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Maiden Voyage

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saint urho View Drop Down

Joined: 19 Apr 2019
Location: Alberta
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Post Options Post Options   Quote saint urho Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Maiden Voyage
    Posted: 15 Jun 2019 at 12:53pm
One Saturday morning in April, when the wife and I were bored, I stumbled on a classified ad for an RPOD 171. Since the 171 weight fell into the range that my Xterra could pull I suggested that we take a look at it. The price was fair (more fair for them then us but c'est la vie) and the owners told us that it was well maintained by the dealer by Summerizing and Winterizing every year. Now I know what Summerizing and Winterizing means, and that it has little to do with maintenance, I believe I have earned my diploma in purchasing a used travel trailer 101.

I knew it needed new tires (easy) and some sealant repairs. Didn't know it needed a new battery because the old one had frozen, didn't know the brakes and bearings had never ever been serviced. Simple but somewhat time consuming things. It took some fussing but I got the stove (still have an igniter problem) and fridge and plumbing working. The biggest challenge was finding a drop down hitch to work with my custom bumper and the WD but even that worked out.

Our road trip was planned to get us to Moab Utah in time for GONE Moab (Gathering of Nissan Enthusiasts) and to connect with friends in Park City, and also go to Yellowstone. 

We left after work on a Wednesday evening to avoid a major storm forecast in our hometown, Calgary, for the Thursday morning. Needless to say, it took an hour longer than expected to tow what is a 300 km drive. We arrived in the dark and got a little bit chewed out by the campground manager but then he helped us quickly and quietly get settled in. Check out 8 Flags campground if you're needing a stop in the Milk River AB area.

Day two saw us cross the border on an 600 km route through Great Falls and Livingstone to a campsite in Gardiner (Rocky Mountain RV, highly recommend), I actually wanted to Camp in Yellowstone, but turns out it is very popular and you can't just turn up at the last minute, even in May. We had a good time exploring Gardiner.

Day three, Friday, we drove through Yellowstone, stopped and hiked in the rain, watched Old Faithful erupt in the rain, we sat in the trailer and ate lunch while it rained, we drove through some snowfall (which is not an unusual May activity for us Calgarians). We did a quick walking tour of Jackson, or Jackson Hole, and camped for the night a the Snake River KOA just south of town, again, I would recommend.

Day four, we need to be in Park City to meet friends for dinner. So, we take Route 189 because it's only 30 km longer than the alternate. I think we saw less than a dozen other vehicles driving through Wyoming . More pronghorns than people, and one frightened deer that made me test the brakes. We stayed in a hotel in Park City, close to the restaurant, no driving after drinking.

Day five (Sunday) was the push to Moab.. because I've been driven there before, I wanted to avoid the interstate around Salt Lake City, especially with the trailer in tow. We tested Route 40 to Duchesne, and then 191 the rest of the way in. This is a 400 km route, but our average driving speed was closer to 90km an hour due to either, going up something steep, or coming down something steep. It was quiet though, and beautiful. Including gas and coffee stops, our average pace was likely 75 km. We arrived in Moab for a week of the worst May weather they have seen in recent history. The Rpod was a perfect shelter, we used the furnace not the AC for our week at Canyonlands RV Resort and Campground (recommend again).

We left Moab Friday afternoon to meet our friends in Park City again, and another hotel night. Prior to leaving the campground I got to test my dump tank skills for the first time, I give myself a passing grade.

Saturday was a just an attempt to cover a lot of ground. 700 km to Butte. In the rain, and or very hard rain. We booked a hotel on the way up, which was fortunate. For some reason I had no power in the trailer... couldn't figure it out, but because I was hungry and I had a hotel room with a Raptors game on the telly I didn't worry about it.

Sunday, another 700 km stretch. It felt like we were driving uphill all the way. It was windy and rainy, every time we stopped for gas, which was increasingly more frequent, I'd check the temperature on the hubs... it felt like the brakes were on, but it was just the stiff headwind. I think I got 230 KM on one tank with the low fuel light illuminated.. generally getting about 350 KM to a tank, filling before the fuel light turns on. So that was fun.

Somewhere along the road I diagnosed the lack of power in the trailer.. the battery has been stolen... that's why there is no power. I checked it out at a gas station.. it didn't look stolen.. the tie down was still in place and thieves don't generally put things back. Further investigation.. the wingnut (me) that installed the battery didn't tighten the wingnut on one of the battery posts tightly enough.. it had vibrated off and the power connection was lost.

The only other problem we had was once home, I discovered the rear storage had leaked and all the stuff stored there was wet.. mostly it's stuff that can be wet so no biggie. I've diagnosed this as rainwater that was forced past the hatch seals. Did I mention that it was raining hard and very windy?

I'm going to call that trip a success. I have an extreme lack of photos due to forgetting my battery charger. But here are a few.
168 by robert, on Flickr

050 by robert, on Flickr

188 by robert, on Flickr

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furpod View Drop Down
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Joined: 25 Jul 2011
Location: Central KY
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Post Options Post Options   Quote furpod Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Jun 2019 at 2:10pm
Sounds like a good start...

Yeah windy tows suck.
Signature removed, so as not to trigger any non Ford owners, non Irish Setter owners, current R-Pod owners, unhandy or mod negative Pod owners, or single campers of any gender.
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GlueGuy View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote GlueGuy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Jun 2019 at 5:00pm
Excellent trip report! Sounds like a good time!
2017 R-Pod 179 Hood River
2015 Ford F150 SuperCrew 4WD 3.5L Ecoboost
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lostagain View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote lostagain Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Jun 2019 at 5:42pm
Sounds like a really fund trip.  Thanks for sharing your adventure.
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Fred & Maria Kearney
Our Pod 172
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Ben Herman View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Ben Herman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Jun 2019 at 11:04pm
I think that I was there at the beginning of that week, it was cold and threatening rain but we got home to Grand Junction (2 hrs away) and it rained all week. Usually its too hot this time of year.....
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