Sunday, February 11, 2018

Sleeping with Buffalo

Great Salt Sunset. 
Last night, with my pup Jake, I took my new CampLite 11FK travel trailer out for its first spin. We went to Antelope Island State Park, in the Great Salt Lake.

Having only had vintage Airstreams before, and being new to this trailer anyway, I wanted to begin to break it in and learn what I could.

Here's what I found:
  1. It doesn’t pull like an Airstream. There was wind on the way up and my lord . . . my poor V8 Tundra acted like it was going to die. This is a 2,400 pound (dry weight, and it was dry) trailer, but the added profile vs. my Airstream was markedly noticeable. On the way back, without wind, it felt like a 2,400 pound trailer--meaning I barely noticed it. I needed to ease up on speed with the wind, probably staying in the 55-60 mph range, rather than attempting to go 70, which was the speed limit. Of course, it's probably a good idea to stay at 65 max anyway. With my Airstream it was truly effortless to pull and I felt comfortable going 70, not that that was smart! For the record a smaller vehicle can definitely pull this CampLite . . . just adjust your driving if there's wind!
  2. It’s small! I wanted a small trailer and I got one. It’s big enough for how I will use it and overall I am happy with the size, but it will require a daytime configuration and a nighttime one. I knew that conceptually, but it was different to experience it. 
  3. The USB ports didn’t work. Apparently they aren’t wired to run off of the 12 volt system as they were in my vintage Airstream (an improvement I made to it). That was a bummer as my iPhone is also my camera. I trickle charged it off the Tundra. 
  4. Jake with his new trailer.
  5. The furnace worked well! It got down to about 30 degrees outside and felt cold out there, but toasty inside. 
  6. Sunshine works! Once the sun came up the trailer was warm without the furnace. It was still in the thirties out there. That’s another thing you sort of know from [real] camping, but the difference was night and day. : )
  7. The refrigerator worked well--first time. 
  8. Ditto for the stovetop. 
  9. Batteries held up fine, as you would expect for one night. 
  10. My trailer is stumpy! Seeing it parked in the campground (which was at about 15% occupancy) it looked so small and stumplike. 
  11. There's a serious dearth of places to sit things down like your phone or a drink. It only has the kitchen counter, which is at the front, and the main table, which I didn't have set up as a table. I recognized this already and brought a stool to set things on, but using it that point really stood out. I might have to have my friends at Camper Reparadise add some additional shelving and/or a mini counter top. 
  12. I liked it! 
After the sun set, I reread my friend Rich Luhr’s Newbies Guide to Airstreaming. Rich created and publishes Airstream Life, a magazine. His newbies guide is great and applies to most any RV. Filled with wisdom, tips, and advice. I highly recommend this book to any RVer who feels anything less than expert. You can buy it here.

It was a fun outing. Jake enjoyed it too. He’s getting old. : (

As we arrived on Antelope Island. Great Salt Lake and Wasatch Mountains beyond us.
The buffalo of Antelope Island. I was actually pretty close . . . which isn't smart. I had to zoom in via cropping. This was the best my iPhone could do given how close I was willing to go.

Click here to read how I went from being an Airstream-only guy to buying a CampLite. 


Capt J-Rod said...

Glad to hear and see you are settling in. Our 2015 21rbs is stating to settle in... We bought it last summer. I love how items in the camper just automatically find a home as you use it more and more. My wife and I are kinda preparing our lives for an early "semi-retirement" The Camplite is part of "the plan" we bought it now and it lives in our heated barn waiting for action. We quickly discovered the difference between the different types of people that use RV's. Airstream people are much like us. We have the canoe, the bikes, the hiking boots, geocaching, and the camper serves as basecamp. We like to see the sights, tour the area, and then go to the next place. Others use the camper as the destination and literally build a temporary home. I laughed when you talked about the two different configurations morning and night. Our 21 helps a lot with this, but the couch is the kids bed and is the first thing out at night and the last thing put in come morning. Love the blog and look forward to seeing more.

Jim Breitinger said...

Thanks for the comment Captain!

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