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Old 05-25-2016, 06:40 AM   #1
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Starcraft AR-One Maxx Extreme 19 BH LE

We picked our Starcraft AR-One Maxx Extreme 19 BH LE with the features:

Bunkhouse: We have twin boys and our daughter. The bottom part of the BH will serve great for the boys easily for the next few years
Queen Bed: Roomy for us
Extreme: The additional height is something I was looking for as we have some aspirations of boondocking

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Old 05-25-2016, 06:54 AM   #2
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Carter Lake, Loveland, CO

This was our maiden voyage of our new camper, a Starcraft AR-One Maxx Extreme 19 BH LE. Along with that, it was our first time out with our twin boys who are twelve months. We checked into Eagle Camp ground site E-04 about noon. Darn great location! We picked up some water on the way in and had a choice of power connections up to 50Amps. As we were setting up, a gracious camp host came by and checked in with us. The camper was easy to level even for a novice such as myself. We set a super play yard out (some would call it a cage) on top of some awning carpet and let the boys free. They are in the beginning stages of walking so having them wander around the whole campsite would have certainly had us spending the whole day tending to wounds. The boys did pretty well for an hour or so, as we gave them some snacks and toys to keep them busy. As it got closer to nap time, we took them for a walk down to the marina. I kicked myself a bit for bringing the city stroller as the trail system in the campground is unpaved. They stayed quiet while moving, and fussed when we stopped, but they fell asleep on the way back for a short nap. Unfortunately, the siesta was not long enough so we loaded them up and took them out for scenic drive. They fell back to sleep and we dived into shopping center near the end of the drive. In hind sight, we should have kept to our time table and came back closer to dinner time.

They were some fussy boys until bed time, torturing our neighbors. As bed time approached we dropped them into a single Pack-N-Play (they normally sleep separately due to that dastardly APA) and they happily bounced around playing for an hour before drifting off to sleep. We set the PnP on top of the kitchen seating area with the pads removed and table installed low for a sleep platform. Mom and I enjoyed the campfire, a ghetto merlot and some evening serenity. It was a beautiful full moon night on the lake, without a touch of a breeze. We used a 1500w mini heater plugged into our shore power to keep us toasty through the night. Tuned the heater to a nice temp netting us a comfy sleep through the night.

The boys slept in to the normal times and we all worked on some breakfast. Keeping them penned up in the AM inside the camper did make for some challenges, while we tried to keep our noise level down. I hope that I am just being hypersensitive towards the noise and it truly did not impact our fellow campers. We took them out for another stroller ride later that morning, and then packed ourselves up.

Lessons learned for the boys:
  • Bring off-road stroller
  • Finish their sleep accommodations
  • Introduce ourselves to our neighbors, apologize, offer them ear plugs, ply them with beverages
  • Stick to home life time tables while still exploring our new stuff
  • Pad the play area a touch more per upper management request although I believe different

In the end, it was a challenging, but rewarding first trip.
Jim & Heidi

Carter Lake, Loveland, CO
Eagle Campground, E-04 5/19/2015
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Old 05-25-2016, 02:15 PM   #3
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Beautiful camp site! Glad you had an "uneventful" maiden voyage (no trailer issues).

Those 2 look like a handful.
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Old 05-25-2016, 02:25 PM   #4
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Definitely good advice to stick as close as you can to the home schedule for the little ones. We try REALLY hard to stick to that schedule when we're planning everything from what time we'll travel to the camp site, to what things we'll go and see while we're there, to when and what we eat. Other than the location and additional activities, our general schedule remains unchanged when we're out if at all possible. It's hard work, but SO worth it when our little one doesn't have any trouble transitioning.

Also a good thing to ALWAYS bring the "off-road" stroller. That's one of the first things to go in the truck so I don't forget it. Then I turn around and load the "city" (umbrella) stroller. I'm bound and determined to be ready for whatever a trip throws at us!

So glad you had a good time, and especially happy to see you guys out with the little ones! I honestly believe kids these days need more time outdoors seeing and exploring the world around them and less time with a "device" in their face or parked in front of a computer or TV.
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Old 05-25-2016, 02:45 PM   #5
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Awesome, looks like a great site and i really like the look of that trailer. How did the Jeep do towing?

Glad to see you had fun, and the kids will remember these trips for years to come!
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Old 05-25-2016, 09:15 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Jm9301 View Post
Awesome, looks like a great site and i really like the look of that trailer. How did the Jeep do towing?

Glad to see you had fun, and the kids will remember these trips for years to come!

Personally, the Jeep does not sit quite the way I like it. It drops the butt a bit too much for me, Originally the dealer and I discussed a WD hitch but they put on a Sway bar. I think if I put on some different lift coils it will not drop as much. As for towing, it tows straight and sway free. In a few weeks, we will put it against the Rockies and see how the mountain passes go against it. I am happy we did not go to a 20'+. The trailer should weigh in around 4500 fully loaded and specs say it should go to 7200. We were between the JayFlight SLX and a Palmomini 177BH. I could not find a Palomini and the tanks on the SLX were a tich small.

I plan on keeping this thread updated with mods to the Jeep and the Starcraft.
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Old 05-25-2016, 09:21 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Camper_bob View Post

So glad you had a good time, and especially happy to see you guys out with the little ones! I honestly believe kids these days need more time outdoors seeing and exploring the world around them and less time with a "device" in their face or parked in front of a computer or TV.
We are very much in agreement about the technology. I messed around with letting them play some baby games with the tablet, but then retracted it. I am going to do everything I can to keep them tablet free as long as I can.

I appreciate your input!
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Old 05-26-2016, 12:41 PM   #8
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Interlocking foam floor mats will do well for the play area floor. Easy to brush dirt off, soft for the kids, accommodating to different shapes and different ground contours, lightweight and easy to pack up.

Be careful with the PnP on top of the table/bed. My youngest managed to knock the whole PnP off the platform once, when she was just over a year old. Thankfully she was unhurt, just terrified. We switched to a KidCo Peapod on the floor.

From years of experience, as long as you are inside with windows, doors, and roof vents closed, your immediate neighbors might be able to hear yelling, but that's it. People also understand that camping is different than home life. As long as you are making an effort, nobody is going to mind too much. If you let the kids all outside to roam and scream at 6 AM and make no effort to quiet them, yes, people will be annoyed. Same with those who like to talk too loud (drunk) and blast the radio at 10-11 PM.

It is tough keeping such little ones quiet. Mine are a bit older now (ages 4-8) and we carry coloring materials for those early hours. I think we did little cars and trucks (age-appropriate of course) when they were really little.
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Old 05-27-2016, 09:40 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Gondolier View Post
Interlocking foam floor mats will do well for the play area floor. Easy to brush dirt off, soft for the kids, accommodating to different shapes and different ground contours, lightweight and easy to pack up.

Be careful with the PnP on top of the table/bed. My youngest managed to knock the whole PnP off the platform once, when she was just over a year old. Thankfully she was unhurt, just terrified. We switched to a KidCo Peapod on the floor.

From years of experience, as long as you are inside with windows, doors, and roof vents closed, your immediate neighbors might be able to hear yelling, but that's it. People also understand that camping is different than home life. As long as you are making an effort, nobody is going to mind too much. If you let the kids all outside to roam and scream at 6 AM and make no effort to quiet them, yes, people will be annoyed. Same with those who like to talk too loud (drunk) and blast the radio at 10-11 PM.

It is tough keeping such little ones quiet. Mine are a bit older now (ages 4-8) and we carry coloring materials for those early hours. I think we did little cars and trucks (age-appropriate of course) when they were really little.
Thanks for the tip on the interlocking floor mats. We will take a look into them.
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Old 05-30-2016, 08:18 AM   #10
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Boyd Lake

5/27/16

Took the Maxx and boys out for another overnighter.

Boyd Lake State Park is in Loveland, ended as a perfect location to continue to tune up the rig. All the camp sites are grouped at one end of the lake. Nice park with 20->50Amp Electric sites and bathrooms close by. We got a spot closer to the lake noticing there was trimmed grass and pavement everywhere. Not quite as natury and I like, but great for families. Spaces were far enough apart we did not disturb anyone around us. The sound does dampen quite a bit when the windows are closed down a bit.

We continued to personalize our camper and do our version camping. I was excited when I found a safety device that essentially sticks on window and latches the window yet still allows for easy access. Attempted to finish up my idea for their bunk bed and attempted to do a slider door on the bottom bunk by attaching some Velcro, a ˝” plywood and a slider trough. I also built a 1x2 frame to support the door when the boys leaned on the exposed crib side. At bed time, they loved the new space so much it took them a bit to unwind and fall asleep in it. When they woke in the morning, it turns out I over built it just a touch as it was tough to get the boys out (Meh… onto plan B).

Typical Colorado spring made for a stormy afternoon that cleared into the evening. The wind died down and it felt as if the temperature even went up a few degrees. After feeding the boys and putting them to bed we made up some campfire foil packs filled with some balsamic dressing, smoked sausage and some various veggies simmered over our camp fire washed down with a Merlot finished off the day.
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