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EIGHT "Must-Haves" Overlooked by New RV Owners

So you’ve just gotten a brand new RV and your family has headed out for an inaugural weekend getaway to celebrate.  You show up to the campground, and problems immediately start to crop up.  You can’t seem to get your trailer quite level, and it feels like it’s shifting and rolling a bit every time you walk around in it.  Your power cable won’t reach the shore power outlet, and you’re stuck effectively dry camping.  The kids are having fun, but they keep tromping mud and leaves into the carpet of your brand new investment.  You start wondering if all this trouble was even worth it.

 Don’t despair!  Some fore-thought and a little extra investment can save you tons of headaches on your first and future camping trips.  You can’t know what every campsite will be like, so we’ve compiled a list of the eight things you need to be prepared for common, and even not-so-common challenges that can arise.  Keep reading to see how you can make your first camping trip go just as smoothly as your fiftieth.


1. Tire Pressure Gauge & Torque Wrench

Wheel and tire maintenance is one of the most overlooked yet critical elements of RV ownership.  Always torque wheel nuts to the wheel manufacturer’s specifications.  Over or under-torqued wheel nuts can cause the wheel to separate from the wheel mounting surface during operation, causing property damage, personal injury, or loss of life.

Checking beforehand can avoid headaches or damage later.  Your Keystone owner’s manual recommends you check your tire pressure and wheel lug nut torque before each trip.  The owner’s manual will provide you with torque recommendations for your camper.


2. Wheel Chocks and Leveling Blocks

It’s pretty easy to level a trailer while it’s sitting on flat concrete.  Things can get a little more difficult when you get out onto rough and uneven ground, like what your might find at many campsites.    Leveling blocks (either homemade or store bought like these) help make that process much easier, especially if you don’t have an auto-leveling system.  Use the blocks under your tires to get your trailer level side-to-side.  Once your trailer or fifth wheel is level side-to-side, use wheel chocks to keep if from rolling or moving.  Once the wheels are chocked in place, use the tongue jack on a travel trailer, or front jacks on a fifth wheel to level your trailer front to back.  All level, now lower your scissor stabilizer jacks to steady the coach for camping.  Your stabilizer jacks were not designed for leveling the coach and can get damaged if try to use them to level your trailer.


3. RV Power extension cord with adaptors

You won’t know the exact layout of your camp site until you are there.  It is possible that the best position for your RV will not be within reach of the shore power outlet. Here’s where an extension cord that matches the power amperage of your main shore power cord comes in handy. Don’t forget various adaptors to make connecting to the power pedestal possible, like this adaptor that converts a 30AMP power cord to connect to a 15AMP shore power outlet. 


4. RV Surge Suppressor with Built in Circuit Analyzer

You can’t know the state of a site’s electrical wiring before you arrive, and a surprise lightning strike could send a surge through that system.  An RV surge suppressor with built in circuit analyzer can give you piece of mind that your appliances and electronics are protected.

These devices that attach to your RV’s power cable start at around $100.  That sounds like a lot, until you realize that repairing a blown out refrigerator could cost many hundreds of dollars, and that doesn’t even take into account how the loss of your fridge could ruin a camping trip. 

water pressure 

5. Water Pressure Regulator

Like we’ve been saying, you can’t know what the campsite will be like.  When hooking up to your ‘city water’ connection, water pressure that is too high can damage your trailer’s pipes, leading to costly repairs.  A water pressure regulator is a simple way to make sure you don’t blow out your pipes causing a messy, and costly, problem.  Keystone recommends that water pressure entering your system not exceed 45 PSI.


6. Sewer Hose, Disposable Gloves, and Holding Tank Chemicals

Nobody feels comfortable talking about poop.  We’re feeling a little weird even saying that and we’re just writing an article with nobody watching.  A step by step walk-through of how to flush your black and grey tanks after your stay is over may not have been covered in your walk through.  We’re not going to go over the specifics, but in order to complete the process cleanly and easily, you should have all these tools at the ready. Now let’s move on to something more fun.


7. Patio Mat & Camp Chairs

Nature is dirty.  Your RV doesn’t have to be.  A patio mat will help keep the mud and leaves outside, where it belongs and helps prevent stumbling over an exposed root or rock.  As far as camp chairs go, we say the more the merrier (within the limits of your storage space, of course).  Make sure you have enough seating for everyone who’s coming on the trip, and maybe a few more.  You never know who you’ll meet while you’re camping, and you may want to invite them over to your site for s’mores, beers, or just lively conversation.  It’s always nice to be able to say they don’t have to lug chairs with them when they come.


8. Non-toxic, drinking-water safe hose

Did your mom ever tell you not to drink from the water hose?  She was probably right.  Garden hoses aren’t designed with human consumption in mind and may leach harmful chemicals.   You will want to invest in a non-toxic, drinking-water safe hose both to fill your fresh-water holding tank and to connect to your city water hook up when you are at a campsite that offers a fresh-water connection.  We’ve found that a 50’ hose is about right, though you can certainly go longer.


Your camping experience is supposed to be relaxing and fun. You don’t want that to be disrupted by a problem that could have been prevented.  You can get all these items at your local Keystone RV dealer before you hit the road.




Indy 500 Winner Tony Kanaan Picks Keystone Raptor

The tall, boldly colored, red-and-black fifth-wheel is a pleasantly surprising addition to the rows of cookie-cutter million dollar buses. The fifth-wheel is a 2017 Keystone Raptor 425TS and this shiny, new toy-hauler belongs to 2013 Indianapolis 500 winner Tony Kanaan.

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Nine Hot New RV Models Hitting DealershipsThis Spring

This spring Keystone dealers will be offering dozens of new travel trailers and fifth wheels to excite your camping taste buds.  Everything from luxury models with all the latest bells and whistles to more family-focused campers with plenty of comfort and spaciousness.  Of all the many new floorplans Keystone introduced beginning 2016, we've selected nine below that we believe will tickle your fancy. 

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Keystone Impact

1. Impact Vapor Lite Toy Hauler by Fuzion

ATVs, UTVs and Side-by-Sides are all the rage these days and this Impact Vapor Lite 28V toy hauler trailer makes it easy to take all your toys with you when you want to hit the road. Designed to be towed by a properly equipped half-ton truck, this 28V offers 10-foot garage, 5000-pound pull rated welded-to-the-frame tie downs, enclosed living area, and large pass through storage for extras and your riding gear.  Check it out on this video.

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 2. Avalanche 300RE “Small but Mighty”

At under 35-feet in length and three-quarter ton towable, this Avalanche 300RE is a full-time campers dream.  And you don’t need a 1-Ton dually to tow it! You’ll love the hydraulic leveling system that operates at the touch of a button.  And with 190 feet of exterior pass-thru storage there’s room for all your gear.  Inside, you’ll fall in love with the entertainment center with fireplace and 50-inch…

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Keystone Outback

3. Outback Diamond Super Lite with “His” and “Hers” Refrigerators

How do you love this new Outback 326RL…let me count the ways.  With KeyGuard front cap protection, LED lighting, iN-Command RV automation system (that you control from your smart phone) King-Bed Suite, and of course, “His and Hers” refrigerators, there is a lot to love in this new Outback Diamond Super Lite.

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4. “High-Top” Dining in this Sprinter Wide-Body 356DEN

The high top dinette in this Sprinter 353FWDEN adds a definite WOW factor. Not only does it look great, but easily seats six adults. The expansive rear den features theater seating directly across from the entertainment center, and fold out sofas in each of the two opposed front living room slides. With a 18-cubic-foot Samsung residential refrigerator and what seems like acres of counter space, this floorplan…

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Keystone-Montana-front kitchen 

5. RV Business Magazine’s 2016 RV of the Year

No doubt about it, the Montana 3820FK “front kitchen” model has been drawing lots of attention this spring and racking up impressive sales.  The reason is simple; there is nothing else on the market like it. Not only is the front kitchen design attractive and functional, the huge front windshield adds a new dimension to hanging out at the campground.  Take a tour with Keystone district sales manager Sam…

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6. Measured for Success:  This Front Living Room Montana High Country is Well Thought Out

This Montana High Country 374FL front living room fifth wheel is laid out to near perfection and features a huge side patio unencumbered by curb side sliderooms. In addition, entry doors on patio side AND road side make it easy to get to the kitchen and bathroom with the slide in, perfect for when you are en-route and need to make a quick rest stop. Available with RV or residential refrigerator.

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summerland bunk house video

7. BJ Calls this the “Quintessential Family Camper”…See Why

Springdale completely redesigned the Summerland series to deliver more value per camping dollar. This 2820BH features double over double bunk beds, larger dinette, larger sofa, and LED interior lighting. On the exterior you will find power awning with LED lighting, exterior speakers, power stabilizer jacks, heated and enclosed underbelly, and outdoor shower.  In addition, the Summerland includes a touch-pad remote to control many of the coach functions from inside or outside.

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8.How do they do it???

This Laredo 28BH LHT packs a heavy-weight amount of comfort and spaciousness in a lightweight package.  Seven-foot high ceiling,  booth dinette (with pull out storage below), double bunk beds and true 60 by 80 queen bed are just some of the interior features in this light weight trailer. Plus on the exterior you will find outdoor kitchen, power LED lighted awning, and full radius gel-coat fiberglass painted front cap. Get all the details at…

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9. “Monster Storage” FRONT and REAR

This new Cougar  326RDS "rear den" floorplan is like having a front living room in the rear of coach. The raised rear den design gives you incredible views as well as creates over 178 cubic-feet of pass through  storage.  And with the MOR/ryde suspension system and 4-point auto leveling, pulling and setting up your Cougar is a dream.

Want to See How Your RV is Made. Take the Plant Tour.

Take a factory tour and see how your RV is built.  Tours begin in the customer service lounge located at 2425 Davis Drive.  Please email or call ahead to confirm your tour as schedules change. 

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Don't Be a Settler

Relax.  You're iN-Command.

  • Never lose your controller
  • Multiple users
  • When you have your phone, you are iN-Command

The new iN-Command (TM) RV automation system exclusively available on Keystone RVs gives you control over your RV like never before.  Virtually anything that operates with an electrical switch or motor can be controlled by iN-Command.  Use the wall-mounted Controll Commander touch pad or your smart phone or tablet using the free App.

iN-Command utilizes proven technology, color-coded and numbered wiring, and automotive-standard relays for unmatched reliability and performance.

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