First Trip Tips for Dummies.

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First Trip Tips for Dummies.

Postby Dagny » Sat Apr 25, 2009 8:23 am


I have found my first Teardrop, a 5x10 Silver Shadow from Little Guy. I will be taking it by myself with kids. Please advise and crucial info for my first trip. I have downloaded the checklist and read hundreds of threads, but didn't see any "Whatever you do, do not forget to...." ones for dummies.

What do I brace to tires with while parked? WHich electric appliances are no no's?
Last edited by Dagny on Mon May 04, 2009 10:15 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby devigata » Sat Apr 25, 2009 8:50 am

Congrats on your purchase! We don't have a teardrop, but one thing I remember from another thread is...

Put everything you think you want to take in a pile then eliminate half of that. Before you pack it in, eliminate another half and you've probably still got too much.


This past week I noticed that we had much too much "stuff" in The Big Lug, so we will be re-thinking our gear, for sure. I mean... why take four chairs when there's only two of you camping?
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Postby halfdome, Danny » Sat Apr 25, 2009 10:12 am

Congratulations on your new teardrop. My number one thing is to make sure to ventilate the cabin while occupying it. As far as what to bring or not to bring is a personal choice and you'll find out after a trip or two. Wheel chocks are cheap but a chunk of firewood will do too.

As far as appliances go I'd leave the washer and dryer at home. :lol:

:D Danny
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Postby iplay10us2 » Sat Apr 25, 2009 12:08 pm

The one thing I never take for granted is to hook up the tear and then test my turn signals, brake lights, etc. I also double check that the chains are crossed and attached, and that the tongue jack wheel is up and out of the way. I once saw someone drive off with that wheel down, and it snapped off.

I agree about trying not to pack too much. My logic is that I am usually not going to be that far away from a Walmart or other such store if I desperately need to buy something that I have forgotten or decide I need.
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Postby Ken A Hood » Sat Apr 25, 2009 12:36 pm

Do a dry run close to home, pack as if you're going away for the weekend. Then you'll get an idea of what you really need.... I'm the same way though; tend to bring too much and don't use alot of it.
Also I try to prep a few meals ahead of time; prewrapped baking potatoes, cooked spaghetti (a la dente) in a zip loc, spaghetti sauce, burgers preformed etc.....and I freeze all everything I prep ahead of time. I rather spend my time enjoying the outdoors, not preping/cookimg meals
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Postby Eunice » Sat Apr 25, 2009 1:36 pm

According to my husband I always take too much. I dont care, I take what I want to have a comfortable week end. Cast Iron is heavy but oh well. I take 4 chairs for the two of us. We have fun and over time have got the packing down to a science.
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Postby Steve_Cox » Sat Apr 25, 2009 2:13 pm

In Florida we take a box fan in the warmer months, keeps the mosquitoes off ya while your outside of the TD. Some campgrounds only provide 30 Amp electrical outlets... and a 30 amp to 20 amp adapter plug is nice if you want to plug in an extension cord.
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Postby Miriam C. » Sat Apr 25, 2009 4:24 pm

:o Kids! A porta potty and/or not Tent for it. Getting up to take kids to the bath house is a pain.

Snacks for kids
patience and more patience

A darn good sense of humor.

And check those tires, bearings and lights.

Did I say patience?

Have fun and take the :pictures: :pictures: :pictures: You will want proof for the grandkids. 8) :lol: ;)
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Postby S. Heisley » Sat Apr 25, 2009 8:11 pm

Here's my ideas:

At a Camping World or Big 5, Wal-Mart or .....? get a camping checklist (or copy one from a camping book). Then, just cross out the things on the list that relate to a tent or aren't necessary. What's left should be packed in the trailer or tow vehicle, plus a few trailer tools for...bite your tongue and cross your fingers...mishaps. Add a couple wheel chocks or wood blocks to wedge under the trailer's wheels as a 'parking brake'. Anything else is gravy! 8)
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Postby wolfy » Sat Apr 25, 2009 8:32 pm

A good grease gun...........those little wheels turn over MANY times, in comparison to your vehicle wheels.

Coupla' shots in the mornin' does us all good :lol:
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Postby doug hodder » Sat Apr 25, 2009 9:52 pm

Like mentioned, I'd make sure that the bearings are well greased and ready to go. Even if it's a repo from a dealer, just for the peace of mind I'd check them out and double check all the lighting on it. It's sort of like a used car and you have no one to go back on if there is a problem.

I bought a lawn mower once, back in the mid 70's that was assembled..."ready to mow, no problem" thing is....there was about a teaspoon of oil in the crankcase! I'm not saying the bearings are dry, I'm sure they aren't but ...but if'n it were me, I'd check to make sure they are well greased and not just a quickie job on them. It's really the only moving parts on the trailer.

Once you go and drag too much stuff, you'll realize what you don't's a personal decision. Doug
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duct tape, matches, heavy duty foil, and a clothesline

Postby tearhead » Thu Apr 30, 2009 8:23 pm

Dagny, you and your kids will have a wonderful time! I have never camped in a tear, but while tent camping have found many uses for duct tape, heavy duty foil, and a clothesline and clothespins (for hanging towels).

You might want to take some of those glow in the dark things (necklaces, wands) for the kids after dark, if they're into that.

Don't forget to take more than one flashlight. Take a hot pad in your galley. Paper towels work for napkins and cleanups. Throw in a few big trash bags in case you have to transport anything greasy or wet. They don't take up much space and can be very handy.

Recipe: red hots (cinnamon candies) sliced apples, brown sugar, and a little butter. Wrap in the foil and and cook over the fire for a few minutes--you'll be able to tell if they're done by squishing the pack a little. Some campgrounds don't have grills over the fire; an old stove rack or grill rack propped on logs will work.

Another recipe the kids might have fun with: Bannock--take Bisquick and make a thick dough. Form strips and wrap around green sticks or roasting forks and have the kids cook those over the fire.

Make sure to put your cooler and all food in the car at night. Raccoons can get just about anything except a car open.

Your new friend and would-be (but thus far unsuccessful :) tear owner,
Pat from Wisconsin

p.s. Is your husband back from Ohio yet with your dandy new Shadow?
Last edited by tearhead on Fri May 01, 2009 11:50 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Laredo » Thu Apr 30, 2009 11:52 pm

easy to regret:
not taking a knife.


not taking a spare flashlight, plus batteries and spare bulb (if not an LED light).
:cry: :cry:
not taking bug repellent and sunscreen.
:cry: :cry:

Personally I like those little "sample size" ones with the carabiners attached.

Also, hand sanitizer in the same sort of package.

not having along a compact but thorough first-aid kid -- alcohol pads, band-aids, antibiotic/painkiller ointment or cream, a couple ace bandages in case of sprains, some after-bite or sting-stick, and some aloe vera and caladryl in case of sunburn / poison ivy. I'd stick a couple needles, a good bright small specific-to-the-kit flashlight and a pair of tweezers in, along with a package of dental floss. I always used to include telephone money, but you might want to add one of those hand-turned cell-phone battery rechargers to prevent being rendered incommunicado at an inconvenient time.

:cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :shock: :cry:

what are you planning for activities? hiking? biking? birding? starwatching?
those things'll dictate part of your load (clothes, boots, binocs, a journal and /or guide book(s), water bottle, snacks). Remember: stuff always takes up more room than you thought it would, and dirty laundry never packs down as small as clean.

have a good book and a couple simple games (checkers or yahoo, for instance) and a deck of cards in case the weather turns to hammered pig snot on you. :R

There's NO SUCH THING as too many shoestrings. You can take a shoestring and tie a couple loops in it, and voila: you have a shoulder strap for your water bottle.

(You do have your water bottles wrapped in clean orphaned tube socks to keep the water cool and the bottles from sweating, right?) :worship:

I'm thinking in terms of stuff that's easy to do and won't cost a ton, here ... you probably already have good shoes, bikes, maybe even binocs. The library can provide you with guidebooks and reading material. :twisted:

you don't have to buy a lot of gear. take a spoon apiece and an unbreakable cup, and you're fixed for eating and drinking. Of course, you'll want soap and a dishtowel to clean your dishes (and something to heat water in for coffee / tea / oatmeal / soup and dishwashing).
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Postby ARKPAT » Sun May 03, 2009 5:44 pm

As everyone else said ; but add another un-checked list and a piece of paper and pencil to add and mark thru the list to append for the next camp-out. :worship:

You will never be perfect in packing all the right things. :oops:

Have fun most of all ! ! ! ! ! ;)


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Postby iplay10us2 » Mon May 04, 2009 5:33 pm

doug hodder wrote:Like mentioned, I'd make sure that the bearings are well greased and ready to go. Even if it's a repo from a dealer, just for the peace of mind I'd check them out and double check all the lighting on it. It's sort of like a used car and you have no one to go back on if there is a problem.

I have been meaning to ask: How do you check them and see if there is enough grease? Am I able to tell this without taking the trailer tire off?
I have never had to do this, so I have no clue.
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