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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.
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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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