We took our new camper out for its first camping trip over the weekend. Overall it was quite a success.
We had reservations for the campground at Petit Jean State Park, Arkansas. (see my Petit Jean State Park and Petit Jean Mountain page.) We have camped there several times in the past. It is a good place for setting up and checking everything out. There is also a decent climb with curves on the way up from the west, which allowed us to see how it handled climbing as well as a curving descent on the east for checking out how it handles going down hill.
The western approach to Petit Jean was via Dardanelle and Arkansas Highways 155 and 154. This goes through flat bottom lands from the west until just before you get to the mountain. We were at the visitors center by a little after 7 PM on Friday evening and set up on our campsite by 7:30.
We knew that the weekend was going to be very hot and that most of the time we would either be sitting inside our little motorhome in the air conditioning or sitting outside sweltering. We did take several walks, but it was before air temperatures rose into the high 90s or after they had started dropping for the evening.
Our intention was to do this weekend without an additional vehicle. For most trips, we plan to tow a small car. If we were traveling day to day and stopping in a new place almost every day, we might be willing to do without the small car. However, our style of RVing is to travel to some point and then park the camper for several days while we do things in that area. With a small car, we can leave the camper at the campground while we explore.
One of the tasks to be accomplished this week or next is to get the car set up so that we can tow it. Unfortunately, it looks like that will be a bit more expensive than I thought it would be.
One thing that I did get done while we were there was to re-read a book that I thought I had left unread last summer. It had been long enough, though, since I read it, that it was still a good read. We also managed to watch two movies that we had taken along. We don’t watch television very much.
I don’t know what the outside temperature got up to on Saturday, but it got up to the high 80s in the front of the camper before I figured out that I could improve the airflow at the front by shutting off some of the airflow at the back. In our last RV, the registers at the end of the ducting couldn’t be closed to allow that, but they can be closed in this one.
Other than a speaker wire, we didn’t find any real problems with the camper, which is actually pretty unusual. Even though this is much smaller than our fifth wheel, we are finding that there are many RV features that we like better in this camper than the equivalent in the old one.
One thing that isn’t better than the old camper is shower space. I’m a big guy and the shower space as it stands now is inadequate, but I have a modification in the works that should alleviate that problem.