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Post Info TOPIC: Starting off with baby steps


RV-Dreams Community Member

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Starting off with baby steps


Hi folks.
Me and the Mrs. plan to retire in about 3 years. 3 Years is the most we hope to spend in our stick house before buying a new Solitude, selling most of everything and hitting the road FT on a North American continental tour (US, Canada, Alaska).

I've been diligently researching this topic for a number of years and heed the advice of most everyone I've heard. Instead of jumping right into a new 5th wheel, last weekend we took delivery on a 32 foot Grand Design Imagine 2800BH. I think we got everything we need... X-chock & regular chocks, a good surge protector, extensions, water pressure regulator & filter, upgraded sewer & fresh water hoses.........too much to mention here.

We booked our first camping trip for the 3rd week of July at a beautiful lakeside campground. Very much looking forward to it.

Having never towed a thing in my life, I was a bit apprehensive about it. Especially tight right turns and backing. That's where the endless YouTube RV videos really paid off. I took my time driving "Cuz I had nowhere to go and all day to get there", and backed the trailer with my knuckles grasping the bottom of the steering wheel and kept a keen eye out my truck's tailgate camera to keep from jack knifing. Backing took 3-4 tries but it went pretty good.

So we have the new TT setup in our drive way on the 30A plug I installed on the side of the house.
So far no defects in the camper what-so-ever except for a queen mattress that needs a memory foam topper.

Only one thing I would change, and that's the roof ladder position. Being PETRIFIED of heights, when I reach the top of the ladder there is the shower bubble directly in front of the ladder landing, only about 8 inches from the edge. If the bubble wasn't there then I'd sit down on the roof and scoot along the roof. I'm going to see if I can DARE to set an aluminum ladder and climb on top (For future inspection etc.). I plan to bring a 7 foot "A" frame ladder so I can clean off the slide top at the camp ground.

Anyway...
I had a lot of wonderful camping experiences from age 0 until I was about 17 years old with the family in a Puma and Coleman pop-up campers back in the 1970s. That means I have some memories of what its like and what to expect. I guess generally speaking it should be about the same.

My current family went tent camping a few times 20 years ago but it always ended in terrible, horrible experiences. Leaky, drippy & cold tents, shivering at 4AM and exploding hair driers. And the relentless, oppressive heat. Sometimes we can look back at bad experiences in the past and laugh at them. Our tent camping experiences are NOT one of those to remember.

Just thought I'd say, we are taking baby steps at eventually going FT with frequent outings in our travel trailer.

One question if I may.
The dealer fitted my F350 with a real nice (I think) Husky centerline TS load-leveling and anti-sway hitch.
I read somewhere that it is a good idea not to keep the ball/hitch assembly on the truck when not in use because someone would likely steal it.
What's your opinion about it?
I took the thing off my truck.... It weighs about a ton and put it in my TT basement. Probably too heavy to store in there.
What do you usually do with your hitch? Leave it on? Lock it onto your truck (Via bicycle cable etc.)?
Just curious.

We have a 116lb Great Pyrenees dog that we want to bring with us. She'll have to get a haircut and ride in a second car cuz there's no room in the truck otherwise. Long hair floaties EVERYWHERE! We'll have to do the 2nd car, at least when our family of 5 all camp together.

Thanks for reading!

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2018 Grand Design Imagine 32 foot 2800BH, Husky Centerline TS hitch system, 2012 Ford F350 w 6.7L Powerstroke.

New to RV camping. Going FT in 2020-21



RV-Dreams Family Member

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What I did when I was traveling with a trailer hitch was to buy a locking pin for the insert. I think it cost about $20.00 and it came with 2 pins and 2 locks of different sizes. I'm not sure of the size of the hole in your insert but I'm betting someone makes a locking pin for it. A quick search turned up one as large as 5/8 in. As always if someone really wants what you've got they'll get it, just don't make it easy. Also don't do what I did and leave the insert in too long so everything gets rusted in place. Just my 2 cents.

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RV-Dreams Family Member

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The biggest reason for removing the hitch is that they send out invisible waves to your shins and knees that cause those body parts to search for the hitch.

Seriously, being heavy and ungainly, they aren't high on a thief's list. If you are staying for only a night or two, and not really planning on going places, you may well leave the hitch attached to the truck. On the other hand, if you are parked for a month, you will probably want to remove it just to save your shins and knees.

I think most people find a place in the bed of the truck to park the hitch when it isn't on the truck. That assumes, of course, that you have a cover on the bed.

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David, kb0zke

1993 Foretravel U300 40'

Build number 4371

For sale



RV-Dreams Family Member

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Yep I'll agree with the inserts making life miserable for your shins, but tailgates seem to alleviate that issue. I once had a Chevy minivan and every time I left the insert in the hitch I hit my shins on it. Hasn't happened once with my current pickup as the tailgate is long enough when it's down that I don't get close to the insert. If I ever remove the tailgate I'm sure it will bring back bad memories.

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RV-Dreams Family Member

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“What do you usually do with your hitch? Leave it on? Lock it onto your truck (Via bicycle cable etc.)?L

I leave it on. I’m past the banging my legs and knees into it...I do get my pants and shorts dirty, however. lol

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Winnebago TT 2101DS & Tahoe LTZ, 300 watts WindyNation solar-parallel w/MPPT, 2 Trojan T-125s. TALL flag pole. Prefer USFS, COE, BLM, USF&WS, NPS, TVA, state/county campgrounds. 14 year Army vet-11B40 then 11A - old MOS 1542 & 1560.



RV-Dreams Community Member

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Unfortunately I have been a victim of having our hitch stolen when we just set it under the to tongue at a state park near Cincinnati several years back. I always put it in the basement after or used the key lock pins. Probably low risk of having it stolen but it can really screw up your plans.

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Ken


RV-Dreams Family Member

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If I’m staying put at the campground I usually leave the hitch inserted in the receiver. If planning on driving anywhere where the truck will be unattended, I leave the hitch in the RV front storage.
I don’t currently have a locking pin but if I get one that will likely change my strategy.

Steve


__________________

2017 Starcraft 26BHS Autumn Ridge TT,  2004 Toyota Tundra TV 

Plan to retire/full-time in 2021. Favorite place to camp; Texas State Parks.

Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness..  Mark Twain 

Steve, Julie and Ethan

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