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Old 02-27-2013, 12:11 PM   #1
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 197
RV Accessories Discussion Debate

Hello all,

My DW and I have now purchased our new to us Tiffin RED and need to equip it with some items. Now I realize we have a great group of folks here with vast experience and knowledge. I have always appreciated assistance from the wise and experienced. I know we will make a few mistakes along the way, but really like to learn from others. So I thought I would see if any of you have any new opinions for items that should be bought or avoided. I have researched the older posts and do see some advice. I realized some choices are personal, but I would like to hear them as well. What I am thinking is pros and cons or possibly gotta buy advice as well as stay away!.

I am hoping this discussion will benefit others so I will just outline what we have purchased so far and items we are thinking about. I am not a softy so go ahead and tell us if you think. Pros and Cons! Sorry for the lengthy post, but maybe you are in storm with nothing to do!

Profiles

Primary Driver: 6'4" 225 (ok I could be down to 200) will be turning 50 this year.
MY DW: 5'4" (If you think I am going to put her weight down I have some land to sell you in the everglades) However, I will say she is in great shape and hopes to stay that way during the trip! She is a few years younger than I.

3 dogs we have rescued over the years. I told the DW that I only wanted 1 dog and absolutely no more than 2. We have 3.

Jake (Australian Shepherd) - Likes 5 mile walks and shakes with any wind or storms. Will run like crazy if given the option

Nikki (Black German Shepherd -maybe some lab in the mix not sure). We rescued her the day she was going to be put down. Sweetest dog I have owned. Looks scary but licks our cat's face and loves kids (more about the cat later)

Shorty (Corgie, Golden Retriever, Basset hound) - Would clone this one if I could. He looks like a miniature golden. We could not part with him after we found him.

Annie (14 year old cat that was feral and will only let me touch her once in a while. She came with the DW. Lobbying aggressively with the DW to convince her parents take care of her during our trip. We are concerned she will run off during the trip. Should have made that a part of the car deal. I am not a cat person really. In the DW hands.

Motorhome

Tiffin 2010 RED 34 (somewhat limited space compared to the tag axle crowd).

Toad: Not purchased. Sold my Avalon to DW's Father (for a deal - Karma thing but should have include the cat). Thinking about the following for 4 wheels down (year and model not determined):

Jeep Wrangler (more fun)
Honda CRV (more practical)
Toyota Yaris (great deal)

We own a Acura MDX 2007 but from what I can tell it cannot be equipped to tow and will probably be too heavy. Our Rig will tow 5000 lbs. 340 cummins but a downgraded Allison Transmission.

Any other Toad options to consider? Needs to be Hatchback or similar for the dogs.

Thinking of Blue OX tow bar (used if I can find it) and related plate.

Break Assist -- Break Buddy or Air Force. Both seem a bit pricy.

Also, thought about just hooking the mountain bikes on the back and renting a car as needed for a while.

The Trip

Plan to depart in April and head west staying below the weather if possible. We need to be in Portland OR area mid July for DW's brother's wedding in Willamette Valley wine country. Have not determined any routes yet. Would love to hear your suggestions. Only pressure date is to make Portland by July.

Navigation

Toys in hand:

MS Streets and Trips 2013. (no GPS for Laptop just the software)
Ipad 1 with GPS
Old GPS from Garmin with small screen (emergency use or for Toad)
Google Maps and Earth (price is right)

Considering the following additional options:

GPS:
Garmin Series large screen model with Truck routing
Rand McNally 7" RV GPS (TND 720) a bit pricy
Garmin 5 " regular model from Costco (save dollars)

Or possibly just take the money and trade in the old IPAD for a new one and get a top navigation application like
Rand McNally, Tom Tom, Copilot etc (Just afraid it will be in DW hands all the time! )


Maps:

Rand McNally Truckers spiral bound maps
Ditto except no spiral or laminate (much lower price, but you get what you pay for)
Rand McNally Road Atlas (spiral or just bound) Again, cheaper than commercial version.

RV Tools and Mechanical and other infrastructure items on board

Ok canvas is open for suggestions. I have to make sure space is considered.

Items on board:

General tool kit with various sockets, screw drivers etc.
Fuses
Multimeter
2 water hoses (one kink free 50 and one 15)
2 sewer hoses (one Camco and another 20 foot with adapters)
1 regular hose for washing etc.
RV cleaning Brush and bucket
Vent pillows
25 foot extension cord (20 amp style)
30/50 amp converter
20/30 amp converter
Surge Guard (already hard wired to the rig)
4 2 x12 board for the jacks
Duct Tape



Considering:

Dicor Self leveling sealent for roof
DAP 330 for sealing windows
Vent Covers over my fantastic fans (understand they need to be for vents with the fans or so is the debate)
50amp extension (price and space a consideration here)
Wireless Thermometer with multiple nodes to make sure the bays are warm, the temp outside and the humidity inside is correct. Model not determined.
Leveling block system like Camco 44505 RV Leveling Blocks set of 10. Do I need more?
Airhose for inflating tires
TPMS - Is it worth the money and what is your recommended system?
Solar Panels (May wait for AM Solar to install in Oregon)
Battery minder for the Chassis batts.


Electronics

The rig came equipped with a just about everything. No outside entertainment. During our shake down trip we were next to someone with a tv outside and it was a bit annoying. The rig also has a Wineguard sat antenna on the roof (not in motion).

We have very nice Bluetooth Panasonic player that we plan to take along for outside listening when it will not disturb others. The rig has hook up for outside TV. It does seem like it would be nice for tailgating or when the inside seem just too confining and we are boondocking in the desert. Do you like having an outside entertainment option or is just more unnecessary weight? Thinking about a cheap led TV that could run on 12 volts.

Dish or Direct TV? I have HD tvs in the rig and heard Direct will not support HD with current antenna, but Dish will. Can we just live with broadcast tv?

Telecommunications

Toys we have:

Ipad 1 with GPS and Data (2 Gigs per month ATT)
Cheap Lenovo Laptop
Iphone 4s
Cheap prepaid phone (mine and DW complains that I need a smart phone) Its only 45 a month all you eat (data is terrible and I just use for the phone and text)
Kindle
Roku

Considering:

Millenicom Hot Spot (20 Gig Plan)
Wilson Omni Cellular Trucker Antenna
Some sort of amplifier for 4G
Selling the Ipad and upgrading Ipad 3 with full navigation apps
Purchasing Apple TV
Dumping my prepaid phone for a new Iphone (either the 5 or the 4s for free) and putting that on my wife's plan and reducing the data to a minimum.
Thought about the Samsung Galaxy iii, but with all the apps we have on Itunes operating system, figured that would be a complication. Anyone have any thoughts on this?


Campground Furniture and paraphernalia


Chairs - Gravity lounger style or simple camping chairs? I see a great deal of folks in the gravity lounger and many options. I am concerned they will take up a bunch of space. Are they worth it? If so, what model is preferred.

I found some interesting camping chairs at REI on sale that were 10 lbs. as well as matching table also 10 lbs.

Table for boondocking. I am looking at coleman folding table as well as one of those rolling tables. Do you really need a dining table? The REI one above is 22/22/22 approximately and will hold my drinks and plate for the 2 of us. I am thinking we see if it works before we consider more. It does seem like most all camps have tables.

Other items

Rug (purchased at Costco great deal and lightweight)
Door mat: (ditto, but its rubber backed and heavy) It will not blow away, but I wonder if its too heavy)
Table cloth and clips
Grill brush and cooking utensils

Considering a portable Grill - Coleman or Weber? Or just go with a cheaper one from Sams or Costco. I assume I will need a connect to run off my propane.


Kitchen

Pots and Pans - have many options here, but really need to pair down to what we really need. We have gas stove top and convection microwave.

French Press for boondocking

Coffee Maker Drip for when hooked up.

Crock pot - Everyone seems to want one. Small or large?

Induction Electric plate - Ok I bought it already. I love it and think it will be nice for cooking outside. Tantung 1500 watt.


Staying warm options

The rig has heat pumps and a double furnace. It will heat up, but can be loud. I have purchased 2 cheap (12 dollar) space heaters from Walmart. Tested one on cold night and it worked ok. These are very lightweight and will cut off when tipped.

The rig has single pane windows (my first dig against it after I purchased - Cold and loud). I am thinking of Reflectix for the windows for insulation. Any thoughts?

Electric mattress pads or blankets. Any thoughts on 12 models vs regular home units? Wife will not sleep under them, so I may just punt and bring the down comforter.

Thinking about one of those Mr. Buddy heaters and having a gas outlet installed (seems costly but would be nice for boondocking)

Dealing with Dogs on Site

I figure I need some type of suspended line that I can let them run a bit. Otherwise they will swarm any new folks walking and particularly like to meet new dogs. Has anyone use a run line at sites?

Do you think 3 dogs will pose a problem at some campgrounds? (We always clean up after them!)

Other Suggestions


Please feel free to add items I have not considered or tell me to hold off on stuff. I realize this list is exhaustive and somewhat of a wish list.

Finally the items we do not need but really want:

Bikes (have 2 mountain bikes) Do you normally hook them to the toad or can they be mounted on the rig between the toad?
Kayak (s). Considering inflatables. Would like to hook up hard body kayaks to the toad, but it seems like that is too much to deal with at each site. Also, figure I can rent most places if necessary. I see some people bringing Kayaks and looks like they are overloaded with toys. However, I do see some sweet places to explore.


Thanks again for any comments and suggestions or opinions. This group is has been a fantastic resource and such great people. Look forward to meeting up with you.
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Old 02-27-2013, 01:44 PM   #2
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Sounds like you should be giving suggestions to others rather than asking for it! Since you said "new to you"... do you have an exended warranty?
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Old 02-27-2013, 01:49 PM   #3
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Wow, great post it looks like a lot of thought has gone into this. So, I'll only comment on things that I can relate to.

Quote:
Originally Posted by deasnealy View Post
3 dogs we have rescued over the years. I told the DW that I only wanted 1 dog and absolutely no more than 2. We have 3.
We also travel with three dogs, all beagles (actually two beagles and a doxyl or weagle). It wouldn't be traveling without our pups, although they can be a handful at times. We carry with us three portable dog fences that can be connected together into a fairly large circle. We have the 36" high ones, but they can be bought in 48" height. They love this. They can sit outside while we're there and enjoy the outdoors. I would never leave them in this when I left, but while we are outside, they do love it. Inside, they've gotten used to the motorhome so they just lay around during the day and sleep, they're really no problem and we've not run into any problems in campgrounds. Remember to turn the driver seat around away from the steering wheel as my beagles like to use the steering wheel as a "prop" to look out the windshield. Having your horn go off when you're not there is NOT something you want to happen

Quote:
Originally Posted by deasnealy View Post
Tiffin 2010 RED 34 (somewhat limited space compared to the tag axle crowd).
Toad: Not purchased. Sold my Avalon to DW's Father (for a deal - Karma thing but should have include the cat). Thinking about the following for 4 wheels down (year and model not determined):
Jeep Wrangler (more fun)
Honda CRV (more practical)
Toyota Yaris (great deal)
I'm a Jeep fan and have owned three. I'm currently towing a 2006 Jeep Commander. I can hook it up and be on the road in minutes. I've never owned a Honda and rented a Yaris once and hated it. If you want something to haul the dogs in, you can't beat a Grand Cherokee. Buy one of those dog fences that goes across the back area. I'm using a Falcon tow bar (the kind that stows on the motorhome) and I'd recommend something similar. It stays on the motorhome and you don't have to mess with it. I'm also using a Brake Buddy that I purchased used off Ebay. It's not fancy but it does the job. I paid $250 for mine.

Quote:
Originally Posted by deasnealy View Post
Toys in hand:
MS Streets and Trips 2013. (no GPS for Laptop just the software)
Ipad 1 with GPS
Old GPS from Garmin with small screen (emergency use or for Toad)
Google Maps and Earth (price is right)
Considering the following additional options:
GPS:
Garmin Series large screen model with Truck routing
Rand McNally 7" RV GPS (TND 720) a bit pricy
Garmin 5 " regular model from Costco (save dollars)
Or possibly just take the money and trade in the old IPAD for a new one and get a top navigation application like
Rand McNally, Tom Tom, Copilot etc (Just afraid it will be in DW hands all the time! )
Maps:
Rand McNally Truckers spiral bound maps
Ditto except no spiral or laminate (much lower price, but you get what you pay for)
Rand McNally Road Atlas (spiral or just bound) Again, cheaper than commercial version.)
Wow, that's a lot of stuff. I use a Garmin Nuvi which is perfect for me, A Walmart Atlas (that lists all the Walmart locations along with maps) and the Exit Authority. I also have a lot of apps on my iPhone that I use extensively (Camp Finder, Waze, iRV2, DAT Trucker Services), Woodalls, Gas Buddy and Woodalls. I've just never found a need for one of those big GPS and like you, find them pricey.

Sounds like you're covered pretty good on the tools. I'd DEFINITELY recommend a TPMS system. I have the TireTraker TMPS:

TireTraker TPMS

It works well and was reasonably priced. No problems whatsoever.

Othere things you mentioned were chairs. I honestly prefer nice bag chairs, they're easy to stow and don't take up much space. I two have two reclining chairs that are nice but I don't find particularly comfortable NOR easy to move. Bag chairs are just nice campfire chairs that are easily carried. We also do have a folding table we keep in the basement. It may come out once a year. When you need one, they're nice but it's not something we use very often.

One thing you didn't mention is some good ERS (emergency road service) plan. We use Coach-Net. I think Good Sam is also pretty good and they are offering a deal right now.

Something else you mentioned were single pane windows. Personally, I've seen so many fogged double panes I'm happy I don't have them However, I did tint my windows nearly limo black on the sides. That really gives me some privacy and tremendously cut down on the heat. Also, I'd recommend a windshield cover. I LOVE my Prompt RV Sunscreen. I can install it standing on the ground in about 30 seconds. You can see them here (and what is looks like installed in my Avatar pic).

RV Sunscreen | No More Snaps, Drilling or Climbing

My advice is to get what you think you're going to need, then go somewhere for the weekend that's close to either Camping World or Wally World and just camp. You'll quickly realize things that you either need or want
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2006 Jeep Commander
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Old 02-27-2013, 02:09 PM   #4
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That is a lot to think about...

Yes to the TPMS, I bought the TST 507 System, seems to be a good system.

Air Compressor to fill all of those big tires every morning... I didn't buy the flow-through sensors, so every time I check tire pressures I have to remove the sensors...lesson learned.

We have a set of walkie talkies so that when I am backing up my wife is guiding me, when I am pulling into the gas station, my wife is guiding me, when I pull into a dump station...my wife is guiding me...

I have four folding chairs and a XXL Teton Cot for the campsite...along with the other stuff for camping...

Oh it is so much fun outfitting a new motor home...I've been working at outfitting mine for about 3 months now...and loving it...
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Old 02-27-2013, 03:38 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StevieG View Post
Sounds like you should be giving suggestions to others rather than asking for it! Since you said "new to you"... do you have an exended warranty?
Thank you for the vote of confidence. I have been studying a year on this and now about the begin the experience journey. Figured there were a few bits of wisdom I could get from this group before the trial and error period.

No. I have not yet considered an extended warranty. I know there are debates about getting one vs putting the money you pay for one in bank and using that to pay for the repairs. I purchased Tiffin because of their excellent tract record for working with you on matters that are defective. I am on the fence on getting one as I keep hearing folks say that most items that break are not included. Did you get one? What are your thoughts on warranties?
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Old 02-27-2013, 03:50 PM   #6
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Mark,

Thanks for the thoughts. I forgot about the road service. I ended up with Allstate as I have found out that they actually provide the back office service to Goodsam's and I have all my insurance with them. Helps a bit on leverage if something is not handled properly. I have heard good things about Coach net and will consider if I have a problem.

The Walmart atlas is probably a great thought. All I really want is to make sure I not hitting a road that will cause me heartburn and possible loss of an ac unit or 2! I bet its price is better and I like having the walmart locations. I did download a big POI file for the MS streets and trips that has them on along with other dry camping sites.

I will look into tiretracker. I think the piece of mind of seeing an issue is well worth it. I have also consider a steer safe to help with blow outs and fatigue.

Never thought of Tinting the windows. I assume any qualified tint shop can do it or did you install yourself? I have heard about all the fogged windows. I do have double pane on my door and only assume it was how they handled the production and was not cost efficient to eliminate the door double panes in production.

On the GPS, I was just throwing options. I would rather have one nice option. I am overloaded with gadgets.

Thanks so much for the input. Looking forward to the adventure.
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Old 02-27-2013, 03:54 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oscar Mike View Post
That is a lot to think about...

Yes to the TPMS, I bought the TST 507 System, seems to be a good system.

Air Compressor to fill all of those big tires every morning... I didn't buy the flow-through sensors, so every time I check tire pressures I have to remove the sensors...lesson learned.

We have a set of walkie talkies so that when I am backing up my wife is guiding me, when I am pulling into the gas station, my wife is guiding me, when I pull into a dump station...my wife is guiding me...

I have four folding chairs and a XXL Teton Cot for the campsite...along with the other stuff for camping...

Oh it is so much fun outfitting a new motor home...I've been working at outfitting mine for about 3 months now...and loving it...
Thanks so much. I forgot to list the Walkie talkies. We got those so we do the same. One lesson learned was that our personalities tend to respond before the other finishes. Guess what. Does not work on WT's. Love it. We have to go old school and complete communications with over!

Lessons in communications in many ways!

Thanks for the tip on the flow through sensors. That would be worth it as we plan to check before each departure.
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Old 02-27-2013, 04:12 PM   #8
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I am a huge Jeep fan, currently have 2012 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited. This is and excellent tow vehicle, a bit on the heavy side, and not the best gas milage. However lots of fun, can tackle any trail that you can drive on. Also the Unlimited Wrangler has 4 doors and is 20 inches longer than the standard Wrangler so there is plenty of room for the dogs, and with the longer wheel base the ride is much smother, although you still know you are driving a Jeep.
If you are considering a Jeep Wrangler I would suggest a 2012 or newer version, there was a major engine change in 2012. This new engine has substantially more power than earlier models which were under powered. Also the new engine gets better milage, althought it is still not a strong point.
In regard to camping equipment, get a camp chair that is comfortable, try them out to be sure. I am about your size plus a few pounds, and find it difficult to find a chair that is portable enough to carry in the motorhome and still comfortable. When I find one that meets those requirements I buy it.
Good luck.
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Old 02-27-2013, 04:20 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deasnealy View Post
Mark,

The Walmart atlas is probably a great thought. All I really want is to make sure I not hitting a road that will cause me heartburn and possible loss of an ac unit or 2! I bet its price is better and I like having the walmart locations. I did download a big POI file for the MS streets and trips that has them on along with other dry camping sites.

I will look into tiretracker. I think the piece of mind of seeing an issue is well worth it. I have also consider a steer safe to help with blow outs and fatigue.

Never thought of Tinting the windows. I assume any qualified tint shop can do it or did you install yourself? I have heard about all the fogged windows. I do have double pane on my door and only assume it was how they handled the production and was not cost efficient to eliminate the door double panes in production.

On the GPS, I was just throwing options. I would rather have one nice option. I am overloaded with gadgets.

Thanks so much for the input. Looking forward to the adventure.
Sounds like a great time! Actually I did tint my windows myself. It was a huge job and cost me about $100 bucks. They're not "perfect" but you'd have to get right up on them to see any defects. Generally, it's the lint that will drive you crazy. Anyway, I thought I'd give it a try. I'm generally happy and it made a big difference.
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Old 02-27-2013, 09:26 PM   #10
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Thanks Larry. My deal with DW is that if I sell our auto to her Dad for a deal, I could get a Jeep if I want it. I will look into the larger Wrangler and thanks for the tips on the 2012. I assume the underpower was with the 4 door and not the 2 door. I really wish they had the old Jeep (cannot recall the model) that had a pickup like area but was still 2 doors.

Appreciate your thoughts
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Old 02-28-2013, 07:32 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deasnealy View Post
Hello all,

My DW and I have now purchased our new to us Tiffin RED and need to equip it with some items. Now I realize we have a great group of folks here with vast experience and knowledge. I have always appreciated assistance from the wise and experienced. I know we will make a few mistakes along the way, but really like to learn from others. So I thought I would see if any of you have any new opinions for items that should be bought or avoided. I have researched the older posts and do see some advice. I realized some choices are personal, but I would like to hear them as well. What I am thinking is pros and cons or possibly gotta buy advice as well as stay away!.

I am hoping this discussion will benefit others so I will just outline what we have purchased so far and items we are thinking about. I am not a softy so go ahead and tell us if you think. Pros and Cons! Sorry for the lengthy post, but maybe you are in storm with nothing to do!

Profiles

Primary Driver: 6'4" 225 (ok I could be down to 200) will be turning 50 this year.
MY DW: 5'4" (If you think I am going to put her weight down I have some land to sell you in the everglades) However, I will say she is in great shape and hopes to stay that way during the trip! She is a few years younger than I.

3 dogs we have rescued over the years. I told the DW that I only wanted 1 dog and absolutely no more than 2. We have 3.

Jake (Australian Shepherd) - Likes 5 mile walks and shakes with any wind or storms. Will run like crazy if given the option

Nikki (Black German Shepherd -maybe some lab in the mix not sure). We rescued her the day she was going to be put down. Sweetest dog I have owned. Looks scary but licks our cat's face and loves kids (more about the cat later)

Shorty (Corgie, Golden Retriever, Basset hound) - Would clone this one if I could. He looks like a miniature golden. We could not part with him after we found him.

Annie (14 year old cat that was feral and will only let me touch her once in a while. She came with the DW. Lobbying aggressively with the DW to convince her parents take care of her during our trip. We are concerned she will run off during the trip. Should have made that a part of the car deal. I am not a cat person really. In the DW hands.

Motorhome

Tiffin 2010 RED 34 (somewhat limited space compared to the tag axle crowd).

Toad: Not purchased. Sold my Avalon to DW's Father (for a deal - Karma thing but should have include the cat). Thinking about the following for 4 wheels down (year and model not determined):

Jeep Wrangler (more fun)
Honda CRV (more practical)
Toyota Yaris (great deal)

We own a Acura MDX 2007 but from what I can tell it cannot be equipped to tow and will probably be too heavy. Our Rig will tow 5000 lbs. 340 cummins but a downgraded Allison Transmission.

Any other Toad options to consider? Needs to be Hatchback or similar for the dogs.

Thinking of Blue OX tow bar (used if I can find it) and related plate.

Break Assist -- Break Buddy or Air Force. Both seem a bit pricy.

Also, thought about just hooking the mountain bikes on the back and renting a car as needed for a while.

The Trip

Plan to depart in April and head west staying below the weather if possible. We need to be in Portland OR area mid July for DW's brother's wedding in Willamette Valley wine country. Have not determined any routes yet. Would love to hear your suggestions. Only pressure date is to make Portland by July.

Navigation

Toys in hand:

MS Streets and Trips 2013. (no GPS for Laptop just the software)
Ipad 1 with GPS
Old GPS from Garmin with small screen (emergency use or for Toad)
Google Maps and Earth (price is right)

Considering the following additional options:

GPS:
Garmin Series large screen model with Truck routing
Rand McNally 7" RV GPS (TND 720) a bit pricy
Garmin 5 " regular model from Costco (save dollars)

Or possibly just take the money and trade in the old IPAD for a new one and get a top navigation application like
Rand McNally, Tom Tom, Copilot etc (Just afraid it will be in DW hands all the time! )


Maps:

Rand McNally Truckers spiral bound maps
Ditto except no spiral or laminate (much lower price, but you get what you pay for)
Rand McNally Road Atlas (spiral or just bound) Again, cheaper than commercial version.

We use one good paper Atlas and our iPhones map feature.

RV Tools and Mechanical and other infrastructure items on board

Ok canvas is open for suggestions. I have to make sure space is considered.

Items on board:

General tool kit with various sockets, screw drivers etc.
Fuses Plus a good drill with bits and fittings. Used mine several times.
Multimeter
2 water hoses (one kink free 50 and one 15)
2 sewer hoses (one Camco and another 20 foot with adapters)
1 regular hose for washing etc.
RV cleaning Brush and bucket No brush. Use soft alternative.
Vent pillows
25 foot extension cord (20 amp style)
30/50 amp converter
20/30 amp converter
Surge Guard (already hard wired to the rig)
4 2 x12 board for the jacks
Duct Tape And WD-40



Considering:

Dicor Self leveling sealent for roof
DAP 330 for sealing windows
Vent Covers over my fantastic fans (understand they need to be for vents with the fans or so is the debate)
50amp extension (price and space a consideration here)
Wireless Thermometer with multiple nodes to make sure the bays are warm, the temp outside and the humidity inside is correct. Model not determined.
Leveling block system like Camco 44505 RV Leveling Blocks set of 10. Do I need more?
Airhose for inflating tires
TPMS - Is it worth the money and what is your recommended system? They are not reliable enough for me to spend money on. Plus, a hastle when airing up tires if needed.
Solar Panels (May wait for AM Solar to install in Oregon)
Battery minder for the Chassis batts.


Electronics

The rig came equipped with a just about everything. No outside entertainment. During our shake down trip we were next to someone with a tv outside and it was a bit annoying. The rig also has a Wineguard sat antenna on the roof (not in motion).

We have very nice Bluetooth Panasonic player that we plan to take along for outside listening when it will not disturb others. The rig has hook up for outside TV. It does seem like it would be nice for tailgating or when the inside seem just too confining and we are boondocking in the desert. Do you like having an outside entertainment option or is just more unnecessary weight? Thinking about a cheap led TV that could run on 12 volts. Outside TV is more show than it is useful. A CD player/radio is nice however.

Dish or Direct TV? I have HD tvs in the rig and heard Direct will not support HD with current antenna, but Dish will. Can we just live with broadcast tv?

Telecommunications

Toys we have:

Ipad 1 with GPS and Data (2 Gigs per month ATT) If you have 3G I would use this for navigation device with their map feature
Cheap Lenovo Laptop
Iphone 4s Plenty good for navigation device and there are good apps for campgrounds, Exits, eats, etc.
Cheap prepaid phone (mine and DW complains that I need a smart phone) Its only 45 a month all you eat (data is terrible and I just use for the phone and text)
Kindle
Roku

Considering:

Millenicom Hot Spot (20 Gig Plan) Probably worthwhile since you might be able to receive a signal on one device through 3G and could share with other devices thru the Hot Spot
Wilson Omni Cellular Trucker Antenna
Some sort of amplifier for 4G
Selling the Ipad and upgrading Ipad 3 with full navigation apps
Purchasing Apple TV
Dumping my prepaid phone for a new Iphone (either the 5 or the 4s for free) and putting that on my wife's plan and reducing the data to a minimum.
Thought about the Samsung Galaxy iii, but with all the apps we have on Itunes operating system, figured that would be a complication. Anyone have any thoughts on this? We're trying to figure the same thing since Jobs is gone. Not sure Apple will be able to fend off all the Android wolves lurking and circling out there. Samsung could be the heir apparent.


Campground Furniture and paraphernalia


Chairs - Gravity lounger style or simple camping chairs? I see a great deal of folks in the gravity lounger and many options. I am concerned they will take up a bunch of space. Are they worth it? If so, what model is preferred. We have two of those Camping World green director chairs and a zero gravity lounger. We would consider these a must have.

I found some interesting camping chairs at REI on sale that were 10 lbs. as well as matching table also 10 lbs.

Table for boondocking. I am looking at coleman folding table as well as one of those rolling tables. Do you really need a dining table? The REI one above is 22/22/22 approximately and will hold my drinks and plate for the 2 of us. I am thinking we see if it works before we consider more. It does seem like most all camps have tables. True, but some RV parks will not let you put your gas grill on the picnic table to cook. Good idea to carry one.

Other items

Rug (purchased at Costco great deal and lightweight)
Door mat: (ditto, but its rubber backed and heavy) It will not blow away, but I wonder if its too heavy)
Table cloth and clips
Grill brush and cooking utensils

Considering a portable Grill - Coleman or Weber? Or just go with a cheaper one from Sams or Costco. I assume I will need a connect to run off my propane. I bought the big Weber. I should have bought the small one.


Kitchen

Pots and Pans - have many options here, but really need to pair down to what we really need. We have gas stove top and convection microwave.

French Press for boondocking

Coffee Maker Drip for when hooked up.

Crock pot - Everyone seems to want one. Small or large?

Induction Electric plate - Ok I bought it already. I love it and think it will be nice for cooking outside. Tantung 1500 watt.


Staying warm options

The rig has heat pumps and a double furnace. It will heat up, but can be loud. I have purchased 2 cheap (12 dollar) space heaters from Walmart. Tested one on cold night and it worked ok. These are very lightweight and will cut off when tipped.

The rig has single pane windows (my first dig against it after I purchased - Cold and loud). I am thinking of Reflectix for the windows for insulation. Any thoughts?

Electric mattress pads or blankets. Any thoughts on 12 models vs regular home units? Wife will not sleep under them, so I may just punt and bring the down comforter.

Thinking about one of those Mr. Buddy heaters and having a gas outlet installed (seems costly but would be nice for boondocking)

Dealing with Dogs on Site

I figure I need some type of suspended line that I can let them run a bit. Otherwise they will swarm any new folks walking and particularly like to meet new dogs. Has anyone use a run line at sites?

Do you think 3 dogs will pose a problem at some campgrounds? (We always clean up after them!)

Other Suggestions


Please feel free to add items I have not considered or tell me to hold off on stuff. I realize this list is exhaustive and somewhat of a wish list.

Finally the items we do not need but really want:

Bikes (have 2 mountain bikes) Do you normally hook them to the toad or can they be mounted on the rig between the toad? Either way.
Kayak (s). Considering inflatables. Would like to hook up hard body kayaks to the toad, but it seems like that is too much to deal with at each site. Also, figure I can rent most places if necessary. I see some people bringing Kayaks and looks like they are overloaded with toys. However, I do see some sweet places to explore.


Thanks again for any comments and suggestions or opinions. This group is has been a fantastic resource and such great people. Look forward to meeting up with you.
See my responses in red above. Have a great trip.

Don
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Old 02-28-2013, 08:22 AM   #12
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Sounds like you have things pretty much under control.

Regarding the dogs, ours (a Jack Russel and a Border Collie, both rescued) are walked. Longer walks first thing in the morning and late afternoon. Then shorter walks, maybe not even leaving the campsite, more frequently. We do not like to do the longer walks within the campground as there are way too many little surprises (like free running dogs with apologetic owners) for us, so we base a lot of out campground choices on our ability to find/use walking trails or little used paths/roads.

I like Jeeps too, but we went CRV for practical reasons. My very first "foreign" car, and I love it! Big guy here too (6'2"/300). Light weight (I have a 5K lb+ PU we could have used) and easy for the dogs to get into/out of, with room for their comfort on any length trip. Mileage was a big consideration (to help offset what we get with the MH, another reason not to use the PU), and though I love getting "off trail" (have 4wd quads) I don't want to do it often enough with the toad to make the Jeep really warranted. For jaunts down the occasion 2 track, the CRV's AWD is seldom even necessary, but more of a comfort knowing it's there.

The fact our toad is very often used for 150-200 mile scenic tours/day trips meant that we needed something that was going to be comfortable. The fact it handles pretty well fun in some of the twisty windy mountain roads too.

We found a used Blue OX set up and I was able to buy the CRV adapter on close out. Ready Brake system chosen for it's complete simplicity and the fact I don't have to deal with anything inside if we need to get the CRV disconnected and out of the MH's way in a hurry (that scenario you just can't back up out of). If you haven't yet, you might want to check it out.

Oh, and we hung a hitch mounted bike rack on the back of the toad!

Best of luck!
-Al
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Old 02-28-2013, 11:54 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deasnealy View Post
...... I really wish they had the old Jeep (cannot recall the model) that had a pickup like area but was still 2 doors. .....
That was a CJ-8 Scrambler...
I came thru one of those in my jeep life
and they are still available:
https://www.google.com/search?q=cj8+scrambler+for+sale
had a cj-5, then 7, then 8 then 5.9 limited they were ALL fun and got me into some places I had no right being
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Old 02-28-2013, 03:25 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oscar Mike View Post
That is a lot to think about...

Yes to the TPMS, I bought the TST 507 System, seems to be a good system.

Air Compressor to fill all of those big tires every morning... I didn't buy the flow-through sensors, so every time I check tire pressures I have to remove the sensors...lesson learned.
Don't want hijack the thread, but I saw this and just wanted to pass on some info.
TST sells valve extensions shaped like a T. Using these you can leave your sensors on and still fill the tires. I have them and they work well. The only problem I had was with the front tires, I had to put extensions on the valve then the T, because the actual valve stem wasn't long enough. You can use Teflon tape or the blue goop, not the red stuff (I've presently forgotten their name).
Hope this helps,
Stewart
Back to the regularly scheduled thread.
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