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Old 12-22-2015, 07:33 AM   #1
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2016 30' International
Sewickley , Pennsylvania
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 47
Soon to be new owners... what else do I need to buy??

Hi everyone,

As I mentioned in a previous thread I had started back in the summer, we recently put a down payment on a 2016 International Serenity 30 and will be hopefully taking delivery sometime in April. We are beyond excited and completely new to camping via a travel trailer.

Beyond the trailer, hitch and TV, what else do we need to buy to get us started? We'll obviously accumulate stuff over time but looking for recommendations on what we'll need the first trip(s). I've bought the Newbies Guide to Airstreaming so will check that out over Christmas break (I'm assume that will have suggestions).

In addition to your thoughts, I'd appreciate if you could point me to any past threads on this. I did some quick searching without a lot of luck.

Thanks - and Merry Christmas/Happy Holidays


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Old 12-22-2015, 07:46 AM   #2
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Virginia Beach , Virginia
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Camping World is NOT your friend. They exist only to extract cash from your pocket.

What you need most is OTHER AIRSTREAMERS who will save you from going on a buying frenzy - and later tossing or trading or giving away 60% of what you bought. Bring old stuff from your house for your first trip or two. Time and experience will show you what YOU need to camp happy. (OH - a "white water hose", toilet paper, Kleenex, a roll of paper towels, spare underwear, a tooth brush and toothpaste, a cell phone and directions to the nearest Walmart will cover 99% of all things you'll really really NEED on your initial voyage. I'd personally add coffee to that list, but you might want beer or tea or lemonade.)

So - you're in Pittsburgh and many campgrounds in PA are closed this time of year. There is an excellent Airstream only park about 100 miles north of you - Penn Woods. I don't know if they are open but the people there are wonderful and the park is beautiful. Also you could even visit the "mother ship" - the factory in Jackson Center where the camping is free if you're having service done - and $10 per night if you're just passing through - they call their camping circles the "TerraPort".

You might want to check the bottom of the main page of this forum for rallies or start a thread asking to meet camping neighbors. Lots of folks enjoy "show and tell" sessions.


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Old 12-22-2015, 08:01 AM   #3
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You'll need a potable (white) water hose. I have two 25' hoses for flexibility. Mine came from Ace hardware and are soft, pliant and rugged.

You'll need a sewer dump hose. I like the Rhino brand. Mine is 10' and handles pretty much any situation. If you decide to access a sewer clean out at your home, you might consider the Sewer Solution. I wouldn't worry about that now.

Toilet paper is swell to have. You can pay a lot for official "RV" toilet paper. Or you can buy Scott or Cottonnelle 1 ply toilet paper for much less and it works just as well. No multi-ply, perfume enhanced, cloudy soft TP...

Black tank treatment. I would recommend something containing enzymes and bacteria (I like Pure Power) rather than chemical -- some of the "old school" products have some nasty stuff (formaldehyde etc.) that can really wreak havoc on a campgrounds septic system.

After that, it is up to you.

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Old 12-22-2015, 08:11 AM   #4
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2018 23' Flying Cloud
Huntsville , Alabama
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I've gone through more camping stuff and given to Goodwill than I would like to mention. Space is limited. I would suggest you consider staying away from bulky items (example bulky chairs, recliners, large charcoal grills, etc.) keep things small and compact. Think about how you will use it and where you will store it before you purchase camping items. Best of luck & enjoy making new memories in your airstream.

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Old 12-22-2015, 08:20 AM   #5
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Twin Rocks , Oregon
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Eric, many dealers provide a starter kit with the trailer. Talk to yours and find out if they do, and what is in it. Some things that won't be in the kit are a good tire pressure gauge, an IR thermometer for checking tires and bearing temps, and an inexpensive air compressor. Maybe a set or two of leveling blocks, and tire chocks to keep the trailer from moving when disconnected.

Many of the things that aren't in the kit can be ordered over the Internet as you find you need them. Camping World will often meet internet prices, so ask. The worst they can do is say no. You can say no, as well.

BTW, negotiate with your dealer, too. When I put solar on my trailer, the dealer was more than twice what local RV shops were asking for the exact same equipment. The dealer wanted the business and came down to local prices.
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Old 12-22-2015, 08:53 AM   #6
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One needs to be careful having a dealer install other than the two 53 watt solar panel factory system. The pre-wiring is not rated for larger loads associated with a more usable system. They may not even be competent enough to do the factory system. They tend to prey on first timers.

Read on the forums about solar installations and send a few PM (private messages) to folks to learn more.
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Old 12-22-2015, 10:08 AM   #7
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2007 30' Classic S/O
Somewhere , South Carolina
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Longer term at a site w/o sewer hookup some folks use a portable tank to drain grey water. Many models avail.
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16" Michelins, Hi Spec Wheels, Max Brake, Carslile Actuator, Equal-i-zer, Dill TPMS. Campfire cook.
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Old 12-22-2015, 10:47 AM   #8
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Palmer Lake , Colorado
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You'll appreciate having a few light tools like screwdrivers, pliers, channel locks, etc.. Get some zip ties and some good strong tape. Get a couple of power strips so you can charge things in the trailer at the same time. A DVD player is a good addition if not already installed, many parks rent or loan DVD's which are nice on cold or rainy days. We have our dishes and utensils, pans and other cooking items duplicated for the trailer so it is ready to roll. Get some refrigerator deodorizer (arm & hammer). WD 40 is very handy of course. A good flashlight and a pack of batteries. Latex gloves for the dump hose. A long (30') cable cord to access the camp cable TV. I carry a plug converter to convert from the 30A main plug format to the three prong plug that I can use at my house. A vacuum cleaner is missed terribly when not included. I take a 5 ton bottle jack and a super jack (the tall red jacks you see on Jeeps). Replacement fuses in the tool kit. Leveling blocks. And ... the good old fly swatter.
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Old 12-22-2015, 10:49 AM   #9
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Whenever I need a tool for a need at our house.

I get it out of our Airstream storage compartment.
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Old 12-22-2015, 10:51 AM   #10
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Oh - and get a good (name brand) hotspot for internet if you expect to have fast and reliable internet service. The camps pretty much throttle your internet down after so many megabytes of download activity and then you are stuck looking at a progress bar all the time. By name brand I mean Verizon or AT&T. All the others basically resell Verizon & ATT and they also get seats in the back of the bus. You can buy plans by the duration (1-3 months) and gigabytes. I also have an AppleTV in the trailer which allows me to access all of the same content that I can at home via my Apple account.
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Old 12-22-2015, 10:54 AM   #11
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Palmer Lake , Colorado
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Yes, I tried making up a list of tools to take each trip and just gave up and built up a tool kit for the trailer. I have solid A / A+ tools at home and went for B / B- tools for the trailer to save cost but I pretty much have what I need for pretty much anything that comes up that could be a DIY fix to get down the road or make it through the night. Like I had to re-seat all the faucets after I picked it up from a mechanic who "fixed" some drips at the faucets at 10:30 at night the first night out after about 15 hours of driving - real fun. But I was able to get it done.
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Old 12-22-2015, 10:56 AM   #12
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Duct tape!
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Old 12-22-2015, 11:01 AM   #13
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2014 27' Flying Cloud
Stowe , Vermont
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I have an EXTENSIVE checklist for what I believe is every possible item that we will need on various trips, from clothing to tools, to inside and outside AS items. Prior to a trip we determine what our activities include; biking, kayaking, rock climbing, hiking, etc. Check what will be needed, and then check the next column when it has been packed. You don't want to be 2000 miles from home and be missing one of your paddles, etc. Don't want to be in the Rockies with improper clothing. If you want a pdf copy, let me know.
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Old 12-22-2015, 11:03 AM   #14
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Oh - and a spare hitch pin, boy is that no fun when you misplace that darn thing and it's time to go

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