Monday, September 24, 2018

T.Ex. 1.0 (Turtle expedition) Wrap Up

This was a "Journey of Discovery" from the beginning and it has lived up to its name. We discovered stuff mechanically with our camper. We discovered stuff mentally with us. And finally we have discovered stuff physically with us.

The main thing that we discovered is that we had affectionately called this camper our "vacation home." Now it has  turned into the "Hobbit House." It is so much smaller than our 40 foot fifthwheel. It is about a third of the size. I remind you that it has 2 slideouts so that makes it big for a pickup camper, but it was still small when we had to be stuck inside it for any period of time. Even our 2 cats have felt the smallness of it. It is so small we have to dress in the kitchen which means I am usually teabagging everything. We still like it but we will be happy to get back into our fifthwheel.

Mechanically we have discovered some issues. For one, I don't think the batteries are charging when we are driving in the truck. Maybe they don't because the camper is always plugged into the truck when it is on the truck. Maybe that is to save on draining the truck when not running. I don't know the answer to that yet. The only reason I know that that is a problem is that we had a long day of driving and I checked the battery meter and it was low.

So problem number two is that when the refrigerator is on auto and you are on AC and then disconnect, the fridge picks DC over LP thus draining the battery. So if you manually pick LP then it doesn't light. Not even a spark unless I reset the board by disconnecting the DC power to it. Then it lights right away. So then, do I take it in and spend the hundreds to get it fixed or I know what the problem is and just live with it?

Problem number three is our wet bath. A wet bath means that your toilet, sink and shower are in one unit. The shower head runs off of the faucet with a little lever. They are cheaply made and ours quit working so that needs to be replaced. The sink part quit so at least we could still take showers. But inconvenient when you forget about that and run the sink and all of a sudden you get a shower. It is funny though when it doesn't happen to you and all of a sudden you hear "F**K!" in the bathroom and a drowned rat comes out.

Problem number four is that we have 2 propane tanks and that they are supposed to switch over automatically when one empties. That feature doesn't work. Not even manually. In fact the tank on the left doesn't work until you physically swap it with the tank on the right. Things that make you go "hmmmm".

Storage is a problem. One we knew of when we bought it and we will have to work around that somehow. I would like to get a solar panel for charging the batteries. We can run our generator but as Jim will tell you, it is loud and scares the deer away.

Physical problems are mainly me I guess. Like the day we climbed the sand dunes and I was so tired I just wanted to collapse into my recliner, except my recliner is in the fifthwheel.  Then there are the stairs. Those steps can be pretty big depending on where you park. We need a step or something. We used a bundle of wood we bought and used that as our step for nearly a week. We couldn't burn it because we needed it for that reason.

Other than that it has gone pretty well. Those problems are minor inconveniences at most. We can travel faster and farther on a tank of fuel. That I like. It has gotten a lot easier to unload the camper and load it up again. Knowing that being in it is only for shorter lengths helps to tolerate it.

We think it will work great for our future plans.

So we officially declare T.Ex. 1.0 (turtle expedition) over with and it was a success. We are planning T.Ex. 2.0 for next year already and it promises to be a good one. To bravely go where turtles have not gone before. That is our mission.


  1. Replies
    1. Thanks. It will be fun for our future trips that we have planned.

  2. Sounds like you're getting the kinks all worked out. Maybe you could swap the dinette for your recliner? I'm sure you'll have a blast next year!

    1. The only kinks getting worked out are the ones in my back. We saw an Earthroamer at Black Canyon National park. They are huge, It should be called the Earth Stomper.

  3. Replies
    1. The camper or my wife? Because if you took my wife it would give me more room in the Hobbit house.