I purchased a new 2012 Starcraft 235fb back in March of this year. We had the customary "walk through" and brought the trailer home.
My wife and I are in our 60's and are complete rookies when it comes to trailer camping. Our first trip is to take place in 2 weeks and the campsite is only 10 miles away as we wanted to get accustomed to setting up the trailer, etc.
All the questions I had were answered by the tech at the rv center during the "walk through", unfortunately I've forgotten most everything.
We received a stack of papers with refrigerator info, everything that is in the trailer, but no real "how to" stuff. For instance, hooking up to a water source you attach a water pressure regulator to the source, then to the water hose, then to the trailer. Do you turn your faucets on prior to opening the water source?
I've searched the internet for a list of "to do" things with no luck. It would seem that if the dealers provided such a list it would be much simpler.
Most of my questions are on setting up the trailer itself, I'm confident in my ability to level the trailer.
Sorry for the long rant and thank you for any suggestions you may have.
I usually attach the regulator to the spigot, so it's not hanging off the side of the trailer. No need to turn on faucets first; you'll just bleed the air out when you use them.
After it's hooked up, go ahead and run the hot water faucet to circulate the water through, and turn on/light the hot water heater.
We spray the water spigot with a bleach solution first and run the water onto the ground for a minute or two. I learned to bleach the spigot from these forums. Some have seen people draping their sewer hose over the tap, I want to make sure the water is clean before hooking up to it.
Attach our white hose to the spigot, then the pressure regulator between the hose and RV.
We do not open any taps inside before turning on the water at the spigot.
Relax, take a deep breath, you will figure it out as you go. Hook up the water preesure regulator, hose and TT. Turn water on, then when ready you can turn on faucets in the TT. Has your TT been dewinterized (or was it ever winterized by the dealer before you got it?) If you need to dewinterize, it is easy but another set of instructions for that. You will eventually establish a routine and should create a set up/take down checklist (if you want you can PM me your email and I will send you a copy of what we use).
Typically we will: hook battery back up and turn propane on at storage lot before leaving. The propane will allow us to turn fridge on and let it start getting cold. back in, check level, level w/ lynx levelers side to side (remember to allow for slide side to tilt down some if you have one). Chocking wheels goes hand in hand w/ this process for us. Then he disconnects while I take DD and dog into TT to set up inside (ie put food/clothes away). Once unhooked, DH plugs in to power for me. Then hooks up water. Stab jacks are next (we use a drill w/ 3/4" socket to run them down). He then sets up all outdoor equipment such as chairs patio mat, awning, grill etc. If we are on FHU he will hook that up if daylight, if not it waits until next morning. Remember don't leave your black tank open on a FHU site, always keep some water in your black tank and dump when 2/3 full. If you need to dump when lower, just run some water into it first. When setting up and taking down, we both have specific jobs and we both have our own routine. We both know how to do what the other does (including driving and backing the rig and hooking up/unhooking) so if anything happens to one of us (ie sprained right ankle, can't drive) the other can do it.
If you have any other specific system questions just ask. Do you have internet on your phone or a laptop you are taking with you? If you have problems and can get on-line just ask, people will be here to help. But you might get a quicker response on the TT forum that day. Another option is finding someone at the campground to help you. Just stock some extra beers to give them for their assistance. Most of all remember to bring a sense of humor because you will need to laugh at yourself after your first few mistakes (trust me, we did some doozies last year!) Have a great 1st trip.
I bought a how-to RV book before my first trip. It saved the day when the water heater didn't work. It had worked fine at home. I followed the troubleshooting chart in the book, discovered that the problem was probably the thermocouple. Sure enough, it was loose. I tightened it. Hot water!
So, my first piece of advice is to get a book like that. It tells how to open your awning, how to run every type of appliance, etc.
My second piece of advice is to take your first trip in your driveway. Or at a campground very close to home.
I also purchased a whole house water filter from a hardware store. That goes in line right between the pressure regulator and the RV. I wholeheartedly second the practice of spraying water bib with chlorine before hooking up. Lots of nice people in campgrounds but some are either clueless or just pigs.
Joe and Dakota, the wacko cat
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Does everyone use a pressure regulator? I don't remember the people we bought our TT from mentioning anything about it. I know what they are but are there ones better for RVs or is one at the local hardware store just as good as the one(s) at someplace like Camping World?