secured open
  • sliding doors or other fixtures secured
  • uncovered roof vents closed
  • antennae down
  • windows closed
  • fridge and cupboard contents secured
  • light check (brake, turn, driving, clearance)
  • double-check hitch is secure
  • landing gear and stabilizer jacks fully retracted

Be well aware of your environment when towing:
  • height and width clearance (trees, curbs, covered fuel stations)
  • turn radius
  • back-end swing out
  • tail-drag on steep driveways (ie: fuel station driveways)
  • keep eye on fuel gauge. refill when convenient, not desparate

Spend time to setup right at your destination:
  • take your time to get into your spot
  • use a spotter and/or get out and look
  • never assume you're clear. know you're clear
  • if it looks too tight, it probably is
  • ask for help if needed
  • consider location of post, sewer, & trees relative to you trailer and slides
  • take the time to make it level
  • chock wheels, unhitch, make level (F to R), rear stabs, slides, hookups (if any)

  • fridge for beer. Open slowly. (both the fridge and the beer)
  • say hello to your new neighbours (if any)
  • think about what you probably forgot or should have bought for next time
  • have fun

2013 Heartland Bighorn 3010RE
2012 Silverado 3500 SRW 6.6 TD
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Old 03-03-2016, 06:32 AM   #6
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Always remember that the fiver tracks well inside your truck, so make the turns wide! Don't ask how I know.
2015 F350 XLT PSD CCSB SRW, Andersen Ultimate hitch
'12 Cougar High Country 299RKS, Mor/Ryde Pinbox
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Old 03-03-2016, 07:37 AM   #7
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Posts: 149
Buy a bigger then needed tow truck. If you buy a smaller 5ver and like RV'n...you"ll be looking for a larger one. Been lurking and posting on this site for a year...spent many hours looking at all kinds of topics. Many people on this sight say..."I'am on my 3 rd or 4th RV, I like the floor plan of this one". btw...Duallys & diesel work great! And I started out wanting a small diesel pusher...did want a 5ver, nor a diesel dually truck...but that is what I ended up with...WOW! Now after my first trip ever in an RV of any type, I like the decision I made. little bit of a rammbling on here.
Last...you can find many folks selling tow vehicle and 5ver together because they are getting out of the RV'n.
5.9l cummins in a 03 RAM 3500 DRW, pulling a 07 Jayco Designer 34RLQS... all new to me...haul'en me, my sweetie...and man's best friend, our stubby tailed (no tail at all) Australian cattle & Boxer mix rescue dog!
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Old 03-10-2016, 09:32 AM   #8
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Location: Muscle Shoals, AL/Helen, GA
Posts: 785
You've received some very good advice.

I didn't remember to look up, and ended up with a $17K insurance claim. And I didn't follow my checklist and a new tailgate with paint cost $1,200.

You've got to be extra vigilant about everything that goes on around you--and concentrate. I now cut off the radio, and ask my wife to quit 'gabbing' when I'm traveling in tight spaces. When I need her to be my second set of eyes, I'll ask her.

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5th wheel, newbie

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