Well we made it back in one piece!! What a trip!! 6000 miles total and I have to count up how many states. The route home took a completely different turn eliminating one state and traveling through another due to having to drive farther looking for a place to stop. There are 2 less racoons in the world, drove through the worse road construction on US 18 in SD ever where the pilot car ran off and left me through soft dirt they just layed down as a "road" in which my minivan/trailer about got stuck and was sliding sideways it was so deep, I couldnt even see the pilot car or other traffic and was going along beside machinery whos tires
towered over me throwing dirt and mud onto my windshield while praying they could see me down here since they wouldnt be looking for a car so far away from the rest of the group, got panhandled by Indians selling medicine pouches and ended up buying a beaded necklace so one would leave me alone (thanks to my 8 yr old begging please mommy, it's so pretty), couldnt find 3 of the 4 campgrounds by GPS or Trailer Life directions even after calling one of them and being told they were easy to find and just follow the GPS, why is it CG's dont have lights
or even signs?!?! We never did find one so drove another 20+ miles to the next CG in IA arriving around 1am getting the last spot which was reserved due to a Scandavian Convention in town. I took it anyway and hoped nobody came to claim it in the night. We arrived in AL 5 mins after our COE Park locked the gates and had to find another palce. There was 1 "Campground" and 1 "RV Resort" which were actually scarry Permanent Resident Trailer Parks so our last hope was a State Park which the gates were locked but as we were sitting there trying to figure out what to do next a nice Ranger came by for security checks and felt sorry for us and let us in since by now it was nearly midnight. We were the only ones on the entire loop and it was pitch black. Creeeeeeeeeeeeepy, lol. Ya'll already know about the emergency lane change in Montgomery, AL due to a tow truck coming at me in my lane, I lost a highway somehow going through road construction in a small town in GA where apparantly US 82 took a turn somewhere but the signs were down so I just went on through the town which turned out to be Hwy 19 South but thankfully it did run into I-10 in FL so no harm no foul. I just had planned to stay on 82 all the way to just N. of Jacksonville to avoid I-10. Drove through Birmingham, AL at 5:30pm with construction so that was exciting. While at my folks in WY we got hailed on several times and driving rain. Tabitha didnt leak a drop and suffered no dents or dings. The hail was about pea size and once a few golf ball sized came down but thankfully didnt last long. My fridge
died a slow death on the way to TX so I have to get that looked at. A small 1000 watt generator
is now on the wish list before next year's trip b/c the only reason I needed hookups was to run the A/C since I choose a nationwide heatwave to take my first cross country trip with a trailer. If I have a generator
for next year I wont need to find campgrounds. Walmarts and Rest Stops will do just fine. Tabitha got beat and banged over the worst roads in IA, hit rail road tracks in small towns all across America that no matter how slow you try and crawl over them they are still rough, peeled out of a parking lot when more panhandlers were coming at us throwing gravel as we left, lol. Ever heard that song "Uneasy rider" by Charlie Daniels? I had a few of those moments......
We had other little adventures and challenges but I wont go into that in this already long post. Bottom line, it was loads of fun, frustrating and scarry at times, Tabitha performed flawlessly no matter what came at her, no leaks
, not so much as a lose screw or open cabinet, e'thing rode tight even while playing leapfrog/seesaw on some roads. I hit elevations as high as 5500 feet and grades of 6%. The minivan did good but I wouldnt want to tow anything heavier up those hills. I never even hit any mountains, just hills along the CO/NE border, and some hills in WY and SD. I honestly dont know how folks with minivans and small SUV's tow 16/17 foot trailers up the Rockies etc. Maybe I was just too cautious but I climed hills at about 45 mph and 3000 RPM with my Sienna. My gas mileage was terrible on this trip averaging between 12-15 mpg running 55-60 mph. That's over a 10 mpg drop where I see folks post only a 5 mpg or less with their Scamp
13. Gas mileage, trailer height/shape is gonna be another post though. My Sienna ate $700 in gas to go 2300 miles and I swear IA and MO were uphill the entire way South! LOL. Tabitha was comfy but have to do something about the "She's touching me, she kicked me first, she poked me, stop it" etc etc. Dont know how we're gonna sleep the 4 of us yet....taking the A/C in and out every night when you've driven 12 hrs and nearly 500 miles was a huge hassle, need to find a permanent solution. We didnt plan to drive so long/late but we really struggled finding places to stay and we had state maps, GPS, Trailer Life Guide, COE Guidebook and a State Parks Guide Book. Just not a lot off the interstates along the US Highways we wanted to travel.
Ok, I'm tired so gonna just catch up on some reading on the site. I'll post more later along with pix!!
It's good to be home! Have to clean my van/trailer tomorrow as they are soooooooooo filthy. Well, depending on if the Tropical Storm is gonna rain on us more like it's doing now maybe wont get washed for a few days.
Oh! Saw a Trillium
4500 on I-90 West of either Siox Falls, SD or Sioux City, IA I forget which being towed by a black passenger car, was so shocked to see the Trill I forgot to take note of the tow vehicle. It was on on Sat. Jul 30th.