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RE: First RV

My spouse and I are looking at purchasing our first RV, he grew up camping, I did not.... We have a 2019 Chevy Silverado 6.2L with max trailering, manufacturers tow rating of 12,200 pounds and are looking At travel trailers, the two models were specifically interested in are prime time lacrosse 3311rk and outback 341rd, we both prefer the floor plan of the outback, but have heard the quality isn’t all that great but we e also heard that pretty much all brands can have significant problems. I’ve read the horror stories and they seem to be pretty even around the board, how to I protect myself from buying a “lemon?” Or what pitfalls should I avoid. I REALLY don’t want to jump all in to be riddled with a huge headache. Any advice for this potential newbie is welcome and appreciated! Do a good Pre Delivery Inspection (PDI)I can't say it enough or if they will let you take it to a good RV repair shop for inspection if buy from a private owner or hire someone to look at the trailer who knows what they are doing .... There is allot of talk about weights but I believe more than weights you should think about what condition the trailer is in, your weight may be good but if the trailer falls down around the wheels who cares about the weight ... PDI PDI PDI I can't say it enough Here is a list I made up below, there are other lists all over the internet, use one so you are an informed buyer !!!!!! http://kzfamilyforum.com/thread/1903/pdi-list Holy cow that’s one hell of a list! Kudos and thanks to you for putting it together. It’s funny that you talked about the importance of the PDI, we picked out the unit we wanted a couple weeks ago, worked the deal and before I said yes I told them I wanted to go look at it once more ( it had been raining buckets and I wanted to see if it leaked) low and behold there was water in it, tried to give me the song and dance about the slides, called ******** and found the seal was caught in the slide not protecting it from water. Told them it was a no and settled on a different unit, same model. Made our appointment to PDI and pickup, found a bunch of minor stuff...missing light cover, no battery in the smoke detector, no shoreline, dirty, missing gasket in a water hookup, severely underinflated tire. Said they would take care of it while we signed paperwork. We were annoyed since they charge 1500$ for prep, but okay no big. Sign our papers, buy some parts which include a backup camera they’re going to install while we wait 90 min later they say they’re having an issue with the camera pairing and are going to try another unit, 90 more minutes they say they’ve tried everything and 5 different cameras, they can’t get them to work and it’s the factory cameras on the truck interfering. Long story short ( posted details in pet shop camping with Dobermans) the camper had an electrical issues, they tried everything to make us believe that wasn’t the case but my husband knew better. Told them to unhook it and cancelled the financing and walked away. So no camper for us, at least for this year maybe forever after such a bad experience. It sucks but I feel good that we didn’t go through with it....I’d rather be disappointed today than sorry tomorrow.
Control_Freak 06/19/19 05:28pm Beginning RVing
RE: Camping with Dobermans

I didn't mean for this post to become a battle of the breeds, there is always going to be issues with people that do not like certain breeds or are afraid of them, the best I can do is make sure my dogs are well behaved and trained in hopes to change peoples' minds. As far as camping, it looks like it is a no go for us, or at least put on the back burner for now. It is kind of a long story but I'll try to make it short. We get to the dealership, do our walk through, and get hooked up. We go to finance, sign all of our paperwork and head over to parts to get a few items, which included a furion backup camera. We wanted the camera installed before we left and there were some other issues that we noticed during our walkthrough...missing light cover, no battery in the smoke detector, missing gasket, no power cord and a few other minor things. So we wait for them to get all of that done. 2 hours later they come over and tell us that they are having a problem getting the camera to connect to the display, they think its a problem with the camera and they're going to switch it out. Another hour goes by and they tell have tried 5 cameras but they cannot get it to work. The camera works and connects to the display when it is connected to an independent power source but as soon as they wire it to the camper it disconnects. They say that they think that the camera system on the truck is interfering with the signal, my husband asks if they've check to make sure there is power as the connections on the camper, yes. OK, it doesn't make sense that the hard wired cameras on the truck interfere with the bluetooth signal, but maybe the bluetooth on the truck is interfering, so now my husband gets involved (he was an auto tech for years that specialized in electrical). Turns off the blue tooth, same issue, connects the camera to independent power source at the back of the camper, plugs the display into the truck and it works, so that means it's not the truck system interfering, asks you checked the power coming out of the camper right? yes we did. Let me see a voltmeter, Less than 11 volts coming out of it, well there's your problem, there's a drop in voltage and it's not enough to power the camera, 11 volts should be fine, well obviously it's not. So now why is there a drop in voltage, is it a ground wire issue, an inverter, or something else. Voltage coming off the truck is fine, voltage inside the camper is fine. We find a ground wire that is busted up, they replace the resistor, still nothing. At this point we're ready to walk, ask for a manager, sales manager comes over and is very nice but says I don't know anything about this stuff, has the service manager been over? No, service manager comes over and bring the master tech with her....I guess 4+ hours, diagnosing your own issue and asking for a manager is the threshold to get the most experienced tech involved. He says it's our truck, there's a problem with the 2019 chevy's and they got an email about it. Basically the email says that LED lights don't pull enough power and that the truck has an issue recognizing there is a trailer hooked up and you can experience LED flash, may also effect power for camera set up. Okay, we experience this with our boat trailer when the truck is off, about every 30 seconds the trailer lights flash but the camper does not have LED lights. The email specifically says if you have a 2019 chevy and a trailer with LED lights....we go back and forth with them. He hooks up a jump box to the camper, tests the voltage at the back, still a 3V drop. Husband says alright there's the answer, it's not the truck it's the camper, unhook it we're done. I went and started the process of cancelling the deal, returning our down payment and all of the stuff we purchased. In the meantime, sales tried to salvage the deal by offering us 1500$ off to which we said no thank you, and the master tech hooked it up to his truck and there was more voltage at the camera hook up. So I don't know, it doesn't make a lot of sense that it didn't work with our truck or with the jump box but it worked with his truck. At the end of the day, after 5 hours of dealing with this and being given the run around we didn't feel good with moving forward and went through with cancelling the purchase. We're extremely disappointed, wasted 3 days dealing with this (2 hour drive each way), have to cancel our storage and the campsite we booked and change our plans for summer.
Control_Freak 06/16/19 07:09am RV Pet Stop
RE: Camping with Dobermans

"It's really not about the breed it's about the owner!" I would be rich if I got a nickel every time I heard someone, usually a Pitbull or Rottweiler owner, say this. This is because people are constantly blaming certain breeds based on the actions of other dogs, so those people who have those breeds but are friendly are constantly having to defend their dog.
Control_Freak 06/13/19 08:05pm RV Pet Stop
RE: Camping with Dobermans

Generally the only dogs I am afraid of are the ones off leash or on those damnable recoil type. But I do have a courtesy questions from dog owners point of view, I always ask if it is okay to approach a dog. I am 6 feet tall and bending over a dog can appear to the dog to be an aggressive move, so once the dogs person says it is okay, I kneel before reaching for the dog. I feel that I've reduced my size and shown the dog I'm not a threat. After the dog sniffs and get tired of that I will gently touch the dog and then rise and talk to the person. So what say you owners, is that a reasonable approach to putting you dog(s) at ease? Thank you! That is perfect! My Bat-dog is one who gets scared when people lean over her. Your approach is great. Even if you don't kneel, just as long as you don't lean over the dog is very helpful. I always tell folks to let Bat-dog approach them and don't make eye contact. It puts her at ease and let's her know it's her choice whether to make contact or not. Folks like you make it much easier to teach Bat-dog that people are good. I don’t know how I feel about the kneeling down, I know you’re tall and you don’t want to lean over but when you kneel down you’re getting eye level with the dog which makes it easier to make eye contact which is a no no, also you’re putting your face I. The striking zone, so god forbid that dog bit you it’s going to be in the face or neck. I totally agree with letting the dog approach you and not the other way around, this way the dogs is making the decision to interact with you and doesn’t feel cornered or threatened. Let them sniff you before reaching and don’t pet them on the top of the head but rather gently under the chin. I have a rule that my dogs are not allowed to approach people without my say so, so if I’m out and about and I stop to talk to someone I expect them to remain relaxed at my side and only if I tell them to say hello are they allowed to go up to people. I do this because I don’t want people to get scared and I want my dogs to know them I’m in control of the situation. I also, don’t force them to interact with people if they don’t want to, so for example if you say Can I pet your dog, I say sure and tell my dog to say hello, if they go up to the person great, if they choose to stay by my side that’s fine too.
Control_Freak 06/13/19 08:02pm RV Pet Stop
RE: Camping with Dobermans

Get a Million $ insurance policy guaranteeing coverage for any and all damages they might cause...I would then let them into my RV Park as that would make up for voiding my insurance. No need for a policy you keep your vacancy and I will keep my money. I know I can find another park without breed restrictions to accept my money, I hope/trust you can find another camper to fill your vacancy. It's a win for both of us no policy required. I've spent thousands in camping fees over the years, unfortunately none of it went to your CG. Unfortunately your breed restricting policies are restricting your revenues along with the dogs. You are only seeing one side of the issue. As a non-pet person, I always check out the pet rules at potential parks and choose the ones with the strictest rules. So, in my case, they are gaining business because of their rules. I'm pretty sure there are far more people RVing without pets than there are people RVing with dogs on the aggressive breeds list, so the parks with stricter rules are going to be the winners. And this is exactly why I said I’d go to a park where my dogs are welcome.
Control_Freak 06/13/19 06:07pm RV Pet Stop
RE: Camping with Dobermans

Had a Rottweiler that was tied up broke its chain and attacked my little dogs that were on leash. I hope all park owners will turn you down. I’m really sorry that you went through this, a dog attack is terrifying. I was walking one of my dogs (Doberman), on leash and a cocker spaniel slipped away from a young boy and attacked my dog, she kept trying to get away from it and was so scared she peed herself, she did not fight back, she did not protect herself but she let out a gut wrenching cry when the cocker spaniel sunk his teeth into her leg. She needed stitches and I got injured in the process. The kids dad was an absolute lunatic and refused to show me proof that his dog had his rabies vaccine, I had no choice but to call the police to get this information. I however, chose not to press charges because I was afraid the dad would take out his anger on the dog or his son. Fast forward several weeks and I was out walking her again, nowhere near the house of the cocker, out of no where here comes the boy with his dog and he comes right up to us and let’s his dog get in my dogs face and intimidate her, I was prepared this time and put her in a sit by my side and kindly asked him leave us alone. Guess the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. It’s a shame that you feel the need to condemn me bc of a previous bad experience that I nor my dogs had anything to do with.
Control_Freak 06/13/19 06:04pm RV Pet Stop
RE: Camping with Dobermans

As you said, most people are afraid of that breed. When outside, they should wear a muzzle and be restrained by a chain short enough that they will not be off of your designated camp site. A muzzle? Seriously? I should cause discomfort to my dogs and scare people even more because the big mean nasty Doberman is so vicious they have to be muzzled. Ya that’s a hard pass for me.
Control_Freak 06/13/19 04:26pm RV Pet Stop
RE: First RV

If you mean Pigeon Forge TN, realize what you are getting into. A wall-to-wall-traffic tourist trap. I advise staying outside the area and visiting early morning if you Must see it. Gatlinburg is the same. We were there around Easter, well ahead of the peak tourist season, and it was already more crowded than we like. I can't imagine what it must be like in the summer. Never seen so many T shirt shops. Ugh, kinda sounds like mackinaw, T-shirt, popcorn and fudge shops galore!
Control_Freak 06/13/19 04:16pm Beginning RVing
RE: First RV

If you're that close to Monroe, then Cabelas has a HUGE parking lot to practice backing up with. There’s also a Kmart that went out of business, so the parking lot is completely empty!
Control_Freak 06/13/19 04:15pm Beginning RVing
RE: Camping with Dobermans

Thanks everyone for the replies and suggestions! I’ve owned Dobermans for 10+ years, I’m no stranger to being prejudged and discriminated against, hence why I work so hard to make sure they are well behaved. I realized we might have some issues camping with them, but didn’t realize we might not be allowed in some parks, so thank you for letting me know. I spent the morning calling around to different private campgrounds asking if they had weight/breed restrictions, most places had no restrictions aside from your dog can’t be aggressive, a few banned Pitt bulls and Rottweilers and one said other similar breeds but wouldn’t specifically say which breeds those were. One place said it’s a case by case basis decided when your arrive and another said they have a zero tolerance for barking, wonder if they have a no squealing policy for kids? I’ll try to respond to as many people as I can.... @lwiddis, I can totally understand people wouldn’t want to stay in the site next to us bc of our dogs, I mean they might actually have to watch their kids and make sure they aren’t wandering into other peoples sites and disturbing them. Fine by me, I don’t want to be stressed having to make sure their kids are behaving either. I don’t really want to stay next to a bunch of screaming kids either. @old-biscuit, thanks for the information, I wouldn’t want anyplace to make special exceptions for us if it violates their insurance policy. I’ll make sure to inform campgrounds of their breed before making a reservation so there is no issue. It’s funny though because the CDC did a study on breeds most likely to bite...Dobermans are not on that list but I’d be willing to bet most of the dogs on that list aren’t the same as the banned list, I.e. chihuahua/Pekingese/jack russel/Papillion/cocker spaniel. @bob123 & OBgraham & scottiemom, thanks! Dobermans are truly an amazing breed, loyal, loving and so smart. And scottiemom, you’re so right! Owners of little dogs often skip on behavior training bc “what’s the harm?” They don’t stop to think how the misbehaviours of their dogs effect people and other dogs. My mom has two Maltese’s and they are the most barky dogs i. The world! It drives me crazy. @ivylog, I wouldn’t want to stay somewhere that violates their insurance, even if I had a huge insurance policy. I can only imagine that if a place allowed what you’re suggesting, the owners would still be on edge and that’s not good for anyone. I’ll find someplace else that I’m welcome at. @lantley, thanks for sharing your experiences with camping with a Doberman, I’m happy to hear that it won’t be a total bust for us, especially since we’re doing this for them! @toestoes, thanks for all of the advice. I’m definitely not the average dog owner, probably a little over cautious but IMO their lives depend on it. Off leash is a huge no no for me, I never allow my dogs off leash, except in my own back yard or in the obedience ring. I also don’t like tie outs, it’s extended hard to get control of a dog that’s 15 feet or more from you and truthfully they can rip them out of ground quite easily. It only takes a second for s**t to hit the fan and your absolutely right, if something happens they’ll be blamed regardless of the situation.In fact I’m usually the person that tells people with off leash dogs they are required to have their dog on leash, and I get the usual...their friendly they listen they won’t leave me. To which I politely respond I understand that and so are my dogs but ta lot of people are afraid of strange dogs and many dogs don’t take to kindly to loose dogs running up to them and invading their space, for everyone’s safety and peace of mind please put your dog on a leash, plus it’s the law (at least where I live). Sully rarely barks at anything, Rizzo on the other hand is at the age where she’s constantly trying to test her boundaries, we’re working on it with her and she’s getting better. Usually, if I catch her before she misbehaves and give her an OB command she’s good but if she has the chance to make her own decisions it’s 50/50 but we nip it in the bud immediately. Then usually we just tell people she’s still a pup and trying to learn her manners and apologize, this is usually enough for people to relax. I definitely won’t let her disturb others while camping but I’m sure she’ll need some more training with the new experience. We have our maiden voyage scheduled at a state park close to our home next weekend, there’s lots of hiking trails, were not the sit around and relax kinda people we want to do this so we can get out and explore, my goal is to tire them both out hiking because a tired dog is a happy dog!
Control_Freak 06/13/19 04:13pm RV Pet Stop
Camping with Dobermans

Hello all, were new to rving,supposed to pick up our TT on Saturday. We started talking about getting a camper early last year when my oldest dog started slowing down and we didn’t want to leave her home with a sitter. Long story short, she wasn’t slowing down but extremely sick with autoimmune meningitis, she declined quickly and even though we did everything we could for her but she couldn’t fight the disease and passed away 4th of July weekend. We were absolutely devastated by her passing and out camping on the back burner. Fast forward to now, we decided to move forward and make the leap into camping. We have an 8 yr old male And an 18 month old female Doberman. This is a breed that most people don’t know their true nature and are usually afraid of and I’m concerned that they will be prejudged based on their breed. My male, Sully is a big muscular boy weighing is at 90 lbs and is extremely intimidating to look at, but I can tell you that there hasn’t been one person who hasn’t absolutely fell in love with him once they give him a chance. My pup, Rizzo is young and still trying to figure out what is appropriate behavior. We work with her a lot and she’s almost there. I’m really big on my dogs being well behaved members of the dog community, mostly because I believe that it’s my responsibility as a dog owner to ensure they act right and don’t disturb or scare other people and because I love to train my dogs. Sully is a champion show dog and has his CGC, Rizzo is training to compete in AKC obedience and will evaluated for her CGC soon. So my questions are...are we going to have any issues based solely on their breed? What steps can we take to make sure they are safe? Obviously don’t leave them outside unattended or off leash. How big of a problem is people/children/pets walking through others campsites? Any other suggestions would be appreciated and I’m going to try to put some photos up of them but not sure if they’ll show up. https://live.staticflickr.com/7817/47098556692_e4438e74d0_z.jpgBC226C7D-7993-48B8-8447-4723DF8A31DF by Corinna Morris, on Flickr https://live.staticflickr.com/7851/33275619528_9539a61738_z.jpg343C4666-4197-474A-8BE4-203FC6EAC5C1 by Corinna Morris, on Flickr
Control_Freak 06/12/19 08:45pm RV Pet Stop
RE: Medical marijuana

A few things to keep in mind, I’ve heard from several friends and LEO I75 is a huge drug running route from Michigan to Florida, police in the south are profiling us Michiganders for drug running. Older friend of mine got pulled over, police approached with gun drawn and immediately question him about drugs, he was mid 50’s with Michigan plates, officer explained to him about the drug running problem. So if you’re thinking I’m an older person, why would they suspect me of any misdoings, think again. Also, if you have your medical marijuana card, you give up your right to have a CPL.
Control_Freak 06/10/19 08:52pm Travel Trailers
RE: First RV

If you mean Pigeon Forge TN, realize what you are getting into. A wall-to-wall-traffic tourist trap. I advise staying outside the area and visiting early morning if you Must see it. Really?!? That’s discouraging I thought it was more of an outdoor attraction.
Control_Freak 06/10/19 08:29pm Beginning RVing
RE: First RV

Thanks everyone for the suggestions! We live in Monroe, so those are all great, I forgot about Sterling. Harbortown is about 15 min, with pull through so I figured that would be a good start, but Sterling would be even better because they have trails we could explore with the dogs. I’m not really into the camping just to sit outside and chill by the fire, honestly I can do that at home, I really want to be able to get out an explore with my pups. I suggested Maumee Bay but hubby turned his nose up, since he spent a lot of time there as a kid. I figure at least a few close by camps before going to far, I really want to go to Pigeon Forge but it might be too far for the first year. I’ve already been planning open parking lot for practice backing up and parking, it’s going to be a tight squeeze getting into the driveway bc we live in a caldesac ??. But we have a 24ish foot boat trailer that we get in fine so we’ll see how it goes.
Control_Freak 06/10/19 06:56pm Beginning RVing
RE: First RV

Pull throughs are good. Let your wife drive the truck with trailer, and in fact have the dealership teach her how to hook it up and unhook it. And then let her learn to back it up. That my friend will go miles in eliminating "fighting". My wife is perfectly comfortable hooking the trailer by herself. She's still struggling with backing it up, but can take a trip on her own. Enjoy the camping experiences I’m the wife ;) Also, we live just south of Belleville, any recommendations on local campgrounds?
Control_Freak 06/06/19 04:14pm Beginning RVing
RE: First RV

It’s not a done deal but we decided on a lacrosse 3399se, i know a lot of people shared concern about the tow weight and payload and I really appreciate it. After talking to several people at the dealership, my spouses dad (30+ year master GM auto tech), the techs at the dealership my spouse works at (Chevy/Cadillac) and General Motors we feel comfortable with our decision. We plan on using a high quality WD hitch with sway control and If there’s an issue, we’re prepared to alter our plans for camping ( packing bare minimums/close to home etc), swapping trucks with my dad and/or upgrading our truck in a few years if necessary. We knew a general idea on what we wanted in a TT before buying our truck but I didn’t consider the tongue weight until a few of you mentioned it, we already had the truck by then and I knew there were certain things that we wouldn’t be happy without and we just couldn’t get them in a smaller TT, so rather than buying a smaller one and being unhappy and upgrading camper AND truck in a year or so we decided to buy the one we want knowing we might not be able to use it as much and pack very sparingly, if we have to upgrade our truck then we’ll deal with it. I want you all to know I very much appreciate all of your advice and I didn’t just disregard it, we weighed our options and made our decision. So moving forward, my original question was how do I prevent getting a lemon, let me tell you all this story. After we worked out final numbers on the price of the TT I told them I wanted to go look at the unit again, it had been pouring buckets while we were inside. Lo and behold there was water in the unit near the corner of one of the slides, go look outside and one of the seals had gotten caught in the slide and was buckled, pulled it out like it was supposed to be and it’s shape was distorted, the unit had been on the lot since March and we’ve had record rainfall. I know that seal had been like that since they set it up and I can only imagine the amount of water that went into that unit over he last few months. Told them it was a hard pass for us and were able to get the same price on a 2020 that hadn’t been prepped yet. So I’ll take that as a win win! There’s a really nice campground about 15 min from our house that has full hook up with pull through sites, figure that will be a nice easy maiden voyage trip for us, especially since I’ve heard there’s a lot of fighting amongst couples when backing into spots. I’ve been reading and watching lots of videos of setting up and tearing down camp, not gonna lie I’m a bit intimidated but everyone’s got to learn sometime. Wish us luck!
Control_Freak 06/05/19 07:33pm Beginning RVing
RE: First RV

Thanks for all of the explanations and responses.,
Control_Freak 06/04/19 05:08pm Beginning RVing
RE: First RV

I understand the difference between dry weight and loaded weight, I’m only using dry weight as a comparison for hitch weight ratio as published by the manufacturer. So the manufacturer says the dry weight to hitch weight ratio is 12% but you are using a 15% ratio when the trailer is loaded. Is there no way to know what the hitch weight ratio is will Be when the TT is loaded besides weighing is when it is actually loaded?
Control_Freak 05/31/19 09:14am Beginning RVing
RE: First RV

2100 payload -515 people -250 random -100 hitch =1235 1235/.15=8233 lbs loaded weight (I would plan around the gvwr of the trailer not the bs dry weight plus a random number) no way you are within payload ratings for trailers over 8k DRY when they are fully loaded (with your very conservative numbers) you will be way over. Your numbers equal 200 pounds under the dry weight of the TT and 200 pounds over the dry hitch weight. Are you saying that the manufacturer numbers are incorrect or skewed? He's back calculating the maximum trailer weight based on the payload and a 15% hitch weight...so you would be 200lb over the payload limit dry. Add in another 300lb loaded (15% of 2000lb) and you are getting way over the limits. Payload limits often limit the max trailer weight a 1/2 ton can handle even if the pulling limits (ie: trailer weight rating) are good. But why 15% hitch weight?is this because the optimum hitch weight should be between 10-15%? So calculate it at 15% to be on the safe side? Dry weight calculations from the manufacturer is 12% hitch weight. I’ve looked at a few other TT around the same weight but they have significant lower hitch weight and vice versa, lower TT weight with higher hitch weight. For example heartland mallard 335 has a weight of 8840 but a hitch weight of 780. I’m assuming this is how the weight of the TT is distributed, which would mean that depending on how you load cargo in the TT would directly effect the hitch weight.
Control_Freak 05/31/19 08:33am Beginning RVing
RE: First RV

Just trying to share my knowledge. Im not upset. Sorry is i came across. Ive made to too much trailer at the top of my capacity mistake. I was not comfortable. New tow vehicle was my fix. Now im well in margins and happy. Good luck with the purchase however you decide. No worries, that’s exactly why I’m here to learn what not to do BEFORE making a mistake. I’m still trying to understand your numbers if you don’t mind elaborations on them.
Control_Freak 05/30/19 03:49pm Beginning RVing
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