1994 Bonair 1050
Well, just over a month ago (April 10th to be exact) we bought a tent camper. For anyone who doesn’t know, this is something you pull behind your vehicle that ‘pops up’ into a tent trailer. I had to switch ‘car’ to ‘vehicle’ in the last sentence, because after our friends pulled it to our house and parked it, we had to figure out how to pull it behind our 2011 Dodge Caravan.
That was Step 1.
So I installed a hitch receiver and used my neighbors torque bar to get it sinched on. Is that even a word, sinch? Anyways, once that was done, we demo’d the tent trailer for my sister-in-law and noticed one of the cables was fraying – then snapped. There’s one in each corner of the tent trailer and you use it to crank it up. So missing one isn’t ideal, as it sags significantly in that corner. So we had to figure out how to splice the cable and run a new one using a crimper, cable cutters, sleeves and some 1/8 gauge aircraft cable.
That was Step 2.
Then the lights went on the trailer, and we couldn’t figure out why. We tried my friends’ truck, I took my newly-outfitted van to my friend’s trailer and the lights on his worked with my van, we towed the trailer up to a shop in Olds where my parents live and he gave us a couple tips. That was my first time pulling it (other than around the cul-de-sac), and my wife pulled it back which was her first time. After some experiment, we figured out swapping out the ground (specifically, installing a new head on the ground, and a new screw, and perhaps more importantly, brushing the metal of the trailer it was grounding to) was the key.
That was Step 3.
Now, we have a tent trailer that appears to work. Tonight we are doing a trail run, camping in our driveway, just to see how the boy does. And honestly, how we do figuring out the lights and the battery (which we have to buy a new one today) and the sink and the stove and all the things. But hey, we’ve made it this far, so I’m sure we can figure out the final bit.
We have six camping trips already planned this summer, with the first being this weekend. It’ll be a real test with a small risk of rain (there always is, with May Long in Alberta) but also I’m working so the wife is pulling it up with the baby without me and I’m joining her after. It’s a familiar setting, one we’ve gone to for a few years now with some friends.
Without the tent camper, I’m not sure we would join this weekend let alone any of the other weekends. So it’s an investment in fellowship and spending time outdoors, making memories with our baby, and getting some time with eachother and some friends / family. We’ll see if we really take to it, but so far we have enjoyed the process.
We better, because we might be inheriting a 1961 Austin Healey Bugeye Sprite, and I’m sure the list of things to figure out on that will far exceed the list we’ve accumulated so far on this unit. But I’ll save that for another blog.