It's been over four years since I've gone camping in our Jayco Jay Feather EXP 25G camper. In that time I have lost my husband to cancer. He was 43. Our youngest boys are now 7, 7, and 9 years old and are begging me to go camping. Unfortunately for me, since we traded in our pop-up for this camper, I never made sure to learn the different systems in order to take the kids camping on my own. We managed to visit 37 states in this camper.
I made it out to the camper today and cleaned it out and washed it down. Questions plague me.
How does the Reese Weight-Distributing Anti-Sway get set up?
What's the trick to lighting the hot water heater and how do I make sure it's full first?
How do I install the under-the-sink water filter I just ordered?
How do I put the awning down with only one adult?
Does the inline water filter mean I don't need a pressure regulator?
The sewer! How do I empty the tank and how do I use that gizmo my husband used to clean out the tank by backwashing it?
My battery is dead; what's the best one to get?
How do I know if there's any propane in the stove?
How do I set up the oudoor stove?
There are so many questions. One is, Why am I doing this?
The answer to that is much easier. Because my husband would have wanted me to, right?
I could use your support if not answers. I have saved all the Use & Care Guides and will go through them in an attempt to ready myself for our camping trip.
* This post was
edited 08/12/12 01:36pm by kmvbh *
& Jim, m. 8/87
Lauren 7/89; Jack 3/91; Charles 3/94; Elise 7/98; James 7/03; Thomas & Joseph 12/04 Cross-Country with the Kids
'03 Ford E350 EXT/'04 Jayco Jay Feather 25G (Bunk House!)
Reese HP WD & HP Dual Cam sway These are the good old days.
We really feel sorry for your loss, though it is obvious that you have the strength to move on, for your sons. You are a great Mom!
With all the questions you have, the best thing I can suggest, is to see if you notice any neighbors with trailers in their yard. And then go make friends with them. Most of us, would be happy to help you get your rig set up and help you get going again.
Your questions are valid, for someone who hasn't been out camping in awhile, and who quite honestly, wasn't worrying about these parts of the trip. You were busy with the kids, and DH was in charge of the RV....that is the way it is with most of us.
Another option might be to contact one of the Service guys at a local RV Center, and see if one of them would be willing to make a "house call" on their time off, to help you do a walk-through. It would probably cost you some money, but probably money well spent.
In fact, you might want to talk with their Service Manager, and see about having the Trailer "serviced", to check the systems....making sure that there are no leaks or other problems, before you head out with the kids. Well worth a couple of hundred bucks...if you don't have a neighbor who can help you.
Good luck....happy camping
Bill & Claudia / DD Jenn / DS Chris / GS MJ Dogs: Sophie, Abby, Brandy, Kahlie, Annie, Maggie, Tugger & Beau RIP: Cookie, Foxy & Gidget @ Rainbow Bridge.
2000 Winnebago "Minnie" 31C, Ford V-10
Purchased April 2008 FMCA# F407293 The Pets
If there is someone near by that can help you it would be a lot easier. Check with your State Good Sam Director if they know of someone locally that can help you or a chapter you can go out the first time with. Over the years we have help a lot of widows out with learning the ropes here in MI.
^^^I think this is a good idea. It would be worth a few hundred to get everything checked and explained. Take a friend with you and take a video camera.
It's a bad idea to leave in a RV that's been sitting for 4 years. You should get everything checked over and you probably need new tires. The water system needs to be sanitized, too. At some point soon you should check all the caulking and roof, carefully, for potential leaks.
Do you know if the camper was winterized? Is there pink stuff (RV antifreeze) in the lines or sink or drains?
2006 Toyota Sienna
Single empty-nester in Middle TN
Good suggestions - follow up on them. In the past few months we have watched 3 families we camp with be torn apart by the sudden and unexpected loss of a parent. Each family has continued to camp and our Good Sam chapter has been very supportive. We each do what we can to help, and the sum of it is a widow, a widower and another widow still camping with their children. You'll learn all that stuff, get out and have a great time with your kids. To quote a county song, "this ain't nothin."
I REALLY wish you had posted this a few weeks earlier. We were there and would have been glad to help you to understand your systems and how to hook up and all those other things. I'm sure that someone here on the forum should be able to help you, or someone from Good Sam. These services will be free, but you might want to offer them a cold drink or some food for their help. THEN, take the trailer in for service and have the service people help you with them again.
Go girl GO!!! If/when I die I would very much want my wife to travel in what we saved and bought together. MY hats off to you!!!
Get with someone that knows about what you have how t use it Maybe a friend, a fellow member in a RV club or even with a dealer you trust. If we lived near you we would come over and go thru everything until you were comfortable with it. Not sure how to contact but there must be somebody in your area.
(To cheap to buy new)
1990 37 ft 5th wheel that hasn't moved since 1996 (our best home)
1997 33 ft trailer (winter home in much warmer climate)
2005 25 ft M/H (our "stand up B" for traveling)
I would take it to an RV service or repair center that you trust. Ask them to do a PDI-type walk through after they have gone through it for leaks, replace batteries, check all appliances, caulk the roof, etc. Then I would look to see if there is a Good sam Standby person in your area or someone who is a seasoned RV who perhaps wouldn't mind taking you with them or having them come to your home and help you camp out in your driveway to practice everything. Youtube also has a plethora of information on setting up and how-to's on it with regard to RVing. Just remember you leave the black tank closed until it is almost full before dumping. Good luck. I also have twins who are now grown and still love to come with us. I am so glad you have not given up the camping idea.
Parents who still don't know anything
Twin college graduates who know everything
One lazy Westie
2000 F350 DRW 7.3 PSD crew cab
2007 Jayco Eagle 291 RLTS
2003 Coleman Sedona towed by 99 4Runner for the "graduates"
If there was less distance between us we would be willing to meet you and help you.
But the best I can do is offer you some moral support. You are not alone in your adventures. We camp with 3 widowed moms who figured out how to keep camping because of their kids. The first one lost her husband about 4 years ago, also to cancer. The second, her husband died this past January, unexpectedly...we helped her get out for two trips this summer. The third, her husband died the end of May, again unexpectedly, she has some close friends that camp and she has been out twice with them. They all do it for their young kids. I know the first mom will be more then happy to connect with you and offer some moral support. if you are interested send me a private message.
Additionally, I have forwarded this post to the Maine Good Sams on facebook, hopefully one of them reach out to you to give you a hand.
Good luck...you CAN do it!
Good Sam Life Members. Camping with two young children in a 2007 Pilgrim fifth wheel (278BHSS) pulled with a 2002 F350.