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Old 03-28-2010, 12:24 PM   #1
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Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Austin, Texas
Posts: 235
What I Have Learned

Here is a chance for you to share with other forum members things you have learned about pop-ups, RVs, travel trailers, 5ers, toy haulers, camping, making reservations, towing, filling your tow vehicle with fuel, emptying tanks, filling freshwater tanks, etc. I'll start:

1. Pop-ups offer little privacy--you hear everything your neighbors say and do and they hear everything you say and do.

2. Even with a great AC unit, it is impossible to keep a pop-up cool on a Texas beach in the middle of July!

3. You can't stop along your route and use the restroom in a pop-up, even if it has one.

4. You can't stop along your route and have lunch or a snack in a pop-up.

5. It is hell to have to break camp in the middle of a rain storm in a pop-up (or for that matter, in a travel trailer).

6. After fueling your tow vehicle, be careful pulling away from the gas pumps to not turn too soon or too sharply lest you kiss the pump with the rear of the trailer--a lesson learned by bitter experience (no damage to the protective pipe guarding the gas pump but a small crease and some yellow pain on the rear of our trailer.

7. After pulling a trailer for hours in the hot summer sun it takes hours for the AC to cool the trailer down to a comfortable level.

8. On really hot days it pays to cover windows with an extra layer of insulation while you are away; in a pinch you can use bath towels, light weight blankets, felt-backed plastic table cloths, etc., held in place by gravity or by wooden clothes pins.

9. Take extra water hose, sewer hose and leveling blocks on every trip--either you or another camper are sure to need them.

10. Do not unhook and level your trailer before you are sure your cords and hoses will reach electricity, fresh water and sewer connections.

11. Do not unhook and level your trailer before you are sure your slide will clear trees, electric supply posts and water faucets.

12. If you are camping overnight and plan to leave early the next day, consider putting leveling blocks under the back or front wheels of your tow vehicle rather than the travel trailer as a way to level the trailer front to back--you can stay hooked up and get away faster the next day.

13. Before you ever go camping in a new trailer, follow the manufacturer's sometimes hidden recommendation to run the furnace for the first time with the doors and windows open for about a half hour--otherwise you will experience a horrible smell and toxic fumes and your smoke alarm will cause you to go deaf or crazy or both.

14. A waste hauler with a capacity comparable with your gray water tank is indespensible when camping for several days at a campground with only a dump station. If you try to make do with a too-small waste hauler you will have to make multiple trips to empty a single tank AND you run the risk of overflowing your waste hauler if you fail to shut off the dump valve on the trailer quickly enough.

15. Split your firewood and kindling before you leave home and take it with you to make fire building easier and quicker at the campground.

16. Carry a five gallon bucket on all trips--it has many uses but the most important is that it can be used to douse campfires without having to run a water hose to the fire pit.

17. Buy an inexpensive battery-powered drill and socket that fits your leveling jacks to make lowering and raising those jacks easier and faster.

18. Do not leave your trailer plugged in to your tow vehicle overnight--you will drain the tow vehicle's battery and need a boost to start it!

19. Use plastic footlockers to transport and keep out of the weather camping gear in the back of pickups used to tow trailers.

20. Make a list of things to do when you break camp and use the list every time--failing to do so could lead to your pulling your trailer down the road with the television antenna in the upright position, a leveling jack dragging along behind because it was not raised, a trailer with no brakes because the power cord was not connected, a trailer with no safety break-away switch because the cable was not attached to the tow vehicle--you get my drift.

Now, don't everyone jump in at once to add to this list. . . .

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Old 03-28-2010, 09:45 PM   #2
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That's a pretty good start to the list!

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Old 03-29-2010, 07:56 PM   #3
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You have learned alot my friend. I suspect you have learned far more than that, your hand just got tired . Very good post.
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08 Chevy 2500HD LTZ Duramax /CC/SB/4x4
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Old 04-01-2010, 09:24 AM   #4
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Colorado Springs, Colorado
Posts: 37
Great list Texas Sam. Sometimes knowing what not to do is more valuable than knowing what to do! We have learned a few things as well-

You can't run the microwave, tv and air conditioner all at once even if you are plugged into AC at home. Blows the breaker every time!

Command products are great for hanging things in the RV. Comes off the surface (wall paper and wood) cleanly with no damage just as advertized.

Always turn the pump off and remove the stopppers from sinks before traveling.

Check the voltage in campgrounds with a volt meter. If it is not sufficient you can damage air conditioners, microwaves etc.

Check the purity of the water as well. We have found it to be less than desirable on occasion.

Never leave you awning unattended!
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Old 05-20-2010, 05:36 AM   #5
Join Date: Apr 2010
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This is a great post thanks to every one on the list of things learned.
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Old 05-20-2010, 07:08 AM   #6
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Enjoyed reading the posts... Some of that also applies to 5th wheels and others as well. Trust me, I speak from experience.
"It's a good thing we don't get all the government we pay for.":)
~ Will Rogers ~

Priscilla, best friend & navigator.
Hank (5 year old black & tan Dachshund)
Cocoa (3 year old brown & tan dapple Dachshund)
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Toad is a 2007 Jeep Wrangler X
(We traded in our F250 and Jayco Eagle)
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Old 05-20-2010, 08:46 AM   #7
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Location: Cherry Valley, CA
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lol-- that was my list as to why we went from a Jayco pop-up to our Jay-Flight.
You live you learn, but when it's all said and done you still had fun-- or you have fun telling the stories.

I'd like to add-- don't buy a generator based on the amount of amps it puts out-- take the hit on the chin and buy a Honda EU.

And... 2x6's make great leveling blocks.
Milk crates are like duct tape-- don't leave home without them.
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Old 05-20-2010, 08:08 PM   #8
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Benbrook, Texas
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Don't level and unhook until you make sure the wheels are ****ed.
235 pound man can't hold a 5000 pound trailer rolling down hill.
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Old 05-21-2010, 06:52 AM   #9
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Don't load anything near your safety switch wire in a 5'er...I did and when I pulled into a truck stop for fuel the turn was very sharp...the wire got caught in a chair that was loaded near the back of the bed....stopped me cold in the middle of the lot unable to go anywhere!....called my dealer and he said check the safety switch...lo and behold it was pulled out...scared us to death!
2009 Jayco Eagle 324 BHDS
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Old 05-24-2010, 08:01 PM   #10
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Just finished our 'shake-down' for the long weekend. Stayed in Lac Phillipe, Gatineau Park. Fantastic place...can't believe we've lived here for so long and never tried it before! Funny though...we had a pop-up pull in beside us and boy-oh-boy did we feel as though we were part of their lives! Heard everything they did even if we didn't want to! They tried so hard to be quiet too......

3 kids and Buddy the Dog;)
Victoria, BC

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