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Old 12-12-2013, 03:45 PM   #15
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Welcome to iRV2 and congratulations on your new RV. You have found a great source of information on enjoying the RV lifestyle and how to maintain your new home away from home. Just do a lot of reading in here and most of your questions will be answered. From your posting I can’t tell if you have any experience in RV or trailer camping, so I will start with the basics. Please don’t be insulted by any of the following. Stop and think on how you are going to accomplish some of the basic things like: Parking the rig. If the spot is not level, how will you level it? Jacks, ramps, wood blocks, etc. What if it is after dark. Don’t forget wheel chocks, etc. When backing the rig a ground guide is helpful, but, you need to establish some basic understanding between the driver and the ground guide on what directions should be given and how. A two way radio can help. Be aware of your hook up locations when parking. Once you park the rig, how do you clean the bugs off the windshield in preparation for the next leg? Stool, ladder, extendable wand, bucket for water, etc How do you get fresh water in the coach and the “not fresh” water out of the coach? Do you have all the hoses (white, potable water only hose for the fresh water), filters, connectors, adapters, pressure valves required to accomplish this? What about in freezing weather? How about for the electrical hook ups? Cables, adapters, voltmeters, surge protectors, etc. You should always check the voltage at a campground before you plug in. Are you going to have a toad? (Tow behind vehicle). If not, how do you plan to run out to get a gallon of milk or visit the local attarctions? Sounds like you have plenty of time for your first trip, but as suggested above I would also recommend a dry run close to home to get a feel for your wants and needs. This dry run also helps to figure out how all the different systems work. Going to be kind of hard to do this time of year in the great Northeast. A lot of campgrounds are closed for the winter. The main thing is take your time on your trip. Don’t be in too big a hurry to get from Point A to Point B. Relax and enjoy the lifestyle. Stop and smell the roses, or at least the coffee. But be aware of the weather you will have to deal with. Do you know how to work your heating systems? What about supplemental heat. If you are plugged into power a portable electrical heater is a real benefit. You can use the campground electricity to add some heat to the rig and save on the expensive fuel (gas or propane). So is a good outdoor rated extension cord. You can use it to power the heater directly off the pedestal and not trip circuit breakers in the rig. I assume you have thought of what it takes to prep a meal and the materials needed. Also the same for packing. There is so much room to carry stuff in. Until you get used to the routine of setting up and packing up, I would highly recommend you develop a checklist on things to do and check. Just read the stories in here of the people who didn’t check before leaving and tore out electrical connections, or water hoses, or left bays unlatched, or the easy one to do, leave the TV antenna in the up position. (That is one I have done, along with leaving a grill grate at a campsite.) Also checklists on things to pack and carry can be most helpful. These checklists will grow and evolve as you travel but can be real handy in prepping for the next adventure. There are a tons more to think of, but I hope I have got you started in the right direction. Happy trails and good luck. A whole new adventure is awaiting.
Thanks! This is great information. As a child
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Old 12-12-2013, 03:54 PM   #16
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Up until I was fifteen I went with my grandparents every summer but obviously never drove so I really appreciate all the advice regarding parking and unhooking etc. I am going to put together a checklist.

We are not going to tow behind a vehicle but have been planning to stay at campsites that are either on a public transportation route or offer a trolley/shuttle bus service.
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Old 12-12-2013, 04:14 PM   #17
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Make sure your cats do not exit your RV. People lose cats all the time when opening the RV door or when the cat claws a hole in a window screen and escapes. And NEVER but NEVER move the slide unless the cats are confined in the bathroom or their carriers.
Thanks I luckily don't have slides to worry about and I'm sure everyone says this but my cats will not run out since they HATE the outdoors but I will make sure to put them in carriers or the bathroom whenever the door will be opened or there is a lot of back and forth. They have spent their entire 4 years in apartments except for a couple of weeks every winter in VT so the outside is a scary place for them that they avoid. Any other cat advice will be greatly appreciated.
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Old 12-12-2013, 04:29 PM   #18
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Make sure your cats do not exit your RV. People lose cats all the time when opening the RV door or when the cat claws a hole in a window screen and escapes. And NEVER but NEVER move the slide unless the cats are confined in the bathroom or their carriers.
Great advice for cats, dogs and kids. Thanks for reminding us.
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Old 12-12-2013, 08:09 PM   #19
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And one more thing. When it comes to stocking your RV with cookware, kitchen utensils, dishes and silverware, etc don’t fall for the “made for an RV” gambit (like we did). Stick with the same stuff that you would typically use at home. In fact this might be a chance to replace the household items and move the ‘daily used’ stuff to the RV. There are a lot of great space saving items at Camping World and other RV supply houses. Just make sure it will do what you want.
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Old 12-12-2013, 08:21 PM   #20
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Thanks Kevin. The dealer I purchased from did a complete service/tune up and guarantees that there are no mechanical issues. The tires were replaced prior to the state safety inspection in 2012. We replaced the generator and all RV systems are a go, There are not a lot of miles on the motorhome and it's been well taken care of.
Not everyone is able to afford a brand new motor home and need to purchase a older one which is why it was purchased thru a very reputable dealer who would not risk his company's reputation selling something that was unfit for the road.
It's Ken, not Kevin. I did not mean that you have to buy a new RV. We buy gently used and enjoy them. I just want to make sure the unit is mechanically sounds so you should not expect any problems on the road. It makes for a much more enjoyable trip.

Kne
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Old 12-12-2013, 08:24 PM   #21
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I would recommend you really really take your time. Drive only 55 mph or 60 at the most. The motor and transmission has a lot of miles and wear but will run well if you keep the speed at 55. They were really not built for the 65 and 70 mph highways. Limit the distance you travel each day. With the shorter daylight hours enjoy your days by only driving 150 to 200 miles in any one day; what's the rush?? Use the time to learn your motorhome, the people where you stay, and visit the Chamber of Commerce of the town you are visiting; you will learn amazing things and see areas missed by most. Stay a couple of days.... why rush to the next stop?
In other words, enjoy the journey and don't think of it as a racetrack to get there. Keep a journal of your experiences or set up a blog. Write about what you expected in a motorhome compared to what it really is like, and share it with all of us.
Have safe and enjoyable travels.
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Old 12-12-2013, 09:11 PM   #22
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And one more thing. When it comes to stocking your RV with cookware, kitchen utensils, dishes and silverware, etc don’t fall for the “made for an RV” gambit (like we did). Stick with the same stuff that you would typically use at home. In fact this might be a chance to replace the household items and move the ‘daily used’ stuff to the RV. There are a lot of great space saving items at Camping World and other RV supply houses. Just make sure it will do what you want.

Thanks again . I can't tell you how much I appreciate all the advice. I have taken notes and we discussed how to handle the backing up etc. ( we have toy walkie talkies that actual work) and we are going to practice at the lot until we feel comfortable. we spoke to the dealer to check on the hoses, adaptors etc. and he promised we will have all we need and the starter kit includes everything including our first roll of toilet paper. We will receive a hour training course tomorrow on how to operate everything and we can stay and practice in the lot as long as we'd like. I would never have thought to ask about this kind of stuff if not for your tips. I stocked up on paper plates, plastic cups and utensils at the dollar store but I wasn't sure about the cookware so I think I will follow your advice and take from home. Thanks again!
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Old 12-12-2013, 09:24 PM   #23
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It's Ken, not Kevin. I did not mean that you have to buy a new RV. We buy gently used and enjoy them. I just want to make sure the unit is mechanically sounds so you should not expect any problems on the road. It makes for a much more enjoyable trip. Kne
I'm sorry Ken I didn't mean to be rude I just felt that everyone thought I was putting this dangerous vehicle on the road and the whole reason I paid a little more and went to a dealer was to make sure that the vehicle was safe not only for myself but others on the road. I guess I know a lot about old used cars, since I've driven a bunch of them, and what to check etc. so I was looking at the under the hood portion as the only thing I feel totally comfortable about and took it for granted that everyone would know that I had made sure the vehicle was mechanically sound. I'm sorry
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Old 12-12-2013, 09:40 PM   #24
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I would recommend you really really take your time. Drive only 55 mph or 60 at the most. The motor and transmission has a lot of miles and wear but will run well if you keep the speed at 55. They were really not built for the 65 and 70 mph highways. Limit the distance you travel each day. With the shorter daylight hours enjoy your days by only driving 150 to 200 miles in any one day; what's the rush?? Use the time to learn your motorhome, the people where you stay, and visit the Chamber of Commerce of the town you are visiting; you will learn amazing things and see areas missed by most. Stay a couple of days.... why rush to the next stop? In other words, enjoy the journey and don't think of it as a racetrack to get there. Keep a journal of your experiences or set up a blog. Write about what you expected in a motorhome compared to what it really is like, and share it with all of us. Have safe and enjoyable travels.
Thanks - my husband and I have been discussing the best speed to maintain to keep the engine happy and the best gas mileage. We thought 55 would be ideal but were a little worried that would be too slow if the speed limit is 65. I think the hardest thing for us will be the slowing down and smelling the roses part but that is the whole reason we are doing this is to slow down and just enjoy life without rushing here or there. We are used to road trips where we leave on a Friday night in rush hour and drive 4-6 hours up to VT or NH and try to get there as soon as possible and in less then 36 hours we are back on the road rushing to get home at a decent hour on Sunday. I'm going to print these posts and read them every time I see us speeding up! The only thing that worries me is the first day or two where we want to get far enough south to avoid any snowfall.

I didn't know about the chamber of commerce and would love to read some blogs if you or anyone has a blog please let me know where to find it. I'm going to try to do one myself

Thanks
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Old 12-12-2013, 09:42 PM   #25
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I'd second the driveway but since that's out . . . any relatives in the 'burbs nearby?? Reserve America is a good source. or . . . the casinos in CT offer free RV parking wo/hook-ups. Last resort . . . hit the road and find a WallyWorld!
Thanks I actually missed this post but I did call my aunt who lives in Central/Southern NJ & we are going to spend the first night or two in her driveway!
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Old 12-13-2013, 07:33 AM   #26
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Don't forget . . . find a way to bring iRV2.com with you!

I broke down after a day trip to the Meadowlands a few years ago and ended up stranded in NJ. Fortunately, my son had brought along his new iPad and left it with me (after one of my other sons came and "rescued" everyone else). The advice, recommendations and support I got here enabled me to get back on the road quickly!
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Old 12-13-2013, 10:04 AM   #27
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Thanks - my husband and I have been discussing the best speed to maintain to keep the engine happy and the best gas mileage. We thought 55 would be ideal but were a little worried that would be too slow if the speed limit is 65. I think the hardest thing for us will be the slowing down and smelling the roses part but that is the whole reason we are doing this is to slow down and just enjoy life without rushing here or there. We are used to road trips where we leave on a Friday night in rush hour and drive 4-6 hours up to VT or NH and try to get there as soon as possible and in less then 36 hours we are back on the road rushing to get home at a decent hour on Sunday. I'm going to print these posts and read them every time I see us speeding up! The only thing that worries me is the first day or two where we want to get far enough south to avoid any snowfall.

I didn't know about the chamber of commerce and would love to read some blogs if you or anyone has a blog please let me know where to find it. I'm going to try to do one myself

Thanks
Take your time and don't drive any faster than you are comfortable with. You'll get much better fuel economy and perhaps enjoy your trip too.

Our first trip in our motorhome was from PA to Washington state and back. We had a fifth wheel prior, but never a class A, so there was a steep learning curve on that trip...... We have lot's of stories to tell.

If you would like to camp here for a few days to get the hang of it, you are welcome to stop by. We're about 45 minutes off of rt 81 (35 miles NW of Harrisburg, PA) on your way south. We can give you electric and water and a place to park. Public transportation though is not available...

Don
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Old 12-13-2013, 10:16 AM   #28
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I to say take your time. NY and Fl and Westcoast is WAY to much in your time frame. All you will see is highways and fuel stops. If you can split this trip in thirds and plan for future trips to do the other thirds. just sayin'
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