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Old 03-16-2015, 11:42 AM   #1
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Great Falls , Virginia
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my maiden voyage

I am back from my first trip in my new 2014.5 airstream Interstate. I took the silver spaceship to a dog show in Maryland last weekend and I have mixed feelings about my maiden voyage...

#1 I was confused about the electrical hookups. I was told the electrical was 110 or 220 and I could use 30amp but the receiver was more like a 20amp. Luckily, I had an adapter but I wasn't sure what to do about the switch in the main panel... I put the panel switch on 20amp, just to be safe but the electrical stuff is super confusing to me and I was camped with other novices who were winging it too, so I had to rely on st. pattys luck and a surge protector.

#2 I do not want to camp in a winterized RV more than one night.... pouring antifreeze in a toilet is not the kind of glamping I had in mind and I really would have liked a shower by the second day. Plus, the john is so small that I already have to do yoga to use it and adding extra steps to that is no fun!

#3 The bed is VERY uncomfortable to sleep on... maybe that is because it new but I HATED it. I had 3 fluffy sleeping bags on the bed the first night but I still woke up at 3am in pain. I bought a 2in memory foam mattress at walmart the second night. That helped a little but I had to sleep with my feet pointing to the side of the rig, instead of the front... I am too tall to do that again so I need to figure out how to make the hard bars on the slide out chairs not stick up so I can sleep with my legs extended. Also, the foam mattress takes up too much room ... I wish I had the fixed twin bed model.

#4 Sleeping on an incline makes things worse. I didn't notice an incline until I went to sleep the first night but I couldn't do anything to fix it. Leveling blocks are on my shopping list.

#5 I brought too much dog stuff... I over prepared for my dogs and brought too many exercise pens and grooming stuff. My cargo area was FULL. I will minimize to the essentials for the next trip.

#6 It poured rain Saturday and keeping things dry was a real challenge, especially with the dogs. I used a series of Dirty Dog Doormats that sopped up water but the rig still felt humid and damp.

#7 I love the mini space heater I bought... I like the idea of not using the propane if I don't have to and that little heater kept me warm in 35 degree weather.
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Old 03-16-2015, 01:04 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by k9jackie View Post
#1 I was confused about the electrical hookups. I was told the electrical was 110 or 220 and I could use 30amp but the receiver was more like a 20amp. Luckily, I had an adapter but I wasn't sure what to do about the switch in the main panel... I put the panel switch on 20amp,
Good move. You did it exactly right. Never try to plug into a 220v anything. And if you know you've only got 20amp service coming in through your normally-30-amp system, manually switching the EMS to 20amp for management of load-shedding is the right procedure. It will switch automatically to 20amp if you run the generator, though.

Quote:
#2 I do not want to camp in a winterized RV more than one night.... pouring antifreeze in a toilet is not the kind of glamping I had in mind and I really would have liked a shower by the second day.
If you're going to be camping more than one night, and you have shore power, go ahead and un-winterize and rely on your tank heaters, then re-winterize before you go home. In the winter of 2013/2014 I winterized five times because I kept going on winter camping trips and had to un-winterize for the trips. BUT remember that your macerator pump isn't heated so try not to dump the holding tanks in below-freezing temperatures.
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#3 The bed is VERY uncomfortable to sleep on... maybe that is because it new but I HATED it… so I need to figure out how to make the hard bars on the slide out chairs not stick up so I can sleep with my legs extended.
Tip the seats up about halfway, and you'll see the boards are held on with just two hex-head machine screws each. Remove them and see if the bed is more comfortable. If it is more comfortable with the boards removed, then you can figure out later if you want to modify them before you put them back or just leave them out and be done.
Quote:
#4 Sleeping on an incline makes things worse. I didn't notice an incline until I went to sleep the first night but I couldn't do anything to fix it. Leveling blocks are on my shopping list.
Welcome to the club. I lived with not being level for about a year before buying my leveling blocks, though.
Quote:
#5 I brought too much dog stuff... I over prepared for my dogs and brought too many exercise pens and grooming stuff. My cargo area was FULL. I will minimize to the essentials for the next trip.
A hitch-mounted cargo box might be just the thing. Lets you store outdoor equipment outside, and indoor equipment inside.
Quote:
#6 It poured rain Saturday and keeping things dry was a real challenge, especially with the dogs. I used a series of Dirty Dog Doormats that sopped up water but the rig still felt humid and damp.
I don't think the usual humidity solution of ventilating with a vengeance will help when it's raining outside and the dogs are wet inside. You may need to buy a good-quality dehumidifier. Or blow-dry the dogs.
Quote:
#7 I love the mini space heater I bought... I like the idea of not using the propane if I don't have to and that little heater kept me warm in 35 degree weather.
Don't be afraid to use the propane. Especially if you're only plugged into a 20-amp power source. You've got an 18-gallon built-in propane tank, that you can fill to 14 gallons before the OPD valve stops you from filling any farther. At 4.3 pounds per gallon that's about 60 pounds of propane, or as much as two removable cylinders on the front of an Airstream trailer. You will not be able to use it all in one trip, unless you're gone for weeks on end.
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Old 03-16-2015, 01:34 PM   #3
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Don't be afraid to use the propane. Especially if you're only plugged into a 20-amp power source. You've got an 18-gallon built-in propane tank, that you can fill to 14 gallons before the OPD valve stops you from filling any farther. At 4.3 pounds per gallon that's about 60 pounds of propane, or as much as two removable cylinders on the front of an Airstream trailer. You will not be able to use it all in one trip, unless you're gone for weeks on end.
Ditto on using the furnace. I am always surprised how little gas it uses. For the first time using the furnace, start it at home with the doors open. It will generate enough smoke to set off the fire alarm. it only does this the first time you use it.
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Old 03-16-2015, 07:15 PM   #4
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Sounds like a valuable learning experience which will make each trip better and better. You'll get it, hang in there.
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Old 03-16-2015, 10:53 PM   #5
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Loved reading this fearless account! We predict that in no time you will be as crazy about your rig as we are about our steadfast steed.


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Old 03-17-2015, 07:35 AM   #6
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Don't get discouraged, you'll be a pro in no time.

Funny how the Dog's turn you into a Stream'r.

We also started at the shows.

Bob
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