Aspen Trail maiden voyage! - Dutchmen Owners

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Old 01-07-2019, 04:02 AM   #1
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Aspen Trail maiden voyage!

We just did our maiden voyage this weekend and would like to share and invite others to share to help other newbies get over the hump of anxiety to fun.

We finally got the. wDH dialed in and we’re going to add the anti-sway bar, but didn’t since it needed tools to set up despite the instructions. The tow from storage to camping was local and uneventful (fortunately).

Lots of angst on our maiden voyage despite being a local short drive. Making lists of what to bring, getting “the big unit” out of storage, setting up in camp, testing all the systems and figuring out all the mysteries.

We went to a full hook up campground and got a pull though site. We pulled in to a huge puddle around the electrical pedestal and had to figure out how to hook up underwater. The campground staff were argumentative when we asked for help, and we were talked down to with comments like, “we’ll its CAMPING” and “why don’t you put a pallet over it”. As if we travel with pallets. (We tent camped for a decade without issues like this). Finally, a park employee came by withe a cement block and some sand after UN diplomat level negotiations. We finally got all hooked up and were on our way to using our TT.

We were really happy to see systems working and feeling the comforts of the TT. It was interesting to experience things we did not anticipate. The biggest one for us was that: this TT MOVES while parked and camping. It is like a constant earthquake with 4 people and a dog in a TT. The stabilizer jacks are no match for kids getting in bunk beds or a dog that needs to go out. I am still getting my “sea legs” after this weekend! To be continued (and please post about your maiden voyage if yo can)
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Old 01-07-2019, 05:38 AM   #2
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Glad you were able to get hooked up and settled. Sounds like the campground staff were pretty terrible.

As for the rocking I am curious, do you have two or four stabilizers? With four your should be able to get it locked in pretty good.

Also I am wondering if wet ground caused your stabilizers to sink in a little. I always carry a bunch of those yellow stacking blocks for both under the low side tires to level and also under the stabilizers. I also crank the stabilizers again after several hours to put pressure on them because they can loosen up over time. And did you level the trailer side to side under the wheels, and front to back with the tongue jack before your dropped the stabilizers? That is the best way to do it.
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Old 01-07-2019, 04:45 PM   #3
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If you do not have a set of these get some, they help with front to back motion. They are available at amazon and RV parts stores.
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Old 01-07-2019, 05:23 PM   #4
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Just installed Steadyfast Stabilizers

I'm not a fan of a wobbly camper, this will eliminate 95% of all movement, you will never regret it.
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Old 01-09-2019, 03:53 AM   #5
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Thanks for the help

Thank you all for the x chock recommendations, I will definitely try them!
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Old 01-09-2019, 03:55 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dsol View Post
Glad you were able to get hooked up and settled. Sounds like the campground staff were pretty terrible.

As for the rocking I am curious, do you have two or four stabilizers? With four your should be able to get it locked in pretty good.

Also I am wondering if wet ground caused your stabilizers to sink in a little. I always carry a bunch of those yellow stacking blocks for both under the low side tires to level and also under the stabilizers. I also crank the stabilizers again after several hours to put pressure on them because they can loosen up over time. And did you level the trailer side to side under the wheels, and front to back with the tongue jack before your dropped the stabilizers? That is the best way to do it.
We just have four scissor jacks.
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Old 01-09-2019, 11:27 PM   #7
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Look into the J T Strongarm stabilizers. I added them to my Aspen Trail. The scissor wheel chocks help also as others have pointed out. When I get all set up it is rock solid now.
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Old 01-10-2019, 01:17 AM   #8
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It's fun owning an aspin trails trailer .... But

As I do love owning an Aspen trail RV I'm very surprised at how low of quality parts go into this thing I bought a 2017 Aspen trail I have had many parts needed replaced as many years as they built these trailers you would think they'd start to be better at what they do there is supposed to be under heating for the plumbing and black water grey water tank etc I am constantly having Frozen lines Frozen black water tank frozen grey water tank the propane mixing valve is completely substandard constantly leaks yet another thing I'm going to have to replace had to replace my sink how to replace my flush valve for the toilet lights constantly are not working and then decide to work seemingly to their own free will other than that it's been an okay trailer
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Old 01-10-2019, 04:16 AM   #9
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If things are freezing, I think you may need to winterize.
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Old 01-10-2019, 04:17 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Camper144 View Post
Look into then J T Strongarm stabilizers. I added them to my Aspen Trail. The scissor wheel chocks help also as others have pointed out. When I get all set up it is rock solid now.
Thank you!
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Old 01-10-2019, 01:56 PM   #11
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If things are freezing, I think you may need to winterize.
Problem is I'm staying in it
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Old 01-12-2019, 04:52 AM   #12
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I have the JT Strongarms too. But I have a fifth wheel and they are notoriously shaky.

Also, as for the x chocks I have read, but cannot confirm that people have bent axles because the x chocks can be cranked too tight and stress the axles. I don’t know if this is true but have read that a few times.
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Old 01-13-2019, 04:34 PM   #13
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Our maiden voyage

Long post:
First, I love the X chock. BUT, I don't put them on until I've finished raising, lowering and leveling so as not to put any stress on the axles and bearings. When I do put them on...I tighten them only enough to snug up the wheels. I use regular chocks for downhill protection. The X chock is good for fore and aft movement...and that's it's primary function for me.

I too had l the pleasure of connecting up my AC in water. In my case it was raining and puddles everywhere. I turned off all the breakers on the pedestal, connected up my 30amp and then threw that breaker. Electricity takes the path of least resistance...and the 30 amp cord connection has far less resistance than my body standing in water. I would never try to push the connector into the pedestal with the breaker live....good way to send ungrounded current into the coach as well if the hot prongs connect before the ground prong.

Coach movement. Yep! I didn't think to tighten up my stabilizers after a few hours...so we rocked for 3 days. But I also was sensitive to not putting to much pressure on each stabilizer...hearing horror stories of some breaking off. Our second trip out, I did tighten down more and reset the next day. Made a big difference.

Our second trip was for a week. We were to frugal with our flushing and gray water tank drainage. After 5 days, we had plenty of tank capacity left. So much so that I needed to drain the water tank into the black and gray by flushing and
opening the sink taps. Needed to get to at least 2/3rds full for a good tank flush. This was good anyway as we were only 5 hours from home and wouldn't need the water in the tank. Got both of my tanks full then went to the pump out. Worked fine.

We also discovered that when the wind picks up, the awning comes in. In looking over the awning arms...they are not made for wind....and not really bolted to strongly to the chassis either! 4 bolts on each!

Last, we overpacked with what we didn't need! Even though we made lists, we have come to realize that what we thought we needed we didn't...and what we didn't think we would need, we did! We were laughing about it...and it was fun to "trade" things back and forth between our first 2 trips. I realize it will take time to settle down our gear and needs....that's part of the fun anyway.

One thing I have to say....exploring the forum and what others have done...gave me lists of things to buy...and I've been good at picking them up. So now we are about to head off for trip #3...and I have all my electrical, water and chocking gear done. I've sealed underneath in areas where the underbelly seal wasn't tight to the frame. Added tape on top of the front cap seal as an added protection. Changed out the plastic drawer stops with more substantial ones...they were cheaper too. Bought a little fan powered by 2 D cell batts to circulate air in the fridge...boy does that help keep temps equal.

Good to hear you had a good time! We do enjoy our trailer. After 14 years of camping out on the lakes in our sailboat, it's nice to be able to stand and walk around in the trailer!

Sorry for the long post, but I'm hoping some of what I said will help others.
David
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Old 01-13-2019, 05:06 PM   #14
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@videoarizona, great post. You are clearly a pretty smart and thorough guy and seems like you are taking all the right steps.

It is funny how many trips you need to take in order to figure out what to bring and NOT to bring as well as to get your rig dialed in. We are about 18 months into this one and it seems like every trip I learn something and improve the experience the next time.

Fresh water and holding tank capacity is always stressful when dry camping but I now now with common sense that as long as all the trailer occupants practice quick shower etiquette and flip the switch on the shower head to stop water flow when soaping up that 100 gallons of fresh water will last a long time and the lousy gauge on the fresh tank that reads low within the first few gallons should be ignored!
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Old 01-14-2019, 01:13 AM   #15
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Thanks @videoarizona this is very helpful.
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