Tuesday, June 14, 2011

According to Woodall's...Is it Necessary???

When I was looking through Woodall's on Sunday,  I wrote down that I needed to get a...

Kill A Watt


Outlet Tester
Now that I have them what do I do with them?  Are they necessary?

I also got the following and I know they're necessary...

Gloves for sewer connection
For the small stuff

There aren't any levels mounted anywhere on my RV, but I have this...

and these...

I've had the round level in the refrigerator while Olivia is parked in Public Storage.  The graduated level is still in its packaging.  Is it ok to just use the carpenter's level inside on the floor or counter in the kitchen or is the round level enough?  

Why did I buy this yellow cord and when do I use it?  It was on the list my RV dealership gave me for things to buy...so I did...

I'm pretty clear on the filter and pressure regulator so I don't think I have any worries there.  The order for attachment would be pressure regulator, filter, white hose...yes???

As I sit here putting this post together I'm feeling my anxiety increase for my maiden trip on Monday.  I want to do it "right" and I'm not completely sure what right is.  I think what I'm most fearful of is the propane.  It isn't turned on when I'm driving,  right?  I'll turn it on once I'm leveled in the park???  

Woodall's says to check the polarity before plugging in the shoreline connection. Would that be the outlet tester?  If no red lights come on it's okay to plug in?  Apparently, the Kill-A-Watt is for testing voltage inside Olivia if I'm using the generator.  I don't know what I'd be looking for.  

I need an RV 101 class!!!

I'm trying to come up with a checklist of what to do when I get to my space at the RV park and this is what I have, so far...

1.  Level motorhome with blocks (blocks under both tires on either side).

2.  Set parking brake.

3.  Use electric outlet tester, connect electricity and make
     sure breaker is on (is the breaker on the pedestal?).

4.  Attach water pressure regulator, water filter, then white hose.

5.  Connect sewer hose, make sure both ends are secure.  

6.  Leave gray water tank closed.  

7.  Connect cable TV.

It would probably help if I were at Olivia looking at all this, but I'm not so this will have to do. 

Before I sign off I'd like to welcome two new followers:  Rian who doesn't appear to have a blog and Sheryl from "ain't for city gals."  Thanks for joining me on my journey to RVing.  Hang on...it truly starts on the road Monday, June 20th!!

I'm tired of the 60s...degrees that is,



  1. By next week you will be an expert!

    My advice is to arrive at the park fairly early and look around for someone with a big RV and ask the WIFE if they can help you because this is your first time.

    Just a thought.

  2. Hey Jeana: First of all-- there's no right way or wrong way. Camping and RVing are meant to be fun, so ENJOY the adventure. You're going to do most things perfectly, but if you happened to have an "oops" moment-- consider it part of the adventure and good fodder for a future blog post!

    If you're planning to park your RV for a long period of time, then connecting up all the hoses makes good sense, but if you'll be driving the View around town during the day and only parking at night, then an easier way to do things is to use your tanks rather than connecting all the hoses every night. Much easier, and better for your tanks as well-- by filling and using your fresh water tank regularly, you'll be sure to keep water moving through it (and not developing mold or odors). By getting your gray and black tanks more than 1/2 full, they'll flush much stronger (and minimize risk of any solids to get stuck on the bottom of the tanks, dry out and start to smell).

    After a few times, you'll be an old pro... bring a nice bottle of wine and toast to your great new home on wheels!

  3. Jeana,

    I'm just a novice but here is what I think. That yellow cord looks like an adapter to use when you have to convert from 50 amps to 30 amps or vice versa - can't tell from the photo.

    I purchased a surge protector that attaches to the campground post and gives a reading as well as protects from any power surges which can burn up your electronics. I can give you more info on that if you need it.

    When I get to the campground the first thing I do is check for leveling. Then connect surge protector and connect electrical cord. Yes, there is a breaker on the campground post. I read somewhere not to leave your black water tank open to the sewer due to the fact that paper and waste can stick to the walls of an empty tank. they suggest that you dump when it is halfway to 3/4 full as usual. That's what I do.

    I'll be taking an RV 101 class at the end of the year in Texas at the SKP gathering. I'll also get my coach weighed to see if I'm balanced, etc.

    It's a good thing to make a list. Maybe one for when you pack up to leav would be helpful as well. It helps clear your mind for other things like driving ;-) Just kidding. You'll be fine.

  4. Even after 6 years of full-timing and moving around a lot, we use our check list, only for unhooking. It isn't necessary for hooking up because if we forgot something we will know once we try to use something...no biggie. But, leaving with something not done...BIGGIE!

    #6 - We choose to keep black tank closed but usually open the grey tank all the time but when you want a good whoosh, hold the grey for a day or so before dumping black first then grey.

    Testing the power at every stop is very important...always do this! We use our generator all the time with boondocking as often as we do and we have never used that gadget.

    Yellow cord is an adapter...if you are 30 amp and the campground has 50 amp only, you use this adapter so you can then plug into the campground.

    We have level bubbles but hardly use them anymore, we can feel it now.

    Filter and regulator is always important to use, filter just because most water in campgrounds is nasty. And, regulator protects your RV in case the pressure is high...just an FYI on the regulator, when the water pressure is REALLY low it caused our toilet to continue to run slightly which almost caused a flood from the toilet filling up. Not sure if anyone else ever had this issue, we just did twice in the past few weeks and both times Jerry said it was from LOW water pressure. Now we would take off the regulator if it happens again.

    Gloves...absolutely every time we dump. We buy them whenever we see them on sale.

    Take a few deep breaths...you will do fine and definitely learn from your mistakes and hopefully they will just be small ones. Good luck and relax!

  5. The propane has to stay on when on the road to keep the refrigerator running, that is one of the 1st mistakes i made and everything in the freezer thawed out! The water heater has to be OFF when on the road. U don't have to hook the sewage up every time, only when u want to dump or when u are staying for any length of time, then u can leave the grey water open, for lengthy showers :)

  6. hang in there Jeana!..you will be a pro in no time flat..and you know if you aren't sure just ask!..the campground neighbours are usually pretty darn helpful!

  7. Jeana, Here is a tip if you don't want to run propane while driving.

    What I do is freeze a bunch of small drinking water bottles the night before I leave. I use them as ice and place them throughout the freezer and fridge area. I place about 8 in the freezer and as many as I can in the fridge. I only drive a few hours a day so when I get to where I'm going everything is still frozen and cold.

    I do the same thing the night before I leave the campground so on my way home or to my next stop everything stays cold.

  8. About electricity, make sure the breaker on the post is off before you plug in and before you unplug. As mentioned, surge protector at post is really important. I had an internal one installed and love the automatic protection it provides. An RV friend just had her rig affected by nearby lightning strike and her surge protector blew completely, but her electrical system didn't! She was so grateful she right away had a new internal one installed.

    About propane, it is never safe to drive with it on (especially at a gas station!). Propane is highly explosive. Your refrig should run on car engine itself when driving if it's a 3-way. Mine runs on propane when boon docking and not moving, generator for those short periods, on AC when plugged in, and when driving runs on DC.

    I'm pretty new myself and still worry about forgetting things or doing out of order. I've gone to RV Saftey School twice and that has really helped. Importantly as several have mentioned you will forget things and do out of order. Just the name of the game so no worries. Each time I go out a few more things become automatic.

    I agree not to hook up sewer hose until ready to leave. Want a big whoosh of gray water into black before emping black. And make sure your keep gloves on until all put away. Then pull off such that they are inside out then right into trash.

    I keep taking things out and leaving them home. I keep a special green bag in my RV such that each I say to myself something isn't working or ask "why did I bring this?" I toss it in the bag to take back home and leave there.

    And most of all breathe and have fun!

  9. You sure are buying a lot of stuff you may not need. Most comments are good ones. I don't know about this book your reading but I think it is causing you to worry to much. Maybe you can take some of that stuff back to the store after your maiden voyage and you see you don't need all that stuff. the 50amp cord is good to have I know they cost and I only needed it once so far but you never know.
    Relax and have fun.

  10. I don't have all those things, but maybe I should.

    I have an app on my phone that is a level, and I use that to level The Palms. This is the first time I've had to level it out a bit.

    I've been driving with my propane on, but read that it should be off. I have some things flagged in my manuals, and my neighbor, Larry, is going to answer my questions. (He told me not to drive with propane on, and showed me where to turn it off.) Before I leave here, I want to know more about what I'm doing. He's also going to test my tire pressure, and I'm going to get a tire pressure tester.

    I have some things that you freeze to keep things cold, and I guess I'll freeze them the night before and keep them in the fridge/freezer to keep everything cold when I'm driving. I'm hoping to drive 4 hours or less a day.

    I have gloves, of course. My son gave me a box of 100 from work.

    I bought a water tester, and the water here is very good. But I think I WILL get a filter - that looks like a good idea.

    So much to get still, but we're getting there. :)

  11. Save your receipts, you may not need all that stuff. We just had our maiden voyage last week and had a few glitches (like locking ourselves out and having to borrow a ladder to climb in a window--thus we learned about keeping a spare key) and I'm sure there will be more, but we'll get there. It seems like a huge thing until you do it. Our get-list for Camping World is long. Best wishes.

  12. You can do this!!! You don't have to learn everything all at once. My sis-in-law whose husband passed away a year and a half ago has taught herself everything..from hooking up her trailer with sway bars to setting up the complete campsite. I went with her to the Grand Canyon last May and she had everything written down in a notebook of exactly how to do things...she referred to many many times but we did it! and had a blast. She now pulls her trailer all on her own all over the country....she is 74 years young! I am so proud of her and all the women who give this their best shot...

  13. If you get a chance to go to the Escapees Boot Camp, you will really enjoy it. Of course just a few weeks of actually doing this and you will be more confident. The very best part of rving is that the people you meet are the absolute best and you will find them very helpful.
    Give the Escapees a try; you'll make the best friends on the road and you will learn a lot.

  14. Never leave your black tank valve open, if you do you'll end up with the dreaded poop pyramid and it'll be hell trying to get rid of it. Only open the black valve when you're dumping (black first then grey to wash out the hose).

    Propane on or off is a controversial subject on the rv.net forums. The majority of posters leave theirs on all the time, traveling or not. Some just turn it off when filling the gas tank. Do what makes you most comfortable.