RV.Net Open Roads Forum: "First, Do No Harm" (Hints for the new TC Owner)

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Open Roads Forum  >  Truck Campers

 > "First, Do No Harm" (Hints for the new TC Owner)

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orourkmw

Port Allen, LA USA

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Joined: 12/29/2004

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Posted: 03/02/07 04:55pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

A few of us thought it would be a good idea to compile a list of “watch-outs” for the new TC owner. It’s not intended to be a definitive instruction in how everything operates, but we thought it would be useful to have a list of things that the owner might screw up, so that he can “know what he doesn’t know”. As I stated in the thread where this idea sprang from, most beginners have a fair amount of fear, because driving a TC for the first few times can really be intimidating - it’s basically driving with your house on your back! Everyone wants to make sure they can operate their rig safely, and without inflicting major damage. This list might give a newbie some confidence that they’re not doing something stupid or overlooking something that’s important. The owner will still have to do research, but hopefully this will provide a framework for sorting out all the information that flows. Later, we might start another thread called, “Second, These Things Are Normal”.

Here’s a couple of items that came out of the earlier thread, to kick off the list:
• Don’t overtighten your holddowns, because you can rip out an anchor if you hit a hard bump.
• Besides being careful to load your camper between your wheel wells, also watch the height. Things like rubber bumpers can crease the truck top rail.


Anybody have anything else they’d like to contribute?

* This post was edited 03/03/07 11:25am by orourkmw *

salmog

Calgary,AB, Canada

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Posted: 03/02/07 05:07pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Here is one you may want to use, up to the main posters.
On your first trip out with the camper on the truck, take it slow and get used to the feel of the extra weight in the truck. Don't just jump on the freeway and do 70 right off the bat.

Enjoy


89 F350 7.3 diesel, Banks Brake,Banks Turbo, Dually (no wider than your mirrors on your Singles), Firestone Airbags.
2005 Okanagan 811SL Truck Camper



Striker101

Rochester,NY

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Posted: 03/02/07 05:22pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

If your rig feels like its moving about a lot or bounding. Fill the fresh water tank to half or more with water. it will act to change the center of gravity to the front of the camper and hold it more firmly in the bed of the truck.

D&SBarnes

San Antonio, Tx

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Posted: 03/02/07 05:41pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Always check your tire pressure and run maximum cold inflation pressure when loaded.

Check to make sure you can access your spare tire with the TC on, and check its pressure too while you are at it.

Make sure that you lug wrench and jack are adequate for you to use.

At least once a season check all seams and caulking joints, window seals, etc.

Make a "preflight list" to check off until it becomes 2nd nature, things like jacks up, TV antenna down, items secured, etc.


Dave & Sue,
DINKS and dedicated to having fun as much as possible.

05 GMC LT crewcab dually
07 Northern Lite 10.2 CD SE, highly optioned version...
A lot comes on a SE.

countrykids

Minnesota

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Posted: 03/02/07 06:00pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Remember to look up as well as side to side when pulling into or out of someplace. The top of the camper is much higher than you first realize.

You don't need to bring everything you can think of on your first few trips. Whatever you bring, you will forget something you need and 90% of what you did bring won't be necessary.

Relax and enjoy.


2004 Born Free class c


#20 Home Depot

Mississippi/China

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Posted: 03/02/07 06:05pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

When you go to pick up your camper make sure and leave your tailgate at home.
Put a rubber bed mat in your bed even if you have a spray in liner.
Make sure you have your own complete PDI list and witness the inspection yourself.
Spend about 6 months, 2 or 3 hours a day, lurking, reading, searching and posting questions on this forum[emoticon]


#20 Home Depot
04 GMC 2500HD SWB EC D/A SLT 4x4,Michelin LTX AT2
Timbrens, Bilsteins , color backup cam, Doran tire pressure monitor Reese Tow Beast, Torklift tiedowns w/ fastguns
Lance 8SCS Polar Cub AC Honda EU2000">
2007 Chaparral 256 SSx
2005 Jeep Wrangler


brain

Cedar Rapids, IA

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Posted: 03/02/07 06:53pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Camp close to home for the first outing.

Decide what mounting system (TorkLift/HappiJac/other) you want before you buy the unit. Don't get stuck installing whatever the dealer has on hand simply because you have to have something to get the TC home.

Same with air bags/timbrens.

check air bag mounting bolts. They do break on occasion

Know where all hookups (sewer, water, electrical) are before leaving.

Get an extra set of keys for the TC and Truck. A few extra if possible. Each driver should have a set, and put a spare truck key in the TC, a spare TC key in the truck.

Hit a small branch or tree limb early in the ownership. It'll get the inevitable over with, with little to no damage, and you can move beyond the "no scratches" phase.

Bring a small set of tools in the truck or TC. Just because it's new doesn't mean it is perfect. Don't go overboard, an adjustable wrench, screwdriver, just a few necessities.

Understand the LP setup before leaving the dealer. single tank, dual, auto, etc.

Get the paperwork for any dealer installed options. Many people leave the dealer without airbag paperwork, TorkLift paperwork, HappiJac paperwork, etc.

Know where the emergency exits are, and ensure they work.

Try the key in every lock before you leave.

Practice loading and unloading. It's not rocket science, but it takes practice.

Plan on a 15 to 30 minutes for loading until you're good at it. Hey, if you're great at it right away, that's 30 minutes earlier you can leave

Can you tell we just got one :-)

Jim

BradW

Mayor of Flat Rock

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Posted: 03/02/07 09:11pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

If you lower your camper jacks to stabilize the camper on the truck at the campsite, stick a boat paddle through the steering wheel so you don't forget and drive off the next morning with your jacks down. It will cause $1,000's in damages.

Brad


Wake Up America
1996 Lance 500 and 2006 F-350 PSD 4X4 DRW
Our Truck Camper Photos


BradW

Mayor of Flat Rock

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Posted: 03/02/07 09:17pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Good info for newbie TC owners. I added it to the TCU Thread.

You might want to consider changing the name of the thread to something that would better describe it's contents.

Brad

bigfootford

Fair Oaks, California

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Posted: 03/03/07 10:06am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Switch the fridge over to gas a day or so before you leave. Make sure it will stay lit. Nothing more discouriging to see the dreaded check light come on just as your ready to leave.

Fire off the Water heater a day before, make sure it will stay lit

If your headed for cold country fire off the furnace and let it run a couple of cycles.

Check your propane bottles for full

If the rig has been sitting for more than 3 months. Three or four days before leaving cycle your batteries....turn on the lights and various items and monitor your voltage. Make sure your batteries have enough capacity for your trip.
8-10 lights on will present about a 8-11 amp load. If your not savy about batteries.....The smallest battery, a group 24 will easily run the lights for 3 hrs and should still show 12.2-13.3 volts or on your battery monitor show good to fair. Recharge your battery. Cheap Converter (built in charger) need a few days to charge your battery.


2000 2500 9.6 Bigfoot,94 F250, Vision 19.5, Mich 245/70XDS2's, Bilstein shocks, air bags/pump, EU2000, PD 9260,Lifeline 100ah, 200W. solar, Morningstar Sunsaver 15A/ display panel, Trimetric, Delorme/laptop, Holux gps rec,led lights, Wave-3 heat.

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