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Old 10-31-2011, 01:34 PM   #1
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First timer Jumped in with both feet - basic education needed...

I just bought my first RV and went all the way.... a 1995 35 foot rexhall aerbus. I have never owned an RV and i'm in need of a basic education of how to run it without danger of doing ruining something. Also, there was a blowout that burst into the black water drain and though it doesn't look like it's been damaged to where it cannot be used, i don't have the experienced eye to spot a problem that may not be obvious. I bought this at a real bargain and it's in relatively good shape, but I don't have huge amounts of reserve cash so I have to do much of the repair/maintenance on my own. Any suggestions???

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Old 10-31-2011, 01:48 PM   #2
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I jst done the same 2 months ago and bought a 33ft cardinal. I have a couple of freinds that have had campers for a while. They have told me alot, but Ive learned what to look for by reading on as many forums as possible. The best advice I have gotten so far is DONT BE IN A HURRY, or something will happen. So on my first trip even with a 7 year old saying, when we goin to be there for 3 hrs,lol, I took my time. Even when get there unloading and when time to load back up, go over everything twice. Oh by the way DONT travel with bad tires, makes for a long trip.

Donny, Heather and Madison Osborne
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Old 10-31-2011, 02:44 PM   #3
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Besides filling in the gaps with all the knowledge people have here, I would suggest this book:

RV bookstore - the world's largest online RV bookstore
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Old 10-31-2011, 03:13 PM   #4
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first thing I would do is leak test the drain that you say was hit but a tire blowout fragments. Get the sewer adapter that angles down at about 32 degrees and has a hose connection on it. Also put up a sewer hose cap. Put the adapter on the RV sewer connection an the cap on the other end of the adapter. Close your tank valves and fill the drain line with water (be carefule here as the adapter amplifies the water pressure a bit. turn the water on slowly so you can monitor the flow an turn it off when full. This isn't a pressure test by any means, but if you let it sit for a while you would see if there is a leak. Other may have other ideas, but the is a relatively inexpensive way to test for leaks and you can use the parts later when camping.

But learning about RV'ing is really a process of reading what you can find and talking to people in the campgrounds you visit. Campers/RV'ers are nice people and most do not mind helping newbee's. This site is a great place for learning too. Nobody here will talk down to you or ridicule you for asking. My motto is ... the only dumb question is the one you don't ask.

I recently helped an elderly gentleman who had a 5th wheel and never hooked it up before. I talked him thru leveling, unhooking, and utility connections. When he left I gave him some tips on hooking up. Hopefully he remembers some of it and I'm sure he'll get help at his next stop.
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Old 10-31-2011, 03:19 PM   #5
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Check all your tires to see if they are seven years or older. RV tires rarely wear out the tread before they rot and blow and they'll usually take out part of the RV, too.
--2005 F350 Superduty Crewcab, 6.0, 4wd, short bed, 3.73 gears
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Old 10-31-2011, 11:41 PM   #6
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All Good suggestions... thank you. Especially the detailed ones. I'll be using this thing a LOT so I cant afford to mess it up.
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Old 11-01-2011, 04:50 AM   #7
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Congrats LawnDawg. We were in the same situation when we got our motorhome in December. Now almost a year into owning it, I can tell you this forum and the good folks here have been super helpful and friendly. I've learned so much from asking questions and sometimes just reading others questions. The forum is like a support group if you will. Wonderful people here!
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Old 11-01-2011, 04:51 AM   #8
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Oh, and make sure that black tank is sound with fresh water. You don't want to find out it's leaking after it's full of not so fresh water. You may find JB Weld and JB water weld to become your good friends.
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Old 11-01-2011, 06:00 AM   #9
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Welcome and congrats on jumping in with both feet. Almost anything you need to know can probably be answered on this forum. Good luck.
John, Deb; & our dog, Benji, Forever in our hearts.
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Old 11-01-2011, 06:12 AM   #10
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hey lawdog5000, welcome man. these forums have great advice for us newbies. it sounds like k-star has the correct advice. again, don't get in a hurry checking things out. murphey's law will bite you good.
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Old 11-01-2011, 09:30 AM   #11
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You say a blow out hit the black water drain but it appears you can still use it.

Assuming it was shipped with tanks dry.. Mix up a mixture of water and common household bleach, IN this case about 1 or 2 OZ of bleach to each FIVE GALLONS of water, Dump at least 20 gallons into the black tank.. Check for leaks (The thing about this somewhat strong bleach solution is that if it leaks,, it will be a "Clean leak"

This is the ONLY condition on which I would ever put bleach in that tank by the way. (At least in quantity)

If there are no leaks, then dump normally (Use a proper dump station) and rinse with clear water (You can use the built in flusher for that)

If it leaks.. Well, At least it was bleach water, not black water.
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Old 11-01-2011, 09:38 AM   #12
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Pictures are also very useful in helping folks understand what was damaged. If you still have a problem after following the good advice provided above, a photo may help.

Even though I'm a fifth wheel fan, I've been impressed over the years with the features that Rexhall incorporates in their rigs. Good luck and have fun!
Dave & Jo Ann
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Old 11-01-2011, 09:44 AM   #13
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I am not sure that I would want bleach leaking out of control. I believe fresh water and as little as possible would be where I would start. Chances are that a visual inspection that would show the kind of damage that a blow out would cause is all you need. Although, I think it advisable for you to do this test while at a dumping station.

I think one of the best sources to start learning about the systems onboard and learning how to use them may be your owners manual. Since yours is a 16 year old unit I do not know if you have one. I would think you could get one doing a bit of research online.
Larry B, Luckiest Dreamer
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Old 11-01-2011, 09:52 AM   #14
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Watch out for overhanging tree branches! Stay off narrow tree-lined residential streets. Even 4-lane streets have overhanging branches on the curb side. Mind this...if you don't, you could have your roof swept clean of all protruding attachments. I have done it with my camper...twice.

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