Sunday, July 23, 2006

First Trip with the KIT, Odell Lake, Oregon (07-20-2006 to 07-23-2006)

This was originally posted back in July, 2006 to the RV.Net forums, where I posted alot of my travel tales over the years. Now, I'm adding them to this blog, which will house my travels going forward into the future and any other related posts, such as projects on the camper and such.

Well, just got back from a wonderful 4 day trip with my Camper Dry Camping for the first time at Trapper Creek Campground on Odell Lake.

First off, I would like to thank everyone who provided advice in my two previous threads on going to Odell lake and where to stay, your advice was extremely helpful and helped to provide for a great trip.

For her age, the KIT performed remarkably, including being stable with her jacks run quite a ways out. I was able to compile a list of needs to be done projects for the camper to fix the small quirks that something 32 years old and modified multiple times by multiple owners has.

First off, we really needed a shower curtain. I thought I had made a water tight seal around the bathroom door with stick on weatherstripping. Wrong. We jury rigged a solution for the trip using a piece of tin foil and some duct tape that solved the shower run off problem, but I will be getting a shower curtain before I try dry camping with it again.

Second, the hot water line needs to be replaced along with the bathroom and kitchen faucets. The cold water line is new, the nice flexible stuff they use in modern RVs, the hot water line, however, is still galvanized Steel, with copper tubing used for the spots where flexibility was needed. Its original to the rig, is showing its age with bits of rust around the threaded areas, there's not a whole lot to replace and I can get to it all, so it'll be the project of an afternoon.

The facuets, both leak. Not very bad, but enough to be annoying and only just after you shut off the faucet for a few seconds. Again, they're original the Camper, household type faucets and likely have just worn out, they've been used fairly reguarly over the years and neither is fancy, just plain chromed 2 valve faucets, though the shower's one has a 2 way switch on it to go between shower head and faucet tap, I may need to look for a replacement at an RV shop for that one, however, the kitchen faucet is a standard household utility room type that I can just pick up at Home Depot.

The fridge needs a circulating fan of some sort, it works fine, but needs some help getting the cold air moving around, but it kept the food cold in 90 and 100 degree heat.

Anyway, onto what every reader wants in a first trip thread, the pictures! Click on any of them to enlarge the picture.

First two pictures are my rig out front of my parents residence all loaded up for the excursion. First trip also doubled as my present for my father, since his birthday landed dab smack in the middle.

Behold my 48" hitch extension of doom! With handy large mesh step for easy camper entry and exiting. My chuck wagon has probably about a 100-150lb tongue, so it really didn't deflect the receiever much even with the 48" extension, if anything all it did was take a little of the play out of it. My Class IV DrawTite handled the setup like champ, towed like it wasn't even back there.

You can also see my sticker by my back door!

The old man, taken a rest in the shade while his son (Me) takes pictures.

Almost to Odell, time for rest stop, 98 degree temps and a steep LONG 6% climb up the mountains called for a stop in the shade. This trips big lesson, its not wise to climb mountains with a heavy truck when all ya got for a floor is the bare sheet metal, it can get REALLY hot.

Camp at last! In the quote DREADED Back Loop un-quoute of Trapper Creek. Little note for those that want a lake side site. Show up Sunday at like 3 am, then find someone who's departing that day and park out in front of their site till they leave. About the only chance in hell you're going to have of getting one, since there's a grand total of 5, and they're very very sought after.

If you're worried about mosquitos, do what we did. We brought 3 cans of Deep Words OFF with 27% Deet. I wound up with a grand total of 3 mosquito bites for the whole of the trip. If ya use anything else, you will indeed be eaten alive, I couldn't believe there was people tent camping with little bitty children in the back loop, I felt so sorry for the kids, all covered in bug bites.

Also, don't let the picture fool you, the truck was out of level both front to back as well as side to side, I just never remembered to photograph the big gap between the bed rail and the camper on the driver's side.

This picture may give ya a bit better idea of the amount of out of levelness we were dealing with. But, it was the only site left by 8:30am on thursday. I could have probably moved to the left more and been a tiny bit more level, but then I'd have had even less shade than we already had. That and no way to get my bicycle and its trailer out to the road.

Welcome to Odell Lake, as seen via the Trapper Creek Boat Launch. Its a very magnificent lake, I was just astounded at how deep and how big the dang thing was.

For those that have never seen it, this is Trapper Creek itself. There's a wooden bridge over it that leads you up the trail along the southern shore. The old Man stopping for me to take pictures again. I had always wanted to do something like this with him, finally got the chance.

Another fine view of Odell Lake as seen from the eastern most boat launch at Shelter Cove. Trapper creek was crazy busy all weekend, so finding a bit of shore to fish from was rather difficult, so we wound up fishing from the docks at Shelter Cove's Eastern launch. Believe me, the trout were biting there, they were doing it all around us as we fished, but devil be damned the buggers just ignored our baits altogether.

All said and done, it was a great trip. We lasted 4 days, 3 nights off my one group 27 battery with reserve to spare. This was with cooking, running inside lights, the range hood, as well as the both of us taking showers everynight and doing dishes at least twice a day, as well as running our little 7" Audivox portable DVD player a co-worker of my father's gave him.

Grey water was no problem, I have a diversion valve on mine that shunts all the grey water straight out the outer dump valve without going to the holdign tank, so we just put a big 5 gallon paint bucket underneath the outlet on the side with a 45 degree down turn on it and dumped out showers in the bushes behind us, ground was really dry and never failed to suck up all 5 gallons in a matter of seconds.

Thanks again for all your advice on the lake, plan to make another trip there sometime in the future, dry camping turned out to be alot of fun to do, and can't wait to do it again.

Plans for the future? Pick up a second deep cycle battery to put in a box in the front wheel well on the passenger side and figure out some kind of A/C setup for the camper, that bugger can get plenty hot in the sun.

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