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Old 03-25-2014, 09:21 PM   #1
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Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: lubbock
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Maiden Voyage in the BIRD!

Hola everyone, we went on our first real camping trip this past week and it was so much fun I had to write about it and share some of our first experiences and hopefully get feedback on a couple of things.

First I am a complete newbie and all of my experience has been through reading this forum and watching the few videos. Second we just recently bought a 2014 264bh and we had been driveway camping the first part of the week.

I am glad we did because the first night it dropped down into the high 30s and I turned on the furnace. Minutes later we had that new furnace burning smell throughout the trailer and then the smoke alarm went off. It scared the _____ out of my wife and it is a good thing we got that out of the way at the house.

The trip to the lake was uneventful and our site was an easy pull through so all was good. Setting up I discovered that the plastic water heater plug would not thread in. So I intentionally cross threaded it hoping that I would not damage the water heater drain threads and only the cheap plastic plug. It worked and I replaced it with a brass one today but could not find the type with a valve and a 3/8s male end to attach a water supply line to for easy draining. Is this a specialty plumbing piece that is only available at an RV store? Home Depot did not have anything.

The second thing we had to battle was the city water connection. It leaked like crazy (on the site side of things) and ran under the trailer making the trailer entrance a wet and muddy experience. I only had a 25ft. hose and could not reach the water valve at the next site.

Another camper noticed it and suggested that I fill my fresh water tank and use the pump, but then he loaned me his extra hose. He told me that you have to be prepared for things like this and to carry an extra 25 to 50ft hose. I will buy one next week. How many hoses do you carry and is 50ft enough for most campgrounds?

After that we started enjoying the lake and left the site. That is when I found out that I locked the trailer with the keys inside. Good thing I have a limber teenager as he had to go through the lower bunk bed storage hold to get in and unlock the trailer. He did so, but that is when we found out that if you lock the door latch and open it from the inside and then close it - you are locked out again... So he got to climb through a second time and it was then that I unlocked the door latch. I will be making duplicates and a getting a hide a key.

The rest of the 3 day camping trip was great, hiking, mountain biking, football and horseshoes. No swimming or fishing due to the weather but it was great anyway. The people in the campground were awesome - very friendly and my kids played constantly.

Luckily the wind was not too bad and we were allowed to have a camp fire. We had smores, played guitar and sang badly. It was a great time. It was not until we got home did I realize that the campfire smell was in everything. We stunk and the trailer did too. Fabreze worked ok and now after a couple of days the trailer does not have that new trailer smell or the campfire smell, but question if there is something better out there. How do you get the campfire smell out of your trailer?

So unfortunately we had to go Spring Break was over and we had to pack up and go home. I tried to be diligent but as we were driving away a guy screamed out you left your TV antenna up. From what I understand you can buy/make all sorts of reminders, and I plan on creating my own checklist, but does anyone have one already created?

Drive home was sad and the kids are already asking about our next trip. So all in all a super great time and I got one under my belt. Now I need to get more camping savvy and remember everything before I pull out.

TT - 2014 Jay Flight 264BH
TV - 2012 Dodge Ram 1500 Crew 5.7
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Old 03-26-2014, 05:02 AM   #2
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Even with the issues, sounds like your family had a blast...we wish we could be camping too!!! Enjoy!

2014 Eagle 33.5 RETS
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Old 03-26-2014, 06:23 AM   #3
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Sounds like everyone had a blast! Don't sweat about the minor mishaps - we all have one or two of them on almost every outing. Just keep notes, so you can check those items off your "must do" list each time you set out, set up, or take down. Each trip gets easier to prep for, and (once you learn what you can safely leave in the trailer), easier to unpack.

Hope you and your family continue to have save and enjoyable camping experiences.
2013 Eagle 266RKS
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Old 03-26-2014, 06:54 PM   #4
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x2 Brownie. We all have the small minor things happen. Kinda the fun part of working through the challenges with what little you have with you. If push comes to shove, remember there is usually always a walmart or other big box store around that you can get things at, or your fellow campers can sometimes help out in a pinch.
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Old 03-26-2014, 08:08 PM   #5
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It is all good even tho you had a few problems. Memories are great
2011 jayco 33rlds, 2002 Ford excursion, v-10, 3:73 gears 4x4 mine. 2008 Suzuki sx-4, hers. Retired Air Force, now Retired.
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Old 03-26-2014, 11:38 PM   #6
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Location: Missouri City, The Republic of Texas
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We pulled into a burger place in Lafayette LA, I waited w/ the trailer and a fellow passing by shouted to me that the antenna was up. I thanked him and he replied "guess why I noticed". School of hard knocks is the best teacher.

Other folks will check in on this but I think you should go back to the plastic water heater plug. The Atwood is aluminum and a dissimilar metal may cause corrosion. I carry spare plugs and replace when needed. JMHO
Enjoy the new TT, it is a "trip".

You mention the "lake". Buffalo lake?
I was born in Hub City but mom/dad moved to Dallas when I was maybe 2. Went back several times in the 70's but not since. Anyway, enjoy the TT and keep posting your questions and what you learn.

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Old 03-27-2014, 06:21 AM   #7
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I am glad you had a great experience. I only use a plastic plug. I only remove the plug once a year when winterizing the TT and take my time to ensure to not crossthread it when reinstalling and I have a few spare in case I do crossthread it. I carry a 35' hose , a 25' hose , a 15' hose and a 4' hose. Most times I only use the 15' or 4' but one CG we go to has the water hook up so far away I have to use the 25' and 35' hoses. In the winter months I always look in the RV section at Walmart to buy some marked down items. I have found water hoses, 30 amp extension cords, dog bones and Lynx levelers on clearance. I try to have what I need always packed away in the TT. Experience is the best teacher.
Joe, Joyce , 4 Kids and 3 Dogs.
2004 V-10 Excursion with Hellwig sway bar, Roadmaster Active Suspension, Bilstein shocks and steering stabilizer, Super Duty Tow Mirrors,
3.73 Gears, Reese dual cam, Prodigy brake controller.
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Old 06-19-2014, 05:18 PM   #8
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Just bought the same TT last week. Taking it out on our Maiden Voyage this weekend. Going to a Rv park with full hook ups. Any advice or tricks of the trade?

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