Apr 29 • 8M

How We Met the Challenges of Camping in the Aliner Scout We Towed With Our Chevy Bolt EV

We're Proving We Can Have Fun Camping With Our Little Rig Despite the Challenges

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Follow our journey as we buy a Rivian R1T electric truck to pull a travel trailer equipped to run exclusively on solar power!
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We’re excited to share our report of our first camping trip in our Aliner Scout popup trailer. As always, we towed it with our Chevy Bolt EV.

Managing Weight

Given our limited towing capacity—we’ve decided we’re safe to tow 1,600 pounds and our trailer weighs a bit over 1,400—we have to pack light.

Hanna Park Campground

We traveled just 24 miles to Hanna Park Campground, a Jacksonville City park on the Atlantic coast with spectacular beaches protected by beautiful dunes. To get there, we avoided freeways and had no problems. We averaged about 3.8 miles per kwh, only about 10 percent below our long-term mileage average of 4,1 mpk.

Challenges

We arrived and set up camp. We had a couple of challenges at this point. We connected the little RV to power without trouble. We didn’t have the right gear for connecting the gray water drain to the sewer hookup, however. We had a standard host for draining an RV’s black water tank but our rig doesn’t have a bathroom so no black water.

Our Aliner Scout has no tanks. No clean water. No gray water. No black water. That’s one of the reasons this trailer is right for us. We can’t add the weight that water would add.

Without connecting to the sewer, we couldn’t connect to water.

Thankfully, we were parked near a restroom so water and sewer issues were no problem.

We found the next challenge when we turned on the A/C to cool the trailer at the peak afternoon heat. Initially, the A/C unit made a few noises without blowing any air but quickly refused even that.

In the beautiful April weather, we opened the windows and survived without difficulty.

Working

Our long-term plan is to acquire a Rivian R1T electric pickup (or something similar) to tow a nice comfortable trailer. Because Devin isn’t retired, we need to have tools for working when we travel.

During this outing, we conducted an hour-long Zoom meeting and did a bunch of other work. We also watched some Netflix. All-in, we feel pretty good about developing the capacity to work effectively from the road.

Sleeping

Our little popup has two beds. Each is large enough to sleep two small people who don’t mind sharing, but we prefer to split up to have lots of room. Devin slept like a rock after having returned to Florida on the redeye after a quick trip to Utah. Gail struggled a bit more. We’re hoping fixing the A/C will remedy her sleeplessness.

Peaceful

Hanna Park has a large campground that hosts hundreds of people every night. It is also within the city limits (albeit in the largest city measured geographically in the country) so we weren’t sure what to expect about noise. It was delightfully quiet. At dawn, we were awoken by a bird who was joined by lots of friends as the sun rose.

Recycling

We are big recyclers. We’re recycling about 80 percent of our waste so we were thrilled to see recycling bins with the trash receptacles in the park.

Upcoming Reports

We’re making a second trip to Hanna Park to work out some of the kinks next week. We’ll have the report coming up. In addition, we’ll be reporting on the replacement of the A/C unit.

We’ve placed the order for our solar system. It is going to be challenging to install the panels, the battery, the inverter and the charge controller and all the miscellaneous stuff that connects it all.

In the coming weeks, we’ll report on our progress. We’ll share what we learn, including lessons from our mistakes in hopes you can learn from ours and avoid your own.

Keep in Touch

We love to hear from you. Please comment on this post or reply to this email to let us know what you’re up to.