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Author Topic: Can I Do It Myself  (Read 13950 times)

Elizabeth

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Can I Do It Myself
« on: January 15, 2008, 06:13:01 PM »
Hello there,

My family used to camp.  I was on my first camping trip at six weeks old so I am not 100% new to camping.  I am however new to camping with out my parent.

My boyfriend and I just purchase a 2007 Palomino Pony and we are very excited for the five of us (to humans and three dogs) to go on our first camping trip.

I guess we will find out soon enough, but is this trailer hard to set up?  The salesman at the dealership said no, but he would have said anything just to make a sale.  I was hoping to maybe get away on my own a couple of weekends this summer but if this tent trailer is as hard as I remember tent trailers to set up I guess I will always have to bring the other half.

Also, we are hoping to get a second set of everything for the new trailer (we live in a brownstone and there are alot of stairs).  What would you suggest as a good "starters kit"?
I can't come into the office 2day because I'm suffering information overload.  If you need more details I have put up some explanations, background & expected developments on my blog, on my website, on my journal page & also in 3 chartrooms.  I'm also uploading some photos & I'll pop you an email

dhamblet

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Re: Can I Do It Myself
« Reply #1 on: January 15, 2008, 06:17:34 PM »
The dealers staff should be willing to teach you how to set it all up and operate everything.  If they haven't -- ask them to.
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Elizabeth

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Re: Can I Do It Myself
« Reply #2 on: January 15, 2008, 06:36:54 PM »
We don't pick up the trailer until April.  They did promise to show us how stuff works, but I just wanted an idea as to how easy these new tent trailers are to set up and take down.
I can't come into the office 2day because I'm suffering information overload.  If you need more details I have put up some explanations, background & expected developments on my blog, on my website, on my journal page & also in 3 chartrooms.  I'm also uploading some photos & I'll pop you an email

edjunior

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Re: Can I Do It Myself
« Reply #3 on: January 15, 2008, 07:49:36 PM »
Well, the PUP's (Pop Ups) have always been a bit more work to set up, but I think they've made them easier nowadays also.  My Dad started in one of those, and by himself he could set it up in about 15 minutes.  Once you do it a time or two, you'll find the ways to make it easier.  Definitely make sure the dealer goes over it until you are comfortable with it.  Don't let him get away until you are.
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John From Detroit

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Re: Can I Do It Myself
« Reply #4 on: January 15, 2008, 08:07:55 PM »
My first suggestion is to have them go over everything at least twice,  And when they are done you do a set up and take down or two IN THEIR LOT, before you hook it up.

Frankly the hardest part of using that trailer is...... Hooking up for the trip back home

Now physically, it's no different than hooking up for the trip out, but trust me, It is much, much, harder :)
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Elizabeth

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Re: Can I Do It Myself
« Reply #5 on: January 15, 2008, 08:55:28 PM »
I am really looking forward to a nice all to myself weekend.  My house feels so small the longer I wait for summer to come.
I can't come into the office 2day because I'm suffering information overload.  If you need more details I have put up some explanations, background & expected developments on my blog, on my website, on my journal page & also in 3 chartrooms.  I'm also uploading some photos & I'll pop you an email

utmtman

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Re: Can I Do It Myself
« Reply #6 on: January 16, 2008, 06:45:54 AM »
Some half a dozen years back I bought a starcraft tent trailer and they showed me how to set if up and take it down and also provided me with a video showing the same thing.  They are not hard and do not take long to set up.  Just be sure to take your time taking down so you dont make mistakes that can be cause damage.
Lee
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While traveling down life's paths, stop to smell the flowers.

PattieAM

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Re: Can I Do It Myself
« Reply #7 on: January 16, 2008, 10:44:16 AM »
Yes, you most certainly can do it yourself.  It's not all that difficult to hook up, tow, back into a site and level side to side, disconnect and level front to back.

I have a Fleetwood Niagara pop up camper and I solo.

Some things I've found to be of benefit are:  Couple-Mate (V shaped attachment for your hitch that allows the tongue of the trailer to be guided over the ball of the hitch).  (I bought mine for under $50 at a utility trailer/hitch shop).

Take the camper and go on a Sunday to an empty school parkinglot and practice a few times backing into the bus lanes.  It might require you to get out and check then reverse a few feet, get out and check, but, you will feel great about accomplishing this. 

The dealership may be able to give you an owners manual for this unit, and you should take the time to read it (especially when they go over the how to set ups).  If you want an idea beforehand, check out the website PopupPortal as they have manuals for download/viewing.

Holler if you have any questions!


Elizabeth

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Re: Can I Do It Myself
« Reply #8 on: January 28, 2008, 09:00:21 PM »
I am really looking forward to getting out with two of the three dogs and a good book.  Thanks for all the replies.
I can't come into the office 2day because I'm suffering information overload.  If you need more details I have put up some explanations, background & expected developments on my blog, on my website, on my journal page & also in 3 chartrooms.  I'm also uploading some photos & I'll pop you an email

rjf7g

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Re: Can I Do It Myself
« Reply #9 on: January 29, 2008, 06:31:26 AM »
Yes, you can do it yourself.  Pop-ups are not that hard to set up and the newer ones are easier than ever.  There's nothing that requires "brute strength."

I would suggest, if your dealer doesn't provide a video of the process, that you take a video camera with you to the pre-delivery inspection (PDI).  Then, play around backing it up and so forth in a large parking lot (as was previously suggested) - don't forget to think logically - and then, set it up outside of your apartment and practice everything you've just learned.

You'll find most of what you need for your new camper at Wal-Mart.  Don't buy everything you want to buy at first, fill up your buggy and then leave half of it behind.  New camper owners tend to over buy.
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Jim Dick

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Re: Can I Do It Myself
« Reply #10 on: January 29, 2008, 07:26:32 AM »
We don't pick up the trailer until April.  They did promise to show us how stuff works, but I just wanted an idea as to how easy these new tent trailers are to set up and take down.

I do orientation for customers when they pick up their new RV. Usually I do all the work and have them watch. My suggestion is to ask the dealer to let you do the setup with the tech watching and giving instructions. That way you will know what it feels like to crank it up and down and might possibly remember more of the operation. Anytime a customer asks to do it themself, I hand them the crank and let them go. I know they feel more confident when they leave.

Now, if you and your boyfriend are going to share the setup/takedown responsibilities I would suggest you let him crank it up and you crank it down. Much easier!!! ;D ;D
Jim

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Carl L

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Re: Can I Do It Myself
« Reply #11 on: January 29, 2008, 01:59:06 PM »
Hello there,

My family used to camp.  I was on my first camping trip at six weeks old so I am not 100% new to camping.  I am however new to camping with out my parent.

My boyfriend and I just purchase a 2007 Palomino Pony and we are very excited for the five of us (to humans and three dogs) to go on our first camping trip.

I guess we will find out soon enough, but is this trailer hard to set up?  The salesman at the dealership said no, but he would have said anything just to make a sale.  I was hoping to maybe get away on my own a couple of weekends this summer but if this tent trailer is as hard as I remember tent trailers to set up I guess I will always have to bring the other half.

If the dealer says they will show you, make them do it.   That is you set up the trailer with them directing you in how to do it.  Nothing replaces the actual physical doing of the chore.


Quote
Also, we are hoping to get a second set of everything for the new trailer (we live in a brownstone and there are alot of stairs).  What would you suggest as a good "starters kit"?

Utensils: In a tent trailer, go plastic or Corning Corell for the plates and cereal bowls.  Plastic for water and wine glasses.   Any cheap stainless steel dining utensils will do.   Use insulated plastic or stainless steel coffee mugs.   Dish washing rack.   Outdoors table cloth and table clips to hold it down in a breeze.   Plastic bowls and a Watering Hole (see HERE.)

Cooking gear:  A good heavy walled aluminum skillet (thin wall skillets are junk).  One or two sauce pans -- stainless is good enough.   A stainless mixing bowl or two.  Can opener.   A good quality 10" chefs knife, a 6" utility knife, and a paring knife.   A turner and two kitchen spoons for cooking -- one slotted.  A plastic cutting board.   At least two butane fire lighters -- keep two on hand at all times.

Misc:  One good 3 D-cell flashlight and a couple of Mini-Mag AA flashlights (for personal use in the wee hours).  Screw driver set like THIS.      Curve jaw 10-12 inch Channel Lock pliers (see HERE).  6" adjustable crescent wrench.  Swiss Army knife.  Battery lantern.  Tie out chains for dawgs.   Plastic bags for dawg clean up.  Roll of quarters for laundry machines. 

« Last Edit: January 30, 2008, 01:22:43 PM by Carl L »
Carl L/LA   [Forum Staff]  KI6SEZ

Prowler 23LV TT pulled by a '95 Ford Bronco

N Smock

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Re: Can I Do It Myself
« Reply #12 on: January 30, 2008, 08:20:52 AM »
One thing that needs attention with a pop up is when you pack up to leave in the rain (it will happen) that you try to set up the trailer within 8 hours, to keep mildew from forming on the canvas parts. Pop ups are pretty easy to manage to set up, just work with the dealer and do it yourself. The recommendation to go to the parking lot is important since the pop ups are tougher to back up than a 30 foot TT.

Nelson

Jim Dick

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Re: Can I Do It Myself
« Reply #13 on: January 30, 2008, 03:39:22 PM »
One thing that needs attention with a pop up is when you pack up to leave in the rain (it will happen) that you try to set up the trailer within 8 hours, to keep mildew from forming on the canvas parts. Pop ups are pretty easy to manage to set up, just work with the dealer and do it yourself. The recommendation to go to the parking lot is important since the pop ups are tougher to back up than a 30 foot TT.

Nelson


Nelson,

Very true but at least with a popup you can often unhook and push it where you want!!! ;D
Jim

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Honest John

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Re: Can I Do It Myself
« Reply #14 on: January 30, 2008, 04:16:26 PM »
Nice Job Carl, I was afraid that her question about outfitting the trailer would be overlooked.

Every RV regardless of type should have a small tool kit for those unexpected things.  Your suggestions were good ones.  I keep a household tool kit in our unit (hammer, pliers, screwdrivers, misc screws, bolts etc) all of the time and usually carry a regular tool box besides that.  I also suggest duct tape (very handy for some things), twine, and a bit of rope.  Also, it is a good idea to carry a few extra fuses for your fuse box and a spare bulb for marker and tail lights.
 ;)
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Hfx_Cdn

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Re: Can I Do It Myself
« Reply #15 on: January 30, 2008, 08:37:10 PM »
    Carl's list is fairly complete, but stay away from the plastic plates, we went with corelle, but always kept some paper cheap plates and wicker plate holders for messy meals.  After a lot of trial and error, we settled on an oversized queen sleeping bag, that seemed to give us the best comfort.  packed a small BBQ with a couple of 1 lb tanks, since we didn't want to build an open fire every night.  When we move from our pop up to the RV we just passed on our camping kit to our daughter, who uses it while tenting
Ed & Donna
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PattieAM

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Re: Can I Do It Myself
« Reply #16 on: January 30, 2008, 08:42:33 PM »
I just had to check back to see how you were doing Elizabeth....

Read all the posts, all of which are great.  Personally, I could not disconnect my close to 4,000 lb. popup and push it around.

As to stocking your PUP, your essentials will be:

White water hose, pressure regulator, maybe a filter for your hose.
Sewer hose with connectors, and maybe a 'clear fitting' to go between the camper and sewer hose (let's you know when the job is done).

Cookware (many love cast iron, but there's weight there)  (I found a nice set of T-fal at a yard sale for $2.00, cleaned it up at home and it's been great)
Dishes/utinsels/flatware (for those conscious of weight, they may advocate paper plates, plastic flatware)  (I have Corelle, clear plastic juicers and tall 'glasses', which are holding up well in the popup)

Bedding (sleeping bags or sheets) (I have memory foam topper, heated mattress pad, sheets and lt. weight comforter and lots of pillows)
Bathing items/products (towels, etc., soap, shampoo, etc)
Cleaning products (dishes, floor, walls, windows).  The vinyl windows I wipe with water and a paper towel as they will discolor if windex is used.  There is a product 'Plexus' that is available for the vinyl windows and I think you can order it online for about $13.00 a can.

Mop/Broom/Vacuum (I got mine at the dollar store, and use the sponge mop more for helping push in the tenting when closing the camper than I do cleaning the floor!)

I've found Walmart to be one of the less expensive retailers.  


Elizabeth

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Re: Can I Do It Myself
« Reply #17 on: January 30, 2008, 09:34:13 PM »
Our PUP is only 1300 lbs (dry weight) so I was kind of hoping I could just push it place, but we will see once it is loaded.

Weight is a concern so we might just get paper plates and plastic utensils. 

We found a small wet/dry vacuum today for $16.99 (wireless) so we picked that up.  And we are keeping out eyes out for devut.  There are great sales out there right now so we could get a couple for less then $75 at Home Outfitters, or Ikea.  I have an Ikea duvet here at home and totally love it, so I am going to start there for bedding.  Their bedding is nice soft stuff for a great price, and there is one with in a five minute walk.

There has been alot of things on the above list that I never thought of.  Thanks to everyone.  I will make sure I take alot of pictures on our first trip with all our loot.


I CAN NOT WAIT FOR THE SUMMER.  And it's -20c here tonight.  That's no sign that summer (or spring for that matter) is around the corner.
I can't come into the office 2day because I'm suffering information overload.  If you need more details I have put up some explanations, background & expected developments on my blog, on my website, on my journal page & also in 3 chartrooms.  I'm also uploading some photos & I'll pop you an email

Karl

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Re: Can I Do It Myself
« Reply #18 on: January 30, 2008, 10:53:55 PM »
Quote
And it's -20c here tonight.
Wait 'till it's  -40C. That's when it's also -40F! Yeah, I know, that's not very comforting. 
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Carl L

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Re: Can I Do It Myself
« Reply #19 on: January 30, 2008, 10:59:04 PM »

Weight is a concern so we might just get paper plates and plastic utensils. 

The only reason for doing that is a dislike of, or inability of doing dishes.   You won't save all that much in weight -- especially if you stock up on then for single use.

Carl L/LA   [Forum Staff]  KI6SEZ

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Elizabeth

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Re: Can I Do It Myself
« Reply #20 on: January 31, 2008, 06:44:18 PM »
The only reason for doing that is a dislike of, or inability of doing dishes.   You won't save all that much in weight -- especially if you stock up on then for single use.



True, and you caught me, I hate doing dishes. 
I can't come into the office 2day because I'm suffering information overload.  If you need more details I have put up some explanations, background & expected developments on my blog, on my website, on my journal page & also in 3 chartrooms.  I'm also uploading some photos & I'll pop you an email

Carl L

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Re: Can I Do It Myself
« Reply #21 on: January 31, 2008, 08:42:20 PM »
True, and you caught me, I hate doing dishes. 

Fair enough.   RVing it you will come to a decision as to whether you prefer washing dishes as opposed to schlepping extra sacks of dirty trash to the campground dumpster, which is usually located at a location maximally distant from any campsite one would occupy.  (Unless it is 5 feet away that is.)  8)
Carl L/LA   [Forum Staff]  KI6SEZ

Prowler 23LV TT pulled by a '95 Ford Bronco

Elizabeth

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Re: Can I Do It Myself
« Reply #22 on: January 31, 2008, 09:40:03 PM »
Fair enough.   RVing it you will come to a decision as to whether you prefer washing dishes as opposed to schlepping extra sacks of dirty trash to the campground dumpster, which is usually located at a location maximally distant from any campsite one would occupy.  (Unless it is 5 feet away that is.)  8)

Good point.  I think I will bring dishes when I am by myself, and bring paper when the other half comes with me.
I can't come into the office 2day because I'm suffering information overload.  If you need more details I have put up some explanations, background & expected developments on my blog, on my website, on my journal page & also in 3 chartrooms.  I'm also uploading some photos & I'll pop you an email

Karl

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Re: Can I Do It Myself
« Reply #23 on: January 31, 2008, 09:58:51 PM »
Quote
I think I will bring dishes when I am by myself, and bring paper when the other half comes with me.
Kinda flies in the face of 'bringing out the fine china for guests', doesn't it? Just make him wash. ;)
Karl (Cheesehead) Kolbus   Life's journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting "...holy cow ...what a ride!"

willjm3931

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Re: Can I Do It Myself
« Reply #24 on: February 01, 2008, 07:05:58 PM »
The one thing that I find annoying when setting up by myself is leveling side to side.  Almost every site I have been on I have had to put a 2x6 under one side.  It is a pain to tell if I am on it right.  I back up, get out and check and then try again.  There are many times someone will come over and help out.  Campers are such wonderful people. ;D
1997 Camplite PUP

rjf7g

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Re: Can I Do It Myself
« Reply #25 on: February 01, 2008, 07:45:22 PM »
I found a 2 ton floor jack to be helpful in dealing with this issue!
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utmtman

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Re: Can I Do It Myself
« Reply #26 on: February 02, 2008, 04:28:36 PM »
Elizabeth, when we had our tent trailer we bought a couple of four drawer plastic rollaround cabinets and kept the paper plates, cups, towles so on in them.  They would easily lay down on the floor when we were moving down the road and set up on the cabinet when in camp.  Also could easily be take out into the camp to have the dishes at hand next to the picknic table.   We also bought a small microwave too and it worked great.  Just a few suggestions.
Good luck to ya.
Lee
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While traveling down life's paths, stop to smell the flowers.

Carl L

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Re: Can I Do It Myself
« Reply #27 on: February 03, 2008, 01:21:41 AM »
I found a 2 ton floor jack to be helpful in dealing with this issue!

I would not recommend that with a trailer not built for jacking on its frame -- and most smaller ones are not so built.  Frame warping could result.   Level a trailer using blocks under the wheels on one side or the other.   I like the plastic Leggo like blocks sold in bags of 10.   I have two such sets.

Carl L/LA   [Forum Staff]  KI6SEZ

Prowler 23LV TT pulled by a '95 Ford Bronco

Len and Jo

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Re: Can I Do It Myself
« Reply #28 on: February 03, 2008, 01:03:29 PM »
We have gotten so that we keep minimal clothing in our van.  That gets you 80% of the way there for a fast weekend get away.  We keep kitchen, eating utensils and bedding in the van.  Take a good large door mat to help keep the dirt out.  Think some rain gear and bathing suits for the PUP stash.  You will have weight limits in a PUP.  That should NOT be a big problem though......IF you keep in mind why you have the PUP.  Objective is to get away from home and the work and the STUFF and relax outdoors.  Take enough to be comfortable but NOT enough that it becomes work.  Always take cold beer, last thing and first thing out.
Len & Jo
The Green TARDIS
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Elizabeth

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Re: Can I Do It Myself
« Reply #29 on: April 30, 2008, 07:11:25 PM »
We have been shopping for the last couple of months.  We have been keeping our eyes open for things going on sale.  I think we are going to  be alright but we have planned our first trip already and it's only a 1/2 away from home just in case we realize we forgot/need something.

Then I am going to Port Franks on the May long weekend.  I will be going with my mom and sister.... I am hoping they are ready to help out with setting up since this will only be the second trip out with the trailer and the first time I will be driving while towing.  I am a little more nervous about the towing part then the setting up part.
I can't come into the office 2day because I'm suffering information overload.  If you need more details I have put up some explanations, background & expected developments on my blog, on my website, on my journal page & also in 3 chartrooms.  I'm also uploading some photos & I'll pop you an email

edjunior

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Re: Can I Do It Myself
« Reply #30 on: May 01, 2008, 07:29:23 AM »
Eh, you'll be fine Elizabeth.  Once you get that first one behind you, you'll feel better about it and yourself.  Just be careful, remember all the things we've all talked about, and most important, have fun.  Did I mention...HAVE FUN!  Good luck and let us know how it goes!
Ed.....KF5INW
MSgt, USAF, Retired
2019 F-250 XLT, 6.7L PSD
2010 Forest River Wildcat 28RKBS
"I thought I was wrong once, but I was wrong!"

Dave Stringham

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Re: Can I Do It Myself
« Reply #31 on: May 01, 2008, 09:21:29 AM »
Elizabeth, when we had our tent trailer we bought a couple of four drawer plastic rollaround cabinets and kept the paper plates, cups, towles so on in them.  They would easily lay down on the floor when we were moving down the road and set up on the cabinet when in camp.  Also could easily be take out into the camp to have the dishes at hand next to the picknic table.   We also bought a small microwave too and it worked great.  Just a few suggestions.
Good luck to ya.


This is an exellent suggestion.....you are going to find you dont have a lot of permanent storage in your pop up....so getting some totes that will fit on the floor between your cupboards will help alot.  They be easily moved about during set up and take down so as to not be in the way.  If you can find some that fit in your door opening so they can be the first thing out and the last thing in might also be handy.

While on the arc with Noah.....I used a pop up so what I am going to say now may no longer be applicable because things change over time....one of hardest things I had to do in my pop up was set the door.  If you are not level, the door just doest want to open and close correctly.  You will need a set of those plastic levelers or some 2x4's to place usually the right tires to help get you level.  Dont forget a set of chocks so you dont roll when you least expect it.

There are many other wonderfull suggestions here.......hope you have fun !
Dave Stringham
Monaco Executive (The Luv Shack)

kbhowe1

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Re: Can I Do It Myself
« Reply #32 on: May 02, 2008, 01:03:23 PM »
First time out don't forget to make a checklist for leaving your campsite. like leveling jacks, don't want to leave those down when pulling out.
Brian,
07 Dodge, 6.7L CTD,
08 Rockwood Fifth Wheel

Tom

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Re: Can I Do It Myself
« Reply #33 on: May 02, 2008, 01:42:03 PM »
We have some useful checklists in our library. Just click the Library button above.
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Elizabeth

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Re: Can I Do It Myself
« Reply #34 on: May 04, 2008, 04:37:53 PM »
We just got back from our first camping trip.  It rained all day yesterday but it was good because if the trailer was going to leak it would have leaked yesterday.

We have figured out that we have alot more storage then we first started and once all set up it turned out to be alot bigger then we thought.  The furnace worked great and we can't wait until next weekend when we go again.

(But I should say that we were camped beside my father and his girlfriend who are winter Texans on there way up to Manitoulin Island, so we didn't really pack all the stuff we needed because they have EVERYTHING that we could ever need and more).
I can't come into the office 2day because I'm suffering information overload.  If you need more details I have put up some explanations, background & expected developments on my blog, on my website, on my journal page & also in 3 chartrooms.  I'm also uploading some photos & I'll pop you an email

edjunior

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Re: Can I Do It Myself
« Reply #35 on: May 05, 2008, 07:40:49 AM »
All right!!!  Congratulations.  Good to hear you stayed dry!  And now you know a little more about what you can bring.  Sounds like a successful maiden voyage!
Ed.....KF5INW
MSgt, USAF, Retired
2019 F-250 XLT, 6.7L PSD
2010 Forest River Wildcat 28RKBS
"I thought I was wrong once, but I was wrong!"

Honest John

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Re: Can I Do It Myself
« Reply #36 on: May 05, 2008, 01:37:38 PM »
That is a smart move.  Your "shake down" cruise should be near home to allow for any oversight in equipping the unit.  This will give you the opportunity to try everything out and minimize any risk.  (Some folks even camp out in their driveway, or back yard the first time.)

Good luck, enjoy your trip!
36' 2015 Thor Motorhome
2005 Honda CRV toad