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Old 04-29-2008, 11:23 AM   #1
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Shake down

We headed out Saturday afternoon to ovenight at near by Del Valle, a regional park. The only way to see how things work and what you forgot is to do small outings like this.


Del Valle is about 20 miles away and has a small lake, fishing (but I no direct knowledge of that), and at this time of year a small stream flowing into the lake. Lots of campers, canoers and kayakers. The only bad thing is the price - $26 for a reservation.

All worked and we started getting used to where things are and how they worked.
  • We used the inverter for a computer with an outside connection that worked fine. I turned the water heater on briefly (electric) and the inverter went way down. Not that it won’t work but we’ll save the water heater for shore power or special occasions.

    The microwave came on also and passed the smoke test. We had forgotten the popcorn (of course) so the actual cooking on the mw will have to come later.

    The leveling process was slightly hampered as I really didn’t know what surface to level. Counter top, floor, step, refrig top - no two were alike. We settled on the floor and that seemed to work out. If you are camping in some of the National Forest parks you might want to carry two sets of levelers - some of their sites are quite challenging.

    Cooking on the new flush mounted stove was great. One caveat, light the fire (just pushing a spark button while holding down the knob) before putting a pan on. Having the pan on will cause the fire to expand to the edges of the pan and you will burn the hair off your hand - and that’s all we’ll say about that.

    Poured the spaghetti water down the drain and did a few dishes but surprise, the grey water tank was full. I have to find out what size that is - apparently quite small.

    We didn’t have the ventilation we had in the Eurovan (or you get in the pop-top SMB's) with the top up - the Sprinter is much “tighter” than our Eurovan was. We will have to get some screens for the front windows. Confirmed the window on the galley side will only open 1 or 2 inches without becoming a big problem with the sliding door. The fantastic fan does move a lot of air but is a bit noisy.

    Seats swiveled easily and had lots of room behind them (between the seat and the firewall) for storing cameras, make-up kits, small bags, etc. We utilize that area to move things from the cabin forward when we camp.

    We were used to hanging a trash bag off the passenger mirror but that won’t work anymore. SMB provided a small trash can which works quite well and is more classy than a plastic bag hanging from the mirror.
    The electric fridge is awesome. A 12v that is super efficient, it cools quickly and looks like the days of frozen vegetables and left-overs are gone. It does make a little noise, something you will get used to very quickly.

    The awning is also something you really need. A great shade provider that guarantees some heat relief.

All in all it was a great over-nighter. Everything worked and there was no head hitting or bumping into things. As we were pulling out, I asked, “Do you think we can stay in this for 30 days?” She just looked and smiled. Looks like that will be part of the adventure in Alaska.

Regards,
Keith
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Old 04-29-2008, 07:57 PM   #2
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Keith,

I think I saw your rig a couple of times (very sharp looking) when I was visiting McBeast.

Where in Del Valle were you? Was it the park behind the airport?

Did you get caught in any of the storms?


.
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Old 04-29-2008, 11:34 PM   #3
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The full name is Lake Del Valle SRA. It is near Livermore, California. I think you are referring to a different one.

What kind of SMB are you getting?

Regards,
Keith
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Old 04-30-2008, 12:01 AM   #4
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Nice SMB

Del Valle definately has fish and when I visit my parents in walnut creek, I usually make that one of my stops to fish.. that and the delta amongst others. My dad is looking for a sprinter chassis conversion. Not sure if he's going with a sportsmobile or a roadtrek or who knows..

Joe
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