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Old 08-27-2018, 02:32 PM   #1
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Shakedown Weekend

Just finished our shakedown weekend with our 2017 Dutchmen Aerolite 213RBSL.

Saturday the wife and I spent the afternoon practicing backing up. After an hour and a half we figured out our hand and voice commands. We decided to go with passenger slow or passenger heavy or driver slow driver heavy and 3-2-1- stop. We found an industrial park that had huge parking lot that was still secluded. I didn’t want a peanut gallery contributing to our adventures. I took some video and time lapse video that I will post at a later time. I used a line from “The Patriot” “aim small, shoot small”. We know most camping sites are somewhat large but we were consistently able to park in two parking spaces.

Today was setup and tear down day at a local State Park. We couldn’t get a site for weekend and we both had to be back at work on Monday so we used a site for Sunday afternoon only. We haven’t used the toilet or sinks yet or even run ac so we had a lot to run through in 7 hours. It took us 2 1/2 hours to setup. We were methodical and slow and took a couple breaks. My wife had never performed any task in an RV so I went through everything and she did everything with me without one complaint. It took 5 hours for ac to get to 70 and fridge to get to 50. I was thrilled the ac and fridge worked. We celebrated by going to Wendy’s for .50 frosty.

Our first meal on stove was hotdogs and pretzels but wife broke antique fondue pot.

Tear down and 5 mile trip home was one hour so we were pleased and confident we can make our first official trip to KOA Hershey for Labor Day weekend.

Lessons learned:
1-hitch ball cannot be to far back on the coupler. Spent 30 min figuring out why clasp wouldn’t close. We walked away for a minute and switched positions and we both saw the problem and fixed it.

2-GEO method in toilet and sinks works better than expected. When we turned on water the first time the most horrible smell came out. But we fixed it.

3-people are willing to ask if you need help and willing to lend encouragement. Thank you to the two older couples on their walk that asked and gave encouragement by saying we all were first timers.

4-need real gloves not tissue paper plastic gloves for sewer job. These green plastic bag crap 💩 tore way too easy and wouldn’t protect me from anything. Looking to buy cheap fabric gloves and keep separated in truck. Thank you LoLoHo’s SEAN!!

5-work stops when a Grand Design Imagine 2670mk drivin by F250 backs into the site next to us. It was our second choice but wife was staring at it very longingly🤢

6- need plenty of ice after setup. On hands knees and beer!!

7-we love our 213RBSL even more today than the day we bought it and we love RVing. Can’t wait for next weekend. We have 4 of next 7 weeks planned for camping and wife is trying to adjust schedule to go all the way to Thanksgiving before we store for MidAtlantic area winter.

Thank you everyone for you support tips and friendly advice. Can’t wait to post a couple videos of our shakedown and our first trip.
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Old 08-27-2018, 02:43 PM   #2
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Amazing story! And they were correct, we were all first timers. Setting up gets easier the more times you perform the operation. breaking down takes a very long time, in my experience, due to flushing the black tank completely clean and the ambient temperature at the time (no fun when it is below freezing). By the way, your local NAPA store sells amazing rubber disposable gloves, they type the mechanics wear. I highly recommend them and they don't rip and come in three or four different thicknesses. By the way, NAPA gives military discount.
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Old 08-27-2018, 04:41 PM   #3
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Sounds like things went pretty well... what is this "winter" stuff you are talking about? Just plan trips further south and you will be good to go. We typically go to Creek Fire Motor Ranch down near Savannah in December.

We try to take at least one weekend trip every month, longer trips in the fall and spring when the weather is more temperate and outdoor living is easy.

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Old 08-27-2018, 04:44 PM   #4
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Great to hear stories like this. So glad you came back and told us your celebrations. Can't wait to see pics/vids
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Old 08-27-2018, 05:11 PM   #5
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Turn that fridge on the day before you leave and load it with cold food if possible. I turn ours on Wednesday morning, wifey loads it up on Wednesday night, it stays at 35f regardless of the outside temp. Those units aren't designed to quick cool food. If you do that in hot temps it may never catch up on a short trip.

I also attached a fan to the cooling fins in the back and it helps a lot, google RV fridge fan.
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Old 08-28-2018, 03:18 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wahoonc View Post
Sounds like things went pretty well... what is this "winter" stuff you are talking about? Just plan trips further south and you will be good to go. We typically go to Creek Fire Motor Ranch down near Savannah in December.

We try to take at least one weekend trip every month, longer trips in the fall and spring when the weather is more temperate and outdoor living is easy.

Aaron
Winter is what old retired people flee from. We are still working people so weekend trips is best we can do for now, but everyday we spend in the camper tears our hearts away from the everyday grind of working. We will get there soon though.

We love the Savannah area and plan to visit in spring or fall. Spent three days during summer and well hell must have been cooler....and I am a Carolina boy but that humidity was incredible.

That’s for the suggestion of an RV park. Will add to my bucket list.
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Old 08-28-2018, 03:22 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wildwest450 View Post
Turn that fridge on the day before you leave and load it with cold food if possible. I turn ours on Wednesday morning, wifey loads it up on Wednesday night, it stays at 35f regardless of the outside temp. Those units aren't designed to quick cool food. If you do that in hot temps it may never catch up on a short trip.

I also attached a fan to the cooling fins in the back and it helps a lot, google RV fridge fan.
The fan was a big difference in the fridge. At one time the camper was 10 degrees cooler so I left the door open for a few minutes and it fell 5 degrees very quickly. We also put sm bag of ice in freezer and fridge to cool even more. Will do the fridge prep for next trip. Thanks for the suggestion.
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Old 08-28-2018, 04:23 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by GTULOWITZKY View Post
Winter is what old retired people flee from. We are still working people so weekend trips is best we can do for now, but everyday we spend in the camper tears our hearts away from the everyday grind of working. We will get there soon though.

We love the Savannah area and plan to visit in spring or fall. Spent three days during summer and well hell must have been cooler....and I am a Carolina boy but that humidity was incredible.

That’s for the suggestion of an RV park. Will add to my bucket list.
We aren't retired... Yet. Just have very flexible vacation schedules. I get 20 paid days a year plus holidays. Savannah is rough in the warmer months. We quite often have a project going about an hour west of there, funny part is they send the NY crews down there to work. Talk about acclimation!

Aaron
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Old 08-28-2018, 04:22 PM   #9
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I'm the opposite of most. I want to flee north for the winter, and summer. Circumstances keep me in hell-er, Oklahoma.
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Old 08-28-2018, 06:06 PM   #10
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Great Job!


"Lessons learned:
1-hitch ball cannot be to far back on the coupler. Spent 30 min figuring out why clasp wouldn’t close. We walked away for a minute and switched positions and we both saw the problem and fixed it."


This one drove me crazy for a while.



Congratulations!
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Old 08-28-2018, 09:13 PM   #11
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Also for gloves if you live near a Harbor Freight store they have lots of sizes and types of disposable gloves. Also, plenty of cheap tools to keep on your trailer that will come in handy and are inexpensive enough you can leave there. You will want a screwdriver that works on all the screw heads in your trailer. Not sure about your trailer but most have those square heads in the bathroom for shower and those faucets can come loose.

I am not afraid to buy cheap stuff because you don’t use them too often so they will last.

Enjoy the trailer and don’t ever rush set up or tear down as that is when you break things.
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Old 08-28-2018, 10:54 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by wahoonc View Post
We aren't retired... Yet. Just have very flexible vacation schedules. I get 20 paid days a year plus holidays. Savannah is rough in the warmer months. We quite often have a project going about an hour west of there, funny part is they send the NY crews down there to work. Talk about acclimation!

Aaron
A NY'er in Savannah during the summer months is God's payback!!
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Old 08-28-2018, 10:56 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by dsol View Post
Also for gloves if you live near a Harbor Freight store they have lots of sizes and types of disposable gloves. Also, plenty of cheap tools to keep on your trailer that will come in handy and are inexpensive enough you can leave there. You will want a screwdriver that works on all the screw heads in your trailer. Not sure about your trailer but most have those square heads in the bathroom for shower and those faucets can come loose.

I am not afraid to buy cheap stuff because you don’t use them too often so they will last.

Enjoy the trailer and don’t ever rush set up or tear down as that is when you break things.
I have already raided Harbor Freight....they love it when they see me getting out of my truck.

Thanks for the suggestions.
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Old 08-29-2018, 01:04 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by GTULOWITZKY View Post
A NY'er in Savannah during the summer months is God's payback!!
Of course they send me to Elmira, NY in January... Last time I was up there the bottle of Scotch in my car trunk started freezing!

Aaron
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Old 08-29-2018, 01:12 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by wahoonc View Post
We aren't retired... Yet. Just have very flexible vacation schedules. I get 20 paid days a year plus holidays. Savannah is rough in the warmer months. We quite often have a project going about an hour west of there, funny part is they send the NY crews down there to work. Talk about acclimation!

Aaron
Have you ever been to Savannah for Halloween?
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Old 08-29-2018, 01:29 PM   #16
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Have you ever been to Savannah for Halloween?
Just once.

Been to Mardi Gras just one too.

Aaron
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Old 08-29-2018, 01:35 PM   #17
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I was a "regular" at Mardi Gras for a number of years.... LOTS OF GREAT PICTURES! How was it in Savannah?
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Old 08-29-2018, 02:47 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by GTULOWITZKY View Post
Just finished our shakedown weekend with our 2017 Dutchmen Aerolite 213RBSL.

Saturday the wife and I spent the afternoon practicing backing up. After an hour and a half we figured out our hand and voice commands. We decided to go with passenger slow or passenger heavy or driver slow driver heavy and 3-2-1- stop. We found an industrial park that had huge parking lot that was still secluded. I didn’t want a peanut gallery contributing to our adventures. I took some video and time lapse video that I will post at a later time. I used a line from “The Patriot” “aim small, shoot small”. We know most camping sites are somewhat large but we were consistently able to park in two parking spaces.

Today was setup and tear down day at a local State Park. We couldn’t get a site for weekend and we both had to be back at work on Monday so we used a site for Sunday afternoon only. We haven’t used the toilet or sinks yet or even run ac so we had a lot to run through in 7 hours. It took us 2 1/2 hours to setup. We were methodical and slow and took a couple breaks. My wife had never performed any task in an RV so I went through everything and she did everything with me without one complaint. It took 5 hours for ac to get to 70 and fridge to get to 50. I was thrilled the ac and fridge worked. We celebrated by going to Wendy’s for .50 frosty.

Our first meal on stove was hotdogs and pretzels but wife broke antique fondue pot.

Tear down and 5 mile trip home was one hour so we were pleased and confident we can make our first official trip to KOA Hershey for Labor Day weekend.

Lessons learned:
1-hitch ball cannot be to far back on the coupler. Spent 30 min figuring out why clasp wouldn’t close. We walked away for a minute and switched positions and we both saw the problem and fixed it.

2-GEO method in toilet and sinks works better than expected. When we turned on water the first time the most horrible smell came out. But we fixed it.

3-people are willing to ask if you need help and willing to lend encouragement. Thank you to the two older couples on their walk that asked and gave encouragement by saying we all were first timers.

4-need real gloves not tissue paper plastic gloves for sewer job. These green plastic bag crap 💩 tore way too easy and wouldn’t protect me from anything. Looking to buy cheap fabric gloves and keep separated in truck. Thank you LoLoHo’s SEAN!!

5-work stops when a Grand Design Imagine 2670mk drivin by F250 backs into the site next to us. It was our second choice but wife was staring at it very longingly🤢

6- need plenty of ice after setup. On hands knees and beer!!

7-we love our 213RBSL even more today than the day we bought it and we love RVing. Can’t wait for next weekend. We have 4 of next 7 weeks planned for camping and wife is trying to adjust schedule to go all the way to Thanksgiving before we store for MidAtlantic area winter.

Thank you everyone for you support tips and friendly advice. Can’t wait to post a couple videos of our shakedown and our first trip.

GTULOWITZKY, I have a question... what did you mean when you said the hitchball is too far back on the coupler? I've never heard that before and was just wondering what it refers to.
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Old 08-29-2018, 03:24 PM   #19
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Have you ever been to Savannah for Halloween?
Are you asking me out on a date?

No but I would love to. I hear they do haunted hikes there.
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Old 08-29-2018, 05:32 PM   #20
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Are you asking me out on a date?

No but I would love to. I hear they do haunted hikes there.
DOn't be offended but I was asking Aaron for that day... maybe we could double up on him?
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