Maiden Voyage - Trip to Tallulah Gorge, GA: Part 1
Jerud and I decided Thanksgiving weekend would be a good time to bring the trailer out on its maiden voyage to test it out. We wanted to go somewhere away from Asheville but not too far. We ended up at Talulah Gorge State Park in Talulah Falls, Georgia.
The main goal of the trip was to make sure everything worked and put together a list of things that needed to be fixed/done. We also wanted to try a night of boondocking but didn't end up having enough time to find a good site for that.
Our two camping choices were Terrora Campground in Talulah Gorge State Park or Moccasin Creek State Park. They were both about the same price minus a dollar or two. Both were the same distance from Asheville and same distance from some mountain biking trails. We ended up choosing Talulah Gorge State Park because it was walking distance to Talulah Gorge and figured we'd want to check it out.
When we checked into the campground the campground host looked at our trailer and said, "Is that trailer homemade?" "Is that a good thing or bad thing that it looks homemade?" I asked. We have noticed that we've gotten some stares, a thumbs up and one person took a photo of the trailer the three times we've had the trailer on the road. The campground host said, "It's just not as colorful like most RVs are." This is true. Ours is super simple looking. And we like that.
We asked for a site that would allow the rear of our trailer face south so that we could get the most sun for the solar panels. But when we pulled into our site and looked around at the others we realized we wouldn't be testing out the solar on at this campground - the trees were just in way and there was no way around it. The campground was nice and clean and the bathrooms were just a few sites from us which was super nice since we still don't have a toilet in the trailer. We felt like the road into the sites was on the narrow side, especially when most people have larger trailers than us, but we are also new to this so it could just be that.
I have to admit, it took us awhile to park the trailer into the site. The guy in the RV across from us loved it - he watched us the entire time. Buddy, I totally saw you peeking through your window curtains! We don't have the hang of parking it just yet - we had a tree that was in the way of opening the slide if we didn't back up the trailer just right. And we had a picnic table that was in the way of the front door. Parking the trailer apparently tests your communication skills with your partner. At one point I realized that we could just use our cell phones to talk to one another instead of trying to use confusing hand gestures, yelling over the truck engine, and making sure Jerud could see me through the side mirrors.
Then once we got the trailer parked just right we realized it wasn't leveled enough, so we had to fiddle with the leveling blocks. A lot of people use blocks of wood to level the trailer but we purchased a set of 10 plastic leveling blocks - they are lighter weight and pretty easy to use once you figure out the different configuration options.
It was pretty exciting when we unpacked our stuff for a weekend in the RV. I started to get excited again whenever I realized this is what it would be like to actually live in the RV - minus the sleeping bags. Although sleeping bags are super comfy and warm and I'm pretty sure that there will be days that I pull out my zero degree sleeping bag since we don't have central heat in the trailer. The dogs each had their own sleeping bags too.
The weather actually got fairly cold the first night we were there - dipping down into the high 20s. We had to unhook the water hose from the trailer to prevent freezing. We don't have central heat in the trailer, but we brought our electric space heater from home and had it plugged in the whole time. It was set up in the living room, where Andrew slept, and it surprisingly kept the entire trailer warm enough for us to sleep through the night and even in the mornings. We had the floor heaters on too, but sadly we discovered something - while the floor heaters do work, but they don't ever make the floor feel warm. Rather it made the floors feel not cold. I was expecting it to distinctly feel warm. The warmth wasn't that obvious. The sections of the floors that didn't have the heaters under it felt colder than the sections that had the heater.
We also realized on this trip that our water hose was too short to reach the water spigot if it's installed in the back of the RV sites. Our kitchen sink faucet still leaks, so instead of using it, we brought water over from the bathroom sink. The shower hot and cold water knobs are plumbed backwards, the dump valve connection leaks (luckily we only had to dump gray water), and a few other minor things.
Oh, and we forgot to bring a wine opener.