Monthly Archives: July 2012

Test run to Coburg Oregon

We got to Premier RV Park in Coburg Oregon around 2:30 pm today. Rachel and I set up the caravan and tested all of the features that were fixed under warranty last week.  So far all of the warranty items have performed flawlessly.  I love having the CD player work and also the A/C without it cutting out every 15 minutes.  The electric water heater also seems to be doing fine.  I left the switch on for a couple of hours with no breakers popping.

Rachel has had all kinds of fun.  We went swimming. She got to ride bike alongside dad while he was running, ate pie and ice-cream and watched her favorite movie Tangled, and now we are winding down for the night.

Set up was a whole another story today.  This is only the third time I have done all the set up, and it showed.  I have been told that it is advisable to make a check sheet, and I learned first-hand today why it was so important (not done yet).  I leveled the trailer no problem then began to unhook the trailer from the Sequoia.  All was going well till the ball came loose from the car.  Any guesses what I forgot? Yes, the wheel chocks.  The trailer started sliding back and fell off the block of wood under the front leg.  Luckily the safety chains were still hooked up.  It was a little work getting everything back to normal, but we got there eventually.

When we get home I have an electrician coming by the house to wire in a 30 amp outlet so that we are able to be plugged in beside the house.  It will certainly make planning to leave a little easier — having the fridge/freezer all ready to go, use of lights etc.  Also we now have a built in guest room if needed.

Learning lessons all the time about the caravan.  When I get home I WILL be creating a set up and break down check sheet to keep with me.


Warranty Repairs Complete

Today we got the trailer back all fixed and hopefully better than new.  All of the electrical issues stemmed from a loose power lead on the back side of the circuit panel. The main feed wire was loose and making intermittent connection, thus shorting out and blowing the breaker.  The CD player was also covered under the warranty.  They replaced the entire stereo unit with a brand new one.  The kitchen window that blew open on the freeway was due to a faulty latch that was replaced.

Overall we are extremely happy with the dealer and the warranty that was included with the trailer.  So far Oregon West RV in Creswell, Oregon, has exceeded our expectations not only on the sales side but also on the repair side. John and his team have been excellent.

On Friday we will put it to the test.  Rachel, our 5-year-old daughter, and I are going for a solo camp night close to Eugene.  It will be a great opportunity for a little one-on-one time and also try out all of the repaired features.

Happy Trails

­­­­­Day 7 – Back Home

We made it home today safe and sound.  We had a great trip and the kids really enjoyed themselves.  It was also very nice for the kids to meet each other.

The overall trip was 1,287 miles long. It was a great shake down for the new trailer and also gave us a great idea of how the Toyota Sequoia handled the weight and how she pulled the hills.  The total elevation on this trip was 4,310 ft.  We averaged 9.1 MPG on the home trip and a little more on the southbound run.  After traveling both ways on I-5 to and from California, I can say that the northbound run has a much more aggressive incline than the south bound run.  She pulled the grades well both directions and we were able to maintain a minimum of 45 MPH on all grades.

On the way home we dropped off the trailer with the dealer where we purchased it so that we could have several warranty issues addressed prior to our next run.  We have a 90 day warranty and plan to put it to the test during that time and ensure everything is up to snuff.

Looking forward to the next run in a few weeks!!!



Day 6 – Stockton Delta Koa California

Today marks our last official day of camping/vacationing prior to our 9-10 hour drive home tomorrow. Keith has to be back in work Monday morning and back to reality.

Today we spent time in the pool here at the KOA, went to cousin Sandi’s house and swam in the bay, had a BBQ and all in all had a nice relaxing time. The kids even got to take a trip on Sandi & Dave’s jet skis. I think it was the highlight of the day.

Tristan and Rachel really enjoyed spending time with their cousin Laird and having all kinds of sing-a-longs with his ukulele. We had a hilarious concert after dinner that brought down the house, led by 3-year-old Laird.


­­­­­Day 5 – Stockton Delta Koa California

Today started out with a nice relaxing breakfast of bacon and eggs followed by some time playing in the park.  For lunch we packed up a picnic and drove along the Delta to a state park.  Although parts of the park were closed, we managed to find a nice spot to eat. Sadie really enjoyed the trails we walked along while the kids rode their scooters.

In the afternoon we drove over to Discovery Bay where Michelle’s cousin lives and had a fun afternoon playing in the water and visiting.  Michelle’s sister Denise along with her family showed up around two and joined in the fun. We took the opportunity to celebrate Tristan’s birthday, which was Wednesday, and Aaron’s (Denise’s husband) birthday, which was Monday.

All in all it was another fun-filled day, but I am now ready for some sleep…


­­­­­Day 4 – Stockton Delta Koa California

Today was a nice, relaxing day. We started out by making eggs and pancakes on the new BBQ. We then left to visit Carl, a friend of ours in Stockton.  We spent some time visiting, and then went to lunch.  It was a nice visit.  In the afternoon we came back to the KOA for an afternoon in the pool and playing.

Late afternoon friends John and Sherry (Carl’s son) came over to the trailer for drinks and dinner.  We all enjoyed a few hours sitting in the sun drinking and having a BBQ.  Later in the evening Michelle’s cousin Sandi came over for a visit. 

We are all a little sleepy what with getting up at 6:30 am every day.  Tomorrow will be another fun-filled day over at Discovery Bay.



Day 3 – Stockton Delta KOA California

It’s been an interesting day. Today Tristan turned 8 years old. We started the day with gifts and a breakfast of his choice, which was pancakes and milk. After breakfast we started to break down camp and get ready for our trip to the Delta. All in all the drive went well, and we improved our fuel economy up to 11.1 MPG, primarily due to the fact that we did not have any big hills to go over.

About 1 hour out of the Delta, I noticed a window had blown open on the trailer and was flapping about. When I pulled over I was able to see that the latch had broken on the kitchen window. The dealer broke it during our inspection and thought he had fixed it so it would be warranty. Luckily I travel with duct tape and was able to seal it shut.

Once we got to the KOA, we spent the afternoon playing in the water park and swimming pool and the kids jumped on the huge bounce mat. For the birthday boy’s dinner we found a nice Italian restaurant at the KOA where we had margaritas (grown-ups), sodas, pizza and cheese sticks followed by smores. It is now 8:47 pm, and we have two tired kids fast asleep… Looking forward to tomorrow when we get to visit with our friend Carl and see Michelle’s cousin Sandi.


Day 2 – Redding California

Today we spent the day in Redding, California.  Tristan turns 8 tomorrow, and we wanted to take him to the WaterWorks Park just down the street.  It was an amazing place with lots of water slides, pools, a slide called the Cyclone (which was amazingly fast — the kids and Michelle bowed out of that one), and lots of other fun activities.

Later in the day we went to Turtle Bay Exploration Park.  There we saw a butterfly exhibit, fed some lorikeets, and saw a chocolate exhibit and various other cool displays.  While there we also got to visit the Sundial Bridge.  This is an amazing piece of construction and well worth the visit if you are ever in the area.

It was a very fun yet tiring day.  Rachel was asleep by 7:15 pm, which was much better than 10 pm last night.

Tomorrow we move on to Discovery Bay in California to visit relatives.







Happy Trails

Day 1 – Redding Californina

Today we left Eugene, Oregon, on our maiden voyage with the caravan.  We traveled to Redding, California, where we are spending a couple of days so we can take the kids to the huge water park for Tristan’s birthday.  It was basically an uneventful trip and everything went well with the set up of the unit once we arrived.  We did find one warranty issue with the water heater when it is on mains but it works fine on gas.  If that is all we find, then we are home free.

I was concerned with how the Toyota Sequoia would pull the trailer.  I should not have worried.  She pulled great.  Our trip took us over Mount Shasta and the Siskiyou Mountains.  We topped out at 4,310 feet.  The Toyota pulled great and never dropped below 50 unless we were stuck behind a truck in road construction.  We also maintained 9 MPG.

All in all a successful run.

Happy Trails

The Journey Begins

This week we purchased our first travel trailer.  It is a 2008 Keystone Passport Ultra-Light  which is 24′ long.  It has a dry weight of 4,445 lb. We are going to be towing it with our 2008 Toyota Sequoia SUV  which has a 6,200 lb. tow capacity.  Even when loaded our SUV tows this trailer very nicely.

We have spent the last few days getting it all cleaned and loaded in addition to purchasing several items to go in it.  The kids are very excited to go on our first adventure.  They have worked out all the important details such as who gets which side of the bunk and who gets top and bottom.  There are four bunk beds in this unit.

The kids are at a great age to begin the experience and tour the USA.