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Old 03-25-2016, 09:47 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, 09:52 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, 10:00 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, 10:03 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, 10:18 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, 11:58 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, 12:20 PM   #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, 01:02 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, 01:09 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, 06:08 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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Old 04-05-2016, 05:48 PM   #11
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Dave,
Glad to hear all went well. You get extra credit besides...taking care of your wife that way!
Walmart has the large camping mats for about 50 bucks each. Not sure you need new batteries yet, unless upgrading to a pair of 6 volt units.
You might think about putting a 3/4" nht plug in your fresh water inlet. The one-way plastic valves can break and if your pump's on, dump a good portion of water out the inlet, before you figure it out. I learned the hard way. Not good when out at the desert.
Do you have e track in the garage? I built a motorcycle front wheel brace to secure 3 across with those brackets. If interested, I'll go take a picture.
We love Ventura camping. Every 2nd week of January, kids are back in school, it's usually nice weather and semi easy to get a camping spot.
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Old 04-05-2016, 06:09 PM   #12
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Dave,
Glad to hear all went well. You get extra credit besides...taking care of your wife that way!
Walmart has the large camping mats for about 50 bucks each. Not sure you need new batteries yet, unless upgrading to a pair of 6 volt units.
You might think about putting a 3/4" nht plug in your fresh water inlet. The one-way plastic valves can break and if your pump's on, dump a good portion of water out the inlet, before you figure it out. I learned the hard way. Not good when out at the desert.
Do you have e track in the garage? I built a motorcycle front wheel brace to secure 3 across with those brackets. If interested, I'll go take a picture.
We love Ventura camping. Every 2nd week of January, kids are back in school, it's usually nice weather and semi easy to get a camping spot.
Thanks Bob. We must in in the same vicinity if Ventura is close for both of us. I'm in Valencia.

I've thought about E-Track, but I'm nervous about anything I could stub my toes on. I'm pretty clutzy that way. We probably won't put the carpet down in the garage, so the E-Track would be exposed. I think we'll be OK with the d-rings though. They're pretty close to the same configuration as the ones in our old Weekend Warrior. We were able to fit five bikes in that hauler. We'll only need to fit two or three now that we're nearly empty nesters. We just use a yellow wheel chock from camping world under the front wheel and then pull into it with tie downs.

Tell me more about the fresh water inlet. I assume that one inlet is for the shore hookup and the other is the fresh water tank fill. Is that right? How would the fresh water pump send water back out the inlet? That's a thing? Thanks for the tip.

I still can't find the fresh water drain. I've emailed the guys at the Crossroads factory and they say that there's a big handle underneath, just like a gray/black dump handle. I don't see a handle or a valve though. I can't figure out how to empty that tank. The gauge says that it's full, but I didn't add much water to it and I can't imagine that the dealer filled it up.

So where do you ride? We mostly go out to the Spangler / Cuddeback areas. They're close to home and the riding is great.
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Old 04-13-2016, 03:44 PM   #13
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Thanks Dave for the note.

1) We're in San Pedro now but lived in Valencia for years, up above Saugus H.S.

2) The fresh water inlet or connector for shore water has a built in, one way plastic valve. When they break, the water pump detects low pressure in the lines and activates, pouring water out that connector because it's downstream from the pump. By adding a 3/4" nht plug, it eliminates that possibility. We were at the Motorcross Nationals a few years ago at Pala Raceway when it happened to us and didn't find out until an hour later after when the tank was almost empty.

3) If your trailer is similarly plumbed as ours, we have both the black and gray dump pulls in the basement, however, the "galley" pull is up above the exterior dump hose connector, attached on the main frame. You have to get down on your knees to reach it. Not always the best place when at a dirty dump station.

4) We enjoy heading out to Cal City, Red Mountain/Spangler also, Lucerne Valley, Dove Springs, etc. Use to go out to El Mirage years ago until we got tired of the Red vs Green sticker issue. Kids now enjoy the motocross tracks the best.

Maybe we'll have to connect out there sometime?
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Old 04-13-2016, 03:58 PM   #14
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They have to be there somewhere. Smoke alarms, CO2 detector and fire extinguisher are all required by law.
We finally found the smoke alarm. I tease my wife and call it her cooking timer. Sure enough, she was frying up some breakfast sausage and set off the alarm we couldn't find.
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Old 04-13-2016, 04:03 PM   #15
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Maybe we'll have to connect out there sometime?
You bet. 99% of our riding friends are people we met online on various RV sites.

We're going up to Spangler weekend after next. Then we'll probably be done riding until next fall. It's going to start getting too hot.
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Old 04-13-2016, 04:08 PM   #16
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You bet. 99% of our riding friends are people we met online on various RV sites.

We're going up to Spangler weekend after next. Then we'll probably be done riding until next fall. It's going to start getting too hot.
We hear you. We're busy that weekend but am hoping to get the kids to commit to the following weekend. But as many of us know, kids seem to wait until the last minute to commit to anything these days.

Just got back from this last weekend trip down in Orange County campground with the grandkids on spring break. What a great time.
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