Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Keystone Premier 31BHPR: Shakedown Trip

We just completed the shakedown trip for our 2010 Keystone Premier 31BHPR. Because the 35' trailer doesn't fit on our driveway, we had to keep it at the storage lot. That made setting things up a lot harder. In fact, we didn't get all the final pieces into place until the morning that we left.

Luckily, it didn't take us too long to get on the road and even with taking our time to stop at a weigh scale, Hagen's of Blaine to pick up a couple of items, and a rest stop to make some minor adjustments, we were able to get to the campsite by about 3pm.

We decided to go to this KOA for our shakedown trip even though it's farther away from home because we came here lots last summer and are very familiar with the facilities. Getting a pull through site made things that much easier. We found that we actually like the pull through sites a little bit better because they back onto the very large open field where the kids can play while we watch them.

Overall, it was a good weekend. Too short, but it was still nice to be able to sit around and not do too much on Sunday. The weather was a bonus, too. The wind was cool but it only rained Saturday night while we slept and the sun came out after that.

Distance Traveled: 300 km ( 186 miles)
Concrete / Grandy Creek KOA
Site #104, pull through, full hookup, fire pit, picnic table, playground, swimming pool, giant bouncy pillow
Nights stayed: 2
More pictures on Picasa.

Here are some things we learned during this trip...


  • Con: The warning in the outside stove top owner's manual about not using over-sized pots and pans was true, We bought a double-burner griddle from Costco that we thought would be very handy. But because it was too big to fit properly, it caused a little bit of the plastic label on the stove to bubble up from excessive heat.
  • Pro: The burners on the outside stove are extremely wind resistant. When kept on high, the flame would not blow out even in strong gusty wind without the wind shields in place.

  • Con: The toilet leaks at the top of the connection when you try to fill the bowl with fresh water. There is no leaking when you flush. We'll need to ask the dealer to check it out.

  • Con: The storage bag for the air mattress in our sofa bed is torn at 3 of the anchor points. We'll ask the dealer to order a new one for us.

  • Con: One of the wood stoppers that prevents the trundle bed from coming out completely came off. I could probably hammer this back in place when I get some time.

  • Pro: The outside kitchen is very easy to use and setup.

  • Con: When turned to MAX cold, the outside fridge will start to freeze canned pop solid in about 24 hours. By the way, frozen cans of pop explode violently but are relatively easy to clean up.

  • Con: The 3-step ladder bought from Costco was too short for me to see what was on top of the slide out roof.

  • Pro: Lynx levelers are truly multi-purpose. I was able to stack 5 of them together, put them on the wide top platform on the step ladder and see above the slide out roof. That made spraying off the pine needles and other debris really easy when we were packing up.

  • Con: Stabilizer jacks cannot be repaired. The nut that prevents the entire bar from coming out is loose. The dealer already said that they would replace all four, but I wanted to see if I could do something first.

  • Pro: The Lynx levelers saved the day again at the end of the trip when I we were back in Canada. We made arrangements to park our TT on a farm for storage, but when I tried to back TT into a dirt area so that I could turn it around. Because the ground was moist from rain, the tires sunk and I got stuck. With a little bit of digging, I was able to lay down a track of the Lynx levelers in front of each tire and drive away. Whew! The Lynx Levelers have been a great investment!

  • Pro: We tried out a couple of fire logs to see how they would work. We like to cook over the fire so we don't normally use manufactured fire logs but we thought it would be nice in the evening when we're sitting outside. Saturday night, since we cooked on the grill, I used up a 15+ year old Dura-Log that took a little extra effort to light, but worked. I was most impressed the next day with a new "Green" fire log we bought from the Real Canadian Superstore that was made out of coffee grinds. It's a 2-3 hour log that was easy to light and burned very robustly with no effort. It cost only $4 and I simply put it on the fire after we had finished cooking dinner and marshmallows.

  • Pro: The cheap sewer hose holder I made to fit on top of the bumper worked great.

  • Con: The propane tank regulator makes a high pitched whine when propane is being used.

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