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Old 03-25-2016, 08:47 AM   #1
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Shakedown Trip This Weekend

My whole family is sneaking out early this afternoon so we can hit the road early and go play with the new trailer. Our shakedown trip with our last RV 12 years ago was a complete disaster. We're older and marginally wiser now and we have twelve more years experience with RVs than we did before, so I have higher hopes. The first smart thing we're doing is staying in an RV park with hookups instead of dry camping on our first trip.

We're also staying closer to home. We'll go about an hour away to a park at the beach. With our last toy hauler I ended up getting too close to the brush and punctured a sidewall. I learned the hard way that RV builders don't include a lug wrench. It was a looooong drive to "civilization" to buy a wrench to change the flat. (The little town of Inyokern, CA, was the nearest civilization to us.)

So my question for the group is, what kinds of things should I be checking out and testing on our maiden voyage? This RV is much more luxury than our first, and it has more moving parts. This is our first time with power leveling jacks, slide outs, power awnings, etc. I feel like Jed Clampet trying to figure out the indoor plumbing and the cement pond.
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Old 03-25-2016, 08:52 AM   #2
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first thing you need to check before rolling out is Tire pressure and wheel lug nut torque. Inflate tires to max cold and torque all your wheel nuts. It is normal for them to require retorque after the have been installed. Continue torqueing them at every stop until they stabilize, then check them at least once before each trip, to make sure they stay torqued.
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Old 03-25-2016, 09:00 AM   #3
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first thing you need to check before rolling out is Tire pressure and wheel lug nut torque. Inflate tires to max cold and torque all your wheel nuts. It is normal for them to require retorque after the have been installed. Continue torqueing them at every stop until they stabilize, then check them at least once before each trip, to make sure they stay torqued.
Great advice and I already did that last night. They were all 15psi low.

I was surprised that I couldn't fit my regular lug wrench around the lug nuts. They are so recessed in these rims. I had to use a socket and a long handle. This gives me a good excuse to buy another set of sockets so I'll always have a set in the trailer.
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Old 03-25-2016, 09:03 AM   #4
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I had even been planning to buy six sets of these Torque-Tight indicators, but they won't work because of the contour of the rims.
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Old 03-25-2016, 09:18 AM   #5
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By the way, I've been poking around the new trailer and I can't seem to find any smoke alarms or a fire extinguisher. I thought these were required. No?
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Old 03-25-2016, 10:58 AM   #6
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By the way, I've been poking around the new trailer and I can't seem to find any smoke alarms or a fire extinguisher. I thought these were required. No?
They have to be there somewhere. Smoke alarms, CO2 detector and fire extinguisher are all required by law.
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Old 03-25-2016, 11:20 AM   #7
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Dave, what beach are you headed to? Lots of good places here in So Cal.
I wouldn't wait too long to regreased the wheel bearing as we've seen many cases where it's just not enough from the factory.
I'd check you gas nozzle tt tank operation, propane refrig and water heater, not just electric, a/c, Fantastic Fans if equipped, generator oli level, and make sure you're black and gray tanks are labeled correctly.
Lots of things to play with to become more familiar with a new rig.
Enjoy the weekend. Great weather.
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Old 03-25-2016, 12:02 PM   #8
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They have to be there somewhere. Smoke alarms, CO2 detector and fire extinguisher are all required by law.
That's what I thought too. I can't find them anywhere. My wife relies on the smoke alarm to know when her first batch of cookies are done.
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Old 03-25-2016, 12:09 PM   #9
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Dave, what beach are you headed to? Lots of good places here in So Cal.
Ventura. It's the closest beach from home.

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I wouldn't wait too long to regreased the wheel bearing as we've seen many cases where it's just not enough from the factory.
I'd check you gas nozzle tt tank operation, propane refrig and water heater, not just electric, a/c, Fantastic Fans if equipped, generator oli level, and make sure you're black and gray tanks are labeled correctly.
Lots of things to play with to become more familiar with a new rig.
Enjoy the weekend. Great weather.
Good list of stuff. I already checked the oil in the gen.

I'm eager to play with all the water connections and see how they all work. Mine were more primitive on my old Weekend Warrior.

I haven't filled the LP yet. This should be interesting since the tanks aren't on the same side.
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Old 03-27-2016, 05:08 PM   #10
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The shakedown trip was a HUGE success. I can't believe how well it went and how happy my family was.

My wife has been going through some tough times caring for her elderly mother and dealing with things at work, so the focus of the trip was TLC for her. Normally the shakedown trip would have been me (us) geeking out over the trailer and testing every single thing. Not this time. But for me the overwhelming takeway was that we were actually able to have a shakedown trip where I could focus on my wife instead of toiling over frustrations with the new rig. It was heavenly.

I have a few things to fix and figure out, but nothing major.

One other interesting facet to this trip was the amount of attention we got. In my mind, we just upgraded from an old but nice toy hauler to a "normal" RV that happens to be a toy hauler too. Sure it's long, but aren't they all? Evidently not. My daughter went into into the office to pay for the propane after we filled. The woman asked her which space we're in (which should have been irrelevant) and my daughter pointed to our camp. The woman said, "Oh, you're in the big a** fifth wheel?" My daughter laughed and blushed when she brought me my change.

So many people though...so many people stopped by to marvel and comment. It was a weird feeling. It's not as if *I* did anything. It's not as if they were admiring my six-pack abs (which I don't have) or my rich head of hair (which is fading by the day). It's just the thing I drove up in. I've never heard the words "huge" and "beautiful" thrown my way so many times before.

So now I'm starting a couple of lists:

* To get: Items we need to purchase, like door mats and soap dispensers.
* To do: Upgrade the batteries, etc.
* Bugs: Things that are either actually broken or that I haven't been able to figure out yet.

I was pretty quick on the draw with our last trailer to rush back to the dealer and have them fix every little thing under warranty. I think I'll be more patient this time and start making a list. We have a lull in the late summer / early fall where we're too busy with back to school stuff to go summer camping and it's still too hot in the desert to go riding. That should be a good time to deal with the things that we've identified. And maybe by then I'll find that some of them are just user error and don't need to be fixed.
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