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Old 05-20-2012, 03:00 PM   #1
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Thumbs up Finally, maiden voyage...!

WEll, after months of debating what to buy and whether to buy and then buying it and then having all those questions we finally took it camping!..

Water systems worked fine----took some along and there was water to be had at a fill station so that worked well. I fretted about battery useage but there were no issues for two nights and a day. I have an ancient rayovac double flourescent lantern that lights up the whole inside of the trailer so we didn't need to worry about drawing many amps from inside lights. I HAD replaced one inside bulb with an LED and between the two we were fine.

Dog's bed fit well under dinette so she climbed right in there at night like a little cave and was happy as hell to not be left home.

Unfurled awning for first time and there was a good deal of water on it so I'm glad I got that dried out. There are some stains so advice on how to clean the underside will be appreciated.

It got in 80s during the day but that fantastic fan does a great job of clearing out the heat and we had nice breezes at night. I also got a smallish 12v fan for the inside that I plugged into cig lighter plug and that worked well, also.

Only minor issue was that cheap little spray handle on outside faucet- which does not shut all the way off when faucets are turned on. My sense it is suppose to when you lift up on the "trigger". I am sure I can get a replacement fairey easy.

It pulled ok without WDH but it did tend to "buck" on uneven pavements and there was some slight sway just pulling straight---at about 60 -65 mph. So I WILL be getting one.

Only disappointment was gas mileage. With both me and da wife, dog, gear and trailer I dropped 4 to 5 mpg...and she wasn't getting all that good to start with. A tune-up may help me pick up a mile or two- and we were getting into some pretty hilly country ----

I remember in my first posts wondering about size- and choosing the 22 vs a 19 or 17. With the three of us (dog) this( 22) seems about right. maybe 17 and 19 would save on weight----and thus, gas, but it doesn't LOOK big compared to what else is in CG. And , honestly, I wasn't worried at all towing it and on way home there was a steady 20 mile an hour wind with higher gusts---- so I am WAY pleased with concept.

Lots of work to do figuring out how to live in it----but the advantage of the pick up is the ability to carry gear in the back of the truck....only thing I would wish for is more storeage compartments on outside for extension cords,hoses, leveling blocks etc...but the truck takes care of that.

So ---A big thanks to all of you who have helped me along this little adventure ...and I will remain on this forum for sure.

Thanks,again

Rick
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Old 05-20-2012, 05:29 PM   #2
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You're like me, I think smaller than a 22 for full timing might become an issue after a short period of time.

I also wish there were more storage compartments on the outside... but I figure it this way, nice to store the "stuff" needed to set up the RV, but when you get there, all that "stuff" is on the ground anyway. I'm considering canvas "totes" for storage of the "stuff" while in transport, and then folds for out-of-the-way storage when there...

I'm gearing all my efforts toward the mechanical side of things... I added the refridge fan this weekend, got a fan-tastic fan today (next weekends project), fixed the A/C outlet and plug, going to add a Progressive surge protector, tank monitor system.
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Old 05-20-2012, 05:48 PM   #3
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If you had a conventional travel trailer your MPG would have been much worse than that.
We went on a weekend trip last week traveling mostly on I80 over the mountains of PA for about 140 miles each way and averaged just over 15 MPG. That is about 2 MPG better than we averaged with out '07 Tacoma pulling the same trailer.
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Old 05-20-2012, 05:54 PM   #4
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yes

Hard for me to say not having actually BEEN in a 17 or 19, only a 15 and the 15 was too small. Plus- there were not any 19 or 17s around when I decided to get something. Plenty of people on here have them and like them....so i am sure one is able to get used to what anyone chooses to like. Actually, from what I can tell- the difference between the 19 and 22 is they pretty much cut off the rear bathroom in the 19.

I always bring too much stuff , anyway. For this trip I used the cooler as m main beverage holder (per a suggestion I saw here...) and that works great. We carry two lawn chairs and I use my backpacking stoves and individual coffee filters for making coffee out on the little outside "kitchen" shelf and that worked terrific. Basically, as Joe Walsh said in a song, "I can't complain but sometimes I still do..." I just have to go after that gas mileage.

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Old 05-20-2012, 06:10 PM   #5
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Is your F150 a full time 4X4... (no locking hubs)? I suspect it is, that's where your MPG is going...

And without a WDH, your front is light and the 4x4 may be kicking in thinking it's "slipping" and trying to compensate for it...

4x4's without locking hubs run around in 4HI all the time, no "real" 2WD mode... maybe think about buying lockout hub kit for it... 'specially in the summer when it's needed very little if at all...
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Old 05-20-2012, 07:19 PM   #6
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"Unfurled awning for first time and there was a good deal of water on it so I'm glad I got that dried out. There are some stains so advice on how to clean the underside will be appreciated."


Add about a 1/4 cup of Dawn dish soap and 1/2 cup of bleach to a large bucket of water. Scrub the awning lightly with a long handle car brush, on both top and bottom sides. While still wet with the solution, roll the awning up and let stand for about a half hour. Open the awning, give it another scrub, then thoroughly rinse it. You should see a dramatic improvement, both top and underside.
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Old 05-20-2012, 09:05 PM   #7
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The truck is old. I used to get 17 mpg tops when it was newer and that was with street tires and letting it run in overdrive. It now has heavier tires, thus less rolling resistance, and is bad need of as tune-up. The last I checked I got 15 mixed driving. So- used it this weekend with my wife and dog and gear and that had to run an extra 325lbs plus the trailer which I weighed at just about 4000 with propane filled but no water. The trip, though only about an hour- takes us into the area of Wisconsin where the glaciers missed so it gets hilly, though certainly not wesstern PA, but a few good climbs. i also had about 150 lbswater on board in fresh waer tank.

We also ran into town and did a few stops and had a fair amount of idling with air on for dog. So that will factor a bit.

It is a 1997 Ford f150 with smaller v8 and I have always felt the smaller engine is LESS efficient with a load- than the larger one. I also dropped it out of over drive for most the way. Still- when I checked when I got home I had only gotten about 10.25 mpg- so drop of 5mpg. Yes, it is a 4x4 with automatic and the electronic 4 wheel drive- but Ford didn't have a "full time" option back then....when you switch it into 4h or 4l it is IN 4x4 and you can't really drive it on dry pavement that way. It is in 2h most of the time.

She may do much better on an extended trip of highway driving---I was only on the 4 lane for about 45 minutes . It is a comment on the tv- certainly not the trailer.

Pictures below.

Rick
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File Type: jpg trip 2.jpg (20.4 KB, 32 views)
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Old 05-20-2012, 10:05 PM   #8
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Default Maiden voyage

You probably can find a good buy on a wdh on craigs list or ebay. This certainly the time of year to get one. After you wash the awning you can apply a product like son of a gun or armour all(what ever is cheapest at Walmart.) Apply to the dry awning. We use a sponge mop to do this. The sponge mop is cleaned and saved for this purpose only from year to year. This will keep your awning so much cleaner. This is like wax on a floor. The dirt will in most cases wipe off with a slightly damp rag. Yes,extra effort in the beginning. Then a much cleaner awning,less work. We barely had to wash our awning at the beginning of the season. It is a good idea to put your awning out at home to dry it out after each trip. You will always have some water/condensation after each use or rain storm. We always dry the awning off with an old towel on both sides before rolling up.You will get many compliments on how clean your awning is and how it stays clean. We also sweep it off with a soft broom. Glad to hear your first trip was good. Keep after your 97 truck. A few bucks for maintenance parts is far less than a new truck. We own a 1997 f250 4x4 with a big gas hog engine! 10 to 12 mpg.
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Old 05-21-2012, 10:52 AM   #9
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I'd say a 5 mpg drop in fuel mileage with your tow vehicle/trailer combination is "normal". Pulling my 1707T with my 2005 F150 and the 5.4L engine I see a drop of about 2.5 - 3 mpg.

And, I agree with you on the "state" of your 4WD. Unless you electronically select it, you're in 2WD.

- Jack
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