Sunday, September 25, 2011
This weekend, our daughter's cross country team participated in the Milaca Mega Meet. We're new to the Cross Country thing this year, so we didn't know what to expect. When we got there we found they were not kidding, it was Mega! Rather than drive 100 miles north and then another 100 home in the same day, we hooked up The Aristocrat and made a camping weekend of it. This was our first true "out of town" test, since last weekend we traveled a total of 12 miles, round trip.
We made it to Milaca without incident. Or, as we found out the next day, with minimal incident. The only incident worthy of reporting turned out to be our gas mileage when pulling the trailer. But the wheels stayed round and kept turning, and all the bits that we left the house with were still attached when we got there. So we considered that a major success. Milaca, and our ultimate overnight destination of Ogilvie, MN, made this trip into a 200 mile weekend, round trip. A far enough distance that if something went wrong, we'd have to figure out a way to deal with it.
After seeing the meet, we went to Woodsong Campground, just north of Ogilvie. The campground was more like a village, catering mostly to seasonal campsites. They had very few pull-ins like us, especially this late in the season. But it was a nice campground, and we would be tempted to go back if we were in the area again.
The lows got into the 40s, so we ran the heater this weekend unlike last weekend. The Aristocrat came to us with two heaters. We have the original propane heater that we haven't tried yet, and also a newer electric heater that the previous owners installed. Since we had electric hookups, we ran the electric heater on low and kept a few windows cracked open. It made a nice compromise of warmth and coolness. The kids wanted more warmth, and went to bed with hats and gloves.
The next morning, we had eggs and bacon (again). I might need to get my cholesterol checked after owning this thing for a while.
We drove out after a leisurely morning and gassed up before heading home. I plugged the data into my Gas Cubby app and was horrified to see 10.9 MPG. We had rented a Scamp this spring, and I was getting 14mpg while towing that, so I expected a little better. But we took 169 up and down, and I think the myriad of stoplights may have hurt our mileage. We'll have to see what we get on future trips. When we got home, I gassed up again and got 10.5 MPG, so the drive up wasn't a one time fluke.
All in all, a great actual field test of the trailer. As we discussed in the car on the way home, it takes time to build trust in things like this. A longer trip like this is just the ticket to boost the trust factor a bit more.