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Old 03-21-2018, 04:04 PM   #1
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First trip this year

Hi Everyone,

I was going to wait to post this until closer to the time but I am so excited I could not longer wait

The family and I have rented a Jayco trailer (Jay Flight 26BH) to make our first trip this year. We will be going for a long weekend in August to Yosemite. The purpose of this trip is to ensure that the DW and DS actually enjoy camping in a trailer before we drop $30k + buying the one we want.

I am confident about towing the trailer although it will be the largest trailer I have towed and the furthest I have towed so I plan on being careful and taking my time. My tow rig is a 2003 f250 6.0 powerstroke so I am confident I have plenty of tow vehicle.

Any tips for the trip, anything I should check when I pick up the trailer from the rental place.

I am really excited and am hoping the DW is happy as well.


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Old 03-21-2018, 05:22 PM   #2
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You’ll be fine towing with that rig. Probably will forget it’s back there.

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Old 03-21-2018, 06:20 PM   #3
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I would suggest giving the trailer a close visual check inside and out. Make sure any damage is documented in writing before you hitch up.

We camped at Yosemite a few years ago. Make double sure the site you reserve is big enough for your trailer. Even a 20 ft. trailer can be a challenging fit at a lot of the campsites there.

Outside of that, enjoy the trip, safe travels!!
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Old 03-22-2018, 12:52 PM   #4
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I assume you're also renting a WD hitch? If so, read up on it and make sure it's set up correctly for your rig.
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Old 03-22-2018, 01:41 PM   #5
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Make sure they include power cord, hose, sewer hose, tire wrench, spare tire, instruction booklets about fridge, water heater, pump, and any other powered equipment, wrench or instructions for stabilizer jacks.

Demand demonstration of hitchup, leveling, lighting water heater, furnace and fridge, connecting electrics and water. If you don't get it the first time ask again.

If possible set up and take down the trailer at home before you leave so you can find out what you missed before you are a few hundred miles down the road.

Consider insurance, if renter provides it get a copy!

Have fun!
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Old 03-22-2018, 02:39 PM   #6
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Some excellent advise thank you all, we are staying in a rv park outside of the national park (, the view on the map looks like it has plenty of room, however tight space is a concern, even more so as my wife has bad eyesight, can't drive and is accident prone so asking her to help me reverse will be pointless. I am relying on the longer trailer being easier to reverse as I am reasonable with the uhauls given my lack of pratice. I have already talked to my insurance agent about getting insurance taken care of. I did not think to make sure the WD hitch is setup right, I have read about the procedure to setup and will find it and follow it. I did ask the rental company if the trailer has a WD hitch and they said yes. I am going to turn these suggestions into notes for me to take with me.

Thanks all

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Old 03-22-2018, 03:26 PM   #7
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That's such a smart thing to do - rent before you buy just to be sure everyone enjoys the experience. That way, you'll also get an idea of the floor plan you really want. Floor plan is much more important than size in my mind.
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Old 03-22-2018, 03:30 PM   #8
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A big part of what makes traveling with our trailer (a 26BH) enjoyable, is our familiarity with it. Towing, setting up our site, leaving a site, dealing with 12v system, tanks, dumping tanks, backing, and creating checklists has been finely honed. We keep notes, and make a definite effort to eliminate any issues that could get in the way of a good time. Anything that caused a problem on the last trip gets addressed before the next trip.

I could see a rental as being a positive experience, but can very easily see it going off the rails for a lot of different reasons.

This isn't me saying don't do it. It's just me saying if things go poorly, I would hope you and the DW are able to analyze the situation and differentiate between whether you dislike camping, or simply had a bad time because of unfamiliarity.

Am I making any sense?

Nope...not a pessimist. Definitely an optimist. Best of luck, and happy camping.
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Old 03-23-2018, 01:32 PM   #9
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Good point about not letting issues get in the way, I am going to be doing most of the stuff that will likely have that effect and I am very keen. It is more convince the boss that it is fun I use to go on vacation as a kid in a static caravan (like a park model travel trailer in the UK) and have very fond memories from it especially spending time with Dad, this is a major part of me wanting a TT to spend quality time with my kid as I am out at work a lot during the week.
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Old 03-25-2018, 01:04 AM   #10
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That is an informed perspective! I think it took one trip for me to realize I wanted to maintain a few checklists for packing, hitchup (departure), unhitch (arrival), re-hitch to break camp, and parking/storage.

Main point is even if things are not perfect, you can likely adapt and improve your planning next time.

I have been anticipating the challenge of Priest Grade near Groveland on the way up and back to Yosemite, haven't done that yet but seems like it will be a test of TV. Sounds like you may get take the other entrance, but please post your experience. I have never had a Yosemite visit lacking awe and delight, enjoy!
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Old 08-08-2018, 06:23 PM   #11
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Well we pickup the trailer tomorrow. With the wildfires closing Yosemite we have altered our plans and will be heading to Petaluma instead. Still looking forward to the trip but the drive will be a lot easier. The DW wanted we change our plans and give the current state of the Ferguson fire I think we made the right choice.

I will update once we are all back.
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Old 08-14-2018, 01:53 PM   #12
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So we have returned from the trip. We all had fun, we changed plans from going to Yosemite Pines to a KOA in Petaluma CA. This was a very kid friendly park and did include the noise of kids playing. This is fine with us as we have an almost 3 year old. The park was awesome and we enjoyed the activities that were offered. Once the quiet hours hit we noticed no real noise at all.

The only complaint we have with the park is specific to the site we had which was at the end of the row, and next to a main thoroughfare for the park. Not a problem but did have to watch the kid closely. The site was rather uneven. Side to side was not a problem but front to back was, at first I pull all the way up to park my truck behind the camper because this put the sewer and water connections near the outlet. In this position it was not possible for me to level the trailer front to back. This resulted in me having to reverse the trailer to the back of the site. This put the sewer connection slightly uphill from point of the outlet on the trailer, I got a holder to keep it above the sewer connection so not a big deal. Having to put the truck in front of the camper required me to park at an angle that made the truck to close to the fire ring to have a campfire.

All in all we would go back to the site but have a different site. We liked the camper a Jay flight 26BH but I found the bathroom a little small for my extremely large frame. My wife has agreed to buy a trailer and continue to have camping adventures, I am going to start a new thread on that soon.
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Old 08-14-2018, 02:10 PM   #13
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Great to hear you had a good time and all went well.
Now the fun really begins in searching for the camper you both like.
Happy camping.
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Old 08-14-2018, 02:36 PM   #14
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I am lucky that me and my wife are in agreement of what we would like. We like the 32BHDS plan, we like the larger bathroom (ok that is mostly me), we like the lower bunk (j cube) for the little kid with a cool upper bunk when he is older with a seperate room for him and friends and stuff, we like the seperate entry door for when the kid is dirty and we like it is under the class A requirement of 10000 GVWR.

Anyway isn't the wife always right.

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