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Old 07-16-2011, 08:53 PM   #1
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Reband's Avatar
Fleetwood Owners Club
Mid Atlantic Campers
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 15
New member - Bought a Bounder yesterday

My wife and I have talked about buying an RV for years. Somehow, the kids weren't very excited about the idea. We've enjoyed tent camping, especially with my son in scouts, but my wife has informed me that her tent camping days are over. (I still have my kayak buddies to camp with when I want to rough it though) So it just seemed like all the stars were aligned: Our neighbor was selling his parents 2005 Bounder 32w for them, the kids will be gone and we'll officially be empty nesters August 29th, so we're looking for things to do together again, and the price was right!
Now we've got to decide on where to go for our first trip. We live in Southern Maryland. Our son is starting college in California next month, but thats kind of far for a shakedown trip. Or daughter is in college in Pittsburgh, but there's no way we can manuver through those streets in the big rig. So we'll have to wait till we get them moved out and in to school. For our first outing, we were thinking Shenandoah NP or Skyline Drive, or Deep Creek here in Maryland, or maybe somewhere in Pennsylvania. Anybody have any suggestions on where to start?
First, though, never having owned an RV before, I've got to figure out how everything works. Since I didn't buy it from a dealer, I didn't get all much training. My neighbor who I bought it from isn't an RVer either, but he knows a little about the RV and can ask his dad if I have any questions about how he configured things. So I've been studying the huge binder full of owners manuals and other literature, and looking for info on the internet. I'll have lots of questions for the forums here, like sterilizing the fresh water system - but I'll take that to the appropriate section of the forums. Thanks in advance for all the help from those of you who have been around the block, or the country, a few times.
2005 Fleetwood Bounder 32W

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Old 07-16-2011, 09:19 PM   #2
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Tiffin Owners Club
Workhorse Chassis Owner
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Location: Warner Robins, GA
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and congratulations on your purchase of the Bounder.

For your first shakedown trip I would recommend picking a campground fairly close to home just in case you have any problems.

Don't be shy about asking for help/instructions when you get to the camp and set up. All of us were new at one time and needed help.

A few things I would recommend you buy if you haven't already is a good electrical surge protector that you install/plug in for the whole coach and a water pressure regulator. You might also want to purchase a water filter. I have one that I purchased from Lowe's that filters all the water that comes into the coach from the intake hose.

Since the coach you purchased is a 2005 be sure to check the tires. The standard is to replace the tires between 5 & 7 years on an RV. Most RV tires will never have the tread worn off before they need to be replaced due to age.

Good Luck,

Jon & Sue Francis (Retired U.S.A.F.)
Lil Girl-Rescued, Abby Rescued, Peaches Rescued
06 Allegro 35TSA Workhorse Chassis
2013 Chevy Spark Dinghy
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Old 07-16-2011, 09:36 PM   #3
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Welcome! We'll be camping in OC at Castaways the second week of August! Like previous poster closer to home is best for the learning experience and if anything should go wrong.
Hope to be on the road starting this summer...
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Old 07-16-2011, 11:34 PM   #4
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Congratulations on your purchase! We have owned a 1999 32' Gulfstream for 5 years and just recently upgraded to a 2005 36' GulfStream SunVoyager. We purchased the new HO privately and are learning about it the same way that you are learning about yours. Seems like 1/2 the fun to me! Those pesky dealers are taking all the fun of discovery away by showing you how everything works and then want $10,000 for their troubles!

We hopped in ours the other day and went to Target just to get it out on the road and run it. Seems like most of the parks, campgrounds and everything else are booked up pretty good this late into summer season. We are having trouble trying to figure out how to be using ours more than we had with the previous coach.

Anyhow, we are in Elverson Pa (19520) which may not be to far from you depending where in Md you call home. If you find yourself in the neighborhood or heading up this way give us a shout and stop by to show us your coach. We would be happy to show you ours and maybe we can both learn something about either of our units we didnt know before.

Best of luck with your new girl!
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Old 07-17-2011, 12:00 AM   #5
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Hi Dan!!

Welcome and congratulations on your new rig!! I love my little TT and am going to be moving up to a MH soon.

For learning about your rig, you can go to Camping World and they have classes to teach you about it. You might also check to see if your local RV dealership does the same. It sure is easier when someone takes the time to tell you what everything is and the 'must do's' of RV ownership.

I have learned a lot from the folks here, so please do not hesitate to ask any questions. It also helps, if you do not know what something is, to post a photo of it. You'll get faster answers that way

I also asked my neighbors, when camping, questions. My first trip out, I could not get my hot water heater to start and my neighbor showed me how to do it and now I've shown a few other 'newbies'. What goes around, comes around

Here is a good thread regarding your fresh water question: Sanitize the Excel water system

I do use a water filter, at all camp grounds. I prefer one that also captures any bacteria. While I do not drink the water from the grounds (prefer to bring my own drinking water), I do shower, wash dishes, etc, with that water.

Good luck and have FUN!!


1995 Fleetwood Pace Arrow 33L
2006 Ford Explorer Eddie Bauer Edition toad
With Assorted fur-kids
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Old 07-17-2011, 01:12 AM   #6
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Welcome to the forum Dan! Looks like you've gotten some good advice already! ...especially on getting the water regulator first thing - cheap and essential. :-)
Mike & Cindy, (of course with Lucy the Miniature Schnauzer & Eddie the Yorkie) Dublin, VA / Fun Finder TT / X215WSK
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Old 07-17-2011, 07:18 AM   #7
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How exciting! Congratulations!! Great advice so far (and definitely check out Castaways campground - usually have to book pretty far in advance there, but they do get cancellations that could free up a spot).

If it were me I'd start with checking all the safety-related components:

If you're not sure how consistently your friend's parents maintained the rig, I would bring it in to a local dealer, or perhaps a nearby Camping World, for an overall maintenance check. (Think like a car tune up - oil change, tire pressure, check brakes, alignment if necessary, check slide out mechanisms, generator maintenance, etc.). If it's a Ford chassis, you can also bring it to a local Ford dealer that is able to handle heavy trucks (call in advance and ask - many of them can). I don't know of any specific dealers in your area, but closest I know of is in Delaware -- Parkview RV. Seemed like nice folks when we stopped there last year, in case you need a starting point.

Definitely check the tires as mentioned above. You want to look for dry rot (will look like small lines/cracks in the tire sidewall) and other abnormalities. Also, how you check the "DOT" code is that there are a bunch of numbers written on the tire. Near the end of the list of numbers, you'll see a set of 4. Those last 4 tell you the week and year the tires were made in. So, for example, "1104" would be the "11th week of 2004". If they are 2004/2005 or older tires, you'll want to start thinking about replacing them even if they "look" fine for safety.

Also, check the fridge to see if it has been under recall (and, if so, ask if the friend's parents had the required recall work already done or not). A simple internet search of your make/model should do the trick, and/or a call to the manufacturer to ask same. Both Norcold and Dometic fridges have had certain model recall work necessary. This is definitely something to check because of the risk of fire if left as-is. Also, check the fire extinguishers to ensure they are the correct type and are still current and in working order.

Check all smoke and CO2 detectors to ensure they are working properly and have fresh batteries, as well.

I'm sure there will be more replies to help you out. Congrats again and have a blast on all your new adventures!!
2016 American Coach Revolution 42T
2004 Jeep Wrangler Sport

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Old 07-17-2011, 04:33 PM   #8
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Dan...Welcome to the Bounder world!!....and to the RV world. You will find a whole lot of knowledge here. I have been helped a lot when I have had problems, by folks with a lot of experience. Best wishes for happy travels.
Jim/Retired USMC/USN - HAM operator KE7OMX/2002 ITASCA SUNRISE - Jeep Liberty/Wife Gina-USMC/USN - quilter
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Old 07-17-2011, 05:12 PM   #9
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looks like you came to the right place here Dan! We've bought our mh this spring and have found lots of useful info on this site, and some very friendly folks to help with questions. We have had ours out on a couple of weekend trips which were very instructive (found some problem or other each time!) and then my son took it up north for a week, with some additional learnings. We're doing one more three day trip, then off for a month on a 6-7000km (3600-4200 miles) trip. Should be interesting!

Have a good time with your Bounder!
... Judy and Rick
South Western Ontario
1999 Minnie Winnie
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Old 07-17-2011, 07:42 PM   #10
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Location: Columbus, MS
Posts: 40,330
Welcome to the forum! Can't help with the Bounder but there are plenty of folks on here who can. Happy trails

Joe & Annette

2002 Monaco Windsor 40PBT, 2013 Honda CRV AWD
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