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Things Learned On Our First Full Travel Trip


masterdrago
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Things Learned On Our First Full Travel Trip
When we picked up our new 3791RD 5th wheel on Halloween we pulled it the 4 miles to our house. We had some work done on our driveway by the county a few weeks prior to enlarge the street interface from 12' to 20'. The street we live on is a country narrow residential blacktop and even with help from an experienced neighbor, for the life of me, I could not get it backed in. We ended up pulling in forward but managed to exchange some pine resin for some gel coat in the process.
The county came out a week later to add another 20' culvert I had delivered, making the new width 40'. We did our 1st "campout" a mile from our home on Lake Conroe in an RV park and set up next to our full time neighbors. Spent a week there and being able to hit the house, hardware store and RV dealer for forgotten but needed items was good planning. I only had to make about a dozen trips out for items:=} While we were "camped", we had the concrete pad poured for the 5r. Things went well and we got to do a full winter checkout on the 3791. I managed to much more easily back it in after the week away.


Next full week long trip to Canyon of the Eagles, a trip of about 235 miles over country back roads.


Things learned:
Plan your route - I had used several maps and online sources to work my path. Deluxe Motor Carriers' 2018 Road Atlas to find low clearance bridges, TxDOT to find construction zones, MapQuest and Google Earth to check course plot. Make sure your navigator (Wife) understands the route. Also your onboard NAV or GPS.
 

Fuel - Since our Ram Dully has only a 32 gallon tank, I made sure to have it full to the max b4 leaving. It turns out to get between 8 and 10 mpg pulling the 15,100# as weighed by RVSEF in Buda, Tx. just south of Austin. Turns out we are 1,730# under GVWR. The roads we used did not have RV convenient diesel stations. Note to self - Carry 10 gallons in portable tanks with a way to transfer the fuel to the truck tank.
 

DEF - Carry extra DEF (diesel exhaust fluid). The tow vehicle uses a lot more of this vital fluid when towing. It is fairly available in any small town but you pay more big $$$.
 

Trees - Make sure you understand all your clearance issues when navigating through small towns and inside campgrounds. Especially turning radius and swing. I got myself into a tight spot at the registration parking area due to my own inexperience. Traded some cedar bark with TPDM. Fortunately, it's repairable.
 

Propane - Not all campgrounds have nearby refill stations and in winter, you'll go through a fair amount. Either take extra (unfortunately the pigtails will not reach a grill sized bottle) or make sure you know where to get refills.
 

Tools and Such - I have made my pile of tools and backup parts b4 we even closed the deal on our 5r. One thing I remembered while at the campground was extra fuses. Sadly, I could not use a spare from my Ram truck (different type). One good thing is that most of the 5r fuses are 15amp with a couple of 25amp thrown in. When I got back home, I added those to my pile of goodies.

Water in Holding Tank - On the way back, we filled the fresh water holding tank about 1/3 full to be able to flush for breaks.


If anyone can add things learned, please feel free to chime in.

 

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You will LOVE that Montana.  We had two of them when we were full timing before.  The only thing I will ask is what tires are you running?  On both of my Montana fivers I had Goodyear G614 rubber.  I'm not saying you have to get the Goodyear but if your new unit came with E rated Marathons or another E rated brand you will probably experience issues.  If you haven't already jointed the Montana Owner forum you should check it out (MOC).  They are a bunch of good folks that know everything there is to know about Keystone Montana fivers.

We only had a 26 or 28 gallon fuel tank on our F350.  Instead of adding an expensive auxiliary tank I carried four 5 gallon diesel cans in a low tool box.  I wouldn't always keep them filled but when preplanning some routes there were times when I needed to use them over the years.  I was never a big fan of hauling around 75 to 100 gallons of extra fuel, too much weight IMHO.

Sounds to me like you are about ready!

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FL-JOE, Yes we are loving the Montana and yes, I'm on the MOC. Also since I'm such a noob, I also hang on the GDRV, and the DRV forum. Get lots of good help on MOC for Montana specific stuff. I posted this thread here because of the most traffic and great crew of folks. Still so much to learn. We had narrowed our search to the Montana 3791RD and Solitude 375RES-R after a 10 month look. I really wanted the DRV but it was just out of our $$$ range. It actually came down to a list of really small things and one was the Sailun ST235/80R16 tires G-rated 4080# (the Solitude had Westlakes). Another was our local dealer would sell the Montana for ~$12k below the Solitude. I think that Holiday World has a special deal with Keystone, but not sure.

I've looked at extra fuel tanks and just cannot justify the cost right now since we are part time campers. I'm a real stickler for safety so I'm looking at Railroad approved gas cans https://www.uline.com/BL_8171/Gas-Cans

AMZN has the yellow one for $72 free shipping. I know they are pricey but I think they are a lot safer than the plastic ones when carried around in a 5r or vehicle.

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