Products and prep for full timing - Fiberglass RV


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Old 06-24-2020, 02:11 PM   #1
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Name: Debra
Trailer: Casita 2019
FL
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Products and prep for full timing

Hi All, This thread looks great and I can't wait to delve in. Whether or not I succeed to sell my condo, I plan to full time travel in my Casita 17 ft trailer for an indefinite time. I am looking at products I want to purchase, mainly to assure my safety since I am a single female who is not mechanically inclined or "fix it" person.

Right now, I want to get a portable air compressor. Any suggestions on good brands?

I am planning to install a back up camera on the Casita and think a wireless one would be the best and easiest based on the little exploring I have done. Ideas? Recommendations on brands? (I did read another thread on this and found different opinions on the value of then, but not too much on recommended brands).

I was thinking about getting a propane gas gauge but wondered if that would interfere with the Casita feature of linking the tanks so when one tank empties it goes to the next tank automatically?

I would like to get something like pepper spray or something similar and would welcome any advise on that.

Initially, I will be visiting friends and wondered about getting an adapter so I can use their house electricity. I would welcome anyone's advice on using house electricity.

I have bought a clam for buggy places, put in extra scissor jacks and did a few other modifications to the Casita.

All suggestions welcomed since to date my camping experience with my Casita is just about 10 days....my tent camping experience is longer but those days are over!

Thanks in advance and as I said, I welcome and advise regarding preparing even if not related to these products.
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Old 06-24-2020, 02:54 PM   #2
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Name: bill
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I’d seek out a forum dedicated to full timing. People successfully full time in just about anything, from a car on up. I met a couple that were full timing in a 1970s Trillium 1300. No AC, no toilet, small bed. They had been doing it for two years and they loved it!


Be careful about “stuff” as you will have limited storage.

Harbor Freight sells a small air compressor which is constantly on sale, for about $39.99. 1/3HP, 3 gallon, hot dog compressor. Nothing high quality for sure but adequate for minor use. For really small tasks you can buy a small 12v compressor that plugs into your cigarette lighter in the car. I carried one on my motorcycle for years. Yes it took a while to inflate tires but it worked. Look in the automotive section at Walmart.

If you plan to run your AC, then plugging into a friends outside outlet may be inadequate. The big users are what get you: toaster oven, hair dryer, AC, microwave. AC is the biggest power user.

Campers have wheels, many use them to avoid the really hot and humid climates. I live in the mountains of NC. All summer long we are inundated with Floridians.

Depending where you are camping, you can be safer camping than staying at home. If the campground looks unsafe, move on.

Your camper has a 30amp cord. Unless your friends put in an RV specific spot, you will get either 15amp or 20amp, and you could be sharing it with their needs.

Amazon sells all kinds of adapters. All campers should carry a small selection, whether they are full timing or not.

Eventually all campers need service work. Start formulating a plan. Who will winterize the trailer? Who will lube wheel bearings? And so on.

Lots of men aren’t mechanically inclined either. And they would fare no better against a criminal. Location choice is important. Avoidance beats any weapon.

IMHO propane tank gauges are borderline worthless.
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Old 06-24-2020, 02:56 PM   #3
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Name: Mike
Trailer: Escape 21 & Jeep GC 5.7 (Previous 2012 Casita FD17 & 2010 Audi Q5)
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Right now, I want to get a portable air compressor. Any suggestions on good brands?
We purchased a VIAIR 85P Portable Air Compressor. It has an aluminum head to dissipate heat and has performed well for our limited use. Amazon reviews are good. (This is for tires; it would not be the best for air mattresses and beach toys.)
I am planning to install a back up camera on the Casita and think a wireless one would be the best and easiest based on the little exploring I have done. Ideas? Recommendations on brands? (I did read another thread on this and found different opinions on the value of then, but not too much on recommended brands).
Wireless cameras suffer interference in town and on the road and are generally lower-rated. If you are thinking of this primarily for backing up in campgrounds, wireless might be okay.
I was thinking about getting a propane gas gauge but wondered if that would interfere with the Casita feature of linking the tanks so when one tank empties it goes to the next tank automatically?
Gauges do not work on propane tanks. I suggest a luggage scale; Etekcity Digital Hanging Luggage Scale, Portable Handheld Baggage Scale for Travel, Suitcase Scale.

Also, I prefer to leave the second tank's valve closed so that I know when changeover occurs. Otherwise, you can easily empty two tanks with no warning.
Initially, I will be visiting friends and wondered about getting an adapter so I can use their house electricity. I would welcome anyone's advice on using house electricity.
Purchase a 15-amp male to 30-amp female adaptor. Camco 55223 or equivalent. This will allow you to plug into a "standard" household receptacle.

Enjoy the adventure!
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Old 06-24-2020, 04:14 PM   #4
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Name: Gordon
Trailer: 2015 Scamp (16 Std Layout 4) with '15 Toyota Sienna LE Tug
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Debbie in Florida View Post
..
Right now, I want to get a portable air compressor. Any suggestions on good brands? For the tires see https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0036E9VB6 If you mean for tools, then IDK.

I was thinking about getting a propane gas gauge..
Forget any add on gauge. Get tanks that have gauges that use internal floats. Or remove them and use a scales to get weight (subtract tare wgt. Google has instructions)

I would like to get something like pepper spray or something similar and would welcome any advise on that.

Advice... get training with any weapon. Know that pepper spray can be taken from you and used against you. You should be trained to deal with that. Know that spraying it inside the camper will likely incapacitate you also. Spraying it into the wind might incapacitate you and miss the target altogether. Hitting the face is required and dont expect it to have an instant effect, or in some cases (PCP users) much of an effect at all. But, if you are going to be in bear country then bear spray might be good. Just dont leave it a car, in the sun, in summer.

..
Good luck
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Old 06-25-2020, 11:12 AM   #5
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Name: Arthur
Trailer: Between RV's But Shopping
Mississippi
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Suggestion ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Debbie in Florida View Post
I was thinking about getting a propane gas gauge but wondered if that would interfere with the Casita feature of linking the tanks so when one tank empties it goes to the next tank automatically?

I know of a gauge that someone just tested.
It attaches magnetically to bottom of cylinder
and interfaces with your smartphone. Don't
remember name of it so will have to check.

Also ...

There are a myriad of full-timers, even ladies,that
have YouTube channels. A lot of info there about
the lifestyle and products they use. Just use a
bit of discernment since there are a few that just
try to suck you in with hopes of having you donate
money in one way or the other.



Art
.
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Old 06-25-2020, 02:54 PM   #6
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Name: Lisle
Trailer: 2018 Casita Spirit Deiuxe
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I’ve been full timing in my 16’ Casita since Sept. Haven’t needed an air compressor though I got a tiny one to add air to the tires - that plugs into the cigarette lighter. Would slowly add air to tow vehicle tires. Sadly not a long enough hose to get to camper tires. Easiest to check tire pressures when stopping for gas. Worth checking.
A friend gave me Mace brand of Pepper Gel long distance spray which she bought at a camping store. She researched and said it is the best kind. It lives at the bottom of my purse and I’ve had no reason to even think of using it so far. Not sorry to have it, but have felt totally safe in RV campgrounds, dispersed camping in a national forest and.in state forest campgrounds - been from Mass down to Georgia, across thru Texas to LA and then back thru Nevada, Colorado erc.
Best advice about backing up is: 1) you’ll get better w practice, and 2) don’t be embarrassed to take your time and get out to look over and over until you get the camper where you want it. Had zero experience with campers or trailers befor last year and now I can put my camper where it needs to go. Oh, and 3) if a nice man who has experience with trailers offers to do it for you, no shame in letting him. Cuz he’s gonna hover and give directions while you try to do it yourself, which will only make it harder. ��
Yes you need a converter from house to camper amps as explained above. I also have a surge protector and an extra 30amp cord so I can often connect directly to an outlet in a friend’s garage instead of to their orange extension cord, which won’t give you as much power. I also have 2 x 25’ potable water hoses so I can more easily connect to a friend’s spigot. Regular garden hose puts a surprising amount of lead into water passing thru them - always use only potable hoses.
Congratulations on starting your adventure. Weird times but I’m still loving my Casita life.
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Old 06-25-2020, 03:08 PM   #7
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Name: Anne
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I use a small 12v pump (probably from Walmart) for use with camper or car tires. It does take a while and is noisy. But it's been helpful. Because I also had a problem reaching the camper tires, I bought a 12v extension cord. Works well. Here's one example:
https://www.amazon.com/EPAuto-Extens...NsaWNrPXRydWU=
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Old 06-25-2020, 06:54 PM   #8
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Name: Dave
Trailer: 2013Escape 21
Iowa
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Lots of Vair users in the camping arena. I went with a Milwaukee 12v inflator. Easy to use and accurate.
You cannot take pepper spray into Canada. But you can take bear spray. Just saying.
Propane gauges, I never used one. I just keep an eye on the switchover gauge and when one tank Showa red I take it loose and get it filled because I don’t do the tank trade in, I go to a hardware store or gas station that fills tanks or a propane distributor. When you trade tanks you often get one that is 3/4 full with an upcoming code date for tank expiration

Buy a cheap torque wrench and a single socket for your lug nuts to keep them at the proper ft.lbs. which should be in your owners manual. Most nuts are 13/16 inch. Go to harbor Freight for these.

You’ll learn as you go and there are literally thousands of good people out there who will give you good advice, lend you a tool you don’t have, show you how to deal with something you’re not familiar with etc. You are not alone. Lots of people lacking experience camp near the camp host. People planning on being rowdy sometimes camp as remotely as possible in a campground.

If you go to a rally with an education session, I’d advise going, lots of years of experience out there and people willing to share.
Best of luck in your future travels. You will make more friends than you ever imagined. Camp near old guys with bad knees, if they misbehave you can no doubt out walk them.
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Old 06-25-2020, 08:30 PM   #9
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We bought a Husky one from Home Depot in 2017. Used it a few times and it works on either 12 volt or 110 AC. Just switch which one you want. The 12 volt cord is long enough to reach all the truck tires if you plan ahead, but not the trailer tires. The AC cord is even shorter however I carry a small extension cord and that solved that problem if AC is available. If not available then you could move the truck to a closer position to the trailer tires but that could be a real hassle.

It did work well however and we still have it available. We took 10,000 mile trips both in 2017 and 2018. I would certainly recommend getting one that could use both ac and dc power.
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Old 06-25-2020, 08:45 PM   #10
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Name: Mike
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We bought a Husky one from Home Depot in 2017. Used it a few times and it works on either 12 volt or 110 AC. Just switch which one you want. The 12 volt cord is long enough to reach all the truck tires if you plan ahead, but not the trailer tires. The AC cord is even shorter however I carry a small extension cord and that solved that problem if AC is available. If not available then you could move the truck to a closer position to the trailer tires but that could be a real hassle.

It did work well however and we still have it available. We took 10,000 mile trips both in 2017 and 2018. I would certainly recommend getting one that could use both ac and dc power.

I agree to have a torque wrench because wheels should be re-torqued a few miles after rotating.
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Old 06-25-2020, 08:56 PM   #11
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With 12V extension, I can reach all my tires.
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Old 06-26-2020, 01:51 AM   #12
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Name: K C
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There is likely a local self defense course for women. That is a good place to learn what you can do to protect yourself while traveling solo on road trips.


You don't want to rely on just one thing or one method because circumstances might be better mitigated with a different technique. You should have several tricks up your sleeves as a backup plan B, C and D Most important they will teach you prevention, how to keep a situation from escalating and how to avoid situations. That will give you a whole lot more self confidence than a tiny can of pepper spray.


As to good brands of pepper spray. It has more to do with good formulas. The gel types create less blowback towards your own face. But you do have to get a little closer to use them.
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Old 06-26-2020, 10:23 AM   #13
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Name: Norm and Ginny
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Our Experience

We have traveled 7+ months a year for 20 years. We have not a single bad campground experience in that time. Of course there have been some noisy events, but we're pretty good at ignoring those rare events.

Safety has never been an issue, even in the few campgrounds that looked like it was possible. If we drive into a campground that for some reason seems unsafe, we drive through and leave. This is a rare event, less then once a year. We rarely make reservations except for national parks.

We are forever adjusting our load, changing it depending on our destination or through experienced gained. One of our first mentors said if you forget it there's always a Walmart, and we always forget something.

We have carried the same air pump for 20 years, one about as large as a college dictionary. It has handled every thing from our motor home to our cars and trailers. It's great to have. We do keep pressure sensors on our trailers and tow vehicles and can see when something's happening. To me that's more important than the pump. We presently have a four sensor system that costs $40 and works very well.

I know many travelers carry guns. We don't carry guns.

Glad to answer any questions.
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Old 06-26-2020, 10:38 AM   #14
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Advice for preparing: get out and camp. At a campground with hookups, at a friend's with an outdoor outlet, at a site with no hookups at all. That's the only way to gain experience. Most things you hear now, while they may help, will probably be information overload. Once you get a little experience, then you'll be able to take in a lot more advice.

I have a 3 or so foot wooden staff for defense, and even that I'm not sure of. Some have already been mentioned, but there are a few issues with weapons. For one, you have to be willing to use them. Many people don't want to hurt someone, even when that person is hurting them. If you have a weapon it may give you false sense of security. Best to avoid anywhere sketchy. A weapon can be taken from you.

For men it's a little different. If someone is acting tough and wanting to fight, and you pull a knife thinking you'll scare them off...you may instead have just upped the ante. Same with a gun. Now it's serious.

The advice to seek out women's self-defense training is the best. If you're ready, willing and able to defend yourself and inflict serious damage to another human being, just about anything within reach is a suitable weapon. Whereas a stealth bomber will do you no good if you're unable or unwilling to use it.

So yeah, I have no problems with weapons for self-defense, as long as you're informed, trained, and open-eyed about what will go down in a real-life situation. Training.
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Old 06-26-2020, 11:28 AM   #15
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Safety

I finding camping to be safe.

If you take a look at where the vast majority of crimes happen, it's not in campgrounds. This worst thing I've had someone tell me is a story of unattended theft. It has never happened to us.

Of course we don't camp in any of the big cities though some of the biggest campgrounds are in Seattle and LA, also with the lowest camping rates.

Seriously we don't even drive through major cities or overwhelming interstates if it can be avoided. One of our camping goals is to avoid congestion. For example going west from NH we'll usually go thru Canada and going North South we avoid I 95 (and Washington DC) as much as possible and take the Chesapeake Bay Bridge.

I think we've had the order of four thousand campground nights

As to guns no bad guy wants to be confronted by a gun. If you carry one simply shooting it through the floor or ceiling would scare off most bad guys.

Ginny just took a gun course to know how to safely use a gun. (The instructor said most likely someone in the class whose never shot a gun will be the best shot. Most of the classmates were young, Ginny soon to be 78 shot the best target of the group.)

Again because of variance in gun laws from state to state we do not carry a weapon. Though it's interesting that the states with the stiffest gun laws have the overwhelming majority of gun deaths.

If you're in a campground simply having a loud continuous alarm that you can activate is most likely enough to protect you. Many people travel with real dogs for this reason.

There are so many really safe places to go, so many really civil parts of North America to visit (actually most of it), you'll never have time to visit them all. If you ever travel to Newfoundland, and we've been their for 11 2 month trips, you'll be in the safest place you can be with the lowest crime rate in NA.

Wishing you well,

Norm
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Old 06-26-2020, 12:47 PM   #16
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I agree Norm. What I always think of, though, are for full-timers (which I know you are), we often find ourselves outside of "camping" areas. You can always just not do that, but it easily happens. When I was traveling, I spent a lot of nights parked on streets in medium to small-size towns. Occasionally a Walmart parking lot, which is probably one of the least safe bets. But there's rest stops, truck stops, random parking lots and street blocks. No matter how small the town, there's always a shady character.

I'm not alarmist and I know that violence is relatively rare, despite what some people think if they watch enough news. News by it's nature reports on things that stand out, not every day, mundane happenings. "And in other news, Jane Doe had a perfectly uneventful day"...

All the same, things happen, and it's a good idea to think through situations and how to be prepared, without living in fear. I think about it all the time. I'm not afraid, I just want stay safe, and it can almost be a game. Where you park the car, who you're with, how you walk, etc. I have habits that many would see as paranoid when it comes to moving through and using unfamiliar or very uncontrolled spaces. Cities, public bathrooms, alleys, parking lots. But rather than add stress to my life, it relieves it. I know I'm doing what I can to be safe.

And yes, I'm absolutely one of those people who won't sit with my back to doorway in a restaurant.
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Old 06-26-2020, 01:14 PM   #17
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Your car fob probably has a panic alarm button. More effective than spraying bear repellent in your face.
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Old 06-26-2020, 01:35 PM   #18
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Back to the door

Zacho,

Like you I don't typically sit with my back to the door. Ginny seems to sit so I can't sit with my back to the door, not conscious on her part but rather habit. It may sound too male to some, but I feel I'm the responsible person and am seriously conscious of my environment.

I took the CCC with Ginny. Now I have the legal right to Carry should I chose.

When camping or hiking alone I feel relatively safe, partially you're so far out of the way that that you rarely see anyone. Generally my bigger concern is something like a cougar or worse not seeing one. We've hiked our favorite Redwood trail a number of times, we rarely see any one on the trail. After our last hike of the trail, a couple were hiking the same trail and the husband was jumped by a cougar. The wife saved his life by stabbing the cougar in the eye with a ball point pen. Now Ginny carries a ball point pen when we hike, no kidding. I think I need to get her a knife.

Last summer we took a hike in the Oregon's coastal range, back where there's usually no one. By mistake we were not at the trail head and after a sever hike to the trail head we recognized our mistake. From the actual trail head we hiked out to a marvelous waterfall. We were exhausted when a young couple appeared. On our way out I said I'd walk back to the car and drive it to the actual trail head. The young couple, 50 years younger, breezed by us saying they'd wait for us at the head. When we got there they drove us to our car.
Their offer is the most likely outcome of chance meetings. My experience is when you get out either on a hike or camped on one of those forest roads that bad guys are never out there.
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Old 06-26-2020, 02:06 PM   #19
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Name: Debra
Trailer: Casita 2019
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Thanks...advice always welcome

Thanks for all the great advice and leads. This community is always helpful. Anyone who wants to add more, your advice is most welcome and again, thank you to those of you who have taken the time to reply already.
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Old 07-01-2020, 11:28 AM   #20
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My wife and I are new to the travel trailer endeavor ( but not in true fiberglass one) but hereís our take for you .
Compressor I bought the HF hot dog itís big and will buy a smaller one down the road that is a pump, jump start and light in one.
We carry mace gun in Tow Vehicle as well as holstered by door in camper
Back up camera :: my son let us try his GO-PRO and I use the clip on mount to back of camper to my phone works great plus waterproof do remove going down road.
We have a air fryer looks like toaster oven and use outside on camper outlet and inside if needed.
On backing up . Iíve been trailering all my life but teaching my wife to do it and she dose great now. Trick is to go to empty parking lot and. Put up cones ( or something) what you do is put your hand on the bottom of steering wheel this way when you look in your mirrors you turn it the way you want the trailer to go. I know sounds funny but give it a try . Good luck and enjoy.
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