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Old 07-20-2020, 07:33 PM   #1
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Deer in the Headlights

I just bought my first RV (32 ft. Suncruiser) for me and my dog Kenni. I had imagined a cross country trip from Southern Florida where I am now and go through places like WY, UT, WA OR, CA, AZ NM and from there I'm not sure. Being a retired veteran with a some health issues that's taken me years to mostly overcome, I really want to do some bucket list stuff. My doctors say I am high risk for Covid. I'm more concerned about giving it to someone else...anyway I am struggling about how to do this. Part of me thinks I can keep somewhat isolated for most of the trip but for 6 to 8 weeks I have a feeling it might not be as fun as I hope. The other slight issue is I have never done this before. Never emptied a black water tank nor set up camp. Practicing a little in my yard but nothing is like the real thing. I wish there were newbie boot camps for Rv'ers. I'm thinking until I get to Wyoming I would spend minimum time getting there. I'm guessing that means 1 or 2 nights in a camp then hitting the road again. Do people do that? I have yet to take my rig overnight and am considering a nearby couple of nights, but this state has become the World's epicenter for the disease. Am I being a chicken or cautious? Comments?
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Old 07-20-2020, 07:41 PM   #2
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Corky, first congrats on making it here and welcome.

Next, YES you absolutely need to take some 2 to 4 day trips around your area.

You'll learn so much it will make the rest seem easy. Much of what you'll learn is that you don't know how to do everything. But you'll be learning what you don't know and that's valuable experience. Then you can ask here, search the web and search YouTube for answers about everything.

So, relax. Don't wait and don't hesitate to learn what you don't know. And keep us informed we'll be here to help you.
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Old 07-20-2020, 08:07 PM   #3
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Corky, first congrats on making it here and welcome.

Next, YES you absolutely need to take some 2 to 4 day trips around your area.

You'll learn so much it will make the rest seem easy. Much of what you'll learn is that you don't know how to do everything. But you'll be learning what you don't know and that's valuable experience. Then you can ask here, search the web and search YouTube for answers about everything.

So, relax. Don't wait and don't hesitate to learn what you don't know. And keep us informed we'll be here to help you.
Thank you so much. I needed some encouragement. Will do!
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Old 07-20-2020, 08:42 PM   #4
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Another welcome to the group. I'm somewhat in the same age/health group and have a daughter taking chemo which makes me super careful, so we are not taking long trips and staying close as possible when help may be needed. That often leaves me setting on forums as a way to reroute my mind.
One of the frequent items that comes around when folks have questions is which specific Rv they have. Too many ask about their suncruiser or whatever without telling us the year and model or length so that the first two or three guesses at the problem are not knowing what that RV has. Feels good to get an answers but not much help if that part is not on your year.
So if you get some time, it is nice if you add that in your signature at the bottom so that it automatically shows up each time you post. That way you don't have to remember to put it in and we don't have to ask!
Come back and ask away when needed. What's a forum if nobody asks questions?
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Old 07-20-2020, 09:01 PM   #5
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Another welcome to the group. I'm somewhat in the same age/health group and have a daughter taking chemo which makes me super careful, so we are not taking long trips and staying close as possible when help may be needed. That often leaves me setting on forums as a way to reroute my mind.
One of the frequent items that comes around when folks have questions is which specific Rv they have. Too many ask about their suncruiser or whatever without telling us the year and model or length so that the first two or three guesses at the problem are not knowing what that RV has. Feels good to get an answers but not much help if that part is not on your year.
So if you get some time, it is nice if you add that in your signature at the bottom so that it automatically shows up each time you post. That way you don't have to remember to put it in and we don't have to ask!
Come back and ask away when needed. What's a forum if nobody asks questions?
More good advice. Will do. So you know I have a 2011 Itasca Suncruiser 32h and I plan to tow my Jeep Sahara 4dr. I will put that info in my profile. Thanks for the great input.
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Old 07-20-2020, 10:59 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by creativepart View Post
Corky, first congrats on making it here and welcome.

Next, YES you absolutely need to take some 2 to 4 day trips around your area.

You'll learn so much it will make the rest seem easy. Much of what you'll learn is that you don't know how to do everything. But you'll be learning what you don't know and that's valuable experience. Then you can ask here, search the web and search YouTube for answers about everything.

So, relax. Don't wait and don't hesitate to learn what you don't know. And keep us informed we'll be here to help you.
I completely agree with Creativepart’s sentiments. I learned a LOT by surfing YouTube, and then you can drill down here for specific unit help from other owners.

I’ll give you one tip, since you mentioned it, and, it flies in the face of what you will hear from YouTube “experts”.

Everyone will tell you to empty your black tank first, and while that is true, I suggest always “testing” all of your sewer connections—at your rig and in the ground—FIRST, by allowing a small amount—a gallon or two—of GREY water first. Then if the connections are all secure, and there are no leaks, empty the black tank and flush with the grey water once that’s done.

IF, there is a leak, better to clean up grey water in a park, than that of the black tank.

Then, if you can’t flush the black tank with some fresh water, at least add enough water to cover the bottom of the black tank, and add your chemical du jour.

And always leave a little water in your commode, just enough to cover the seal.

Believe me, these few tips will make your trip “smelling like roses”.

Have fun! You deserve it, you've earned it. Thank you for your service.
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Old 07-21-2020, 04:56 AM   #7
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I will address the covid question you had. I just got back from a long trip stopping at many different spots along the way. I would always wear a mask for not only my safety but that of others. I believe one can still have a good time, yes it may be different than before but still a good time.

Mask up, use sanitizer all the time be aware of your surroundings, but do not let covid run your life. With that said there are states that will restrict travel coming from another state. Be aware of that in your travels
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Old 07-21-2020, 07:28 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by be happy View Post
I will address the covid question you had. I just got back from a long trip stopping at many different spots along the way. I would always wear a mask for not only my safety but that of others. I believe one can still have a good time, yes it may be different than before but still a good time.

Mask up, use sanitizer all the time be aware of your surroundings, but do not let covid run your life. With that said there are states that will restrict travel coming from another state. Be aware of that in your travels
Thank you - re states that restrict travel. Do you know if there is a centralized place to find out which state is doing what? When you mentioned that I envisioned possibly having to go around a state to avoid restrictions. I've got Florida tags. I know New York is putting the brakes on folks from here. Just staying informed is going to be very important these days.
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Old 07-21-2020, 07:46 AM   #9
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You haven't mentioned distance driving. This is different for people based on various factors. I used to be able to drive for hours on end, but now I no longer want to or feel up to doing so. Just have in mind some places for an overnight stay along your route. I guess I'm just saying it seems to take longer than you may realize for all the right reasons (safety and fun). I keep it to about 6 hours max behind the wheel in one day. I'm amazed with what some folks say they do.
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Old 07-21-2020, 08:05 AM   #10
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I just finished making my first reservations for a KOA in Naples Fl. A little over 2.5 hours with very few turns. This will be not only my first trip but also my birthday. I think that's a great way to start my journey. Thank you all for responding to my question and the great advice.
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Old 07-21-2020, 08:19 AM   #11
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The covid situation is not one we can put a finger on as it is just a county by county in some states like Texas, none are currently stopping traffic but Gallop New Mexico was totally shut off for a while as the are keeping closer watch and one of the few in the West where it is not totally out of control. But they did take extreme measures sooner rather than later.
We like to take trips to the Bahamas and it is sad to see the US is so low that we can't go there even if we were willing to fly.
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Old 07-21-2020, 08:49 AM   #12
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We just returned home this past Saturday from a trip to Idaho, Montana, South Dakota, Wyoming, and the pass through states between there and home here in PA. We found very few to none wearing masks in those states and about 50/50 wearing them in the pass through states. Most everything was open for business, some restaurants were dine outside, but most were back to normal especially in Idaho, Montana, and Cody WY was awesome. No travel problems at all. Campgrounds and RV parks are open for business and we stayed at some of the most beautiful places ever. Blue Lake RV Resort in Naples ID, Larson’s Crooked Creek in the Black Hills, and the 7th RV Resort in Little Big Horn were awesome. Around Yellowstone private RV parks were pretty full, so making reservations is recommended. Half of the national park campgrounds in Yellowstone were closed and the ones open were quite full too. Do what you need to do to stay safe and healthy & enjoy the trip.
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Old 07-21-2020, 11:17 AM   #13
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I think the point on what is open may be missing, it is not that they are reopened but more that they have not yet closed, as they feel safe from the virus so far. Places which have always had far more open space and far fewer people coming in from other areas are far slower for the virus to get there but that doesn't mean it is not going to get there.
If we look at what areas got it first we can see a pattern of those with major airports and international travel, were hit hardest and first. Then came the areas where there are large business like packing plants where folks were working very close together with no protection and those areas have a lot, while other places are still working up to full blown levels.
The point that seems to be missing is that it is a health issue but we have treated it as a political issue that will just go away if we ignore it.
When thinking of health, we tend to be very slow, so the rest of the world is going to be opening as we finally do have to close down.
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Old 07-21-2020, 12:46 PM   #14
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I think the point on what is open may be missing, it is not that they are reopened but more that they have not yet closed, as they feel safe from the virus so far. Places which have always had far more open space and far fewer people coming in from other areas are far slower for the virus to get there but that doesn't mean it is not going to get there.
If we look at what areas got it first we can see a pattern of those with major airports and international travel, were hit hardest and first. Then came the areas where there are large business like packing plants where folks were working very close together with no protection and those areas have a lot, while other places are still working up to full blown levels.
The point that seems to be missing is that it is a health issue but we have treated it as a political issue that will just go away if we ignore it.
When thinking of health, we tend to be very slow, so the rest of the world is going to be opening as we finally do have to close down.
We had a wonderful trip and I would do it all over again. The interstates are filled with RV's and Yellowstone was so crowded on the weekend that we couldn't find parking space at several of the attractions. Truthfully my biggest concern was running into a road full of "protestors". I routed away from larger cities to minimize the risk. One smaller college town, in Iowa of all places, had the roadway on interstate 74 all painted up with nonsensical graffiti perhaps indicating it was recently overrun. As previously stated some were wearing masks and if that provides you with the protection you need then so be it. Wear the mask, wash your hands as needed, and continue to live as opposed to allowing fear to prevent you from living. The only bad part of the whole trip was coming back home to PA again, which is a whole other story.
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Old 07-21-2020, 01:11 PM   #15
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As we watch it unfold, the weather is a factor that plays into what states get overrun first and which are later. When the weather in the NE began to warm but not enough to really enjoy there was a flood of folks who went South to Florida and played like there was nothing going on and there wasn't when they first got there as it takes a few weeks for the results to show.
And then as the weather begins to warm and summer hits as vacation time, lots of folks begin to move into the Northern, cooler areas like the Mountains and the Rockies where the virus is not too big yet.
They are still playing as if nothing is going on, right? How's it going to be in those areas a month from now once all the tourists hit town??
This is not a really high tech situation. It's just like my old CBR training told us back in the 60's except the military told us what to do and we did it!
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Old 07-21-2020, 02:23 PM   #16
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We bought our first RV (Vista 29V) just 6 weeks ago. We live in CA, and bought it in Columbus OH. Flew out there, and proceeded to outfit it, and learn to drive it across country. We did 10 states in 14 days, and really had a fun time. I'd never done any of the RV stuff, but you can learn it quickly through YouTube and this forum and others.

I love to drive, so it wasn't a big deal, and the wife and kid had a blast as well.

The COVID thing is pretty easy to deal with, just have masks and hand sanitizer. We only interacted with people if we went to eat, or shop, and then checking into the parks.

But maybe a couple of overnights locally to test your comfort level with the RV.
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Old 07-26-2020, 05:43 PM   #17
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Right now, New Mexico has a 14 day quarantine. This means that if you stop overnight or more in New Mexico you must quarantine in your RV for 14 days or until you leave, which ever comes sooner. Don't know how long this will be going on.
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Old 07-26-2020, 06:10 PM   #18
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Thanks for your service. It's now time to enjoy life. Wear your mask when around others (can't hurt) and keep your distance when around others. Just cough a little and they will stay away from you :-). You are a vet. Now get out there, roll up your sleeves and do it. Oh! And don't forget to smell the roses and enjoy yourself. You've earned it. Happy camping.
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Old 07-26-2020, 06:36 PM   #19
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As a long time RVer, a retired MD, who is at risk, and having visited all the places you want to see, I say go for it. Get your feet wet in the local camp grounds. When you get to the national parks, get reservations outside of the park and drive your jeep in. Plan to spend several days at least in each area you want to see.

If you don't have a source of N 95 masks, send me a PM and there are some substitutes. You really want to use an N 95 whenever you are close to others.

As for the black water--we never put Toilet paper into the head. An enclosed container is by the commode, and the Tp is disposed of regularly. It is the source of many black water tank issues.

Be sure and check out all of the systems, including generator, heat (it can get cold in some areas this time of year) as well as the AC.

Relax, the dog will have a great time. Try and keep your driving to no more than 6 hours a day--rest mid day if you have to. Stop every 4 hours and take a walk around the unit, as well as walking the dog. If you don't have tire pressure sensors on the RV and Towed, get them. Otherwise: Go for it!
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Old 07-26-2020, 06:42 PM   #20
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Welcome newbie!

You have to trust your own best wisdom about taking the risk of traveling right now. We have done several short trips and have been able to keep our distance, wear masks, blast through hand sanitizer, etc. There were a few "Covidiots" that didn't wear masks or keep their distance, but I am not a shy person, so I just told them to back off.



The absolute BEST resource for all the stuff you want to learn is YouTube. It doesn't even matter if they are demonstrating your brand of RV - just about all black water systems work the same way. About the only thing that requires some serious hands-on practice is steering and backing your rig into spaces. I have a 5th wheel, which is a LOT trickier than your motorhome.


Absolutely take some short "shakedown cruise" trips to nearby, well-appointed RV parks. I prefer KOA campgrounds for this purpose. They aren't the cheapest around, but they are usually the most helpful, and almost all their spots are pull-through rather than back-in. You will find soon enough that your "preflight checklist" becomes second nature and you will "just know" how to do all this stuff. I found it worth the small investment involved in joining RV Repair Club to be well worth it. They have a ton of excellent how-to videos along with all the DIY RV repair stuff. The Escapees RV club also provides a wealth of information as well as discounts on RV parks, parts, etc. and they also have a mail service if you plan to spend a lot of time on the road. You can even establish residence for driver's license purposes.



The whole point of having an RV is FREEDOM. stopping for a night or two, or a month or two and driving a lot or a little is all just part of the "choose-your-own-adventure" that is RV'ing.



Quote:
Originally Posted by CorkyM View Post
I just bought my first RV (32 ft. Suncruiser) for me and my dog Kenni. I had imagined a cross country trip from Southern Florida where I am now and go through places like WY, UT, WA OR, CA, AZ NM and from there I'm not sure. Being a retired veteran with a some health issues that's taken me years to mostly overcome, I really want to do some bucket list stuff. My doctors say I am high risk for Covid. I'm more concerned about giving it to someone else...anyway I am struggling about how to do this. Part of me thinks I can keep somewhat isolated for most of the trip but for 6 to 8 weeks I have a feeling it might not be as fun as I hope. The other slight issue is I have never done this before. Never emptied a black water tank nor set up camp. Practicing a little in my yard but nothing is like the real thing. I wish there were newbie boot camps for Rv'ers. I'm thinking until I get to Wyoming I would spend minimum time getting there. I'm guessing that means 1 or 2 nights in a camp then hitting the road again. Do people do that? I have yet to take my rig overnight and am considering a nearby couple of nights, but this state has become the World's epicenter for the disease. Am I being a chicken or cautious? Comments?
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