We took a week-long trip to Maine last week, thought I'd share the experience. I have used the Scamp
several times close to home, this was the first trip over 50 miles from home. We left home early Sunday morning, which turned out to be a great idea. We went through Albany/Troy with almost no traffic. Average on the highway was about 14/15 mpg, versus 16/17 with just an empty truck.
Had a few "mishaps", which really didn't cause much grief. First was throwing a dust cap somewhere along the road. Have spares now, and I know where every Tractor Supply from here to Maine is! Also know that they don't open until 9 on Sunday! We stopped at Camping World in Chichester, NH- I had this in mind as a possible rest stop, depending on how far we made it. No dice- the prices (even the "Club" prices) were crazy, and no one in the store had any idea what a dust cap was. Definitely not a place for a cheapskate DIY'er.
Stayed overnight in the RV parking in Freeport, which wasn't really planned, but we had to make a few stops/side trips to get some stuff that we forgot/lost (cell phone charger, aluminum foil, bowls
) No issues with parking there, several other RV's overnighted there. Also, was a fair or something in Ogonquit, took us 45 min. to get through town. Will take a more direct/faster route than Route 1 next time, although I hate highway driving.
Camper towed great, hardly knew it was back there. Some rough spots on Route 1 kind of made me pucker, but the only incident inside the camper was that the drawer slid out, just put it on the floor for this trip. Cabinet locks are on the list.
We took our time, overall it was about 12 hours of driving. Crossed onto MDI at 12:45, hit check-in at exactly 1 PM. Stayed at Hadley's Point Campground, I've stayed there before and while it's not the fanciest, it's clean, quiet and friendly. Nice wooded site with water and 30-amp electric was just under $40/night. We were right across from the bathrooms, which was great.
We set up our 9x13 Walmart screen room about 5' from the Scamp
, with a tarp over the gap. This worked great, kept the bugs out of the screen room and left us a nice little "porch" for the coolers, shoes, etc.
First night we were there I heard a noise like a clock ticking. Found out that the barb/FPT copper fitting on the bottom of the faucet was leaking, it had been put on with no thread sealant. Even with far more tools than I could have ever used, I could not get the fitting off. So we went without running water in the sink for the rest of the trip. Probably end up cutting it off and replacing the whole faucet, want one with a longer spout anyway. The maintenance guy in the campground was super, offered help and directions to all the local hardware stores.
Also, while coffee water was heating, I was outside and smelled LP odorant. Found that my regulator was leaking.
Easily replaced at Tractor Supply for around $20. Guess the travelling finally did it in. Poured about a teaspoon of rust/crud out of it when I took the old one off. Just plain old.
Don't want to give the impression that the trip was all problems, we had a great time and the Scamp
was just what we needed. Got lots of compliments, no one would believe me that it was 18 years old!
Trip home was started in rain/thunder, didn't stop until we were well into NH. Stopped in Keene for groceries/rest break, reminded me why I love that town. Had at least 5 people stop and talk about the Scamp, the weather, just friendly conversation. Had planned on Wheelock Park campground as a possible overnight, but I felt really good so we decided to push on for home. Made it in the driveway at about 11 PM, not exhausted but definitely tired of driving!
We sat down the next morning and compiled a "punch list" of things to fix, improve, or include before our next trip. A few of those items:
- Brought waaaaay too much food! We only ate 3 meals "out" in a week, probably brought home enough food for 2 weeks! We had even planned out our meals and thought we brought just the right amount. That extra can of soup, box of cereal, etc. all added up.
- Bikes! Right before the trip, I made a bed cover for the pickup, then decided to look for fork blocks to mount the bikes on top. Just couldn't get them in time. Probably wouldn't have used them much this time, but my son definitely could've done with cruising a while to burn off energy.
- The bed cover- would have preferred a cap, but I haven't found one for the right price that fits my truck yet. The wood cover that I made worked very well for this trip, waterproof and most importantly, kept stuff in the bed out of sight. I included a steel plate in the center and aluminum underneath that was bonded to the truck body as a ground plane for radio antennas, which worked well.
- Window awnings/vent cover- Wish we had either/both of these, condensation in the mornings was a problem. Being able to leave the windows/ vent open would have fixed this. Running the fan for a few minutes each morning helped.
- Bugproofing vents- the fridge
vent allowed ants to get in, and there were a few spots (bottom door weatherstripping) that allowed mosquitos in. Not bad, but something to go over and improve.
Lots of other stuff, but I've gone on long enough.