A little advice needed from the pros - Dutchmen Owners

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Old 02-23-2018, 05:29 PM   #1
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A little advice needed from the pros

Hi everyone,

I just picked up my fist travel trailer (Coleman 262BHS) and we cannot wait to travel. The wife and I just made some carrier moves and it has given us a lot more free time to spend with our kids (7 and 2). I grew up house boating at Lake Powell and have a pretty good understanding of the systems but still feel free to talk slow and use small words.

This summer we are going to be traveling the majority of the time with quick runs back to home to handle business and the house. While we thought for a first time go we would spend most of the time in an RV parks with full hook ups there will be some boon-docking during travel periods and here is where the questions begin:

We have reserved spaces in some BLM campgrounds that do not have full hookups and I cannot get a strait answer on Generator etiquette. I have purchased one of the "quiet generators" (58DB) but I want to make sure I am being a good neighbor. Is the 8 AM to 10 PM (and we wont need all of that) rule one that most of you abide by?

While we are traveling to help keep our kids outside (which is tough during AZ summers!) we definitely see the need for a little TV time in the evening. If the Generator needs to be off before then how do you all run the TV? For reference I have outfitted the trailer with two deep cycle 6V batteries but I'm pretty sure that wont change TV usage. The wife has been rolling her eyes at all the packages from Amazon just to get outfitted so solar may not be in the cards right at the moment.

I would like to drink the water from our tank. I have the filter that attaches to the hose inlet (blue filter can't think of the brand) but want to make sure I am safe with the little ones. Do any of you do the under-counter filters as well? If so any brand recommendations?

Finally (I promise) we are a huge MTB family and cannot wait to take our bikes and ride. As some of you may know bikes are getting up there in price and light carriers that hold the frame can ruin a carbon fiber bike in a hurry. We have to go with a tray frame (holds the tires) that usally runs around 55lbs. Coupled with three bikes and we are hovering in the 160LB mark. I have definitely read NO Bikes on the bumper but my TT bumper looks to be more stout than some of the ones that people are referring to. Can I put them there or should I reinforce first? Tongue mounted ones are also not an option as I am already feeling heavy up front on my 1/2 ton even with my weight distribution hitch.

Sorry for the long post but any advice is much appreciated.

Tony
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Old 02-23-2018, 06:55 PM   #2
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Congrats on your first trailer and welcome to your new lifestyle. I can help answer some of your questions.

Going with 2 deep cycle 6 volt batteries is a wise move. They should have no problem running the TV in the evening without the generator running. I would also switch all the interior light bulbs to LED's, unless they came already installed (you can find them cheap on eBay or Amazon). LED's draw very little battery power.

They say you shouldn't install anything else on the rear bumper, other then the spare tire, but I've installed a 4"x4" bracket with a Class 2 hitch receiver and have our 4 bike carrier in that. We've been taking our bikes with us everywhere for the last two years and have had no issues at all.

I don't think they A/C will run with out the generator giving it power, someone else on the forum with a generator can probably answer that question better.
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Old 02-23-2018, 09:05 PM   #3
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Congrats on your new buy..
When you check in ask, the check-in person if there is a generator quiet time. There may not be one. If there is it's usually around 11 pm in most places I have been to.
The batteries will not run the AC. too much power needed and the batteries do not store that much but you can run a TV if you go a sine wave inverter. The inverter must put out 60Hertz as well as 120vac. The inverter probably needs to be at least 250 watts.. That should satisfy most tv demands of modern day TVs. now that's just a guess without looking up the specs on the tv..

I also use a blue filter inline but seldom drink intentionally from the onboard tank. I do flush out my onboard tank with bleach frequently. The water at the campsite should be good though. Just watch your black water tank. It's usually about half of the fresh water tank capacity. If they have septic or sewer then it's a mute point. Your grey water tank is about the size of the black water and can fill very fast.

Have fun and you will learn as you go.
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Old 02-23-2018, 10:03 PM   #4
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Thanks guys, I appreciate the feedback

Adair- what bike rack are you using
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Old 02-24-2018, 06:50 AM   #5
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If your trailer is the same as my Coleman you do have LED lights already with the exception of the hood over the stove so you should be good there.

Your 6 volts are good. Since it sounds like you will be doing your camping during the summer it should be antiquate for several nights of limited lights and TV use but keep in mind if you use your furnace it will draw the batteries down very quickly. You should get a better battery monitor one connected directly to the battery. It can be simple with a LCD readout and low battery alarm. I use a Voltminder. Yes, there are more sophisticated monitors out there but your not running solar so you don't need that expense. I hard wired mine directly to the Converter where the battery cables connect.

Digital Voltmeter | VoltMinder.com

I use a 175 watt SAMLEX inverter for running my 39" LCD TV. I wired a 12 volt outlet near the TV station directly to the converter with 12ga wire. It's quiet. Some small inverters have loud cooling fans that you can hear over the TV.
https://solarconduit.com/shop/electr...sine-175w.html

Generator time use to be 8am to 8pm but alot of parks have extended to 10pm. For me it would depend how close you are to your fellow camper for running after 8pm.

What kind of tow vehicle do you have Truck? Can you carry your MB there? If not for a platform rack my first choice would be one from Lippert. It connects to the trailer frame and not the bumper.
https://www.lci1.com/lci-storage-systems

My second choice would be the hitch platfrom sold by Harbor Freight and use a 4" 2" bolt on receiver for your trailer bumper.
https://www.harborfreight.com/750-lb...ier-62660.html


https://www.etrailer.com/RV-and-Camp...iABEgKVcvD_BwE

I had done this on a trailer I use to own. I also used bumper struts for strengthening the bumper..
https://mount-n-lock.com/mnl-cargo-p...bumper-failure

You don't want the rack slopping around back there so you want to get a hitch vice like Hitchrider
Hitch tightener: no wobble, anti rattle stabilizer device for hitch accessories
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Old 02-24-2018, 07:47 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Iluvmyfly View Post
Thanks guys, I appreciate the feedback

Adair- what bike rack are you using
I use an older Sportrack 4 up rack that uses the standard class 2 size hitch insert. I'm up here in Canada, but you can probably get the Sportrack bike racks in the U.S. They're fair inexpensive, or spend the big bucks and get a Thule bike rack.


I also use the 2' bolt on hitch receiver. No issues.
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Old 02-25-2018, 01:54 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Iluvmyfly View Post
Finally (I promise) we are a huge MTB family and cannot wait to take our bikes and ride. As some of you may know bikes are getting up there in price and light carriers that hold the frame can ruin a carbon fiber bike in a hurry. We have to go with a tray frame (holds the tires) that usally runs around 55lbs. Coupled with three bikes and we are hovering in the 160LB mark. I have definitely read NO Bikes on the bumper but my TT bumper looks to be more stout than some of the ones that people are referring to. Can I put them there or should I reinforce first? Tongue mounted ones are also not an option as I am already feeling heavy up front on my 1/2 ton even with my weight distribution hitch.
There's a lot of sweeping generalizations when it comes to camper bumpers. My first tt would not support a bike rack, but my current tt does with no problems. It has a fairly heavy square tube steel bumper welded into the frame. I also use a tray frame carrier with my 2 bikes. I'm very hands on with camper maintenance and regularly check the welds for stress cracks. I don't carry a lot of stuff in my truck bed so I removed the spare tire and carrier from the bumper and I throw the spare in my truck. I know some have taken their tt to a welder and had them beef up the bumper, so that's another option.
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