Adventure 01 – The jPod goes to Camp

29/07/09 2 COMMENTS

Summary of Adventure 01:

Pulling the jPod

At last, the jPod has made its first excursion as a vehicle for camping (North Idaho – as readers decided by the poll on this website).  In an earlier post, I stated that I wanted to have the jPod weather tight by July 24.  This deadline was set so that Senior Management and I could use it as our quarters the weekend of her cousin’s wedding.  It was a VERY wise move.

The families stormed the house where the wedding was to be.  At one point someone counted over 80 people at the house.  This was not for the ceremony.  This was just family & a few friends the day before the wedding.  Needless to say, privacy was difficult for some to find but not as bad for us.  We parked the jPod in an old pasture and set up camp.

The first day it was parked there, I gave about 40 tours of the jPod.  The outside does look nice and it attracted sight seers & neighbors.  Even though the inside of the trailer is not yet complete, there were countless comments about how it looked really nice.  This was good to hear after spending the previous week slaving away in 100 degree weather and late at night to get it done.

Multiple people asked me if I manufactured these trailers as a business.  My answer was always the same “I made this one!”.  Senior Management’s Grandmother loves camping and seemed to be pleased with it as well.  She toured it while I was away so I didn’t get to hear her thoughts about it.  She did ask me questions about it all weekend before she saw it so I know she had a strong interest in seeing it.  I was looking forward to her feedback.  I am glad she got to see it.

Overall, I think I gave about 60 tours of the trailer and many more told me they looked at it while I was away.  This made privacy difficult but tolerable.

Senior Management climbs the mountain

On Saturday, a whole group of us went hiking on Mt. Schweitzer.  It was a great hike & very pretty.  This type of nature is exactly why we built the jPod so I am pleased that we’ll see more of it.

On the first night, Senior Management and I made an observation about the jPod…we slept well.

I knew there would be some changes or priorities that I would shift after spending the night in the jPod.  I didn’t expect the feeling of anticipation I had when preparing to sleep in it for the first time.  I had the thought “I hope I don’t hate this” pass through my head.  Luckily, it was everything I expected & more.  It is really a lot of fun without much worry for setup & keep up.

Assessment of the jPod after the First Trip:

  1. The bed is much larger than ours at home.  The jPod can hold a queen sized bed while we sleep -or try to sleep- on a full at home.
  2. The windows & vent let in plenty of air & light.  We both agree that some curtains would be nice.
  3. Electricity in the jPod would really be nice.  It gets dark in there at night.  When the budget allows, I’ll put a marine battery in & we’ll have power.  The wiring is close to done but no urgency until we can afford the battery.
  4. A way to keep the doors open must be developed.  I used the Harsh Environment polymer hinges.  They are smooth as silk, quiet, & seal up really well.  The only quirk is that they won’t let the doors open all of the way.  So I need a method to keep the doors open.
  5. Finish my cabinet & shelf inside.  We went into the jPod knowing that it wasn’t complete but now we can really see the wisdom in some storage space.  Our things were strewn everywhere for a lack of cabinets.  That will come.
  6. The jPod pulls like a dream.  I was very pleased with how smooth the jPod traveled.  Most of the time, I couldn’t tell it was back there.  The springs do get a bit excited when crossing larger bumps (railroad tracks, large potholes in dirt roads, etc.).  If I intended to use the jPod only on pavement, I’d consider this more than acceptable.  However, our intention is to use it off road where there will be plenty of bumping & jostling around.  I am looking at some small shocks to temper the springs a bit.  It isn’t awful but I know it could be better.
  7. Insulating the walls & ceiling was the right decision.  It was about 95 degrees the entire weekend.  The outside of the jPod was no exception.  However, the inside temperature of the walls & ceiling were about 80 degrees.  The insulation works better than I thought.  I left the doors open and took a nap in the jPod in the middle of the day.  It was great.
  8. I can’t wait to have the galley done.  Being able to cook that close to the trailer & have everything already stored will be awesome.

So there it is.  Trip #1, as determined by my site visitors, is now under our belts.  I am happy with the outcome & can’t wait to get more work done on the jPod & to go again.  Here are some pictures of our first trip:

2 COMMENTS

1 Erin Henson
19:00:17, 29/07/09

Looking so good! Glad you got it weather-ready in time for the wedding! Next you’ll have to come camping with us somewhere.

2 george
09:32:20, 30/07/09

very cool… great photos, it looks quite sharp. let me know when you pull it to the east coast.

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