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RE: 2022 Trip Planning- Advice for Newbies

Thank you everyone. I really appreciate all the replies, advice and information. Any long trips we take won’t be till September, so I need to start looking and doing some planning. One place we would like to visit is Hocking HillsSP in Ohio the end of April and maybe Smokey Mountains in September
Surgtech94 01/03/22 05:16pm Roads and Routes
RE: 2022 Trip Planning- Advice for Newbies

Most RV parks set aside at least some sites for overnighters. The only reservations I make are at our destination otherwise we use the RVPARKY app to find parks on our route. It also shows gas stations and Cracker Barrels and other places. It gives you all the info you need to find an overnight park. We start looking at around 2 or 3 pm to find a place to stay. We call them and then have them hold a site with an estimated time of arrival. I have the luxury of owning my own time because I am retired so I can take as much time as I want to going somewhere. You will find it very difficult to hold to a schedule if you try to make reservations at every park you think you might stay at...and sometimes you might lose your reservation deposit if they require one and if you don't make it. Get better acquainted with how your RV systems work. Water pumps, slides, lights and furnaces work off of your 12 volt battery. Depending on if you have to run your furnace while you are not on shore power you will deplete that battery in one night depending on how cool it is out and frequency of running it. At some time you will have to settle for staying in a Walmart parking lot so understand how to conserve your battery. Like others have suggested, upgrade your battery to a better deep cycle marine battery with a high amp hour rating. Your air conditioner requires 110 volts to run so if it's hot out and you can't plug into a shore power source you will not have that available to use. Thank you. I guess I missed the battery upgrade. We just need to get out of our comfort zones of staying in state parks A better idea for you to learn how to use your trailer is to go to the place you have been going to. The difference is when you get there, pretend the water and electric are not there. Use your fresh water tank, and propane. If things go bad for you, plug in or hook up. That way your time isn't wasted and you can learn what to do next time. Actually, you can do the same thing in your driveway just to learn how to use your rv in ways you haven't before. It may sound strange to some here, but when I pull in to a full hookup rv site, I am lost. We have only done that two or three times, and it just feels like cheating to me. 8) We have never done full hook up camping. I watched a video on how to do full hook up camping. Lol
Surgtech94 01/03/22 05:06pm Roads and Routes
RE: 2022 Trip Planning- Advice for Newbies

Most RV parks set aside at least some sites for overnighters. The only reservations I make are at our destination otherwise we use the RVPARKY app to find parks on our route. It also shows gas stations and Cracker Barrels and other places. It gives you all the info you need to find an overnight park. We start looking at around 2 or 3 pm to find a place to stay. We call them and then have them hold a site with an estimated time of arrival. I have the luxury of owning my own time because I am retired so I can take as much time as I want to going somewhere. You will find it very difficult to hold to a schedule if you try to make reservations at every park you think you might stay at...and sometimes you might lose your reservation deposit if they require one and if you don't make it. Get better acquainted with how your RV systems work. Water pumps, slides, lights and furnaces work off of your 12 volt battery. Depending on if you have to run your furnace while you are not on shore power you will deplete that battery in one night depending on how cool it is out and frequency of running it. At some time you will have to settle for staying in a Walmart parking lot so understand how to conserve your battery. Like others have suggested, upgrade your battery to a better deep cycle marine battery with a high amp hour rating. Your air conditioner requires 110 volts to run so if it's hot out and you can't plug into a shore power source you will not have that available to use. Thank you. I guess I missed the battery upgrade. We just need to get out of our comfort zones of staying in state parks
Surgtech94 12/31/21 07:55am Roads and Routes
RE: 2022 Trip Planning- Advice for Newbies

Surg, You may not plan on Boondocking, but drycamping is almost necessary in many cases. The thing is, if you are ready to do that, it opens an amazing number of options. If the trailer battery charges off the Tow Vehicle (TV) and it should, then you won't need the generator for a simple Over Night Park (ONP). You will have lights, water, your reefer and the gas stove. Your bed is right there, as is the euphemism. What more do you need before morning? Example: You go west along I-94. Late in the day you will be in Hammond (IN). There is a friendly Cabela's there. After asking the manager, park on the west edge of the lot. Other than the casino, there are not many other quiet places to spend the night. This is why being self-contained can be important. In the morning, have breakfast and fire up. You are now past the south end of Lake Michigan and there are a huge number of open options. Cabela's is just one option. RVparky can lead you to many more. Matt Thank you. Appreciate the reply and information. Can’t wait for winter to be over and start camping. Lol
Surgtech94 12/30/21 12:52pm Roads and Routes
RE: 2022 Trip Planning- Advice for Newbies

The 1000W pure sine wave inverter is a generator? Is there anything like adding another battery? Our TT does have the ability to add solar. I might have to check this out No it is not. To make an inverter work, you need an inverter, battery bank (large enough to feed a 1000w inverter) and a means of recharging (often solar but it doesn't have to be) The real question is are you interested in boondocking...if not, you don't need solar or generator at all. While driving, you truck will charge the battery and when connected to shore power, the onboard charger will keep the battery up. If it's just a quick overnight and you don't need air/con or other high power items, you can get by with just the single battery that comes standard. It's when you want to stay off grid for multiple days where solar & generators start becoming standard items. As far as water, it's nice to have a bit in case you need to use the bathroom while on the road but unless you are planning on being away from utilities, no sense carrying a full tank. As retirees, look to slow down. We shoot for 100-150miles per day and rarely travel on back to back days. This avoids a lot of need to stop frequently. We usually have a rough plan a week out and call up a day or so ahead of time to make sure they have sites. Also look at weekly or monthly rates. They are typically much cheaper. Another option especially if only staying overnight is Passport America or Boondockers Welcome (there are some other programs also). These are discount/free stops but typically have significant limitations that make them unsuitable for family holiday travel but for full time travel, they can be used to your advantage. Thank you. Appreciate the information. No we probably won’t boondocks unless absolutely necessary. What I would like to do, is to have an end destination and on the route to get there stay maybe 2 days at each site along the way, and on the way home, maybe stay a little longer at some of those places depending on location, spending may 5 days at the end destination,
Surgtech94 12/30/21 04:15am Roads and Routes
RE: 2022 Trip Planning- Advice for Newbies

Load her up & head on out. No need to go overboard. If you bought everything recommended here you would need a tractor to pull it. Keep it simple. A portable genny is good to have. Never know when you will be in a no choice dry camping situation & need to charge the battery bank. Solar is great for the hard core boondockers but for the average long distance traveler who only dry camps occasionally solar is a stretch. Enhancing your battery bank & installing a 1000W pure sine wave inverter makes life much more pleasant for using the no services BLM & other great camping areas of the west. Carry some basic tools that you know can be used on the trailer but don't go overboard. Bring what you need to change a tire yourself. Roadside assistance could be hours away, even near a major city. Basic spares too. Fuses, lightbulbs, that sort of thing. Push comes to shove look around the CG somebody has the tool that you need. Just look for the campsite that is obviously not a newb. Right there is your rolling Lowes. The 1000W pure sine wave inverter is a generator? Is there anything like adding another battery? Our TT does have the ability to add solar. I might have to check this out
Surgtech94 12/29/21 05:33pm Roads and Routes
RE: 2022 Trip Planning- Advice for Newbies

OK Surg... You have a lot of answers here, but it is clear that you are off into territory that you have not charted yet... You obviously know how to live in a TT, but you have never used what you have to it's full potential. You have a lot to learn, and none of it should be painful. You will discover some things that matter and some that are just small inconveniences. Those of us that were born knowing all about RVing never had to put up with this. (yeah, right) We traveled with two dogs (one has gone on ahead) in a motorhome shorter than your TT. We only made reservations when we were headed someplace we expected to be crowded (like Yellowstone) or a rally (those kind of come with reservations). At departure we always had an empty black tank, a full potable tank and provisions for three days. I always arranged the first travel day as a late start. Sailing taught me that departure mistakes often happen because your were in a hurry to get going. You (like us) are retired now, so don't rush for anything you don't really have to. First, about your new TT (in my terms). If it has a potable tank, it must have a water pump. This would be run off the house battery and there is probably a switch that needs to be on. Don't leave it on when traveling, if a tap rattles open, there goes all you fresh water. For the cost of the weight, fill it with good water before departure. If you have not used the tank, do a disinfecting pass before you do. Many use bleach for this and I use H2O2 and have for years. You have a refrigerator, use it as planned. I am guessing it is gas and electric. Either way, for a driving day in most weather, it can be off all day. If you are carrying a lot of frozen food, this may have to change. You are not practiced at long driving days. (4 hours isn't long) So, when you start doing that, look for highway rest areas to be "grass stops" for part of your contingent. Small city parks work too, but truck stops frequently have near zero grass. Carry the bags you will need. If you TT is like every other new RV I have seen, the installed house battery is inadequate. You will want to both upsize it and get a portable generator when you get going. There are myriad of other things you can do to make travel both more simple an less demanding, but you will have to come back here and ask questions when you can put words to them. Then we can be a big help. When you can fully understand what your TT can do for you, there is a world waiting out there. For long travel, find RV parks for a single night is a serious PITA and costs way more than it is worth. When you get a plan started, come back here for other ideas. You have enough to work with for now. Edit addition: You sort of asked about Boondocking/Drycamping. This also includes Lotdocking and Blacktopping (and stealth camping in our case). Boondocking is specifically (if you are to be accurate) camping someplace with nothing available but fresh air. Probably not even pavement nearby. Everything else is Drycamping or one of the others. You still have now utility support, but there is stuff nearby. This is what rest areas, Walmart and other welcoming businesses are for. Why by the whole farm when all you want are a few eggs?? You might look at the Harvest Hosts and Boondockers Welcome sites for some ideas there too. If I can be of help, I'm here a lot or you can private message. Matt Thank you everyone! Yes, we have a lot to learn for sure. We definitely don’t use the TT to its full potential. We might start out with baby steps, instead of a long trip(Michigan to Utah), we’re thinking about going to Hocking Hills in Ohio and Smokey Mountains
Surgtech94 12/29/21 04:57pm Roads and Routes
RE: 2022 Trip Planning- Advice for Newbies

30 years of RVing without a surge protector. If you want to run your AC with a generator, you'll need 3,000+ watts. High end = Honda or Yamaha. Decent = Preditor or Champion. A lot of areas (Utah during spring and fall) get full fast, especially near national parks. Gotta have reservations well in advance for those areas. I just fill my water tank before I leave. I usually boondock on the first night of travel. Driving time should be limited...stop and smell the roses. It's those little out of the way gems that people miss that you might remember for the remainder of your life. Got a hobby? Check your route for the obscure towns that have something you are in to. My wife loves to quilt. Hamilton Missouri is nothing but a quilter's paradise. Yea...she made me go there for an entire day, even though it was 2 hours in the opposite direction of our travel. These are the things that make a real vacation more memorable. Slow down. You are retired now. No more having to be home on Monday to go to work. That 4 day weekend? Toss it. Take 7-8 days now. Not technically 30 years of RVing. We did 8 years tent camping, 10 years in a pop up, 10 years in our first TT, in October of 2020 bought our newest TT, 25 ft with a slide out. Boondocking mush be staying/camping wherever ?
Surgtech94 12/29/21 11:48am Roads and Routes
RE: 2022 Trip Planning- Advice for Newbies

Also think about how you will charge your batteries, I like solar but a generator also works. We don’t have solar or a generator. What do you recommend for a generator? We will have water but not a pump? Sorry, dry camping? Is without anything? If we have a tank of water, but no electricity we can’t run the pump. ?
Surgtech94 12/29/21 10:05am Roads and Routes
RE: 2022 Trip Planning- Advice for Newbies

Thank you We’ve only done W/E hook ups in State Parks. I think we have almost what we need for FHU, hose, dump connectors and hose, filter. But will probably need a regulator to not blow the lines? We also need to get a surge protector - any recommendations, appreciated. Any good apps for campgrounds? Or do you just print off the information on your route?
Surgtech94 12/29/21 08:14am Roads and Routes
2022 Trip Planning- Advice for Newbies

We’ve been campers for 30 years. But never camped more then 4 hours away. Our TT 25 foot KZ Connect is 2 years old. We’re thinking about some longer trips, since we’re both retired. Possibly making a trip from Michigan out to Utah and/or Florida. Any advice for newbies? There’s 2 of us plus our 2 dogs. I’ve heard some ppl carry a few gallons of water in the tank for bathroom break. Do you usually make park reservations ahead of time? We’re just so use to hooking on and driving to our destination that’s a couple hours away. We always bring the food we’re going use, not sure if this is recommended on a long trip? Thank you for any advice.
Surgtech94 12/29/21 06:54am Roads and Routes
RE: RV Refrigerators Cooling Issues

There’s a slide for the table, but the refrigerator isn’t in the slide.
Surgtech94 08/23/21 02:44pm Tech Issues
RE: RV Refrigerators Cooling Issues

Thanks for all the information and advice. We’ve been in contact with a repair tech from the dealer. He had us try it on propane.. Didnt work, then had us unplug it inside the fridge to see if it to bypass the thermostat and work on a timer situation. Sorry if I’m not saying it correctly. But that’s not working either. Going to call them back and see what we’ll need. Yes, the fridge has worked sporadically. Worked fine first camping trip in May, then every trip it was something, when we plugged in it at home, it wouldn’t work, then once we got to campground and plugged it in, it would work. Dealer looked at it after June trip, they plugged it in and it got cold and worked perfectly for them. TT is brand new, picked it up April this year.
Surgtech94 08/23/21 01:52pm Tech Issues
RE: RV Refrigerators Cooling Issues

Thanks for the replies. Seems like an issue with the ‘board’ in the refrigerator. Dealer had us try on propane, not working here either.
Surgtech94 08/23/21 11:37am Tech Issues
RE: RV Refrigerators Cooling Issues

We’ve been having issues with our new TT Norcold refrigerator not keeping things cold, quit working and warming up. What’s the best way to keep these cold, first off is making sure the TT is level? Thank you in advance You have been told multiple times in your other posts about this same issue. YES, Level works best. Absorbsion fridges use gravity to move the coolant inside the tubes, gravity only works best when the tubing is in the correct orientation. Yes, it is possible to run a absorbsion fridge out of level, but by doing so you are not going to get full capacity operation. Out of level operation can also starve the boiler tank which can lead to overheating of the solution inside the tubing. Overheating the solution leads to the solution to break down, crystalize and block the smaller but important tubes leading to intermittent operation and finally a fully blocked system with no cooling at all. Repeated out of level operation can and will damage your unit permanently. Your goal is to setup your RV so the inside bottom or one of the shelving in the fridge indicates level. Measuring level anywhere else can be done but sometimes the fridge may not be plumb and level with the rest of the RV. How to read a level? Simple, the goal is to keep the little bubble inside the level between the center goal posts. https://i.imgur.com/CZdu1evl.jpg In the pix, you want the bubble to be in between the blue arrows. If the bubble edge crosses outside of the blue arrows, you are now out of level. Absorbsion fridges are also not very fast in cooling, may take up to 24 hrs to stabilize from start. They are slow to recovery, open the door for a minute and may take several hrs to recover. Load room temp items in it and it may take several hrs to recover. Load entire fridge with room temp items and it may take 24 hrs to stabilize. You also do not want to pack a RV fridge tight, doing so blocks the natural air flow inside the fridge resulting in uneven distribution of the cold air (remember, a RV fridge works on gravity and that includes the inside portion of the fridge). Perhaps you might be better off switching to a compressor fridge and add a few batteries? TT Is Level! YES. I know how to read a level. Thanks but this isn’t the issue
Surgtech94 08/23/21 11:34am Tech Issues
RV Refrigerators Cooling Issues

We’ve been having issues with our new TT Norcold refrigerator not keeping things cold, quit working and warming up. I’ve been watching a few YouTube videos. These new RV refrigerators are ‘gas/electric, absorption’ refrigerators, they can’t be filled full, some ppl have set a mini fan blowing inside on the fans. Teach me about these. What’s the best way to keep these cold, first off is making sure the TT is level? What about starting off on propane, I heard propane keeps it colder? Most of the time we put a bunch of beverages in the refrigerator to get cold, Should we be putting beverages in the outside refrigerator to keep cold? Thank you in advance
Surgtech94 08/23/21 05:39am Tech Issues
RE: KZ Connect C231RBKSE Refrigerator Quit Working

TT goes back in for service. Refrigerator quit working. Plugged it in Wednesday night, got cold, cold Thursday morning. Arrived at campsite and all was fine till today, everything thawed in the freezer and refrigerator section not cold, had to throw out meat and salads, beverages were warm. Camper is level, nothing changed since Thursday, it was a little warmer today but that’s it. Woke up fridge is warm. Green on light flashes to red then green
Surgtech94 08/21/21 07:36pm Travel Trailers
RE: Favorite foods to make bulk and freeze for the road?

I make breakfast burritos. I cook up sausage, egg, frozen hash browns w/ onions and peppers,can of green chilies. Put in tortilla with cheese wrap separate with saran wrap then freeze in freezer bag. Heat with just a damp paper towel in microwave. Serve with green salsa. Perfect for the day your traveling. I also make ahead shredded pork or beef package for two add BBQ sauce. Meatloaf, Lasagna, enchiladas, chili,etc. I now use a Ninja 6-1 doesn't heat up RV and you can cook anything on it. I also have a PC sometimes take it. Great ideas! Going have to check out the Ninja 6-1
Surgtech94 08/08/21 06:49pm Camp Cooks and Connoisseurs
RE: Waste Tank Tote-Along Transport Question

What brand and model portable waste tank do you have? On our Thetford SmartTote2 LX, the handle folds down against the bottom of the tank so it's held in place between the ladder and the tank. It’s a Camco 42 gallon, it’s the blue one, I think there’s a new model. The handle does fold down against itself, but there’s also a pin that it can be removed.
Surgtech94 08/07/21 05:46am Do It Yourself Modifications and Upgrades (DIY)
Waste Tank Tote-Along Transport Question

We just installed a waste tank rack on the back of the TT, do you recommend removing the handle when traveling? Thank you
Surgtech94 08/06/21 05:34pm Do It Yourself Modifications and Upgrades (DIY)
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