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Old 02-23-2014, 12:57 AM   #1
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New to RVing!!! Excited but anxious.

Thank You for taking time to read my post! I have experience with camping. Not with an rv. My family doesn't do rustic lol but I loved it!

We just bought our first RV.. Family of four - 2 girls, 12 and 5. 2 cats, a dog and my husband and I. We chose to start off with a small one because we have to store it and the one we bought is better quality than the bigger ones we looked at in our budget.

But with all that I am still anxious about room.

We are going on Monday for our PDI. I've been shopping around for dishes, bed stuff and so forth.
I've learned that so far the best prices are at walmart. I don't like walmart but I guess it will do lol.

Do you have any good places to shop? Or ideas for first purchases?
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Old 02-23-2014, 02:59 AM   #2
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I am not much of a shopper so I can't answer those questions.

We just wanted to welcome you to the iRV2 forums and, especially, to thank you and your family for your service to our country.

Congratulations on your TT purchase. Enjoy. You've earned it!
Fred & Mary RVM135
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Old 02-23-2014, 07:37 AM   #3
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Welcome to the forum and congratulations on your trailer purchase!
I look for items at or camping Then, l do a search to specific items and see who has the best price.

I suggest that you don't buy too many non-essentials until you have been on a couple of trips in the trailer. Then you will have a better idea of what you really need.

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Old 02-23-2014, 07:42 AM   #4
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I love to look thru camping world on line and then cross check the item in Amazon where it is usually cheaper. Start with what you absolutely need and then over time what you would like to have. Welcome to the forum and happy trails.
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Old 02-23-2014, 07:52 AM   #5
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Welcome! Remember when buying items for your TT that everything adds weight. For example, let's say you love cooking on cast iron skillets. Think of how much more weight that adds compared to a stainless steel skillet... Ask yourself is the weight worth it or can I go with the lighter option.

We like to shop the dollar store for our supplies. The dollar store has plates, glasses, plastic containers, cleaning supplies, towels, and some games to keep the kids occupied. After all, we are talking camping here. And it may sound funny but some of that made for tv stuff is great. Those orgreenic skillets really clean up great and the expandable hose works as advertised.
Walmart does carry some RV supplies at great prices so don't hesitate to look there. You will save money. And remember yard sales. You never know what you will find.
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Old 02-23-2014, 08:08 AM   #6
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Another place to browse for cookware might be a goodwill or your local thrift store to save. Alternatively you can do we did and buy brand-new stuff for your house and take the stuff from your house and move it to your camper. I use Amazon (prime) to purchase most of the stuff for my RV.
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Old 02-23-2014, 10:27 AM   #7
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Hi, NavyWife -

My grandson was a high school math teacher for several years, but hated the politics that teachers must live under. So he quit and joined the Navy. He was too old to qualify to enter as an officer, so he enlisted. He's in boot camp now, and will wind up in maintenance of subs. With his career field, I hope he'll spend most of his time at sub bases in the USA, so his wife and sub-teen daughter can be nearby. But subs on patrol need mechanics too, so he may be the typical Navy member at sea while his family does without him. We'll see.

Anyway, back on topic. Welcome to the world of RVing. There are all sorts of options for enjoying an RV. When my kids were at home, we spent most of our leave time (civilians call it vacation) camped in the mountains, "boondocking" way up high where we didn't need electricity for AC. And we camped, and spent the daytime hiking and exploring and throwing rocks in the river.

With the kids grown and gone, we later attended the races at Texas Motor Speedway three weekends per year for 10 years. We were boondocking there too, but had to have AC, so we added a generator to our stuff.

After 10 years, Darling Wife tired of NASCAR so we cancelled those expensive NASCAR tickets and reserved camping spot, and we now use our small travel trailer as a motel room. Long trips of several hundred miles per day, and staying at RV parks on the way to see kids in Tennessee or Colorado, or a grandkid on the Oregon border, or friends in Canada near Detroit. That's not "camping", but it's RVing, and we love having our pottie with us on long trips. You'll probably understand when you reach senior citizenship.

One "gotcha" for newbee RVers is weight. Matching tow vehicle to RV trailer is somewhat complicated, and way too many people wind up on the road with an overweight tow vehicle. You cannot simply use the manufacturer's tow rating, which tells you only the max weight your tow vehicle can pull, but ignores hitch weight and other weight such as family and tools and "stuff" in the tow vehicle. But the GVWR of your tow vehicle is usually your limiter. With hitch weight and the weight of family and tools and other stuff, you'll probably reach the GVWR long before you get close to the tow rating. So be aware of the weight limits of your tow vehicle, receiver hitch, weight-distributing hitch, and trailer axles. You don't want to be overloaded more than a few pounds over any of your weight limits if you can help it.

So in the middle of each trip, stop at a truckstop that has a truck scale and weigh your rig. The scale ticket will tell you the weight on your front axle, rear axle, and trailer axles. Add the weight on the front and rear axles and compare the total to the GVWR of your tow vehicle. Compare the gross weight of the rig to the GCWR of your tow vehicle. If you don't exceed the GVWR, then you probably won't get close to the GCWR.

Where to buy stuff? Well, like most Americans, I buy what I can at Wal-Mart or Sam's Club or Costco, because they usually have the best prices. But they don't have much RV-specific stuff, so I find that stuff at Camping World) or As someone else recommended, find it at Camping World and get the model number, then search for that model number on and you'll probably find the best price. But also double-check with a search engine such as Bing or Google. Remember to consider sales taxes and shipping/handling charges to compare the net delivered price. More and more on-line retailers advertise great base prices, but then they make it up with ridiculous S&H charges.

Dishes? Paper plates and bowls, of course, but you'll probably also want some light-weight dishes that you have to wash and dry. We used Melamine such as (16 Piece Melamine Dinnerware Set) for years, but now prefer Corelle Dinnerware . It's a tiny bit heavier than the "plastic" Melamine, but not enough to make much difference in your total RV weight.
Grumpy ole man with over 60 years towing experience. Now my heaviest trailer is a 7'x16' 5,000-pound flatbed utility trailer, my tow vehicle is a 2019 F-150 Lariat 3.5L EcoBoost SuperCab with Max Tow (1,904 pounds payload capacity).
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Old 02-23-2014, 10:35 AM   #8
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Welcome to the forum. Love Walmart. You'll learn to love it too.....
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Old 02-23-2014, 10:43 AM   #9
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I'd echo the advice above about Amazon, Walmart and Costco. You can get almost everything you need in these places. Corelleware holds up really well in a camper. I'd also spring for non-stick cookware for easy cleanup, but spend money for the good stuff there - the cheap kind will flake off and you don't want your family eating that.

Also, I'd highly recommend making a list of all the things you'd possibly need and go shopping from there. Impulsing at Walmart will get you a cart with $300 of stuff in it and you still will discover stuff you need.

Also, you'll need linens and sheets and things for your RV - don't buy the fine things you'd buy for your home - go with poly blends that will hold up in the rougher environment. Everything in your RV will take a beating, so consider that when you shop.

Good luck!
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Old 02-23-2014, 05:12 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by wincrasher View Post
Also, you'll need linens and sheets and things for your RV - don't buy the fine things you'd buy for your home - go with poly blends that will hold up in the rougher environment.
Disagree, slightly. I insist the bed in my RV be as good as the bed at home, including mattress and sheets and pillows.

The first thing we do with a new RV trailer is throw away the cheap mattress it came with, and install a quality EuroTop mattress, usually a Serta from Sam's Club.

As for sheets, they must be a minimum of percale with at least 200-threads-per-square-inch. Poly/cotton blend is fine, as long as the thread count is there. We don't want satin or fuzzy sheets, just high-quality percale.

Good down pillows are expensive, so we usually just take our pillows from home instead of having pillows devoted to the RV.

RV mattresses are often a weird size, not available in a normal sleep shop. For example, the "RV queen size" is 60' x 74" instead of the normal queen size of 60" x 80". So measure your mattress before you buy fitted sheets. You may need to buy at least the bottom sheets from an online RV supply source instead of your normal source such as J.C. Penny or Wal-Mart.

And if you replace the mattress, measure the hole it must fit in before you order the mattress. Lots of RVs don't have room for a normal queen-size mattress, so you are stuck with the custom size. My current TT came with 60"x74", but the foot of the bed stuck out into an open area, so we paid less for a 60"x80" Serta EuroTop from Sam's Club and lost a bit of walking around room at the foot of the bed.
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Old 02-23-2014, 05:15 PM   #11
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Old 02-23-2014, 10:51 PM   #12
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Thank you all so much for the great info and advise!

We had a blast getting stuff ready today. Bought way to much probably lol We plan on going on a trip next weekend. It should be interesting to say the least. The main reason we are doing this is to get our gadget family off our booties! I've made a "phone, anything with an "i" in front of it" free weekend rule! Looking at different areas. Received a free camping package from dealer - Thousand Trails(?) I think. I am also looking at the hot springs! So we shall see.

I've had so many people say "Wow I am so jealous.. Wish we could do this!"

And that is why we decided to do it! We didn't want to wait until we couldn't. If there are any places that you can think of to camp at in Cali - San Joaquin Valley area. That would be greatly appreciated! And anything you'd suggest would be great!

Thanks again!
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Old 02-23-2014, 10:58 PM   #13
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Good for you! Hope the whole family has a blast.

Let us know how it went.
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Old 02-24-2014, 09:42 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by PrdNavywife View Post
If there are any places that you can think of to camp at in Cali - San Joaquin Valley area.
One of your first purchases should be the Trailer Life Directory (guide to RV parks and campgrounds). My 2012 edition listed for $25, and I think I paid about $20 from Here's a link to the 2014 edition, but you can also buy it at most campgrounds, RV parks, and maybe even Wal-Mart.
2014 Trailer Life/Good Sam RV Travel Guide & Campground Directory: Books

There are numerous campground and RV parks in the San Joaquin valley and in the foothills and mountains of "Gold Country" to the east of there. We prefer the nicer campgrounds run by Good Sam or KOA. Such as Riverport Landing in Stockton. Flag City in Lodi. Jackson Rancheria in Jackson. And up the hill to Angle Camp. Many others throughout the San Joaquin Valley.
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