Seekin' My World

Brenda's wanderings and wishings

Successful Maiden Voyage August 7, 2015

My first trip was a solo, and I was gone a month, but half of it was an Alaskan cruise. That hardly counts for this blog, but I have to say Holland America cruise line sure treats its guests well.

I left fully loaded, and I mean fully. I was taking 400 pounds of books and supplies to my niece in Seattle who has been teaching for 4 years. It filled the whole aisle of the camper and all the available seat space in the DCLB truck.

Katy 1 Katy 2

I managed to camp at Valley of the Rogue State Park in Oregon by crawling over the boxes to pop the roof up. It was 108 degrees so I dawdled over my Red Robin dinner and spent some time in the mall because it was air conditioned. Since I had reserved the site I wasn’t too nervous about getting there before the masses. Very nice halfway point.

After unloading the boxes at her school, I went to Wenberg County Park about an hour north of Seattle. My son lives in Everett, so it was the closest camping to his house I could find. The loop I chose had a very nice new bathroom, but backed right up to neighborhood housing. I happily spent the evening resorting my stuff and figuring out where to place it. My plan to keep the ice chest and cook kit in the back seat of the truck didn’t work well since I would be chauffering my grandsons around for a few days. I was pleased to see that the ice chest and cook box fit well on the driver’s side bench. I put the 2 inch pad vertically in back to protect the wood, which freed up the loop carpeting they installed on top for using velcro. I rigged up velcro straps to hold things in place, and it traveled very well there.

Lake Wenberg 2Lake Wenberg 1side load 3side load 1

One thing that did not work well was where ATC placed the light switches for the rear lights (see photo above – on rear wall but too low for me). Any shifting of cargo on the bench seat held the possibility of turning on the switch, which happened at least three times during the early part of the trip. I decided to pull the fuse out and mark where it goes. So if I want the rear lights, it becomes a more complicated procedure to climb up to the front and install the fuse, but better that than depleting the battery or annoying neighbors and motorists behind me.

I found a hitch step at Cabela’s that I like. It flips up when not in use, but it is pretty small.  I won’t use it in camp, but it was a hassle to un-velcro the step stool every time I wanted to get in to the rig. So it works well for in-transit stops. I think it was $54.

Hitch step 3Hitch step 4

After the cruise I stayed at Millersylvania State Park.

Millersylvania 2 Millersylvania 1

And Cannon Beach – just parking lot camping at an RV resort (no pix). I told them all I needed was legal and level. I paid $24 for that, but it was peace of mind.

Cannon Beach 2Cannon Beach 1

And Valley of the Rogue again. Overall it was a nice shake down trip with no cooking. I probably shouldn’t have even brought the cook gear. Live and learn.

2VOR 1

I keep my Strongback chair, a red mini table with 2 cup holders, and some poles for an awning on the bench behind the couch. I was having trouble getting down from the bed at night, and once I got home I realized that I had a small collapsible stool (turtle style) that fit perfectly in that front spot. It is the perfect height. I had been using the top of the couch which was hard on the upholstery and a little dangerous since it wobbled.

chair crack need stepTurtle and towels

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Overdue Posting June 29, 2015

Filed under: curtains and steps,Modifications — Sierrashadow @ 12:47 am
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I can’t believe it has been 2 weeks since we picked up the Bobcat. I have been having a blast figuring out where and how to put things in.

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I found a nice fabric for the curtains and have been sewing up a storm. I am using Command hooks to mount them, but the hot temperatures have meant the mini-hooks aren’t sticking as well as I would like. I had to switch to the larger hooks with more contact surface, but if that won’t hold I will have to put in cup hooks. I am trying not to make any “permanent wounds” in the Bobcat. The hardest window was the one in the rear door. It is plastic with a rounded frame. No way to wedge something in there. This morning it dawned on me how I could deal with it. This has not been field tested, so it may not work, but I used super strong, tiny round magnets in the curtain and “sandwich” the screen door with a second magnet.
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As I think about it, I think I will put it on so that the curtain itself is between the screen door and the solid door. This will only go up in crowded campgrounds, so not often.

I am discovering that velcro will be my best friend. I am carrying a Strongback chair on the little shelf under the side window. Since it is covered with carpeting, the velcro sticks, and keeps the chair from sliding around.
a chair strapped
And I found a step stool that works well for $70. I wanted a hitch mounted step, but the Otto step for dogs seemed a little too flimsy for us. Again, I mounted it just inside the door with a strip of velcro to hold it in place. Notice the ironing board on top of the pad. It is the perfect table solution for us, works well in the aisle, and can be taken outside to use also. http://www.wayfair.com/Hailo-LLC-2-Step-Mini-Step-Stool-4310-HAIL1001.html?a step outa stool stowed
I found boxes and containers for all the cubbies. I find it easier to keep things organized when you can pull it out and rummage through. You lose a little space, but it is worth it. The white ones are available everywhere and the blue ones are cheapies from 99 cent store. The folded curtains fit nicely in that little space on top of the blue boxes.
a blue lefta blue righta white lefta white right
I also must not neglect to thank the guys at All Terrain Campers. They made the whole purchase procedure extremely easy. The camper is everything I hoped it would be. It drives like a dream on the Tacoma. I can feel it a little on hills, but not too much. And the visiblility is much better than I expected. It really doesn’t hang over the sides and back more than a few inches. It is a well built piece of equipment that should provide many wonderful hours of traveling.

 

ATC Bobcat 2015 April 25, 2015

Filed under: Waiting for the ATC — Sierrashadow @ 9:34 pm
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So we finally pulled the trigger and ordered our Bobcat for the Toyota Tacoma. So I decided to resurrect this old blog from 2006. Deleted the few teaching posts because I am retiring at the end of this school year. New focus, new directions. The title still works well, maybe even better.

The guys at ATC have been wonderful to work with. We really struggled with the decision to go with a dinette or the couch. The couch won out. It just has so much more storage space and doesn’t poke out into the cabin as much, yet makes into a comfortable bed. That was the selling point, comfy for a visitor or myself if I don’t want to “pop-up” for whatever reason. I was stuck on the dinette because we like to play cards and Rummicub across from each other. But we are getting a small bench seat on the driver’s side with a 2″ cushion. For the short term that will be enough to allow face to face seating.

Speaking of that small bench seat, I have to shout out to this website: http://travelswithrockythedog.blogspot.com/2012/06/our-new-camper.html and the Wander the West forum members. They have been very informative and helpful making this momentous decision. I showed the ATC guys a picture of exactly what I was expecting the driver’s side to look like based on the above website. I am hoping that makes for fewer surprises.

We opted not to get the ATC table for now. And then at a yard sale, there was an ironing board that “clicked” in my brain. Narrow and long like the couch and cabin, yet lightweight, adjustable height, and able to be taken outside. So for two bucks we are going to try that first.

Because the Tacoma is a wimpy truck, I have to keep the weight down. And we didn’t want to hassle winterizing. So no water, no indoor cooking built in. Just a comfortable bed, a heater, and a bug free place.

I have been playing with dimensions and ideas for storage. It seems like forever to wait until June for the camper, but considering I still have a month left of teaching, probably best if I don’t get too distracted.