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Old 12-11-2010, 08:27 PM   #1
ocn
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RV rookies

Last weekend we took delivery of a new 30' Hurricane class A that we won in a contest! We'd been thinking of buying one to use while racing, so this is a real treat. The unit is pretty simple, lacking slides, jacks etc.

We're thinking about taking it out over the holidays. Any suggestions on RV parks/campgrounds that are newbie RV friendly and would be someplace close to a spot we could rent snow mobiles and play in the snow?

I've got lots of experience driving all sorts of vehicles with & without trailers in any kind of conditions so driving this isn't a concern. But tips wrt the RV side and use in cold weather would be appreciated.

Cheers,

Ken
Greenville, SC area
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Old 12-11-2010, 08:53 PM   #2
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There are many things to learn if you haven't had a motorhome before but you will learn them in due time. Stay tuned to this forum and you will learn more than you thought possible.

The immediate learning requirement is to be sure you know how to keep your liquid tanks from freezing since it is that time of year. Do a search on this forum for "winterizing" or some such wording. There are lots of threads you can learn from.

Congratulations on your prize. What a treat. Race safely. And, Happy Camping.

Don
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Old 12-11-2010, 08:53 PM   #3
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oh boy... i'll let more veteran drivers chime in here but in my opinion... winter isn't exactly the time of year to "learn" the rv side of things.... from plumbing to furnace issues... it's a big first time headache if you ask me. I'm on my 2nd winter in nebraska. its currently 11 windchill -12, tomorrow night -4 plus a windchill of 25mph winds.... it takes a lot to keep everything flowing, moving, and working right. A newer RV will be a bit simpler, but our internals are a lot alike.

do plenty of homework an dsearch the threads for "winter rv" "winterization" "full timers in the cold" and "cold weather rv" google those too, you will learn a lot there!

Good Luck to ya and welcome to the Good Life!
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Old 12-12-2010, 01:21 AM   #4
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Congrats, Ken!
Veteran RVers will tell you to camp in your driveway for a couple nights if possible. That way you are close by for getting all those things you forgot or didn't think about needing (you'll soon see it will be easier to have a second set of most items that will stay in the RV rather than having to pack everything each time. Start with cheap dollar store or thrift store stuff). Read your manuals thoroughly before going anywhere. Motor homes are complicated beasts. Learning as you go is definitely easier in warmer weather. It may be wiser to plan a first trip heading south & coastal like to Savannah, Hilton Head, or Georgia's Tybee Island on a mild weekend. Get a little experience using the systems before adding freezing temps to the mix.
A basic model like you descibe, though still very enjoyable, will likely have less insulation, smaller holding tanks (RVers learn quickly to be VERY conservative in use of water, or you'll run out of water during your 1st shower or overflow the gray water tank, or both), and often have a short wheel base making them difficult to dangerous to drive in even a rather light crosswind, so definitely keep your speed way down until you know how passing trucks and wind gusts effect it. Many RVs are also weight challenged - meaning the chassis' ability to handle (Read: ability to STOP) X amount of weight is already close to the limit before adding water, fuel, and passengers. Know how much extra pounds of stuff you can add before putting yourself, loved ones, and others on the highway at risk. Research "RV weights" and know your unit's capacity, especially before thinking about adding a toad (towed vehicle).
Be sure to have a set of leveling blocks and don't operate the frig when coach is not reasonably level (level enough to walk around in without having a noticable slant). It may seem to work fine, but it is doing internal damage that will be very costly in short order.
The build quality in the RV industry lags way behind what consumers expect. It is common for new RVs, even high end models, to have numerous warrenty issues. Don't be surprised to find a long list of items that don't work or need tweaking. (Another reason for driveway camping as an initial outing).
Don't leave the black tank valve open, check tire pressures and battery fluid frequently (at least daily when driving), never leave your awning out when away from your RV or during inclement weather (another expensive mistake), and don't leave home without the most important thing - a sense of humor. We all have funny stories of our first adventures. (If you haven't seen the Robin Williams flick 'RV', watch it now!) Remember, the difference between an ordeal and an adventure is attitude! May you have many great adventures in your new rolling home!
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Old 12-12-2010, 03:50 AM   #5
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Ken,

I'm new to this as well and was wondering if you could recommend an RV park in the Greenville area.
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Old 12-12-2010, 08:51 AM   #6
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Ken, Welcome to iRV2 & congratulations on the contest win. I agree with Rosegramma, a lot of great advice there.
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Old 12-12-2010, 09:07 AM   #7
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Rosegramma,

Hi. Thanks for the loads of advice. Some of it we're already doing, like the duplicate stuff to stay in the RV. We've been using our enclosed car trailer as a camper at races. It has a fridge, microwave, a/c etc. So all of the living stuff is getting moved to it. Great point about the water & tank capacities. Not sure what I'll be doing to keep daughter from running us dry during her operas in the shower. Having been towing big heavy heaps around for decades, I'm really sensitive to vehicle loading and weight = long braking. One of the first things we are going to do is weigh the unit. I work in tire design & testing so I'm all too aware of the hazards of low tire pressure or overloaded vehicles. The tip on leveling relative to fridge function is quite helpful. While the dealer had a tech give me a good walk around and run thru how things work, I don't recall that as something he mentioned. Makes me wish it had a leveling system! I'm assuming that normal ups & downs while driving won't hurt it, it is just prolonged operation at a tilt, correct?

Cheers
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Old 12-12-2010, 09:09 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trkern View Post
Ken,

I'm new to this as well and was wondering if you could recommend an RV park in the Greenville area.
Hi. I can check around for you. As we've never camped locally, I have no personal experience. But a friend at work with a lot more RV time may have a suggestion.

Cheers
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Old 12-12-2010, 03:41 PM   #9
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Ken,
Sounds like you are more experienced than first appeared, so I'm sure you'll do fine. Correct on the frig. If you have to park temporary, but more than a few minutes, significantly off level, just turn it off and try to keep it closed. It will maintain temps for an hour or two (more if it's not 95 outside). Techies can explain how out of level destroys RV frigs, and they cost well over $1000 to replace. You'll soon develop a keen eye for level spots, but using blocks isn't too bad, especially if your not moving every day. It doesn't have to be perfectly level. Of course, mountainous areas can make finding level spots challenging.
DD will have to learn the gal's version of a navy shower - 30 seconds of water to get wet, turn it OFF. Suds, scrub, shave legs, and sing to your heart's delight, then 1 minute of water to rinse, turn it OFF. Shampoo as long as you wish, then 1 minute of water to rinse shampoo. You're DONE! (Guys don't get the extra shampoo rinse!). Don't like it - go to the campground showers! (I'm Mom to 4 girls, 2 boys, most with their own little campers now).
To you & Trkern:
One good site to find campgrounds is RV Park Reviews dot com (add the w's in front, leave out spaces, replace dot with . ) The reviews are by actual campers, including what it cost them to stay. Just click on the state you want, then pick the town. Some are listed for Greenville.
Have fun! If you get down to FL, drop me a message. You can park in my yard for a while, but I'm outta here when the temps go over 85.
Lois
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Old 12-12-2010, 05:37 PM   #10
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Loi,

Thanks for the additional info. I know we'll be in FL at least once in 2011 as we'll be racing at Sebring in late September. I grew up in Dunedin and went to college in Orlando so I completely understand your moving someplace else when the temps go up! Appreciate the RV reviews tip.
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Old 12-12-2010, 09:05 PM   #11
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You already got alot of great advice so just want to say congrats on the new toy. Like others said read up about winterizing if you're camping in the cold (main thing is to make sure all liquids stay flowing) and do lots of test trips. New RVs always have bugs. Enjoy! Nina
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Old 12-14-2010, 09:19 PM   #12
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just had a pipe freeze and crack on me... huge mess in the back of the rv, carpet soaked, bed frame stained, walls soaked and stained.... etc.... i thought lines were "discharged" when i left in the morning, but i guess after i used the pump in the morning i never did release the pressure to the toilet and kitchen sink.... now i have a mess and another insurance claim... DON'T BE IN A HURRY that was my problem, i over slept and everything from there on went down hill!

don't mean to scare anyone, but just use your head, you seem like you're a smart guy so hopefully half our downers never come your way! best of luck with the daughter thing, took me a few times of closing the valve to the tank for the shower before the wife realized how much water she was using when the tub would start to fill up...... lol
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Old 12-15-2010, 10:44 AM   #13
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Ken,
Install a cut off valve in a handy location for the hot water. When opera time comes you can control the exit buy turning the hot water off. It will not make your daughter a real devoted daughter, but the learning curve will be hilarious to you and DW.

Lots of good advice previous to this post.
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Old 12-15-2010, 03:07 PM   #14
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My DW suggest your DW buy bins, lots of bins. More storage is a major reason for going bigger, at least for us.
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