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Old 02-26-2012, 09:10 AM   #1
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Newbe-big trip= panic

Hi all. We are taking our first BIG trip after buying our 08 27 ft Lexington Class C (B+) last summer. A short Indiana trip and some couple hour away tailgates are what we have under our belts but spring break (we teach) will be Memphis and New Orleans. I have a couple hours of searching here (obviously a lot of distractions with other threads) and am looking for thread(s) that spell out what a beginner should and should not do. I know it's vague but simple stuff like what to run when (I saw the run a generator while traveling thread). Is there a newbe thread for first big trips or????
Questions such as:
Do you run the fridge on propane or electric mostly?
Do you stay on battery when you can and only run the generator when needed? (Just fire it up for the microwave and then shut down?
Do you dump whenever you have the chance or just wait til close to full?
Sleeping at night when it's cold or hot. Run the generator or ???
For that matter what can run off battery and how low should you let it discharge before firing up the generator?
I know if you are in a campground or RV park you have the electricity so it is a moot point but as I am a big proponent of not driving tired, I may be doing some quick naps or stops when I feel I need to and we may not have electric hook up.
What is generator etiquette. OK in truck stops or not. Walmarts? Ours seems noisy so I don't want to irritate too many people.
What is truck stop and rest stop etiquette?
It would be great if there was a newbe post area (there may be but I'm not seeing it) and with so much info, I'm having a hard time navigating.
Sorry for the long post but the end of March is coming soon and I want this to be a great 9 days. Thanks all for your patience (If you read this far)
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Old 02-26-2012, 09:26 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sciguy6 View Post
Do you run the fridge on propane or electric mostly?
I run on electric, and turn it off while driving, unless we are driving a long way. Then I'll run it on propane.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sciguy6 View Post
Do you stay on battery when you can and only run the generator when needed? (Just fire it up for the microwave and then shut down?
When I'm boondocking, yes. Run the genset a while to charge up the batteries, run on battery the rest of the time. This assumes I don't need to run AC to keep cool. If it's hot, I'll run the genny as needed to be comfortable.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sciguy6 View Post
Do you dump whenever you have the chance or just wait til close to full?
I let it get 3/4 full at least. It dumps better and stays healthier that way.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sciguy6 View Post
Sleeping at night when it's cold or hot. Run the generator or ???
I do what I have to do to be comfortable while considering my neighbors. Generally, if you're hot and running your genny, your neighbors will be too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sciguy6 View Post
For that matter what can run off battery and how low should you let it discharge before firing up the generator?
There are some people here that know battery systems much better than I do, but I generally try to never let my batteries get below 50% before I recharge them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sciguy6 View Post
I know if you are in a campground or RV park you have the electricity so it is a moot point but as I am a big proponent of not driving tired, I may be doing some quick naps or stops when I feel I need to and we may not have electric hook up.
What is generator etiquette. OK in truck stops or not. Walmarts? Ours seems noisy so I don't want to irritate too many people.
What is truck stop and rest stop etiquette?
Different situation every time. In general, with neighbors near by, I try not to run my genny unless I have to. RVers all understand the need for electricity. Run the genny when you need it, use your batteries as much as you can.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sciguy6 View Post
It would be great if there was a newbe post area (there may be but I'm not seeing it) and with so much info, I'm having a hard time navigating.
Sorry for the long post but the end of March is coming soon and I want this to be a great 9 days. Thanks all for your patience (If you read this far)
Have fun!
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Old 02-26-2012, 09:43 AM   #3
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Pretty good answers Ranblin has provided . Only thing I can add is that everyone who RVs has had that first 'long trip'. Don't worry, just do it. If things start falling apart, then you can always turn around and head home. Take a small tool box with some basic tools like vise grips, adjustable wrench, screwdrivers, multimeter (or a least a test light) and a roll of duct tape.
I try to keep a roll of electrical wire (small gauge single wire), not so much to repair wiring, but it works well to tie things in place. Had strong quartering winds in Wyoming a couple of summers ago and the slide topper kept billowing out. Pulled in and tied the topper into a stable position with some of this wire. I also keep a drill/scewdriver in the box. Makes turning those screws a lot easier.
Have fun!
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Old 02-26-2012, 10:08 AM   #4
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Wow, I love it. I know Jeep owners and Corvette owners are a tight bunch and the help (and forums are great) but this is a record. Thanks doc and Ramblin for the quick (and informative) response. Great forum and it looks like RV's will pay it forward. Thanks bunches. Will let you know how it goes after.
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Old 02-26-2012, 10:12 AM   #5
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Hi sciguy6,
Here are my answers based on how I use my coach.

Do you run the fridge on propane or electric mostly?
When traveling the fridge is on propane. When in a CG the fridge is on electric.

Do you stay on battery when you can and only run the generator when needed? (Just fire it up for the microwave and then shut down?)
The generator is used only when needed.

Do you dump whenever you have the chance or just wait til close to full?
When the black tank is 3/4 or more is when I dump. I try to get the grey tank as full as possible to flush the sewer line after dumping the black tank.

Sleeping at night when it's cold or hot. Run the generator or ???
I stay in CGs. I have no need for the generator for HVAC except in a rest area (for lunch break) or when traveling down the road and the temp can not be controlled by the dash HVAC.

For that matter what can run off battery and how low should you let it discharge before firing up the generator?
Do not let the coach battery(s) go below 12.0 VDC.

I know if you are in a campground or RV park you have the electricity so it is a moot point but as I am a big proponent of not driving tired, I may be doing some quick naps or stops when I feel I need to and we may not have electric hook up. What is generator etiquette. OK in truck stops or not. Walmarts? Ours seems noisy so I don't want to irritate too many people.
When stopped in a rest area, I run the generator, if needed.

What is truck stop and rest stop etiquette?
Can not speak to this as I do not use truck stops or rest areas for an overnight stop. My assumption is slides remain in. Generator use would be a personal preference. If one needs it, use it. The exhaust from some propane furnaces sounds like a large blow torch. About the same noise as a small generator.
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Old 02-26-2012, 10:14 AM   #6
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Hi and welcome to the fun life! Just a few comments to add.

Batteries will live longer if kept above 70%. I dump before driving to reduce weight and stress on the tanks. Watch your grey water tank level. It will overflow into the shower. When parked on private property, I water a tree with mine. Camco makes a sewer cap that has a garden hose attachment.

If there are other RVers nearby, do what they do. And say howdy. They could be a valueable resource of info. Most of all, enjoy! You will figure it out fast.
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Old 02-26-2012, 10:28 AM   #7
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Most of your questions have been answered. You will learn some preferences of your own as you travel. Have fun and enjoy your trip.

One experience we had early on and learned from it. Staying overnight with furnace running and waking up in the middle of the night cold and without power. Furnace ran down the battery.
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Old 02-26-2012, 10:50 AM   #8
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Good answers to your questions but you have to remember what works for someone else may not be convenient to you. You'll learn as you go and adjust to the situation. Relax and enjoy your trip. Be safe and Happy Motoring!!!
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