I don’t know about camping in the driveway, However I do understand the reason behind it.
I don’t really plain for anything I just take it as it comes, I find it more enjoyable this way, You never know what is going to happen, Just Like Xmas you never know what you are going to get..
It’s just like you hear, 90% of the fun is getting there!
However this forum has been a enormous wealth of information for me and all new owners of MH , and everyone seems to be so forthcoming with answers and solution to help.
As you drive on your first trip, keep your eyes on the road and let your wife solve all the noise and visual problems that occur. When you enter the camp ground, look for any obstacles that could present a problem in your first setup. Take your time and be sure you and wife understand your every move. I have found that two-way radios are the best for us. I have been camping since 1973 and learn something on every trip. Don't worry about the Grandchildren,they will enjoy every moment.
My name says it all we travel cross country every year - 12 years, 150,000 miles give or take. We have always camped within a couple of hours of home with each of our two new coaches just to see what works and what doesn't.
In addition to Trailer Life Directory and Next Exit we carry Corp of Engineers campgrounds, Passport America (life members) and Overnight RV Parking (a web site) for locating WalMarts. We believe that the best price is free and will overnight at WalMart, BassPro, Cabelas or anyplace else that has that best price when we are on the move. There are also many boondock sites, mostly in the west, that are free with no facilities.
Fueling can get exciting. We try to use RV friendly places like Flying J, but often have to take what we think we can get in and out of. About once a year we get into a place where we have to break the tow to get out. The Next Exit book highlights large rig fueling places.
Check lists for everything! Ignition key hangs from the antenna handle when the antenna is up. When getting underway from a campsite both of us walk around the rig before pulling out. Then we try to stop at a rest area or pullout to walk around again to check tire temperatures and make sure the tow is secure. We repeat the walk around when ever we stop whether for lunch or to change drivers which we do every two hours.
Having said all of the above the best part is to relax and enjoy the surrounding and the people where ever we are.
If I were heading out from PA in Spring I would head down toward Ashville NC and being who I am DW and I would take the Blue Ridge Parkway if it is open. Slow driving with plenty of turns and some moderately steep sections. I would add a brake system to the tow'd. Sure you are stopping just fine but a brake system will shorten that up by 25 to 50 feet at 60 MPH and that could make the difference between contact and just soiled shorts. Just me - drove 45000 without supplemental brakes and 100,000 with.
Trucking down the road in our Phaeton 36QSH on Freightliner Chassis with a Cummins 380 pushing it. 2011 Cherry Red Jeep Wrangler Rubicon with US Gear Unified Tow Brake System. Check out my blog
FMCA 352081 SKP# 99526
Welcome to the forum and the world of RVing! There is a ton of very good advice and experience here. Take advantage of it.
I have a comprehensive checklist that I've developed over the years. If you would like a copy, I can send it to an email address. It's in an Open Office Spreadsheet format (free clone of Microsoft Excel) Check your PMs for my email.
Discovery 39S Tin Teepee
Honda CR-V Toad
Jeep Cherokee Toad
Enrolled member of the Comanche Tribe
Bichon Frise bear killers:
Lord Shonefeld von Reginald-Friese IV.
Lady Annabelle von Lichenstein-Friese III.
If you want more specific advice, you should tell us where your stating from and how long you plan to be traveling. We started our adventure last summer with our first ever RV. We're heading out in April as well. Heading west to the National Parks. Good luck and have a blast!
I'm not a fan of the camp grounds in Myrtle Beach. Not much room between camp sites but also I'm not a beach fan either. Spent too many years looking at salt water, plus we live a few miles from the Red Neck Riviera (Va Beach).
2006 Hurricane 31D aka 'Moby' the Whale
FCC(SW) US Navy Retired 1980-2003
Stella my Navigator
Bogart the All American RV Dog
Cocoui waiting for me at the Rainbow Bridge
1. Don't rely on your leveling jacks to get you level on a mountain side. I did and damaged a heavy duty jack, the cheap repair is $600 and the jack is $1200 new. I pulled in at night and didn't notice the steep slope. The jacks tried to level and extended too much, this puts a lateral stress on the ram and caused a gauge and catastrophic failure of the jack.
2. Learn how to keep your batteries topped off while you are at home. That way when you take off your motors alternator won't overheat and burn up trying to charge dead batteries. That one was $750.00 repair.
3. If you have a tow-bar and tow'd, check it absolutely every time you get out of the coach. I have one of the best and once found my pin had all but fallen out which would have caused one wild ride. I suspect fowl play at an overnight truck stop.
4. Know your state laws with respect to firearms, radar detectors in a big rig immunization paperwork for pets.
5. Get in the habit of soaking and cleaning your front of the coach every morning. Bugs come off after a 5 minute soak and you will have a nice fresh/clear view for the day.
6. DO NOT let your dog out everytime you stop. They tune into things like turn signals and now when I simply want to change lanes my Lab goes nuts !! If you do, let him out before you are ready to take off instead of when your first stop.
7. You can't have too many flashlights and they don't need to be more then those little led lights but they need to be spotted around the coach.
8. If you have a label maker, put your cellphone number on the coach door handle with some emergency numbers and your cell number. Do the same right next to your towd's window stickers. Instead of a ticket, you might get a phone call from a cop about to ticket you while at a restaurant?
9. IF YOUR COACH HAS COMPRESSED AIR PLUG, stop at NAPA auto parts and have them make you up an airhose that will reach your rear tires. Keep in mind it's not recommended you stand next to the tires while filling so have the valve installed about 10 feet away from the end of the hose. Mine cost me about $80.00 and custom made. Been very useful.
10. Spend some money on spare fuses for the coach. Damn near everything runs thru it's own fuse. I bought a kit at NAPA for $29.00 and it has something like 50 fuses of 10 different sizes.
11. At 50 years of age you may have some medical issues. EVERYTHING medical related is in one briefcase and it's clearly marked. I have many medical issues so my wallet has a list of problems and prescriptions and doses and schedules.
12. If you have a 3g or 4g cellphone don't forget your computer. We had about %90 service from Buffalo to Sacramento, ca for emailing and searching for places to stay and see. Much better then browsing one of those fat camping books in my opinion.
13. If your drivers side window extends to the ceiling of the coach you may want to tape some artist cardboard on the top half. The sun was killing me and making me hot. My cardboard does not extend down as far as the top part of a car window but it is far more comfortable.
14. If you don't have a gps AND a compass you will be driving stressed for no reason. In Vermont the trees are so close to the road you loose gps coverage and will wish you had a compass. It's helpful to know you are heading generally in the direction you want to be because turning around an RV in Vermont is an extreme challenge on their roads !!
15. I spent about $125.00 for a complete Crescent Tool Kit that I hope I never have to open. But, if I do I can effect some simple repairs on my own.
16. Learn and KNOW how your entrance steps work. I smeared mine off on a concrete bridge abutment in a construction zone.
17. Only buy Diesel at big truck stops where they have a good turnover of product. I bought at a small gas station and immediately had to have Cummins repair shop tell me why I lost all power. It was $430.00 for that repair. I carried the bill across the street to a parts store and bought the two spare filters in the even it happens again and none are available.
18. A water filter that fits the input of your holding tank is about $18.00. I don't trust the water in campgrounds and don't want to develop Colorado Quick Step while vacationing. It MAY also protect your holding tank from water born creatures. I carry Cholorine pellets with me about the size of aspirin and drop 2 of them in my tank on every fill up. So far no problems.
19. I think that we RV'ers are targets for thieves and conduct myself accordingly. I have a way of defending my family other then a cellphone to dial 911. Don't want to be paranoid but don't want my loved ones to get hurt either.
20. Stop at Harbor Freight and buy a $10.00 box of blue disposable nitrile gloves. They are much stronger then the medical type. They are fantastic for messy jobs like the pooh tank and such! I use them in my home shop too for working with grease/oil.
I could do more but don't want to monopolize the board Have fun, that's what it's all about.
Oh Oh, one last thing, Diesel fuel is only expensive while your driving. If you go to nice places and spend more then a few minutes there then the fuel isn't the issue than if you wanted to cruise all over on Sunday rides.
Oh, and I don't know if it's been mentioned more the 50 or 60 times but camp in your driveway for a few nights
* This post was
edited 02/26/12 08:35am by Your Old Dog *
Unless tomorrow has been promised to you, you better get busy today.