April 29, 2007

First Camping Trip

We just got back from our first trip in the Caboose. We left late Friday night which meant we got into Serrano camp well after dark. I was very glad that I practiced setting up at night. Things went pretty easy and we were ready to settle in for bed within an hour. It got down to just above freezing that first night, and the thermostat on the heater wasn't working. I McGyvered the thing at three in the morning with my car keys, so we were able to warm up before the sun came up.

Once the sun did come up, we saw just what a great campsite we had. There was lots of space between us and the other campsites, a paved pad for the Caboose, great views, hiking trails, hot showers, etc.

The showers and restrooms were clean and modern, but a little bit of a walk since they were in the loops without hookups. We decided that this wasn't so bad because the campsites without hookups had generators, radios, and other symptoms of inconsiderate campers. The campers in the hook-up loop were all courteous, clean, cheerful -- all the Boy Scout stuff. The best sites are 63, 62 and 61. The pretty good sites are 60-56.

The trip was better than I expected for our first try. We brought too much food, and we were able to deal with any mechanical issues without too much fuss.

We checked out a few other campgrounds as well. Pineknot is too close to the snow area and city to be attractive. San Gorgonio is still closed for the winter, but Barton Flats had nice showers and restrooms. Our first choice for a site at Barton Flats is 34 with 28 a close second.

April 14, 2007

Mods and Gadgets

While sitting around in a Washington, DC hotel room, I found some cool ideas for modifications to the trailer. I know, I've only had it a week and I'm already thinking about changing it.

Soldering a phono plug to the leads of a multimeter, I can plug this into the accessory lamp and check the battery condition on the trailer. Another set of leads with a 110 plug can check park voltage.

Santa Fe Galley Storage
Removing the side wall of the large storage area allows rolling access to the portable toilet and better organization.

CD Stereo Radio Installation
This is a nice installation of a car stereo and speaker into the galley void.

Outside Stove and Shelf
A breadboard could be easily modified to fit on the RV-Que rack.

Some other ideas and things to put in the trailer:
~ Wood pads for the stabiizer legs Done
~ Computer speakers for the XM
~ Electric heater for sites with full hook-ups Done
~ Replace the B/C extinguisher with A/B/C
~ GPS bracket for the truck Done
~ Grey water hose, tank and adapter
~ Conversion pigtails Done
~ Level Done
~ Automotive voltmeter
~ Brake controller Done

April 10, 2007

Bad Boys, Bad Boys...

...Whatcha gonna do? If you think about it, all the things that make trailers great, are the same things that make them attractive to the bad guys. All they have to do is pick up and go.

That won't be so easy with this trailer. There is a braided steel cable running through the hitch lock, battery box, propane tank, trailer frame, and contractor-grade padlock. I dug a pit as far as my post-hole digger would reach and then hung a chain from the eye-bolt. It is only a one-foot square anchor, but it has a couple hundred pounds of concrete under it. Not only can they not hitch the trailer to anything, but they'll have to take the front yard with it.

In a more charming vein, my neighbor Bob has christened the trailer, "Harrison's Hideaway."

April 7, 2007

We Have Lift Off!!

We went to our trailer orientation and then drove off with the goods.

This first shot is me doing the hard part - turning the crank.You don't get a gut like this without being concerned about galley operations.
Insert Tab A into Slot B.
I set it up in the driveway in less than ten minutes!
Andrew invited Caleb over for the first night in the rig.

April 6, 2007


We still don't have the trailer yet, we pick it up on Saturday. We had them upgrade some things and we scheduled pick up for the weekend so we could attend a 90 minute orientation class.

We've got a full calendar, but we couldn't let a whole month go by without breaking in the trailer. We'll be going to Serrano campground, on the north shore of Big Bear lake in just a couple weeks. This photo is from Google maps. Their photos are great ways to preview campgrounds. You can get more information and reservations for Serrano campground here.