In regard to the travel trailer:
We recently took the travel trailer out for a 3-day stay at Pine Acres in Oakham, MA. We wanted to see what worked, what didn’t, what we anticipated needing and what we forgot. As it t turned out, we forgot a lot. Here are some notes:
I found the converter box, it’s under the refrigerator. This is where you find fuses and circuit breakers and it’s supposed to make a quiet hum when operating (I had to ask the guys at Mann’s RV Center if that was normal).
The refrigerator works well. So well that if you set the temperature too low, the stuff in the refrigerator will almost freeze. The freezer section also works well. It kept ice cream at the right frozen consistency. The refrigerator runs on electricity, propane or the battery. It automatically selects electricity if available. It can also be manually set to the desired source.
The hot water heater produces extremely hot water and is available by turning on the switch in bedroom below the closet. It can use propane or electricity to produce hot water. I think we’ve only used propane so far. l not sure. There’s a switch to the left of the water heater switch. I don’t know what it does.
There are wires running across the wall below the window in the bedroom at the head of the bed. They power some add-on white lights out on the frame of trailer. I’m not sure why the wires are where they are. I’m going to re-route them to make it look better.
The bedroom has two large closets. It also has cabinets high on the wall over the bed. Altogether, there’s a lot of storage space in the bedroom. The frame of the bed lifts up and provides access to the fresh water tank and a bunch wires and stuff that I haven’t really paid any attention to yet. I bought an air mattress to go over the 4-inch cushion mattress and it is comfortable for sleeping. It does, however, move a little too easily and can shift off the bed frame a little.
The exhaust fan in the bathroom is powerful enough to exchange the entire volume of air in the bathroom in about 10 seconds. I’m serious. The fan can also be used to bring in outside air and has a thermostat to control the functioning of the fan. The bathtub is small – not usable for an adult but would be great for kids 6 and under. The shower works well and the hot water is excellent.
There are a lot of overhead lights throughout the trailer. They’re bright and provide plenty of light. They’re placed in some very useful positions.
There is a lot of storage space in the trailer. I don’t think we used even half of what is available.
There’s a built-in stereo receiver above the dining table. It comes equipped with a cassette deck. Yes, really. There are built in speakers in the main area as well as a pair in the bedroom. They can be selected individually or both can be on at the same time.
The dining table converts into a full size bed. We haven’t seen this sleeping option set up yet. There are 2 bunk beds in the back of the trailer along with a good size closet. The bunks are to the left of the bath. The couch also converts to a full size bed. The bedroom has a full-size bed so technically the trailer can sleep six. But it would be very congested.
The trailer has two taller than average propane tanks that provide fuel for heat, hot water and gas for the cooking stove.
The trailer’s heater works well and can heat the trailer up to temperature in a very short of amount of time. It has a thermostat that controls both the heat and the air conditioning. There are a few throw rugs on the floor that have to be pulled back off of the heat vents to allow the heat to come up but they’re optional and aren’t really necessary.
The stove has three gas burners and an actual baking stove. It works well and can accommodate a small pot and two fry pans. It also has an overhead vent. It doesn’t vent outside, it just runs the vapors through a filter.
Above the stove is microwave. It’s broken. It’s just a regular small microwave and easy enough to replace.
The windows in the trailer are casement windows with the exception of one slider in the bedroom. The windows don’t open very much, perhaps about 8 inches or so. I don’t think they’ll provide much air circulation when it’s warm out.
For its age, the trailer looks good on the outside. There is a storage compartment in the rear left side of the trailer for the jack, tools, tire chucks and other outdoor equipment. The door lock didn’t work so we put a new one in.
The awning needed some repairs to function. Unfortunately, the mechanical failure that was broken on the left side became broken on the right side. We’ll have to address the issue before the awning can be used. Also, the awning itself is becoming detached form the trailer on the right side.
Before taking the trailer out to Pine Acres, we had a weight distribution system installed as well as a sway control apparatus. The weight distribution system is easy to install and uninstall but the arms are very heavy to hold in place as you secure each piece to the frame. The weight distribution system is very effective in keeping the truck level instead of having the rear of the truck be lower than the front due to the weight of the trailer being borne solely by the back of the truck. I haven’t attached the sway bar yet because we haven’t driven it on a highway or at any speed greater than about 45 miles MPH or so. Along with the weight distribution system came a really heavy duty trailer hitch. The hitch itself weighs at least 40 pounds.
The trailer came with an electric front jack. It only worked once then stopped functioning altogether. We had to replace it. Also, the battery was no longer able to hold a charge and we replaced that as well. One of the four corner stabilizing jacks came apart and we had it fixed. The electic connector to the trailer brake lights had a missing pin (the one that controls the trailer’s brakes) so we had a new cable installed.
We needed a controller for the trailer’s electric brakes installed inside the truck cabin near the steering wheel. The trailer brakes take much of the load off of the truck’s brakes when slowing and stopping.
Parking the trailer at home was a parking ordeal the first time I tried it. I had to pull back and forth a dozen times or more to turn the trailer around and park it in a position that would allow it to be hooked up and driven straight out of the driveway. The second time, I cleared a few things around the periphery and discovered that I actually had enough room to simply loop around to park it facing outwards. That was a great discovery.
In all, our trial stay at Pine Acres was a success. Although it wasn’t a relaxing vacation kind of stay at a campground, it did give us the information and learning experiences needed to take the trailer out for a real camping vacation in the future. I’m not sure if we’ll be able to take it out again before the weather gets too cold but if the opportunity arises, we probably will.