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Thoughts on first outing

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yelvington View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote yelvington Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Thoughts on first outing
    Posted: 15 Nov 2020 at 7:32am
We took our new-to-us R-Pod 179 Hood River Edition to Florida for a first outing. Some thoughts:

I can feel those knobby "off-road" tires at slow speeds.

The Fan-Tastic Fan is exactly that. Quiet and effective. 

Don't reserve a back-in site. Do check that your reservations are for the correct nights.

I really need a set of those adult Lego blocks.

The external storage is too small and the interior storage too ample -- temptation to overload!

Need some plastic dishpans to organize storage, especially the drippy water supply hose.

I-95 drivers are insane, but the Ram 1500 + equalizer hitch seemed immune to the giant trucks blowing by at Warp 9. The sway bar is still in the box, and I'll install it when I get time, but it was good to know that sway is not a big problem.

Need to pack a Yeti full of ice. The Dometic fridge is great for keeping food cold, but not a good ice maker, at least not at our volume. 

Table is annoyingly high relative to the couch. Need top find something smaller and store this one in the garage.

Don't sit on the ottoman! It's too soft and you're liable to roll off onto the floor.

Previous owner was smart about putting fabric shades over the interior lights. 

Need a travel-proof French press. Instant coffee sucks. 
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StephenH View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote StephenH Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Nov 2020 at 9:01am
Welcome and congratulations! It sounds like you are off to a good start. I hope you have many fun adventures and make many great memories with your RPod. We have the 179 also and I will offer a few comments below.


Originally posted by yelvington

We took our new-to-us R-Pod 179 Hood River Edition to Florida for a first outing. Some thoughts:
I can feel those knobby "off-road" tires at slow speeds.
You can always change the tires for ones with on-road tread that will be quieter and likely give better on-road performance. The RPod isn't really an off-road trailer anyway, especially the larger ones like the 179.
The Fan-Tastic Fan is exactly that. Quiet and effective.
We started with one but when ours went to the factory for repair, it came back with a MaxxAir fan, which is much the same in quietness and performance. Both are very good.
Don't reserve a back-in site. Do check that your reservations are for the correct nights.
Why not reserve a back-in site? After some practice, you will gain experience in backing and it isn't that bad. It is best though to arrive during daylight hours. Backing in at night is a pain. I've had to do it more than once. In that case, a good ground guide who knows how to signal which way the trailer needs to move is very, very helpful.
I really need a set of those adult Lego blocks.
LOL Yes, they are good. I really like the Andersen Leveler (or other rocker/wedge shaped leveler with the smaller wedge to chock with. It is much faster and does not have the guesswork component of the stacking blocks. However, in my driveway, I use the stacking blocks. I did cut one in half so I could use it to make the stack work for me. They really ought to come with a pair of half-blocks in the package.
The external storage is too small and the interior storage too ample -- temptation to overload!
LOLLOL The storage is quite ample, especially under the stove. The only down side is that it is hard to get to the back corner.
Need some plastic dishpans to organize storage, especially the drippy water supply hose.
Get a 5-gallon bucket. When you disconnect the hose, try to drain the water from it as you are coiling it. Then store it in the bucket along with your filter and water connections. Keep these completely separate from your sewage drain hoses/connections. This may not fit in the trailer, but it will fit in the bed of your truck. Also, connect the two ends of the hose together. That stops any water that remains in the hose from dripping out.
I-95 drivers are insane, but the Ram 1500 + equalizer hitch seemed immune to the giant trucks blowing by at Warp 9. The sway bar is still in the box, and I'll install it when I get time, but it was good to know that sway is not a big problem.
Agreed! I am a bit confused. If you have an Equal-i-zer hitch, it has 4-point sway control built in. If it isn't an Equal-i-zer or Fastway E2 hitch with built-in sway control, then it is just a weight distribution hitch. I am in favor of having some form of sway control. I like the electronic ones that activate if needed, but otherwise do not affect low-speed maneuvers or backing like a sway-bar does.
Need to pack a Yeti full of ice. The Dometic fridge is great for keeping food cold, but not a good ice maker, at least not at our volume.
Some people get one of the small counter-top ice makers. If you are not dry camping a lot, that might be a better option. However, you know your situation best.
Table is annoyingly high relative to the couch. Need top find something smaller and store this one in the garage.
I modified ours by removing the mechanism and installing two pedestals instead. I'm much happier with it.
Don't sit on the ottoman! It's too soft and you're liable to roll off onto the floor.
If you have a place near you that sells fabric and foam, have replacement foam for the ottoman cushions made from high-density foam. That will make them much better. I did that and am much happier with them now.
Previous owner was smart about putting fabric shades over the interior lights.
My wife and I like the brighter lights we have. However, at night it would be nice to tone a couple down. The good thing about the 179 is that there are a number that can be turned on or off to adjust the light level inside.
Need a travel-proof French press. Instant coffee sucks.
Instant is good in a pinch, but get a Melitta filter cone and #2 filters. Easy clean-up and good coffee without the mess. My wife does not drink coffee, so the single-cup Melitta cone is good. Also, you could get a stovetop Moka pot/Espresso maker. We have one that is induction capable in Stainless Steel since we carry an induction cooktop. Also, check out the Magma nesting cookware. It is available in induction or non-induction and is as good as any stainless steel cookware you might have in your house, if not better. 

Hopefully, some of this will help.
StephenH
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Dirt Sifter Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Nov 2020 at 9:15am
Congratulations, good observations, and yup. If that's an equilizer 4 hitch you won't need the sway bar. We had a '15 HRE 179 and kept a Coleman Extreme cooler in the pickup bed for extra refrigeration space. Our freezer did make ice (but never took it to FL.) Put the table in the garage and used lap trays. Wife fell over the ottoman, so traded for a 195 HRE and pulled them. I really liked the 179. You're off to a good start - and kinda wish we were there. Snowing here again today. :-)
Greg n Deb 2020 195 HRE
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Post Options Post Options   Quote offgrid Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Nov 2020 at 10:09am
Welcome and good write up.

Yes, you can change the tires to ST trailer tires for less rolling resistance and noise. Get tires that have a load rating in the 2200-2500 lb range to have a nice load safety factor to minimize blowout risk. typically those will be load range D.

You will quickly get the hang of backing. Hand on bottom of the wheel, move in the direction you want the trailer to go, Have a spotter and go slowly, no extra points for backing a trailer fast. 

If you think I-95 is bad you should try I-81. Less traffic but more trucks and they all seem to be going 80 mph. Just drive the speed you are comfortable with and don't worry about them. 

Single cup filters are good, a French press is a little messy to clean up for camping. I buy empty tea filter bags and fill them with the coffee I like before leaving. Works just like tea bags, no fuss or muss. 

Best place for bikes is the back of the truck, worst place is back of the trailer. Keeping weight forward in the rig is almost always better for weight distribution, and the rpod frame is pretty light weight so doesn't need any extra load hanging off the back. 


2015 Rpod 179
2012 Toyota Highlander
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StephenH View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote StephenH Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Nov 2020 at 2:18pm
Even worse is I80 in Wyoming. The posted speed is 80 mph. I think that is just a suggestion for the big rigs.
StephenH
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Post Options Post Options   Quote yelvington Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Nov 2020 at 8:01am
We stayed at Katheryn Abbey Park in Jacksonville, and learned that the "drive through" spots are reasonably spacious, but the "back in" spot that we deserved was not fit for anything more than a pup tent, and neighbors on both sides encroached on what little space we had, parking two or three vehicles.  I managed to thread the needle and get it in/out without a tree limb damaging the roof, but ... lesson learned. We will be back (really liked the park/beach access) but only to a "drive through" spot.

When we arrived Friday night to discover the reservation was for Saturday and Sunday nights, they let us stay one night in a "drive through." The error probably saved us from damaging the trailer, because there is no way we could have parked in the intended spot in the pitch-black dark. Got up Saturday, spent midday at the beach, and moved in broad daylight. 
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Post Options Post Options   Quote tcj Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Nov 2020 at 8:47am
2018 R-pod 180 Hood River Edition
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Dirt Sifter Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Nov 2020 at 8:59am
Originally posted by StephenH

Even worse is I80 in Wyoming. The posted speed is 80 mph. I think that is just a suggestion for the big rigs.

I - any number in the inland west can be a challenge. And then there are the infrequent, bored truckers who make a game out of blowing TT's onto the shoulder by crowding the slow lane when passing. I seldom travel under 63 - 65 mph but that's still 15+ mph slower than the 85,000 pounders.Sleepy We've always gotta watch our mirrors.  I really prefer the two lanes when time allows.
Greg n Deb 2020 195 HRE
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1 Puggle, 1 Chihuahua support staff
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Pod_Geek Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Nov 2020 at 10:01am
Based on my experience driving all over the US, there are more lunatics/mile on I-95 in FL than on any other interstate in any other state.

Trucks going 90...well, the wide-open western interstates are prime country for those guys, but I'll take those over the nutjobs I've seen in Florida any time.
2020.5 R-Pod 195 Hood River
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Colt Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Nov 2020 at 2:59pm
i use a Bodum Pour-over and add a paper filter for convenience.  A tea kettle is very useful and it boils fast on the stove.

Another idea might be a vacuum siphon.  i use a Yama at home, but dumping the grounds might be too much fuss in a camper. 
John
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