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rbryan4 03-21-2015 10:48 PM

'Past Tents' First Journey
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Hello all, we are having a wonderful time in our new 19. She's everything we wanted and more. I want to use this thread as a rolling journal of our first trip.

We arrived at Escape yesterday right on time at 8:00 am. The folks there were as gracious and helpful as ever. Chatted with Reace, Tammy, Barbara and then checked out the trailer. It was just beautiful. After Barbara gave us our orientation, Reace had the guys get busy installing the Umbra hooks and the Oxygenics Shower head, which we brought with us and prearranged.

After the orientation, I got to talking with Reace about the new truck. It was clear that he thought we would benefit from a WDH. I mentioned that he had said I probably don't need it during that my prior visit. Long story short, he felt we didn't "need" it but would benefit from it. He doesn't like to try to upsell people and is reluctant to say "yes you need that". Just a class act who isn't just trying to make money.

So, I asked him to install an Andersen Hitch and he agreed, even though the resident expert on them, Dennis, was out that day. Reace and one of his employees started in and had the hitch installed in about 45 minutes.

There were a lot of little things like that which added up so we didn't actually hit the road to the border until the afternoon. We got to see out trailer crossing the border on the commercial side as we crossed the regular side. We waited at Bobs Burgers for about 10 minutes and then the trailer arrived. I had a pretty easy time hooking up because the rear view camera on the truck is excellent, and it even has a zoom feature showing you a closeup of the hitch and ball. Backing is another matter however. I'm still not very good at it but I'm getting better. I'm following Glenn's advice to use my hand palm up on the bottom of the wheel and move it left when I want the trailer to go left, and right for right. Seems to work OK.

Anyway, we decided to have a sandwich at Bobs, then we hit the road for Bayview State Park. There was a very solid feel towing but you definitely know the trailer is there. With a stop for groceries along the way, we arrived at Bay View much later than we had hoped, about 5 pm. Backing in was a bit of an adventure but I got the trailer right where I wanted it after the 3rd try. Right after we set up, several folks who were there as part of the "wet westies", a group of VW Westfalia owners who were there for the weekend, wanted to tour the trailer. It definitely draws attention. Karen stopped by and we were very happy to meet her, even though she was 'sans Egbert'. Very nice to have her stop by and visit.

They don't call it the 'great north WET' for nothing. We had showers on and off all night, and all morning as we packed up and headed for Southern Washington. I'm getting pretty good at hooking up/unhooking and setting up/breaking camp but you can tell I'm still a rookie. One thing that came in handy was reading all the posts from Andersen Hitch owners on how to unhook. You really have to jack up HIGH to relieve the tension on the chains so the triangle plate can drop.

For those who were wondering if the 2.7L Ecoboost was the 'cure all' for towing mileage, I can tell you that so far it definitely is NOT. Mileage dropped from 25 not towing to about 15 according to the truck computer. I don't have enough data for the manual calculation yet but I suspect it will increase SLIGHTLY to about 16 where it will settle in. This combo is not going to give us the 18-19 towing we had hoped for, at least not yet. We traveled through Seattle and Olympia averaging 56-58 mph. The mileage average definitely rises the flatter the road is.

Today we are staying at Elma RV Park, southwest of Olympia. The weather cleared quite a bit about the time we arrived, and we had a nice partly sunny afternoon after we set up. The lady who runs the office at the Elma RV Park is just wonderful. I would highly recommend this place for anyone who has just picked up and is heading south. She told us she was going to give us a deluxe pull through even though they don't do that for Passport America folks, since this was our most inaugural trip with the trailer. Even gave us some homemade chocolate chip cookies!

Time for a Spaghetti Dinner and cuddling up in the new trailer. By the way, the furnace REALLY works. We try to keep the thermostat at about 66 or it gets pretty warm. The Maxx Fan set to exhaust and on low is pretty much silent and we haven't had any condensation even though its been very wet outside the entire time.

Cheers! On to beautiful Oregon tomorrow.

Vicki A. 03-21-2015 10:54 PM

Oooh lala!

PGDriver 03-21-2015 10:59 PM

Awesome looking unit there Robert, hope the weather gods smile on you....
Drive safe.


drpaddle 03-21-2015 10:59 PM

Congratulations! We could "feel" you going by as you went through Tacoma. Your rig looks fantastic and I'm sure you'll make lotsa great memories on your journey back to Texas. Hope you have a blast.

rbryan4 03-21-2015 11:01 PM

5 Attachment(s)
A few more photos...

Loren & Cathy 03-21-2015 11:03 PM

Robert, glad everything is going well for you and what an adventure. Will take notes for our trip coming up in the fall. Oh by the way with so much to figure out and get used to, don't forget to check the torque on the trailer lug nuts. Loren

drpaddle 03-21-2015 11:03 PM

Great looking terrier you got there, too!

float5 03-21-2015 11:04 PM

Wow, very nice bright upholstery! Never thought of having the bed that way. Guess it works. The truck looks good, too. Hope we see the Umbras.

rbryan4 03-21-2015 11:12 PM


Originally Posted by Floating Cloud (Post 86696)
Wow, very nice bright upholstery! Never thought of having the bed that way. Guess it works. The truck looks good, too. Hope we see the Umbras.

The bed was just "staged" that way by the Mrs. We sleep the regular way from one side to the other.:)

float5 03-21-2015 11:22 PM

I wondered about that. Someone could use it that way if short, very short.

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