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Old 04-08-2011, 10:27 AM   #1
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Things To Do Before First Outing with a New Jayco

Under Construction..

Ok you guys/gals, here will be a "sticky" to help new owners know what to do after they bring their new Jayco home and before their maiden voyage.... post some ideas and we'll go from there. Thanks for your help!
(The suggestions below still need to be edited)--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Camp driveway. Best place to spend the first night, anything forgotten is steps away.

Run the furnace an hour or so to burn off the new smell. Open the door and windows then light and burn the oven for 15 - 30 minutes to eliminate the new oven smoke that might set off your smoke alarm.

Give every other system and appliance a good tryout to make sure they function properly.This includes the fresh water system. Fill it with water, pressurize the system with the water pump and check for leaks.

Examine the underside of the trailer to look for loose, missing, or broken bolts and screws. I found one broken and three loose screws. Easier to fix while at home than on the road.

Spray silicone lubricant on the tv antenna gear on the roof. It helps when you crank it up and down.

Keep paper and a pen for the running list of "I forgot" items.

Think through everything you need in a "room by room" manner.

Bring 2 spatulas for the grill - as it seems I always loose one - not really sure how though....

Before you take off, do your walk around to make sure everything is stowed away, antenna down, steps up, everything is disconnected (water hose/electric cord). Inside, make sure everything is off the counter tops and tables.

Understand how the waste systems work on the unit so your first dumping attempt will be a snap.

Read your owners and appliance manuals and learn how things work so you can do as much maintenance and troubleshooting yourself as possible. This could save you some big bucks and possibly get you out of a jam someday.

If equipped with slide(s), find the manual slide retractor and learn how to operate it in the event of a power or slide motor failure.

Give every appliance and system a good tryout to make sure they are all functioning properly. This includes the fresh water system.

Inspect the entire unit for any cosmetic or mechanical issues/imperfections that may be missed in the PDI.

Read your owners and appliance manuals and learn how things work and how to do as much yourself as possible.

If equipped with slide(s) find the manual slide retractor and learn how to operate it so you can retract the slide in the event of power or slide motor failure.

Make sure WD system and brake controller are adjusted properly for your trailer and vehicle. If unsure ask dealer or another experienced camper.

Understand the capabilities/limitations of your tow vehicle.

Check tire pressure and lug nuts (spare tire too) before first run, and after every 50 miles for the first 200 miles or so.

Check the valve stem cores on the wheels to verify they are tight enough.

If new to towing, practice backing up in an empty parking lot to gain skills and confidence for backing into campsites, etc.

I few other suggestions is a small tool box of basic tools, duct tape, bungee cords, and making sure all lights are working on TT before leaving.

Have the essentials for first campout, fresh water hose, sewer hose and fittings,levels on trailer, wheel chocks, leveling blocks or boards to level your trailer in unlevel sites, side to side. Your tongue jack levels you front to back. Consider an electric tongue jack to make life easier, not a must but very nice to have.

Stock your kitchen, bathroom vanity and cabinets to your taste but IMO always be weight conscious in your decisions as to what items you put in the trailer. Weights can really add up.

Physically check the height of the rig - nothing scarier than seeing 13'2" and you are actually 13'6". And remember to include the air conditioner in your measurement!

If new to towing, practice backing up in an empty lot to gain skills and confidence for backing into campsites, etc..

Be sure your weight distribution system and brake controller are properly adjusted.

Understand the capabilities/limitations of tour tow vehicle. Be prepared for poor gas mileage in most towing situations.

Know the overall height of your unit and the clearances on any route you may be taking with the taller units.

Keep your computer logged on to the Jayco OwnersForum and ask us any other questions you may have!

New propane tanks need to be PURGED and then filled if it came from dealer EMPTY.

Make sure that your low point drain faucets are closed. Also make sure the settings in the water/tank drain box are set correctly other wise you will have a flood under the unit.

...And be sure to have some $$$ available for what I call "startup costs"- especially if this is your first RV. It's like furnishing another house as you'll be buying dishes, pots, pans, silverware, bedding items, patio rug, food, cleaning items/supplies, electrical cord extensions, outside lights, safety equipment and much, much more than what I've listed. Don't be surprised if you rack up costs well over $500.00. Back when I bought my TT, televisions weren't included, so I had to buy one of those too, along with a DVD/VCR player.

We gave up eating out and started cooking at home more. Saved us about $500 a month when you compare eating out vs. buying grocery's for our family of 4

If you tt requires a 7 pin electrical connector be sure all the wires are connected in the tv fuse box. Some tv mfg's don't connect the constant 12v conductor until it's going to be used. That is the one that charges your battery while in transit. ps be sure the battery is fully charged before leaving
Denise, DH, grandkids, and two rescue pups
-2016 Jay Flight 29QBS Elite
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Old 08-18-2012, 10:38 PM   #2
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TTs do not come with tire changing jacks or lug nut wrenches. Make sure you have each and know how where to place the jack. FYI, not all lug nuts are the same size, the one in your TV may not work.

Take your first trip somewhere close to home (~30 miles), this will allow you to become more familiar with how the TT handles, and less stressed.

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Old 11-04-2012, 08:07 AM   #3
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Camped the first night 15 minutes from the house, Ikea makes a great place for pots, and other basic supplies. Our iIkea pot held up well to a campfire.
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Old 03-07-2013, 09:59 AM   #4
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Before you leave for the first trip make sure the tank drains are closed. This was not done on mine. I was not a happy camper when I took the cap off the sewer pipe getting ready to hook up the hose. Still makes me sick when I think about it. I don't think I need to say anymore.
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Old 03-19-2013, 02:49 PM   #5
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These are all so helpful. hopefully we can have more ideas added from the seasoned campers!!
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Old 03-25-2013, 03:18 PM   #6
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Don't forget to start a checklist. You'll find many online and possibly at your dealer - start with those and adjust as you get seasoned. It should cover prearrival, predeparture, transit, and maintenance at the very least.

It's been a real help especially when you're arriving or leaving in a hurry. The checklist should be in sequential order as well. It's not the big things but the small ones that will make you smack your forehead. As a first time TT owner last year, it was a very steep learning curve.


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Old 04-02-2013, 08:33 AM   #7
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Make sure there is enough slack in the cord to the emergency trailer brake pull pin. Ours came too short and a sharp turn while backing in, pulled the pin causing the brakes to engage.

Check to be sure your dealer installed the filter in your water filter. Ours didn't.
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Old 04-07-2013, 03:41 PM   #8
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this is a great list thanks!
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Old 05-12-2013, 04:44 PM   #9
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I learned a long time ago to make a list of the essentials you need to bring for each outing. I check off each item as I put it in the camper. You would be surprised how helpful this is because there is no doubt that you will forget something. Keep it an active list and each time you think about something you should have had, add it to the list.
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Old 05-12-2013, 05:37 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Jagiven View Post
TTs do not come with tire changing jacks or lug nut wrenches. Make sure you have each and know how where to place the jack. FYI, not all lug nuts are the same size, the one in your TV may not work.

Take your first trip somewhere close to home (~30 miles), this will allow you to become more familiar with how the TT handles, and less stressed.
Great advice. If you don't mind I will take it a step further. (Well, I guess whether you mind or not is now a moot point.)

All DIY types should buy a cross type lug wrench that fits. Even if your tow vehicle tv wrench fits, a proper cross (X style) wrench gives you much better/proper leverage with less chance of snapping off studs.

I know that it is a real pain in the arse, but take the time to actually jack up and change a forward and rear tire on your dual axles. It all seems great until you find that the jack you decided to carry with will not quite fit into where it needs to be or get into properly when the flat tire allows the trailer to settle down a bit lower to the ground. Grease up all the studs before re-assembly after your test run.

Lists????? My wife don't need no stinkin' lists. That's why my lists now include her required meds, fishing sun hat, long and short sleeved fishing shirt, her favorite pillow... you get the idea.

Wordpad or MS Word bullet lists are very easy to update and modify. As was mentioned, nothing gets struck off my list (I line out the items) until it is ACTUALLY aboard. I learned that just being in your way, or in the pile as you leave the door of your home is no guarantee that the item will be picked up and properly loaded. FWIW. vic
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Old 09-27-2013, 08:53 PM   #11
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Just a couple more.

On more than one occasion, I have left the connector that fits into the park sewer line. Also easy to forget to cap the sewer outlet on tt after disconnecting sewer hose. Also if you have manually extending mirrors on tv, remember to pull them out before leaving with tt.
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Old 11-09-2013, 02:51 PM   #12
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Make sure your fresh water system has been flushed! We were a little surprised finding pink water !! We were all packed & ready to go. Our selling dealer assured us it was all ready to go.
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Old 11-15-2013, 07:04 PM   #13
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If the trailer you bought was winterized check all the valves going and coming from the water heater to make sure they are in the operating position vs winterization by pass.
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Old 11-15-2013, 08:10 PM   #14
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Lock and BOLT your Travel Trailer doors. I was amazed that ours came open, even when we had it locked.
Richard & Marilyn
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Old 12-25-2013, 10:44 AM   #15
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Use Google Docs to keep your list, that way you can access it from any device (even phone)
Get an electric heater (ceramic or radiator) to you can heat with park electricity rather than propane when on shore power
Check the propane tank levels before each trip
Bring head lamp flashlights. Costco sells sets of 3 for $15 -- makes for two hands free on night ops
Do all shopping for food before each launch (or repositioning) so when you arrive you are all set -- great if things don;t work out and you arrive after dark
Leave EARLY, drive 5-6 hours max and be done by 2:00 PM each day. Fatigue is much worse at night and setup at night is stressful
Make sure you bring water containers, especially up north. Some campgrounds winterize and don't have water hookups

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Old 01-15-2014, 08:42 PM   #16
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Thanks for the useful information, even though reading through this, there will probably be something forgotten the first time out for me, lol!!!
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Old 01-15-2014, 08:55 PM   #17
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If you have a hybrid, season those tents !!!
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Old 03-27-2014, 04:00 PM   #18
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I couldn't find out how to attach my pre-trip check list, so I listed our basic items below. Sorry, I'm new to this forum.
Camper Check List

Load into Camper Prior to Trip

Cash (money)
Jayco manuals and folder
Eye glasses and contacts
Metal detectors and extra batteries
Clothes (pants, shirts, underwear, socks, coats, jackets, hats, etc.)
Iphones and Ipad (chargers for all)
Cannon camera and charger
Fishing equipment (if near a lake) and fishing license
Sun tan lotion
Rain coats
Ear plugs
Maps, GPS (power cords, miniature speaker and power cord) for long trips
Rubber gloves (heavy and light)
Measuring tape
Personal knife
BBQ pit, charcoal, electric pit lighter, cooking utensils - put in truck
Long and short extension cords
Orange safety cones
Folding table - put in truck
Lawn chairs - put in truck
Sewer and both water hoses
Step stool (tall one used on the boat)
Rusty's (our dog) stuff - bed, water/food (dry & can), bowls & stand, toys, two leashes, meds, copy of rabies shots)
Our medications and medical info
Deck of cards, Ole Sol games, harmonica, guitar, etc.
Cups and mugs
Plates and bowls
Dinner knives
Mixing bowls and spoons
Pot and pans
Matches and lighter
Cleaning supplies, sponges
Napkins, paper towels and clean rags
Dish soap, bathing soap, hair shampoo and conditioner, etc.
Wash cloths (4), shower towels (4), and hand towels (4)
Tupperware, Ziplocks bags and/or aluminum foil
Can opener
Mosquito and chigger repellant
Tool box, bucket, rope
First aid kit
Flashlight (check batteries)
Toilet paper, paper towels, Kleenex
Fan for noise at some campgrounds
Mugs - cold and hot
Pillows, sheets, blanket
Leaf blower and extension cord (clean off top of slide out)
Basic Food Items
Cooking oil
Salt, pepper, spices
Sausage (breakfast and German)
ET's coffee
Orange juice
GT's coffee
Miracle whip
Luncheon meat
Sugar (or substitute)
Dr. Peppers
Steak, hamburger meat
Jello or apple sauce
Bean dip
Salad dressing
Hamburger meat, steak, chicken
Bottle water (medium and gallons)
Bag of ice
Mechanical Check List
Check air in camper tires, torque wheel lugs (after each trip), outside running and backup lights, brake lights
Turn on refrigerator the day before trip to cool and load food day of trip
Check 12 v battery charge
Cover outside openings to keep rats and bugs out.
Check all fluids, tires, etc. on truck
Close all vents (oven) and windows if opened
Put away all lose items inside trailer
Turn off furnace while traveling
Turn off propane while traveling, unless being used by refrigerator
Sanitize clean water system
Latch drawers, cabinets, and doors
Turn off interior lights and appliances
Disconnect cable for TV and lower the TV antenna
Retract slide-out
Refrigerator - set to gas or turn off
Turn off water heater and two switches on panel
Empty black and grey holding tanks
Retract awning and secure for transport
Retract steps
Retract leveling jacks and blocks
Water hose and electric cord unhooked and stored
Lock both doors
Clean off slide out with blower
Walk around trailer and truck to make sure everything is stored away and all outside compartments are closed and LOCKED before traveling.
Test brakes during slow travel, turn on Ford truck Tow Haul and Sway Control
Return Home - unload all food, open refrigerator door (baking soda), remove all trash and clean sink, bathroom etc. Remove sheets and other items that need to be washed. Open all cabinets and drawers.
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Old 04-14-2014, 06:06 PM   #19
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That's a great list.. I have learned over the years to keep everything in the rv. Our 5'er is completely stocked with everything except food. All we have to do is hook up and go.
I am going to get a list started just for back up tho.. LOL
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Old 04-14-2014, 06:14 PM   #20
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Texas Camper, can you email me that list please?

Thank You
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