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Old 05-25-2004, 04:54 PM   #1
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Maiden voyage tommorow...

Greetings.

Tomorow I will be leaving Chicago to pick up our AS from storage up north and then driving south to Kankakee S.P. to try and snag a spot before the big Memorial Day weekend rush. This will be it's maiden camping voyage.

I will be by myself until Friday when my betterhalf joins me after she is done with work.

As far as stuff goes, I think I am pretty well set: cords, hoses, adapters, rocket-propelled granade launchers, and a picture of Don Rumsfeld, but I'm sure there will be something that I'll find I need.

I am hoping I can get myself into a space at the campground and don't cause a major grid-lock. My first time out practicing backing up manuevers in a lot went well the first week, but for some reason, the second time out which was this last weekend, I actually got worse.....hmmmm.

Maybe I'll practice a little befrore hitting the road. Unfortunatly, there are no pull-thru sites at Kankakee.

At very least, this should be highly entertaining for the otehr campground guests. Pray for me.

Jonathan
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Old 05-25-2004, 05:00 PM   #2
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Jonathan,
You'll do just fine..Remember to place your hand on the bottom of the steering wheel,and turn it the direction you want the trailer to go..
ciao
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Old 05-25-2004, 05:43 PM   #3
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Mirrors

Don't forget your mirrors.
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Old 05-25-2004, 06:02 PM   #4
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And don't be ashamed to have to get out a few times and look behind you if you have to back in. Better safe than to take out a picnic table that is outside of your mirror's vision.

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Old 05-25-2004, 08:58 PM   #5
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Hi!

Don't forget to turn on all of your switches so you can have hot water, get the fridge ready and....
WHO CARES IF YOU DON'T BACK IT IN THE FIRST TIME!!
A few forum members that I met this weekend got to hear my/our wonderful 'first time' trips out. I bet you they're still laughing.

Here's is my personal suggestion to you: (jcanavera, I hope you're laughing!)
make sure your 'dump' hose is long enough
make sure you have a coupler if you have to connect two hoses
wear boots, if all else fails, or you'll be up to your ankles in *#$%^ !!!!!

last but not least, get good directions to your campground. don't find yourself lost in the mountains for over 1.5 hours, on a one lane road with NO PLACE to turn around
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Old 05-25-2004, 09:07 PM   #6
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Greetings.

And thank you for your responses. I went to Wal-Mart and bought some clip/strap on tow mirrors for the van.

I hope this makes some differance. Right now I sort of see just the front end of the trailer, and the only time I see one side or another, is when I am actually in a turn.

Also, last weekend I was practicing getting into our storage space, which is 10 feet wide, and also back into it turning from the passenger side of the vehicle (trailer backing and turning in, trailer going toward the right). I've heard that backing in from the driver (left) is easier than the above.

I have now hammered in to my head "Hands on bottom of steering wheel turn wheel toward the direction you want trailer to go!" So if I want the trailer to go toward the right, with hands at bottom of wheel, turn steering wheel toward the right. Right?

Oh man, am I obsessing, and my wife (and cats) are giving me that look....

Jonathan
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Old 05-25-2004, 09:23 PM   #7
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remember "zenstream"

Ha! or think of everyone around naked? Just breath deep - it'll be o.k. Just a note on the mirrors, try taking them for a spin (without your trailer) and see if they stay on or are visiable. I went through two different types before I found a set that didn't vibrate and turn everything to a blur on the freeway. Have fun with the new trailer!
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Old 05-25-2004, 10:33 PM   #8
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Maiden voyage tommorow...

Greetings Jonathan!

Quote:
Originally Posted by crazylev
Greetings.

And thank you for your responses. I went to Wal-Mart and bought some clip/strap on tow mirrors for the van.

I hope this makes some differance. Right now I sort of see just the front end of the trailer, and the only time I see one side or another, is when I am actually in a turn.

Jonathan

While I hope that you will be satisfied with the clamp/strap-on mirrors for towing, if you are like a number of us on the Forums you will find that they are just barely passable if that good. When I first purchased my Overlander in '95, I tried the slide-on mirrors, and even with a Vintage (7' 8" wide) coach there was insufficient reach to provide a good view of approaching traffic. After talking to numerous WBCCI members at my first Rally, I went with the McKesh Trailer Towing Mirrors - - the beauty of these mirrors is that they can be used on multiple tow cars (I purchased both sets of mine from WBCCI members who had upgraded to Airstream Motorhomes) - - the chrome plated McKesh Mirrors that I use with my Cadillac are Vintage '78, and the black powder-coated McKesh Mirrors that I use with my Suburban are Vintage '92 - - replacement webbing and pads are readily available from the original manufacturer at very nominal cost. You can learn more about the McKesh Mirrors at:

McKesh Trailer Towing Mirrors

I also have both sets of my McKesh Mirrors equipped with the Convex Spot Mirrors for both sides - - they do help to "spot" vehicles hiding in the blind spots. After using the McKesh Mirrors for more than eight years, I am totally safisfied with their performance and adaptability.

This is a photo of my Cadillac with its McKesh Mirrors before I installed the convex spot mirrors:



Enjoy the process of getting acquainted with your new coach!

Kevin
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Old 06-01-2004, 03:38 PM   #9
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Greetings.

Thanks for the McKesh info Kevin.

JL
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Old 06-01-2004, 03:54 PM   #10
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Tow Mirrors / Maiden Voyage

Hope all has been going well on your first trip. I second the motion on the slide on Mirrors... We got the slide on mirrors and they are essentially useless. I am relatively new to the whole world of RV'ing but it really has been fun. Our first two trips were short (less than 100 miles) and on our third trip we did 3000 miles round trip. That will really get you used to pulling the trailer. Keep us posted on how your trip went!
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Old 06-01-2004, 04:14 PM   #11
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What a weekend.

Well, for me it began last Wednesday when I ran up to get the coach out of storage. I hooked up the trailer myself, thanks to the little piece of tape that I put on the rear window of the van, and on the propane cover of the trailer. I just line the two up aand I'm there. One shot usually. Propane on, fridge on propane. Gas for van was purchased prior to my arrival at storage facility.

Arrived at our campground incident free, though the fees went from 12.50 to 20.00 a night!!! I averaged about 60-65 MPH.

I found a site that could have been used as a landing strip it was so big. But is was also pretty ugly. Since i arrived so early, most ofthe first come sites were stilll available, so I had a good choice.

And a miracle happened. I actually backed into a space that I really liked! Since I was alone until my wife was to meet up with me Thursday, my method consisted of backing no more than three or four feet, getting out of the van, complete walk-around, access which way to turn the wheel, and about six times of doing that, I was in!!!! And there was no one in back of me leaning on their horn.

Next was to level her out using my virgin, but very ugly bright orange linx-levelors. I needed two high to be level from side to side. Un-hitched, leveled, stabilizers down, power cord connected to camp 30amp power, windows open.

Time for beer #1.

Since I missed the only accessable water at the registration place, I manually schlepped 5 gallon containers to the AS. I then had to jury rig a filler thingie. I did this about six times, my arms were killing me and my sleeve length went from a 32 inch to 38 inch. My knuckles now drag on the ground when I walk. But I wanted water in my tank dammit!

To make a really long story tolerable, our trip was incredible. With the weather so bizarre, I was able to try every system in the unit: AC, heat pump thing, furnace, fans/vents, windows. All worked as advertised.
One thing that suprised me was that the fantastic fans have thermostats. Cool!

The fridge worked great on propane, but switched to AC at campground. I did notice that the litte fan runs for very long periods when the outside temp rises. I might another AS'er who said that his did to, sso I was not that concerned.

Stove, oven all worked great. My wife was very impressed! The awning is a cinch to set-up.

We used the toilet but only to tinkle.

Sunday, the rains came, and the campers left. Not us. High and dry, though some rain was entering through the F-Fans and had to close the hatches more. We used the rainy day to cut non-slip shelf liners for all cabinets and drawers. This was not made easy with a hang-over and tailers tape measure!

We left for home on Monday after a stop at the dump station. Black first, Rinse, repeat 3x's, then the gray. Rinsed all hoses.

A word of warning: Don't wear sandles to the dump station! There were puddles of something all over, and have a feeling that it was someone elses waste. Yuck!

The drive home I encountered my first rain storm towing. Scary. Went about 40-45mph.

And there you are...

Cheers.

And see you at the rally.

Jonathan
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Old 06-01-2004, 04:26 PM   #12
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Great!

A few tips. 1st, the fantastic fans should close by themselves. I was away from the coach last week and had them running full bore when a whopper of a rainstorm started. Sure as I type this, they closed automatically and there was no water in the unit.

We bring dow bathroom cleaner to the dump station (and wear shoes that we spray down after dumping and rinse off).

Have you used the oven yet? Our Bambi sounded like a 747 when it was in use at times...the Safari does too.

Also do you have wheel chocks and do you have a seperate dedicated black tank flush fresh water hose? All good things to have if you don't have them yet.

Eric
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Old 06-01-2004, 05:25 PM   #13
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Eric.

Yes you are right about the fans closing themselves up when wet.
However, I like to use them in Manual mode, because it seems to take forever for the vent to open. I disengaged the auto feature, and turning the knob opens and closes those puppies quickly....

...but you have to watch the weather!!! I'll use them on auto after a while, I guess.

Also have wheel choks (also pretty ugly), seperate black and potable hoses. The fan over the stove would not anoy me if I were deaf. And I suppose after using it enough, I am sure that we will develop hearing loss!

I was thinking of setting off the smoke detector just so I wouldn't have to listen to the fan!

As for the dump station, I think a Haz-Mat suit is the fashion order of the day.

Jonathan
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Old 06-03-2004, 07:06 AM   #14
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Just had to comment on your post. I read it Friday just before I left work and it had me laughing so hard I had tears in my eyes. Your experiences in setting up just seem soo familiar.. Especially the timing for Beer #1 which is a key part of the set-up process on any camping trip. My wife and I will be taking our maiden voyage in about a week and I hope I can be as profound as you have been describing the process.. Thanks for the laugh.
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