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sillypup
Hello all,

I'm a completely and totally green newbie that just(yesterday) took the huge step of buying my very first HTT, a Forest River Surveyor 180T. I've never towed anything in my life, so the next week I'll be spending every available moment in the Target and Walmart parking lots (after closing time of course)getting to know my new baby, and especially how to back it up!!

I hope to be ready for our maiden voyage the following week, and any input from you experienced RVers would be more than welcome smile.gif

So, one of my big questions is; is solo RVing common at all, or will I be the only solo RVer on the campground? Also, I'm female, and I'm wondering how safe it is to be camping on your own? Any good tips from other solo RVers?

I'm excited to see that many of you travel with your pets, as that is my main goal. I have 4 dogs that I hope to be able to bring eventually. I'll start by bringing 2 of them, and hope to work up to eventually bringing the full "crew" ohmy.gif I've been tent camping with all of them, but my Explorer just isn't big enough to travel around in for any length of time.

I feel like I've taken a huge plunge, buying a travel trailer, but maybe with some help from some seasoned RVers, I can avoid some common newbie mistakes.
Hope to hear from some of you!

Cheers, Mia
John Blue
Mia,

First off welcome to this web site. FMCA had a long write up on women that travel solo some time ago. From what I can remember no one had a problem with this. One tip I do remember is lady put a large dog bowl and chain outside her door at night. What is on the other side of that door????

You will find everyone or most everyone will be more than happy to help up back in or hookup. In most cases you will not need to ask, someone will show up and give you a hand.

About everyone has DOG's or CAT's. Some park owners have problems with pets and some do not. Need to ask up front before you pay to spend the night, no refunds. If you do not like what you hear then move on to the next place or go to Wal-Mart for the night. Also check this site and read comments before you pick a campground.

You are on the correct path, take the time to work on backing up into a site. Use cones or wood to mark out the site. Remember in a large parking lot you can not hit a tree or run over the person in next site over. We did the same thing years ago and it works today.

Enjoy the RV life! tongue.gif
Cheryl Fuller
Mia, welcome to the forum. I am not a "solo RV'er" but I have seen a couple in our treks. Feel free to ask as many questions as you would like - there are some very knowledgeable people here - a lot of the guys are real pro's and will be able to steer you in the right direction.
Texasrvers
Here's another welcome to the forum. We have met several solo men campers and pairs of lady campers but to date only one other solo lady camper, but I'm sure there are many more out there. The one we did meet traveled with 3 or 4 dogs. She was working in Yellowstone NP at the time, but traveled around from job to job. She seemed to really enjoy her lifestyle. I'm sure it will not take you long to get the hang of things.

I have heard of singles camping clubs, but I do not recall the names of any. It seems one was for ladies only, but I'm not sure. Don't know if that sort of thing would interest you, but I decided to mention it just in case.

I read your other post about traveling with your dogs. We love having our animals with us. As you probably read we only have cats right now, but we have had dogs in the past. I'm sure your dogs will have some great adventures to tell their friends. Maybe you could train them to help you back the trailer. One bark for left, two for right. Just kidding!!

Now get out there and start having fun.
mastercraft
My suggestion for your maiden voyage is to camp for a couple of nights at a local or nearby campground. That way you can get the hang of hooking up and the basic ins and outs of your trailer. You will also find out if everything works as advertised and if not, you can always go home. You will also find out things you need, so make a list. I would buy any basics first and then make a list and go to wal-mart as you find things you really need. After a while, you will probably have everything including the kitchen sink! laugh.gif
Best of luck and get out there and enjoy your RV.
Butch
Mia,

First let say,"welcome". In our travels, We have seen a couple solo ladies, one with a fifth wheel, and one with a good size motor home. When making moves, first, look at your intend move(s), move slowly, and if you need assistance, please ask. One point you may want to try is: when backing, place your hand on the bottom of the steering wheel, and move the wheel in the direction you want the rear of the trailer to go. This may help take away some of the confusion, and frustration in the beginning. You will do just fine, in a very short time you will be an old hand at all aspects of moving your unit. As to the subject of your dogs, inquire as to the number, per site allowed, some campgrounds/resorts have limits---two per site. Breeds are also an issue. Safe travels, enjoy your new Rv, and the Rv life style.
sillypup
Thanks everyone for the warm welcome and for taking the time to answer my questions smile.gif

I get to pick up my trailer on Monday, and I can't wait!!

Mastercraft, I think I'm going to do what you suggested, and go to a campground nearby for our maiden voyage, and concentrate on getting comfortable with hooking up and all that. It'll feel comfortable to be pretty close to home just in case.....

As for leaving a dog bowl and a chain outside, I suspect that's exactly what will happen since the pooches *will* be on the other side of the door laugh.gif

Thanks again, and I'll most definitely be back with more questions soon!

Mia
Texasrvers
Be sure to let us know how that first trip goes. We've all been there.
Bud in Florida
Let me add my welcome to you Mia. The dealer should be willing to help get you comfortable with your unit. The idea of going to the parking lot is a good one. I agree that usually someone will be willing to help if you need it. I was just at campground and the manager said that a lady arrived in a new RV and said her husband could not get there until the next day and could the manager help her get into her site and hooked up-- he backed her in and got her all hooked up!
My niece has traveled in her RV solo and with her young sons and never had a problem. Once in my life I felt unsafe in a campground. Just went inside locked the door and left early the next day!
Try to get a campground the first time with either a pull through or really wide roads-- check the reviews on here. There is nothing wrong with starting with a pull through.
When I got back into RVing and bought a 34 foot motorhome, I called the campground and told them that I was new and needed an easy in site and they were very understanding and gave me a site you could get in blindfolded. Don't hesitate to ask for help
sillypup
Thanks Bud! That's a good idea to try to find a place with pull throughs to make it a little easier in the beginning. I'll ask for an "easy" spot when I make reservations and hopefully they can help me with that. smile.gif

Mia
Jurhee
Hi Mia,
Congratulations on taking the plunge! You will meet a few single women out there. I full-timed alone (my mom traveled with me when she could) for over 7 years and loved every minute of it. I have known several other women RVing alone. I never felt unsafe or had a problem being alone. Just take the "normal" precautions. I felt that I had the best of both worlds. Since I had to do everything myself, I found that many times I would end up where the guys would congregate to ask "guy" questions. Then, I would visit with the ladies and talk girl talk.

I started with a small 5er, moved up to a larger one, then had 2 motor homes, each was 40'. You can learn to back and do whatever is required.

Jurhee

QUOTE(sillypup @ Jun 26 2007, 08:45 PM) *

Hello all,



So, one of my big questions is; is solo RVing common at all, or will I be the only solo RVer on the campground? Also, I'm female, and I'm wondering how safe it is to be camping on your own? Any good tips from other solo RVers?
Cheers, Mia
sillypup
Thanks Jurhee, I'm really looking forward to our first trip, and since I started practicing backing up and realized that it's really not that difficult, I do feel MUCH better about the whole thing, lol!

But there's so much to learn, and I'll just try to absorb as much as I can before that first trip.


Mia
Butch
Just remember Mia, move slowly in unfamiliar territory, and if making a move in tight quarters, stop, get out and look at the area, before resuming movement. Better safe, than sorry.
Sonny Domingue
QUOTE(Texasrvers @ Jun 26 2007, 10:48 PM) *

Here's another welcome to the forum. We have met several solo men campers and pairs of lady campers but to date only one other solo lady camper, but I'm sure there are many more out there. The one we did meet traveled with 3 or 4 dogs. She was working in Yellowstone NP at the time, but traveled around from job to job. She seemed to really enjoy her lifestyle. I'm sure it will not take you long to get the hang of things.

I have heard of singles camping clubs, but I do not recall the names of any. It seems one was for ladies only, but I'm not sure. Don't know if that sort of thing would interest you, but I decided to mention it just in case.

I read your other post about traveling with your dogs. We love having our animals with us. As you probably read we only have cats right now, but we have had dogs in the past. I'm sure your dogs will have some great adventures to tell their friends. Maybe you could train them to help you back the trailer. One bark for left, two for right. Just kidding!!

Now get out there and start having fun.
Sonny Domingue
QUOTE(Sonny Domingue @ Sep 9 2007, 08:44 AM) *

QUOTE(Texasrvers @ Jun 26 2007, 10:48 PM) *

Here's another welcome to the forum. We have met several solo men campers and pairs of lady campers but to date only one other solo lady camper, but I'm sure there are many more out there. The one we did meet traveled with 3 or 4 dogs. She was working in Yellowstone NP at the time, but traveled around from job to job. She seemed to really enjoy her lifestyle. I'm sure it will not take you long to get the hang of things.

I have heard of singles camping clubs, but I do not recall the names of any. It seems one was for ladies only, but I'm not sure. Don't know if that sort of thing would interest you, but I decided to mention it just in case.

I read your other post about traveling with your dogs. We love having our animals with us. As you probably read we only have cats right now, but we have had dogs in the past. I'm sure your dogs will have some great adventures to tell their friends. Maybe you could train them to help you back the trailer. One bark for left, two for right. Just kidding!!

Now get out there and start having fun.

Sonny Domingue
QUOTE(Sonny Domingue @ Sep 9 2007, 08:44 AM) *

QUOTE(Texasrvers @ Jun 26 2007, 10:48 PM) *

Here's another welcome to the forum. We have met several solo men campers and pairs of lady campers but to date only one other solo lady camper, but I'm sure there are many more out there. The one we did meet traveled with 3 or 4 dogs. She was working in Yellowstone NP at the time, but traveled around from job to job. She seemed to really enjoy her lifestyle. I'm sure it will not take you long to get the hang of things.

I have heard of singles camping clubs, but I do not recall the names of any. It seems one was for ladies only, but I'm not sure. Don't know if that sort of thing would interest you, but I decided to mention it just in case.

I read your other post about traveling with your dogs. We love having our animals with us. As you probably read we only have cats right now, but we have had dogs in the past. I'm sure your dogs will have some great adventures to tell their friends. Maybe you could train them to help you back the trailer. One bark for left, two for right. Just kidding!!

Now get out there and start having fun.




I have run into a club called WOW Women on Wheels
Jurhee
One group for single men and women is ---Loners on Wheels - LoW - An International RV Club of single men and women who enjoy traveling, camping, RV caravaning and the camaraderie and lifestyle www.lonersonwheels.com

There are a couple for just women, but I never joined. I had too many "couples" friends and groups that I traveled/visited with.

Jurhee



.

I have heard of singles camping clubs, but I do not recall the names of any. It seems one was for ladies only, but I'm not sure. Don't know if that sort of thing would interest you, but I decided to mention it just in case.
Texasrvers
Sillypup,

How did your first trip go? Did your dogs go with you? Most important did you have a good time?

I wanted to pass along that I saw a book advertised that you might be interested in. It is called "RV Traveling Tales; Women's Journeys on the Open Road." The ad says "This anthology features the writings of women of varied backgrounds, many living full–time in their RVs, ranging in age from 14-85. They take a humorous look at situations unique to the RVing lifestyle: living in a small box on wheels, maneuvering a 38 foot RV, or surviving bears and other calamities." I think it is available from Trailer Life. Check their web site.

Also I don't remember where I read it (maybe on this forum), but one tip I heard for single women was to get a huge dog collar and leash and leave them just outside your RV door at night. Course I know you have real dogs, but I wasn't sure how big they were or if they were only capable of licking people to death.

Anyway hope you are having fun in your new trailer!!!
RLM
Sillypup> A couple years ago we met a 75 year old lady who had been RVing on her own for about five years in a class B. She had even done Alaska by herself. A wonderful person who we still keep in touch with.

I am a full timer and there's lots of advise I could give you, but one that was in this thread is worth repeating....take your time. Secondly, you will break, run over, or damage something at some point. It happens to everyone. So try to make it cheap. biggrin.gif
sillypup
Hi everybody,

My first trip went very well! I went to a campground about 30 minutes away from home just to make sure everything worked, and it did! I had a great time and I met some very nice fellow campers too.

My second trip went great also. This time I ventured a whopping 45 mins from home, and I brought ALL my dogs with me. They are pretty big dogs (Rottweiler, Australian Cattle Dog, Pit Bull and Doberman) and the only slightly difficult task was to walk all four of them at once biggrin.gif
Normally I'll walk them two at a time, but with a little practice it will become easier, I'm sure.
They all loved to hang out in front of the trailer people- and dog-watching, but their favorite was being inside the trailer in the tent-end that's been designated for them, just watching life go by on the outside smile.gif

I couldn't get the heater to work, and took the trailer to the dealer when I came home, and it turned out to be a fuse INSIDE the heater, so they fixed it, and now it works fine.
I had been a little worried about running out of juice in the battery after a day or so, but I stayed for 3 nights and 4 days at the campground, and according to the gauge the battery was still 75% full by the time I left. Didn't even get to use my new generator!

But my next trip will be for 5 nights in October, so I'm sure the generator will come to use then.

I'm hoping to be able to go on some slightly longer trips next year, and I guess I'll just keep practicing close to home until then wink.gif

Mia
pianotuna
Hi Sillypup,

75% of full is 5% too low if you want that battery to last and last and last! Glad you had a good trip. Next time the heater will *eat* some of your battery life.

What did you finally decide on for a generator? (Inquiring minds want to know!)

QUOTE(sillypup @ Sep 10 2007, 10:17 PM) *

Hi everybody,

My first trip went very well! I went to a campground about 30 minutes away from home just to make sure everything worked, and it did! I had a great time and I met some very nice fellow campers too.

My second trip went great also. This time I ventured a whopping 45 mins from home, and I brought ALL my dogs with me. They are pretty big dogs (Rottweiler, Australian Cattle Dog, Pit Bull and Doberman) and the only slightly difficult task was to walk all four of them at once biggrin.gif
Normally I'll walk them two at a time, but with a little practice it will become easier, I'm sure.
They all loved to hang out in front of the trailer people- and dog-watching, but their favorite was being inside the trailer in the tent-end that's been designated for them, just watching life go by on the outside smile.gif

I couldn't get the heater to work, and took the trailer to the dealer when I came home, and it turned out to be a fuse INSIDE the heater, so they fixed it, and now it works fine.
I had been a little worried about running out of juice in the battery after a day or so, but I stayed for 3 nights and 4 days at the campground, and according to the gauge the battery was still 75% full by the time I left. Didn't even get to use my new generator!

But my next trip will be for 5 nights in October, so I'm sure the generator will come to use then.

I'm hoping to be able to go on some slightly longer trips next year, and I guess I'll just keep practicing close to home until then wink.gif

Mia
Jurhee
You need to keep in mind that many rv parks do not allow the breeds of dogs that you have. And, many parks, while not disallowing the breed, will only allow 2 pets per rig..

Have fun traveling!!!

Jurhee


QUOTE(sillypup @ Sep 10 2007, 11:17 PM) *

Hi everybody,

My first trip went very well! I went to a campground about 30 minutes away from home just to make sure everything worked, and it did! I had a great time and I met some very nice fellow campers too.

My second trip went great also. This time I ventured a whopping 45 mins from home, and I brought ALL my dogs with me. They are pretty big dogs (Rottweiler, Australian Cattle Dog, Pit Bull and Doberman) and the only slightly difficult task was to walk all four of them at once biggrin.gif
Normally I'll walk them two at a time, but with a little practice it will become easier, I'm sure.
They all loved to hang out in front of the trailer people- and dog-watching, but their favorite was being inside the trailer in the tent-end that's been designated for them, just watching life go by on the outside smile.gif

I couldn't get the heater to work, and took the trailer to the dealer when I came home, and it turned out to be a fuse INSIDE the heater, so they fixed it, and now it works fine.
I had been a little worried about running out of juice in the battery after a day or so, but I stayed for 3 nights and 4 days at the campground, and according to the gauge the battery was still 75% full by the time I left. Didn't even get to use my new generator!

But my next trip will be for 5 nights in October, so I'm sure the generator will come to use then.

I'm hoping to be able to go on some slightly longer trips next year, and I guess I'll just keep practicing close to home until then wink.gif

Mia
sillypup
Pianotuna> I ended up buying the Kipor IG2000P, just in case I decide I need more power in the future.
So 75% of full is still 5% too low? Do I just plug in the generator for a while every day to make sure the battery never goes below 80%? And how do I know when it's below 80%? Sorry for all the questions, but this power stuff is like greek to me!! blink.gif

Mia
pianotuna
Hi Mia,

Great choice on the genny! It should do most of what you need except roof air. (or will it run yours?)

One reliable way is to measure the specific gravity of the electrolyte. You were the one who said 75% *grin*, so how did you measure it?

deep cycle cells can be taken to 50% with some loss of life. Taking them to 20% is a definite "no no", running them totally "flat" is insane and 80% is very conservative--but gives the best possible lifespan.

The generator could be used to run your RV and recharge the battery--I'd think about one hour would be a good "shot in the dark".

Lead acid cells take a long long time to fully recharge.

How are you handling the "parasitic" loads when your RV is not in use? (solar for me)

QUOTE(sillypup @ Sep 11 2007, 09:21 PM) *

Pianotuna> I ended up buying the Kipor IG2000P, just in case I decide I need more power in the future.
So 75% of full is still 5% too low? Do I just plug in the generator for a while every day to make sure the battery never goes below 80%? And how do I know when it's below 80%? Sorry for all the questions, but this power stuff is like greek to me!! blink.gif

Mia
sillypup
[quote name='Jurhee' date='Sep 11 2007, 07:40 AM' post='8298']
You need to keep in mind that many rv parks do not allow the breeds of dogs that you have. And, many parks, while not disallowing the breed, will only allow 2 pets per rig..

Have fun traveling!!!

Jurhee


Jurhee,

Yes, I'm aware that a lot (if not most) RV parks do not allow the breeds I have, but my dogs go where I go, and I'll just have to look harder for camp grounds that will allow them (I've already found 3 smile.gif ) My dogs are all excellent ambassadors for their breeds, and have managed to turn many people from being afraid of them to loving them, so hopefully we can help spread the message that not all Pit Bull and Rottie owners are irresponsible thugs, and not all Pits, Rotties and Dobes are vicious beasts! biggrin.gif

Mia
sillypup
<Pianotuna, the indicator that shows how much fresh water you have left, how full gray and black water tanks are etc, is what showed my battery power to be at 3/4 full. I know these gauges are notoriously inaccurate, but that's the only way I know how to measure stuff for now. I don't know if the battery was at exactly 75%, or at 85 or 60..... So how do I measure the specific gravity of the electrolyte? Is there a gauge I can buy? As you can tell, it's going to take some time for me to learn all the ins and outs of the trailer, but I'm having a great time doing it so far!! biggrin.gif

When I'm not out camping I keep the trailer hooked up to the power at home, so the battery should stay charged, right?

I haven't had any need for the AC so far, but I would need a bigger generator to run it, so I'll have to decide if it's worth hauling along 2 generators to have the comfort of the aircondition. As long as I stay along the Northern California coast I think I'll be ok. I've actually had to use the heater on a couple of occasions when it got a little chilly.

Mia
pianotuna
Hi Mia,

Yes, plugging in will keep the batteries "topped up" however it may also *over charge* them. Check to see what type of charger is built into your RV! If it is the wrong type..then get a timer and turn the RV on for only an hour a day.

Yes, you can get a gauge for specific gravity at most places that sell car batteries. However make sure you are wearing your "grunge" clothing when checking or you will be dismayed by the holes that appear in your clothing.

I'm probably very conservative about battery use--but then I like it when they last "forever".

I'm glad you don't need the AC yet. I'm in TX as I write this and *melting* because this trip there was a motorcycle to haul--which meant *no* generator! (sob I'm melting, I'm melting)
DXSMac
Boy, if you are female, travelling solo, AND deciding to tow a car, I admire you! I travel solo, but I'm too chicken to pull a car. I travel with an electric bike (example at www.egovehicle.com) on a motorcycle carrier on the back.

People are good about helping. Just don't be OBVIOUS. Keep a low profile. Be aware of your surroundings. The dog dish thing is a good idea. I have an "attack cat" for what it's worth.... And, if you drive into an RV park, no matter how desperate you are to stop for the night, if you have the "eebie jeebies," keep on going! Even if it costs you a reservation fee. There was an RV park in Spokane I wanted to stay at (Maple Tree, on Sprague) because it's location was convenient. I got to it, I said NO WAY and I kept on going! (I was overcome by the "eebie jeebies" when I got to it.) Found out later it's a haven for "female hustlers" (if you know what I mean) and drug dealers.

JJ
Jurhee
When I was traveling alone in the past, I carried a bicycle for a while. But, after thinking about it, I decided that a female bike on the back was advertising the fact that I was alone--so I sold the rack and bike.

Towing a car was no big deal. Use the proper precautions when driving with or without the car. I could not even tell the car was there----but, I was always aware that it was.

Jurhee

[quote name='DXSMac' date='Sep 24 2007, 12:29 PM' post='8436']
Boy, if you are female, travelling solo, AND deciding to tow a car, I admire you! I travel solo, but I'm too chicken to pull a car. I travel with an electric bike (example at www.egovehicle.com) on a motorcycle carrier on the back.
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