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Old 08-27-2013, 04:50 PM   #1
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Question RVing 101 questions??

Hi,

My plan for the foreseeable future, starting 10/30 or so, is to live in my 27' Int'l, wintering in TX and heading back to Maine when it gets too hot. I have land to stay on at both points (with electric). Of course there are places and spaces in between to visit and traverse. As I prepare for this great solo adventure, I'm at a significant disadvantage, since I've never rved before, and I'm mechanically challenged (this is a significant leap of faith, logic would argue against this life shift).

I've looked at the lists out there, but am still left with lots of questions:
*what size dog-bone adapters will I need for different campgrounds?
*what make, model, configuration (size?) for a surge protector?
*ball hitch lubrication, is it different from other automotive lubrications?
*would someone recommend a really good tire gauge?
*Given my inexperience, how do I find AS/RV mechanics on the road?

Thanks, Annie
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Old 08-27-2013, 05:20 PM   #2
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Hey Annie...

You will do fine...just take it easy and thoughtfully.

For your questions:
Adapters: You should have 2 adapters with you to cover possibilities:
(1) A 15-amp-to-30-amp adapter. This plugs into a regular household outlet to allow you to plug your 30-amp shore power cord into it. You would also use this with a single generator if you have one.
(2) A 50-amp-to-30-amp adapter. This connects to a 50-amp outlet to allow you to plug your 30-amp shore power cord into it. This may not be needed as often but there may be times when you don't have a 30-amp available. Also, when there is 30-amp available, there is often 50-amp available ... so you can plug in two different ways...with or without using the 50-to-30...
And one more "if": If you plan to use twin Honda 2000 Generators, one of which is a "Companion" model, to use the AC, you will need a 3rd adapter. PM me for details.

Surge Protectors: Lots of folks don't think they are worth it. Some do. We are of the latter school of thought and we use a SurgeGuard Model 34730. Google "surge guards" to find lots of options. Some folks prefer a hard-wired protection unit. You'll find info on those at the same sites that discuss surge protectors.

Ball Hitch Lubricant: Basically it is a heavy grease. You can find it at any auto or RV supply store. It's nothing "special" really...

Tire Gauges:
Again, you can find a variety of styles and levels at any auto supply store. I don't have a specific brand to recommend. Maybe someone else does have a preference.

On the Road Mechanics: For most systems, an RV repair shop should be able to take care of basic system issues...all RVs use the same appliances pretty much. Anything related to the aluminum shell should be handled by an authorized Airstream Repair Center or someone you know has adequate knowledge in that area. You can locate both online with a little research.

I know these are very brief answers, but hope they are helpful...
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Old 08-27-2013, 05:23 PM   #3
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The first thing you should do is:

Make sure the Coach is ROADWORTHY.
Tires
Brakes and Brake Controller in TV
Lights
Break Away Switch & House Battery
Axles
Hitch and Safety Chains
Is the TV hitch rated for your coach
Equalizer (WD) hitch with bars rated for your coach.
All need to be checked to make for SAFE TRAVEL

The interior items can be taken care of as needed.
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Old 08-27-2013, 05:36 PM   #4
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Hi, You will find all of this quite easy.
Assuming your AS is 30 amp, you need a 30 to 20 and a 30 to 50. 99.9% of the campgrounds have 30 or 30 and 50. I carry a 30 to 50, but have never used it, but will need it sometime when staying at one of those snooty 10-10-10's. The 30 to 20 is handy when you are staying in someone's driveway or when you are boondocking and plug into a generator.
Buy one of those big air gages at a truck stop. Truckers are picky about air pressure.
I also carry one of those 110 volt inflators. It has a air gage on top and is handy for filling tires and winterizing your AS. Mine has simple plumbing and can be winterized with an inflator rather than a big air compressor.
I have an Equalizer but don't put anything on it. I got my hitch with my used trailer and have used it for 9 years and lots of miles. It shows little wear and will go another 9 years at least. It groans every now and then but I ignore it.
I used to put grease on my hitch but found the grease would find its way from my hitch to my hands and clothes spontaneously without touching the hitch.
If you must use grease, get some in tube. It is much easier to use than grease in a can.
Now a tip for something you can't do without; it is one of those foam pads you kneel on when you are gardening. When dealing with your Airstream, you are always on your knees. The pad makes it more comfortable.
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Old 08-27-2013, 05:58 PM   #5
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Something that hasn't been mentioned yet is just the MOST wonderful part of RVing, SEWER! You didn't mention whether you have a sewer connection at one or both places you'll be using for seasonal bases. If you don't, you'll need to move the trailer to a dump station every week or so (assuming 1 person in a modern trailer with big tanks). You'll need sewer hose, either the usual large-diameter stuff or a "SewerSolution" and its smaller-diameter output hose. To use the SewerSolution you'll need a source of "city water" (a hose bib). It would be good to have that at each of your seasonal bases as well. Since it seems that you've bought a previously-owned trailer, it may have come with sewer and fresh-water hoses.

In addition to the hardware you need, I recommend you take a couple of short trips close to where you currently live before you set out on your full-timing adventure. This will help you get through the learning curve while it's lower-stress, when you know you can easily go home and figure it out in a more leisurely fashion if something isn't working or you don't know how it works, or if you find you need something you can't get on a Friday night, etc.
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Old 08-27-2013, 06:32 PM   #6
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I have never used a surge protector either in the U.S. or in Mexico and never had a problem.
I got sticker shock every time I looked at a surge protector that had any kind of meaningful guarantee. I could buy a couple of tvs or microwaves the cost of that beast. Who has a surge protector for their whole house? I put a little surge protector on my computer. Otherwise I am at the mercy of the power company.
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Old 08-27-2013, 08:39 PM   #7
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RVing 101

Great advice already posted.
Yes take some short trips to work out the kinks.
Just wanted to give you a shout out and tell you to contact us as you travel from Maine to Texas should you wish to stop in Louisiana.

Annie
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Old 08-27-2013, 08:51 PM   #8
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I use a 20' sewer hose rather than the 10' that usually is supplied by the dealer when you purchase your Airstream. The other thing is I buy the heavy duty hose. Those cheap hoses puncture way to easy. Have a sewer caddy. That keeps the hose off the ground and gives you a good angle. I can't tell you how many places I've been to who have the sewer connection sticking 2-3 inches above ground level.

I also carry a 30 amp rated extension cord. I remember the campground in Myrtle Beach SC that had a pole with 4 boxes that provided power for 4 sites. The pole was at the far back of the 4 sites it served. Even with a 20' sewer hose, the power box was another 10' beyond my existing power cord.
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Old 09-07-2013, 03:31 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by handn View Post
I have never used a surge protector either in the U.S. or in Mexico and never had a problem.
I got sticker shock every time I looked at a surge protector that had any kind of meaningful guarantee. I could buy a couple of tvs or microwaves the cost of that beast. Who has a surge protector for their whole house? I put a little surge protector on my computer. Otherwise I am at the mercy of the power company.
We followed that same train of thought for 13 years of full timing. Then last fall hooked up at a park where a utility transformer was failing and found 144 volts going into the trailer. We know carry a a progressive industries ems unit!
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Old 09-07-2013, 06:06 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anniemaine View Post
Hi,

My plan for the foreseeable future, starting 10/30 or so, is to live in my 27' Int'l, wintering in TX and heading back to Maine when it gets too hot. I have land to stay on at both points (with electric). Of course there are places and spaces in between to visit and traverse. As I prepare for this great solo adventure, I'm at a significant disadvantage, since I've never rved before, and I'm mechanically challenged (this is a significant leap of faith, logic would argue against this life shift).
Annie - you received lots of input on your questions. I just wanted to chime in on how cool I think your situation is (it is practically my dream! :-) ).

I'm not the world's most mechanically inclined guy and this was our first year ever with a trailer. Oddly enough, I'm learning. It's going fine. And like you, my wife and I bought a newer trailer (that helps too).

Great info here whenever you need it and so long as you have some funds available for the "big stuff" you probably don't want to repair on your own, your plan sounds wonderful!!!

Good luck!
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Old 10-08-2013, 07:05 PM   #11
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Where are you going in texas. I ma be able to give you some advice. A Texan
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Old 10-10-2013, 12:47 AM   #12
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RVing 101

Well since you volunteered to give info about Texas...we are planning to travel from Baton Rouge to Big Bend starting January 1 and would of course welcome advice about where to stop along the way!
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Old 10-12-2013, 09:29 AM   #13
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Well since you volunteered to give info about Texas...we are planning to travel from Baton Rouge to Big Bend starting January 1 and would of course welcome advice about where to stop along the way!
Sure. Skip Houston, spend time in San Antonio, go to Fredricksburg as a side trip, go thr Hondo,tx and see the famous sign on the road, go to garner state park close to Uvalde. Would not recommend Mexico, although I love it.
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Old 10-12-2013, 01:54 PM   #14
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GeGe,

What is the "famous sign on the road"?
I plan to be on the road full time by this time next year. I have the TV - now all I have to do is sell the house! Actually, selling the house shouldn't be too hard. The hard part is cleaning it out and getting it fixed up. (Ugh.)
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