May 17 - Pieces Falling into Place

We've made some real progress this week. Things are falling into place like puzzle pieces... with a satisfying click.

First, we sold our Northstar Arrow camper to a couple very nice people from Utah. We really hit it off with these two when they showed up early Sunday morning to check the camper out. It was one of those perfect fits, in a number of ways. The size and feature-set of this camper was what they were looking for, and their truck was set up perfectly for it. Once loaded, the camper looked right and reportedly handled like they, truck and camper, were made for each other. And we were happy it was going to new owners who clearly are going to take care of it. First puzzle piece... click.

New owners for the Northstar... on their way back to Utah.

Then on Thursday we drove a couple hours south to Medford to meet the installer of our new Four Wheel Camper. Because this camper is mounted somewhat differently than the Northstar (and most larger truck campers), there were a couple hours of work to prepare the truck. But with great weather and a friendly and knowledgeable installer, the time passed quickly. By a little after Noon, we were rolling down the road with our new Four Wheel Hawk. Second puzzle piece... click.



I'll have a lot more to say about the camper as time goes along.. but here are a couple comments from our drive back to Sutherlin that day. This camper, as built, weights a little over 1,300 pounds, so the truck doesn't seem to even know, or care, it's on-board. During the course of our return trip we passed a truck scale/ weigh station. In Oregon at least, when the scale is "closed", the scale itself still functions and provides a digital readout of your vehicles weight. So, onto the scale we go. Front axle = 4,450 lbs; rear axle = 4,450 lbs; total weight = 8,900 lbs. And that includes the two of us (yes... Dar is too light to even register on most scales, but I more than make up for her shortcoming), and a back seat full of stuff that's going to end up in the camper. The bottom line is we're well below the trucks 10,600 lbs GVWR and nicely balanced between fore and aft.

The difference between the drive down (with no camper) and the return trip (with camper) was minimal. The truck felt and handled nearly the same. Gas mileage on the way down was just shy of 16 mpg; on the way back, with camper and a light headwind, just shy of 15 mpg. Overall, I think we've possibly achieved our "nimble-ness" goal.

This week we also found out that the cogs and gears of the Timber Valley Membership Machine were turning and grinding, and progress was being made. It now looks like we're in the number 1 position on the active waiting list... and that we'll have a membership and lot in the next week or so. Third puzzle piece... almost click.

Took a more challenging road on the way back... through the mountains.

Steep grades and narrow roads... we can handle them now.

Stopped for lunch in this NFS campground.

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