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Old 06-07-2008, 06:54 PM   #1
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Not sure if this is the right place to write this? I will be taking my first trip ever with a trailer. We will be staying at camp sites. Do I need the stabilizer jacks? I am running out of room and thinking I might not need this at campsites. My frig will run off elec. and gas but do I need to turn off the water heater each time we leave the campsite or can it be left lit? I do not have a stove with gas just elec. stove top and it takes awhile for the pilot to light. I have looked at a good list that someone submitted but if anyone has any suggestions of things that are important to know before leaving I would really appreciate them. I know I will learn a lot once we camp but don't want to learn something the hard way like frying something because I didn't do it right.
thanks Judy
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Old 06-07-2008, 07:03 PM   #2
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Once you disconnect your trailer from the TV I would put the stabilizers under the trailer. Walking around the trailer will cause it to rock without them.

When I setup camp, I light the water heater and turn it off when I get set to leave. Others may do differently.
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Old 06-07-2008, 07:11 PM   #3
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you need your stadilizers or everytime you walk thru the trailer you`ll get the wiggles & wobbles,the recovery rate on your water heater is so fast ,that i shut it down while moving.fridge should stay lit and keep food cold while traveling,some will disagree with that ,but i like acool one when pulling in for the night.your problem with bleeding air to light w.h.can be solved by cutting a short piece of wood to keep control compressed while in the pilot position,i know the finger starts cramping after a while,so the block works for me.hope this helps.dave
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Old 06-07-2008, 07:18 PM   #4
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Or you could put a sign on the door, "When she's a rockin', don't come knockin!"
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Old 06-07-2008, 07:49 PM   #5
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Judy,

I would take the jacks. We leave our fridge on...until we return home or have to refill propane tanks. We only light the hot water heater when we need it, same for the heater to warm the inside of the trailer. I have a cooktop, but mine is propane and doesn't have a pilot light.... so the valve is on because of the refrig and I just use a match.

Think minimum. You will find you will take oodles of stuff you won't use, it is okay... next time you can trim down. I have been "trimming" what we take for a couple of years. Make everything do double duty if you can.

Main goal is to have fun and time to relax, not to repack stuff or fiddle with getting everything just right... or you will spend your holiday just working!

Have fun! Let us know how your shake down "cruise" goes!

Mrs. NorCal Bambi traveling in S Tardis from the Great State of Jefferson
My new blog: Yreka History
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Old 06-07-2008, 07:51 PM   #6
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From your post, it sounds as if your stab. jacks are non-attached. I think most folks have at least two attached at the rear of the trailer, and often two more at the front. They are quite useful to stop the "campground wiggles" when you walk around the coach, come in or out the door, or engage in (ahem) certain vigorous indoor acitivities. So if yours are non-attached, I'd take em' if I could. Along with some pieces of wood to keep the jacks from sinking into the ground.

Re water heater: this is widely varying. I turn mine on when I park - may take a few tries to get air purged out of the LP gas lines - and then usually turn it off once it gets up to temp. You'll still have warm water in the morning, and if you want to shower, you can turn it back on for fifteen minutes or so and you'll have lots of hot water. And that way it won't be cycling on overnight and wasting gas to make hot water you won't use.

Fridge: most folks try to plug their trailer into shore power for some hours before heading out so it gets cool in advance of loading food into it. I run mine on LP while going down the road (but shut down when refueling). That way the food stays cool and the adult beverages are chilly on arrival. Of course, that uses LP that I probably don't really need to burn, but it's worth it to me to have the food cool the whole while I'm on the road.

I think you'll find that after a trip or two, you'll develop practices that work for YOU, and that aren't someone else's. You'll quickly develop a comfort level in your own experience.

Good luck.
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Old 06-07-2008, 08:14 PM   #7
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I'm sorry Judy but I couldn't resist the rockin comment. My wife have now been traveling with our trailer for a year. We have over 8,000 miles in it and we've just about got our routine down.

1. Do get the fridge cooling a day before leaving. We like to take and cook our own food, so several days before departing my wife will plan some basic meals in advance and have like the chicken breasts separated in zip lock bags and frozen. These frozen items will also help keep the fridge cool too.

2. We run with the propane on as we drive down the road to keep the fridge on. We also carry a couple coolers, a big one for the beer and other items not so easy to fit in the fridge. A smaller one for easy access while driving.

3. When you get to the campground you should already have a plan on how you plan on coordinating your parking procedures. Depending on how busy the campground is, you may have everybody gathering around trying to help. Our first trip is a long story but we arrived to our first campground at night we didn't have a good plan. I'm a pilot and understand plane captain signals and taught my wife a couple and that's all we need now whether its day or night.

4. Once parked the first thing I do before disconnecting is unhook electrical from the truck and get the trailer power connected to the 30 amp. That gives my wife full power to the inside so she can get to work. I then finish my outside routine from chocks, (we would have leveled side by side during the parking evolution), unhooking, leveling nose to tail, water, cable, sewer, STABILIZERS (fortunately we have electric ones), awnings, patio carpet, lounge chairs, BBQ grill and beer cooler from truck.

5. Wife ensures the hot water tank fills, fridge has switched from propane to electric, turns on the hot water heater, and ac if required.

6. If we've had a long day she already has some meat thawed and by then I have the Weber Baby Q fired up with beer in hand, bose speakers connected to the iPod, dog fed and boys entertained.

Again, as ourselves being new to this, having a planned parking procedure in place ahead of time will decrease the amount of friction that may occur at the beginning of your setup procedures. This will make dinner much more enjoyable and the surrounding atmosphere too. No point in starting the trip all stressed out.

Remember, when you pull in with that beautiful silver aluminum glistening in the sun, everyone, I mean everyone, in the campground is watching you. Unless of course you're at an Airstream only campground.
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Old 06-08-2008, 10:53 AM   #8
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Lots of good answers the stabilizers will go along with boards and almost forgot chucks. Here are my jacks where do they go underneath anyone have a photo? Also one of mine is missing the top part know what I could use quick to make it work we are leaving June 19th
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Old 06-08-2008, 12:08 PM   #9
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Here is my trailer where do I place the stabilizers and do I tighten the nut with a wrench until the top hits the trailer?
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Old 06-08-2008, 10:11 PM   #10
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Hi, Judy. Your work is nearing completion and the vacation is closing in, huh? You must be excited!

There are so many little (but important) things to do in a trailer when you leave and arrive somewhere else that I think it would be useful to try a checklist. This thread is a really great start to make your own. For example did you pack some disposable gloves to wear when you're emptying the black water...? Might be handy. We boat, and have for years, but I still keep a plasticized list in my toolbox.

Also, have you tried towing your trailer yet? I only mention this because you have listed a Toyota RAV4 as a tow vehicle, just wondering how that is working out for you...?

Cheers,
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Old 06-08-2008, 10:32 PM   #11
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Judy,

I would be sure to double check about where to put the stablizers. We put ours under the rear bumper where the frame meets it. But our little Bambi is much shorter. You want to be sure, however, where you place the stablizers they won't slip and poke a hole in your belly pan! Under a sturdy frame piece. Don tightens ours but not super tight... also if parking on dirt, you might want a small board to place under them if the soil is soft. I would try it before you leave on your journey and see how well it helps keep the trailer from jiggling when walking inside.

JUST TIGHTEN THEM ENOUGH SO IT STABLIZES THE TRAILER, BUT NOT TO BE USED LIKE JACKS TO LIFT THE TRAILER UP. This will only cause horrible problems, cranking them too high will cause the frame to twist and doors won't open properly, windows won't open right.. Also the tongue should be put at a height so that it will make a 3 point or triangular type support for the stablization.

Mrs. NorCal Bambi traveling in S Tardis ~ from the Great State of Jefferson
My new blog: Yreka History
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Old 06-08-2008, 11:08 PM   #12
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Stablizer Postions

Judy,

I posted above, but finally found a picture with the back of our Bambi and the stablizers. Not detailed, but you can get a more general idea... I lightened the pic quite a bit so you could "see" under the trailer a little. Click on the image and it should enlarge.

BTW, you can get new stablizers at Vintage Trailer Supply ~ 4 for $35.95...
Vintage Trailer Supply - Vintage travel trailer parts and supplies!

Mrs. NorCal Bambi Traveling in S Tardis ~ from the Great State of Jefferson
My new blog: Yreka History
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