Youngest DS is now off to college and the house is really
empty. So, we took our new Mini Lite 1901 out for a quick shake out trip.
N00b Lessons Learned (or how tenting is different than campering):
- ***Chock TT tires before unhooking from TV***
this was hysterical (given it ended well) - we wish we had a video! The epic tale of our camper parking itself will entertain fellow campers for years once we stop laughing long enough to tell it!
- Wall/control panel switches need to be ON to operate the bathroom light and fan, and the light over the kitchen sink. Why FR designed the 'interior' switch on the control panel to control ONLY the light over the kitchen sink (which had its own on/off switch) remains a mystery.
- Gas mileage stinks worse than I expected. 9 MPH on the way down (65 MPH). 12 MPH on the way back (60 MPH).
- Beyond mileage, towing at @ 60 MPH is fine. @ 65 MPH...not so much.
- Single axle TT bounces a LOT when roads are washboarded. And sometimes even when they're not.
- Cord that goes between the TV and the TT for lights needs to go up through the tongue before being plugged into the TV. Electrical tape mended the dings in the cord before we discovered this one!
Pretty much everything went well:
- If it was supposed to move, it does.
- If it's not supposed to move, it doesn't.
- The lights all work.
- The a/c is great.
- Fridge got cold in half a day and stayed that way the entire trip.
- The w/h lit first try and has enough hot water for dish washing and two showers.
- Microwave & burners work. (will try oven next trip...forgot to bring anything to bake)
- Nothing leaks.
- Use of floor space is superb. Love the Murphy bed.
- Water filter does a fantastic job; it made the water drinkable.
- After removing a lot of foreign bits & pcs over the weekend from the aerators water pressure is now excellent.
- The shower is large enough for people of size. (2nd night was a LOT easier than the first.)
- This isn't really related to the camper, but we got a kick out of it: the mantles on the old Coleman lantern that's been in storage for 18+ years were still good. Filled it w/white gas, pumped it up, & had light on the first try.
Of course, we had a page-long list of things we need to bring next time and a smaller list of things we didn't use & so won't bring again, half a page of potential mods, and we'll probably be rearranging gear storage for the rest of this summer. We expected this.
We also learned we're limited to full hook up sites for the foreseeable future. We use a LOT of water with this new mode of camping. Gray water tank has to be emptied every day. Once the TV is upgraded and we have room for more weight, this may be resolved with one of the external tanks we've read about here.
DH hasn't said a word about using the Rav as a TV...but I have found him grinning at the Tundra brochures and cars.com ads that are beginning to litter the kitchen table.
Shake out summary:
From reading this forum we think we must have received one of the only FR TTs that was built as expected. We had a brilliant first adventure and have reservations for next weekend. We may even try bringing one of the pupsters along on the next trip.