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Old 06-12-2015, 10:04 AM   #1
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First family-exclusive camping trip concludes!

Memorial Day weekend was the "shakedown" cruise of the new camper but we were camping with family and friends and were only 2 miles away from the "house not on wheels".

This past week (Sunday thru Thursday) the family embarked on the first (of many) immediate family exclusive camping trips. We stayed at Yogi Bear Jellystone Campground in Millbrook, IL.

First, the drive out there and back. I am pulling the x213 with an F-150 with Ecoboost. The route took us on I-80 and I was doing about 75 mph and noticed that I was getting slightly less than 9 mpg in Tow/Haul mode. I also noticed that I was cruising at around 2500 RPMs. I assume if I didn't use tow/haul mode I probably would get better gas mileage but probably do some interesting things to tranny. I thought I'd get better mpg with the Ecoboost but I wasn't too shocked when I didn't. I did notice that whenever I passed a big rig that the camper would try and suck me back towards the rig once the F-150 was past the cab but the trailer was not. I also didn't have any tow mirrors due to a nationwide backorder of the ones I wanted but I didn't seem to have an issue as I made sure to put my signal on well before I moved over and also used my blind spot mirror for added insurance. I will get clip on tow mirrors though just for that added bit of safety.

At first the campsite was a little disappointing. The sites themselves were a variety of very old asphalt with some having a cement pad/patio. Some had small fire pits and others had bigger ones. To me it seemed as if the campsite wasn't too concerned about making everything equal with the sites and put the revenue into other amenities. After awhile the site itself didn't bother me.

This trip we had planned to go to Brookfield Zoo (Monday) and Legoland (Wednesday) and then relax at the campsite on Tuesday. Brookfield was good. No issues except for a thunderstorm towards the late afternoon. Legoland was not worth the money. The wife had planned to be there all day and we were there for maybe 2 hours. One of their rides were down and I think she thought that the movie they were playing was going to be longer than 11 minutes. If you go there plan on doing something else as well. So after lunch we headed back to the campsite. Both of these places, according to GPS, were about 1 hour from the campsite. With the rush hour traffic on I-55 and all of the construction everywhere it was more like 1.5 to 2 hours back to camp. I'm not exaggerating when I say that there was no route you could take without hitting construction.

Overall it was a good trip. We learned a few things to modify for the next trip. The kids loved Jellystone so that rates the trip as successful.
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Old 06-12-2015, 10:39 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by IAx213 View Post
Memorial Day weekend was the "shakedown" cruise of the new camper but we were camping with family and friends and were only 2 miles away from the "house not on wheels".

This past week (Sunday thru Thursday) the family embarked on the first (of many) immediate family exclusive camping trips. We stayed at Yogi Bear Jellystone Campground in Millbrook, IL.

First, the drive out there and back. I am pulling the x213 with an F-150 with Ecoboost. The route took us on I-80 and I was doing about 75 mph...snip...
I did notice that whenever I passed a big rig that the camper would try and suck me back towards the rig once the F-150 was past the cab but the trailer was not. ...snip...
At first the campsite was a little disappointing. The sites themselves were a variety of very old asphalt with some having a cement pad/patio. Some had small fire pits and others had bigger ones. To me it seemed as if the campsite wasn't too concerned about making everything equal with the sites and put the revenue into other amenities. After awhile the site itself didn't bother me. ...snip...
Overall it was a good trip. We learned a few things to modify for the next trip. The kids loved Jellystone so that rates the trip as successful.
Check your tires and manual! 75 is usually too fast for trailer tires!

Other reasons to lower your speed; fuel mileage will go up and you will be safer.

Big rigs push a lot of air and that will push you around. Depending upon the prevailing wind, it can be a little or a lot. Just be prepared, expect some pushing, and don't OVER react when you feel it.

In the north there are two seasons: Winter and road construction. Just one of the facts of life up there.

Campsites have varied all over the place in most campgrounds we've stayed in. Like you said, after a while the site differences didn't really matter.

Glad you and the kids had a great trip with the new camper. You'll be modifying/adjusting stuff for 'the next trip' for a while, I'll bet.
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Old 06-12-2015, 11:46 AM   #3
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X3, X4 and X5 on SLOW DOWN!


You are running a truck and trailer rig. Not a sports coupe'.


You will enjoy driving your rig a whole lot more, save a bundle on fuel and be much more likely to arrive without troubles.


The 18-wheelers do throw a huge amount of air around! The pressure wave in front will push your trailer right then left as one of them passes.


Glad to hear your family had fun with your new toy. Travel, visit and camp to build family memories!
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Old 06-12-2015, 11:55 AM   #4
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Just checked the tires and they don't say a max speed recommendation and I didn't see any documentation in my mass of manuals. I'll look again.

75 is probably a little too fast though. I did make certain there were no sudden turns or movements.

I did see that those tow mirrors are available on amazon so I went ahead and ordered them. Next step (pun intended) is to replace the single riser step with a double riser step so the little one can get in and out easier.
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Old 06-12-2015, 12:08 PM   #5
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...snip... Next step (pun intended) is to replace the single riser step with a double riser step so the little one can get in and out easier.
Something you might want to consider; a separate platform.

The original owner of my old trailer built a 3' square deck using pressure-treated 2x4's and 1/2" decking. It was included with the deal and is now part of the new trailer's kit.

I added a boot brush. So we step up (4.25") out of the mud/grass/leaves/sand and wipe off our shoes before entering the cabin. And you are still standing on it when you swing open the door.

The Ms. (5'2") likes not having to step up so high for the first step of the trailer.

The platform rides in the bed of the truck along with the wheel chocks.
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Old 06-12-2015, 01:17 PM   #6
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Something you might want to consider; a separate platform.
...snip...
So we step up (4.25") out of the mud/grass/leaves/sand and wipe off our shoes before entering the cabin. And you are still standing on it when you swing open the door.

The Ms. (5'2") likes not having to step up so high for the first step of the trailer.

The platform rides in the bed of the truck along with the wheel chocks.
Saw a 'mod' for this a while back. When traveling, that person flipped the platform upside down and placed next to the door. It then held all the stuff they wanted to put their hands on when they arrived... chocks, etc.
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Old 06-12-2015, 01:23 PM   #7
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Saw a 'mod' for this a while back. When traveling, that person flipped the platform upside down and placed next to the door. It then held all the stuff they wanted to put their hands on when they arrived... chocks, etc.
Never considered that. I'll see if it fits on the floor just inside the door tonight. That'll be MUCH easier than lifting all that stuff over the tailgate!
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Old 06-12-2015, 02:35 PM   #8
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Something you might want to consider; a separate platform.

The original owner of my old trailer built a 3' square deck using pressure-treated 2x4's and 1/2" decking. It was included with the deal and is now part of the new trailer's kit.

I added a boot brush. So we step up (4.25") out of the mud/grass/leaves/sand and wipe off our shoes before entering the cabin. And you are still standing on it when you swing open the door.

The Ms. (5'2") likes not having to step up so high for the first step of the trailer.

The platform rides in the bed of the truck along with the wheel chocks.
The FIL has a box like that. I'm not too keen on that for a few reasons. Even though it's not a whole lot of space taken up right now, it might be in the future if the wife continues with her collection of "all things wanted" (read: not "all things needed") for camping. I may run out of space and I would rather (personal preference) store the steps outside where they are now. It also will make it rather difficult to forget them.

The bigger concern would be all the grime, mud, and crap that will accumulate on the bottom of the platform. I understand why the platform is a nice alternative (costs less). I just believe there's a lot less that can go wrong with getting the two riser step instead of building a box.
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Old 06-12-2015, 03:18 PM   #9
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Just my two cents. I have to agree. 75MPH is just to fast for towing that trailer. Even if the tires do not have a max speed on them. Flat out, trailer tires are rarely made for speeds over 65. Just because many others do it without fail, doesn't mean it right and good for your rig.
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Old 06-12-2015, 03:33 PM   #10
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One thing you can do to help with the big rigs that pass you is when the cab of their rig gets even with your drivers door is to just increase your speed about 2 or 3 mph more than what you are doing This will cause a shift in weight and helps overcome the force of the vacuum created when being passed As soon as the rigs is pass you then resume your normal speed which should be no more than 65 MPH and that's for your safety
Also try to stay as far to the right in your lane which will increase the distance between you and the big rigs this also helps reduce the effect of the vacuum created when being passed
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