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Old 03-24-2020, 01:10 AM   #1
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Just Joined: Advice on "Starter Kit" Items

Newbie here who is ordering a new trailer and researching hitch works and necessary items to get camping.

Blue Ox Sway Pro Hitch works came highly recommended (evidently doesn't make noise, no grease on hands when attaching sway bars, effective when backing). Anyone care to weigh-in on this hitch?

Also would appreciate any quality brand suggestions for:

Surge protector, 50 amp adapter, hitch lock, sewer hose and adapter, wheel chocks/block kit, in-line water filter/hose, tank chemicals....anything else I need?

Thanks!
Greg
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Old 03-24-2020, 06:16 AM   #2
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Welcome! This is a highly opinionated topic and a can of worms. You can search the forum and find numerous topics on this topic RE blue ox vs some other brand.

I have blue ox. It works great. Someone on here will tell you that it’s junk and you should only be looking at the $5k system from someone else. Good luck.

As far as hitch lock, I like proven industries. A little expensive but effective.

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Old 03-24-2020, 06:18 AM   #3
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50 amp to 30 amp "dogbone" connector. You'll occasionally end up in a site where 50 amp is the only thing available, or the only thing that works.

Inline pressure regulator for water hose. A friend trusted the onboard regulator in his rig last year and ended up replacing water lines inside walls in his motor home when the campground suddenly had very high water pressure. One RV park where I often attend a rally makes these mandatory, as their water pressure is always at 90 psi.

Y-shaped connector for water faucet (water hose department at big box store). I often need water outside--water the dog, put out a campfire, etc--and it's a pain to have to disconnect the trailer's supply for that purpose.

On the expensive side...
Progressive Industries Power Monitor. Keeps flaky campground wiring from causing damage to your trailer or hazard to you and your family.

Welcome to the community and best of luck with your new rig.

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Old 03-24-2020, 08:34 AM   #4
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Ah, you are opening a can of worms! Here is my 2 cents as I am having a slow morning.

WD Anti-sway hitch
Blue Ox is excellent. Looks like you have chosen based off what matters to you. I have used the Equal-i-zer which was good but noisy and now have a ProPride 3P hitch and I prefer it – that is one of the expensive one referenced in an earlier post. Hitches and tow vehicles are the marmite of these forums. There is no overall consensus.

Surge Protector
Many people use the progressive industries product, some use the one that hangs on the pedestal but others worry it could be stolen and have one mounted inside.

Sewer hose
Rhino make a robust product, (mine is going on 5 years and no issues) but it will not fit in the standard tube under the trailer, you can modify the tube to accept it. I stick it in the rear bumper. An alternative is the “sewer solution” a water aided system, great for pushing stuff a couple of feet uphill, I have one for clean out at home.

Wheel chocks
I stick to the standard red or yellow chocks you can get at any hardware store I stick them on the side that is not leveled. People like things like the x-chocks that reduce some trailer bounce too.

Leveling
I use a pair of Anderson levelers. The company has some controversy due to some personal stuff with the owner, other companies make this style “drive on leveler” too. I prefer these types of levelers to blocks. If you do like leveling blocks the Lynx product is light. I keep a pack of 10 in the trailer as sometimes the stabilizers need a little help reaching the ground. Many people just pack sections of 2x8 as that is what they have on hand.

I also have a “levelmate pro” that makes leveling nice and easy, I am part of the smartyphone gang and have apps for everything, some people are not so into that stuff. It also stores hitch height to make hitching a little easier.

Hitch lock
Proven industries make an excellent product. I am not sure how the core of the “puck lock” is, I always recommend Paclock for all padlocks/locks. You can get them all keyed the same and they are pretty hard to pick or bypass.

Power tools
Pack your preferred brand of battery power drill. This is useful for the stabilizers and if the jack fails you can use it to “manually override” it. People generally say not to use an impact as it can put too much torque on some of the systems

Toolbox
You will want to keep a small toolbox at least, screw drivers, socket set wrenches. Hitch gear and lug nuts do need to checked so a torque wrench and breaker bar are good items to carry – again everyone has their preferred brands from harbor freight to Snap-On. I also keep AA and 9V batteries, spare jack switch (they do fail on the barker models)

Water filter
I see the external camco filters on a lot of trailers and RVs. No idea if they are any good or not. I have seen one cracked open due to freezing temps, so if you do use one and it gets cold….

Chemicals
2 main schools of thought, make your own known as the “Geo method” or buy commercial off the shelf. I personally just bulk buy whatever is on the shelf at Walmart when I am there a couple of times a year. I think it ends up being the TST brand, never had a problem.

Kitchen/outfitting the trailer
I must confess I have kitted out our kitchen with exactly the same products I have in my house. The same knife set and mugs, kettle, coffee grinder… I like that I have the same quality of “tools” to hand in the trailer as I have at home. Actually this applies to everything in my trailer bedding, cushions, camp chairs, I buy it as if it was for my house. There is a joke with my friends if I do buy something, I buy 2 – one for the house and… well you get the picture.

Items like pressure regulator, 50amp-30amp dogbones, 20amp-30amp dogbones, water connections, hoses. A lot of that stuff is probably less critical in terms of branding, I have never been concerned about branding and just picked them up as needed from big box stores or campground store, but I am sure others will chime in for you.


The following is a short list of items I regularly see people start threads on here on the forums, it will give you an idea what people are tinkering with.

Batteries, battery monitor, solar panels, power converter, power inverter, window poppers, fridge vent fan, tires/wheels, LED lights in older trailers, door lock mechanism, back up camera, cell phone booster, TV streaming things, built in stereo, generator, heating, BBQ grills.

Most importantly. You will work out what matters to you once you get out in your trailer. If you have any camping stuff just use that to start and start making a list that matches YOUR needs. Remember, you an individual just like everybo……..
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Old 03-24-2020, 08:48 AM   #5
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Proven industries has a sale going on right now. You can get 10% off for posting a pic of your hitch lock on Facebook. I’ll take $30. They have a model for the 2020 hitch on the AS.

We like the Blue Ox. Still working through the learning curve on it.
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Old 03-24-2020, 09:05 AM   #6
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Welcome to the forum and congratulations on your trailer order! We have the BlueOx and have no complaints. Pay attention when the dealership teaches you how to use it and don't be afraid to ask questions. It can seem daunting at first but it's a very manageable system IMHO.

I highly recommend the Progressive Industries EMS/surge protector. We have the version that attaches to the power pedestal and like the ease of use and no noise inside our trailer. You can search the forum for many threads on this subject.

The Proven Industries hitch lock is another stellar product I recommend. It's easy to use, not too heavy, and provides tough to match security. You can buy from www.besttrailerlocks.com to save a bit on the price. The site is owned by Proven Industries and sells refurbished or cosmetically damaged locks. The locks still function the same and are backed by the same warranty. We saved about $70 and got a lock that had some scratches on it but functions like new. And guess what? Now it has even more scratches on it after use.

I'm sure others will weigh in with opinions counter to everything I've recommended here with great reasoning. All the things you're looking for have many threads dedicated to them on this forum. Just remember, it's all about what is the best option for you and your trailer.
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Old 03-24-2020, 09:22 AM   #7
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Here are a couple of lists to ponder:

https://www.marriedwithairstream.com/thing-to-buy/

https://www.marriedwithairstream.com...quipment-list/

https://www.marriedwithairstream.com...re-chocks-for/

https://www.marriedwithairstream.com...ge-and-dishes/

https://www.marriedwithairstream.com...-your-trailer/

https://www.marriedwithairstream.com...ty-from-theft/
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Old 03-24-2020, 09:32 AM   #8
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A few things that I missed on my first trip list are: a longer 30 amp cord as connections are not always under 25 feet away. A can opener and most importantly a cork screw. I know these items sound trivial, but at the end of the day when you would like to uncork that lovely bottle of red wine, you can thank me
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Old 03-24-2020, 09:38 AM   #9
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I know, this is shameless of me - but here is a link to my expired ad on Air Forums Classifieds (under Parts and Appliances) for my Blue Ox hitch set-up. It is listed for less than half the price of a new one, and was used for only one season. PM me if interested.

http://www.airstreamclassifieds.com/...pro-bxw1500-s/
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Old 03-24-2020, 10:01 AM   #10
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http://andersenhitches.com/Products/...uffel-bag.aspx

And

https://andersenhitches.com/Products...ack-block.aspx

Use them every time I camp and they work extremely well.
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Old 03-24-2020, 11:00 AM   #11
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We recently purchased our 2020 Bambi 19cb, though, as to sound sophisticated, appear to be suave, and to nudge our way into and among the elite Airstreams, we call it a 19fb, as in French Bed.

The responses to the initial question of this post confirm what I learned upon purchasing our Bambi: an Airstream, any Airstream, is the gateway drug.
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Old 03-24-2020, 03:23 PM   #12
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Plenty of discussion on all of this and I've found the Forum to be a great resource with the added benefit of some hilarious and passionate exchanges between those that hold opposing views regarding what gear is best. At the risk of being shot in the face, here are my preferences:

- Hitch: ProPride 3P 1400; hands down favorite way to tow (IMHO)
- Water Filter/softener: SoftCell and with a seperate exterior regulator.
- CHT hose (sorry, that's Navy talk) Sewage hose: Rhino with an angled trailer connection with back-flush hose connection.
- Surge Protector: Hughes Autoformer Watchdog (can make a Bluetooth connection to your mobile phone to monitor VAC input levels), surge section is replaceable. Also will shut down on low voltage to protect your equipment, particularly motor-driven equipment. I also have a Hughes "Autoformer" which is essentially a step-up transformer to bring voltage up during periods of great demand in the park. Some parks won't allow these as they say you are "stealing" power...that's not the case and while it may warm up the circuit a bit you are not a thief by using one.
-Leveling: I use the stackable blocks but am wondering about using the curved deals you back or drive on to until level then jam a second curved wedge in behind to hold. I also use the Ball expandable wheel chocks between the tandem axles on the wheels.
- Tire Pressure and Temperature Monitoring: I like the TST product.
- Gensets: I went with the two Honda 2200's that can be paralleled for 30 amp service (don't forget a 30 to 50 amp dog bone). I'm not yet comfortable with adding softstarts to compressor motors but still reading about that here...seems most think they are fine). As for the Hondas, I was told some time ago that you might not start with Hondas but you'll eventually end up with them...so I bought them first when we moved from a Super C that had a large diesel powered Onan genset.

These are my choices but there is plenty of more experienced RVerz out there and on this forum that have their own preferences...obviously. My failing is that I am an obsessive gadget guy and like these sorts of contraptions so know to try to avoid big RV shows where newer, better "stuff" I think I need (and want) are on sale. So what do I do? Yep, I go...but "forget" my wallet in the truck.

As for TV, I have a RAM 2500 Cummins Turbo-Diesel Crew Cab 4X4 that tows our 30" International easily...I wanted it for the torque and exhaust brake but I really like the interior on our Laramie level truck...and there are a satisfying number of gadgets to fool with. I have a roll away aluminum hard and lockable bed cover and a Yakima cargo box suspended just over the bed cover for stuff I immediately need for parking and setting up the trailer at camp.

Those are the big items...I did buy a memory foam pad from AB in Nell, SC as I felt the Airstream mattress was waaaay too firm...for me and the little lady anyway. That and the mattress pad, blankets and sheets are all custom cut and have elastic to hold around the 11" radius at the foot of the Airstream queen mattress. I also have the teak grid in the shower...because I like the looks of it, OK?

I have a Coleman stove and a big coffee percolator I normally set-up outside early as it's a great way to meet fellow campers who happen to follow their noses to the aroma of fresh coffee...then embellish stories of camping exploits over a hot cup.I also carry a VAir 12VDC air compressor and have a trailer brake connection set-up for plugging in the compressor in the back instead of going into the engine bay. An aluminum floor jack, a good pressure gauge and a quality torque wrench complete my WMP (wheel maintenance package).

Good luck and have a blast...we like the travel as much as the destinations.
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Old 03-24-2020, 03:37 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Salvagediver View Post
As for TV, I have a RAM 2500 Cummins Turbo-Diesel Crew Cab 4X4 that tows our 30" International easily...

That’s a lot of truck for a 30” Airstream. Since you didn’t mention a hitch lock, I assume you just put it in your back pocket or maybe inside the truck when you’re not towing? 🤪
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Old 03-24-2020, 04:17 PM   #14
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Like you we are Newbies having owned our AS for one month now.
Some of the small stuff you should wait and see what the dealer will give you in their "Gift Bag".
I received two 10' Rhino Sewer hoses with 90* clear adapter, 30-50 adapter, chocks, white and black water hoses, leveling blocks and a few things I didn't need. Saved me about $100 or more I guess.
I did buy a set of tire pressure monitors, a Progressive 50 amp surge protector, in line water filter, and a Proven Industries Hitch lock. The wife went to ROSS and TJ Max and bought all her kitchenware plus a nice carpet runner, bath mats, and a small area rug.
If you do buy a Blue OX, stop by Harbor Freight or any auto parts store and pick up a 18", half inch drive breaker bar and 1" socket. The Blue ox wrench does the job but the breaker bar makes it easier.
While at the parts store pick up a half inch drive torque wrench, thin wall 13/16" deep socket and 6" extension for checking your lug nuts. I checked mine when leaving the dealer, at 50 miles and every 100 miles after for my 450 mile trip home. Only when I reached home and did my final check were the nuts found to be tight.

Best of luck to you and your new AS.
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Old 03-24-2020, 04:53 PM   #15
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Blue Ox hitch
Proven Industries lock
LifePo4 batteries
Champian duel fuel generator
EZ start for AC
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Old 03-24-2020, 05:10 PM   #16
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If you buy a new 50 amp trailer dog bone comes with. No charge.
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Old 03-24-2020, 05:20 PM   #17
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No one has mentioned the two most important items: a cell phone and a credit card. <grin>


Seriously, don't spend too much time planning in advance. It sounds like you have little RV experience, so the above suggestions are good starting points. Beyond that, your own experience will tell you what you need. You may find that some of the items mentioned above aren't really needed for the way you travel.


Oh yes, don't forget the can opener!
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Old 03-24-2020, 05:54 PM   #18
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Do anyone even know what AS they are recommending 4?

My recomendation don't fret...
As I found out with our first AS 42yrs ago..there is a store on every corner. 😂
Get what you WILL need first...duct tape, zip-ties, WD40, a hammer and a first aid kit.

Bob
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Old 03-24-2020, 07:05 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigSxyWhtGuy View Post
That’s a lot of truck for a 30” Airstream. Since you didn’t mention a hitch lock, I assume you just put it in your back pocket or maybe inside the truck when you’re not towing? 🤪
It's a valid point with the ProPride (and Arrows too I guess) and there is some discussion on the ProPride site regarding a plate that locks through the main hitch assembly "receiver" . I do have a lock on the Demco to hold the PP but of course, somebody simply needs a stinger to steal our trailer and it's only a hacksaw away from ripping off the hitch, even though a time consuming pain-in-the-shorts to do so.

The stinger gets tossed in the truck when not towing and replaces my curling bar and other free weights...especially since I have the Class V receiver; I just have to limit the reps.

The back pocket idea is pure genius, but it might look funny
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Old 03-25-2020, 11:18 AM   #20
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[QUOTE=
The stinger gets tossed in the truck when not towing and replaces my curling bar and other free weights...especially since I have the Class V receiver; I just have to limit the reps.

The back pocket idea is pure genius, but it might look funny[/QUOTE]

Sounds like you need one of our custom made $200 'Shin Savers.' 👍😂

Bob
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