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Thread: Nervous Newbie

  1. #1
    Setting Up Camp
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    Nervous Newbie

    We are recently retired and in our early seventies. We have never owned an rv before. After researching various trailers we put a deposit on a 2021 Imagine XLS 22MLE. Our tow truck is a Ford F150 XLT Crew Cab 4x4 with the 3.5 Ecoboost engine rated at 13,200 towing capacity. We will be camping occasionally one or two weeks at a time probably no more than a thousand miles from home. Having never towed a trailer, I am a little concerned about potential mishaps on the road such tire blowouts, strong wind gusts, or mechanical problems that I may encounter that I may not be able to trace and fix. I am not the greatest fix-it person. Any advice you may offer would be highly appreciated, especially those of you with this particular model. Thanks so much ! Tim

  2. #2
    Site Sponsor NB Canada's Avatar
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    Start with local trips maybe under 120 miles for the first year
    There is a lot to know and do when trailering and setup and tear down of camp

    I would never suggest a 1000 plus mile trip having never trailered before

    Also invest in a top quality hitch


    2021 Imagine 2400 BH
    2018 GMC Sierra 4x4 crew
    2021 Imagine 2400 BH
    2018 GMC Sierra 4x4 Crew 1840lb payload

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    Site Sponsor NB Canada's Avatar
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    Nervous Newbie

    The biggest phenomenon that occurs when towing is being passed by a larger vehicle
    You will feel you are being sucked into the passing vehicle then shortly you will feel a push back out

    Do not over correct for this. It is normal but can be intimidating


    2021 Imagine 2400 BH
    2018 GMC Sierra 4x4 crew
    2021 Imagine 2400 BH
    2018 GMC Sierra 4x4 Crew 1840lb payload

  4. #4
    Seasoned Camper Chewwi's Avatar
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    Read your owners manual and then read it again. You can get an electronic copy even before you get the RV.

    Get an RV tire pressure monitoring system and use it. Itís hard to tell if a tire is low or blown when you are towing. You can do a lot of damage to the RV very quickly with a flat tire.

    Also, have your dealer adjust the brakes on the RV before you pick it up. Dexter recommends you adjust the brakes after the first 200 miles when the shoes and drums have seated. Unless you your RV fealer is within 200 miles of the GD factory, your RV will already have more than that when you pick it up.

  5. #5
    Setting Up Camp
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    thanks for the good advice

  6. #6
    Seasoned Camper
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    I would suggest just towing around your area a few times and learning how to back up in parking lots with a lot of room and when businesses are closed. Remember to take wide right turns. Camp out in your driveway a couple times and don't cheat. Make it a real camp out. That way you know what you need to pack and what you don't. Watch as many youtube videos as you can about as many aspects of setting up, tearing down, using a dump station etc. as you can. Good luck!
    2021 Reflection 311BHS
    2020 Silverado 2500HD Duramax
    B&W Patriot 16K Hitch
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  7. #7
    Setting Up Camp
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    Thanks, we have always been water people and I have pulled ski boats and pontoon boats but never a camper trailer. I am sure they catch a lot more wind and are harder on the tires. The last time we camped was about 38 years ago in a tent !!
    Not doing that anymore !!

  8. #8
    Site Sponsor Tigger1's Avatar
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    Congratulations on your soon to be 22mle! We really like ours.

    Your F-150 will be good for the 22mle. Make sure to get a good weight distribution hitch (WDH) with sway control and understand how to adjust it to dial it in for your truck.

    If you don’t already have a road side service policy you might consider one. I use Good Sam but there are AAA, Coachnet, your car insurance company, etc.

    Buy a tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS), lots of good ones out there e.g. TST, etc. Make sure to keep proper tire pressure, 65psi for the 22mle, and to check it early in the morning before it gets hot out.

    Start looking at height restriction road signs. If you’ve never towed a trailer before you may not even notice them. Even though the 22mle is about 10 1/2 ft high, there can be bridges in small towns that may be a problem. I use the Rand McNally Deluxe Motor Carrier’s Road Atlas and check the low clearance index before I leave. Other options are available.

    Use the Search function in the upper right. There have been some good threads for what do I need as a newbie. Use “newbie” as a search term.

    Good luck and safe travels.
    Last edited by Tigger1; 03-02-2021 at 04:03 PM.
    2010 Tundra SR5 DC 5.7L 4x4
    2020 Imagine XLS 22MLE
    Andersen WDH
    Dexter E-Z Flex Suspension Kit
    2018 Rockwood Mini Lite 2104s
    2014 Jayco x17z Hybrid

  9. #9
    Site Sponsor RV Sailor's Avatar
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    Welcome

    Lots of great advice. Build up your confidence with shorter trips in the beginning.
    Practicing in lots with cones will help a lot. ( should have cones for emergency anyway).
    Backing up practice will help build up communication techniques with your partner.
    Good weight distribution hitch is necessary. Your payload capacity of the 150 approach max even though
    Towing capacity not even close
    Lots of 150 don’t have brake controller so install one
    Checklists help- laminate them ( set up, breakdown, final list before shoving off)
    Save money by camping a little before buying lots of do-dads and add ons. Some aren’t necessary
    Research expensive upgrades such as batteries, electricity, surge protectors, and educate yourself on 12 volt
    And 110 so you won’t be taken or buy unnecessarily. Match electrical equipment.
    Read, read, read......you can’t read too much.
    Learn the difference between true facts and internet opinions.
    Have fun
    Have fun
    Have fun and build memories with lots of pictures.
    Donna and Dave
    Annapolis, Maryland
    2021 Grand Design Imagine 2500RL / Dodge Ram Longhorn 2500 6.4 Hemi
    350 W Newapower Solar: 3000 Victron Inverter/ Charger: Firefly Oasis carbon foam AGM

  10. #10
    Setting Up Camp
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    Thank you so much. I've watched so many utube videos my mind is boggled !!

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