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Old 12-07-2017, 07:05 AM   #169
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A small mat on the driver's side, near the fresh water fill, municipal water hookup, and outdoor shower, can also prevent messes, since at many campgrounds the service side can be perpetually muddy (especially if you ever use your outdoor shower).
I will add a smaller one for that side. Thank you!
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Old 12-07-2017, 07:14 AM   #170
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I need to find out if an ARB cooler will fit in the back and still allow for the bed to come down...
If you don't mind my saying…

That's only an issue if you intend to keep the cooler inside the van 24/7. A cooler that can be locked closed (to keep out raccoons— if a bear wants it he can have it), and with the means to lock it to your hitch receiver (bicycle lock?) if it's worth stealing, can be stored outside when you're camping, especially if it's going to hold food that will be grilled outside. Besides, for cold-weather camping this time of year, the ice will last longer if the cooler is outside than if it's inside. Then as long as the cooler fits behind the seat in transit, it doesn't matter if you can still turn the seat into a bed.
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Old 12-07-2017, 07:29 AM   #171
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If you don't mind my saying…

That's only an issue if you intend to keep the cooler inside the van 24/7. A cooler that can be locked closed (to keep out raccoons— if a bear wants it he can have it), and with the means to lock it to your hitch receiver (bicycle lock?) if it's worth stealing, can be stored outside when you're camping, especially if it's going to hold food that will be grilled outside. Besides, for cold-weather camping this time of year, the ice will last longer if the cooler is outside than if it's inside. Then as long as the cooler fits behind the seat in transit, it doesn't matter if you can still turn the seat into a bed.
I will never mind comments. So please, share away! The reason for this thread is to be able get feedback from folks that have more experience.

I am trying not to have anything on the hitch... all contained inside the AI. So taking an approach that I have seen in the Jeeps... I was thinking about a slide out base with the cooler on it.... when using the grill, open the door all the way to the side, slide cooler out for use during cooking (for easy reach to the food I need to grill), and put it all away when done.

Of course, being new to all this, I might be going about it the wrong way... and should wait until the AI is home so that I do not have to bother you all with questions that I can answer myself once the rig is here... I want to blame it all on the excitement...
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Old 12-07-2017, 08:14 AM   #172
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I am trying not to have anything on the hitch... all contained inside the AI.
That's not really what I meant. I'm not suggesting a hitch-mounted carrier.

I meant, store everything inside while in transit and the sofa/bed is a sofa. When you stop for the night— or for a week— move the cooler outside and lock it to one of the rings on your hitch receiver where you would normally attach safety chains. Or don't lock it to anything, if you don't think it will grow feet and walk away while it's unattended. Either way, if you move the cooler outside for the night, the cooler is out of the way when you want the sofa/bed to be a bed.

That way you're not limited in size to just a cooler that's shorter in height than the underside of the bed.
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Old 12-07-2017, 08:20 AM   #173
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Originally Posted by Protagonist View Post
That's not really what I meant. I'm not suggesting a hitch-mounted carrier.

I meant, store everything inside while in transit and the sofa/bed is a sofa. When you stop for the night— or for a week— move the cooler outside and lock it to one of the rings on your hitch receiver where you would normally attach safety chains. Or don't lock it to anything, if you don't think it will grow feet and walk away while it's unattended. Either way, if you move the cooler outside for the night, the cooler is out of the way when you want the sofa/bed to be a bed.

That way you're not limited in size to just a cooler that's shorter in height than the underside of the bed.
Ahh. Understood now.
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Old 12-07-2017, 10:02 AM   #174
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Updating list (how I wish we could just update original post...)
  1. Ordered - Instant Pot Duo Mini 3 Qt 7-in-1 Multi- Use Programmable Pressure Cooker
  2. Ordered - Wheel Chocks - switched from the rubber ones. Glad I got the feedback on the smell of the rubber ones...
  3. Ordered - TST 507 TIRE PRESSURE MONITORING SYSTEM WITH 06 CAP SENSORS AND NEW COLOR MONITOR (INCLUDES SIGNAL REPEATER)
  4. Ordered - Duallys valvesDually 16'' Steel / Aluminum Valve Stem Extension Kit DL1SPAL - dealer did not have these. So order placed and I will drop them over for them to install before I take delivery on the 16. Should be here Friday and plan to drop them of Saturday at the dealer.
  5. Ordered - Supplies - Thetford RV Toilet Seal Lube & Conditioner, Camco 40285 RV Green Disposable Dump Glove, and RID-X Septic Tank System Treatment
  6. Ordered - Magma Products, A10-650 On-Shore Stand Mount
  7. Ordered - Magma Products, A10-220 LPG Low Preasure Control Valve, Low Output, Type 3
  8. Ordered - UCO Flatpack Portable Stainless Steel Grill and Fire Pit - okay, this, I just wanted to try it, lol.
  9. Ordered - ARB 10000010 Orange Speedy Seal Tire Repair Kit
  10. Ordered - Morvat Heavy Duty Brass Garden Hose Connector Tap Splitter (2 Way)
  11. Ordered - SAND-AWAY Sand Proof Outdoor Beach Blanket 9 x 7 ft includes stakes
  12. Ordered - Kinda Aluminium Mesh Portable Folding Camping Backpack Beach Chair with Carry Bag - ordered two of these for my kids... was not about to pay what the Helinox go for... yikes... maybe later if these turn out to be of poor quality. We have the two TB chairs that come with the AI... but those look like they take a lot of space. Will most likely have to get those out and replace with these as well for me and my wife...
  13. Ordered - Glacier Ice Corian flip shelf Part number 602233-07 - Tommy Bahama edition does not come with the extended counter piece due to the under counter lights mounted. Had to be custom ordered in matching counter top color.
  14. Ordered - Two additional battery trays (these come with strap downs). AGM CL24, End mount Part numbers: 454982 - This is to double the house battery capacity.
  15. Ordered - Will be using two additional stock batteries for now (Part number for batteries: 511828 Battery, 12 Volt, Deep cycle, AGM Lifeline)
    ---
  16. Arrived - Gourmia GK320 Travel Foldable Electric Kettle - Dual Voltage - Food Grade Silicone, Collapses for Easy & Convenient Storage, Boil Dry Protection, .5 Quart - Black
  17. Arrived - Camco 22505 90 Degree Hose Elbow
  18. Arrived - Teak Shower Mat for Airstream Interstate Lounge
  19. Arrived - Collapsible ladder - needed one at home so figured I would buy one that would also work with the RV
  20. Arrived - Now that we know we will be doing our first rally on Jan 4... noticed that the lot we got has only a 50 amp hook up. So got the needed adapter :
    Camco RV Dogbone Electrical Adapter With PowerGrip Handle, 50 Amp Male To 30 Amp Female, 18-Inch
  21. Arrived - Telescoping pole (and a Squeegee and Window Scrubber) for cleaning windshield and to make sure there is clearance before driving through areas with limited height, because I want to keep all the stuff on top of the Interstate in one piece... ouch!
  22. Arrived - Inline water filter for filling tanks - to keep all internals in great shape and avoid build ups...
  23. Arrived - ARB ARB605 Blue Inflator with Gauge and Braided Hose - I have been meaning to get a new one from my garage. This will work just fine and I will modify it to take different tips so I can also use it for those hard to reach motorcycle wheels.
  24. Arrived - Water pressure regulator for when hooking up at RV park facilities. Read somewhere that this prevents damage to the Interstate water lines when the pressure at the RV Park is higher than expected
  25. Arrived - Surge protector/EMS - Progressive Industries EMS-PT30X Surge/EMS Protector with Cover - 30 Amp - to protect the electrical system in the Interstate when hooking up at a camp site
  26. Arrived - Victron BlueSolar 100/30 MPPT Charge Controller - 30 Amps / 100 Volts
  27. Arrived - Victron VE.Direct Bluetooth Dongle
  28. Arrived - Blue Sea ML-ACR 7622 Automatic Charging Relay
    --- Pending ---
  29. ARB CKMA12 Air Compressor High Output On-Board 12V Air Compressor - trying to decide if I go with this and do a under-hood install... or if I go with a portable unit like this one
  30. 3M Clear (or Xpel) protection film for the front to protect headlights and windshield
  31. 3M Crystalline film on windshield (clear) and side windows (legal tint) - to reduce heat inside while driving.
  32. Leveling blocks/pads and the wheel chocks for these...
  33. Windshield cover for when parked to reduce interior heat. Also looking at this thread for maybe doing something similar for the side glass/windows. Anything that will help lower the inside temperature of our Interstate in this hot Florida climate (I know, not as harsh as in Arizona and Texas, but still...)
  34. Memory foam top for the bed or RV Superbag https://www.rvsuperbag.com/
  35. Build two boards (that can fold away for storage) for additional sleeping space for my two kids
  36. Gloves, hoses (separate hoses for water fills and for tank cleaning)
  37. Sound deadening material to wrap generator and bring down the noise it makes - Thread on this
  38. Longer term might turn into immediate purchase... ARB Fridge / Freezer (ARB Elements Weatherproof 63 Quart Fridge) for extending cooling storage capacity.

We need to rehearse and be ready for the rally... plan is to stay in it at home, in the front driveway, to see what we need and pack accordingly... we know we will not get it right the first time, but trying not to have to move the AI from the lot during the time we are there...
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Old 12-07-2017, 10:52 AM   #175
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...

I am trying not to have anything on the hitch... all contained inside the AI. ..
Heh heh heh. We'll see how long you persist in that aspiration.


It is, of course, a personal choice, but I can't imagine not capitalizing on what the hitch offers in terms of expansion potential with zero loss of rig maneuverability or versatility. Especially if you are talking about a more expensive cooler, which it seems you might be -- the ARB is a cooled cooler, at least, many models appear to be.

You may have seen this photo below before on other threads - this is our hitch carrier, outfitted with a Yeti cooler and our gas can, with and without protective covers.

We recently cut another simple metal insert for the cooler space so that we can carry a pressure washer OR a bicycle OR a portable generator OR whatever else in that same location, instead of the Yeti cooler.

This is waaay too much flexibility to give up on general principle, IMO.

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Old 12-07-2017, 12:09 PM   #176
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I have a hitch hauler with fitted carry bag for mine, but only use it when I am traveling with the grandchildren...the same was true when Doug was alive and we traveled together.

Everything I need, including my bicycle, is carried inside, and I travel very comfortably for up to four months at a time.

The big difference is the additional length, which can be a factor when parking, and restricted access thru the rear doors.

It’s a matter of personal preference...keep it small, keep it simple, is my motto.

Maggie
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Old 12-07-2017, 01:30 PM   #177
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I have a hitch hauler with fitted carry bag for mine, but only use it when I am traveling with the grandchildren...the same was true when Doug was alive and we traveled together.

Everything I need, including my bicycle, is carried inside, and I travel very comfortably for up to four months at a time.

The big difference is the additional length, which can be a factor when parking, and restricted access thru the rear doors.

It’s a matter of personal preference...keep it small, keep it simple, is my motto.

Maggie
Maggie,

Part of all this we are doing is also to learn how to keep it small and simple... Right now I can't comprehend the challenges going from a house to using an RV... I will soon

Mara and I are having conversations on many simple stuff we take for granted... things like how we pack the seasoning or any perishable that we take, how do we make it easy to remove those and place them back in the house so that when we go out we always have fresh stuff in the RV... and it has to be easy to move in and out... just trowing stuff in a bag will not work. A proper system and storage strategy must be developed or adopt!

Dollar store damp thingys to keep the moisture inside the RV in check and avoid mold...

What clothes we take?... I mean, if someone comes knocking in the middle of the night we can't go out in underwear! So having decent pijamas (she has them and is used to using them... I don't!! )

Water management will be all new to us... And emptying the tanks, oh goodness, that will be a lot of fun...

The comment on the smells was an eye opener... common sense, but had not clicked on me until the suggestions on the type of rubber chocks... anything we bring to the inside will have an impact on the how the whole RV smells... So dirty clothes need a hermetically sealed bag!! Trash must be taken out frequently... wait, were is the trash can again in these?? Oh boy... so maybe we do need that tray in the back... for the trash and dirty laundry... oh, and the blue crabs and shrimp...

What do we do when we run out of movies to watch!!?, of goodness, we will have to talk to each other! We need to take with us things that we can have fun together with (board games, cards, dominoes, etc.). We both like to read, so the e-readers or books will be with us... She will take her knitting kit...

We also have to rethinking cooking... it is like anything inside has to be cold cuts, fruits??? and use the grill outside for making the breakfast and meals?? This one, being the Tommy Bahamas, there is no window to open in front of the stove. So any smell from the cooking goes straight to everything inside... So fish is out of the question unless it is done out side ...some 50 yards away

You are all veterans on these topics... we are slowly starting to understand what we have signed up for, hehehehehe
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Old 12-07-2017, 01:54 PM   #178
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What clothes we take?... I mean, if someone comes knocking in the middle of the night we can't go out in underwear!
Sure you can! If you need to take in your awning due to a sudden storm in the middle of the night, you probably won't be the only one outside in just underwear, soaked to the skin and working faster than is really safe. And everyone else will be too busy to ogle you until it's all over and you're ready to scurry back in where it's warm and dry.
Quote:
So having decent pijamas (she has them and is used to using them... I don't!! )
One thing that I've done for years is to pack hospital scrubs. They make excellent pajamas if worn by themselves or over just underwear, and are also good for casual lounging around the campsite inside or outside. They make good coveralls if worn over street clothes (which is what they were designed for) and easier to put on or take off over other clothes than one-piece jumpsuit-style coveralls. You can wear them in public without raising an eyebrow in most places except high-end restaurants. Long-lasting, easy to wash, don't need ironing because no one cares if they're wrinkled. Available in a variety of colors and styles to suit any preference.
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Old 12-07-2017, 08:36 PM   #179
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Sure you can! If you need to take in your awning due to a sudden storm in the middle of the night, you probably won't be the only one outside in just underwear, soaked to the skin and working faster than is really safe. And everyone else will be too busy to ogle you until it's all over and you're ready to scurry back in where it's warm and dry.One thing that I've done for years is to pack hospital scrubs. They make excellent pajamas if worn by themselves or over just underwear, and are also good for casual lounging around the campsite inside or outside. They make good coveralls if worn over street clothes (which is what they were designed for) and easier to put on or take off over other clothes than one-piece jumpsuit-style coveralls. You can wear them in public without raising an eyebrow in most places except high-end restaurants. Long-lasting, easy to wash, don't need ironing because no one cares if they're wrinkled. Available in a variety of colors and styles to suit any preference.
I tried to resist... child in me won...

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Old 12-08-2017, 06:16 AM   #180
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“how we pack the seasoning or any perishable that we take, how do we make it easy to remove those and place them back in the house so that when we go out we always have fresh stuff in the RV...”

-- I opted for an entirely separate set of seasonings in air-tight Nalgene bottles. They live in the van permanently now.


“and it has to be easy to move in and out... just trowing stuff in a bag will not work. ...”

-- Actually the best method I found is the big blue IKEA totes. Everything has an assigned place in our stick-and-brick house, but the movements from house to van and back again take place using the totes, into which everything is thrown.

“...Dollar store damp thingys to keep the moisture inside the RV in check and avoid mold... “

-- Drop in a bucket, literally and figuratively. There will be mornings when you will wipe many ounces of condensation off your window interiors. Keeping moisture in check is often more of a triage effort than anything that could be passively finessed. And when the rig is parked in storage, you’ll probably want continuous air movement through it (we do in the subtropics) to prevent mold.

“...The comment on the smells was an eye opener... anything we bring to the inside will have an impact on the how the whole RV smells...”

-- You could get a good-sized dog. That way, the essence of dog will overpower every other odor in the small space. Works for us.

“...wait, were is the trash can again in these??”

-- As counterintuitive as it sounds, someone on here recently suggested placing a soft-sided can in the wet bath. We found that there actually is room for it, and so this is what we do now. We hang two small metallic mesh baskets, one above the other, from the shower attachment near the faucet. I can no longer find that product online (it was a Container Store offering). This also helps with the aforesaid dog, who will tear into any trash can placed in the main part of the vehicle. Having it in the wet bath isolates it from her.

“...What do we do when we run out of movies to watch!!?, ...”

-- You could acquire a great deal of extra cellular hardware plus Netflix plus Apple TV. Each episode of Star Trek Voyager costs me about 350 MB on my 10 GB monthly Verizon air card ration. Very do-able. Even if you can get wifi in a remote location, the picture will be so degraded that amplified cellular is often preferable, if you can spare the megabytes.
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Old 12-08-2017, 06:50 AM   #181
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Originally Posted by InterBlog View Post
Heh heh heh. We'll see how long you persist in that aspiration.


It is, of course, a personal choice, but I can't imagine not capitalizing on what the hitch offers in terms of expansion potential with zero loss of rig maneuverability or versatility. Especially if you are talking about a more expensive cooler, which it seems you might be -- the ARB is a cooled cooler, at least, many models appear to be.

You may have seen this photo below before on other threads - this is our hitch carrier, outfitted with a Yeti cooler and our gas can, with and without protective covers.

We recently cut another simple metal insert for the cooler space so that we can carry a pressure washer OR a bicycle OR a portable generator OR whatever else in that same location, instead of the Yeti cooler.

This is waaay too much flexibility to give up on general principle, IMO.
Quote:
Originally Posted by InterBlog View Post
“how we pack the seasoning or any perishable that we take, how do we make it easy to remove those and place them back in the house so that when we go out we always have fresh stuff in the RV...”

-- I opted for an entirely separate set of seasonings in air-tight Nalgene bottles. They live in the van permanently now.

“and it has to be easy to move in and out... just trowing stuff in a bag will not work. ...”

-- Actually the best method I found is the big blue IKEA totes. Everything has an assigned place in our stick-and-brick house, but the movements from house to van and back again take place using the totes, into which everything is thrown.

“...Dollar store damp thingys to keep the moisture inside the RV in check and avoid mold... “

-- Drop in a bucket, literally and figuratively. There will be mornings when you will wipe many ounces of condensation off your window interiors. Keeping moisture in check is often more of a triage effort than anything that could be passively finessed. And when the rig is parked in storage, you’ll probably want continuous air movement through it (we do in the subtropics) to prevent mold.

“...The comment on the smells was an eye opener... anything we bring to the inside will have an impact on the how the whole RV smells...”

-- You could get a good-sized dog. That way, the essence of dog will overpower every other odor in the small space. Works for us.

“...wait, were is the trash can again in these??”

-- As counterintuitive as it sounds, someone on here recently suggested placing a soft-sided can in the wet bath. We found that there actually is room for it, and so this is what we do now. We hang two small metallic mesh baskets, one above the other, from the shower attachment near the faucet. I can no longer find that product online (it was a Container Store offering). This also helps with the aforesaid dog, who will tear into any trash can placed in the main part of the vehicle. Having it in the wet bath isolates it from her.

“...What do we do when we run out of movies to watch!!?, ...”

-- You could acquire a great deal of extra cellular hardware plus Netflix plus Apple TV. Each episode of Star Trek Voyager costs me about 350 MB on my 10 GB monthly Verizon air card ration. Very do-able. Even if you can get wifi in a remote location, the picture will be so degraded that amplified cellular is often preferable, if you can spare the megabytes.
On the cooler... I want one of those only because of the reviews from the Jeep Wrangler forum... reliable and less dependency on ice. Eventually I want to get a Jeep when it is time to replace my current car. Waiting for the Jeep Wrangler to come out with a diesel engine in 2019... anyway, the ARB is the cooler of choice for many Jeep owners... so thinking that I can use it in the AI and later with the Jeep as well... I am going to the dealer tomorrow to drop off the Duallys valves and will measure the back area with the bed down to see how much space I have to work with. If I can accommodate the ARB with a slide out tray that is the route I will take.

I am quickly realizing that everything, size wise, needs to be reconsider. It is cool that the Tommy Bahama edition comes with cooler and chairs... but those chairs are huge. The chairs we ordered for the kids should be here today. I will give them a try for me and Mara and if they work for us, we will be keeping the TB chairs and that cooler at home...

We have one of these that we use with our other car from time to time... I will try my best not to have to use it. But we have it just in case there is a need.



On the mobile hotspots... from what I am reading in different reviews, Verizon seems to be the preferred vendor for this service... I see that you have one from them as well. Our phones are with AT&T and the kids with Sprint... when we start traveling more we will get a Verizon MiFi for the trips. We love our Netflix and Hulu

Did not think about the bucket... will add to list. Along with two of those supper absorbent chamois cloths. One to keep in the bathroom for drying everything after taking a shower.

Also looking at a 12v vacuum cleaner - researching which brand to get...

Not planning on traveling with a dog... As much as we love Jojo (my kid's Cairn Terrier), she stays at home with my in-laws whenever we go out. We will always have space for air fresheners in the AI

Thank you for the additional ideas!!
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Old 12-08-2017, 07:39 AM   #182
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You should have about 1.5" to spare before the cooler hits the door. The height is around 3" to much for storing with bed down. It wil take up the majority of your storage behind the seat.
I put our grill in a heavy duty trash bag so it won't smell like dinner al the time.
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