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Joe916

New member
Joined
Jun 10, 2024
Posts
4
Location
Idaho
Just bought my first travel trailer, it's a 2024 Springdale Classic 1800BH. I think we made the right decision going with something a bit more simple to start out with. Are there some "check list" items I should do or look for before I take it out camping? Should I fill the fresh water tank up before taking it out, should I add solor panels,etc?
 
The answers to that and many other questions depends on where you are going and the style of camping you will do. For example:
  • If you are going to a place that has fresh water at the campsite or at least the campground, just put enough water in your tanks to have a reserve supply in case something happens along the way or the campground water supply is out of order for some reason. But if you aren't assured of a supply when you arrive, fill your tank! Better to have and not need than the alternative.
  • The primary reason for a solar charging system is the lack of electric available at the campsite. A small trailer like yours will only have enough battery power to last about 24 hours, but if the campsite has electricity you won't need any battery once you arrive.
  • If the area where you will camp has stores nearby, you don't need to worry much about lack of supplies. But if the nearest Walmart or grocery is far away, plan for your needs more carefully.
  • Make sure the propane tank is full.
  • Do you plan to cook and/or eat outdoors or in the trailer? If outdoors, will you need a grill? Charcoal, firewood or portable LP gas bottles?
  • What about outdoor living amenities, e.g. folding chairs, maybe some lighting, table cloth for a picnic table, etc.
  • Will you be traveling/staying for just a day or two, or longer? Longer trips usually mean more supplies, additional clothing (or a plan to wash as needed), ways to stay in communication (pay bills, etc), and so on.
  • Will you need internet access? Phone service? Rural camping may make those services poor or non-existent.
 
The answers to that and many other questions depends on where you are going and the style of camping you will do. For example:
  • If you are going to a place that has fresh water at the campsite or at least the campground, just put enough water in your tanks to have a reserve supply in case something happens along the way or the campground water supply is out of order for some reason. But if you aren't assured of a supply when you arrive, fill your tank! Better to have and not need than the alternative.
  • The primary reason for a solar charging system is the lack of electric available at the campsite. A small trailer like yours will only have enough battery power to last about 24 hours, but if the campsite has electricity you won't need any battery once you arrive.
  • If the area where you will camp has stores nearby, you don't need to worry much about lack of supplies. But if the nearest Walmart or grocery is far away, plan for your needs more carefully.
  • Make sure the propane tank is full.
  • Do you plan to cook and/or eat outdoors or in the trailer? If outdoors, will you need a grill? Charcoal, firewood or portable LP gas bottles?
  • What about outdoor living amenities, e.g. folding chairs, maybe some lighting, table cloth for a picnic table, etc.
  • Will you be traveling/staying for just a day or two, or longer? Longer trips usually mean more supplies, additional clothing (or a plan to wash as needed), ways to stay in communication (pay bills, etc), and so on.
  • Will you need internet access? Phone service? Rural camping may make those services poor or non-existent.
We've been avid tent campers and we will be camping approximately 5 days so we will have plenty of food and supplies to last the trip.

We are going somewhere with no cellphone reception and about a 2 hour drive from any store.

We are looking at buying a generator to keep the fridge running so we can keep certain foods cold while we are out there, since we can't go run and buy ice. How long can the fridge run on just battery power?

Excited to camp with my new camper
 
We are looking at buying a generator to keep the fridge running so we can keep certain foods cold while we are out there, since we can't go run and buy ice. How long can the fridge run on just battery power?
Which fridge make/model? And what battery(s) do you have? There is a small 3.3 cu ft standard and a bigger 7.7 cu ft. option, both 12v-only types Either way, you will definitely need to recharge batteries during your stay. I couldn't find any power consumption specs for the Springdale 12v fridges nor the size of the standard battery(s), so can't give a better answer. Think in terms of using a generator to recharge the battery daily rather than running direct from the generator all day & night.

What size battery does it have? Trailers that size typically come with a single Group 24 size 12v marine/rv deep cycle (unless you have added the Solarflex option).

For a 5 day stay, you will also need to replenish fresh water and dispose of waste water. Think carefully about that - you only have 21 gallons of fresh in your tank and storage for 30 gallons each of gray & black waste. That's probably only 1-2 days worth, even with your tent camping experience. Having a water tap and toilet handy tends to inspire more consumption.

I suggest you camp in your yard or driveway for a couple days to get a handle on how you will manage water usage and battery power. Don't plug the RV to 120v power - pretend you are out in the boonies somewhere. It's also a great way to learn what items you need to pack. You will discover you need certain items, maybe a corkscrew or a carving knife or whatever.

Springdale 1800BH
 
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You're going to need a generator whether you have solar or not. One cloudy day, or shade puts the solar plan on it's head. Something on the to-do list is to add a battery monitor. Without one you're only guessing what power you're drawing and how your batteries are doing.

Mark B.
Albuquerque, NM
 
Which fridge make/model? And what battery(s) do you have? There is a small 3.3 cu ft standard and a bigger 7.7 cu ft. option, both 12v-only types Either way, you will definitely need to recharge batteries during your stay. I couldn't find any power consumption specs for the Springdale 12v fridges nor the size of the standard battery(s), so can't give a better answer. Think in terms of using a generator to recharge the battery daily rather than running direct from the generator all day & night.

What size battery does it have? Trailers that size typically come with a single Group 24 size 12v marine/rv deep cycle (unless you have added the Solarflex option).

For a 5 day stay, you will also need to replenish fresh water and dispose of waste water. Think carefully about that - you only have 21 gallons of fresh in your tank and storage for 30 gallons each of gray & black waste. That's probably only 1-2 days worth, even with your tent camping experience. Having a water tap and toilet handy tends to inspire more consumption.

I suggest you camp in your yard or driveway for a couple days to get a handle on how you will manage water usage and battery power. Don't plug the RV to 120v power - pretend you are out in the boonies somewhere. It's also a great way to learn what items you need to pack. You will discover you need certain items, maybe a corkscrew or a carving knife or whatever.

Springdale 1800BH
The fridge is a 3.3cu 12v fridge and I'll have two 12v batteries. But that's smart to run off the battery then using the generator to recharge them at night or vice versa.

We do plan on using biodegradable waiste bags that you can put around the toilet when we need it and so we can throw it away after use. Hoping that should solve the waiste issue.

I did not think about how long the fresh water would last since we plan on minimizing showers and only using it for was dishes and such.

This has become way more helpful then I thought when posting. Things I have yet to consider.
 
You're going to need a generator whether you have solar or not. One cloudy day, or shade puts the solar plan on it's head. Something on the to-do list is to add a battery monitor. Without one you're only guessing what power you're drawing and how your batteries are doing.

Mark B.
Albuquerque, NM
That's good to know. Do you suggest we get solar panels eventually?
 
If you think you will need to power your AC on especially hot days make sure your generator is sized properly. It will have to recharge batteries, as well as run the refer and AC.

Safe travels and all the best.
 
Solar can be an answer, but it's not a slam dunk solution. It requires a deep dive into your usage, budget and requirements. It doesn't "hurt" to have it but unless you engineer a system to work, it will be little more than a token feature. With the battery monitor you're going to get soon you use the data gleaned from that to formulate the requirements for a successful solar implementation.

Mark B.
Albuquerque, NM
 
To address one issue you mentioned, the answer is "yes".

Absolutely .... before you take the camper out for it's first maiden voyage, do a couple nights, or an entire week-end "driveway camping". Stock up everything in your camper, water, everything. Then lock the house door and stay in the camper from Friday night till Sunday afternoon.

You will:

Learn to use everything in your camper and know how it works before you reach your campground. You'll have no surprises or disappointments or confusion not knowing how things work because you've already figured it out.

You will:

Most definitely fail to stock something in the camper you absolutely need to have. Being at home first, you can easily stock the camper with those missed items. If you realize what you are missing at the first campsite, it might not be possible to make a run to Wall Mart!

You will:

Learn how to use your fresh water tank, on-board water pump, holding tanks, and dumping your tanks. It' just way, way imbarrising to get to the dump station at the campground and have no idea what to do. Watch "RV The Movie" with Robin Williams. You'll understand completely.

You will:

Work out the logistics of how to sleep, who sleeps where, and if you have kids, give them a first time sleeping in the camper, arguing with brother or sister over space, and working out family dynamics (even between husband and wife) over limited space, cluttered environment, and "Where in the he** did you put THAT THING I need!" arguments between husband and wife!

You will have all of that worked out before you go. It will be the most important RV learning week-end of your life!
 
Welcome to RV Forums!

When we make a run for an RV park I will ad a touch of BLEACH at about 1/3 full to splash around cleaning the water holding tank. The fill at the RV Park. If we need to use the Wet-Bath. Then drain and fill using a water filter.


Remember, all Outdoor adventures begin and end with a road trip, drive safely with your family cargo!

:camperfam:
 
Welcome to the Forum.

There is no simple direct answer to the OP's original questions. "Joe" will find out that the more they use their beautiful new TT, the more they'll discover their needs and will taper their set-up and use to those needs.

As far as solar goes, it can be very expensive. If Joe and crew do a lot of boondocking (no hook-up) camping that's very popular out West on the vast amount of BLM lands and spend extended amounts of time doing so, well then it might be worth looking into. Otherwise, a small 2500-watt like this inverter generator will be a great addition to their camping equipment.


With practice, they will find ways to conserve water and space in their holding tanks. Camping seems to equate to more washing hands. To save water here clean out a large laundry detergent container, the kind with a spigot, and fill it with water to bring with you. Set it on a table with a roll of paper towels and liquid hand soap for a wash station. If showering a lot of water gets wasted waiting for the water to get hot. Many RV'ers will put a 5-gallon bucket under the shower to collect the water until hot and use that clean water to wash dishes and other things. Also, make sure the shower head has a water shut-off so you can easily turn off the water while soaping up. Washing dishes takes up a lot of water and fills the grey tank quickly. We use dish pans in our sink to rinse the dishes (after a good scraping and maybe even wiping off with a paper towel) and then dump the rinse water outside in an out-of-the-way spot, or on the parking pad if it is stone. Saves a lot of water from going into the grey tank. You'll see a lot of newer TT folks set up outside wash stations to do their dishes outside and rinse right onto the ground, it's water and soap.

As Dutchman said, don't worry "if you forgot to bring something" there's always a Walmart nearby. Again, through trial and error Joe and Co. will figure out what the priority needs or not and adjust accordingly. In our 17th year camping, I still go through our rig to weed out things that always seem to creep into it. How'd that get in here?

And the best piece of advice for Joe is that campers for the most part are friendly and are always willing to lend a hand. If you get into a situation that you are not sure of, or if there is a breakdown at the campground, there probably will be a neighbor camper who surely will be glad to help out.
 
Welcome to the forum. From your posting, your fridge is electric only if I read that right. If it is, am surprised there are no solar panels on it already. At least to provide power to the fridge while going down the road. Mine is that way. Have 2 panels on the roof that came with it. A generator would be a good idea for boon docking. The suit case style like the Honda EU2200i or similar. You get what you pay for. Go cheap, may not last. I spent the money on Honda. But if you will need air conditioner, get one with a 30 amp plug in. Honda came out with a 3200 that has a 30 amp plug. Works great on my camper. There are less expensive ones similar to the Honda generators. Choose wisely. Great advice given above. Good luck.
 
Honda generators are high quality. However, there are others that work just as well and are much less expensive. If interested, you'll want an inverter generator which are much less noisy than an open frame generator.
 
Hondas are twice the price, but not twice as good. My first knockoff inverter genset I ran 15 years, I think I'm on season 5 of the second. This latest one often starts on the first pull after more than a month in the shed. The only knock against it is there aren't any aftermarket propane kits for it like some of the more spendy models. For standby use you can't beat propane but so far this clone is working great. As a bonus it's radio quiet, no problem running my ham radios in the field.

Mark B.
Albuquerque, NM
 
One thing that just came to mind, is the hitching, unhitching, connecting and disconnecting the hookups.

Develop a routine for this process. Hooking up is not a big deal, but the un-hookup process is important. When un-hooking all your connections, you don't want to be distracted.

In the early days:

I'd forgotten to take my water pressure regulator off of the site faucet, and had to replace it,

forgotten to plug in the 7 pin connection to my truck,

didn't tighten the anti sway bar,

forgot to fold in the hand hold outside my entry door, caught it on a branch and had to replace it,

didn't properly latch my emergency escape window and spotted it flapping in my rear view mirror,

Dragged my un hooked safety chains down the road.

Forgot to close/latch the bathroom door, which banged around until we got home and found a dent made by the doorknob.

It took me a while to learn that I had to focus on the task at hand to avoid expensive mistakes.

Just my $.02

Safe travels and all the best
 
One thing that just came to mind, is the hitching, unhitching, connecting and disconnecting the hookups.

Develop a routine for this process. Hooking up is not a big deal, but the un-hookup process is important. When un-hooking all your connections, you don't want to be distracted.

In the early days:

I'd forgotten to take my water pressure regulator off of the site faucet, and had to replace it,

forgotten to plug in the 7 pin connection to my truck,

didn't tighten the anti sway bar,

forgot to fold in the hand hold outside my entry door, caught it on a branch and had to replace it,

didn't properly latch my emergency escape window and spotted it flapping in my rear view mirror,

Dragged my un hooked safety chains down the road.

Forgot to close/latch the bathroom door, which banged around until we got home and found a dent made by the doorknob.

It took me a while to learn that I had to focus on the task at hand to avoid expensive mistakes.

Just my $.02

Safe travels and all the best
This is why we make a written list. In order of how things are attached or detached.
 
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