In mid-December I made an appointment at the Las Vegas Airstream dealer to get some work done on Wobbles, our Airstream, at the beginning of January. We knew we would be in Vegas since Sarah’s mom was visiting, and we were coming up on the 1-year anniversary of our Airstream purchase and wanted to get a last round of warranty work done before our warranty expired.Continue reading…
We made some decals for Wobbles and Dimes. On our test trips we noticed when other people had decals with their adventure blog URLs, it made for great conversation openers and therefore made us more likely to chat with those people. Hopefully these will inspire others to do the same, as we’d love to meet other people while we’re traveling.Continue reading…
We have the van and Airstream almost fully packed for our big trip, so today I took the rig to our local Cat Scales (truck stop) to find out how much we weigh. The weight is important to know in-case we run into bridges with weight limits, but I was also concerned that we might be over our light-duty van’s capacity..Continue reading…
The Airstream Sport 22 unfortunately comes out of the factory with very low ground clearance. The grey water tank hangs down below the frame of the camper at the rear, where it drags pulling into and out of driveways that have more than a negligible slope. More than once we’ve winced as the tank made a terrible grinding sound as it dragged across the asphalt on the way out of a gas station parking lot. It was time to give this Airstream a lift.Continue reading…
Our GTRV camper van came fresh from Craigslist with two open cell lead acid deep cycle house batteries installed in a sealed battery box in the rear of the van (and vented to the outside). These two batteries provided roughly 100 amp-hours of capacity. In this phase of the electrical system upgrades, we’re going to replace these two batteries with lithium batteries, which will double the capacity to 200 amp-hours and reduce the weight from about 100 pounds to 60 pounds (that might not sound like much, but since we’re just about at the van’s weight capacity when we are towing Wobbles (the Airstream), every pound is important to us. We’ll also be adding a battery monitor (the same one we installed in the Airstream).
During short weekend camping trips, not having a phone or internet connection can actually be part of the pleasure of getting away from the hustle and bustle of daily life. However, for longer trips staying connected is essential for communications, navigation, planning, etc. For our travels, I researched various options (WiFi, cellular & satellite). In this post I’ll tell you what we chose and why.
The electrical system that our 2018 Airstream Sport 22′ camping trailer came from the factory with was pretty basic. It had a single open cell lead-acid battery capable of powering the lights, the furnace blower, water pump, stereo, and a few USB outlets. However, it didn’t come with an inverter, needed to run any AC appliances (microwave, toaster, blender, etc) while off grid. It also came with only a very basic voltage-based battery monitor that doesn’t give much information about how much battery capacity is being used or is remaining. In this post, I’ll describe the first set of electrical system upgrades we’ve installed in the trailer.
Our first trip in Wobbles was a one night weekend trip to Champoeg State Park, just to try things out. The trip was great, we found a few warranty issues with the trailer, and we learned a lot.
We had a number of areas where we wanted to try things out on the first trip:
- Bath time
- Movie Time
- Bed time
- Using the toilet
- Dumping the grey/black tanks
When I first proposed to Sarah that I quit my job to travel by RV for 6+ months, she was naturally a bit nervous. It didn’t take long, however, for her to come around and realize the opportunity we had. From the day that Sarah said “ok, let’s do this”, it was only a few weeks later that we found ourselves towing home a new Airstream camping trailer. Let me tell you about how we made the decision.
When Sarah and I got married, for our honeymoon we did a 3 week road trip to many of the western national parks. We considered tent camping, but since it was our honeymoon we splurged and bought a camper van. The van was a 2001 Ford Econoline cargo van that had been lovingly converted to a camper by its former owner, a man named Vince who we met when we responded to his Craigslist ad. On the outside the van looked like a generic plain white cargo van. On the inside was a simple yet very functional camper.