Skip to content

Don’t make these common mistakes

You cringe and pray the damage isn’t too terrible, and costly. You have made a mistake. Your list failed you or you failed to use a list. Maybe this type of mistake isn’t a associated with a list, but the mistake has happened. You cringe and pray.

Maybe you were inexperienced, tired, distracted, or worse, all three. At this point you focus on assessing the damage and problem-solving.

I recently asked the Facebook T@b owners group what was a mistake they had made as a. we owner that makes them laugh, now. Some of the responses were hilarious!

But as I read the responses, I realized that learning from the mistakes of others is an awesome way to learn, so I decided to memorialize the most common types, here. The a number of the mistakes people shared were ones we see over and over in the T@b group. You will find even more on my T@b 320 FAQs & Troubleshooting page.

1. Tongue Jack/Dolly Wheel

I will raise my hand for this one. It is quite common to leave the tongue jack down or forget to remove the dolly wheel, thus causing damage to the tongue jack.

I made that mistake the very day I brought my T@b home and bent it beyond repair when I drive it across the yard with it down.

2. Not turning the power on at the power pedestal.

You might find this out by trying to run the air conditioner, The Alde, or powering your laptop from a 110v outlet. Your blood starts to boil because you cannot believe that you paid this kind of money for a trailer and the electric doesn’t even work.

But somehow, it occurs to you to check the connection at the power pedestal, and you are dumbstruck that you never turned the power on at the power pedestal. Problem solved.

3. You killed your first battery…maybe your first two batteries

Ah, batteries. People will sometimes ask me questions about batteries. How have I learned so much about batteries? Because I made so many mistakes! I knew absolutely nothing about batteries when I brought my T@b home.

A lot of first time owners have no experience with deep cycle batteries. We can leave our car batteries sit for a week without killing them. Why not our T@b batteries?

I killed mine right off the bat. I had no battery disconnect switch and who knew that one was even needed?

Maybe you know how to use your battery disconnect. Your dealer gave you an excellent walkthrough and so far, you haven’t killed your battery.

But after an hour at the campground, your LP detector is screaming and someone tells you your battery is low. How did that happen? You left your three-way fridge on battery power.

4. Setting up everything before checking the power and water connection.

You arrive after dark and after the 30 minute show you put on trying to back your trailer into your site, you rush to set up your site. You level, check, put up you awning or tent, throw out the rug and maybe even start your campfire before you realize you have ti tear everything down because the power or water has a problem at the site.

5. Oops…backing up into something

You are so concerned about not hitting the picnic table on the passenger side that you neglect the driver side and hit a tree.

Or maybe, you jump out of the driver seat to check your clearance and forget to put the tow vehicle in park and you look up just as the whole unit collides with the camper in the site across from your’s.

To help with this, some people install backup cameras. I use a wireless Swift Hitch camera.

6. Why aren’t my outlets working?

Ah, the joys of dry camping. Unless you have an inverter (not the same thing as the converter, which all T@bs have) your 110v outlets will not work if you are not connected to shore power.

Don’t feel embarrassed. A lot of us never thought about the difference between DC and AC power before we bought our T@bs but we have learned that 12v outlets and appliances (fan, fridge, TV, Jensen, Alde) will work when we dry camp and 110v outlets will not!

7. Failing to remove the chock or wheel lock.

Almost immediately you realize something isn’t right. In a panic, you pull over, throw the vehicle in park, and hop out to rush to see what is wrong.

Or, maybe this isn’t your first ride with this particular mistake and you know exactly what is wrong.

You have left the chock or wheel lock on place. If you are lucky, the only damage is to your ego. If you are a little less than lucky, you can damage a fender, wheel well, or worse.

8. Sewer tanks will not drain or drains in the wrong spot

You have watched five videos on YouTube and you feel ready to face your first trip to the dump station.

Your pristine new sewer hose, now connected to the grey tank and sewer dump is about to be baptized. You pull the gate and nothing. How is that possible? You showered and washed the dishes?

Perplexed, you ask your friends in the T@b group and they are as perplexed as you. Someone offers a bizarre, seemingly technical explanation about how an airlock might have formed. Another expressed fear about buying a new T@b because they don’t want to buy a trailer that has problems with the grey tank.

Your face turns beat red as your significant other finds the sewer hose cap, still in place. She removes the cap and it is like the Johnstown flood gushing through the hose.

Or, maybe you were smart enough to remove the end cap, and are ready to go. You yank the gate open and sewage starts to pour from the area where yoyrbcinenction is. Is your connection broken? No, you just didn’t get the hose on as securely as you thought. One of those little bayonet grooves was not all of the way in place with the little stubs on the connector. Those rubber gloves made cleanup a lot less gross.

9. Water gushing out below your trailer.

It looks and sounds like Niagara Falls at the rear of your trailer. You rush to turn off the water and after a minute the falls dry up.

You have no idea what is going on. Yoyr new trailer better NOT have a leak!

You pose your situation to your Facebook crowd and what is the first question they ask? If you have a water pressure regulator connected.

Your dealer gave you one in your starter kit, but you forgot to use it. You slip it on the hose and Niagra Falls has ceased flowing.

Or maybe you do have a water pressure regulator engage and your leak is coming from under your step.

You left the fresh water drain valve open. It’s every bit as embarrassing, but no harm, no foul.

10. Getting hitched/unhitched

You lower the coupler onto the ball and close it. Maybe you forgot to slide a pin in the coupler or maybe you do, but you come to a jarring realization as you drive away that the trailer is no longer connected and the coupler is on the ground

A couple of good Samaritans rush over to help you get it back in place and as they help you secure it, they suggest raising the trailer up with the tongue jack to see if it starts to life the rear of your vehicle to make sure that the coupler is properly engaged.

Or, maybe you bring home your new trailer and the coupler is still, and you cannot disengage the coupler (unhitch it.) You spray it with some grease and still nothing is budging. Someone on Facebook suggests a hammer, which is quickly shot down in favor of moving to a more level location and disengaging the coupler. It turns out that too much weight forward on the hitch is the number one cause of difficulty unhitching.

Keep sharing

It’s your turn. What mistsakes have you made?

Your purchases through my Amazon affilaite links help me offset my costs. Thanks for your support.