Home > Uncategorized > Van Shake Down Trip

Van Shake Down Trip

March 30, 2018

It was a bit like the curate’s egg – good in parts!

We took the trailer all of three miles from its storage to Dos Picos County Park and stayed for two nights.

The idea was to camp in the van and only enter the trailer if we had forgotten something or the van camping experience went pear-shaped.

We seem to have planned modestly well. We lacked a bread knife, decent corkscrew, enough pans to saute shrimp and prepare frijoles at the same time. Other than that, we were pretty self contained.

Oh, except it would be nice to have a ‘water thief’ and a short length of potable water hose to make filling our 5 gallon water container a little easier.

The power center worked well – charging up phones and such. We tested both hooking up a 110 VAC charger and the solar panel (not simultaneously, of course!) and both seemed to work as expected.

B reports that our ‘poor man’s’ porta-potti (a Home Depot-like 5 gallon bucket with a toilet seat atop it) worked OK and didn’t fall over.

We also discovered that the best way to keep the chiller connected whilst driving was to use the onboard inverter outlet in the rear of the van, which only supplies juice if the ignition key is on. This is safer than using one of the new 12 VDC outlets – which could draw the ‘house’ battery down if we forgot about it.

Now for the bad news. We haven’t yet insulated the van. The temps dropped to 39 degrees overnight. Despite having a 1500 watt electric fan heater working full blast, it was just. too. cold. for us California wimps. I (Simon) decamped to the trailer first, turned up the furnace to 11 and went ‘Aaaaaaaaah’ and slowly stopped shivering. B showed up a little later, cold to the marrow.

That said, the legacy inflatable mattress and new double sleeping bag was pretty comfortable, and I guess that if we’d thought about it, we did have extra blankets (one of them 12 VDC heated) which might have made things acceptable, but at 11 pm in the freezing-ish cold, and there’s a nice warm trailer right there 10 feet away…….

Anyway, that, right there is where the shakedown ended.

We need to insulate the van.

We need to make sure that we don’t stay in cold places with it until we have insulated it.

That’s not too big of a list, is it?

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Categories: Uncategorized
  1. May 17, 2018 at 4:11 am

    Holy smokes – you two have been busy. Love the simplicity and functionality of the interior. Have a great spring trip. Will you take the trailer too?

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