First Camping Trip at Last - Fiberglass RV


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Old 03-08-2013, 08:10 AM   #1
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Name: Jan
Trailer: '96 Scamp 5th Wheel
Texas
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First Camping Trip at Last

All excited to finally be taking the Gypsy Wagon for her maiden voyage to a state park only a couple of hours away. I have a friend who is an experienced RVer that met me there to help me start learning some of the ropes of real time trailer use. Turned into quite the trip! I didn't even get out of the driveway before the first problem! The telephone line that I have been trying to get AT&T to come and tighten up caught on the trailer and pulled loose - sagging almost to the ground! Adrenalin up!! Got on the road and about an hour later when looking at the side mirror saw something flapping on the side of the trailer - looked like a strap? Started slowing down and saw aluminum posts flapping and realized my awning had come loose and was starting to unroll! Got over to the shoulder and took a look (adrenaline even more up). The fabric had ripped and I couldn't get it to roll up or get the poles up. Traffic is screaming by and I am starting to panic. Fortunately my family lives nearby so I called my sister and had my brother in law bring me a ladder and some baling wire (my horses live there too). I went into the trailer to get pliers and saw some plastic on the floor - looked up at the roof and there was a hole where the antenna used to be!!! Adrenalin is now over the top!!!

My friend assures me that these things happen to everyone at sometime or another - just not usually on the first trip out!! I finally made it to the park. My friend patched my roof hole, the baling wire is holding - the cupboard that came unglued that night got reglued and I ended up having a very nice trip. I have to say I was so glad to have my friend there to show me the ropes. I now have lists of what to buy to carry for emergencies and repairs!

This being a newbie is a tough learning curve! Looking forward to my next trip out - I know it will get easier! Jan

The antenna was laying on the grass when I got home and the wire to the house had been fixed.

Got lots of questions and little fixes I'm going to need help with so watch for more newbie posts soon (I'll try and search archives so I don't get redundant).
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Old 03-08-2013, 08:20 AM   #2
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Perhaps you had the antenna up and it snagged the telephone line, pulled the antenna off the roof when you left?
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Old 03-08-2013, 08:25 AM   #3
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Without anecdotes, it is just another boring trip.

Welcome to the club!
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Old 03-08-2013, 08:25 AM   #4
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Name: Jan
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The antenna wasn't up - the line had sagged so low that when I straightened the trailer going out of the drive it snagged. I'd been pretty careful about the line when I had moved the trailer before but I just wasn't careful enough this time. First rule for me from now on -don't get in a hurry - slow down and pay close attention to details.
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Old 03-08-2013, 08:31 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Janb313 View Post
.....First rule for me from now on -don't get in a hurry - slow down and pay close attention to details.
A good part of that is learning exactly what those details are.
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Old 03-08-2013, 09:57 AM   #6
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You are amazing!! For a newbie, a first trip like that might have discouraged you........and you are looking forward to your next trip! Good for you.

Welcome to the forum. I'm certainly looking forward to reading about your next adventure.
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Old 03-08-2013, 01:06 PM   #7
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The only thing you need with a trailer is a pad of paper and a pencil. everytime you get near your trailer write down what it needs or needs to be fixed. Then you work on that list until its done. next time you start a new page. after a while you use less paper. When you run out of paper your done.

When I take a trip I use a written check list to slow me down so I dont forget the important stuff. There is nothing worse than driving 300 miles worrying about what you forgot or driving home trying to remember what you need to do to make your trips better. This is supposed to be fun. I went camping once without a knife that was a frustrating trip. Everytime I turned around I needed a knife really about 6 different knives but I had none. For 4 days I felt stupid and life kept reminding me how stupid I was, if it wasn't 30 miles down a dirt trail and another 60 miles of pavement to find a replacement I would have hauled out and got one.

electric plug out
propane full,
water tank full,
chains hooked
hitch connected
hitch locks
knife
etc
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Old 03-08-2013, 08:12 PM   #8
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Well good for you Jan you did it! Yes, that first trip can be stressful and sometimes a bit eventful. But, you had a good time in the end and made a memory that will stay with you forever.

My first trip out, I was about 40 miles from home, parked, setup and sitting in a lawnchair when I realized I forgot my toothbrush and toothpaste. Bummer. I did find out that beer and a cotton swab will work for a couple of days.... shhh don't tell my dentist

Now I have a toothbrush and toothpaste that stay permanently in the trailer. Steve, maybe you should do the same with a set of knives
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Old 03-08-2013, 08:22 PM   #9
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Glad to hear that you had a fun time, Jan.. and now its all going to be uphill from this trip (but hopefully not literally!!)
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Old 03-08-2013, 08:26 PM   #10
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Wow Jan, I could feel the adrenaline in my shoulders reading your post........lol.
Welcome to the group. Glad your trip turned out positive in spite of it all.

I plan on having my trailer permanently prepared. Probably make adjustments after each trip. Might have it ready for a "bug out."
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Old 03-08-2013, 09:21 PM   #11
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Jan the best part is you got it out and on the road. The stuff that happened is all fixable. The issue with your awning coming loose is a pretty common one and I know a lot of people put a bungee around it to keep it closed. Another item that has a bad habit of failing down when driving and you might want to put a bungee on is the rear stabilizer jacks on the back bumper.
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Old 03-08-2013, 09:30 PM   #12
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Oh, Carol, you are right about the back stabilizer jacks! I had to bungee mine up all the time. I finally just replaced them with these way-cool crank down ones. So much nicer!
And good for you Jan for making that trip, the first one is always the hardest.
There are a lot of ladies camping 'solo' here! Keep us posted on your other camping trips
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Old 03-22-2013, 08:34 AM   #13
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Oh, Carol, you are right about the back stabilizer jacks! I had to bungee mine up all the time. I finally just replaced them with these way-cool crank down ones. So much nicer!
And good for you Jan for making that trip, the first one is always the hardest.
There are a lot of ladies camping 'solo' here! Keep us posted on your other camping trips
Pam..oh ya, those blankety blank stabilizers...I flew to Ca to my sisters to go with her on first camping trip in her UHaul CT(she found one just like ours). Before we got out of her driveway, those stabilizers caused us fits...they would not move...finally got ithem hammered loose and bungeed to bumper. Less than a mile down the road Patsy notices sparks and loud clanking...we pull over, I open side door, step out, and roll down deep ditch...she crawls under trailer with hammer and bangs the now mutilated left stabilizer loose from road (that debungeed) and proceeds to re bungee it back up on bumper, lo, it gets loose again and crashes down on her jaw...all this happens while I am trying to crawl out of the ravine...five hours later we pull into the Giant Redwood RV park in Myers Flat looking like we had been in a brawl...and, lost! UHaul stabilizers not our friends.
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Old 03-22-2013, 08:42 AM   #14
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.... UHaul stabilizers not our friends.
Once damaged, the stabilizers won't stay up. The good news is that they aren't hard to repair or expensive to replace.

Stabilizer Jack - 650 lbs Domar Trailer Jack TJ01RT
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