We have been doing really well on our trip preparations. We have been able to get out for several nights and test everything out in the truck. We have been making lists of things that we have forgotten or need modified as we have been using the truck. It turns out that the lists are pretty short and nothing major has come up. The biggest thing that we have noticed is that the habitat is very comfortable and we seem to sleep in more than we mean to!
The truck has been performing better than expected on the highway. It cruises comfortably at 60 mph at 4,000 feet elevation. Exhaust gas temperatures have been really reasonable so far, even pushing it on hills we haven’t seen it go above 1200 F. Slight hills seem not to affect the cruise speed much, but steep hills do require downshifting to take advantage of the grunt of the diesel. All the sound deadening and upgrades in the cab were well worth it. We can carry a normal conversation while driving on the highway. It’s not much louder than driving our Jeep Wrangler.
We extended the ARB awning for the first time and enjoyed some shade in the desert on one of our trips. The ARB awning is quite nice, but we did have to take it down when the wind picked up. The awning can be set up with one person, but we found it is easier with both of us.
During our trips we were able to try out our OMNIA oven with our alcohol stove for the first time. It worked really well! The alcohol stove has been performing great in general. They seem to have a reputation for slow cooking, but we haven’t been disappointed.
Not that anything about using the truck is difficult, but we have found that there are enough new things that we were forgetting steps when getting ready to go. Being the aircraft engineering nerds that we are, we have now made checklists so we don’t miss anything. It’s probably overkill, but it makes us feel a bit more relaxed when doing things like leaving after tearing down camp.
The painted lady butterflies are migrating from Mexico to the Pacific Northwest through central California right now. It seems that they are following the good weather. It’s probably a sign that we need to get ready to follow them.