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Old 03-26-2015, 04:36 PM   #1
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Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Port Townsend
Posts: 4
First Longish Trip in 16XRB

Searching for warm weather, between 2/21 and 3/8 we put 3,000 miles on our new rig travelling from Port Townsend, WA to Joshua Tree National Park, CA and back again, with stops to visit relatives in Santa Monica and the Bay Area. Though we didn't actually find much warm weather until we got back home we had a great shakedown trip and pretty much everything worked as expected.

Both the TV and the trailer were new to us. The Ridgeline was great as a tow vehicle. Comfortable and certainly adequate for the load. I didn't use load levelers, though I do own a set. Mileage towing the trailer varied from 10 - 12.8 mpg.

Mods and gear included:
I added a couple of USB and 12V DC outlets to the panel next to the radio to keep my cell and computers charged and to power my cell signal amplifier - which worked great if signals were week.
I installed much better speakers and connected a blue tooth adapter to the auxiliary port on the radio so that we could have decent sounding videos on the computer.
I used a ratchet strap to hold down the propane tank and weighed it every day or so to see how much gas we were using and I used a multi-meter to keep an eye on battery use.
I used a set of portable solar panels to keep the battery charged in Joshua Tree.

With the weather cooler and wetter than expected (frozen condensation on the tent ends in Joshua tree - maybe 28 degrees that night) we used more propane and spent more time in the trailer than we'd planned to. But as tent trailer graduates the extra amenities and quicker setup were great.

Heading out again soon...
Attached Thumbnails
15-02-21 Joshua Tree - 22.jpg   15-02-21 Joshua Tree - 16.jpg   15-02-21 Joshua Tree - 20.jpg   15-02-21 Joshua Tree - 45A.jpg  

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Old 03-27-2015, 05:07 AM   #2
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Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Lake Mary
Posts: 347
Nice write-up! That looks like a beautiful area to put a camper in, and enjoy the peace and quiet.

Interested in the portable solar panels you used. Have a name or link to the product?

2015 Jayco Jay Featherlight SLX16XRB (TT)
2007 Ford F150 Tow Vehicle (TV)
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Old 03-27-2015, 10:45 AM   #3
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Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Port Townsend
Posts: 4
Thanks bucko,

I'm using a 100 watt solar panel kit made by Renogy that I bought on Amazon.
A very good value at $270. The build quality is impressive for the price. Very simple - designed for wet cells and clips to the battery terminals.

One warning you'll see reflected in the reviews is that the hinged controller is stuck onto a large velcro panel when it's delivered and it takes a scary amount of force to unstick it so that you can pivot it out so that you can see it when it's set up.
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Old 04-15-2015, 04:39 PM   #4
Join Date: May 2014
Location: Oklahoma
Posts: 40
PT, I assume the heater kept up pretty well during those cold nights? I'm looking to get a 16xrb this weekend possibly.
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Old 04-16-2015, 10:09 AM   #5
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Location: Port Townsend
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Oobray- The heater kept up fine and was a comfort in the unexpectedly cold weather. We had warm sleeping bags and didn't run the heater all night - I think that would have drained the battery. To minimize it we kept the curtains closed with the heater on so that we didn't have to heat the sleeping areas. The heater warmed everything up quickly in the morning even below freezing.

We're popup trailer alumni and, as expected, really appreciate having a bathroom on board and being able to set up quicker. I'm surprised how much I appreciate having hot water on tap as well.
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Old 04-16-2015, 11:49 AM   #6
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: cleveland
Posts: 68
Sounds like a great trip!
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Old 04-16-2015, 11:48 PM   #7
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Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 128
Enjoyed reading your posts!

2014 Jayco Jay Feather 16XRB towed by a 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee & E2 WDH system
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