Let’s see – which is scarier? Riding Cliffhanger at Levis Mounds Trails or pulling the Alto with the Prius. We vote for Cliffhanger (see below!)
Our trial outing – just a short jaunt of 125 miles each way to Clark County, WI – went exceedingly well. We outfitted our camper with food, pots n’pans, dishes, chairs, clothes, magazines, books, computer, speakers and movies – and of course our mountain bikes and all that gear – and set off into a 20-25 mph head wind. The trailer pulled effortlessly and we got 19.7 miles per gallon on the way. On the way home, we had a tail wind (yay!) at about 15 mph, which improved our gas mileage to 25.8 mpg. Not too shabby, yeah? We didn’t need to use the power mode button too much on the way home – most of the trip was made in eco mode.
No problem backing the trailer into a cozy little spot for our stay – and bonus! We were the only campers. The campground has a bathroom – with real toilets and running water, hot and cold. As we are easing into getting to know our tailer, for this short trip, we relied on these facilities. Also, no electric hook up, so our lights, kitchen, heating and recharging electronics, etc. were trailer-battery powered. For heat, we used our portable gas heater and it worked great. We have not installed the actual gas line for that yet, wanting to test it out first and and to figure out where to place it. We think the best place is alongside the table, where it can be pushed under to get it out of the way when not using, and for this trip, we ran temporarily ran the gas hose out the front window. This meant we had to switch the hose for heating and cooking, easy enough to do. More later on this when we do the permanent hose install.
Mountain bikers, listen up. If you want to be challenged, this is the place. The trails are amazingly well done. There are some easy trails around the base of the two mounds – Levis and Trow – but many more intermediate and advanced trails wind up and down the mounds, with stunning views, rocks and roots, swooping turns and bridges. Definitely not for the faint of heart or those who are scared of heights.
The stove works fine, but lighting took a few attempts and once or twice it whooshed up a gas flame more than I liked. Maybe considering lighting with a long lighter, unless we improve our technique. *Update: the trailer manual mentions this as a problem, and recommends manually lighting.
The bed is roomy and comfy. We used our sleeping bags atop. Easy to set up and stow when not in use.
Bring the camper paperwork. The automatic fan has a bit of a learning curve, but we forgot all the camper paperwork. Put it in the camper. Duh. The fan is quiet and seems to do nice work with the air exchange.
Bring level. Our spot was level and we could eyeball it (actually used a dish of water to help with that), but a level would make it simpler.
Overall, yeah – we’re good. Next outing will be soon – most likely another mountain biking trail system with camping. The Prius gets to come, too.