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Old 09-30-2012, 02:40 PM   #1
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Posts: 11
What on earth have I gotten in to?

My name is Kris, I live in central California, am 61 years old, and bought my (new to me) 1996 Class C Fleetwood Jamboree Searcher (29') about a month ago.

I have been dreaming of RV travel for 30 years, or since my daughter was four years old. I was working with a lady who was also a single parent and the summer before she had driven a truck with camper all around the US with her ten year old daughter. She had taught her the history of the United States by taking her historic places and giving her what amounted to hands-on experience. When she told me she parked alongside the Mississippi River and read Tom Sawyer to her daughter, I was hooked. I began dreaming of the RV lifestyle, and never stopped.

Thirty years passed in the blink of an eye. DD and I did a lot of tent camping along the California coast, and when grandchildren came, we learned about California missions, the gold rush, and so on while camping in tents as well. But I never was able to buy an RV -- until now.

My father passed away earlier this year, and I inherited enough money to finally make my dream come true. I bought (through Craig's List, of course) the vehicle I described above. It had 12,787 miles on it, new tires, new batteries, had been stored under cover, and was a pretty darn good deal at $10,500.

After I brought Jeannie home (as in "I dream of...), when I turned off the key I realized something: I had absolutely no idea what I was doing! I had spent so much time dreaming that I hadn't thought to learn how to operate the systems, how to work within my physical disabilities, or even where to find things in the coach etc.

For example, I have a bad back and getting to the gray and black water hookups require me to get down on my back under the coach. I can't. I will have to pay someone to do that for me.

I read all the manuals and learned how some of the things work, but I was not prepared for things like a nonfunctioning propane system. I filled the tank before my first (weekend) trip, but the system does not work. I read up on it, and it may be the regulator, may be the leak detector, or maybe something else entirely.

As well, the electricity only works on shore power, and I know there were two new 6 volt batteries installed a few months ago. (Receipt.) But I can't find them.

I should mention that just after my Dad passed away, and after I bought the coach, I lost my job of 25 years. I may end up living in Jeannie in the not-so-distant future. Obviously, without a job there is no money to fix anything. So for now there is no such thing as boondocking for me. Dang it ! CGs are $$$$ !

I am relatively capable as far as home repairs are concerned...so maybe I will be able to translate some of that to the RV -- if I can figure it out.

I am feeling overwhelmed. I don't know what I am doing !!! I don't have anyone to show me what to do. I had counted on my Dad for that.

So, I have joined this forum in the hopes my newbieness won't be too off-putting and I can learn from the experts. And hopefully the experts will use small words and speak slowly! LOL.

I am going to keep reading existing posts in the hopes I can find simple, easy to understand solutions. If I can't, I will just ask!


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Old 09-30-2012, 03:06 PM   #2
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You have landed. Best place for you to recieve and give support and ideas. With your ability to capture ones attention I feel you will give us quite a bit. Welcome aboard and feel at home

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Old 09-30-2012, 03:10 PM   #3
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Wow, what a nice thing to say !!! Thanks for the greeting.
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Old 09-30-2012, 04:33 PM   #4
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Location: Columbus, MS
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Hi Kris! Welcome to IRV2! We're really glad you chose to join the bunch here! Congrats on the new rig! Sure wish you were close enough for me to attempt to help with your problems, but I'm sure someone in that part of the country will volunteer! Just don't be overwhelmed, take it one step at a time and you'll get there! I would suggest that you post questions over in the appropriate areas of the forum for better responses. Not too many folks hang out here. You'll probably want to post in the Class C motorhome section and RV Systems and Appliances area.
Is there a local Good Sam club anywhere around you? That would be a good place to get some help. Good luck & God bless!
Joe & Annette

2002 Monaco Windsor 40PBT, 2013 Honda CRV AWD
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Old 09-30-2012, 09:22 PM   #5
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Welcome to the forums, Kris. I was in your shoes last year and know how you feel. IRV2 is a great place to learn everything you need to know about your rig and RVing. I found that if I read all the post that seemed to pertain to a subject I was lacking in and made notes, it was easy for me to go out to the MH and put what I had read into practice. Hang in there, You'll get the hang of it.
1988 Holiday Rambler Imperial 35 ft.
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Old 09-30-2012, 09:32 PM   #6
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HI Kris (waves like a maniac) I think your MH is lovely from what I can see in the picture. Did you find any books for it, like hanging around in the glove box or in a closet?

Anyway... take a deep breath and relax. Your skills as a repairman will cross over just fine. Get your notebook out and write down everything that you think isn't working right.
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Old 09-30-2012, 09:33 PM   #7
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Place an add on Craigslist there may be other owners in the area who could help
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Old 09-30-2012, 09:50 PM   #8
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Workhorse Chassis Owner
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Location: Parker, CO
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Hi Kris, it's possible that the propane is turned off at the tank. It will be similar to an outside water faucet for a hose at your house. If your lights work when you are plugged in but not on battery, your battery disconect switch may be in the off position. I believe that switch is normally near the door.
I hope that you could also call the person that you bought the camper from for assistance on how to work things.
I wish you good luck and I believe things will work out. I hope you enjoy your new RV.
'05 Damon Daybreak, 3270 on '04 P-32 Workhorse
Parker, Colorado
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Old 10-01-2012, 08:46 AM   #9
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Hi Kris & welcome to the forum. You're in the right place! Lots of newbies {like me} who ask lot of questions and get loads of helpful people willing to give answers. You will find your way through what seems to be a confusing maze right now. I've found in a very short time that most RV folks are so very helpful; here, on the road, camp grounds etc...so I'm sure you'll find folks who are more than willing to make up for your limitations.
We wish you the best of luck now that you and Jeannie {great looking rig} are out of the bottle!
Chris & Marily / Where Ever HaRV Takes Us
'07 Winnebago Vectra 40TD / '09 Tahoe Tailgating
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Old 10-01-2012, 09:30 AM   #10
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Hi Kris,
Welcome to Irv2 and a great group fo people. You'll learn lots heere. Helpful filks and plenty of knowledge.
2004 Country Coach Magna Chalet Bob Lee Edition-Saturn Aura-Tow
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Old 10-01-2012, 09:41 AM   #11
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Great looking RV Kris...
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Old 10-01-2012, 09:57 AM   #12
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Location: West Virginia
Posts: 519
Hi Kris - I started RV'ing this year as well, and it does become second nature over time. I can't tell you how many times I messed up the sequence of something seemingly simple like setting up and taking down my manual awning. There were no directions I could find in the manual. I googled for videos. watched them, and thought I had the process down, but the next time, I would forget to have the awning hook nearby when taking it down etc.

It helped for me that our TT is parked just steps from my house. I work mostly at home over the summer, and would go out of for a break several times a day and work on mastering one thing such as awning, then on breaking down the dinette (surprisingly difficult when you are a short, out of shape person), then changing from electric to propane on the stove, and so on.

I did find that there are YouTube videos for most things, as well as instructions here on the forum. I use sticky notes for sequence checklists - first do this, then do this - and keep them inside the closet door with my departure and arrival sticky note checklists.

My next thing to master will be winterizing. I have gained so much from reading the forums here that I feel very confident I can do it myself.
2016 Shasta Oasis 18BH, 2015 Ram1/2 ton Hemi
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Old 10-01-2012, 10:00 AM   #13
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Hardest thing is to ask for help.
Since you have, you now have conquered the hard part.
Great wealth of information here.

Good luck and happy travels.

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Old 10-01-2012, 10:08 AM   #14
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Workhorse Chassis Owner
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Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 1,195
Welcome - it will get easier. Stay local (or in your driveway) until you get it figured out. Sorry about the bad back and job loss. Let the RV give you something to focus on to take your mind off life's curve ball.

Tom and Amy from Northern Virginia.
2000 Allegro 454/Workhorse P32/TST/Crossfire
Life is a DIY project - enjoy it.
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