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Old 01-26-2023, 05:32 AM   #1
Winnebago Camper
 
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Best practice "order of operations"?

Hi all
We're pretty new here. In fact, we haven't even picked up our new-to-us 2018 Vista 29VE yet. That's tomorrow. The dealer plans to spend 1-2 hours "educating" us on our RV, but I'm skeptical that (a) they'll do it in a logical order as if we're at a campsite and (b) that I'll be able to remember (we will videotape to help with that one).

So it got me wondering. Is there a reference doc that provides a logical order of operations that we should follow when we get to a campsite? Stuff like (1) get out and assess the site (2) back/pull in and measure to be sure slide will fit (3) hook up electricity (4) level (5) hook up water/sewer (6) put out slide (7) crack a beer.

While this is a basic list (and likely not in optimal order) I'm guessing the devil is in the details. there's likely a lot of "gotchas" and "I wish I'd knowns" between the steps.

So, that's what I'm wondering about this morning. Grateful for any best practices you can share or threads/youtubes/blogs, etc. you can point me to about optimizing the setup process. Past experience setting up our popup nearly sent us to divorce court Looking forward to your wisdom.
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Old 01-26-2023, 07:55 AM   #2
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I know the feeling of "needing" a list but then I also know the list might not fit for the way you will operate. That leaves me to suggest going a different direction and lettting the list become a secondary that you build as you find how you like to operate.
I will also suggest that it may not always be the same routine on every trip!

You WILL find lots of small points will become different as you back a motorhome versus a pop up. So looking at tree limbs will have to be retrained for the group!

Rather than try to set a routine, I mi9ght suggest planning the trip different to cut the stress as a better way and then as you find what is needed, take that stress in smaller doses!
There are really few items which HAVE to be done in the correct order. If you fail to hook up the electrical and find you have to get down on hands and knees under a slide to get it done, it sets it in the memory that you may want to do it different next time!

My suggestions on learning the routine to build your own?
Do a few trips that you may have reduced stress doing them as you may have been there with the popup?
Arrive early at a site you know, on a slower day . Don't "require" the best site but choose a campground and then a site which has no trees, both too close or overhead. If you know some from past experiance, great but if not, A search on Google maps overhead view can show a lot about the campground.
I highly recommend early season when you are not wanting shade as a priority and that lets a site with NO tree limbs overhead be fine!
Make the best plans for communications between driver and watcher. Do you have cell service? Set up and confirm you can talk to each other, if there is service. Nothing adds to stress as much as having a watcher out there somewhere but the driver can't see nor talk to them. The watcher needs to be able to see the driver in the mirror at all times and that watcher will need training just as much as the driver!
Allow for mistakes as part of travel as it cuts stress if we are having fun, even if we have to giggle at the silly stuff we will do!
Giggle lots, yell never.
Speaking into that cell phone or get out to compare notes.
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Old 01-26-2023, 08:27 AM   #3
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All excellent advice from Morich!

Tell us of specific issues or areas of concern that you have. That will help us hone in more on your specific set up and operating practices.

Put your worries aside, this will all fall into place rather quickly. But understand in the RV lifestyle (and it is a lifestyle as much as a hobby) you'll always be learning!

After 40 years I am learning and seeking info and knowledge almost daily. Give us some more ideas about what is of specific concern and we can give you more help.

Here are a few basic thoughts-

As you back in make sure you have adequate clearance for the slides to extend first. Make sure you leave enough room for you to squeeze by on the service side to get to your hook ups. As you back in make sure you know where exactly your jacks will be landing. Might want to get out and eyeball them and the slide extension locations first.

Engine running and parking brakes on from here on until slides are complete. Once you've nailed the positioning in the site, jacks and level go down first. Once level then leaving the engine running extend your slides to assure adequate voltage to slide motors. ALWAYS fully extend slides and avoid partial extension. Once extended hold the button to allow the "click " to verify the slide motors are synced. ALWAYS jacks first then slides.

Electric-Not sure if you are 30 or 50 amp, regardless always make sure the power at the pedestal (the post with the plug)is switched off before plugging in. Hoping that you have or soon will have a good surge protector and you can visually check when plugging in to make sure there is not a problem with polarity and grounds etc at the campground pedestal.

Water- get a pressure regulator to hook to the faucet before applying your hose. Flush the hose before connecting to the rig. It would be great if you have or will soon get a filter to set before the water goes into the rig. You can spend a little and grab one at Walmart or spend a fortune on a fancy set up. Study up on filtration before you make a decision.

Sewer- if you are at a full hook up site (FHU) keep your black tank closed until you get it mostly filled then drain to allow for proper flushing of the tank. Failure to provide for it to fill will result in the build up of solids and a real mess. Many leave their gray tanks to fill before dumping also- some don't. I tend to allow mine to get filled then use that gray water to flush out the line after dumping black water

Then comes the hard part-- getting all your outside camping junk out to set up the camp site in a manner that makes you feel good. Once your done with that exhausting task--- if you have any energy left- go ahead and crack a beer. (In my case my wife makes me rearrange the outside set up several times)

By all mean have fun!!!

Joe




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Old 01-26-2023, 08:56 AM   #4
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I suggest spending a couple of nights at home in the driveway or in front of your house, if that's possible. If you have the proper adapter, you can plug into an outlet from your garage, etc. but be aware you won't have the full amperage available so try to only operate one high wattage appliance at a time. It can easily handle your refrigerator, etc. The brochure shows that you have 30A "shore power" so you'll need a 30A female to 20A male adapter. I prefer the corded versions like this as opposed to the "hocky puck" versions:

https://www.amazon.com/Camco-Dogbone...2&sr=8-13&th=1

Try to spend some of the time disconnected from shore power so you understand what works and what doesn't without shore power.

Pay particular attention to the procedure for leveling and extending/retracting your slides. There's a proper order and methodology. This should be detailed in your owner's manual. If you don't have one, it can be downloaded from Winnebago.com:

https://www.winnebago.com/owners/owner-resources

If you have a full set of manuals, there will be a manual for your leveling jacks, slides, generator, refrigerator and other devices. They will be more detailed than your owner's manual.

The above link also gives access to a number of useful resources so make sure you bookmark it.

You'll also want a good set of wheel chocks. Harbor Freight sells a good set of solid rubber ones. While you're at it, pick up a couple of orange traffic cones and and emergency road triangle kit along with a foam kneeling pad.

Know how to turn your LPG (propane) tank on/off. Generally we leave it on for the whole trip and only turn it off when the MH is in storage. Make sure you have fire extinguishers in the bedroom and near your front seats plus one near your LPG tank.

Find an empty parking lot and practice backing using the traffic cones and always make wide turns. It's a lot like driving a big U-Haul truck. Keep your speed down and allow extra room for braking, it's not a car. Be extra careful in gas stations and carefully scope them out before driving in.

Last, but not least, make sure you're familiar with the fresh water fill process and the related valve settings and the gray and black water dump process, making sure you have a new dump hose and fittings. I like to use one of these when connecting to my MH so I have a visual indication of what's happening along with a flush connection if your MH doesn't have a built-in one:

https://www.amazon.com/Valterra-Trai...%2C138&sr=8-44

And, you probably won't be fully loaded for your first trip. This means that your ride might be a little rough. Fill your tires to the recommended pressures listed on your "door placard" not the pressures on the tire. As you get some experience under your belt, you'll want to read up on adjusting your tire pressures vs. weight.

I almost forgot, make sure you understand and know the location of all battery switches. Making sure your batteries don't run down in storage is something you'll have to learn about.
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Old 01-26-2023, 08:56 AM   #5
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And there are times when the trip itself can be such a hassle that getting to the site is stress enough!
As we got older, we got more into doing less just after we arrived!
One of the great benefits of being retired is that schedules should fall way far down the line. So if we get to a site and it looks nice but we are tired from driving, we "allow" ourselves to just do it all wrong! We may not put out the slides until after we have the chairs out and set until we felt like it!

When the season is slow and not much competion for sites, we have been known to pull in some nearby spot and just walk the campground circle to do two things. We relax and stretch as we walk and we also get a much better look at how things lay out at each site.
After we have been on lots of trips, we also have come to know that it might be "Nice" to have that prime waterfront site, but we really have looked at enough water to know the site 40 feet across the road is also very much better than staying home, so either is fine!
We no longer feel the need to get the max value out of every trip and every site and that let's us reduce the stress of picking sites!
After all,we no longer have to set the camper so the wind doesn't blow in the flaps at the door and the canvas doesn't flap all night!
Force yourself to relax!
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Old 01-26-2023, 09:21 AM   #6
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We have the Vista 29v, and your list is a start. When we arrive, I always make sure that the spot is able to put the slide out without interference from anything, and then park to give us as much room on the passenger side as possible. We then level the coach, and extend the slide out. Then engine off. This enables us to do the rest of the setup. Which is usually, electric hookup, then water. It is a bit more difficult as the slide is extended over the drivers compartments, but I prefer to have the coach set before doing those tasks. I'm still able to do it without hitting my head.

Then do the inside stuff, make sure the hot water valves don't blow air before turning on the hot water heater. Set temp for Heat or AC.

There are a lot of little things to remember about our particular model, I hope you enjoy yours as much as we do ours.
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Old 01-26-2023, 01:07 PM   #7
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Order

These are all good suggestions by far. One I see abused the most at campsites. People leave for the day and leave the water turned on at the pedestal. I never hookup so donít worry. Also if you are using you water pump only be sure you turn it off when you leave the rig. Have seen some real messes in the past where the pump started cycling if a leak develops. Good luck. You have some digesting to do for sure with all the good info. Travato John.
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Old 01-26-2023, 02:04 PM   #8
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You'll need a pressure regulator between your MH and the water connection. An "L" adapter is a good idea, along with a filter.
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Old 01-26-2023, 06:02 PM   #9
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Welcome to the forums. I see you are from the Twin Cities area. I hope if you are getting the motorhome on Friday they so the setup and intro in a heated garage. It is suppose to snow and be cold tomorrow.

I would suggest that you look at some videos of the same units that are for sale. I say this as that is how I learned about items that were never explained to me when we bought our motorhome. Here is a link to some videos that I found, https://www.google.com/search?q=2018...ih=764&dpr=1.2

The biggest part is learning to drive the unit. Backing it totally different that backing a trailer unit into a camp sight. As others have said watch to tree limbs and branches. They will leave big scratches in the sides or roof of the unit. Believe I learned the hard way. Still working on getting one scratch out of the side from a branch that I swear was not there when the front of the motorhome went through.

It will take you some time but if you stick with it you will have many memories to last a lifetime. Minnesota has some great Corp of Engineers parks in Gull Lake and Crosslake. They are great places to learn to back into and there is always other campers there to guide you in and help. If you have questions when setting up ask another camper. Most are great about helping others out.
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Old 01-26-2023, 06:58 PM   #10
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I don't think anyone has mentioned it, but don't drive too fast. Some owners post about cruising at 70+ mph but this will use more fuel, and isn't particularly safe, especially for new drivers. It's also more stressful. With a little experience you'll find the sweet spot. It'll also show on your tach. Slow down and enjoy the trip.

After you MH shifts into high gear, back off a little on the gas and you'll see a drop in RPMs and hear a more "relaxed" engine sound. It's hard to explain but you'll know it when it happens. I think most will find this to be at about 62 or 63 mph.

As with most automobiles, the cruise control will drop into a low gear and increase rpms on overpasses and hills in order to maintain speed. This uses a lot of fuel so tap your brake and drive without the cruise control until things settle down.
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Old 01-26-2023, 09:59 PM   #11
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Instead of pointing you to one checklist for setting-up at a campsite, I offer this list of different websites and their checklists for you to peruse and locate what you think works best for your circumstances, and revise then as you progress along your RVing journey..
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Old 01-27-2023, 08:50 AM   #12
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Today's the big day! Don't forget to update us on how things go.
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Old 02-01-2023, 06:06 PM   #13
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HWT winter bypass

Not sure if someone has said this yet but get them to show you where and how to operate the winter bypass valve. Probably found by removing a drawer, wet area, whatever. Just learn about it as you will use it at some time.
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Old 02-01-2023, 06:29 PM   #14
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Best advice I can give you it stand against your rv ,extend your arm and measure your side . This will give you a rough depth of your side when getting into a site . Good luck ,go slow and enjoy .
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Old 02-02-2023, 06:02 AM   #15
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Thank you everyone for offering your experience-based advice. Lots of really good stuff here - I gotta write it down so I don't forget! And, we can add a new one ourselves now that we've brought our RV home. When in tight spaces, take the tailpipe into consideration ;-) As you can see from the pic, our driveway posed the greatest challenge in the inaugural trip. We had measured the snowbanks flanking the drive and carved away places where we thought it would be too tight. But we didn't take the tailpipe into consideration when doing our calculations. But after 45 minutes of inching forward and finetuning the snowbanks, we got it into the clear! Now, we wait for the spring thaw 'cause I'm not taking it back down the drive until those snowbanks are gone (or nearly so!).

Apparently, the next thing I need to learn is how to attach a photo without it going all kittywhompass. Oh well. You get the idea.
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Old 02-02-2023, 08:37 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bmblsad View Post
Apparently, the next thing I need to learn is how to attach a photo without it going all kittywhompass. Oh well. You get the idea.
Itís easy. Hold your phone horizontally when taking the photo, not vertically as in this photo above. Make sure that the button to take the photo is on the right hand side when taking the photo.

On photos youíve already taken incorrectly and are in your phoneís galley. Rotate them in a photo editor and save them. Or even easier view them on your phone and take a screenshot then upload the screenshot to your post.

Hold your phone like this:
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Old 02-02-2023, 08:50 AM   #17
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When in tight spaces, take the tailpipe into consideration ;-)
YES ^ This!

Especially in tight turns in RV parks. Many times to keep Motorhomes from making ruts from the rear tire on tight corners RV parks will put big rocks on the right side of the road. They can be hard to see. You misjudge the turn a little bit but your tail pipe jumps out grabs a rock and is bent closed tight.

This can be difficult to fix. You have to drive to a muffler shop and wait for them to cut off the end of the tail pipe and weld on a new piece.

Iíve done it twice in 6-years.
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Old 02-02-2023, 01:48 PM   #18
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I guess I'm thinking a bit differently here. The dealer may know nothing about camping and site set up. He should focus on quality PDI with check off lists which can later be used some in site set up.

PDI's can be found on the forum or internet. The purchaser should take the lead. Two hours probably not enough time unless your an experienced RVer.
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Old 02-02-2023, 02:29 PM   #19
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I use RV TRIP Wizzard to recon the campground and site first. I often use satellite map
I always walk the area first if there are any obstacles on any side. If dark, I may even walk from the office to the site. A headlamp is a must for this.

You did not ask the question of what are the essential items to have with you and what upgrades would make your 29VE better.
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Old 02-05-2023, 10:26 AM   #20
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Be like any good pilot, follow a step-by-step checklist.

Both for arrival and departure procedures, establish your checklist routine of steps, 1-2-3-etc, and always follow those steps 1-2-3-etc. With an established and regularly followed routine you greatly lessen the chances of overlooking something.
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