Enjoy traveling along with us!
My favorite traveling music from "Paint Your Wagon":
"Where am I goin'?
I don't know.
Where am I headin'?
I ain't certain.
All I know
Is I am on my way.
When will I be there?
I don't know.
When will I get there?
I ain't certain.
All that I know
Is I am on my way
Gotta dream boy
Paint your wagon
And come along."
To follow the "dream", our method of traveling is with a 2004 Dodge Durango with the 5.7 liter Hemi engine, 3.55 gearing with Tow Package, and a Jayco JayFeather 25F Travel Trailer. We expect our trailer to be delivered to the dealer in March, and we will pick it up when we are able and the weather permits. Here's what we have ordered - Jayco JayFeather 25F LGT. We purchased it through RVDirect (a.k.a. Albany RV) in Albany, NY.
Pictures will be added when we receive the trailer and the snow leaves the ground ;-)
You'll also be able to follow our travels (radio reception permitting) by clicking on this hyperlink.
March 26, 2008 - Notified today that our travel trailer had arrived at RV Direct. Now to make the plans to pick it up. Great 45th Wedding Anniversary present!
April 21, 2008 - Plans are now to pick up the trailer April 28, 2008. We're really looking forward to the upcoming fun!
April 28, 2008 - Saddled up the Durango, packed all the accessories that RV Direct was going to install for us on the 25F (Fantastic fan, Maxxair vent cover, UltraFab 3500 electric tongue jack, Prodigy brake controller, and Prodigy/Dodge harness), and inserted our son, Scott, and a Ham friend, Jack, N1NGF, and we rode off into the rainy western skies (from N. Swanzey, NH toward Albany, NY). Several hours later, we passed off all the parts and started the demo of the trailer with Sarge, a very good resource and guide in learning all the ins and outs of the JayFeather 25F. He is also an RV owner, so had lots of good tips for us. After the demo, it was lunch time. Sarge steered us to a great Italian place. Yum Yum! Upon return, we found that they had installed the wrong Weight Distribution Hitch, so they had to remove the improper one and install the Reese WDH with Dual Cam anti-sway kit.
Eventually we got hooked up and wandered easterly again with the trailer in tow. Wow, what an experience! I was pretty nervous inside, but actually felt fairly comfortable. I was worried most about making a lane change to be able to get onto I-90E during Rush Hour. Actually, it wasn't too bad, because there was a little lull in traffic (they must have known I was coming). I then made smooth transitions onto I-787N and thence to NY7 east. The further I got into the trip home, the more comfortable I felt. During this traveling, I had made a few minor corrections on the Prodigy brake controller and felt comfortable with its smooth action. Piece of cake!
The rest of the trip home was uneventful even driving in the rain, sometimes light, sometimes heavy, and even into some fog (low clouds) and gusty winds in the higher elevations of Vermont. I could tell the rig was trying to move around a bit, but I never, at any time, felt that there was a control issue. The Reese WDH was doing its job! Just little minor corrections. The limbs on the trees were really moving around.
I also got to test the guts of the Durango Hemi engine traveling up some very steep grades on VT9. The Hemi really didn't even breath hard. I had to drop down into 2nd gear several times running about 3-4K rpm, but never close to full throttle. I was able to hold speed at the speed limit or very close to it. At no time did I have a bunch of cars hanging on the bumper trying to get by. For those of you who might have traveled VT 9, the trip over Hogback is always a bit of a push, even when not pulling a trailer. Don't remember what the grade is, but it is definitely greater than you will find in Interstate travel.
The only downside of the trip was the 9.4 mpg (vehicle computer figured). But, the upside is that the hills I traveled over were probably the worse I will ever have to travel. I am guessing that I will be able to obtain 10-12 mpg traveling at 55 mph on the Interstates and less rugged terrain.
So, following are the first pictures of the combination 2004 Dodge Durango & 2008 Jayco JayFeather 25F parked in our side yard within a half hour of arrival home (quickly taken in the rain).
Planned trips for the future are to Prince Edward Island (who knows when) and to a family reunion in West Virginia in August.
May 1, 2008 - Filled the water tank. Readjusted the Reese WDH for traveling with more weight in the trailer and on the tongue. Pretty easy, just time consuming making the adjustments to the Dual Cam sway portion.
May 2, 2008 - Hitched up and drove to NEAR-Fest, a ham radio flea market at the Deerfield Fairground in Deerfield, NH, about 1 1/2 hours away. Upon arrival I found a place to park that was very level, left the Durango connected, extended the electric tongue jack, cranked down the stabilizers with my battery-powered drill, hooked up the electricity, extended the slide, and then relaxed.
I had invited three other hams to spend the night, and at one time, we had eight hams in the trailer enjoying conversation. It actually wasn't too crowded - three on the couch, three in the dinette, and two on lawn chairs.
We also planned ahead for eating/feasting; we shared bringing food and had spagetti with buffalo sauce, garlic bread, salad, and beverages of your choice for the evening meal. Desert was apple crisp with ice cream from one of the vendors. Breakfast consisted of scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, toast, coffee, and hot tea. Lunch was on your own. It just doesn't get any better!
Sleeping arrangements were one in the queen-sized bed (me), one on the couch converted into a bed, one in the dinette also converted into a bed, and one on the floor on an air mattress. All said that they were comfortable, especially me ;-) We had a light rain most of the time, and it was nice to hear the pitter-patter of light rain on the roof of the trailer rather than on the roof of a tent or automobile! Also nice to have a warm dry place to sit and chat.
May 3, 2008 - About 2 p.m. I reversed the setup process and departed shortly thereafter for home. Averaged 10.1mpg for the trip, a lot of up and down and winding around on the round-trip. Drove the speed limit.
May 8, 2008 - Filled the water tank, towed the trailer to the dump station, did my dump thing for the first time with no surprises, and parked it next door at our rental property. It was then set it up for use by a friend who will be visiting from California. Her son from Rhode Island will meet her here and spend some time together.
Have been working on getting the water pump to operate quieter. I have isolated the pump from the floor where it had been mounted, but still has a lot of noise. The next changes will be to exchange the somewhat rigid water hoses to/from the pump to something more flexible that will not transmit pump noise to the other hoses thence to the floor/frame.
June 25, 2008 - Leaving today about noon for a trip to the Cape Cod MA area for about a week. You can find our journey at Cape Cod 2008.