Skip to content

Change font size

maiden voyage

Discuss traditional (ball hitch) travel trailers here.

maiden voyage

Unread postby catmom on Thu May 22, 2008 6:34 pm

Just got back a few hours ago from our maiden voyage - first time to tow our new trailer (other than from the dealer's to home) and first time to actually camp in it. We drove across the state to a state park along the Mississippi River, spent 3 nights there, then spent a night at a KOA between there and home, then 2 nights at our favorite local (WI) state park. Both the state park sites had electric hookups, and the KOA had FHU's, so we got to try out the utilities. Weather was too cool to check out the a/c, but the heat, heated mattress, hot water heater, lights, TV, radio, microwave, etc. all got a workout. :) We had pullthrough sites at the first 2 places, and a back-in at the last one; we had reserved a site at the local park, and it turned out we just couldn't get into the site!! (Backing this behemoth will take some practice... Our last trailer was 23' long towing, this one is 34'. BIG difference.) Fortunately, being midweek, they had lots of spots open and the powers that be let us change to a different site that was easier to get into. It had a better view too, which was great!

The truck definitely noticed the difference between the new trailer (GVWR 7600 lbs) and our old hybrid (GVWR 5000 lbs). MPG dropped significantly - not a happy state of affairs this year, but that's our new reality, so we just have to suck it up and get used to it. Still enough power, but no really fast starts anymore, and driving more than 55 mph into a headwind takes a lot more foot than it used to. (I think the new trailer is taller than the old one, as well as heavier and longer.)

We got a quick weigh at a CAT scale enroute the first day. With full freshwater & LP tanks and 535 lbs of gear onboard the trailer, plus another 50 lbs or so in the truck (we weighed absolutely everying we put into the trailer, but estimated the weight of the few things that we keep in the truck with us), and one passenger, the total weight was 13,680 lbs, with 6520 lbs on the trailer axles, 3380 on the truck steer axle and 3780 on the truck drive axle. Within specs all around. :) (Gear in the trailer included clothes & food too.) The trailer seems to ride just slightly tongue-high, but we didn't notice much sway - a little bit the first day (stiff headwind with some crosswind gusts) but nothing I'd call white-knuckle. MPG on mostly 2-lane highways, max speed about 60 mph, I estimate averaged about 8 mpg - again an estimate, but it seems to be about 2 mpg worse than what we got towing our hybrid in similar conditions.

Bottom line: it's a lot more to tow, and we'll have to budget a LOT more for gas, but the trailer sure is comfortable - and that heated mattress is worth its weight in gold! :)

An interesting side note re: gas prices. The "summer blend" can't be the only reason for prices to be going up. Gas two days ago in rural n.w. IL was about $3.87 for regular; today here (between Chicago & Milwaukee) it's $4.00 on the WI side of the line and $4.10 on the IL side. Living in a major metro area does have its downsides...
2007 Toyota Tundra SR5 CrewMax 5.7L w/ tow pkg
2008 Flagstaff 831RLSS
User avatar
catmom
Senior Member
Senior Member
 
Posts: 390
Joined: Fri Apr 18, 2008 9:47 pm
Location: Illinois

Re: maiden voyage

Unread postby catmom on Thu May 22, 2008 6:38 pm

A couple pictures from the trip:

First, our campsite at Miss. Palisades SP -

Image

Second, our campsite at Bong SRA (WI) -

Image

Third, the view from the back of our trailer, at Bong. This site is on the top of a ridge, so those are treetops (trees about 15' high on average), not bushes.

Image
2007 Toyota Tundra SR5 CrewMax 5.7L w/ tow pkg
2008 Flagstaff 831RLSS
User avatar
catmom
Senior Member
Senior Member
 
Posts: 390
Joined: Fri Apr 18, 2008 9:47 pm
Location: Illinois

Re: maiden voyage

Unread postby The Wood Tinker on Thu May 22, 2008 8:23 pm

Very nice! Glad all in all it was a great trip. 8-)
Jerry & Sharon †
Bindi, Cody and Terra the furry kids
Lake Elsinore, Calif
'08 F250 SD
'08 299BHS Tango
Image
User avatar
The Wood Tinker
Senior Member
Senior Member
 
Posts: 333
Joined: Thu Mar 13, 2008 11:16 pm
Location: Lake Elsinore Calif

Re: maiden voyage

Unread postby ButteBumBob on Thu May 22, 2008 10:02 pm

Great pictures !! It sounds like you had a fantastic time. Wow,a heated mattress,that sure would be nice on a cold night. That picture of your campsite at Miss. Palisades SP - sure would look good on our home page.
2004 Crossroads Cruiser 29rk
2004 GMC Sierra, crewcab,SB,4x4,Duramax/Allison
1973 Seeker travel trailer (for the short trips)

Image
User avatar
ButteBumBob
Contributing Member
Contributing Member
 
Posts: 197
Joined: Mon Apr 14, 2008 12:42 am
Location: Albuquerque,New Mexico USA

Re: maiden voyage

Unread postby skipnchar on Thu May 22, 2008 10:17 pm

Glad everything went so well and thanks for the great photos. I DO know what you mean about that mattress. We'd probably never have ordered the heated mattress but once we tried it we fell in love with it. I have never liked electric blankets but the heat from the mattress side is so much more subtle yet to soothing on a cool night.
2007 Rockwood 8314SS Travel Trailer
F-150 HD OR F-250 PSD SCREW (whichever I feel like driving)

Image
User avatar
skipnchar
Senior Contributor
Senior Contributor
 
Posts: 886
Joined: Wed Mar 12, 2008 1:20 am
Location: Topeka Kansas

Re: maiden voyage

Unread postby catmom on Thu May 22, 2008 10:56 pm

We wouldn't have ordered the heated mattress either, but since we bought off the lot, there it was. With overnight temperatures around 40, it was great! Between that and our little electric "cube" heater in the bathroom, we stayed plenty cozy at night without having to run the furnace; we just turned that on for a short while in the morning to warm up the living room area. :)

I think I did submit a picture or two - can't remember if it was that one - in the proper forum for possible inclusion in the home page pic's. We'll see. :)
2007 Toyota Tundra SR5 CrewMax 5.7L w/ tow pkg
2008 Flagstaff 831RLSS
User avatar
catmom
Senior Member
Senior Member
 
Posts: 390
Joined: Fri Apr 18, 2008 9:47 pm
Location: Illinois


Return to Travel Trailers

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests

Up Login   Register Up
cron