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Old 08-09-2017, 10:24 AM   #1
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how much set up for quick over night stays?

Hi all,
This is a real newbie question, so please bear with me! When you are on the road and pull in late some place, say a big store's or casino's large parking lot, and you just plan to sleep, then get up and head out early the next morning, do you need to unhitch your trailer, put stabilizers down, etc?
Thanks!
Linda
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Old 08-09-2017, 10:29 AM   #2
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Actually, at most of these places disconnecting your trailer is discouraged, as is anything that actually resembles setting up for camping, like putting out matts and chairs, awnings, stabilizers, etc. Plus, from the point of view of using the lot as a quick overnight sleep stop, you want it to be as quick to stop and go as possible.

We have done it a bunch, as I sure don't like to pay at a campground when I am stopping late and leaving early, and it often takes less time as these lots are often in a more accessible place.

Watch for bright lights in lots. We set up near one once, and though not bothered by the light, was a little disoriented all night as I could not tell if the sun was coming up, or not.

Walmart's are good, as they usually open at 7am, so have a washroom to use, and are handy for picking up any supplies needed. I like to try and support their generosity.
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Old 08-09-2017, 10:35 AM   #3
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We stop, disconnect the power cord, use the rest room at the rest stop, turn on the outside lights, brush our teeth, turn off the inside lights, and go to sleep. Reverse the same in the morning.
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Old 08-09-2017, 10:36 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cpaharley2008 View Post
...disconnect the power cord...
Why do this, Jim. I never have, and have never had an issue leaving it connected.
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Old 08-09-2017, 10:51 AM   #5
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Why do this, Jim. I never have, and have never had an issue leaving it connected.
Your Ford has a relay that disconnects the TV battery when the ignition is in the off position. The Ram 1500 that Jim and I own does not IE : The 12 volt feed from the truck is energized at all times. I follow the same procedure as Jim just to make sure I don't wake up in the morning to a dead vehicle battery.
Jim may do it for a different reason but in any case it seems to be a wise precaution .
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Old 08-09-2017, 11:07 AM   #6
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Quote:
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Why do this, Jim. I never have, and have never had an issue leaving it connected.
Also I believe Jim did a nifty mod where he plugs into a modified 7 pin on his storage box with a jumper wire that allows the trailer to power his parking lights overnight.

http://www.escapeforum.org/forums/f8...tml#post149548
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Old 08-09-2017, 11:10 AM   #7
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Quote:
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Why do this, Jim. I never have, and have never had an issue leaving it connected.
Our first little Aliner, we pulled in to Wilgus State Park in Vermont (no electricity than) for just over night. Did not disconnect from the tow vehicle and woke up to a dead car battery. It was late fall so the furnace ran a couple of times in the night. Have always disconnected since.
A far as what to do for overnight, I'm with Jim. As long as your fairly level, disconnect power cord from vehicle, do what you got to do, and go to bed, no need to unhook from tow.
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Old 08-09-2017, 11:23 AM   #8
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Our first little Aliner, we pulled in to Wilgus State Park in Vermont (no electricity than) for just over night. Did not disconnect from the tow vehicle and woke up to a dead car battery. It was late fall so the furnace ran a couple of times in the night. Have always disconnected since.
Depends on if the vehicle has an isolation solenoid/relay or not. Obviously yours didn't in the case above, but an easy way to know is to test the black charge line prong on the 7 pin for voltage with vehicle ignition off. If someone does not have an isolating relay (and would rather not just unplug the cord from the tow vehicle) one can always be added.
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Old 08-09-2017, 11:38 AM   #9
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Maybe I have gotten lucky, as I haven't disconnected the 7-pin ever, for the last 22 years of hard wall trailer ownership for overnight stops. I had usually driven enough that both tow and trailer batteries were fully charged. The furnace running lots for 4 nights when camping never drained the trailer batteries, I would think one night of moderate use, with both batteries in good condition, would be an issue, but obviously it is for some folks. Now, if the fridge was on DC power, I could see that being a bit issue, for sure.
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Old 08-09-2017, 12:04 PM   #10
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For quick stops we do nothing. If it's a WM, which we avoid when possible, we go in and find something for dinner. We try to avoid being near the bright lights and stay away from the delivery truck lane if we can tell where it is.
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Old 08-09-2017, 12:06 PM   #11
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Quote:
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Walmart's are good, as they usually open at 7am, so have a washroom to use, and are handy for picking up any supplies needed. I like to try and support their generosity.
Actually Walmart hours can be very varied. Some are 24 hours, some close at mid-night. We generally check as that sometimes determines where we park.

As to the OP's question. Nothing, aside from open the front awning. Most users follow the don't set up camp rule aside from maybe sitting outside in a camp chair. Some put down stabilizers and some even unhook.

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Old 08-09-2017, 12:11 PM   #12
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We just pull in and go to bed. First thing I always check on a tow vehicle is if the charging line is hot with the key off. The Nissan Frontier we have is not hot with the key off, so we don't have to do anything on short stops, but pick a parking spot and go to bed.
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Old 08-09-2017, 12:36 PM   #13
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Alf, aka Escape Artist put me on to a great idea. Cracker Barrel, where available, have RV and bus parking normally. He stops around 9 pm (they close at 11), goes in for some take out dinner, use the restroom and asks for permission to stay the night. Next morning, they open at 6 am, get some take out breakfast and get on the road. Two meals, restroom and sleep stop all in a quiet area.
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Old 08-09-2017, 01:51 PM   #14
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i disconnect- i have woken up to a dead battery on my old Ford. i was told it disconnected when off but it didn't. i had bad batteries in my trailer didn't know i was draining the truck battery. It happened to my friend too she also had batteries that were failing on her camper and did not know she was using her truck batteries (she also was told her truck would disconnected when off) I'm sure if everything is working correctly its not an issue i just don't trust that anymore and its easy to do. But that's all i do i don't unhitch/use stabilizers etc...
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Old 08-09-2017, 02:23 PM   #15
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Get one of these for the tow box, I wouldn't trust anyone telling me it's hot or not hot. You'll know in seconds if anything is hot with key off and also a great troubleshooter for lights, signals, etc.
https://www.amazon.com/58270-7-Way-B...s=7+pin+tester
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Old 08-09-2017, 02:40 PM   #16
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looks simple to use so i bought one !
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Old 08-09-2017, 03:03 PM   #17
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While putting down jacks is discouraged in some cases, it is physically harmless, and can make using the trailer more practical or comfortable. Just make sure that the jacks have large enough feet to avoid making dents in soft paving surfaces (such as asphalt); with the standard Escape stabilizing jacks that means adding the accessory "sand pads" or placing blocks under them.
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Old 08-09-2017, 03:48 PM   #18
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We will use leveling blocks if the parking lot is uneven (very few times it hasn't been). No need to give the refrigerator another excuse not to work!
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Old 08-09-2017, 04:17 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rubicon327 View Post
Also I believe Jim did a nifty mod where he plugs into a modified 7 pin on his storage box with a jumper wire that allows the trailer to power his parking lights overnight.

www.escapeforum.org/forums/f8/planned-modifications-to-prairie-schooner-8167.html#post149548
Link showing Jim's plug installed:
http://www.escapeforum.org/forums/f8...tml#post102618
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Old 08-09-2017, 04:55 PM   #20
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If I had a 12 volt source from the tug that was always live I'd simply install a toggle switch to control when it's off or live. It would be dead simple to connect a switch in the junction box where the 7 pin lead terminates, usually near the panel. Then I'd mount the switch beside the panel. I did that with my solar controller.

We spent years sleeping on boats that didn't have the ability to put down stabilizers to prevent movement. So we never bother unless we're going to set up shop.

Usually we can find a suitable place that's fairly level. I don't think that we've ever resorted to leveling blocks for a quick overnight stop.

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