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Old 07-27-2012, 10:47 PM   #15
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LED flares... for both car and trailer. Very bright if you buy the right versions and safe unlike traditional flares.

I have four of the FlareAlert LED flares from Amazon. I bought three and there were 4 in the box. They were about $10 each. Super bright, durable and magnetic so I just store them vertically attached to the rear seat of my car in the trunk:


20120725_001[r]--FlareAlert_LED_Flares-InTrunkOfJCW by walk0080, on Flickr

There is a more expensive brand that law enforcement use but I found these to be quite good.
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Old 07-27-2012, 11:10 PM   #16
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Short and sweet:

Go shopping at REI or a well stocked camping outfitter and pack as if you're in a tent. Plastic egg carrier, camping mess kit with nesting pots and pans, camping towels (little thin ones that dry really fast and are extremely absorbent). Thinest propane grill, I have a Coleman that when folded up is only about four inches thick but has two burners and does a great job.

In other words make believe you don't have an RV but an aluminum tent. We did two years in a 19.5' Class "B" before moving up to a 28' trailer.
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Old 07-28-2012, 01:33 AM   #17
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We subscribe to Alton Brown's theory and try to find and use items that are 'multi-taskers'. This really helps to keep stuff at a minimum.
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Old 07-28-2012, 09:07 AM   #18
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Jill,

Congratulations and welcome to the Forum! There are a lot of good ideas listed. I would suggest that you find a local campground and spend a weekend camping. For your first trip I would suggest you bring easy stuff to eat; sandwiches, cereal, burgers, hot dogs... you could bring some charcoal and cook outside if you desire. Initially bring a minimal number utensils. Don't forget to have water, both in your fresh water tank and bottled as well.

You didn't mention how many will camp with you, or if you are alone. Bring grubby clothes, and hand soap. As you play with your new toy keep a note book and write down what you like and don't like. But more importantly, begin a list of "gee I wish I had..." Like a coffee pot to make some coffee.

In time, you will develop what you really need (and want). Initially you should to arrive before it gets dark, it's less intimidating trying to park, and you'll see the hazards to you RV. Don't forget to bring enough trash bags to bring out your trash.

Have a Great Time

Drew
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Old 07-28-2012, 10:06 AM   #19
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Test camping...

If your locality will allow it, try "driveway camping" for a day or so. If you have to go into the house for something, it should be on the list to take with you. If you find that something's just in your way, it should be left at home.

We were forced into this last summer when the air conditioner in our house failed on 4th of July weekend. Learned a lot about camping in a small Airstream (probably quite a bit larger than your Interstate).

Welcome and have fun with your camper.
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Old 07-28-2012, 10:16 AM   #20
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of course some pie in the sky stuff makes the list as well..... canoe, Direct TV, etc.
Don't know about the Direct TV thing, but a canoe, that's easy. Not cheap, but easy. Sea Eagle makes inflatable kayaks. To me they're more like inflatable canoes than actual kayaks, except that you paddle them with kayak-style double-bladed paddles. When deflated, they roll up to the size of a backpack. I just bought a Sea Eagle FastTrack 385 kayak, and I'm really looking forward to getting it out on the water on my next camping trip. Don't really have a place to store it in transit, though, so I'll just seat-belt it in on a seat I'm not using until I get to my destination.
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Old 07-29-2012, 08:12 AM   #21
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We are absolutely new to RV's, camping, cross-country travel, etc.

Preparing to stock a new Interstate, we would appreciate information about gadgets or equipment that veteran Interstate owners have found to be essential (i.e what bedding, kitchen utensils, bath equipment, are must haves??)



We will anxiously await responses from veteran Interstate travelers.
While the MB 3.0L diesel is rated OK to use 5% biodiesel, my salesman advised to steer clear of it. Also a pair of cotton gloves comes in handy for when you run into a diesel pump that is messy and some of them are. My mpg runs about 19 mpg at 60 mph, 17 mpg at 65 mph, and 16 at 70 mph but we only went 70 cuz we wanted to make it a two day trip. Also since the entire trip was in 100*+ heat, we never shut the engine down once we started out in the morning. Had to keep the cabin cool for the other six psgrs. Also the cabin A/C was intermittent. At the shop now.

The RV does have a propane connection for a gas grill, so if you like to grill but don't want to deal w/ lugging a bag of charcoal (grill takes up enuf room ), there are small grills available.

While this won't be a concern 'til you get to about 8,500 mi, it something to be aware of and that's the diesel req't for DEF (Diesel Exhaust Fluid or aka Urea). It holds 20 gal and lasts about 10K mi. You get a warning at 8,500 mi and periodically after that. It's readily available at most auto parts stores so not a problem unless you're out in the boonies and run out cuz when it's gone, it won't start anymore. It's explained it the Sprinter manual but we don't always get around to the minutia of those things.

Good luck w/ your new RV.
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Old 07-29-2012, 08:37 AM   #22
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While this won't be a concern 'til you get to about 8,500 mi, it something to be aware of and that's the diesel req't for DEF (Diesel Exhaust Fluid or aka Urea). It holds 20 gal and lasts about 10K mi. You get a warning at 8,500 mi and periodically after that. It's readily available at most auto parts stores so not a problem unless you're out in the boonies and run out cuz when it's gone, it won't start anymore.
Also available at WalMart, under the brand name BlueDEF in a 2.5-gallon container. Wherever you get DEF, make sure it has "ISO 22241" marked on the package.

According to the Sprinter Operator's Manual, for late model Sprinter 3500s with the 3.0L engine sold in the US— mine's a 2011 Sprinter/2012 Interstate— the DEF tank holds 5.8 gallons (22 liters). When it gets low (below 1.5 gallons left), you'll have to add at least 2 gallons for the warning to reset. Rather than 8500 miles, your range before you need to refill is more like 5000 miles, again according to the manual. But, as the saying goes, your mileage may vary. My Interstate has about 4300 miles on it right now, and my next major trip will be about 1000 miles round-trip, so we'll see.

I don't carry spare DEF in my Interstate. I keep a stock at home. When it gives you your first warning, you've got something like sixteen engine starts before the system locks your engine so it won't start, and I have yet to be on a trip where I've started the engine sixteen times from when I left home until I returned home.
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Old 07-30-2012, 06:30 AM   #23
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I'm a new Interstate owner too (2012). Just wanted to thank everyone. This thread has been enlightening and very helpful!
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Old 07-30-2012, 07:00 AM   #24
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Have a computer or whatever to locate the nearest Walmart for anything you find that you need. Do not try to take everything because almost anything is available at Walmart or any town.. Have fun, jim
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Old 07-30-2012, 02:11 PM   #25
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Also available at WalMart, under the brand name BlueDEF in a 2.5-gallon container. Wherever you get DEF, make sure it has "ISO 22241" marked on the package.

According to the Sprinter Operator's Manual, for late model Sprinter 3500s with the 3.0L engine sold in the US— mine's a 2011 Sprinter/2012 Interstate— the DEF tank holds 5.8 gallons (22 liters). When it gets low (below 1.5 gallons left), you'll have to add at least 2 gallons for the warning to reset. Rather than 8500 miles, your range before you need to refill is more like 5000 miles, again according to the manual. But, as the saying goes, your mileage may vary. My Interstate has about 4300 miles on it right now, and my next major trip will be about 1000 miles round-trip, so we'll see.

I don't carry spare DEF in my Interstate. I keep a stock at home. When it gives you your first warning, you've got something like sixteen engine starts before the system locks your engine so it won't start, and I have yet to be on a trip where I've started the engine sixteen times from when I left home until I returned home.
I've got a 2010 Sprinter/2011 Airstream and the first message for DEF came on @ ~ 8,500 mi. My book estimates it at about 7,400 mi. It says this means about 1.5 gal left to reserve mark at 0.8 gal (20 engine starts left) at about 8,600 mi or about 1,200 mi to the no more starts.

Got a gallon of Peak DEF at O'Reilly for about $6.00 and this reset the message. Don't know who engineered the DEF fill opening but you will need a funnel w/ about a half inch tip. Had to make one using an empty water bottle and packing tape. Will go ahead and fill when I get it back from service.
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