Our first day on the road was not boring. We had a minor scrape, two flying kitchenware incidents, and a series of 'thrown into the deep end' trailer learning experiences. On the way to our first destination in Gettysburg, we stopped at the house of a very old friend in Allentown, PA. On arrival there we realized that the fridge had not latched properly, and the contents had been sprayed around the interior by bumps and potholes. Luckily the food and bevies were intact and there was no damage.
The truck, which we refer to with love and a bit of fear as 'The Beast,' performed amazingly well. Shane never had to put his foot to the floor even on the steepest hills on I 78, and there was nary a shudder nor wobble from the trailer. We feel great about our 'err on the side of max power' truck and hitch selection strategy. The hitch was not only hella strong but also very easy to connect and disconnect, now that we have perfected the 'mule kick protocol.'
The total drive time to our first destination was under 4 hours, and we arrived at the Gettysburg campground in the early afternoon. More learning opportunities immediately presented themselves: We managed to guide the trailer into our site on the first try, but realized that the 'leveling' should be checked while you are still hitched, so that you can put boards or some other material under tires to provide lift as needed. We also learned that our 30Amp electric cable is only ~25ft long, so locating the back of the camper further than that from the 'hook ups' is...not ideal.
Upon arrival we also discovered that, when properly latched, the refrigerator holds its contents just fine over big bumps. The cabinet over the kitchen sink, not so much. So before we could move our yowling cat into the camper, we had to clean all interior surfaces of broken glass and about 1/2 lb of fine grain sugar, among other intact items such as 50 teabags, jelly jars, and pyrex. Live and learn - that storage space is now the 'potato chip cupboard.' Keystone camper design engineers, if you are listening, please add safety latches to the above-counter cabinets.
The rest of the set up was a breeze, many thanks to our trainer, Shane's father Jerry Sesta. After experiencing what towing was like for 4 hours, the F250 without the trailer felt like driving an Aston Martin roadster. Sonny is settled and has been enjoying indoor time and outdoor time and everything is exciting and new for all of us. The weather here has been perfect and we are looking forward to seeing what Gettysburg has to offer.
Kathryn Tully and Shane Sesta are a married couple, one American and one Brit, who are spending a year traveling across America and writing about their discoveries. Sonny is their rescue cat and fried chicken aficionado.