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Old 03-15-2013, 01:58 PM   #1
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Default What every newBie needs

Spring is in the air and Class B newbies will be starting their adventures.
Some of the items that I keep in my RV are:

1. RV power plug adapter so that I can plug my van into an exterior household outlet when visiting friends and relatives. It changes the 30 amp RV power cord plug to a 15 amp household type plug. Remember that you are plugging into a 15 amp circuit so you might overload that circuit in the house if you try to run your Air Conditioner. It all depends on what else is on that circuit.

2. A small mat to put on the ground at the RV entrance. Helps keep the dirt (or muck- if it is wet) out of the RV. I want to get a larger, roll-up mat but I need to figure out how to carry it when it is wet etc. first. The small, rigid one can stand in the side door foot-well.

3. A wireless indoor / outdoor thermometer. Put the outdoor part inside your refrigerator. Ideal refrigerator temperature is between 35 and 38 degrees F (1.7 to 3.3 degrees C). Because it is wireless, you can check the fridge temperature without opening the door. Adjust the temperature on the fridge as needed.

4. Small levels - good info here: http://www.classbforum.com/phpBB2/vi...php?f=9&t=2207 lots of options. Keep your RV reasonably level for your comfort and for fridge operation.

5. Leveling blocks - same link as above: http://www.classbforum.com/phpBB2/vi...php?f=9&t=2207 good info. You can use wood or the plastic blocks.

6. Small broom and dust pan - handy to sweep up little rocks and dirt. You can use it to sweep the leaves and debris off picnic tables also. Maybe a small hand vacuum if you have carpet.

7. Small bag of tools. A screw driver with the bits you need. A small coil of wire, some duct tape - you might just need to tape or use wire to secure a part or compartment door that gets damaged. A ratchet and a few sockets. I carry sockets to fit my lug nuts and the water heater anode. I also have vice grips and pliers. I carry a hammer / hatchet combo. Electrical tape. Extra fuses. A spare bulb or two.

8. If you "live" mostly outdoors then a tray or basket to help carry stuff in and out of your van is handy to have.

9. A bag to carry towels, clothes, soap and shampoo etc. if you use campground showers.

10. Bags for garbage.

11. Laundry bag.

Please continue this topic and add your "must haves" to the list.
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Old 03-15-2013, 03:20 PM   #2
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Default Re: What every newBie needs

You will also want a hose, a windshield squeegie, and a front window sunshade.

We also use shoebox sized plastic containers (the kind mixed salad sometimes comes in) to store condiments, cups, baking supplies, utensil, etc. They keep things from bouncing around in the cupboards and make them easier to get at.

If you don`t want to be carrying extra propane bottles for your campstove or bar-be-que, you can get a hose fitting added (before the regulator) to run them off your van tank. We carry a 12 ft. hose so we can cook on the opposite side of the van. It`s a good idea to disconnect the hose at the van and let the hose empty before you shut the BBQ off, otherwise you can get propane leak from the disconnected hose.
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Old 03-16-2013, 08:20 PM   #3
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Default Re: What every newBie needs

I'd recommend carrying a portable jumpstarter/air compressor or some such. $75 worth of insurance against a dead batt / low tire in the middle of nowhere.

Carrying more than one length of fresh water hose is handy. And let's not forget those misc water/sewer hookups! A bottle of hand sanitizer...
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Old 03-17-2013, 03:16 PM   #4
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Default Re: What every newBie needs

I suppose this is a list that can go on forever ... and unfortunately we don't have enough room in our Class B's to carry everything we would like.

For those travelling in the colder winter weather just a reminder to have a suitable snow brush/ice scrapper. Remember that it needs to be expandable to reach the Sprinter sized windshield for those driving them.

Also, don't forget a good windshield washer/deicer. Again a MUST in the colder climates.

DEF ... I got caught short with this one when I first bought my RV. Ran out and didn't even have a clue what the warning light flashing in front of me was for. Have a enough Diesel Exhaust Fuel to be able to add to the newer diesel engines.

Small portable air compressor. I currently have and use a small 110V one. I can use it while plugged into shore power or with the generator as the circumstances dictate. I find the smaller 12V ones just not powerful enough for me. I like the idea of a combination air compressor/jump starter as suggested by the previous poster. Definitely worth the investment.

Along with the air compressor I have a suitable truck tire pressure gauge. I don't like the digital ones. I've had too many fail especially in the colder weather. I use the standard slide style gauge.

I'm sure there are more things ... I'll add them as I think of them
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Old 03-18-2013, 11:24 PM   #5
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Default Re: What every newBie needs

A word about DEF...
You don't need to carry it!

When I bought my Sprinter B, I learned a little about DEF - but was told they'd add it at the dealer when I got it serviced.
Last summer, when my van was totally new to me, I was driving up in Maine when a strange light came on on the dashboard. I consulted the owner's manual and learned that the van was asking for DEF (it had 6-7000 miles on it at this point). According to the manual once the light came on I had 500 miles to go before the van would limit my number of starts - after 500 miles I'd get 20 starts, if I didn't add DEF. I did a quick google search for DEF and discovered that they sell it at Wal-Mart. The next night I was planning on sleeping in a Wal-Mart Parking lot! I'm a big fan of paying "campground fees" for goods I need!

I found the DEF - and it's numbers matched the numbers offered by the manual so I knew it was right. It comes in a LARGE box and I don't remember how much it cost (but it's cheaper than having my MB dealer do it!). Inside the box there is a nozzle to use to get the DEF in the tube under the hood. I needed a stool to stand on because the van is so high - but it was super easy to add! Just put the hose in the hole and tipped the box up. I was then able to take the large box across the parking lot and deposit it in the dumpster.

The box it comes in is very large - too large to store in the van I think..space is limited...I'd rather "store" the DEF at Wal-Mart. With 500 miles from the light coming on to being limited with your starts, you ought to be able to get somewhere that you can buy it. AND, even if you exceeded the 500 miles - you just gottta be careful about how many times you turn it off and on.

Also, the van doesn't need DEF to run, it's an EPA thing...it won't hurt the van to not have it.

Oh and one more thing...turns out 1 box isn't quite enough once the light comes on - I think it's like a box and a half - not sure what I'm going to do next time since I don't want to store a half a box. I might just use a box and then know I'm gonna need to fill it again soon. They sometimes have DEF at the pump in the big truck stops. I don't go over into "truck territory" in the truck stops b/c I'm afraid that they will laugh at me, but I might try it for DEF.
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Old 03-19-2013, 12:16 AM   #6
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Default Re: What every newBie needs

A reliable GPS system of some sort, with up to date base maps. Maybe some useful user customized POI files for favorite items or places.
It's easier than paper or online maps, IMO, and they're so simple and cheap these days, no excuses for finding your way to your destination, as well as finding nearby "support stations" along the way.
We went a full year and a half on manual mode before we got ours. No looking back and still can't believe we waited so long. They're indispensable, also IMO.
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Old 03-21-2013, 07:28 PM   #7
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Default Re: What every newBie needs

Quote:
Originally Posted by teachergal
A word about DEF...
You don't need to carry it!

When I bought my Sprinter B, I learned a little about DEF - but was told they'd add it at the dealer when I got it serviced.
Last summer, when my van was totally new to me, I was driving up in Maine when a strange light came on on the dashboard. I consulted the owner's manual and learned that the van was asking for DEF (it had 6-7000 miles on it at this point). According to the manual once the light came on I had 500 miles to go before the van would limit my number of starts - after 500 miles I'd get 20 starts, if I didn't add DEF. I did a quick google search for DEF and discovered that they sell it at Wal-Mart. The next night I was planning on sleeping in a Wal-Mart Parking lot! I'm a big fan of paying "campground fees" for goods I need!

I found the DEF - and it's numbers matched the numbers offered by the manual so I knew it was right. It comes in a LARGE box and I don't remember how much it cost (but it's cheaper than having my MB dealer do it!). Inside the box there is a nozzle to use to get the DEF in the tube under the hood. I needed a stool to stand on because the van is so high - but it was super easy to add! Just put the hose in the hole and tipped the box up. I was then able to take the large box across the parking lot and deposit it in the dumpster.

The box it comes in is very large - too large to store in the van I think..space is limited...I'd rather "store" the DEF at Wal-Mart. With 500 miles from the light coming on to being limited with your starts, you ought to be able to get somewhere that you can buy it. AND, even if you exceeded the 500 miles - you just gottta be careful about how many times you turn it off and on.

Also, the van doesn't need DEF to run, it's an EPA thing...it won't hurt the van to not have it.

Oh and one more thing...turns out 1 box isn't quite enough once the light comes on - I think it's like a box and a half - not sure what I'm going to do next time since I don't want to store a half a box. I might just use a box and then know I'm gonna need to fill it again soon. They sometimes have DEF at the pump in the big truck stops. I don't go over into "truck territory" in the truck stops b/c I'm afraid that they will laugh at me, but I might try it for DEF.
Your DEF story pretty much echoes my situation ... except I was in Kentucky at the time. And sure enough after checking the manual et al ... I wound up going to Walmart to get some DEF. And again it took 3 or more gallons (2 1/2 boxes) to fill her up. I still carry a box with me ... especially when I travel in remote areas. I store it between the driver's seat and the storage cabinet. Totally out of the way and out of site. In the same respect I always carry an extra litre (quart) of oil. I've never had to add between service but, being from the old school I like to be prepared.

I also agree with Mike on the GPS. I have the build in one from the "Infotainment" centre which I don't care for. I have the Rand McNally RV GPS and I still have a small Garmin portable that is a good standby. They are invaluable ... but I also carry paper maps. I like to vary my routes from what the GPS likes to direct me to ... so on more than one occasion I turn off the GPS and fly by the seat of my pants with a paper map in hand. LOL

Most important thing is to have fun, visit new and exciting places and meet new people along the way.

Happy and Safe Travels
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Old 04-03-2013, 01:08 PM   #8
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Default Re: What every newBie needs

Three things that we found we needed. (1) A box of nitrile disposable gloves. They are great when we start fooling around the sewage dump site.

(2) A real good flashlight. We found one that uses 3 AAA batteries and is a high intensity LED light. It is really great for a lot of uses. My wife prefers an LED headlamp so she has both hands free.

(3) A dump hose that will screw into the dump holse at an RV park. Some RV parks require them. I've even heard that some require some sort of device that elevates your hose so it doesn't lay on the ground. I haven't come across that personally however.

............Rocky
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Old 04-11-2013, 01:06 AM   #9
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Default Re: What every newBie needs

Quote:
Originally Posted by arrveedogz
.............I'd recommend carrying a portable jumpstarter/air compressor or some such. $75 worth of insurance against a dead batt / low tire in the middle of nowhere. ........................
Good idea. I picked up this small compressor on sale for $17. It is small and light - about the size of a lunch bag.


http://www.homedepot.com/p/t/202539088? ... WYL71cYmf0

I bought it to inflate the tires on our bikes. As a test, I attached it to one of the van tires and, to my surprise, it put 2psi in that tire quickly starting at 75 psi.
I'm not recommending it as your main air compressor as seems kind of light for that job but maybe I could use it occasionally on the van tires if no other air supply was available.
I think it will be OK to use regularly on the bike tires.

For the jump start I can turn a switch to combine the house and chassis battery banks but most vans won't have that so carrying a method to do that is a good idea.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Bonaire Inflate and Go 12V.jpg (46.2 KB, 1466 views)
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Old 04-11-2013, 01:51 AM   #10
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Default Re: What every newBie needs

Can't beat that price. Does the hose heat up much when you use it?
I have a small, portable, Campbell Hausfeld that will do bikes and smaller low pressure stuff easily, but getting over 50 PSI takes longer, and the motor and pressure in the hose generates some residual heat.
I'm looking at getting a slightly larger 2 gallon tank model for closer to $150. It has been recommended for many camping and travel related tasks.
http://www.lowes.ca/air-compressors/cam ... tItemsName
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Old 04-11-2013, 12:42 PM   #11
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Default Re: What every newBie needs

If you hover your mouse cursor over the compressor in the Lowes link you see that it is 100 PSI max. Might struggle a bit inflating 80 psi tires. The size and weight of it it great though. Canada pricing is interesting Lowes Canada $148.00 On sale at Sears in the US $ 59.99 http://www.sears.com/campbell-hausfe...10000P?prdNo=2

Would you carry it in your trailer? If so, would something like this fit? http://www.sears.com/craftsman-1.5-g...09000P?prdNo=6 150 PSI

I have a 120 psi 8 gal compressor in my garage that handles the van tires ok and a 165 psi 4 gallon that is very easy to carry http://www.portercable.com/products/...roductid=16710 Both are too big to put in my van.

Yes, the little Bonaire gets hot. It comes with a warning:
Quote:
Caution, allow inflator to cool down 10 minutes after each 10 minutes of continuous operation.
I will try to not run it more than 5 minutes. I think it has plastic gears so heat makes them soft and easy to strip.
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Old 04-11-2013, 01:37 PM   #12
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Default Re: What every newBie needs

Yeah, good point, I noticed the maximum pressure was a bit low after I posted.
It will be travelling with us in the new trailer, either in the truck or pass through storage (plenty of room).
MY smaller CH portable says it has a max of 120 PSI, but it can just put air into a regular passenger car tire (tried it) so I agree that something more powerful might be preferable. I'll have a look at Harbor Freight next time we're over. There's a Sears right across the street there, too. Maybe something like this? It looks similar to the Craftsman you posted, but a bit more expensive.
http://www.harborfreight.com/air-tools/ ... 67696.html

Thanks for spotting the pressure issue.
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Old 04-11-2013, 02:09 PM   #13
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Default Re: What every newBie needs

That compressor from Harbor Freight looks like a good choice for RV use. You're not running it all day on a job site.

There is a hose on my Porter Cable compressor that sticks out and could get damaged if carried in a storage compartment:


The Central Pneumatic compressor doesn't have that vulnerability:


The right tire pressure is important and sometimes getting air is a problem. I posted this back in 2006:

Quote:
I now have an 8 gallon compressor at home (it is too big to carry with me) because one evening after work we were heading to a campground about 2hrs away. I had 76 & 75 in the rear tires and wanted to get them up to 80. The first gas station air pump was blocked by someone who just started vacuuming his car so I decided to go to another station a couple of miles up the road. That one was really busy with three cars parked in front of the pump so I pushed on. At the third station the pump let the air out of my tire so I was down to 70 psi. At the fourth gas station I waited for a truck to gas up and pay so I could get access to air only to find that the pump was out of order. Finally, at the fifth gas station, I got air!
Since then I always start out on a trip with the correct tire pressure.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg porter cable 165 psi.JPG (58.0 KB, 626 views)
File Type: jpg central pneumatic 150psi.jpg (56.4 KB, 624 views)
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Old 04-11-2013, 02:38 PM   #14
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Default Re: What every newBie needs

moi aussi.
I have had the same problems with the Roadtrek. Besides auto dealerships, there was only a 5th Wheel Truck Stop near where we used to live, and it's compressor status was unreliable and unpredictable at best.
The truck and trailer both have max inflation pressures of 50 PSI, so I don't need a high pressure compressor, but we're keeping the Roadtrek for a while, so it will be useful for the exercise runs or weekenders to have one available.
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Old 04-12-2013, 02:02 AM   #15
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Default Re: What every newBie needs

You mentioned Spring, at the start of this thread. I got this today in an email....


It's been raining here for a few days now. I hope things improve before the B-10 Rally in May in the Michigan UP.
We were thinking about dropping by.....
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File Type: jpg spring.jpg (11.7 KB, 531 views)
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Old 04-12-2013, 01:03 PM   #16
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Default Re: What every newBie needs

Thanks for the laugh
I needed it. They just issued a snowfall warning for us
Quote:
10 to 15 centimetres of snow expected tonight and Saturday.
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Old 04-12-2013, 10:30 PM   #17
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Default Re: What every newBie needs

Wally World has a decent pancake air compressor (with no additional hose from the tank to the motor that can get damaged) for about a C-note. It also comes with a decent regulator, so you can use it for blowing out water lines if dry winterizing.

A couple other things I'd consider a "must":

1: A couple additional keys.
2: If on a gasoline chassis, a bottle of Sta-bil... use before storage.
3: There are "Extend-A-Stay Deluxe" kits. They are great for either running a BBQ grille off the rig's propane, or if one is boondocking, having additional propane to run the generator or furnace.
4: A towing service.
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Old 10-23-2018, 11:10 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike View Post
Can't beat that price. Does the hose heat up much when you use it?
I have a small, portable, Campbell Hausfeld that will do bikes and smaller low pressure stuff easily, but getting over 50 PSI takes longer, and the motor and pressure in the hose generates some residual heat.
I'm looking at getting a slightly larger 2 gallon tank model for closer to $150. It has been recommended for many camping and travel related tasks.
http://www.lowes.ca/air-compressors/cam ... tItemsName
Hello,
Is that item still available ?
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Old 10-23-2018, 06:48 PM   #19
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I use the Ryobi 18v system for many of my power tolls. They have a very nice handheld compressor a little bit taller than a drill, but only 3 inches or so wide. I've used it to add up to 10 lbs of air to both fronts and rears. (60 in front 80 in the rear).
The hose gets warm, but not uncomfortably so..

Takes up very little space, and the battery is interchangeable with my ryobi drill and hand vac.
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Old 10-24-2018, 12:06 AM   #20
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bwolfsohn: Which Ryobi model do you have? They have a few. Is it the P737? Thanks!
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