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Old 04-14-2019, 06:33 PM   #1
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2012 27' Flying Cloud
W , New England
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 6,581
Non-rookie mistakes?

Sometimes we see a lot of posts from new streamers about some rookie mistake they made on a maiden voyage or something like that. But what about more seasoned travelers - are rookies the only ones who make mistakes? Care to share your faves?

Here’s a fresh one. I don’t consider myself an expert in my 6th year as a weekend warrior with my trailer. But this weekend was a doozie (or Deusi if you prefer).

Crossing a bridge that was under construction, lanes were pretty tight and even while going slow, we heard a loud metal scrape sound and then another a minute later. Never felt a thing - just heard the sound.

So - we sort of wrote it off to the construction on the bridge. We pulled over for lunch about an hour later, I went to open the stairs to get in the trailer and the top stair was sitting on the bottom stair, rivets sheared right off - but it sat there laying on the bottom tread which was pretty tough to pull out.

I wasn’t connecting the dots with the sound we heard. I immediately wondered whether I had put the stairs up when we left that morning. But that didn’t seem to make sense. We had been on the road a couple hours at that point. Surely someone would have flagged us down or we would have had a more catastrophic de-starting event.

And to take idiocrasy to the next level, on the way back today, different bridge with no construction, I was forced a bit to my right by a driver on my left and we heard the same exact sound - to which DW astutely observes - well, that’s how you wrecked the stairs.... DOH!

We travel with a set of plastic stairs we can use for setting up, as a coffee table outside or in this case as back-up stairs. Came in handy. When we got home, it’s a simple 4-bolt job to remove (and presumably reinstall the new set ordered about 30 minutes after getting here and watching a ton of videos on etrailer with measurements that matched....).

So - what non-rookie mistakes are you making?

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Old 04-14-2019, 06:58 PM   #2
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2000 25' Safari
1999 34' Excella
Davidson County , North Carolina
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 3,573
Towing the 34' home from Florida a few weeks ago, we had traveled to middle of GA, our planned stop for the night. Checked in about 4pm and was hurrying to get the trailer parked so we could get an early dinner at the restaurant just up the street. Walked back and unlocked the trailer door but it would not open. What …….?

I realized the slide bolt had slid forward while we were traveling. Normally I keep a small elastic band around the knob, but had forgotten it in the haste of leaving.

All windows were latched. The only way in without damaging something was through the rear hatch and lift the bed to crawl inside. So, I unpacked everything in the rear storage. I'm wider than the hatch door is tall, so I had to lay on my back to squeeze through. Then once inside I had to make a quarter turnover roll onto my side then push up the bed.

The funny part: Imagine my DW standing outside laughing loudly, almost in tears, neighbors watching. My brand new shorts caught on the hatch latch, which tore a hole. I could not get loose, so the further I went in, the more of my … everything that should not be... was exposed. Finally my wife helped out and got me loose from the latch. By the time I stood up inside, well I was exposed ;-0

2014 Silverado 1500 Crew Cab 5.3L maximum trailering package
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Old 04-14-2019, 07:06 PM   #3
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2002 30' Classic S/O
Melbourne Beach , Florida
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We got mixed up one time when we shared duties. We stopped at a campground not far from the house to dump since the black tank valve was dripping and filling up the pipe between it and the cap. I put the jacks down after saying I was only going to do the roadside, but I thought better of it and put the curbside down also. Missy put the jacks up but only pulled up the roadside because that's what I said I was going to put down. We knew nothing until someone passed me and yelled out their window something was sparking under the trailer. Jacks spark when dragged on concrete. I pulled over, had to partially disassemble the jack and tie the leg up. luckily we were on the way home with only a couple of miles to go. I had to straighten some parts and buy some parts. The hardest point was dropping the power jack. Those things are HEAVY!

Now, pretty religiously, I do the outside and she does the inside.


"You cannot reason someone out of a position they have not been reasoned into"

Al, K5TAN and Missy, N4RGO
2002 Classic 30 Slideout
S/OS #004
2013 Dodge 2500 Laramie 4x4 Megacab Cummins
2001 Safari 25 RB Twin (Gone, but not forgotten)
WBCCI 1322, TAC FL-39, AIR 82265

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Old 04-15-2019, 06:40 AM   #4
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2017 25' Flying Cloud
Burleson , Texas
Join Date: Jun 2016
Posts: 22
After a long day of driving we pulled into the Canadian Texas city park and paid our dues.. it was our first time there.. and I take off up the side and mud is slinging everywhere and my wife is yelling "what are you doing, david!?!?"

I thought the site was pull thru but what I did was go 4-wheeling on the edge of a water easement that was muddy. We still made it, but what a mess!
oops, fun times though.

Traveling Doodah

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Old 04-15-2019, 07:59 AM   #5
Half a Rivet Short
2017 30' Classic
Carlisle , Pennsylvania
Join Date: May 2017
Posts: 6,308

I think that the idea that only rookies make these mistakes is ...umm..... errrr .... suspect. We still seem to make the same mistakes, just not as often. Most recent was not getting the jack up quite far enough and getting a bit of a grind noise as we pulled forward to seat the hitch on the ball.

Pretty common is to not get the wardrobe door closed all the way. We ... ummm... have it a bit full. While camped, that keeps the light on and "exercises" the batteries. When in motion it creates a fun game of pick up when we pull over. The latch works fine, it's just a matter of getting the door closed ....

Time to go hook up ... wonder what we'll do wrong this time

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Old 04-15-2019, 08:09 AM   #6
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1972 31' Sovereign
Lexington , Minnesota
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We forgot to take out the stabilizers that fit between the wheels once. They don't tolerate being run over. Had to buy new ones. We've also forgotten to lock exterior hatch doors in the past. Luckily, didn't lose anything. Now we both "walk" the trailer before we take off every morning when we travel, and every time we stop during the day.

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Old 04-15-2019, 09:21 AM   #7
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2013 25' FB Eddie Bauer
2012 20' Flying Cloud
Small Town , *** Big Sky Country ***
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Have a check list and USE IT !
2015 25' Eddie Bauer Int Sp Ed
2015 Chev Duramax 2500; equalizer hitch
AIR# 44105; formerly WBCCI 2015.1
Terminal Aluminitis; 2-people w/ 2-dogs
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Old 04-15-2019, 09:45 AM   #8
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1983 27' Excella
Charlottesville , Virginia
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 174
In the fall during winterizing I remove the under kitchen sink Everpure QC2 water filter so it doesn’t freeze and split.

So first trip of the spring season we go to a full service campground on OBX. Get all hooked up, turn on the sink in the kitchen, hear running water but nothing coming out of the faucet, and suddenly feet get wet. Yeah, I forgot to replace the filter.

Fortunately my wife cooks with bottled water, and the super clean restroom was only 30 seconds away, so we got thru the weekend with some chuckles and humility.
83 Excella 27
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Old 04-15-2019, 10:20 AM   #9
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2012 27' Flying Cloud
W , New England
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Originally Posted by mefly2 View Post
Have a check list and USE IT !

Well this goes back earlier for me but one time we were faithfully using our checklist in a notebook and followed it to the T before departing the campground. We realized a half hour later we left the checklist notebook on the picnic table at the site. DOH! Added “Bring this checklist back to the truck with you” to the checklist at the end.
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Old 04-15-2019, 10:22 AM   #10
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2012 27' Flying Cloud
W , New England
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Originally Posted by LY007 View Post


so we got thru the weekend with some chuckles and humility.

Add this to the checklist too! Absolutely crucial to good camping experiences!
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Old 04-15-2019, 10:30 AM   #11
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2014 20' Flying Cloud
Long Island , New York
Join Date: Jun 2015
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Isn't much of this forum about correcting mistakes +/-?

As in thousands and thousands . . .

Why list them again?

Can't wait for everyone to get on the road again, and have less free time . . .

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Old 04-15-2019, 11:29 AM   #12
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2012 27' Flying Cloud
W , New England
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 6,581
Originally Posted by OTRA15 View Post

Why list them again?

This is a very good question. I should have been clearer in my original post.

One main objective is to hopefully provide some comfort to newbies who join and think they’ve ruined their shiny new camper by making a small mistake even if it may seem like a whopper. I mean - if I wrecked my entry stairs week one, I’d have been beside myself with concern. It’s 4 bolts even I can manage and a couple hundred bucks “tuition” for a lesson learned. Once I replace those stairs with my own checkbook and my own labor, how much more aware of curbside positioning do you think I’ll be? And if someone can learn that on my tuition, I consider that a pay-it-forward moment.

Second - I hope it also provides some comfort to newbies to know that people who’ve been doing this for longer periods of time still make what might seem like rookie mistakes. It demonstrates that the learning curve is never complete - and over the years, you’ll have some fun stories you can pass down along with your trailer.

Last - I never know how this works for people. Some people use the forums to see everything new that pops up. Some stick to a handful of threads that resonate most. Sometimes, a thread that hasn’t seen a response in years gets a new response and one of two things happens - the person is either reminded no one has replied to that thread in 15 years so they should try a new one, or they get an answer to their question

I just figured I’d launch this one and see what happens. If you’d like to shut it down, please see my multi-point procedure here: (and good luck - despite multiple valiant attempts, we’ve not been successful in having the mods shut that one down!).

Do you have a favorite camping mistake you’d like to share Peter?
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Old 04-15-2019, 11:36 AM   #13
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1994 30' Excella
alexandria , Kentucky
Join Date: Aug 2004
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My worst mistake was last summer.
While camped at a full hook up site I decided to empty the black water tank. Since I wanted to get a "good flush" from the tank I hook up to the black water tank flush. Of course I was distracted and started to talk to a fellow camper........ Needless to say the toilet over flowed into the trailer........
LUCKILY there was a store a few miles down the road that rented carpet cleaners. I worked the area over for about an hour or so. What a memory that haunts me every time I use the tank flusher.
Steve, Christy, Anna and Phoebe (Border Collie)
1994 Classic 30'11" Excella - rear twin
2009 Dodge 2500, 6 Speed Auto, CTD, Quad Cab, Short Bed
Hensley with adjustable stinger
WBCCI # 3072
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Old 04-16-2019, 07:17 AM   #14
4 Rivet Member
2018 30' Classic
Jacksonville , Florida
Join Date: Apr 2018
Posts: 417
1. We all make mistakes. It is just the rookies that ask questions about them.

2. Check lists are fine, but things happen and mistakes happen. One Senior Airman crew chief in my past was shimming the landing gear actuator on a big helicopter. He had the correct technical data open. He was following the directions but he misted a step. He failed to place the aircraft on jacks. Accidents happen. Slow down. Keep focused on the tasks at hand. Pay attention to what you are doing.

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