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Old 02-09-2014, 11:35 AM   #1
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Now that we own an RV where to begin?

Hi all, we're now retired and new to RVing and have some questions about the best way to get started and would appreciate any help you can send our way.

We have a new F350 dually and a new to us 38' Cedar Crest fifth wheel that we're just about to start our adventures with. My plan is to leave Michigan in mid march and head to Gulf Shores AL for about a week, then go to Tucson to visit some friends, (probably stopping along the way at interesting points) then wander through a few of the National parks in Utah on the way back home. Any suggestions of places to see or warnings about roads to avoid are appreciated! We're planning to do this in about a 5 - 6 week time period. Is this reasonable?

Our only experience rving is with a rented travel trailer for a week last summer in Michigan. So I guess we've jumped into the deep end.

The biggest initial question from DW is how do we secure all the stuff in the kitchen cabinets (dishes, glasses, food, etc.) while traveling? She's concerned about breakage and spillage... so can you share how you secure things?

What about the TV? We're getting a new LED unit that will fit inside a hutch like portion of the entertainment center, but how should I secure it? I sits on a slide out, but I was thinking maybe the safest thing was to take it out and lay it on the bed?

We are getting our walk through with the RV on Tuesday. After that I'll be getting new tires for it and putting on a TPMS system. The unit is winterized at the moment and we won't be putting any water in it until we are ready to leave. Based on the weather so far, I'm assuming it will still be around freezing... at least at night... when we do leave, so what should I do about flushing the tanks and getting them ready to go? Should I wait until I go south a bit? Or should I do that at home before I leave?
If I put water in the tanks, should I run the heat in the unit while we are driving? The unit is enclosed below and has heated tanks.

I'm sure we'll have lot's more questions as we go... but I've already found that this forum is tremendous... as it helped the decisions around the truck and 5er a lot easier to make.

Thanks for your help!
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Old 02-09-2014, 11:46 AM   #2
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Only one comment on the LED TV. They Do Not like to lay down. I moved mine a couple of miles laying flat and it did not recover. Suggest you find a suitable wall mount to carry your specific size and attach it permanently.
Other than that, have fun and don't forget to up the limit on your Visa card.
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Old 02-09-2014, 11:56 AM   #3
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Howdy and welcome! Congrats on the new rig. As for securing kitchen stuff on the road, you will quickly learn how to arrange things. You might consider starting with plastic drinking glasses and Corelle dishes, and make sure that the cabinet locks are in good working order. Put bigger, heavier stuff in the bottom cabinets.

I don't know much about trailers, but I don't know why you couldn't run the furnace on a fairly low setting while traveling to keep the tanks from freezing. Hopefully someone knowledgeable about that will chime in. Be sure to ask LOTS of questions (and make notes) during your PDI.

If you look over the various sections of the forum and learn to use the search feature, there are many discussions about winterizing and de-winterizing, mounting a TV, packing the RV, and suggestions for routes and destinations here... RV CAMPING FORUMS - iRV2 Forums . Good luck and have fun!
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Old 02-09-2014, 11:59 AM   #4
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Google "RV Park Reviews", for places to stay, along your route. Some people don't bother with reservations, but I always do....don't like surprises and have to go on down the road, because the park I chose was full. Happy Trails!
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Old 02-09-2014, 12:11 PM   #5
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Welcome to the forum. Safe travels and all posts above are great suggestions.
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Old 02-09-2014, 12:15 PM   #6
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Google "RV Park Reviews", for places to stay, along your route. Some people don't bother with reservations, but I always do....don't like surprises and have to go on down the road, because the park I chose was full. Happy Trails!

Reviews of RV Parks and Campgrounds - RV Park Reviews
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Old 02-09-2014, 12:33 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cameraman View Post
Hi all, we're now retired and new to RVing and have some questions about the best way to get started and would appreciate any help you can send our way.

We have a new F350 dually and a new to us 38' Cedar Crest fifth wheel that we're just about to start our adventures with. My plan is to leave Michigan in mid march and head to Gulf Shores AL for about a week, then go to Tucson to visit some friends, (probably stopping along the way at interesting points) then wander through a few of the National parks in Utah on the way back home. Any suggestions of places to see or warnings about roads to avoid are appreciated! We're planning to do this in about a 5 - 6 week time period. Is this reasonable?

Our only experience rving is with a rented travel trailer for a week last summer in Michigan. So I guess we've jumped into the deep end.

The biggest initial question from DW is how do we secure all the stuff in the kitchen cabinets (dishes, glasses, food, etc.) while traveling? She's concerned about breakage and spillage... so can you share how you secure things?

What about the TV? We're getting a new LED unit that will fit inside a hutch like portion of the entertainment center, but how should I secure it? I sits on a slide out, but I was thinking maybe the safest thing was to take it out and lay it on the bed?

We are getting our walk through with the RV on Tuesday. After that I'll be getting new tires for it and putting on a TPMS system. The unit is winterized at the moment and we won't be putting any water in it until we are ready to leave. Based on the weather so far, I'm assuming it will still be around freezing... at least at night... when we do leave, so what should I do about flushing the tanks and getting them ready to go? Should I wait until I go south a bit? Or should I do that at home before I leave?
If I put water in the tanks, should I run the heat in the unit while we are driving? The unit is enclosed below and has heated tanks.

I'm sure we'll have lot's more questions as we go... but I've already found that this forum is tremendous... as it helped the decisions around the truck and 5er a lot easier to make.

Thanks for your help!
Cameraman - First off

A couple of things to keep in mind when towing, things behind the rear axle tend to bounce more. If you have an RV refrigerator remember to start it a day or two before you leave or you'll have to wait and go shopping on the road. An RV refrigerator runs on both propane and electric (propane so you can keep it on going down the road), so make sure that you have propane. Paper plates never break. Some things you may want to carry with you: some 2 x10's long enough to fit under both trailer wheels, that way you can level left to right. Speaking of level you'll need one of them to, the fridge needs to be level to work. At least 2 wheel chocks for when you drop the trailer. If you think it will move, it will so make sure everything is secured. I went to Home Depot/Lowes and keep a variety of velcro around, it always comes in handy.
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Old 02-09-2014, 12:39 PM   #8
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Buy a senior pass for the Fed. parks. For $10 you get a lifetime card that gets you half price camping at most Federal park campgrounds. And make some reservations if you know where you are going to be, some of the state and fed campgrounds fill up fast. They haven't kept up with demand. And don't forget to have a great journey on your way to get there.
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Old 02-09-2014, 01:04 PM   #9
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Here's hoping you enjoy the deep end.
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Old 02-09-2014, 06:41 PM   #10
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Welcome and glad to meet you

Point the front of the truck down the road and see where it goes!
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Old 02-10-2014, 07:44 AM   #11
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Welcome to the RV lifestyle....until you find a place or get your TV mounted permanently you can lay it on the bed. I have traveled some 10,000 miles with mine on the bed before I got my current MH with no ill effects....
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Old 02-10-2014, 02:37 PM   #12
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Hi folks! Welcome to IRV2! We're sure glad you joined the gang!

We pulled a 36' Cedar Creek for 10 years before getting the MH. We loved it! We replaced the old tube TV with a flat-screen, and we did remove it from the mount and lay it on the bed while traveling.

Good luck, happy trails, and God bless!
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Old 02-11-2014, 09:20 PM   #13
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I could have written your entry... DH and I are newly retired, have a 3500 dually and a new 5er. We are also looking to make our first trip in mid march. We are in south eastern Wisconsin and have some of the same questions.
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Old 02-12-2014, 11:17 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dennis45 View Post
Only one comment on the LED TV. They Do Not like to lay down. I moved mine a couple of miles laying flat and it did not recover. Suggest you find a suitable wall mount to carry your specific size and attach it permanently.
Other than that, have fun and don't forget to up the limit on your Visa card.
Interesting, I have 3 TV's 2 LED one CRT one LED is mounted on a swing arm and I leave it hung (And restrained should a screw come loose) The other has a peg mount I designed for it and it lays in my laundry basket, well padded, when I travel.


To the O/P.... I have found many RVers have a few screws loose.. Primarrly any and all screws assoicated with your electrical service,,, MOst of these like a #2 SQUARE bit driver (Lowes, Home Depot, many hardware stores). get a few of 'em.

Screws I have found loose include the ones on my circuit breakers (Full 2 and a half truns before I felt resistance) screws in the Marinco inlet (mine) and outlet (Someone elses), and screws on the bus bars in the breaker box

DO unplug before tightening those.

The other recommendation I might make is way wait till MARCH,, You should have gotten out of Dodge last week John in Madison Heights said it was -2 This AM, I had 30 at that self same time here in upstate SC.. Where it looiks a lot like a nice winter day in MI right now.

Oh... Water.. When you leave out in March, if there is any chance of 20's on your route. Carry water INSIDE the motor home, at least a few gallon bottles or a 5 gallon jerry can.

Sanitize per owner's manual when you first charge your water system, ASSUME you will be using the on board water supply at lest some (Say 10 gallon) if not a full fill.

DO get a water pressure regulator, the 100+PSI here will blow seals in your RV. Also a decent water filter.. NOTE: even the low cost (like 20 buck) tossables do a decent job. Of course you can spend hundreds on a filter if you wish.

While I'm on the topic of water, Winterizing come fall. DO NOT WAIT TOO LONG, there are 3 ways, Wet (pump pink stuff in all the lines), Dry, (Blow the lines out with air, More next) and "S" (South the method I use now that I full time) Drive south.

To blow it out, open all valves including the low point drain, Drain the water heater and bypass, Drain the fresh tank, Lay a towel under the water pump inlet strainer and open then re-close it to drain it, run the pump for a minute with the inlet strainer open to blow out that line (it can run dry safely) Cycle the ice maker in the fridge to drain it's lines.

now blow use at least a 4 gallon compressor with regulator set to 50 PSI, ,, Then wait (At least as long as it takes the compressor to re-charge or 3-5 minutes) and blow again,, And again, like 5-10 times.

Close valves and put Pink RV antifreeze in drain traps and toilets

Flushing pink out of the fresh lines, MAJOR PITA (Pain In The Anatomy) Flushing it out of drains, No problem at all.


Now, back to plans

FOOD: My wife liked to pack enough food for a month.. Forget that plan, Pack light on food,, Shop along the way.

Dishes and such.... You would be surprised at how easy that is, Use good quality stuff, I have a combination of Plastic which does not always bounce that well and Corell by Corning, which is very Nice plus some other dishes for cooking, I really like the Corning stuff.

The cubbords are full enough that there is not much movement there. And you use anti-slide around mats (that expanded rubber stuff) to help keep prevent slipping.

ONE problem I do have .. The cubbord latches on my RV are not that great so I designed helpers.. Mostly that's bungee cords but on the column of kitchend drawers it's two eye bolts, strgitacally placed with a dowel rod shoved down the eye, I also use un-pinnable hinges with cotter key pins (they hang on a chain when not in sue) and regular hook and eye latches to keep things closed as I travel Will you need that.. Do not know.

But I've never borken a dish on the road... Only when parked

OH, and when you open a cubbord after driving.. Be cautious things may fall.
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