9 days, 2200 miles pulling a Swift with a Ford Escape
We left Tucson July 4th headed for our old home in Sun Valley Idaho. We took three days to get there, stopping in Kingman AZ and Ely Nevada KOA’s to camp along the way. Once in Sun Valley we dry camped for five days before heading back along the same route.
To keep the gas mileage reasonable I pulled the trailer at 60 mph, we averaged 13.4 mpg for the entire trip. The Escape pulled the trailer fine despite the hills and very hot temperatures. We traveled about 350 miles a day.
We had never dry camped for that length of time before so I brought along a 1750 watt generator and an extra battery which I hauled in the bathtub to keep the extra weight behind the axle. Once in camp I wired the two batteries in parallel together and charged them with the 30 amp cord via a 110 adapter for an hour a day. Because of my Sleep Apnea I use a CPAP that runs off of 12 volt and I didn’t want to chance losing power to it in the middle of the night.
Probably the biggest pain dry camping was getting fresh water into the trailer from a 7 gallon can via a funnel. I am thinking some type of pump setup would work better to retrieve the water from the can. We never had to drain the black tank while dry camping because only our two daughters used it. My wife and I used the pit toilet in camp. We hauled grey water in a rolling waste tank to the local dump facility. Hot water heater and fridge worked great off of gas.
To those thinking of pulling an SLX with a smaller SUV or Minivan I personally wouldn’t attempt a trip this long again unless I had a larger tow vehicle. Going 60 mph you get passed a lot. This setup felt good up to 70 mph, but since the Escape only has a 15 gallon tank I wanted to raise the mpg to keep fill ups farther apart. After the three day drive back I was exhausted, but part of that has to do dealing with our 4 and 6 year olds in the back seat!