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Old 11-05-2016, 08:15 PM   #1
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Shakedown trip in new to me 15A

I did my shakedown campout at Fort Casey Thursday to Saturday.

Learned a lot!

Overall: I love this trailer. I love the windows especially. But everything seems such nice quality and well-made. Itís great having room to move around, too.

Towing: I did manage to get a wobble when I took a corner too fast in the wind on the way up but it damped out easily. No problems on the way back including a stronger crosswind (I slowed for the curves). Mileage, about 17-18 mpg (27 for the same trip without trailer) going between 25-55 on various roads. I got the mirrors adjusted well so I can see and am getting used to using them and not looking through the trailer.

I figured out with the aid of an Escape video and another online forum how to turn on the Atwood furnace. It worked well. No idea yet how much propane I used but I probably only ran it for 3-4 hrs total. I tend to sleep warm but the first night out was clear and chilly so I was glad to start out the night with it on.

Fridge worked well on propane though since I didnít have it cold when I started I did not try out the freezer to see if it would keep ice cream. 12V lights worked fine, as did the fan. My 12V USB adapter did not. Plugged in for 8 hrs it did not fully charge my iPad.

I use a Keurig at home so made coffee by heating water on the stovetop and using a Cafejo My French Press. I prefer this to a regular French press because clean up is much easier and the coffee is easier to keep fresh. The stove hood and light worked well but the vent banged in the wind when not running, so last night I secured it with a bit of tape (which I did remember to remove this morning.) I didnít do much other cooking- a cheese sandwich one meal. I donít think I need three burners, but there you go.

I found out the front awning/rock guard is very secure in the wind. When I was putting it up, I looked into the trailer and saw that..

Jack, my almost-12 year old Pembroke Welsh corgi, figured out that a) he could jump onto the bed and b) from there he could get to the counter. So far he has only figured out how to do it from the bed (large dinette) side but I will need to make some kind of ďJack wallĒ on both ends of the counter.

One person and three dogs fogged the windows at night. I didnít have trouble with condensation in other places (probably because the windows were the coldest thing) but probably need to run the fan at night. It was too windy to do that last night.
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Old 11-05-2016, 08:44 PM   #2
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I use a Keurig at home so made coffee by heating water on the stovetop and using a Cafejo My French Press. I prefer this to a regular French press because clean up is much easier and the coffee is easier to keep fresh.
Interesting: Cafejo My French Press
The person who put "French press" in the name of this device clearly doesn't know what a French press is... or thinks we don't. It isn't a French press at all, but should work well; it would be a convenient brewer to use, and perhaps a bit easier to clean than an AeroPress.
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Old 11-05-2016, 09:01 PM   #3
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Great report, Bobbie, and glad it all went very well for you on your first outing.

Question: What is the tubular-looking thing right behind your propane tanks?
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Old 11-05-2016, 09:09 PM   #4
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Interesting: Cafejo My French Press
The person who put "French press" in the name of this device clearly doesn't know what a French press is... or thinks we don't. It isn't a French press at all, but should work well; it would be a convenient brewer to use, and perhaps a bit easier to clean than an AeroPress.
It works somewhat like a French press but probably more like an AeroPress. It doesn't brew like a French press (where you brew, then filter but more as it goes through like drip coffee. They added the French press part later; I think when I first heard of it it had another name.
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Old 11-05-2016, 09:11 PM   #5
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Great report, Bobbie, and glad it all went very well for you on your first outing.

Question: What is the tubular-looking thing right behind your propane tanks?
An empty PVC tube at the moment. The previous owners had a rug in it but I will probably take it off. If it does fit a mat like I use I might move it to the back bumper but they generally fold rather than roll.
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Old 11-05-2016, 09:21 PM   #6
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Towing: I did manage to get a wobble when I took a corner too fast in the wind on the way up but it damped out easily.
Glad things worked out well on your first outing.

I notice that you have a rear, fairly sizable, cargo rack. Caution should be used when loading it. Too much weight on it and it could be the cause of the wobble.

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Old 11-05-2016, 10:02 PM   #7
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Love your picture one of the dogs enjoying the view through the window!
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Old 11-05-2016, 10:23 PM   #8
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I notice that you have a rear, fairly sizable, cargo rack. Caution should be used when loading it. Too much weight on it and it could be the cause of the wobble.
I think it almost certainly is.
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Old 11-05-2016, 10:39 PM   #9
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There isn't that much weight on it- it is a very lightweight aluminum rack and I have plenty of tongue weight. It looks bigger in the picture than it is. I had no difficulty when I didn't try to corner too fast, and as I said, no difficulty controlling the slight wobble. I may put in another hole on the rack's receiver bar, though, so that it moves in closer to the bumper as there is no reason it needs to extend that far out. As you can see there is a space between bumper and rack that is larger than it needs to be. (I guess you can't see due to the space signpost blocking the view, but it could move in about 4-5".)
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Old 11-05-2016, 11:07 PM   #10
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There isn't that much weight on it- it is a very lightweight aluminum rack and I have plenty of tongue weight.
I understand that, but due to the size (short) and proportions (short front, long tail) of the 15' model, any mass back in that location is more significant to the stability of the trailer than with any other model.

Also, plenty of tongue weight and lot of mass at the extreme rear is a stability issue; mass on the tongue does not negate mass on the rear. For stability, it is always better to have mass closer to the middle.

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I had no difficulty when I didn't try to corner too fast, and as I said, no difficulty controlling the slight wobble
I would be concerned by that. If even a routine corner on the fast side is hitting the edge of instability, then any emergency maneouver at highway speed will be as well.

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I may put in another hole on the rack's receiver bar, though, so that it moves in closer to the bumper as there is no reason it needs to extend that far out. As you can see there is a space between bumper and rack that is larger than it needs to be. (I guess you can't see due to the space signpost blocking the view, but it could move in about 4-5".)
I think that's an excellent idea.
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Old 11-06-2016, 09:25 AM   #11
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I agree with what Ron and Brian have pointed out. That distance out from the rear that rack extends will also have an effect, especially on a shorter trailer. Just be careful and check your tongue weight too.

But, that is one nice trailer you have there, that's for certain.
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Old 11-06-2016, 09:41 AM   #12
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I agree with what Ron and Brian have pointed out. That distance out from the rear that rack extends will also have an effect, especially on a shorter trailer. Just be careful and check your tongue weight too.

But, that is one nice trailer you have there, that's for certain.
Done and done.

I have a friend who can drill a new hole in the receiver bar for me.
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Old 11-06-2016, 11:39 AM   #13
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We love our 15 , and have the front storage box - still- if we carry anything with extra weight we put it between the front dinette seats and we do not carry anything of extra weight in the back . Our liberty has 500/5000 tow capacity . Towing is very comfortable.
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Old 11-06-2016, 11:47 AM   #14
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Mine doesn't have water tanks so the back doesn't have that much weight to start with.
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Old 11-06-2016, 12:08 PM   #15
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Mine doesn't have water tanks so the back doesn't have that much weight to start with.
Same for us actually ....
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Old 11-06-2016, 12:13 PM   #16
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Same for us actually ....
Why wouldn't you store most of the weight over the axle, then? You have plenty of tongue weight. Plus less storage in front. (Well, the front box adds more- but you can go too heavy on the tongue, too.
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Old 11-06-2016, 01:21 PM   #17
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Why wouldn't you store most of the weight over the axle, then? You have plenty of tongue weight. Plus less storage in front. (Well, the front box adds more- but you can go too heavy on the tongue, too.
Our usual items of any weight are over the axle , " any extra weight " will be between the front dinette seats . Like a heavy load of groceries or water flats , things that would end up under the double bed when in a site . The empty weight of the storage box ( to the best of my recollection) is 45 lbs . The wheel/axle placement is closer to the centre of the 15 , where as with the 17 it is farther back - where the rear weight probably works better ( in our opinion ) We only have the 12v battery - it would be difficult to over load our hitch ..........
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Old 11-06-2016, 02:06 PM   #18
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That makes sense. In my Campster I had to put the canopy in front (under the bed/dinette) to get enough tongue weight to avoid bouncing and swaying. If I had a lot in back I also sometimes put the xpens on the bed- something I could do en route if I didn't think the trailer was pulling well.

Just dropped the cargo rack off with my friend so he can put a few new holes into it. I don't know why they have only one. It sits about 8 inches out even from the bumper of my car. Maybe they allow for a spare tire. But the Escape spare rides well above the rack so that isn't an issue (it can hang over rack contents.)
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Old 11-30-2016, 03:15 PM   #19
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Update: moved the cargo rack in as close as it could go. That seems to have done the trick. I just finished a trip down 5 and 101 to the Humboldt (N. Cal) area. No sway, even when passed by semis on the freeway. I did drive at the trailer towing speed limits (50-60) and take turns at the posted warning speeds (yellow signs). That's probably why I got great gas mileage (19.5-20.5). Speed on hills was fine (though the guy behind me wanting to go 70 in a 50 mph zone might not have agreed).

I "camped" for five nights at my daughter's home, plugged in to 110 but heating with the propane furnace (needed the whole time). We were very comfortable. After reading about the stolen trailer I'm glad I bought a coupler lock and a lock for the cargo rack and that I put the mirrors away when I wasn't using the trailer. I did take an extra day down there because of high winds on Saturday.

The main problem was that everyone- eventually including me- had a nasty cold. It was nice being able to retreat to the trailer for peace and quiet but I still couldn't avoid the bug and brought it home with me.

Even though the Subaru is working well, I'm going to be shopping for something that doesn't have it's towing restrictions so that I don't have to worry about taking too much stuff or where it is packed (at least, not quite so much.)

That's "Patient Zero" in the middle- we figured that out when he got better faster than anyone else! The almost one year old was next, then the other three year old. Sissy and I got sick about the same time as her dad (I hope she's getting better faster than her grama!) and my daughter and her oldest (13) got it last.
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Old 11-30-2016, 03:22 PM   #20
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Update: moved the cargo rack in as close as it could go. That seems to have done the trick. I just finished a trip down 5 and 101 to the Humboldt (N. Cal) area. No sway, even when passed by semis on the freeway. I did drive at the trailer towing speed limits (50-60) and take turns at the posted warning speeds (yellow signs). That's probably why I got great gas mileage (19.5-20.5). Speed on hills was fine (though the guy behind me wanting to go 70 in a 50 mph zone might not have agreed).

I "camped" for five nights at my daughter's home, plugged in to 110 but heating with the propane furnace (needed the whole time). We were very comfortable. After reading about the stolen trailer I'm glad I bought a coupler lock and a lock for the cargo rack and that I put the mirrors away when I wasn't using the trailer. I did take an extra day down there because of high winds on Saturday.

The main problem was that everyone- eventually including me- had a nasty cold. It was nice being able to retreat to the trailer for peace and quiet but I still couldn't avoid the bug and brought it home with me.

Even though the Subaru is working well, I'm going to be shopping for something that doesn't have it's towing restrictions so that I don't have to worry about taking too much stuff or where it is packed (at least, not quite so much.)

That's "Patient Zero" in the middle- we figured that out when he got better faster than anyone else! The almost one year old was next, then the other three year old. Sissy and I got sick about the same time as her dad (I hope she's getting better faster than her grama!) and my daughter and her oldest (13) got it last.
Hi: Bobbie54... Why is it everyone with a cold wants to share it?
By the looks of the pic... there's no room for "Mr Snuffleupagus"!!! Get better soon. Alf
escape artist N.S. of Lake Erie
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