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Old 05-13-2014, 12:05 PM   #11
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Everyone's response here is great.. Expect the first few times out to be a bit daunting if you have never camped or at least camped in a TT. After 1 year with a popup and 3 trips out with the new TT (bought in January), I can honestly say that we can be out the door within the hour. Only things we now have to actually place into the camper is clothing, food, drink and disposables. (paper plates, napkins, etc.).. Don't feel bad if you forget something, happens to seasoned campers as well. Very important this is to also have a setup and pre-travel list as well. There are a few posts on the site about that. Thinks like setting your wheel chocks first, don't forget to lower your antenna...

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When I die, I want to go peacefully like my grandfather did–in his sleep. Not yelling and screaming like the passengers in his car.
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Old 05-13-2014, 01:02 PM   #12
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For the essentials with full-hookups, I've prepared a basic list in the order of need upon your arrival at the campground site:

(note: before departing, sanitize the water system and check all wheel lugs)

A. Parking the Trailer.

1. Wood blocks for placing under the tires to level the trailer side-to-side (if necessary);

2. Leveler gauge(s) for determining if trailer is level;

3. Wheel chocks for preventing the trailer from moving (put in place before disconnecting from tow vehicle);

4. Wood blocks for the trailer tongue jack (e.g., a couple of 2x8s);

5. Wood blocks for placing under the (4) four leveling jacks;

Comment: for nos. (1) and (5), go to a big box hardware store and have them cut a couple of 2x4s (10ft or 12ft in length) into one (1) ft blocks.

B. Water Hook-Up

6. Water Pressure Regulator for attaching directly to park/site water faucet (this protects the water lines in your trailer);

7. Two (2) white water hoses (plan on two hoses b/c sometimes the water faucet is "conveniently" placed some distance from your city water inlet connection);

8. A 90-degree angle water elbow for attaching to your trailer city water inlet connection (this provides a more stable connection and reduces stress on the inlet connection);

9. A water filter (a basic (blue) one can be found at most walmarts) for inserting in-line between the white water hose and the 90-degree angle water elbow;

10. A package of two (2) nylon hot water drain plugs as a preventive measure (see, for example, http://tweetys.com/drainplug918572ca...FckWMgodO1QADQ) -- never use a metal drain plug;

Comment: before turning on the water, open a cold and hot water faucet farthest from city water inlet connection to allow the air inside the water lines to escape)

C. Electrical Hook-Up

11. A 30amp-120V adapter (see pic at bottom) used in conjunction with circuit tester (see, for example, https://www.jaycoowners.com/forums/sh...ad.php?t=19483, post #4) to test the electrical circuit at the pedestal;

Comment: before making any connections to the electrical pedestal, turn OFF all circuit breakers on the pedestal. Then connect the 30amp-120V adapter to the 30amp connection on the pedestal; turn ON the 30 amp circuit breaker. Next, insert the circuit tester into the 30amp-120V adapter and ensure that there are no electrical errors. If all is good, turn OFF the 30-amp circuit breaker, remove the adapter and circuit tester, and then attach your 30amp electrical cord to pedestal; finally, turn ON the circuit breaker. In general, state parks (such as where you are going) are usually wired correctly so you shouldn't find any errors, but it is good practice to always check before plugging-in. If errors found, move to a different site. In the future, you might want to consider adding an electrical management system (EMS), but I consider the EMS beyond the basic essentials; same consideration for a digital voltmeter.

12. Spare automotive blade-type fuses (take a peek at your power panel and see what type of fuses you need -- e.g., 5, 10, 15, and 20amp fuses);

D. Trailer Usage

13. Two (2) small carpets for reducing dirt/wear-n-tear on trailer flooring. Place one carpet on ground underneath trailer steps; place the other on flooring adjacent to door opening;

14. RV toilet paper;

15. Spare light bulbs;

E. Departure

16. Torque wrench (eg. 120 ft-lbs) for ensuring that the lugs are properly tightened. I recommend this as an "essential," but many do not. It is good practice (if not highly recommended) to check all wheel lugs before departing.

17. A clear drain adapter for attaching to the drain tube (for the grey and black water tanks) on the trailer, where the sewer/drain hose is attached to the clear drain adapter (this will allow you to know whether the tanks are clean upon draining); see, for instance, http://www.dyersonline.com/rv-plumbi...-adapters.html

Comment: even though you'll have full hook-ups, do NOT leave the black tank drain valve pulled out (ie, open) while camping. Doing so will allow solid items to become affixed to the side/bottom of the black holding tank, and in turn, create problems. Keep the black tank valve closed during camping and only open when departing.

18. A drain/sewer hose;

19. Disposable gloves for use during the dump station drill or on-site sewer;

20. A garden hose for rinsing the drain/sewer hose and related components (also, depending upon your trailer, the hose is handy for attaching to an integrated black water tank flushing connection); and

21. Black water holding tank treatment (I've had good success with Oxy-Kem but there are others; see http://www.walmart.com/ip/Oxy-Kem-Ho...-12pk/16647988).

Enjoy your first camping trip! If you need help when at your site, don't be afraid to ask other campers for assistance.
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Old 05-13-2014, 02:29 PM   #13
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I learned many years ago to keep calm and carry a credit card. There aren't many problems that can't be fixed with a Wally World and a Visa card. I used to panic and try to think of every little thing I might need; I'd keep myself up at night for days before a big trip thinking about everything I would forget. After many years and much practice, I learned to calm down; if I don't have what I need, I can probably buy it.

I also came up with a strategy: if I can't fix it with the basic tools I carry, I reevaluate whether it must be fixed RFN. Can I get by without it? Is there an alternate solution? If it must be fixed and there's no alternate solution, I find the closest store that might have what I need and make a "parts run" (assuming I can fix it at all, most problems that would require a parts run will also require professional assistance!). I also learned to carry some cash and keep a little notebook with me at all times to jot things down that I might forget.

IMHO, the lists and items mentioned here are absolutely fantastic. But the most important items you can bring on any RV trip are not available in stores:

1) A level head (don't panic, rationally evaluate the problem and formulate a solution, the "blame game" will get you nowhere)
2) A can-do attitude (we can fix this, and I will not let it ruin our trip)
3) A willingness and propensity to create unconventional solutions (duct tape?)
4) A good sense of humor (try to see the humor in your misery, you'll likely laugh about it later anyway)
5) A credit card with a high limit

Don't get me wrong, I still pack a lot of stuff! And I have an assortment of laminated checklists. I just don't let the potential of forgetting something weigh too heavy on my mind...

2014 Jay Flight 28 BHBE
2015 RAM 2500 6.4L HEMI, Tradesman 4x4, 3.73
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Upgraded from an REI internal frame backpack and a Eureka 1/2 dome tent!
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Old 05-13-2014, 03:59 PM   #14
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You might find that the drain hose that came with the camper stinks... er, is not very good.
2011 32bhds
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Old 05-13-2014, 04:49 PM   #15
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So many good things here.....I missed many when I went the first time and the last time. I have only went 3 times....once with the dog, did not bring his food, he enjoyed a treat that he never gets, can food! I forgot my pillows on my last trip....bought pillows to leave there now!

I did buy a regulator and a good 30amp surge protector along with an up graded sewer hose. I also bought roof vents to install on my vents so that I can let the hot air escape this summer. I'm going to buy spare fuses and hot water tank plugs. I got a camp mat for cheap until I build the patio. I got a fold up table to set up my out door kitchen on come summer time.....many more things to buy and change I'm sure.

I have used this site as a resource and will keep doing so as I'm a newbie when it comes to a TT as I never had one....and last camped in a tent 20 plus years ago!

Dollar stores have became my favorite places to shop for all the things you need.
2013 Jayco Flight 33RLDS ( Parking this at seasonal site)

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Old 05-15-2014, 06:37 PM   #16
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My list must include ice cold adult beverages.

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Old 05-15-2014, 06:44 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by MarkeMark View Post
My list must include ice cold adult beverages.

That was at the top of the first list
Jim & Kim from Colorado

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Old 09-21-2015, 09:38 AM   #18
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Thank you for all of these tips - we pick up our trailer on Friday and are headed to a close by state park for it's first trip. We are both VERY nervous as neither of us has experience with anything other than a tent!
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Old 09-21-2015, 10:03 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by Camper_bob View Post
IMHO, the lists and items mentioned here are absolutely fantastic. But the most important items you can bring on any RV trip are not available in stores:
1) A level head (don't panic, rationally evaluate the problem and formulate a solution, the "blame game" will get you nowhere)
2) A can-do attitude (we can fix this, and I will not let it ruin our trip)
3) A willingness and propensity to create unconventional solutions (duct tape?)
4) A good sense of humor (try to see the humor in your misery, you'll likely laugh about it later anyway)
5) A credit card with a high limit
Absolutely perfect! Think back to your tent-camping or back-packing days ... you got along with very little! Like others have noted, don't obsess ~ strive to get out of the house in less than an hour so your get-away is exactly that, fun and not drudge.

We lived in Europe so did a fair amount of tent-camping; we camped once by the side of the Danube with a gaggle of fun-loving gypsies, and another time in Vienna - camping very rustically next to us was a family from some eastern-bloc country. With rudimentary German as the only way to communicate for both sides, we learned their little put-put car (for which there are no repair parts) was broken-down and he was asking if we had some wire BUT we had something better ~ duct tape! Wow, he used the whole roll patching this-and-that and was thrilled when we sent him on his way with a couple more rolls. So ... don't get your knickers-in-knots worrying over the trip, use those 5 hints above, laugh at your misses, and build great memories (like the ones I shared here)!

BTW, right now our hot-water heater is down as we wait for Jayco warranty repair approval, but that won't change our upcoming plans for Yosemite. So long as there are public restrooms/showers and a spigot for water, we'll do fine. Just like when you tent-camped, those sleeping bags will keep you warm at night and do all your cooking and washing outside of the rig.
"I just go where I'm towed to"

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Old 09-21-2015, 10:14 AM   #20
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ME TOO - The information, advice and lists on this thread are really great for me too.

TOTAL NEWBIE here. Just purchased a 2016 Jay Feather X17Z and looking forward to our first trip this fall in October to one of the beautiful National Parks in southern Utah about 200 miles away. Hoping to take an overnight test run before then closer by in the mountains. Took a bit to get ready to go and get a brake controller installed between the car and trailer dealer. Finally got that done this past week so we should be ready. (Teknonsha Prodigy P2 unit).

The information here is great for me too. Lots of camping back in the day (but not recently) and never with a TT. I'm sure I'll have plenty of questions as well.

2016 Jay Feather X17Z to be towed by a 2015 Honda Pilot SE 4WD and E2 WDH system.
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