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Old 12-12-2013, 12:58 AM   #1
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First trip with my new(used) RV... Any tips?

Hello - I just purchased a 1994 Jayco Eagle Motorhome. I am traveling with my husband and 2 cats. We are leaving from the NYC area and plan to first head south and then make our way to the West coast. We have about 6 - 7 weeks to spend on this adventure. We are brand new to this so any tips, advice or hints will be awesome. Thanks !
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Old 12-12-2013, 05:15 AM   #2
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make a check list. tools, (screw drivers, ect). food, plan for weather, spare tire, FLASHLIGHT/BATTERIES. if u plan for the unexpected, they you be well prepared. Good Luck.
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Old 12-12-2013, 06:24 AM   #3
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Spend a weekend camping in the driveway. Try not to go into the house at all, but rather keep notebook to write down needs/wants for the future trip.
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Old 12-12-2013, 06:36 AM   #4
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If you haven't done so already, have the MH inspected by an RV repair shop. Get recomendations for your area. Obtain emergency road service, Good Sam, Coach-Net are common. That is a very aggressive trip for the first time. I have owned 5 RV's and always take short trips first, even if the RV is new. As has been recomended, camp in your driveway, then a close rv park first. Most of all, enjoy the adventure.
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Old 12-12-2013, 09:47 AM   #5
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Thanks for all the advice!!

We have been trying to figure out which items to put in the toolkit & we didn't think of adding a flashlight. This helps because I'm now going to go thru my camping gear and add in some more items that I didn't think I would need since we have the RV but as you mentioned it's better to be prepared for anything.

I really like the weekend in the driveway idea but unfortunately I live in NYC so I don't have a driveway but I am going to see if there are any places within a couple hours to spend this weekend before we head out for the big trip.

I purchased the RV from a dealer who also has a repair shop and storage lot. Should I still get it inspected by another dealer? He seemed very upfront with any issues and what needed to be repaired and said he has been servicing the RV for the last 10 years but idk if that's the truth. He did get us an insurance plan that includes road side assistance
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Old 12-12-2013, 10:08 AM   #6
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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!
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Old 12-12-2013, 10:20 AM   #7
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Thanks for all the advice!!

We have been trying to figure out which items to put in the toolkit & we didn't think of adding a flashlight. This helps because I'm now going to go thru my camping gear and add in some more items that I didn't think I would need since we have the RV but as you mentioned it's better to be prepared for anything.

I really like the weekend in the driveway idea but unfortunately I live in NYC so I don't have a driveway but I am going to see if there are any places within a couple hours to spend this weekend before we head out for the big trip.

I purchased the RV from a dealer who also has a repair shop and storage lot. Should I still get it inspected by another dealer? He seemed very upfront with any issues and what needed to be repaired and said he has been servicing the RV for the last 10 years but idk if that's the truth. He did get us an insurance plan that includes road side assistance

I don't think it is necessary to get a second oppinion. When you take your short trips, make a list of any problems or concerns you encounter and contact the dealer. I would think that the dealer would provide help.
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Old 12-12-2013, 11:20 AM   #8
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First thing I would do is to get a complete service on the motorhome. All fluids and filter changes, brakes, checked, wheel bearings repacked, belts and hoses checked/replaced and all RV systems checked. If the tires are over 5 years, I'd get new tires on the RV.

But if you can, spend a few days camping in the RV to see what all you need.

I would not hit the road on that aged motorhome without a through check and service first.

Ken
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Old 12-12-2013, 12:06 PM   #9
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First thing I would do is to get a complete service on the motorhome. All fluids and filter changes, brakes, checked, wheel bearings repacked, belts and hoses checked/replaced and all RV systems checked. If the tires are over 5 years, I'd get new tires on the RV. But if you can, spend a few days camping in the RV to see what all you need. I would not hit the road on that aged motorhome without a through check and service first. Ken
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.
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Old 12-12-2013, 12:10 PM   #10
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If you find you need something there is a Wal-Mart around every corner. If you have items you don't need you can mail them back to your home. Just have fun and take your time to see the sights.
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Old 12-12-2013, 01:48 PM   #11
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first trip

Suggest you take a test drive where you have to descend a fairly long hill then pull over and see if there are any "brake smells" ( you won't miss it) Since the Rv has likely been sitting a while even though the brake pads and rotors look fine, and perhaps the dealer even did a brake service, it's possible the calipers may be sticking. ( especially the rear) It happened to me, but I found out on the way home from the dealer's, not on my first real trip.
Also check that the fridge door has a secure closure so it can't swing open and break the hinge if you hit a rough stretch of road.
If you have stainless wheel covers make sure you have the tool to remove them. Take a decent tire pressure gauge and check the tire pressure regularly. If you have a slider take the tool to crank it back in manually just in case. Take a barbecue lighter just in case the stove or the water heater doesn't light via it's own igniter.
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Old 12-12-2013, 02:29 PM   #12
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Suggest you take a test drive where you have to descend a fairly long hill then pull over and see if there are any "brake smells" ( you won't miss it) Since the Rv has likely been sitting a while even though the brake pads and rotors look fine, and perhaps the dealer even did a brake service, it's possible the calipers may be sticking. ( especially the rear) It happened to me, but I found out on the way home from the dealer's, not on my first real trip. Also check that the fridge door has a secure closure so it can't swing open and break the hinge if you hit a rough stretch of road. If you have stainless wheel covers make sure you have the tool to remove them. Take a decent tire pressure gauge and check the tire pressure regularly. If you have a slider take the tool to crank it back in manually just in case. Take a barbecue lighter just in case the stove or the water heater doesn't light via it's own igniter.
Thanks for the advice. That makes a lot of sense. I am adding a lighter to the tool kit now and I'm going to grab a tire pressure gauge to add.
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Old 12-12-2013, 03:17 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daliboo View Post
Hello - I just purchased a 1994 Jayco Eagle Motorhome. I am traveling with my husband and 2 cats. !
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.
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Old 12-12-2013, 03:28 PM   #14
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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 canít tell if you have any experience in RV or trailer camping, so I will start with the basics. Please donít 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. Donít 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 ďnot freshĒ 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 Ĺ 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. Donít 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 didnít 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.
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