I posted this on the SCAMP
forum, but wanted to share with you folks as well. Might be useful for someone, if not, it still was a fantastic trip. Along the way we saw three Scamps and four Casitas. Waved to all!
TV is 2008 Honda Ridgeline with towing package, 13' Scamp
, electric brakes
, water pump, 12 Gal fresh water tank, 5 Gal water container in truck bed, 12vdc/120vac/LP fridge
, LED bulbs, porta poty (Thetford 135), 2 burner stove, flexible solar panel
from our old sailboat, group 27 battery
and twin LP tanks.
We just completed a trip from the Bitterroot Valley in Montana to the Dinosaur National Monument in Utah, Copper Mountain in Colorado and return. Trip took 8 days, 5 of which included travel. The 13' is a dream to haul, mileage averaged 14.5, mpg in the hills and mountains, 16 mpg and higher on the flat, with stretches at 65 mph, 1800 rpm, our normal cruising speed with no trailer.
performed very well, 12vdc while traveling and LP when camped. I intend to install a relay in the 12vdc line between TV and camper, but we had no problems with battery
drain during short stops, What I learned here, DO NOT put eggs against the cold plate in the fridge! Frozen eggs are hard to crack. Temps were high 80's and 90's during the day, 40's and 50's at night. LP setting was High, probably could have had it lower, or put the eggs parallel to the door and in front!
We stayed at BLM and National Forest campgrounds (Green River Campground, Heaton Bay and Birch Creek), pit toilets and no dump stations. Gray water was run to a 5 gal bucket to be emptied in the pit toilet, same for the Porta Potty. Green River Campground is within the National Monument, both tent and camper sites, tables, paved parking, quiet, water available, no dump. Heaton Bay, Silvethorne, CO, tent and camper sites, beautiful views, water, pit toilets, no dumping. Birch Creek is a BLM site in Lone Pine, ID. Fantastic views, pit toilets and water available, no dumping. All three were very clean and comfortable. What I learned. When traveling in this area, fill up when the fuel gauge reaches 1/2, towns can be a long way apart, some with out gas.
12vdc was maintained by the solar panel
. In fact during bright sun, the panel kept our voltage at 13.2vdc while running the overhead fan. Because the sun did not set until 9pm or so, electric use was minimal, more will be known this fall
. What I learned, check the voltage level before leaving the campsite, and before retiring for the night. Leaving the fridge
on 12vdc overnight can ruin the next day. This did not happen to us, but i can see how easily it could.
I filled the water tank before we left, and did not have to add water until day 7. What I learned. When I went to refill the water tank, I found a layer of dust on the inside surface of the fill spout. This was removed with an alcohol base wipe, water added to the tank, then a clean wipe placed in the fill spout to capture any new dust.
Make certain there is a Phillips head screwdriver in the silverware drawer, screws loosen during travel.
Finally, have a good map for each state you are traveling in. GPS is useful, but we found numerous instances where a bit of time spent looking at the map, saved many miles and the frustration of an 80MPH Interstate while hauling the camper. Not to mention, small towns, beautiful views and more comfortable travel. In two separate instances our GPS was certain our destination did not exist!
This may seem spartan to some, but after years of tenting and coastal sailing we have found that often, less is more. Get out there, leave your site cleaner than you found it,and enjoy!
To paraphrase Warren Miller, "If you don't do it today, it will be one more year before you do".
All the best from Montana,