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Old 01-17-2021, 06:56 PM   #1
LnS
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Newbie 1st month experience

Good day all
I thought I'd drop a post about my experiences over the first 30 days as an RV owner. I'm new to RVing so maybe another newbie would find something useful in this.
I spent several days practicing driving about town, in empty parking lots and on the interstate to build those practical skills. Lots of yard camping to familiarize myself with the trailer and to work on 2 problems. 1 trip to a local campsite went surprisingly well for the practical aspects, I've got to work on my RV camp site socialization skills.
The first problem was self induced, the second was an equipment hiccup. Excited to work on them, relived to resolve them.
First problem; when I got home and hooked up the trailer to the house with a 15A 30A combination to 50A connector all was well while I was in there, but the next day there was no power in the trailer. After trouble shooting I discovered that only 1 of 2 phases was powered. The battery charging and lots of other important stuff was on the other phase. Off to Walmart and found the solution, a 15A to 30A connector and a 30A to 50A connector. Walmart has a small RV section that had what I needed when I needed it, check them out if you need something right away. That combination powered both phases into the trailer.
The second issue was that the incommand display in the HVAC screen did not have a valid zone temp, it was "-". Neither the temperature management nor fan modes would work.
I had read about display issues in the forum but not this one so hopefully this is my first useful contribution. After some web searching and more forum reading I decided to reset the BCM. The reset button on the PCB did not change the situation. I then decided to hard reset the BCM (as we do locked up computers) and disconnected the battery. Reconnecting the battery the display read correctly and the temp management and fan modes worked.
The camping trip taught me the new sewer hose connectors are tight and tough to manipulate with loose fitting gloves. I found a wrench that works well, I thought better fitting gloves would be difficult to get on and off while wanting to avoid possible contact with my excrement.
After the trip, we discovered a window frame leak while washing the trailer, the dealer fixed it. We will; test it again after the next trip this week.
Sanitized the fresh water tank as the upcoming trip has no water or dump at the site. It took longer than I expected to fill, then discovered on the rinse fill the water pressure regulator was ~20psi. Turned it up to ~40psi and it filled quicker as expected, not sure why it changed from the 40 psi I had set it to previously, something to keep an eye on. The preset regulators shouldn't have this problem.
Along the way I built an external storage compartment for the sewer connector, donut, gloves and wrench from a scrap piece of 6" pipe, a hose clamp holding 3 layers of screen on one end and a bungie cord and bolt on the other end to hold everything in while giving easy access and quick drying and zip tied to the A frame.
Additional LED lighting in the front storage compartment along with a rubber mat to add grip and floor protection.
Well that's the summary of my first 30 days, hopefully it useful to another new Rver.
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Old 01-17-2021, 09:34 PM   #2
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Good advice on the gloves. So some other tip you may not know. With the disposable gloves. Remove them like the medical folks, use right hand grab the edge/end of glove on the inside of your left wrist and pull it inside out toward your finger tips until it is removed. After both are removed, you will dispose of them by only touching the inside parts of the glove.
You need a box or bag of them kept in the RV.
If you don them (put them on) and during the sewer dump, you want to do anything else. Like walk around and check the RV or truck. Remove them so you do not dirty anything else. Put on a new pair when you go back to work on the sewer dump. It's easy to leave them on and go to another task without thinking. Don't do it.
I have seen people use their phone, wipe their face, start their truck, go into their RV with those same gloves on that they just handled the sewer hose. Some might say it's ok they have not gotten sick. Just me, I am not that way.
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Old 01-18-2021, 04:05 AM   #3
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^^^ x2! I would add a pump dispenser of hand sanitizer as well. I keep a plastic container with just disposable gloves and sanitizer in the tote with the sewer wrench, blank tank flush hose, and sewer wrench. The sewer wrench is a combo unit that can loosen the cap on the cg end and works on the trailer hose end fittings.

The hand sanitizer is not overkill in my opinion. Back in the early 1990's I contracted Hepatitis A from a restaurant in Denver. I thought I was going to die. Believe me you don't want to get any disease that's carried by fecal matter.
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Old 01-18-2021, 06:39 AM   #4
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Nice write up. We've been RV owners for so long now, and been using all all our campers over the years almost full time, it's interesting to read how someone new to it all learns and grows. So, thanks for you post.

To add a bit from my own experiences? Water pressure regulators? There are those who live by them, and those who run from them. I'm in the group that runs from them, for the very reason you stated above. Even the best of them is subject to failure. For this reason I never hook up to my garden hose and leave the spigot open. I always fill my fresh water tank and use the on board water pump. Never have to worry or even think about water pressure this way. It also helps us be keenly aware of our water usage, which also clues us when it's time to dump holding tanks. Because, even if you are on full hook-up site, you never want to leave your holding tank valves open all the time, especially the black tank. You let them fill, then dump them.

Just a suggestion, something to think about.
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Old 01-18-2021, 07:26 AM   #5
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About connecting and un connecting the sewer hose. I changed over to this system it uses cam locks. Little pricey but don’t have to mess with going to twist off the cap. My old hand with arthritis sometimes had a problem.
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Old 01-18-2021, 04:54 PM   #6
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Thanks all

Thanks for your time and the suggestions, we took on a box of gloves and sanitizer today after I mentioned your inputs.
Thanks for the tips on glove usage and not moving from that spot without removing them. Common sense but having it reinforced makes it stick.
I'm going to continue playing with the pressure regulator to make a decision on whether to use it. Thanks for the suggestion on just full timing the fresh tank and pump.
I did look at the cam system for sewer and it's in my box of things to consider if the wrench doesn't work out. Not only is it easier but it looks to be fool proof.
Our TT has 2 gray tanks, one of which doesn't share the black tank output. A future project is to see if making the 2 dump outputs common so I don't have to spend as much time switching them or deploy as much hose into a 'Y' which I don't have. Something to fuss with until I get a better solution.
Thanks again
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Old 01-18-2021, 04:59 PM   #7
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Your welcome, and welcome to RVing.
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Old 01-18-2021, 05:18 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LnS View Post
Thanks for your time and the suggestions, we took on a box of gloves and sanitizer today after I mentioned your inputs.
Thanks for the tips on glove usage and not moving from that spot without removing them. Common sense but having it reinforced makes it stick.
I'm going to continue playing with the pressure regulator to make a decision on whether to use it. Thanks for the suggestion on just full timing the fresh tank and pump.
I did look at the cam system for sewer and it's in my box of things to consider if the wrench doesn't work out. Not only is it easier but it looks to be fool proof.
Our TT has 2 gray tanks, one of which doesn't share the black tank output. A future project is to see if making the 2 dump outputs common so I don't have to spend as much time switching them or deploy as much hose into a 'Y' which I don't have. Something to fuss with until I get a better solution.
Thanks again
Personally I'd continue to use the water pressure regulator provided it's an adjustable. Set the regulator to a good desired pressure, 50 psi is a good pressure, but realize that if the water spigot pressure is more than the set pressure it will regulate it to that pressure, if it's less it will have no effect on your pressure, it will not increase pressure.

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This is the adjustable. It normally comes preset to 50-55 psi which is a good safe pressure. Would recommend this at the spigot then connect the hose to it at every stop.
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This is a POS restrictor that restricts the flow to attempt to lower the pressure, but it restricts the flow regardless of the incoming pressure from the spigot. If you have & are using this I'd recommend tossing it.

While on the subject of safety, hopefully you have a surge protector/EMS, 50 or 30 amp whichever your rv, plugged into every pedestal you connect to followed by your cord.
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Old 01-18-2021, 05:32 PM   #9
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I have the adjustable regulator, looks like the one you linked. I'll monitor every time it's pressurized what the gauge reading is. part of ,my data taking to make a decision.
After reading the forums and from other sources I had a list of things I wanted to have out the door with the TT. A surge protector was at the top.
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Old 01-19-2021, 08:45 AM   #10
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I have the adjustable regulator, looks like the one you linked. I'll monitor every time it's pressurized what the gauge reading is. part of ,my data taking to make a decision.
After reading the forums and from other sources I had a list of things I wanted to have out the door with the TT. A surge protector was at the top.
Find a good water source with good pressure, set that regulator to 50-55 psi, then never adjust it again, constantly adjusting it won't help low pressures. As I said it will regulate at high pressures but won't affect low pressures. If the pressure is too low fill your fresh water tank & use the pump, it's typically set at 40-45 psi, so worst case you'll have somewhere between 40-45 psi & 50-55 psi wherever you connect.
We been to parks/campgrounds with excess of 100 psi where that restrictor will not work, a regulator was required & to places with 25-30 psi so used the pump.
I'd also recommend replacing the shower head with the Oxygenic shower head, it works great even with low pressures.
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Old 01-19-2021, 09:06 AM   #11
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Find a good water source with good pressure, set that regulator to 50-55 psi, then never adjust it again, constantly adjusting it won't help low pressures. As I said it will regulate at high pressures but won't affect low pressures. If the pressure is too low fill your fresh water tank & use the pump, it's typically set at 40-45 psi, so worst case you'll have somewhere between 40-45 psi & 50-55 psi wherever you connect.
We been to parks/campgrounds with excess of 100 psi where that restrictor will not work, a regulator was required & to places with 25-30 psi so used the pump.
I'd also recommend replacing the shower head with the Oxygenic shower head, it works great even with low pressures.

Danny made some excellent points and I would expound on one aspect;

I have my regulator set at 50psi. Tried 40/45 but just wasn't quite wasn't what I wanted. Now 50 seems to work well everywhere we go.

I like to take a somewhat unabbreviated shower so I can use some water. Had it down until I got this trailer. I had not replaced the shower head with an Oxygenics because the OE seemed to work pretty good. Problem was my gray tank would fill up way too quick even though I had larger tanks than I used to have. The OE shower head had no way to cut it on and off and it put out LOTS of water. Ordered my Oxygenics and put it on - poof! tank fills like it used to and I don't use the on/off button that it has. It aerates the water and uses much less so you still feel like you are getting good flow. Now I'm back to dumping at what I consider a normal interval. Just threw that out for something to think about.
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Old 01-19-2021, 12:22 PM   #12
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I would urge to "ALWAYS USE A REGULATOR" even if the campground supply seems to be OK when you set up camp. I've been to countless campgrounds where during the day, the pressure is 40-60 PSI, and at night, when the surrounding sub-divisions and the other trailers in the campground aren't using water, the pressure will increase dramatically. As an example, the Tourist Park Campground in Marquette Michigan has water pressure, during the day, that ranges around 50-70PSI. At night, when the city transportation maintenance facility (next to the campground) closes, the water pressure will rise, sometimes as high as 160 PSI. That's enough to destroy almost any RV water plumbing system.

And, the problem is that it only "creeps up to critical pressure" after you check it and think "everything is great".....
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Old 01-19-2021, 12:31 PM   #13
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I've seen what John is describing many times over the years. Before retiring I would often take a vacation day on a monday. n Sunday the mass exodus would begin and I would monitor the water pressure and the pedestal voltage as they would both creep up and up. Wouldn't be unusual at all to see a water pressure below 40 PSI on Sunday morning go to over 100 psi on Sunday afternoon.

Quality water pressure regulator connected to 5/8" hose and a quality water filter, along with the EMS (permanent mount on ours) for the shore power connection. Never leave home without them.
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Old 01-19-2021, 02:23 PM   #14
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thanks all
your continued advice is welcome.
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Old 01-24-2021, 08:38 AM   #15
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LnS,

I'm very impressed with your overall mindset. It's my opinion that the vast majority of new RV owners do not attack first time ownership with the same work ethic as you. Good job on the learning to tow, camping in the driveway to flesh out the things you need to know before heading out. Kudos.
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Old 01-24-2021, 09:24 AM   #16
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About connecting and un connecting the sewer hose. I changed over to this system it uses cam locks. Little pricey but dont have to mess with going to twist off the cap. My old hand with arthritis sometimes had a problem.
Best system on the market! Yes, pricey but will outlast many replacements of other types. The inside is smooth for easy cleaning with a rinse.
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Old 01-24-2021, 10:46 AM   #17
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Our TT has 2 gray tanks, one of which doesn't share the black tank output. A future project is to see if making the 2 dump outputs common so I don't have to spend as much time switching them or deploy as much hose into a 'Y' which I don't have. Something to fuss with until I get a better solution.
Thanks again
Our new 27SABWE has 3 tanks, like yours, the black and one grey share a common dump and the second grey has its own dump. When we picked up the trailer, we traded in our 2 year old Jayco. The Jayco had the dump valve at the back of the trailer. The Cougar has all of them in front of the axles. I only had one hose and it wasn't long enough to hook up either one to the sewer drain in our campsite for that first night. As we were heading home in the morning (600 miles) I decided to just leave it and dump when we got home. My local Chevron station lets you dump free if you fill up with fuel. Since then, I have purchased two additional hoses and a Y connector. I believe I can hook a single hose to each drain valve, into the Y, and from there a single hose into the drain. Suggestion, always dump the black tank first, then the grey tanks. The drain water from the grey tanks will help flush the hoses clean. Also, if you haven't already got one, add a clear elbow to the end of the hose where you put it into the dump station. You'll be able to see when the black tank is fully drained. One other thing I got to use when flushing the black tank. I bought an inline water meter that attached to my hose. I use a 90 degree brass fitting at the tank flush connection, then the meter, a brass shut off valve and finally a dedicated black tank flush hose I carry. Once I have drained the black tank, I close the valve. I know the capacity of my tank is 38 gallons. I open the shutoff valve and watch the meter. When I have added between 20 and 25 gallons to the black tank, close the shutoff valve and dump the tank again, watching the clear elbow for evidence of paper or other matter. Repeat until the water flowing out is clear. Then dump my grey tanks. This really helps me as my black tank flush connection is on the opposite side of the trailer from the dump valves.
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Old 01-24-2021, 04:36 PM   #18
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Sanitized the fresh water tank as the upcoming trip has no water or dump at the site. It took longer than I expected to fill, then discovered on the rinse fill the water pressure regulator was ~20psi. Turned it up to ~40psi and it filled quicker as expected
The female end of my city water hose goes permanently to a regulator, then a brass Y connector with shutoffs. If I'm going to do anything like fill the onboard tank or run the black tank flush, I use a separate hose off the unregulated side of the Y for best performance.
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