Originally Posted by Heading
you two are about a year ahead of my wife and i on our big journey, but we're heading out from boston, instead of wa. we bought a 2006 pleasureway plateau ts and will appreciate any info you can share. thanks.
Heading, we'd be happy to help you with any info you desire. Off the top of my head:
Many Plateau and other brand Sprinter owners never use the couch, as a couch, they just leave it down. We found the folding couch in the back to be rather lumpy when it was flat, to sleep on. To fix buy 2 twin two and a half inch foam mattress pads (kind that claim they don't overheat you - best price at COSTCO), cut them to size. We found leaving the center board in place at night (for bed) has + and -. +: more room for legs, - gotta crawl over to get out. Ended up not using.
Buy a CO detector (I know you probably have a CO/Propane detector) Propane is heavier than air, CO is lighter. Leave Propane/CO detector where it is, near the floor, put CO detector up near head where you'll be sleeping on bottom of back storage bin.
Don't carry bikes with you on a bike carrier in Tow bar area, this eliminates emergency exit capability of back door (unless you take off bike rack every night). RV fires typically take 30 seconds before fully involved. I know you have a fire extinguisher, but don't use it if it is ABC unless it is a forgone conclusion that all electronics in the vehicle will be destroyed. The "C" capability will harm anything electronic ultimately killing it (and that WILL be everything in the vehicle as they create a huge cloud). Google 'fireade2000' this guy has the best fire equipment that will not harm electronics - he does a lot of rallies demoing and selling. He also has the best CO detectors for RVs (one that can take the rattling and jostling it will experience in your RV, which most detectors can't.) You might find it cheaper on the net once you have model number. We bought from him as he pointed out CO/Propane thing to us.
Buy a 'Treager' backpack type suitcase. This will greatly increase your ability to take more clothes - kida like another storage bin. We call our vehicle the rubix cube, for reasons you'll learn in practice (ie: trying to get 7.5 lbs of sand into that 5 lb bag.)
We just bought a Mini Cooper (get the joke, Cooper for a rooster ? I say that's a, that's a joke son....) for a tow vehicle.The 3500 can pull 5,000. but to be safe stay under 80% of what they say you can tow (from what I've read in the past) not an experienced toad owner yet. It also brings lots more storage room for the little lady (did I say that out loud ?) I meant to the party.
Get a back-up camera (hardwired not wireless, latter has problems).
Do you use CPAPs at night? If so, you will most likely need more house batteries. Most RVers don't have a clue about how to get the most out of their house batteries. See this site for a good education: BatteryStuff Articles | Guide to Understanding Flooded, AGM, and Gel Batteries
We had to go with our batteries being installed under the couch, and consequently went glassmat so there is no noxious gasses that could leak. This will be pricey to do, as your other house battery is up front in the engine compartment. Of course the available converter is only a foot away.
Get a volt meter you can have installed. Never let house battery go below 12.2 (you will have used 50% of it's rated AMPs at this point) and you will more than quadruple it's life. Always disconnect batteries when not using Vehicle. Fridge uses LOTS of battery power. Go propane when stopped, but make sure you switch back to DC when driving AND TURN OFF PROPANE at source - BIG fire hazzard otherwise.
Get a Tire Pressure Maintenance System. I know, $250 bucks for 4 tires
!!!!! How often do you check your tires in your regualr vehicle ? Is your life worth $250.... see, don't cha feel better bout that $250 now ?
You will find 99% of RVers are very friendly. If you see a sign with their names next to their site, it's an invite to stop in and say hi.
If you plan to take Computers, get a mifi from Verizon. Wifi is spotty at RV parks.
I can heartily recommend an organization called Passport America. I think they cost about $35 to join, but you'll get it back in the first week. They get you 50% off at the parks that they have signed up, which is probably about 50% of the ones we have used. What we do is around lunch time, look at what they have to offer in the general direction we're going, then compare to this web site http://www.rvparkreviews.com/
- a free site that gives ratings on RV camping sites. I've yet to come across a site that wasn't user rated on their web site. If your selection is rated 5 or higher with clean showers, you just paid for part of tomorrow's diesel and life is, I say, life is good.
If you are interested in PA, please tell them I recommended them to you. Member # C-521185. I think we both get a month's extra benefit or something like that.
Don't leave home without some sort of towing insurance. AAA is great for cars, but no so hot for RVs. Your rig can't be 'towed' it has to be carried on a flat bed. At least I should say the E3500 can't be. I forget what we paid ($200 for 3 years worth), but Good Sam has already saved our bacon twice in a year. Once was a steering fluid leak (24 miles to dealer - probably paid for itself right there) and another time was a completely dead engine battery (oh yeah - if you get back-up camera, don't let them attach it to a 100% hot lead - one always on - make sure the lead is only on when engine is.
If you have more specifics - please ask.... only too happy to help.
BTW, we're headed to Alaska in May 2013 with 4 other class B folks we met last summer. If you have an interest, let us know and I'll send particulars.
Oh yeah, I should tell you, I'm Judith's husband.