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 > What to buy for a first time RV?

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natepatton

Leavenworth, KS

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Posted: 02/10/18 03:29pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

My family is new to this forum and to this lifestyle.

We just purchased our first travel trailer (2018 Forest River Cherokee 294BH) and will take delivery in March (too cold in the Midwest right now). The dealership is asking if we want to install a few options before we take delivery and I am wondering if they are worth it or not. The first offering is for slide toppers for the two slide outs (super slide & bunk house) - the cost seems high for something I could probably do with a ladder and a broom, but I'm a novice (what do I know?). The second option is for a vent cover. This is something I believe is a good investment (low cost, high payoff) to keep moisture out of the RV. The final option was for a hard-wired power surge protector. I'm torn between getting an in-line protector or having it hard-wired. The in-line is less expensive, but there is a potential for theft - or am I wasting my money getting one all together?
Thanks!


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GordonThree

Northern Michigan

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Posted: 02/10/18 03:40pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I don't have slides, can't help there.

Vent covers are great, I don't know why they're not standard equipment. I installed mine, bought from Amazon two for $20 total shipped. Took maybe 30 minutes to install using self drilling screws instead of the junk nuts and bolts they came with. Now I can leave the vents open and not worry about rain, even when driving.

Surge protector I bought an expensive inline unit due to pressure from this forum, surge protector have a strong fan club on this forum. It's not compatible with the way my inverter tests the shore power. It's buried, unused in storage for three years now.


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kerrlakeRoo

Va

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Posted: 02/10/18 03:43pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Answering in part depends on your planned usage. If you are intending to stay in RV parks and will use the electrical hookups frequently AND will spend most days touring etc yes the built in surge protector is a good idea. If you intend to mostly boondock or dry camp in secluded areas, then you dont need it. Its dependent on your usage.
Slide toppers along with keeping debris from damaging the seals on a slide out, provide shade along with rain shielding. If you only have the one AC unit in the trailer and intend to use it often, the slide toppers may help keep the trailer cooler as well as protecting the seals.
And ,,,, enjoy the new unit.

John Wayne

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Posted: 02/10/18 03:47pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I'd go yes on the slide toppers,I'd do the roof vent covers myself easy job four holes and nuts and bolts and it's done. The surge protector make sure you get the one that is engery magement system (EMS) not just surge protection and that's your call portable or hard wired. You can always lock the portable to the power post.


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Lwiddis

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Posted: 02/10/18 03:47pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

If you will be dry camping/boondocking, no surge protection is needed since you’ll not be plugging in. Solar systems and inverter generators don’t need them IMO to recharge. Spend that money on a solar system.


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gbopp

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Posted: 02/10/18 03:49pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I also have no slides. But, you are correct, you can use a ladder and broom.

Definitely get the vent cover. It's cheaper to DIY but either way they are worth installing.

I have an inline surge protector. I bought it after a lightning strike very close to our RV. It damaged several items..
Are they worth it? I don't know but it makes me feel better.
Some on the forum feel they are not worth buying.

old guy

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Posted: 02/10/18 03:57pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I have slides and slide covers that came with the TT. I am too old to climb ladders to sweep off the slides. I for one am glad I have them. I like to take just about the least amount of stuff I have to take. loading and unloading is too time consuming and gets in the way of enjoying camping. vent covers are a good investment. lets air in the rain out. they are also sun resistant and the vent lids are not. vent lids cost about $20 each depending on style and need to be replaced often. they break so darn easy. the vent covers are much better and don't break as often unless you hit a tree. vent lids break esp in a hail storm and you sure don't want them to break at that time.

2chiefsRus

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Posted: 02/10/18 03:57pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

A basic surge protector is not the way I would go. I recommend a Progressive Industries EMS which will do much more than provide surge protection. Low power can be just as damaging as a surge. Hardwired will get used every time but inline will be easy to not use "just this once".

Slide toppers are very nice if you plan on camping in trees. If you will only be out West in windy areas, they can be annoying.


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donn0128

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Posted: 02/10/18 04:00pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Have had slide covers since day one with my fiver. Few inconviences, but I would never have another RV without them.


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DutchmenSport

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Posted: 02/10/18 04:38pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

If taking a telly?

Slide toppers: no
Vent covers: yes
Hard wired surge protection: Maybe? (but definitely an in-line one)

If you get an in-line Surge Protector, you may be able to install it inside the camper and just have it's plug accessible to the outside. It depends upon accessibility from the inside of the camper.

I got lucky with my camper. After 1 protector died, and the second one got stolen, I decided to install another in-line, inside the camper. I cut the 35 foot cord, added a female plug on the, now short, cord inside the camper, and then simply plugged in the protector. Stuck the mail end outside the hole on the camper, and then use an RV extension cord from the protector to shore power. If the protector ever fails, or shuts down, It's just a matter of reaching inside the cabinet, and unplugging it, and plugging directly into shore power, or just unplug and plug in a new protector. No more wiring to deal with.

The ability to do this depends upon where and how the access is to the wire that actually goes outside the camper hole.

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