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Old 10-10-2016, 02:49 AM   #1
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: Tuscany 34ST
State: Oregon
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THOR #1149
Advice for newbies

As I have been reading this forum over the weekend (which I don't do frequently) I have been paying special attention to the questions posed by newbies. I began wondering what would be the best piece of advice one could give someone just new to the RV lifestyle?
Pretty hard question to answer. One thing I did come up with is to never, never plug into an electrical supply that you have not verified is properly wired. You can purchase a tester at Home Depot for $20 or so that will verify that the pedestal is wired correctly. Get with the expert electrician at the store and tell them what you want. They can show you what you need. It is my understanding that plugging into an improperly wired pedestal can cause some very serious damage to your appliances and electrical system.
Even better yet spend the money to purchase a power monitoring system which will not only test the power from the pedestal, but will act as a surge suppressor and shut off the electricity to your coach when the electricity spikes or becomes less than the proper voltage to operate your system. Low voltage may cause enough damage that appliances have their lives shortened dramatically. When that happens you will never know why your appliances have such a short lifespan.
These units cost up to $450 for a 50 amp unit, sometimes less on sale, and are definitely worth the money. In the three years that I have had mine there have been four occasions when it saved me from a variety of issues from low-voltage, reversed polarity and other types of problems. If that seems like too much money just think what would cost to replace your microwave or the TV.
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Old 10-10-2016, 03:03 AM   #2
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THOR #3920
I can fully agree with purchasing an Electrical Management System (EMS). I have the Progressive Industries HW50C which is the hard wired version. If there is anything wrong with the pedestal or other power source, this will instantly disconnect power to the whole coach.
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Old 10-10-2016, 12:23 PM   #3
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THOR #4735
I would be a little more basic:

start with... take your time, pause, go slowly, and always be willing to ask questions - nobody starting out is going to 'know' everything from day one that they will eventually learn over time. Even for most of us that have traveled many, many miles over many years at many, many parks, campgrounds, and drycamps will admit that we still continue to learn 'new things' over time.

i.e., when a breaker trips unexpectedly, we sometimes learn more about our electrical wiring and setup than we even thought we needed to know


Experience is the best, and sometimes only, provider of useful and practical knowledge.
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Old 10-10-2016, 01:08 PM   #4
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THOR #1150
Have to agree with the Turners: Take your time, read everything, ask questions, etc.

You should be taking your time anyway: Isn't that what camping is all about? Slowing down, relaxing.
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Old 10-10-2016, 01:22 PM   #5
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I too agree Turner is absolutely correct, take your time and ask questions! I've been doing this for over 35 years and I'm still learning new things. I've learned a lot by doing just what Turner says, asking questions. RVers tend to be a friendly bunch as a whole, are proud of their rigs, and don't mind helping each other, this forum is a perfect example of that!!!
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Old 10-10-2016, 02:31 PM   #6
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My transition was relatively seamless because we had larger boats for years, which have similar systems. Having either a hard wired electrical guard system or portable one in place is very important I guess because if you fry your system right away you are done. It is very important to slow down and take your time when setting up camp or breaking camp. My DW and I had a system for doing it with our 5th wheel and we carried over much of the same system of double checks when we moved to a MH. One of my rules is I don't allow myself to be distracted when setting up or leaving a site. If another camper stops by then I simply stop what I am doing and be "neighborly". When the conversation is over and they are gone I continue. The quickest way to forget to do something, like not raising your jacks, unplugging power cord, etc., is to get distracted by a well meaning neighbor.
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Old 10-10-2016, 02:54 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe-FL View Post
My transition was relatively seamless because we had larger boats for years, which have similar systems. Having either a hard wired electrical guard system or portable one in place is very important I guess because if you fry your system right away you are done. It is very important to slow down and take your time when setting up camp or breaking camp. My DW and I had a system for doing it with our 5th wheel and we carried over much of the same system of double checks when we moved to a MH. One of my rules is I don't allow myself to be distracted when setting up or leaving a site. If another camper stops by then I simply stop what I am doing and be "neighborly". When the conversation is over and they are gone I continue. The quickest way to forget to do something, like not raising your jacks, unplugging power cord, etc., is to get distracted by a well meaning neighbor.
Or a Grandaughter
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Old 10-11-2016, 02:01 AM   #8
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THOR #2983
I would add that it is a good idea to open the door when extending and retracting slides. A huge volume of air needs to be moved in or out as the slide moves. This should reduce wear and tear on the slide motors.
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Old 10-11-2016, 03:34 AM   #9
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THOR #1589
Good thoughts here. My best advice for someone new to RVing is use checklists. Make one for trip preparation and packing, one for setup and one for preparing to leave. Then use them every time. Those lists will help keep you from forgetting something important!
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Old 10-20-2016, 12:38 AM   #10
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State: Michigan
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Originally Posted by Mr Sunshine View Post
Good thoughts here. My best advice for someone new to RVing is use checklists. Make one for trip preparation and packing, one for setup and one for preparing to leave. Then use them every time. Those lists will help keep you from forgetting something important!
I'm a newbie, so reading threads like this is helpful. My wife is an Engineer, and I'm an Analyst in Automotive Quality, so process is in our blood. We are using detailed checklists (after attempting load/ unload/ setup, storage by memory a few times). Only a month in... having fun so far.
The wiring tester was my first purchase, even before delivery. I'm glad I read that one in one of these forums before our first trip.
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Old 10-20-2016, 01:44 AM   #11
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THOR #1469
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Sunshine View Post
Good thoughts here. My best advice for someone new to RVing is use checklists. Make one for trip preparation and packing, one for setup and one for preparing to leave. Then use them every time. Those lists will help keep you from forgetting something important!
I use an app on my iPad that is called RV Checklists. I believe it cost 99 cents and comes with a number of checklists already set up and you can copy them and customize each for your individual taste. IMHO it is well worth the cost and one of the best out there. I got it from the Apple app store through iTunes.
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Old 10-20-2016, 02:03 AM   #12
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THOR #1020
Reading and asking questions is the best approach to being a newbie. I had the opportunity to meet the new owners of a toy hauler 44' fifth wheel. Wow - they'd driven to Virginia to pickup it up. The new owners got to the dealer at 4:30 PM and were on the road by 6:30 PM back to Fayetteville, NC. They'd never owned a RV before - poor peeps. Walked through some basics like turning on the water, use of the diverter valve system, sewer hookup, operation of hot water heaters, and so on. I was glad to see they hadn't wrecked the 44' monster.

So my parting advise to them was to get on line, find an owner/5th wheel site and ask questions.

Wow - unconscionable dealer.
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Old 10-20-2016, 02:23 AM   #13
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THOR #3510
This forum is interesting and informative. Had it not been for our well-documented electrical problem with our new 2016 Axis (due to an unscrupulous dealer lifting an electrical part) ...we would have not found this great group of RV owners ! Everyone is loaded with information, opinions and help !

Thankyou everyone !
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Old 10-20-2016, 02:39 AM   #14
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THOR #3510
Update for Newbies...regarding WalMart, etc. overnight parking..
courtesy of RV Life.


Industry-sanctioned Code of Conduct
(RVersí Good Neighbor Policy)

1. Stay one night only!
2. Obtain permission from a qualified individual.
3. Obey posted regulations.
4. No awnings, chairs or barbecue grills.
5. Do not use hydraulic jacks on soft surfaces (including asphalt).
6. Always leave an area cleaner than you found it.
7. Purchase gas, food or supplies as a form of thank you, when feasible.
8. Be safe! Always be aware of your surroundings and leave if you feel unsafe.
9. If your plans include touring the area, staying for more than one night or necessitate conduct not within the code, please relocate to a local campground. Itís the right thing to do
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Old 10-20-2016, 03:52 AM   #15
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THOR #3610
10. Unless you're arriving very late & leaving very early stay at a campground not Wal-Mart. Seen folks set up at 3:30-4:00 In the afternoon in their high dollar motorhomes, if they are too cheap to pay for a park they should quite rving.
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Old 10-20-2016, 09:42 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Travelin' Texans View Post
10. Unless you're arriving very late & leaving very early stay at a campground not Wal-Mart. Seen folks set up at 3:30-4:00 In the afternoon in their high dollar motorhomes, if they are too cheap to pay for a park they should quite rving.
I have to comment on this as one that has stayed at "Chateau Wal-Mart" on several occasions...
I do so more for convenience.. After leaving the house by 6am (beat traffic thru Detroit) - by 3pm I am looking for a place to stop. Typically find a Wal-Mart an hour or so ahead - call and ask for permission and where they want me to park, and get there around 4.

I don't "set up". Don't extend jacks, slides, awnings... Just park. And don't have to unhook the toad to back into a site (or be limited to those parks with 'pull through'). I always go to the service desk to say hi and thank them for the privilege. And always buy dinner plus other items (so it isn't cheaper.. In park I'd just eat what I have on board..)

I am typically back on road before sunrise - something that would be disruptive to neighbors in the park.
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