My first drive with traveling trailer

Happy New Year!

 

Art fair season 2024 starts in Florida with the Bonita Springs National Festival held on January 13 and 14 and winds down with the last show of this leg being the Naples Art Downtown Art Fair.  

Given the range of time I spend in Florida I’ve decided to invest in a traveling trailer. Nothing fancy just a place to stay while I am there and for a quick visit if necessary I’ve signed up for a year-round space at Sabal RV Park early in March 2023. This was a leap of faith because I did not have the trailer yet. I ended up with a KZ Sportsmen 19BH Classic 2011. 

One the first things to do was to install the hitch to my RAM 1500 ProMaster. The process of installing the hitch was interesting because most people I did not have the desire to do installation. I finally ended up with a mechanic that installed the hitch and wiring. The only problem with his job was that wiring was done for a regular cargo trailer, not a traveler trailer. I was lucky enough to find an RV center and the person helped with the adapter for the trailer while I purchased the water filter and fuse protector.  Now the question became when to bring the trailer down to Florida. Should I bring it earlier? or November or January when I come down for the season? What route should take? How much money am I willing not earn while I am doing the trip in November? I decided it would be safer to take the trip in November with the basic items I need and a couple of supplies for the show season. I also chose to go through Alabama to avoid going through the mountains located between Nashville and Chattanooga. The main concern is the towing capacity which is 5T and the trailer is 2.5T and the wiring was not done for the RV I would not be able to use the trailer's electric brakes. Most of the drive became a normal long drive but the only main difference was to stop at truck stops for refill because they are wider and easier to drive with the trailer. What is a long drive, 19 hours or 1257 miles? The time does not count for stops. 

 

Some things that learned with this type of drive: 

1. Do not drive longer than 15 hours in a day. This is why it is always good to have some place to sleep properly in the van. 

2. Consider filling up the tank as soon as you only have 100 more miles of traveling left. If you head to the West Coast you may want to know the distance between gas stations. 

3. Make sure you stop for lunch and dinner. Drink coffee or energy drinks during the drive even if you feel you do not need them. 

4. At every stop you take bathroom, food, and gas, then make sure to walk a little and stretch. It will help with your blood circulation.

Once I got to the campground I asked for help backing the trailer in. I took 3 days in the campground to see what I needed and set up the trailer as best I could. I must get two new jacks for the front balancing the trailer, sewer line and water line. The days I spent in November at the campground made me feel good about my decision. As I left to go back to Chicago, I concluded, when I’m back in Florida this January I would have to move the trailer 6 feet forward. Other than any surprises, it should be an easy transition. More importantly having a Florida home base instead of looking for a place each night and asking for a place to stay for nights, will be easier. Later in the year, I will make a blog about my experience in the trailer and the campground.

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