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We are taking our new travel trailer out for the first time this weekend and I am wondering if there are any words of advice from "old hats" who have been doing this a while. Basically I need to know what we need to know URGENTLY...for example, things like making sure we disinfect the water tank before we use it, stuff like that. I figure we will learn the hard way on the smaller issues, but what do we need to know to keep ourselves SAFE?

Thanks in advance for any advice.

We were tent campers when young and went a couple times in a pop-up but never been in a travel trailer before.
Welcome to the forum, Crittercove! I'm sure you'll find you get lots of good advice here - you might want to check out the topic "newbie looking for basic info" - there is a link in there for "" which may answer a lot of your questions. There is also "" that you might want to have a look at.

Also - welcome to the world of RV'ing. We bought our first TT about 3 years ago and didn't know much about it either - having tented for many years. What we found was that "old hats" are more than willing to help you out at the campground - they seem to know you need help before you even realize it!! Before you know it, you'll be one of the old hats, helping out another newbie.

Hope you have a great weekend!
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Thank you! I will find that link and check it out now.

'ppreciate it. biggrin.gif
One thing I had learned that I hadn't thought of before is to be wary of the water connection at the campsite. You never know who was there before and if they decided to rinse out their dump hose by holding it up to the water spiggot and turning the water on (nothing like having someone's sewer water all over the spiggot when you hook up. It would be a good idea to bring something to disinfect the water spiggot before hooking up. I know some people use a spray bottle with a beach/water solution to disinfect but you will need to be aware of the shelf life of the solution as bleach starts to degrade when in a solution form like that. There is another thread on this site called RVing Public Safety that goes into this. I also bought an inline water filter to hook up as you never know what the quality of water will be like at the park.

Another thing you might look into is a inline pressure regulator for the water supply. You never know what the water pressure will be like at a park and to much incoming pressure could blow a fitting and cause a water leak.

Another good place to look on the web is There is a lot of good information on this site covering everything from buying a RV to care and maintenance to tips on what to pack and camping.

Hope you have a fun trip.

I want to add that if you have anyone near you with a RV ask them for advice. Most always are glad to help. I second the post with the water pressure regulator ( as campers water lines are plastic and you don't wont them to burst ) And to have a water filter. As for the first time out I would suggest close to home as you never know what you'll forget....My wife had camped for years before we met ( I only camped as a young kid and all I remember is playing ) So I trusted her with "what to we need to take" and At first we managed to "forget" something. But we managed to get it and now have camped over two years now and just love going. We even to our first road trip this past summer traveling thru 7 states. is also a great site for info as they have sections for people with TT's and also for people new rving etc..... Click on "open roads forum" Good Luck & Happy Trails biggrin.gif
Excellent ideas! Thank you. Eeew. I never thought about that with the water hose and what it might have been used for. So glad you mentioned that.

I think staying close to home is an outstanding idea, at least until we get the hang of things. Traveling with four (yes four) skittish dogs isn't going to make things easier, either. To be honest, I am really nervous about this first trip. I sure hope that changes after we've gone a couple times since that's defeating the whole purpose if you're a bundle of nerves! The whole idea is to relax. ph34r.gif

Well, we haven't slept all night in anticipation so I better get busy. We are going to drive around and check out the campgrounds first. I know that's a lot of hours and miles, but we feel like we should do that w/o the trailer behind us. We've never towed anything that big before (it's a small t.trailer, but big to us). So we won't actually camp until later today or early tomorrow.

I will definitely be checking back in and letting you know how it goes. Any more hints would be appreciated. I have gone through and read a lot of the older threads and learned a lot that way.

Thank you!
As basic as it seems, I managed to screw this up just last summer. But, I'm only on my 2nd year with my TT so I don't feel too bad. When you get to a new campground, before you commit to pulling into the site, make sure you're facing the right way for that site. I pulled right into

this one lovely site and after much backing and struggling, I realize I pulled in the wrong side,
so now my sewage, electric,and water hook-ups are 30 feet further away from my connections.
So, back out I go and another lap around the park to come in on the correct side!
Don't assume the site has hook-ups on both sides, they probably don't.
Don't assume the site has hook-ups on both sides, they probably don't.

I don't think I've ever seen one that does.
In this reply I will address only fresh water as a single topic.

As for water hoses, I keep a 20 footer and 2-10 footers. That way I can connect at 10, 20, 30 or 40 foot lengths without a big snarl at the hook up point. If I need less that 40 feet I have an extra length for access to the spigot without disconnecting the service hose.

I have a water pressure regulator to protect the rig from the occassional over-pressurized Campground. I usually hook this up to the spigot directly unless the configuration prohibits it.

I have an in-line water filter at the input to the trailer to protect the inside micro-filter from larger particles. This allows my inside filter to last a bit longer and the macro-filter isn't expensive.

I have a Y-connector with individual shutoff valves to give me outside access to the spigot without having to disconnect the service hose from the rig. Has been very convenient on multiple occassions.

I have spare washers for hoses, and spare filter-washers as well.

I tend to spare in depth so that I can meet 90% of my requirements. Don't feel that you have to have everything I do, especially if your rig setup is marginal in weight.

A rubber or plastic sliplock wrench is also a handy tool for tightening and loosening water connections in case you have a minor leak, or have accidently over tightened a connection and can't get it apart.

That's topic one - a quicky. If I have time I will do AC power next.

Good Luck,
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