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Old 01-06-2012, 01:25 PM   #1
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college student planning to full-time to save $

Hi, I'm an older college student who just bought a 2003 Keystone Montana Mountaineer to live in full-time when I transfer to a University in Oregon in the fall. I'm new to rving, but look forward to the independence of not having to share the kitchen with roommates or deal with a landlord who decides what I can and cannot put on my walls. I also have a small dog who will hopefully be happier in a trailer than an apartment.

The trailer I bought is kind of rough and needs some repairs and maintenance, which is all new to me, but the floors and ceiling appear to be good and solid.

First on my list of repairs is the awning which rotted and tore off from accumulated debris and the bedroom full-size closet mirrors which are cracked from an unsecured tv bouncing around. Any advice and suggestions from more experienced Rvers about these, or any other, topics of RV maintenance are appreciated. I downloaded an owner's manual from the manufacturer, but its frustratingly vague. I'm still not certain how the plumbing works, or what I should be doing to maintain and preserve the batteries. Heck, I just discovered that in addition to the switches on the lights themselves there are also master switches at the entrance to the living room and bedroom that control all the lights in that room. That was a frustrating half hour.

I look forward to browsing the forums and the rest of this site to learn more about what I've bought and how best to maintain its value and livability for the 2 to 6 years that I hope to live in it while pursuing my bachelor's and master's degrees in geophysics.

Mermaid
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Old 01-06-2012, 01:34 PM   #2
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Welcome to the forum and congrats on your new purchase. There are a lot of helpful folks here so continue to browse, use the search function, and post questions in the appropriate forums.

Best of luck.

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Old 01-06-2012, 01:48 PM   #3
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It will be a lot better than most dorm rooms.
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Old 01-06-2012, 01:49 PM   #4
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Which university are you aiming for Mermaid? Not all of them have long term stay rv parks handy. U of P and PSU the nearest affordable rent RV park is the one where I live and you wouldn't be the first college student we've had.
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Old 01-06-2012, 01:57 PM   #5
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Welcome, Mermaid. Lots of good info and helpful people here.

Some scattered thoughts from the "if it were me, I'd...." vein:

-Except for removing and making sure it doesn't leak, I'd leave awning repairs till other more important things are done first.

-If you plan on moving it anytime soon, I would check to insure tires, brakes, lights/wiring were checked and made sure to be safe to continue. Moving it would presume you have something or someone to tow it safely. Check date codes on the tires, a blowout is dangerous and can cause more damage.

-One of the biggest potential causes of damage and ongoing problems is water. From the roof, from the slides, windows and the stuff coming into and out of the rig from plumbing. Attention to the quality of the roof and caulking is vital. Check any seals around windows and slides. A good rainstorn or water hose can help here.

Learn about your water system, get help from another RV'er if needed. Leaks, even small slow ones inside the rig from city water can cause lots of problems later. Get a pressure regulator to hook in line from your supply to the rig to protect against high pressure at some campgrounds.

Lots of discussions on here about electrical issues, 110VAC and the 12VDC systems in all RV's. More to learn here to keep batteries in good shape.

Try to find a friendly, knowledgeable local mentor to help you thru this stuff. The more you learn to do yourself, the less $$$ spent on service folks.

Enjoy the process,there will be hiccups but you'll learn. And congrats on what I think is a smart way to handle housing while in college.

safe travels
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Old 01-06-2012, 02:02 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jackrobinryan View Post
Welcome, Mermaid. Lots of good info and helpful people here.

Some scattered thoughts from the "if it were me, I'd...." vein:

-Except for removing and making sure it doesn't leak, I'd leave awning repairs till other more important things are done first.

-If you plan on moving it anytime soon, I would check to insure tires, brakes, lights/wiring were checked and made sure to be safe to continue. Moving it would presume you have something or someone to tow it safely. Check date codes on the tires, a blowout is dangerous and can cause more damage.

-One of the biggest potential causes of damage and ongoing problems is water. From the roof, from the slides, windows and the stuff coming into and out of the rig from plumbing. Attention to the quality of the roof and caulking is vital. Check any seals around windows and slides. A good rainstorn or water hose can help here.

Learn about your water system, get help from another RV'er if needed. Leaks, even small slow ones inside the rig from city water can cause lots of problems later. Get a pressure regulator to hook in line from your supply to the rig to protect against high pressure at some campgrounds.

Lots of discussions on here about electrical issues, 110VAC and the 12VDC systems in all RV's. More to learn here to keep batteries in good shape.

Try to find a friendly, knowledgeable local mentor to help you thru this stuff. The more you learn to do yourself, the less $$$ spent on service folks.

Enjoy the process,there will be hiccups but you'll learn. And congrats on what I think is a smart way to handle housing while in college.

safe travels
jack
Partially why I wondered what university Mermaid was aiming for, if they're close enough I can walk them through it all and help them make a To-Do list for the rig if they wanted, I've done that a fair number of times.

Also wondering if he's got a the TT or 5th wheel version of that trailer too
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Old 01-06-2012, 02:43 PM   #7
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Thanks for the advice folks. The awning is torn and gone, so no checking necessary. I'll definitely check the tire codes, I just assumed because they had good tread that they were good. I'm planning on UofO or OSU, not too close to you Redneck, but I appreciate the offer and a to-do list would be awesome. I'm not really sure where to start. I'm afraid, that many potential problems can't even be identified until I move it to a park, right now it's stored at my sister's house with an electric connection, but no water or plumbing.

I'll definitely get a pressure regulator for the water Jack, I've heard about it from several people already. I expect come fall when I actually start living in it instead of just visiting it for cleaning I'll be bombarding the site with questions, but for now I'm mostly taking my time and trying to acquire background.

Hope you all have a great day and a happy new year.

Mermaid Michelle
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Old 01-06-2012, 04:20 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mermaidm View Post
Thanks for the advice folks. The awning is torn and gone, so no checking necessary. I'll definitely check the tire codes, I just assumed because they had good tread that they were good. I'm planning on UofO or OSU, not too close to you Redneck, but I appreciate the offer and a to-do list would be awesome. I'm not really sure where to start. I'm afraid, that many potential problems can't even be identified until I move it to a park, right now it's stored at my sister's house with an electric connection, but no water or plumbing.

I'll definitely get a pressure regulator for the water Jack, I've heard about it from several people already. I expect come fall when I actually start living in it instead of just visiting it for cleaning I'll be bombarding the site with questions, but for now I'm mostly taking my time and trying to acquire background.

Hope you all have a great day and a happy new year.

Mermaid Michelle
Yeah, Duck-Town's about 120 miles from Sauvie Island down the 5, Beaverville is a little closer.

OSU has a KOA just outside of the college heading back towards I-5, but I don't know if they do monthly or extended monthly. Some places will rent for a month or two, but not long term, and I haven't got a clue about Eugene, all I remember is that they had alot of old motorhomes floating around that the homeless were using and there was a stink being raised by residents, so I don't have much more clue about the situation.

I'll get you a list here a little later today, fending off a headache at the moment .
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Old 01-06-2012, 05:22 PM   #9
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Hi and welcome to the forum. Don't be bashful, ask questions. A local mentor would be a great find failing that we are always here to help.
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Old 01-06-2012, 05:57 PM   #10
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Welcome Mermaid Michelle. Glad to have you one the forum. As you have seen so far the good folks here are a vast storehouse of knowledge and willing to share. Good luck on your repairs and your college journey.
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Old 01-06-2012, 07:09 PM   #11
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Welcome Mermaid. I am only a year into the RVing world and have found this site to be a wealth of information. If you have a specfic question chances are someone here has experienced it or knows where to turn.

I think you made a great choice. College is how I ended up buying our MH. I tried to talk my son into doing what you are doing so that some of his money could be recooped when he graduated. He had to have an apartment @ $750.00 per month plus expenses for a single BR . I have rental properties that I am including heat for half of that! I understand college kids can be hard on a property, but our experience has been that most property management companies take advantage of the kids.

Long story short I knew DW would not be happy unless we visited our 1200 mile away first born 4 times a year. After looking at 5ers for him we decided to get a DP. Airline tickets, hotel rooms, rental car, eating out is almost a breakeven so the rest is history.
It helps that he is in Florida through our cold PA winters.
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Old 01-06-2012, 07:33 PM   #12
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Howdy Mermaid and welcome! Good luck with your RV adventure.
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Old 01-06-2012, 07:33 PM   #13
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I've suggested living in an RV to several students. It makes sense to me.

If you are able to figure out geophysics you'll certainly be able to figure out the RV problems you run into. Just consider it on the job training.

Once you get to your location in the RV park you can ask anybody there how to do things. I can't remember more than one person who wasn't pleasant and helpful at all the places we've been. Everybody there started out just like you...and learned one thing at a time.
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Old 01-08-2012, 09:23 AM   #14
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Welcome. Keep us up to dateon your RV and college life.
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