New Owner

Just purchased a new Newmar Kountry Star 35 ft. fifth wheeler. I've never owned an RV before and I purchased a new F-350 turbodiesel dualie to tow it with last month. I spent a load of money on this combo and do not want to make the "rookie mistakes".

The rig seems well suited for my needs on the one time that I had it on the road (towing it from the dealer). I have done some reading and went through the walk through with the dealer, but I still do not feel comfortable.

There are some things that they do not tell you. What type of black tank disinfectant to use, what toilet paper to use, what to use for lubing the hitch and wheel bearings, what to use to wash and polish the exterior, whether to use the propane to power the fridge on the road, and all the other nuances that go with this lifestyle.

I would really appreciate any information that you could give, and any advice that you have for a newbie.


Edited by - buckbs on Aug 18 2002 4:04:43 PM
New Owner

Not a fifth wheeler person, but just bought a Class C last March. We've found the best sources are transferring household / car knowledge we already have; the blue stuff for the black water holding tank, though there are some folks who swear by Ridex (cheap and bought at any supermarket); and best of all, asking other RVers along the way and on the forums and the Internet in general. The RV stores are somewhat helpful, but their prices are often high (exception being Camper World or those types of places). Wal Mart also has a pretty good selection of products in most stores. Rain Ex works great for the windshield. Good luck in your search; hope this helps some.

C Nash

Senior Member
New Owner

I have found that the cheap toilet paper works as well as the for rv toilet tissue. You can ck the tissue by placing a piece in a glass of water and seeing how long it takes to desolve. You want a paper that will break up pretty fast. I have always washed and waxed mine with automotive products but, if in doubt try on a small area first. Sounds like you really have a nice set up. You'll be a pro in no time!!

Chelse L. Nash


New Member
New Owner

The absolute greatest thing about camping is meeting and talking with all the great folks in the campgrounds. If ya want great, first-hand info... go to a campground on a holiday weekend, and find a unit similar to yours... talk with the folks that live in it. They will (99% of the time) love to show off little 'improvements' they have made and show you tricks on how to do stuff. You will be a pro by the end of the weekend.


Senior Member
New Owner

There are more things than that they probably didn't tell you :)

You can use any type of black tank treatment you want. You want one which is septic tank friendly and digetst waste, particularly toilet paper. I prefer the premeasured dry stuff for conveniance and lack of mess. The best hitch lube is no lube, but rather a lube plate (disk which fits over the King Pin). Reese makes a nice one. There is much disagreement on running propane while driving. It comes down to your preferance, with the following limitations: some places (bridges and tunnels mostly) it is regulated by law, and make sure all pilot lights (fridge and hot water) are off before pulling into a gas or propane station.

Did he tell you to make sure your hitch latch is closed with a lock? Allegedly truck drivers like to release the latches on 5th wheels to watch the 'fun'. How about locking the King Pin when detached to make it harder for someone else to drive off with your trailer? Did he cover the whys and hows of leveling? How about roof maintenance? Winterizing/cold weather use?

Before taking off 'for real', it is a good idea to go to a local RV park for a weekend or so, or at the very least, live in the trailer in your driveway for a few days. This will help you to get familiar with (and check out) all facets of its operations. Also, practice backing up before you have to do it under less than optimal conditions...
New Owner


To wash your rig, go to a boat supply store (we used westmarine)and buy Boat Soap--a pink liquid--easy to use and no streaks,etc. We washedour rig in the Tucson sun with great results.
good luck and drive safe :cool:
New Owner

I'm not familiar with the roof construction of this unit, but if it has a rubber roof, DO NOT clean with any petroleum based products as
it will result in seperation of the rubber from the roof structure. :evil: