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Old 06-15-2016, 09:59 AM   #1
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What advice and tips would you give yourself?

Hello everyone! I'm patiently waiting for the arrival of our GD Momentum 399th in the few weeks! Does anyone have any advice to pass down for first time 5th wheel TH owners? We plan on part-timing for the remainder of this year with the intention of full-timing(Boondocking most of the time) by the spring/summer next year. Is there anything you wish you knew or maybe something you did differently? Are there some "Must Haves" that you would suggest getting? I'm trying prepare myself and what better way then to ask the folks that have the experience!

Thanks folks!

2017 Grand Design Momentum 399th on order!
2016 Ram 3500 dually
2015 Jeep Wrangler for the daily
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Old 06-15-2016, 10:22 AM   #2
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Basically speaking,,, when towing,, take Every turn much wider than you think is needed.. Better 5 feet too much than 1 inch not enough... Look up.. These things are Tall... When getting ready to leave, make at least two walk arounds to make sure all slides are in, doors are closed and locked,,, inside,,, fridge closed and secured,, along with vents, cabinet doors,, etc./.. Antenna down, tires, hitch,, lights,,, some will pipe in with a detailed list... Happy camping !!! Monkey
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Old 06-15-2016, 10:48 AM   #3
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Yes there is. There is a plethora of advice and blogs written by full timers all over the web. Read as many of them as you can and profit from their experience. In no other words, spend a lot of time researching each of the systems on your rig before you have issues and less time reacting to emergencies.
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Old 06-15-2016, 10:58 AM   #4
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Can't RE-STRESS the walk around twice comment!

You WILL make mistakes...

There's a strong chance you will drive off with the steps open...
or
with a stabilizer jack down
or
with a chock still under the tire

So as you walk around twice, you point to EVERYTHING
Chocks out? Check
Chains? Check
Jacks Up? Check
Steps closed? Check
and so forth....

And when learning to reverse, best if you learn with someone in the know..... that can be a tremendous help, and when reversing on your own,,, GOAL,,,,! GET OUT AND LOOK

There are times when reversing, I might "get out and look" 5 times or more as I go. You'll be dealing with a couple blind areas, including the swinging nose of your truck...

And pack light.. for me, part of RV'ING is getting away from all the STUFF.
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Old 06-15-2016, 11:09 AM   #5
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Of all the suggestions that I saw staring out last year, the one I didn't see was this one......

As you are hopefully aware, when you dump your holding tanks, you dump your black water first, followed by your gray water to wash the poop out of your slinky.

HOWEVER, it is a VERY good idea to do a quick short dump of gray water before you pull the black tank lever, because it is not a good thing to find out you have a loose connection / coupler on your sliky with your black tank water........

And, you will crack your head on a slide when you get into your bays at some point, once, twice, more...... Our coach has very sharp slide corners, once I cut my head the first time, I got pipe insulation (others slit swim noodles) to put on the bottom and corners of the slides. Oh, and you have to put them on too (figured that out the 2nd time I cut my head). Now the padding goeson as the slides go out (and I do all my wet bay hook ups / disconnects which are under our main slide corner, with the slide in). I eventually found some nice stick on corner pads that stay on all the time, so just use the pipe insulation along the bottom edge now.
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Old 06-15-2016, 11:17 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Betr2Trvl View Post

HOWEVER, it is a VERY good idea to do a quick short dump of gray water before you pull the black tank lever, because it is not a good thing to find out you have a loose connection / coupler on your sliky with your black tank water........
LOL! I assume this belongs in the "Ask Me How I Know" category??
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Old 06-15-2016, 11:28 AM   #7
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LOL! I assume this belongs in the "Ask Me How I Know" category??
You betcha!! I'm in shock, watching at mess coming out of the loose coupling, and my wife is yelling at me to close the valve..... It is sooooo funny now.

Top that day off, when we set up at the next site that afternoon, that's when I cut my head the 2nd time on the slide because I hadn't put the padding on before I started hooking up the wet bay.
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Old 06-15-2016, 11:41 AM   #8
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Good advice from Plasma regarding backing up. I would add the same advice when going ahead in tight situations. You can take a bit of extra time or possibly spending considerable time fixing things.

One bit of advice I like was told to me while I was trying to get our 5er up on some blocks to level it. We do not have levelers but I think this works even if you do.

If you are on a gravel pad that is not level I like to dig the tires on the high side down instead of raising the low side. I carry a track/trenching shovel and will back into the position I want. I look at the level and determine how much to dig, pull forward so I can dig out where the tires go and dig a hole for each tire. The tires settle into the holes and help to stabilize the trailer. Also lowers it a few inches - not a big deal but our 5er sits 34" at the door. IMO this would work for a leveling system as the trailer would be starting from a side to side level and stable position.
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Old 06-15-2016, 07:49 PM   #9
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Read, read, read even topic threads you think irrelevant. Unfortunately, the burned hand often learns best.


People will invariably always want to chat during disconnect, and connect procedures. Politely stay on track.


Create inside and outside check lists specific to your rig for arrival and departure requirements. Swap with your partner and re-check each others tasks.


As Plasma points out, multiple looking and walk a round's are your friend even if they appear OCD at times.


Don't get overwhelmed, take your time, enjoy, you can do it!


Happy trails
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Old 06-15-2016, 10:25 PM   #10
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You've got the right truck. What's the hitch setup? Long bed or short bed?
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Old 06-16-2016, 04:25 PM   #11
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Check your seals and seems including the corners (not just your roof) frequently to make sure there aren't cracks in the sealant. Water infiltration is a common enemy for all RVs. As others have shared, take your time...always! Careless mistakes tend to happen when you are in a hurry (like not taking the time to get out and look as needed when backing or trying to pack up quickly and forgetting to put the antenna down).
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Old 06-16-2016, 06:41 PM   #12
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You've got the right truck. What's the hitch setup? Long bed or short bed?
Ram 3500 Crew Cummins/Aisin 4X4 Long Bed with 5th wheel prep and 4.10 gears with a
B&W companion 25K hitch.

The trailer has a 20k GVRW
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Old 06-16-2016, 06:49 PM   #13
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The pre delivery inspection is most important. Get one of the checklists and go over it thoroughly before writing the check.
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Old 06-17-2016, 07:31 AM   #14
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Make sure your dealer readjusts the brakes prior to delivery. They're inheritantly unadjusted when they come out of Grand Design.
Watch the backs of your wheels--looking for oil. Lippert uses lightweight bearing grease and it can seep past the bearing seals into your brakes and make them not work.
I use a secondary valve on the black water/gray water outlet.
Carry a second sewage hose and couplings, as all campsites are setup different.
Carry a heavy extension cord and connectors where you can hookup to 15 amp plugs.
I carry a pair of 12 ton bottle jacks and heavy jack stands in case I need to change a tire.
Don't forget to use a good torque wrench and have a long nose socket to torque your wheels every time you move it. And keep a good quality tire gauge to check your tire pressures constantly. I have a portable air tank that can be used to re-air my tires up.
If you're going to be traveling very far, go ahead and trade those OEM Westlake tires for a higher quality tire--Bridgestone Duravis R250's, Michelin's LTX ribbed tire or Goodyear G614's. The industry has a serious problems using ST tires from China.
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