I haven’t talked much about the nuts and bolts of operating The Beast. So herewith, a primer on what happens when pulling into a campsite and setting up shop.
Here’s The Rig freshly landed at site #11 of the Fries New River Trail RV Park in Fries, VA.
Even though this is a pull thru site (as opposed to a back-in site) you can tell from the tracks in the gravel that a bit of maneuvering was necessary to get into the best position. The issue here was making sure that the slideouts did not interfere with the utility hookups. More later on the slideouts.
The first thing to deal with when unhooking Big ‘Un from The Beast is to prepare for release from the hitch. This pic shows The Rig connected for hauling. The little silver wire is in case the trailer comes unhitched from the truck while driving: when tripped it applies the brakes to the trailer automatically. The black cord running behind the truck is an electrical connection that syncs the lights and the brake from the truck to the trailer. All very important stuff. But we’re parked now, so phooey on ’em.
The black handle has now been pulled out and the silver wire unhooked. The hitch is released and the truck can now be pulled out from under the trailer.
The Beast is equipped with an automatic leveling system, which is very handy. I haven’t yet memorized all the steps in order, so I always consult this guide. In this case we are dropping off the unit, so the first step is to “drop front jacks”.
They are manually extended a little bit then the system automatically drops them until they are flush with the pads. This takes a few minutes, so while that is going on I hook up the electrical connection.
This site has 50 amp and 30 amp electrical service and also a cable TV circuit. The Beast is wired for 50 amp, so that’s what I use when available, but it can also run on 30 amp power. The black box is a “power management system”, aka a fancy surge suppressor. It shuts off the power in case of several different problematic conditions. It’s about a $400 item, so I secure it with the green cable lock.
Here it is set up and plugged into The Beast.
Once the jacks are down then the truck can be pulled away.
The last part of the automatic cycle is to drop the rear jacks and then stabilize the entire unit side to side and front to back. This also takes several minutes, enough time to hook up the water.
There’s a water filter on the line and also a pressure regulator that restricts flow if the water pressure is too high.
Here’s the look once electrical and water have been hooked up.
At the bottom of the electrical panel you can see a sewer drain. A lot of folks hook that up to their RV immediately, but I don’t. Since I am by myself, it takes a while (several days at least) to fill up the waste tanks sufficiently to get a good flush out. So I usually just dump them all at once when I leave the site. And thus, dear readers, you are spared the details of that operation at this time.
So now we’re ready to deal with some internal operations.
The entry door is on the other side from the utility hookups. Swing out the bar, drop the steps, unlock the door, and voila!
The next step (so to speak) is to deploy the slideouts. Here’s what the inside looks like with the main slideout in.
Notice the position of the edge of the table to the easy chair.
And in this picture notice the silver lamp compared to the control panels on the wall.
By pushing the button for the Slide Room, the slideout deploys, and creates a lot more space inside.
I move the easy chair over in front of the mirror to allow full access to the kitchen area. There’s also a smaller slideout in the bedroom.
Here’s what the exterior looks like with the slideouts deployed
You can see why clearance from the utility hookups is an issue.
There’s also an awning that can be dropped the length of the other side, but I didn’t do it on this setup since the afternoon sun is not an issue and there’s no rain in the forecast.
The last exterior setup item is to run the coax cable from the antenna on top of the ladder to the inside so I can use the WeBoost (as discussed in an earlier post).
Also, I hang that sensor off the bottom of the ladder which is used with the indoor/outdoor thermometer.
After that it’s a matter of inside housekeeping: turning on fans or A/C, checking for any contents that may have shifted during shipping, etc. Time to enjoy!