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Old 04-04-2003, 02:55 PM
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Default Virgin Campers - HELP

We're getting ready to take our 'virgin' trip with our new 2003 TrailManor 2720 - any helpful hints on what we should stock up on for supplies or what gadgets and accessories we should be sure to take along???  We're not going too far from home (or Walmart) on this first trip and will only be gone 3 days - gotta practice up for this summer and figure out what mistakes we'll make first.  I'd appreciate your hints and good wishes.  We sure are excited . . . it has been so hard to keep staring at it in the garage for over a month now, waiting for the weather to warm up and dry out a bit.
Anxious to get going!!!  (We'll be 'hooking' up in an RV campground - not ready to drydock yet - lol) ??? ???
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Old 04-04-2003, 04:07 PM
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Bill Bill is offline
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: The mountains of Scottsdale, AZ, and the beaches of Maine
Posts: 9,267
Default Re: Virgin Campers - HELP

First, unlax! (as some cartoon character used to say.)  Being tense and worried is a guarantee of a less than perfect trip.  TM's are well built and well equipped, and there is almost nothing that can go seriously wrong.  Naturally, you will identify things you wish you had brought - no big deal!  And Wal Mart will take care of 90% of them.  I can't tell you the number of times I have run to Wal Mart late at night, or waited until it opened in the morning, for a quick trip.  You can even eat at McDonalds if worse comes to worst.

My advice?  Make sure your propane tanks are full, so you can stay warm if it gets cold.  Bring a bottle of wine and a corkscrew, so you can toast your wise decision and the smoothness of the trip.  Bring your blue owners manual so you can puzzle over any questions.  But I can't think of anything else that is DESPERATELY important.  Go, and have fun!

Bring the notebook and pencil, as TC suggested.  If you forgot something, write it down.  And if you don't understand how/why something works (or doesn't work), write it down for later research.  And seriously, re-read TC's post about taking your time with setup and takedown, and doing walkarounds.  The boy speaks wise.  More problems occur here than anywhere else.

Let us know how it comes out!

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Old 04-05-2003, 01:14 AM
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Default Re: Virgin Campers - HELP

The notebook and taking your time is the best advice.  It may seem a little frustration tol keep walking around the trailer as you're putting it up or putting it down, and you may think people are staring at you for being so obviously a newbie.  However, taking your time is the best way to get things to go smoothly.  

You also don't have to do everything the first time out.  You don't have to put up the TV antenna, you know.  A few things I would add to the previous lists are tarps to talk on outside in case the site is muddy, and really checking out the site to ensure you can put up the trailer or the awning.  We've been awfully close to hitting a tree with our awning because we haven't really scoped it our properly.

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Old 04-05-2003, 09:40 AM
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Default Re: Virgin Campers - HELP

;D WOW - Thanks everyone for your advice so far.  
We'll be sure to take the notepad (didn't even think of that!) and do our walk arounds/checklist.  
We're leaving on the 17th for Easter weekend - no wee ones with us (our son - but he's 13)  :
Space heater to save on the propane is a great idea too!  (Sure glad you friendly TM people are out here.)  
Obviously, you veterans have camped in the southeast before at this time of year . . .  yes, it can be cold one minute and warm the next . . . rainy and then sunny . . . dry and then humid . . . etc.
We hope to get some hiking and fishing in as well.  I'm making my list and counting the days.  Keep your reminders coming.  We love them!!
Thanks again.  8)  
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Old 04-05-2003, 12:35 PM
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Default Re: Virgin Campers - HELP

The more mistakes you make, the faster you will learn. It will be good to forget that you didn't put the antenna down and left one of the kids inside ;D.

That's how you become an expert. Besides, nobody else in your campground has even seen a Trailmanor much less know if you're doing it right or wrong.  

If you need to open and close a couple of times, tell people your exercising your TM ;D.

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Old 04-07-2003, 07:55 AM
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Default Re: Virgin Campers - HELP

Chris always has good advice, and he's right -- no one is going to know if you do something wrong on a unit they've never seen before!

Regarding the awning, the wind will whip it around when it is attached to the unit itself, though I find it really convenient to attach it that way.  When it's really windy or at night, we just take it down, though we did stake it to the ground during our extended vacation last year, and it was great!  Also, keep in mind if you're staying in a site with a concrete pad, you aren't going to be able to stake the awning in the ground.  
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Old 04-08-2003, 11:38 AM
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Default Re: Virgin Campers - HELP

Having spent 8 years as a US Infantry Soldier, one item that I've found VERY useful for just about every situation, especially camping situations is what is known as "550" cord, so called because it can support up to 550 lbs. (Also known as parachute cord). This cord can be had at just about any surplus store, or other military PX, etc. It's extrememly thin, less than 1/4" Basically, it consists of a nylon "case" with 5 or 7 strands of nylon cord inside it.....the 7 strand being the one that can support the whole 550lbs. (7 strand is olive drab on the insides, 5 strand is usually white, and I believe is capable of like 380lbs). A tight knot can be tied using just the case of the cord, the "guts" of the cord can be used for various things where a small strong string can be useful, and it's hard to get it tangled up when it's all together, not to mention very strong. It's dirt cheap as well, only like $6 or so for 100'. (Considering all the uses). Anyway, it can be had online at:

I've used this stuff for everything from building shelters, to tieing down my gear in the army, and doesn't make a bad dog tie for a campground as well. (Clothesline, NP!) lol To say it does a great job for lashing down stuff is an understatement due to it's small size, weight, and strength. Hope this helps some people out there...........

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Old 02-29-2004, 09:33 PM
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Default Re:Virgin Campers - HELP

I found this site for some great advice for first timers. I will be in the same sitution soon.
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