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Old 11-17-2015, 01:49 PM   #1
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Default Shakedown Advice?

Another newbie question. I have a couple of reminders ie; know where the Sprinter Service Centers are located & have solid ERS in place.

Overall plan - long distance (cross-country) trip planned with a number of stops along the way. NO schedule and will be watching the weather VERY carefully.

How much time should be spent in local area before taking off?
Type of "shakedown tests" for a Class B?

Any big "potholes" to avoid?

Thanks in advance
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Old 11-17-2015, 02:05 PM   #2
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Is this a new RV?

Typically with a new RV, if you are going to have component failures, it should happen right away. So I'd recommend a short 2 or 3 day shakedown cruise where you run everything for an extended period. Every system including the generator and running self-contained.
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Old 11-17-2015, 06:12 PM   #3
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Enough to get confidence in the vehicle handing and driving, a couple of overnights so you figure out the RV systems.
and trim down what you are carrying for clothing and cooking gear etc.

Once you have confidence- head out.

and then drive- pull over before you get tired...stop early enough so that you can enjoy where you land.

free ios apps:

rvparky to find rv parks

tvtowers to aim antenna

gasbuddy to find cheaper fuel...sometimes 3 blocks off the freeway is 20˘ cheaper


If you find that you have "too much stuff" fill a box and mail it home, or donate it

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Old 11-17-2015, 07:06 PM   #4
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When we bought our first Class B our first trip within a week of ownership was to drive out to Worcester, MA from Minneapolis, MN and back in early February, snow and all. Since campgrounds were closed we did stop at a hotel coming and going but stayed in a driveway at our destination for our first sleeping experience. I guess that was maybe a little naive but the B was winterized and was just a steel tent. We would have never thought any different with a new car on the same trip.

The best advice is to get out and camp locally and go through all the camping procedures including dumping, water filling, cooking and using all your systems. Things will come to you as to what you might need. Drive around a bit until you are comfortable. I should also mention on the first trip we hugged the right lane on all the highways. I wasn't even all that comfortable changing lanes at first even though I had some previous experience driving U-Haul trucks over long distances.

Don't be too obsessed with needing to know where service centers are. If something happens, it happens. You can find what you need via the Internet. As you said, NO schedule. Relax and enjoy it. We don't carry a spare tire. I figure if I have a flat I am going to be inconvenienced the same as if I had a fender bender. No schedule, just delays. Find something to do during your wait. The odds? 152,000 miles over a decade and still going. If something happens we carry credit cards, duffle bags and dopkits.
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Old 11-17-2015, 09:30 PM   #5
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Default Shakedown Advice

Thanks VERY much for the Advice, Suggestions & Experiences.

Wincrasher - Yes, new (2015 leftover) except the delivery miles.
2 -3 day test run, got it......... if something did fail, back to the dealer we would go.

mkguitar - YES, will use the early days to get "comfortable". Great reminder about stopping before getting tired. I don't plan any marathon legs but can get tired on short hops too depending on conditions & area......will work hard to avoid traffic. Thanks for the App suggestions.
= mailing stuff home. I think I'm starting out pretty bare bones figuring I can always add along the way if I need something

Davydd - already learned by reading other posts that I could never keep up with a "hard core" guy like you. Good advice on the local idea - although it appears we are going to have a real winter (cool & wet) in NorCal this year, can't complain because we need the water so bad.
Laid back style - I hear you, I do plan to relax once I get past the "start".....all good points.

Thanks again everyone, I'll definitely use it all.
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Old 11-22-2015, 09:10 PM   #6
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Default So Far So Good

Driving Practice - CA Freeways are harder on the driver than vehicle with the exception of poor road maintenance - just beat pm rush hour after picking it up. There are some "different" driving characteristics to the Sprinter, so getting used to that. More wind noise than expected.
Today I did a fuel run to practice on city streets. Other than low mpg numbers on dash during short trip, no problems.

Testing Equipment - Started & ran generator all by myself without any problems. Otherwise been reading the manuals & getting familiar with the coach.

Trimming Load - I've started bringing stuff (bare bones) over & have quickly realized that it will take some creativity & discipline to have the right amount of stuff stored safely in an organized fashion. Work in progress

Apps - Although I've used Gas Buddy @ Home, today was first time using App. Saved at least .20 a gal today & map was helpful too.......the range on diesel vs gas is so crazy....sometimes .10 others .60 ++

Slowly getting familiar & comfortable - will continue baby steps for now.
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Old 11-22-2015, 09:32 PM   #7
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I'm having my shake-down cruise tomorrow. Going down to Charleston for 2 nights, returning Wednesday. Plan on looking at a boat on Tuesday. But otherwise just some relaxing, playing with systems and maybe re-organizing.
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Old 11-22-2015, 11:47 PM   #8
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Quote:
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I'm having my shake-down cruise tomorrow. Going down to Charleston for 2 nights, returning Wednesday. Plan on looking at a boat on Tuesday. But otherwise just some relaxing, playing with systems and maybe re-organizing.
Where are you staying, if I may ask? Went through there this spring on the way to Hunting Island SP. In looking for a campground I have read very good reports on the "Campground at James Island County Park", but have not heard anything first-hand yet. Even has a shuttle ($10?) to downtown Charleston.
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Old 11-23-2015, 12:09 AM   #9
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I'm going to Buck Hall Recreation Area - it's east of Charleston almost to McClellanville. I needed to be out that way because it's more convenient to the boat yard I'm visiting.

I thought about boondocking in the city, but I'm not very familiar. Plan to do some exploring around the area so maybe next time I'll stealth.

I was at first going to try the KOA, but they wanted $62 a nite for this time of year!
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Old 11-23-2015, 01:24 AM   #10
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Well, good luck. Campground at James Island County Park is south of the city, so probably not convenient.

A boat? Small or is it an "RV on the Water"?

Great eats in Charleston!
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Old 11-23-2015, 01:30 AM   #11
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I'm looking at a Ranger Tug 27. It's more or less an RV on the water, but trailerable to take to far flung destinations.
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Old 11-23-2015, 02:24 AM   #12
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I'm looking at a Ranger Tug 27. It's more or less an RV on the water, but trailerable to take to far flung destinations.
Very, very nice. Have friends who had one of these (just sold it). 26" draft will get into a lot of nice gunk holes. Sips fuel at cruise speed, but can get up and go when weather turns against you. Much experience with boats?

It is an RV on the water!
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Old 11-23-2015, 02:36 AM   #13
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Yep. I have a sailboat that I'll be getting rid of. Thought about getting another sailboat, but they are alot of work.
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Old 11-23-2015, 01:09 PM   #14
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Yep. I have a sailboat that I'll be getting rid of. Thought about getting another sailboat, but they are alot of work.
Agree. We have been sailing for about 12 years now, 35-45' boats, but chartering - much easier than owning. Everyone always thought we would buy one, but at this point, a pocket trawler looks more interesting. We like sailing, but sometimes we just want to go somewhere faster and enjoy the place.

But now we have the camper and expect to upgrade to larger Class B at some point. Would be nice if it was easier to rent Class Bs, even just so one could try out a model before buying.
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Old 11-23-2015, 09:00 PM   #15
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Snug as a bug tonite at my camp at Buck's Hall near Charleston, SC. Actually cooking a meal - biscuits, rice w/black eyed peas, & ahi tuna. EMS says I'm using 25 amps - the Truma on AC on the high power setting (at 72 degrees), the water heater side on at 140, and the convection running at 350 degrees. Loving it.

Driving down I got 17.8 mpg.

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Old 11-23-2015, 10:16 PM   #16
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Snug as a bug tonite at my camp at Buck's Hall near Charleston, SC. Actually cooking a meal - biscuits, rice w/black eyed peas, & ahi tuna.
Looks like a nice cg, convenient to US17 - drove past there last spring on way from Hunting Island SP to Carolina Beach SP near Wilmington.

Bon appétit!
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Old 11-23-2015, 10:24 PM   #17
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Looks like a nice cg, convenient to US17 - drove past there last spring on way from Hunting Island SP to Carolina Beach SP near Wilmington.

Bon appétit!
Not many spaces, but they are big - guess about 20 sites. Supposedly 4 tent sites, but there appears to be an army of people using them tonite. The rest of the camp is fairly deserted, but some sites have tags on them. Pretty cheap for this area at $20/nite. The KOA wanted $62!
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Old 11-23-2015, 10:53 PM   #18
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Pretty cheap for this area at $20/nite.
Senior Pass discount?
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Old 11-23-2015, 11:05 PM   #19
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Senior Pass discount?
Nope. Not sure there is such a thing. They sell a yearly access pass for all the parks.
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Old 11-24-2015, 01:43 PM   #20
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Nope. Not sure there is such a thing. They sell a yearly access pass for all the parks.
There is the Senior Pass - actually called "The National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass", good at NPS, FS, Bureau of Reclamation, Bureau of Land Management and US Fish and Wildlife facilities "where Entrance or Standard Amenity Fee(s) are charged." Some Army Corps and TVA facilities may also honor them for camping. Get us 1/2 off all the NPS campgrounds.

You need to be 62+ and it is good for life - only $10 + $10 processing fee one time.

America the Beautiful - National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass
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