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Old 05-18-2024, 06:13 PM   #1
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Question First time camping/towing in about 30 years... TIPS?

This will be my first real camper and first real towing experience for this size/weight/distance. We have the Jayco 174BHW behind the Volvo XC90 T8 Recharge.

Any big (or little) tips or gotchyas to be aware of going into this as a fairly new novice to camping with a camper? This can be either camper, camping, or towing essentials.

Thanx in advance!
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Old 05-18-2024, 06:41 PM   #2
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They say you should do a "test camp" with your rig at, or close to, home before you take it out. A lot depends on the campground. Water/sewer/electric? Boondocking? Either way, you will need means for heat and means for dumping your blackwater (first) and your grey water (last). Rubber gloves and hand sanitizer. Watch your battery voltage. Don't take it down much below 12v or you can damage it. Wheel chocks before you release the hitch from the ball.
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Old 05-18-2024, 07:33 PM   #3
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Welcome to the Forum from Western New York State! Congratulations on the new trailer.

Depending on the logistics of the campgrounds and sites you prefer, there will be some with the hookups farther away than others, and it's frustrating when you find your power cord, water hose or sewer hose too short to reach. We carry two additional 25' power cords, an extra 25' water hose (along with a 4' and 2-10' lengths for the close connections), and extra sewer hoses also.

An EMS (electrical management system) such as a Progressive Industries or Hughes Watchdog with EPO. Not inexpensive, but a must have to protect your trailer from bad power at parks, along with the occasional bad lightning storm.

The rest of the necessities and nice-to-haves will come along the more you have outings. Take a pad of paper and pen to jot down things you want to get, forgot to bring, or just pack from home to leave in the trailer. A tool kit will come in handy more times than not, for both the tow vehicle and trailer too.

Don't get overwhelmed, try to buy everything all at once, or get stressed driving to or spotting your unit on a site. With that, here's a video (one of many on Youtube) on how to back into a site when you arrive. Click on the Youtube link to see it. Enjoy!

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Old 05-18-2024, 07:38 PM   #4
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Drive between 62 and 65 on the expressway and
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Old 05-18-2024, 07:41 PM   #5
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I should elaborate about set-up. You need to check level left-to-right and back the camper tire that is down hill over the appropriate number of 2x6's to get it level. THEN wheel chocks. Then release chains, lift it off the ball, pull the truck forward, and level the trailer front-to-back with the tongue jack. Since you are local, I recommend Turquoise Lake for one of their camp grounds. You have a good size camper for the federal campgrounds.
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Old 05-18-2024, 07:55 PM   #6
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One more thing. You want to flush the fresh water tank good before pumping tank water. When the manufacturer cuts holes in the tank, shards of plastic fall into the tank. If the tank isn't flushed you run the risk of getting those plastic bits into your water pump. Alternatively, you can get a filter for the inlet side of the pump. To flush it, simply fill the tank with the gravity fill inlet and open the valve for the the low-point drain. If plastic bits get stuck in your pump, it will cycle on and off because water will leak backwards through the pump.
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Old 05-19-2024, 08:39 AM   #7
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Spend a night or two camping in your driveway. It will give you a chance to see how far your batteries and tanks will go. You can do an actual test of the fridge, stove, furnace, AC, water pump, lighting, etc. For example, learning where your fridge settings should be can prevent having all your veggies, eggs, and beer from freezing solid in your fridge.

Acquaintances of ours showed up with their brand new trailer at a group camping trip. They hadn't tried anything in the trailer and brought only frozen foods for their inaugural camping trip, not knowing that the microwave wouldn't work on battery power. He was embarrassed and stubborn and refused to accept any help. They didn't have any pots or pans so he opted for eating frozen pizza pockets with warm beer, while she ate chips, and other snacks. Two lessons were, get to know your RV, when the consequences of mistakes won't ruin your camping trip and don't be embarrassed to accept help from people who have made every mistake you have, and many more. In my experience, people are happy to help. I know I am.

Then, if feasible, go to a sanidump when it's not busy so you can get the hang of it without feeling the pressure of having a line up of RVs waiting behind you.


That's a great trailer and you'll have lots of great trips in it!
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Old 05-19-2024, 10:07 AM   #8
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First thing you should do after you back up the trailer is spray your sanitizing spray on the water bib before you touch it. The past person in your spot just emptied his black tank (with his gloves on hopefully) and now touches the water bib!!!
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Old 05-19-2024, 12:53 PM   #9
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Be very careful towing. There are some crazy drivers out there with absolutely no regard or respect for folks towing a trailer.
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Old 05-19-2024, 09:06 PM   #10
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Great tips and ideas. Thank you all!
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Old 05-19-2024, 09:32 PM   #11
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Nice rig, did you get some kind of weight distribution hitch? If you don't know exactly what a WDH does do some research as this is a big safety need. I love the Andersen because it is simple, light and has done a really good job on sway prevention for us. If you don't understand sway danger google it. Basically, the trailer starts penduluming behind the tow car.
Don't be afraid to ask questions about how to operate anything.

As above and many other places, before you head out for the summer adventure try one or more campouts close to home, like under 25 miles if possible. Then if you forget medicine, some clothing, etc. you can pop home for it. A night in the driveway will also help but nothing compares to a campground to practice in!.


Good luck and see you down the road!
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Old 05-29-2024, 11:58 AM   #12
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[QUOTE=FISTEP;1162254]Spend a night or two camping in your driveway. It will give you a chance to see how far your batteries and tanks will go. You can do an actual test of the fridge, stove, furnace, AC, water pump, lighting, etc. For example, learning where your fridge settings should be can prevent having all your veggies, eggs, and beer from freezing solid in your fridge. ...


Totally agree with this. With our first TT we started out with simply preparing a good dinner and eating at the dinette while still at home. You get to know your trailer and spend time anticipating and discussing all the great RV trips in your future.

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Old 05-30-2024, 09:54 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tunce the traveler View Post
First thing you should do after you back up the trailer is spray your sanitizing spray on the water bib before you touch it. The past person in your spot just emptied his black tank (with his gloves on hopefully) and now touches the water bib!!!
Good point, sir. Will remember.
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Old 06-03-2024, 10:31 PM   #14
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I recommend typing this question into the search box on YouTube. There are too many to mention but we learned a TON from these videos by the YouTubers. Some recommendations - Wandering Weekends, HappilyEverHanks, All About RVs, Highway Therapy, National RV Training Academy to name a few. Others will drop into your feed once you start watching.
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