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Old 04-26-2013, 08:33 AM   #1
js9234
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2 quick and probably easy(stupid) questions

I purchased a 2013 Springdale Keystone 294BHSSR and have two stupid questions. First, when you use the black tank and empty it do you completely empty it after a weekend of camping or do you refill it with a little water and chemicals or what? I know, stupid question. Second question, when using the hot water heater it says to make sure it has a certain amount of water in it(Suburban model) before lighting the tank. How do I know when it has water in it? I will have a third question later about my tow vehicle because I think I'm over my weight limit or close. I'll have to get all the specs on everything before I post but my info for now is a 2012 Ram Crew Cab with 3.55 gears and a max tow of 8500 lbs. I do have a 10,000 lb WDH and sway bar as well. I am a complete newbie with travel trailers. Never even been in one till I purchased this. Not new to towing but new to towing a travel trailer.
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Old 04-26-2013, 08:42 AM   #2
chris199
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I always dump the black tank then leave some water and chemicals in there for the next trip.

If you are connected to water at the campground and have pressure the tank will be filled.....as long as you do not have the winterizing bypass valve turned to prevent water flow to the heater. You would use this valve to prevent water going to the tank.....so you can drain/empty it for the winter.

I cannot comment on dry camping and knowing when the tank is full. Am assuming if you have the pump on, the tank would stay filled but I do not know 100%.

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Old 04-26-2013, 08:51 AM   #3
Festus2
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First.... on this forum, there are no stupid questions.
Secondly, leaving any of your holding tanks completely dry is not a good idea. After emptying them, I always put a couple of gallons of fresh water mixed in with some Calgon ( a water softener) and a bit of holding tank chemical. This ensures that there will be no buildup of any left-over solids or sludge in the tanks. It also keeps them "smelling good".

Thirdly, your hot water tank should be FULL of water - not just a "certain amount" before heating. If there isn't sufficient water in the tank, the heating element will burn out or, if you heat it with propane, you can destroy the lining of the tank itself.

You can tell if there is water in the tank by: (1) loosening the anode drain plug and water should trickle out. Just loosen it enough so that water starts to flow. If you loosen it too much or try to take the drain plug out, stand aside or you will get drenched - if there is water in the tank.
(2) pulling up on the pressure release valve. Some water should flow out of the opening.
3) turn on the HW faucet in your TT. If the tank is empty, the faucet will spurt and sputter - expelling air instead of water - and the pump may sound somewhat differently.
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Old 04-26-2013, 10:28 AM   #4
BUDMAN76
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Get a new truck

Dodge trucks do not have the good tow ratings like GM & Fords.

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Moderator's Note :

Budman
Is this post in response to the OP's question about his Ram tow vehicle? If it is, it does nothing more than to start a flurry of responses from the many Ram/Dodge members on our forum and does little to answer the OP's last question about TV's.

Do we really need another heated and fruitless debate about which truck is best? Surely, we have had enough discussions - all with predictable outcomes.
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Old 04-26-2013, 01:44 PM   #5
Bugle Boy
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During camping season I leave a little water and chemical in the black water tank. In winter, I fully drain it and leave a bucket under the outlet with the drain valve fully open.

The hot water heater is full when either the pump is on or connected to city water and valves open, and no air comes out of the hot water faucets.
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Old 04-26-2013, 02:43 PM   #6
CUFFS054
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Ah JS, a man after my heart! I had never been in any kind of TT but on a whim (or was it a bender?) I bought a 2010 Springdale TT and moved in that day. Mind you, I don't even own a truck, but I was not to be detered. We use it on weekends and I'm in heaven with all the things to play with. I hope you'll enjoy your TT and like me start looking for the "bigger/better" one.
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Old 04-26-2013, 03:14 PM   #7
js9234
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Thanks for all the replies. It will surely help. There's a lot more to them than I originally thought. Should have researched a little more but for some reason this TT stuck out so much that me,the wife, and kids all fell in love immediately with no questions asked. As for the Dodge not towing enough. It tows plenty if I had the max tow package but I wasn't planning on towing this much so I opted not to get it when I originally bought it and the 3.55 gears lowered me from a 10500 tow rating to a 8500 tow rating. I don't bash other trucks because I like them all and all have their good and bad points. But Dodge has the most HP and TQ I believe ;-) lol Glad I know not to leave the black tank dry now because if I didn't ask y'all I surely would have. the propane tank is still a little confusing but I know more now so thanks...
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Old 04-26-2013, 03:16 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by js9234 View Post
Thanks for all the replies. It will surely help. There's a lot more to them than I originally thought. Should have researched a little more but for some reason this TT stuck out so much that me,the wife, and kids all fell in love immediately with no questions asked. As for the Dodge not towing enough. It tows plenty if I had the max tow package but I wasn't planning on towing this much so I opted not to get it when I originally bought it and the 3.55 gears lowered me from a 10500 tow rating to a 8500 tow rating. I don't bash other trucks because I like them all and all have their good and bad points. But Dodge has the most HP and TQ I believe ;-) lol Glad I know not to leave the black tank dry now because if I didn't ask y'all I surely would have. the propane tank is still a little confusing but I know more now so thanks...
I suspect you will find it very helpful to read back through some of the threads on these topics using the search function. There is a wealth of discussion and information already here for the reading on everything you asked about. Plenty of background and in depth information to be had.
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Old 04-26-2013, 05:46 PM   #9
CUFFS054
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JS, if you didn't get a full set of "owner" manuals with your rig, it's well worth the effort to go to the manufacturer (of each item; refrig, waterheater, HVAC etc.) web site and down load. I literally have the manuals for every system/toy in my rig and they have been a huge help.
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Old 04-27-2013, 07:26 AM   #10
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On the edge

I have a 2012 Ram 1500 Crew Cab Hemi with 3.55 gears and tow a 2013 Hideout 23RBWE. The empty weight is about 5400 lbs. It tows well and seems a good match. I don't push it and we get out only every other month or so. I have towed it about 1800 miles. Your trailer is about 2000 lbs heavier empty and will be near your truck's max wt or over when loaded. I guess it depends on how often and how far you are going to travel, but you will be at the truck's limit.
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Old 04-29-2013, 05:40 AM   #11
js9234
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My trailer dry weight is 6950 and load capacity is 2565 which it a total of 9515 wich is 1015 over my max. I'll just have to be very careful on how and how much I load. I'll be camping pretty close to home except a few times a year. Next month we're going on a 800 mile round trip camping trip to the beach. Right now trading in my vehicle for something with a better towing package isn't possible. If I put 3.94 gears in it it will tow better but legally it wouldn't change my max tow rating to the 10500 the other Rams have. I'll just be extra careful.

QUOTE=randygk;74530]I have a 2012 Ram 1500 Crew Cab Hemi with 3.55 gears and tow a 2013 Hideout 23RBWE. The empty weight is about 5400 lbs. It tows well and seems a good match. I don't push it and we get out only every other month or so. I have towed it about 1800 miles. Your trailer is about 2000 lbs heavier empty and will be near your truck's max wt or over when loaded. I guess it depends on how often and how far you are going to travel, but you will be at the truck's limit.[/QUOTE]
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Old 04-29-2013, 07:23 AM   #12
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JS,
We just bought a 294BHSSR about a month ago. So far we LOVE it. About the only thing is the bathroom is really small, but other than that it is great.

I tow with a 2012 F150 Supercrew 5.5' bed with 3.73 gears and the ecoboost engine and max-tow package. My limit is 10,300. I use a Reese dual-cam hitch.

I do get some sway, but I had passenger tires on my truck from Ford (why I don't know). I have changed to LT tires, but haven't towed with them yet.

I think you will be okay as long as you don't load the camper up too much. No water, tanks empty (maybe a couple gallons if you want).

Get some mirror extension and keep the speed down.

I hope you enjoy your 294 as much as we are enjoying ours.

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Old 04-29-2013, 09:24 AM   #13
js9234
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Thanks... I drove it home from the dealership which is about 10 miles from my house and got on the interstate and the side roads which are very narrow and hilly. Had plenty of power to get up to speed and stopped great. No complaints at all. It's always windy here and it swayed some but no near as bad as I thought it would be. I'm gonna take it on a small 6 hr round trip camping trip in the next few weeks and hopefully will be able to tell how it's gonna handle overall.
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Old 04-29-2013, 04:04 PM   #14
F16Vip3r
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Another thing to look at is the Cargo Carrying Capacity (CCC) and Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) of your truck. Being a newbie, I made some mistakes last summer and didn't even LOOK at the truck GVWR/CCC until after I had the camper.

I had a an F-150 with about 1350lbs CCC. Here's how I figured my weights before buying the camper:

Trailer Hitch Weight: 650
Family of 4+ small dog: 400
Total: 1050 (300lbs to spare)

I thought I was fine, but didn't consider...
Propane (sits mostly on hitch): 60
Hitch / WD Assembly: 60 - 90
ACTUAL total: ~1200lbs

Now I was pushing 1200lbs, and thats before considering anything loaded in the trailer in front of the camper axles, placing anything in the bed, my kids growing, car seats, etc. The truck may have been OK, but I wasn't feeling comfortable. Plus, with the 5.4L and 3.55 gears, it towed like crap.

2 weeks after buying the camper, I upgraded to an F-250 with 6.2L engine and 2650 in CCC. No more weight issues/worries for this guy.
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