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Old 03-25-2017, 06:44 PM   #1
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2017 Interstate Grand Tour Ext
Houston , Texas
Join Date: Jan 2017
Posts: 380
Day Zero Gear

We're expecting delivery of our 2017 Interstate GT at the end of April. We are experienced travelers and long distance motorcyclists, but this is our first RV. As Interstate gurus, do you have recommendations on "Day Zero" gear specific to the Interstate or small motorhomes, stuff we seriously need to have to make our first overnight a non-disaster.

I've found lots of generic checklists for RV packing on the Internet, so I'm not looking for a repeat of the obvious. Nor am I looking for farkles that we will add over time as our whims dictate. But is there something that you kick yourself for not (or pride yourself for) thinking of on your first trip?

Leigh & Bettie
Houston TX
2017 Interstate GT
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Old 03-25-2017, 07:01 PM   #2
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2016 Interstate Grand Tour Ext
Bellevue , Washington
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We were over prepared so no, no regrets on the first trip. We have lightened up since then. Some essentials for us:

1. Spare fuses. Look in the fuse panel and get an extra couple for all of them. Most important is the Macerator 20 amp which blows up often and without it, you are in serious trouble!

2. Bottled water. We use the tank for washing, etc. but bring our own water.

3. A tool bag and flashlight. Rotated the driver seat for the first time but could not rotate it back! Imagine getting stranded for that. Used my tools to fix and make it rotate.

4. If it is cold and you will be plugging in, a small electric portable heater. It is more quiet, smells less and can be put where you want. And of course "free" to run.

5. A cell phone holder for my phone to use Google maps. What is inside dash is secondary. And to that end, a dual output tiny but high-current USB charger that plugs into cigarette lighter. The feed from my in-dash unit could not keep my Samsung Edge phone charged up.

6. We use the green tablets to keep the black tank fresh. Some people don't.

7. Our dealer gave us fresh water hoses, 20 amp adapter and such. Bought a bag to put the unwieldy power cord in. They are sold on Amazon for jumper cables.

8. A few disposable gloves kept in driver door pocket for dirty diesel pump handles.

9. Of course soap dispenser, paper towel, trash can bag, etc.

10. A few USB cords at appropriate lengths for using the tablet at night, etc.

This is it really. As you use the coach you will think of stuff you can use. In general in an RV you are always close to shopping so it is not like you have to go home to get stuff.

Congratulations by the way. We bought ours last year and it is the best (expensive) purchase we have made! Can't wait to start to use it again in a few weeks.

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Old 03-25-2017, 09:27 PM   #3
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Condoms, toothbrushes, tissues and remember to gas up....propane as well as diesel.

Not neccessarily in that order.


PS Also if one of you has a case of flatulence, be honest and give a heads up as the other person has only a second or two, and no where to run.
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Old 03-25-2017, 10:17 PM   #4
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To Amirm's list I would add a dump hose (if not supplied by dealer), extra water hose, 30 A extension cord and maybe a 20 A extension cord as well. (You can never have too much hose or too much cord.)

A few LED flashlights. Leveling blocks. We use the plastic "Lego" style.

A positive attitude and a good supply of your favorite alcoholic beverage(s).

Good luck, and welcome to the Airstreaming community!

P. S. Farkles?
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Old 03-26-2017, 06:25 AM   #5
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2017 Interstate Grand Tour Ext
Houston , Texas
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Originally Posted by Nuvite-F View Post
... P. S. Farkles?
Farkles = motorcycling term for vital and/or totally useless after-sales accessories you add to your bike. Known to increase the cost of a bike by 50%.


Leigh & Bettie
Houston TX
2017 Interstate GT
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Old 03-26-2017, 07:17 AM   #6
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Normal , Illinois
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Take a positive attitude, an open mind to the new people you will meet, and embrace the varied and wonderful experiences you will have in your new Interstate.

It is an exceptional way to explore the country, carrying with you your well-equipped, mini-house on your back.

Have a great time!

🏡 🚐 Cherish and appreciate those you love. This moment could be your last.🌹🐚
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Old 03-26-2017, 07:24 AM   #7
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League City , Texas
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I had to look up farkles as well (before I got to the end of the thread).

It depends a great deal on the type of travel that will dominate for you. My husband and I boondock almost exclusively, so what goes with that lifestyle is very different from a campground lifestyle. Furthermore we've been working toward a condition in which long-terming is possible. Ditto, because in that scenario the Interstate has to perform all the same functions as a house, and suddenly a farkle might take on an outsized importance.

For short initial trips, not yet knowing the style of tripping (so to speak), the items I would add are:

(1) One of those Camco or other brand collapsible brooms. I have mine mounted to the side of our fresh water tank like a Texan would mount a shotgun in the rear window of his or her truck cab. You will find yourself sweeping daily. Some people prefer portable vacuums. I've yet to try any of those, but I might get one now that we have a lithium system, because I don't like the idea of unsweepable debris accumulating around the batteries (dirt manages to get everywhere in an Interstate).

(2) A toiletries bag dedicated to the Interstate (no swapping stuff back and forth with the stick and brick house - that's a time-waster) that keeps EVERYTHING you'll need in one place, including towel and washcloth, whether showering inside or outside the rig. I use this one and I love it.

(3) For logistical smoothness, it's perhaps a good idea to determine in advance what you need in the way of bedding, and how you're going to store it. This is a sticking point for many people. Bedding is bulky and the Interstate is small. Some people really want the ability to make up a conventional bed in a stick-and-brick style - it's important to them. My husband and I gave up on that idea entirely, and are perfectly satisfied storing sleeping bags and a couple of Rumpl blankets under the couch. But the one thing we won't compromise on are pillows. We have two Tempurpedic Symphony pillows which are large and not compressible. We chose to dedicate a storage place for those right next to one of the rear wheel wells (they muffle some road noise).

(4) Start thinking early about how you will accomplish shoe management. To date, I've published 106 blog posts, and until last month when I published my review of the Houston RV Show, my number one blog post by hit count was the one I wrote about storing shoes in a Class B RV, because it's just such a pain for people.
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Old 03-26-2017, 07:34 AM   #8
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Duct tape, pocket knife and 50' orange extension cord. You can McGiver a lot of stuff outta those three items.

And beer. Never forget the beer.


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Old 03-26-2017, 09:47 AM   #9
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2014 Interstate Coach
Arroyo Grande & Central Point , California & Oregon
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You've gotten lots of suggestions on "Day Zero Gear" so I wont go there. What I will suggest is one very important mod you should consider. I would highly recommend getting a set of Borg Dually Valves and have them professionally installed. The installer will balance your rear wheels at installation but have them balance the fronts also and perform a front end alignment too. The dually valves will make it much easier to air your rear duals plus give you the ability to add a tire pressure monitor system if you choose to do so. The model number of the Dually Valves you need are DL1SPAL.
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Old 03-26-2017, 12:06 PM   #10
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Raymond , Iowa
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We bought our AI in Ca. and flew out to get it so our first trip was a two-weeker back to the Midwest. We ordered a queen sized foam topper on-line and had it sent to the Ca. dealer. We have never tried sleeping without it, so I can't say it was a 'must', but we sure like it. The rest of the stuff we had for our first two-week trip was brought in two suitcase and one duffle bag - and bought at Walmarts on the trip home. We (ok, my wife) used to sweep daily. Then we cut a piece of carpet for the entire floor. Very nice and toasty on barefeet - and now we (she) uses a 12V vacuum daily. Works great - or so she says.
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Old 03-26-2017, 02:38 PM   #11
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Taylor Ridge , Illinois
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I would add to make sure you run your furnace for 30 minutes or so with your windows open and exhaust fan on before you take it out. It will burn off the oils used in the manufacturing process and will also be a good test for your smoke alarm!
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Old 03-26-2017, 02:54 PM   #12
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I don't know what the obvious things are.

Whatever odds and ends you bring….carry them in a bucket, which comes in handy.

A cooler is great for things that won't fit in the tiny fridge. Great for drinks, ok beer, so you don't have to open the fridge every 15 minutes.

Handy Wipes help your water supply last.
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Old 03-26-2017, 05:25 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by TayaraTravel View Post
Farkles = motorcycling term for vital and/or totally useless after-sales accessories you add to your bike. Known to increase the cost of a bike by 50%.


And I thought it was a reference to the Laugh In Farkle family.

Since neither of what appear to be radar detectors on the left side are Valentine Ones, suspect there's a slot somewhere for holding all of the tickets.

Run your furnace before you actually need it as it has been reported that the initial use burns off some oily (?) coating which is unpleasant.

Good luck w/ your new AI and have fun. Do you plan to pull the bikes?
Glass half full or half empty to an engineer is the glass is twice as big as it needs to be.

PM me for sale info on my 2011. SOLD!
Upfitted Transit 350 sitting in driveway.
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Old 03-26-2017, 07:51 PM   #14
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Just go for it.

If you have a cell phone and a major credit card, you're pretty much invincible!

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