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Open Roads Forum  >  Beginning RVing

 > Just completed our first trip with our new travel trailer

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GravelRider

Pennsylvania

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Joined: 05/13/2020

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Posted: 06/16/20 02:29pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Lynnmor wrote:

GravelRider wrote:



Water was our big issue. Starting the first night! We didn't make it all the way to our National Forest campsite the first night on account of me working late and my girls being hungry and tired two hours into the four hour ride. Not a big deal; we found a state park and camped there. We were using the kitchen sink and the faucet started sputtering. I checked the water level, and it said empty! I figured it must have drained out of the overflow tube while we were driving because I couldn't detect a leak anywhere and the ground below the camper was dry. It turned out to be very serendipitous that we had to stop early, as the campground had a potable water fill station that I was able to top off (our other campground did not). I jammed a 3" 1/4" drive extension into the end of the overflow tube after filling up, and that did the trick. Two hours later when we got to our destination, the tank was still full. For the future, I'll be installing a ball valve.
\


There are tens or hundreds of thousands of RVs built using vents (not really an overflow) that goes straight down. This is done to save a few cents over running the vents up and out. Your idea of installing a ball valve is not good, just forgetting to open it one time while filling can cause severe damage. Find a way to route the vent pipe(s) higher than the tank and exit well above tank level.

Make a warranty claim stating that the trailer is unfit for its intended purpose.

File a complaint with the NHTSA explaining that your vehicle is spilling its load on to the highway and other motorists. If enough people would do this there is a chance that some bureaucrat might get a clue.


Thanks, that's a good point about causing damage. I guess if I did overfill it and it had no place to go, that wouldn't be good.

I'll call the dealer and let them know.

GravelRider

Pennsylvania

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Posted: 06/16/20 02:29pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thanks for the suggestions on saving water everyone

DarkSkySeeker

Freestone, California

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Posted: 06/16/20 03:34pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Sounds like you had a great trip. Before you know it the young-uns will be teens and you'll have dozens of memories.

By the way, where did you go?


There is something special about camping in an RV.
.


naturist

Lynchburg, VA

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Posted: 06/16/20 07:53pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Any day you learn something is a good day. And especially early on in your camping life there will be lots of lessons to be learned. So good on you for beginning the journey. May your camping trips form the best memories ever.

The usual battery dealers install on trailers is an 80 AH "Marine deep cycle" battery that usually costs somewhere south of $100. Such a battery can be recharged from its 50% discharge state by a 100 watt panel in full sunlight (unshaded) but a 50 watt panel won't do so. Certainly a single 50 watt panel won't do more than top off a pair of hardly discharged batteries, and not even that in the shade. Which is not to say that solar isn't a good idea, just that that panel is undersized for the batteries you have.

Conservation of water and electricity are both good lessons to learn and practice. We get so used to having as much of both as we can possibly use, we get lazy and end up wasting a lot of both. I had a friend who spent a year living in a small TT while her house was being built. Because she had to haul water in a jerry can about 1/4 mile, she got really stingy with its use, and got her daily needs down to 3 gallons per day. That was cooking, dishes, bathing, everything. So in theory, when you manage to get the entire family down to 12 gallons a day, you will have squeezed every drop until it screams.





bikendan

Camano Island, Wash.

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Posted: 06/17/20 02:47am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

GravelRider wrote:

bikendan wrote:

Better to get a tote tank to transport and dump the gray water. Way easier then using jugs.


How would I get the grey water into the tote tank?


do you know what a tote tank is?

https://qdvtji.com/products/rv-rhino-hea........ent=sag_organic&utm_campaign=sag_organic

you just hook up the sewer hose to the tank and open the gray valve slowly. then, depending on what size you get, you take it to the dump station by a variety of ways.


Dan- Firefighter, Retired">, Shawn- Musician/Entrepreneur">, Zoe- Faithful Golden Retriever(RIP">), 2014 Ford F150 3.5 EcoboostMax Tow pkg, 2016 PrimeTime TracerAIR 255 w/4pt Equalizer and 5 Mtn. bikes and 2 Road bikes


Jebby14

Windsor Ontario

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Posted: 06/17/20 05:51am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

we are simmilar (6 and 4 year olds now but started them as babies) My 24 foot bunkhouse is used as a tent on wheels and a washroom. for extending water i bring 1 or 2 culligan style water jugs with a hand pump that fits on the top. workds great on a picnic table outside for washing up, drinking, campfire food prep ect. Another thing to watch is not to draw your battery down below 50%. It may still power your stuff but you will be damaging the battery. I have a 100w solar panel that is on a 20 ish foot cable so i can move it to the sun. it gets me most of a charge during the day. id like to up it to 200w (keep us charged indefinitly with low use) enjoy and have fun. i love these types of posts.

GravelRider

Pennsylvania

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Posted: 06/17/20 06:28am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

DarkSkySeeker wrote:

Sounds like you had a great trip. Before you know it the young-uns will be teens and you'll have dozens of memories.

By the way, where did you go?


The time goes fast! My oldest two boys are older teenagers, and we have tons of memories camping in tents. Now that they're older and less interested in camping with us as much, and I've got two little girls (and a wife that isn't crazy about tent camping), the move to a camper to build memories just makes sense!

We went to Allegheny National Forest at a campground called Tracy Ridge. We did some hiking with kids in carrier backpacks, drove out to Elk County where we saw exactly zero elk. Lol. We then swung through Wellsboro and visited the Pennsylvania Grand Canyon on the way home.

Tvov

CT

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Posted: 06/17/20 06:40am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We treat "rustic camping" (without hookups or dump station) like having a hard sided tent. Just limit the use of everything. Sounds like you basically did that.

The night before we leave I usually do longer showers and use a bit more battery power, knowing we are leaving in the morning.

The first summer we had our camper we stayed in a state park without hookups. Saturday night, I was surprised at how low the battery was. Turns out, while everyone else was at the beach, my daughter stayed at the camper reading and blasting music! (well, at least loud enough so she could hear it while outside under the awning - not loud enough for neighboring campsites to complain).

I very much prefer rustic camping over full hookup campgrounds. You usually get MUCH larger sites, and less in the way of rowdy partiers. (note: "party campgrounds" can be a lot of fun, if I am in the mood for that kind of thing)


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JimK-NY

NY

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Posted: 06/17/20 06:51am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

You will find it is impossible to carry enough water to make up for wasteful use. When I camp, I get by on 3 gallons per day for drinking, washing dishes and taking a shower. It is just a matter of technique. You don't run the water needlessly. A shower is a good example. It takes maybe a half quart to get the hot water to the shower head, then I wet down and soap up with little or no additional water. A quick rinse completes the shower with a total of 1 gallon of water or less.

GravelRider

Pennsylvania

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Posted: 06/17/20 07:19am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

naturist wrote:

Any day you learn something is a good day. And especially early on in your camping life there will be lots of lessons to be learned. So good on you for beginning the journey. May your camping trips form the best memories ever.

The usual battery dealers install on trailers is an 80 AH "Marine deep cycle" battery that usually costs somewhere south of $100. Such a battery can be recharged from its 50% discharge state by a 100 watt panel in full sunlight (unshaded) but a 50 watt panel won't do so. Certainly a single 50 watt panel won't do more than top off a pair of hardly discharged batteries, and not even that in the shade. Which is not to say that solar isn't a good idea, just that that panel is undersized for the batteries you have.

Conservation of water and electricity are both good lessons to learn and practice. We get so used to having as much of both as we can possibly use, we get lazy and end up wasting a lot of both. I had a friend who spent a year living in a small TT while her house was being built. Because she had to haul water in a jerry can about 1/4 mile, she got really stingy with its use, and got her daily needs down to 3 gallons per day. That was cooking, dishes, bathing, everything. So in theory, when you manage to get the entire family down to 12 gallons a day, you will have squeezed every drop until it screams.


The batteries are both 100 Ah batteries. We paid a little extra for both an extra battery and both being larger batteries, though I'm sure I got a cheap no-name brand. I figured the best use for the factory installed 50 W solar panels is to keep things trickle charged while the trailer is stored. I like the idea of putting 200-400 W of solar panels on our roof... But after our maiden voyage, I don't think I need it. We'll see how I feel after doing a bit more camping with it.

Yikes, hauling water in a jerry can that far would definitely lead me to conserve water!

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