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Author Topic: a few notes from our first trip  (Read 709 times)

Sibermom

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a few notes from our first trip
« on: June 19, 2017, 10:37:58 PM »
We are just three weeks in to our first trip with our new-to-us travel trailer. We've learned a few things which we feel are important enough to share.
1. Check your lists when packing. Getting on the road and discovering we forgot our pillows and 1/3 of our food was not a good thing.
2.The gas operation of the fridge wasn't working properly so we could only use the electric - which meant no refrigeration when on the road. We brought ice packs which we froze overnight and placed a couple in the fridge during the day which really helped, but the milk didn't keep as long as it would have at home with constant cooling. Frozen things tended to partially thaw on long drives.
3. Thanks for the advice about insurance. We got caught in a hail storm the first week. We still aren't sure if there was roof damage - we'll have to have it checked by a specialist - but at least we didn't have to go into full panic!
4. Don't believe the adverts that claim "free cable" (sorry, we discontinued that service) or WiFi - (signal is weak, service is overloaded)
5. Programs that give mileage and time don't apply to RV's that don't go the speed limit. for that matter, the 110 mile loop was closer to 220 miles, and instead of taking 3 hours, took nearly 6 hours.
6. Slides and awnings don't do well in high winds. Twice we had to pull our slide in for the evening/night because of the winds. Fortunately the floor plan of our trailer makes it easy to use even with the slide in. it's one of the features that convinced us to buy this one. If I had to do it again, I would be very sure that the next trailer also was still livable with the slide in.
In the coming days we go from reserved spaces in campgrounds to boondocking or hoping we can find someplace along the way has a spot.
The adventure continues!

2005 Jayco Eagle 282 FKS
2009 Ford R-150 Lariet

Dream Chasers

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  • Be Brave - Take Risks - Nothing Beats Experience
Re: a few notes from our first trip
« Reply #1 on: June 23, 2017, 12:41:54 AM »
We are on an extended trip as we left Florida in February, so we been in lots of campgrounds and have driven 9,500 miles.

I didn't understand your comment that distances were doubled. Yes, driving times will be longer since Google Maps assumes you are doing the speed limit, which none of us does in or towing an RV. But distance should be constant. For times we add a half hour to an hour based on weather and also figuring in breaks/stops. We also never have to be somewhere by a certain time, so that takes the pressure off if we encounter an unexpected delay.

You are absolutely correct about campground WIFI. Most are bad, but sometimes we get lucky and get a good signal. If not, then we just use our phone or Verizon JetPak.

We have not run across a campground that charged for cable when it is offered. One place had 60 channels! Most are about 20. In 2 places we had to leave a deposit for a converter box. Hooked it up and then returned it at the check out for refund. If no cable we just use free over the air. If nothing comes in, then we listen to Sirrus XM radio or watch a DVD we brought with us.

Safe travels.
Sheryl & Bobby and Roxie the Yorkie
Polk City, Florida
2015 Forest River Berkshire 34QS
2011 Honda CRV SE

Old Blevins

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Re: a few notes from our first trip
« Reply #2 on: June 23, 2017, 10:34:07 AM »
5. Programs that give mileage and time don't apply to RV's that don't go the speed limit. for that matter, the 110 mile loop was closer to 220 miles, and instead of taking 3 hours, took nearly 6 hours.

I have noticed that some of our RV campground apps give straight-line distance; not driving distance.  But Google Maps or Apple Maps give driving distance (though you have to ignore the initial preview estimate and actually look at the route).
Jim
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2006 Silverado SRW 1-Ton 4WD Diesel
2006 Arctic Fox 29V
1985 Brawley 2-Horse Straight-Load Trailer

Sibermom

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Re: a few notes from our first trip
« Reply #3 on: July 08, 2017, 05:12:25 PM »
Back home after 5 weeks on the road. We didn't end up boondocking - we found spaces free even over the long holiday weekend but I'll not count on lucking out that way again.
(Although I must say, the spot we found on Sunday, July 2nd turned out to be one of the best of the trip. Thy also had a GREAT fireworks display that night.
some more things we learned:
Bring paper copies of things you might need, like directions, addresses and phone numbers, churches and times of services; without WiFi, you can't count on looking things up on the way.
Next trip we will consider getting a smart phone and a portable hotspot or maybe a signal booster. If I seem paranoid about the WiFi it's because that's the way I kept in tough with our dog sitter.
All Iowa rest stops offer free WiFi. I wish more states would follow their lead.
The laundries at campsites often have just 2 machines, no change, and no detergents available. Also carrying your dirty clothes from the trailer to the laundrymat doesn't work so well when you're at the far end of the camp. Someone I saw had one of those collapsible little wagons to tote their hampers. We'll definitely put one of those on our list of "must have."
Also on our must have list - a clear section of sewer hose to make sure it's draining, and adapters or whatever to fit the different requirements for sewer hook ups (sealing, threaded,...


We needed to have everything drained before we parked the trailer back at home. We lucked out because I forgot to make sure the final campsite had a place to dump.
2005 Jayco Eagle 282 FKS
2009 Ford R-150 Lariet

BruceinFL

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Re: a few notes from our first trip
« Reply #4 on: July 10, 2017, 11:04:58 AM »
My Garmin GPS (and also MS&T) allows adjusting driving speeds on different type of roads (freeway, city, etc) and so becomes much more accurate.
Bruce A.
2004 Alpenlite Valhalla 29RK 5W
2005 Ford F-350 SRW 6.0L

PopPop51

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    • Uptown Tech
Re: a few notes from our first trip
« Reply #5 on: July 10, 2017, 05:32:20 PM »
Congratulations on surviving your first long trip. May it be the first of many.
Nobody here will argue with your assessment of campground wifi. The trend for those who spend serious time on the road seems to be toward using cellular data in one way or another, myself included.
I've seen widely varying quality of campground TV, but part of the allure of traveling is breaking out of the routine. It helped me break my addiction to the idiot box.
Awnings definitely don't get along with wind. If you use one often enough it's not a matter of whether it will get damaged, it's a matter of how soon.
I've never found slides-out to make wind stability worse. On the contrary, having that mass hanging out on a long lever arm is a stabilizing thing, sort of like the pole a high wire walker uses. Were your stabilizers snug?
There are few things more unpleasant to me than packing and unpacking the trailer. Hence we've given the trailer its own set of cookware, kitchen supplies, tableware, glassware, soaps, linens, cool-weather clothing (since we never need that stuff at home) laundry and cleaning supplies, spices and canned/dry goods. Those last items we periodically rotate back to the sticksNbricks house. We never pack consumables before leaving. Since good markets are everywhere in this country, we make early and frequent small provisioning stops. (Note that we're not boondockers, though.) The entire pre-departure loading and end-of-trip unloading processes now takes less than 10 minutes per person.
You're going to get poo-poo'd (sorry 'bout the pun) about that clear sewer section, but it doesn't hurt anything. Besides, being on vacation means enjoying doing useless things, so why can't watching your sewage drain be one of them?  ;)

See ya on the road!

Paul--
2004 Ford Excursion V-10 ("Moose")
2010 Keystone Outback 270BH ("Squirrel")
2016 Mazda MX5 Miata ("Roadster")
##37 States So Far...##

decaturbob

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Re: a few notes from our first trip
« Reply #6 on: July 13, 2017, 12:34:13 PM »

6. Slides and awnings don't do well in high winds. Twice we had to pull our slide in for the evening/night because of the winds. Fortunately the floor plan of our trailer makes it easy to use even with the slide in. it's one of the features that convinced us to buy this one. If I had to do it again, I would be very sure that the next trailer also was still livable with the slide in.


my larger window retractable awning (close to 5ft wide) nearly ripped off my Class C before I was able to physically tie it off on our way back from Arizona when we hit 40-50mph cross and head winds on I40.  Top of my list was to install a tieback system which I have completed where I can tie the awning firmly to the coach.

I make a lessons learn list on every trip and devised a series of checklists which now help out quite a bit.
proud to have a 2008 Tioga 31M MH

 

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