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Old 12-09-2019, 05:06 AM   #1
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Grand Design Owners Club
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Extra Equipment

I'm starting to buy equipment for the 5th wheel I'm going to buy. Can I get some help? The extension cord, do I need to buy a 50 amp? and how long should I buy? What type of generators and size are people using and is there a preferred make? I read about converting a gas generator to propane is this something I should be looking at?
Should I bring a full complement of tools from screwdrivers, ratchet set, channel locks, hammer, cordless drill, should I buy a pex kit for the plumbing, if there is a plugged toilet can you use a snake on it? Does everyone carry safety equipment like flares, triangles cones? How many fire extinguishers and what kind ie: a general use one, a kitchen one. Is there anything else I need to get?

Case 24

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Old 12-09-2019, 06:38 AM   #2
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Monaco Owners Club
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Location: Cabot, Arkansas
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Don't put the cart before the horse. Purchase your RV first, take it out for a few test campouts, then buy what you need after that. You will save a lot of storage space and money by not buying what you think you need but then never use.

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Old 12-09-2019, 06:59 AM   #3
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Location: Michigan
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Go easy at first. Start with the basics--a cordless drill for running stabilizers up and down, a multimeter, screwdrivers (including the square drive that most RV fasteners use), channel locks. duct tape, cable ties.

If you will be staying in modern campgrounds, you will not need a generator. Extension cords are expensive and seldom used, since most hookups are right there on your site. But yes, if your RV has a 50A service, you'd want a 50A cord.

The toilet generally sits right on top of the black tank, there is no need to carry a drain snake.

Carry boards for leveling and placing under jacks.

Disposable gloves are nice for use at the dump station.
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Old 12-09-2019, 08:32 AM   #4
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Woodbury, NJ, USA
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You should always have appropriate safety equipment in your tow vehicle. Flashlight, flares, triangles, fire extinguisher, high visibility vest, and good leather work gloves are musts IMO. Have an accurate tire gauge and torque wrench with sockets to fit your lugnuts. Jumper cables always a good idea for any vehicle, and I would recommend a competent 12VDC air compressor. Also, purchase a membership to Good Sam Roadside Assistance for piece of mind.

For the 5er, you'll need the basics for water and sewer hookups. I will disagree with the prior poster about extension cords, and say it depends where you camp. For instance, my Solitude has shore power mid-ship. We camp at campgrounds where the power post is at the front of the site often (state parks). Thus, extension a must. You will want a 50A extension and will want adapters to bring down to 30A. Watch Amazon for the Camco extension and buy it when it goes down to around $100.

The one thing you want is a surge protector/EMS. Progressive Industries can't be beat. The hardwired unit is my preference as you never forget it and there's no theft temptation.

We could give you pages of suggestions, and there are hundreds of these threads across the forums to read. However, as others have said, wait till you start using it and you will figure out what you need by experience, talking to other campers, and seeing what other campers do.

P.S. - do pick up a good tool kit or assemble your own. Owning a camper means maintaining it, especially if you FT. I say this right now as it's the season for tool sales! Some considerations for tools: flare nut wrenches for propane line connections, socket and extension to fit hot water heater drain plug, all tools to pull apart a hub drum and do bearing and brake maintenance, and all adapters you need to operate wideouts, landing gear, and awning manually.
Bob Scott, P.E. - Geotechnical Engineer, Mountains of PA
2020 Grand Design Solitude 3350RL
2015 RAM 3500 DRW Cummins/AISIN Laramie Longhorn
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Old 12-09-2019, 10:13 AM   #5
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Good Morning and welcome to the forum!

What you need to do is figure out what type of camping you want to do! If you boondock than there are several different items you would need.

I do not boondock so, I do not carry a generator this is extra weight to me that I do not need.

We do stay in campgrounds with full hook-ups.

So, these are my requirements for the trailer as far as tools and general trailer needs.

Just the standard 50 Amp cord that the trailer is furnished with 25'. I adjust the trailer to fit the power cord since my power cord inlet is on the side of my trailer. I have a 50Amp surge protector that is portable, I lock this in place. I do have some adapters to allow me to combined a 20 amp and 30 amp service to 50 amp for my needs. I also have a 15amp rated extension cord 25' long. 25' of cable wire for the cable TV connections when available.

Plastic and wood blocks to support the hydraulic stabilizer on my trailer. Some campgrounds are now requiring pads under the stabilizer when set up. Wheel chocks are also used to prevent roll back.

I have two 25' water hoses for the fresh water inlet and full house water filter with a adjustable water regulator. I use a y-type connector at the water spigot so, I can connect a black water flush hose when needed. The black water flush hose is a 50' garden hose. I also carry a 10quart water pail for my needs.

I have 50' of sewer hose. I have used all of this length at least once when camping. But I usually get by between 10 and 20 feet of sewer hose. I have purchased over the years several sewer hoses that interconnect in 10' lengths. They are usually sold in 20' sets so, when one develops a leak I keep the good 10' section. I use the support plastic slinky to keep the sewer hose off of the ground. I also have two clear plastic connectors that allow you to rinse the sewer hose. One is 45deg and the other is straight.

My tool kit includes basic hand tools plus a multimeter and a simple circuit tester. I do carry 12 gage and 14 gage wiring with the appropriate wire terminals plus wire nuts. Also electrical tape and general duck tape. I also have some Eternabond tape for roof repairs if needed. I have low cost electric drill and drills for my needs. I do have a torque wrench to cheek lug not torque when changing tires. I have small boxes for extra fuses, light bulbs, batteries and a collection of fasteners that RV's use.

I also have an axe and a poker for wood fires outside.

I carry everything in plastic-rubber maid totes in the basement to keep things straight.

These are just my needs yours could and will be different depending on your style of camping.
Jim & Jill
Sold: 2010 318SAB Cougar:New: 2016 Cedar Creek 34RL. 2008 Dodge 6.7LCummins the original 6.7L engine, w/68RFE Auto
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Old 12-09-2019, 10:26 AM   #6
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Hi & welcome! Hope you find the perfect 5er for your needs!

A lot of your questions depend on which 5th wheel you buy. Larger 5ers will be 50A and it would be good to have a 50A extension cord, maybe 25'.

I highly recommend a good quality EMS system to protect the electrical components in the RV. I would go with the EMS series from Progressive Industries which protect you against any kind of AC problem, not just surges. You will pay about $300 to $350 but they are well worth the investment. Replacing all the electrical equipment in your 5er can be REALLY expensive!

I would carry all the basic tools but don't go overboard! If you run into a need for something you don't have then you can probably borrow one from the campground maintenance department where you are staying.

Most toilets drop the "stuff" straight down into the black tank and is unlikely to get clogged. The sewer outlet from the black tank can get clogged if you don't take the proper measures to prevent it. Lots of folks just use lots of water. I have been using Happy Camper organic tank treatment for 19 years and never have any clogs or odors!

You definitely need to carry reflective triangles in case of a breakdown on the road.

I would highly recommend a Roadside Assistance Plan such as CoachNet, Good Sam, FMCA, etc. I have been with Good Sam for 19 years but will be changing to FMCA at the next anniversary date. Their plan is a lot less expensive and the membership offers other important features.

I would carry 20' of sewer hose with a 45-degree clear fitting so you can see when the water coming out is clear. A sewer folding hose support is great to have also. In fact many parks now require them!

A good quality water pressure regulator is a must! The cheap ones restrict the water flow too much. I use the Fairview regulator which allows full flow from the spigot and provides 55 PSI pressure to the RV.

You'll need two water hoses, one for the freshwater hookup and another for general purpose, including black tank flushing if you rig has it. I recommend the Zero-G hoses. They flatten out and can even be rolled up on a portable reel for storage. They are safe for drinking water and carry a 5-year warranty. I would get a 25' for the freshwater and 50' for the general purpose.

I would get a set of tire covers also to prevent damage from the sun when parked for long periods. I use them any time I will be parked for more than a couple of days.

It would be great if you can get a 5er with a leveling system built in! Otherwise you are going to need a set of leveling blocks.

Hope this helps! Good luck, happy trails, and God bless!
Joe & Annette

2002 Monaco Windsor 40PBT, 2013 Honda CRV AWD
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Old 12-09-2019, 11:12 AM   #7
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You can buy a cheap tool kit at harbor freight.
Better to be prepared!
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Old 12-09-2019, 11:16 AM   #8
Join Date: Nov 2019
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You don't want to take so much stuff that you need a trailer to haul it. Extra parts and tools that would seldom be used 'just in case' adds weight and takes away storage. I carry a small craftsman tool kit that includes sockets and wrenches. Duct tape (of course) and screwdrivers and pliers. A bottle jack that will work on your vehicle. Very little else.
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Old 12-09-2019, 12:00 PM   #9
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I wouldn't buy anything until you get the rv. If you are buying used, it might come with everything you need. If you are buying a new trailer, order it with a generator.
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Old 12-09-2019, 01:37 PM   #10
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Welcome to the forum.

You are joining a good group of folks here with good info to share. Read the various threads and ask questions as they come up.

All good advice given above. First off wait till you get your rig and see what comes with it before buying all kinds of stuff that you won't need.

Yes you will need an extension cord. Is your rig 30 amp or 50 amp and get the appropriate one, and a 50 footer at that. We have used ours a half a dozen times already.

Second an EMS system (Progressive) to manage your electricity. NOT just the surge protector that will come with the rig. Ours has saved our system 3 times already over the last two years.

Good luck and enjoy the adventure!
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2016 Veloster Toad
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Old 12-09-2019, 05:59 PM   #11
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Grand Design Owners Club
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Posts: 12
Thanks for all the great info.
As far as tools are concerned there aren't many tools I don't own so downsizing is my problem.
I'll go out to the dealership and look at what they have for sewer hoses.
I also have been creating a wish list on Amazon which I have given to my kids for Xmas.
I thought I would use 50' of my hose from my house but it's 1" around and very heavy and doesn't wind up very small so I'll be looking for more compact hoses.
Are there special hoses for drinking water than for black water.
I'm buying a new 5th wheel so I'm starting from scratch.

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Old 12-09-2019, 06:19 PM   #12
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Yes, there are drinking hoses and regular hoses. Usually the white ones are for drinking- but look at the label. any hose can be used for anything else besides drinking. Here's a thought- consider an Autoformer (which now has surge protection as well). It's main purpose is to boost voltage- which is probably the biggest issue in parks. Like others have said- wait to see what you'll need for the other things. Talk to fellow campers too and watch what they use....you'll get some good ideas there sometimes. Have a fun time shopping- I know we did!
2008 Winnebago Sightseer 35-J
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Old 12-09-2019, 06:27 PM   #13
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There's a video done by an experienced blogger that deals with tools- have a look:


You can obviously pare down from what he shows here (I sure did). Again, have fun....
2008 Winnebago Sightseer 35-J
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Old 12-09-2019, 09:58 PM   #14
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Extension cord for RV; I've been camping since the 1970's, only used an extension cord 2X up to today. You don't need to spend the money for a 50A extension cord, buy a 30A instead. You can manage your electrical usage for the very few times it will be required. Use the money saved to buy something else you really need.

2000 Winnebago Ultimate Freedom USQ40JD, ISC 8.3 Cummins 350, Spartan MM Chassis. USA IN 1SG 11B5MX,Infantry retired;Good Sam Life member,FMCA." My fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country. John F. Kennedy
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