To say that we would recommend a trial run before moving into living full-time in an RV is an understatement. It should be a requirement. Seriously. You need to do it.
Having both spent time as weekend warriors camping in a travel trailer, we had somewhat of an idea of what we were in for. We knew the basics of what we needed to do to get set up. We watched countless YouTube videos and read through set up check lists. We were ready.
While I was working my last few hours for the week, Ronn went to pick up Marshall, our 2017 Cherokee Grey Wolf 24RK, from the dealership. Since this was the first trip since we purchased the trailer, the dealership was going to de-winterize and do another quick walk through on how everything worked. They helped Ronn get our Blue Ox SwayPro and trailer hooked up to Lily, our 2008 Ford Expedition, and he was on his way home to pick me up. (Yes! We are HUGE How I Met Your Mother fans – hence Lily and Marshall!)
I got off work, we packed up and we headed out for our almost 6 hour drive to College Park, MD. The drive went well, even with the constant rain. We got an EZ-Pass for the Ohio and Pennsylvania Turnpikes which saved time and money. The truck and trailer both handled well, and the Blue Ox made it feel like we weren’t even towing anything. Not going to lie though, going through the mountains, especially in the fog had me white-knuckled. Despite our best efforts, we made it to Cherry Hill Park around 7:30 PM with only moments of daylight remaining.
Setting up was an adventure in itself. If you haven’t already, checkout our YouTube video about the venture to Cherry Hill and our experience with our first set-up. I’m sure you’ll laugh as much as we did at our mishaps (i.e. figuring out the correct way to hook up the water filter and disassembling our lines multiple times)! Despite the rain and the darkness and the cold that was creeping in, with the help of our awesome neighbors, we got all set up. Phew!
Some things we learned the first night.
- You have to open the water pressure regulator (if using an adjustable one) enough to actually allow water to flow to your camper (who’d have thunk it right?! Duh!)
- Always check that your water heater by-pass is no longer closed so that your water heater fills before you turn it on. We mistakenly assumed that our RV dealership did this when they flushed the lines. This is too important not to verify. Turning your water heater on while it is empty can do some serious damage. Luckily, we only turned it on briefly and shut it off after realizing something wasn’t right. We were tired, so we shut it off to deal with it in the morning. Saturday morning, Ronn did some research online and found the by-pass, and sure enough, it was closed. So far, it seems to be working. Hopefully we will not discover any damages down the road.
- We have ZERO heating vents outside of the main living area. None in the bathroom. None in the bedroom. Brrrrrrrr! Actually, there are only two vents. One under our fridge and one behind our chair. On the plus side, the output on our heater is FANTASTIC! When we keep the doors to the bedroom and bathroom open, our room is plenty warm (one of the perks of a 24 foot trailer).
- Our smoke alarm works! And our oven too! My dinner bubbled up and overflowed… Oops! We’ll work on that.
- And finally, our shower leaks… or rather leaked. Thanks to our warranty, our dealership fixed the problem and dried it out, free of charge. Apparently, the manufacturer did not caulk all of the shower which made it seep into our wall. All is well now though!
I promise, the above things are soooooo minor in how exciting and wonderful our first weekend was in our trailer! Our experience with our first trip will help our next one this upcoming weekend go much smoother. Want to know where we’re going next? Check out our YouTube video we’ll be posting on Friday 4/14/2017!!
So how about you guys? What did you learn on your first trip? Was there anything you didn’t realize about your trailer until your first trip? How did you adjust because of that discovery? We’d love to hear from you! Leave us a comment below!
As always, thank you so much for your continued love and support!
Until next time!