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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
We finally went on our first camping trip with our 2019 Ascent Premium and the Coachmen Apex Nano 817RB.

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While I had plenty of time to check over the trailer at home, this was our first actual camping trip. We went to an Oakland County campground called Groveland Oaks Campground, here in southeastern Michigan. It is only about 30 miles from our house.


We had our five-year-old granddaughter with us. It was a great time! :)

The trailer weighed 3,685 lb. loaded and ready to go for the trip. I had predicted 3,684 lb., with the correction for the UVW of 3100 lb. for the Summit package, not the 3,034 lb. for the UVW of the non-Summit version, in my Thoughts and Research on Towing with the Ascent article.

The tongue weight, when I left was 421 lb. or just over 11% of the loaded trailer weight. Without taking anything out of the trailer when I returned home, the tongue weight was 420.4 lb., again a bit above 11% of the loaded trailer weight.

Unfortunately, I have to add at least 5 gallons of water (42 lb.) in the rear black water tank to achieve that tongue weight. I’ll probably add a total of six or seven gallons of water on the next trip, as I would like a tongue weight between 10% (370 lb.) and 11% (405 lb.).

Driving was all on suburban main roads and side roads. There was no freeway driving. Because of this, I couldn’t get a handle on the gas milage, as we made two trips back and forth to a store to pick up items that we’d forgotten. Gotta have the chicken breasts, burger and toothbrush for the granddaughter! ;). That was a total of 22 miles without the trailer attached. The whole 82 miles averaged 17.5 mpg, according to the meter, not real calculations based on gallons and miles.

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No problems were encountered with the Ascent while pulling the trailer. Some of the trip was on a four lane highway with a 55 MPH posted speed limit, where I easily maintained speed with the traffic flow. Because I wasn’t on a freeway, it didn’t experience any real bow wave when being passed by semis. They were probably only going 60 or 65 mph on that stretch of road with the 55 mph posted speed limit.
 

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Congrats Ken! 3,685 to your 3,684 prediction, not bad! Probably just a gravitational anomaly. You drove north to the campground? Less equatorial centripetal force countering gravity :D

How was the space for 3 of you? Any pics of trailer hooked up? I'm curious how 420lbs looks on the rear.

F.S.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Yes, it was just a fluke that it came out so closely, for sure. I had originally used 3034 for my prediction, but my Summit trim version of the trailer came in at 3100 lb. When I entered that weight, I almost fell off my chair here when it came up with 3684 lb. on the spreadsheet, just dumb luck with that, as it was a total guesstimate.

We did go north to the campground and came south to home, so your theory holds some validity, except I had to add more water to the black bank before we left the campground to replace the 24 pack of bottled water that was by the toilet at the very rear of the trailer and the water had been used up. The rest of the food in the refrigerator and pantry was close to the axle, so had little effect on the tongue weight.

My granddaughter is only five, and we weren't sure that she want to sleep by herself, as she doesn't when she stays her, but she decided that she wanted to do it. The dinette makes into a 72" x 36" bed. That is the same size as what is called a twin sleeper sofa, so we were able to get fitted sheets and a mattress pad for that bed. Actually, I thought that I was going to end up sleeping on it, and I could have, as I am only 5' 9" in the early morning hours, and considerably shorter by bed time. ;)

It's not spacious, but we weren't cramped at all. We had to eat inside most of the time because of the wind. Other than that, the weather was great. We didn't have to run the air, except during a brief 1/2 hour rain storm. It cleared up and we got to build a fire and make somemores. Tons 'O fun. :)
 

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Awesome! Glad you all enjoyed yourselves, we are going for our 2nd trip next week and hope to make a 3rd the weekend after next. I am still figuring out the tank sizes, as our black tank seemed to fill rather quickly, luckily our next outing has sewer hookups all around so we can use our own facilities rather than the campgrounds. I wish we only had to run our air once, lol. It was over 90 every day with a heat index probably over 100 so AC is a must all day. I do wish the AC unit was a bit quieter though. I did enjoy using the gas cooktop which I wasn't keen on initially, it heats up quickly and works well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Sorry FirstSubie, I don't have any photos showing the sag for the 420 lb. tongue weight, nor the 480 lb. tongue weight on the day I took the setup to the landscape scales, but I've now added it to my "to do" list.

Ruben, the 13.5K roof air conditioners are indeed noisy. Sounds like you are having a good time too. :)

We are planning our next trip, which we hope will include our 11-year-old granddaugher that lives on the other side of the state.

For those interested, I've updated my list of weights for what was in the trailer for this trip, as well as what stays in the trailer all of the the time.

The list is here:
 

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I’m just going to jump into this thread since it’s camping related. I didn’t tow, just used a tent this time, but I learned a couple things along the way that I thought I’d share.
First of all, use the menu on the dash to turn the beeps off! It’s super loud when the tailgate is opened/closed until they’re off.
Speaking of the tailgate, I left it shut so I didn’t drain the battery. I thank this forum for that or I would have had to learn it the hard way. I don’t feel like I was missing out on anything by having it closed, aside from a few extra bugs inside the car ?
We loved having all the storage space in the back. It was just me and the wife so the 3rd row was down. I just threw everything in there and went!
I really wish I could’ve accessed the fire road we hiked. I think the Ascent would’ve ascended it just fine. It was about 2 miles of uphill rocky terrain.
Thats all I’ve got for now. Happy driving!
Tree State park Land lot Grass Lawn
 

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Going to be taking the Ascent on her first camping trip in a few weeks. The GF and 2 pups. Anxiously counting down...
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for sharing guys. This is a good place to put post related to all types of camping.

Didn't camp today, but changed out the faucet in the bathroom of the trailer. The spigot on the stock one in the Apex Nano 187RB was too low and too close to the back of the sink to get your hands under it to wash them. Tick one off the Honey-Do list.
 

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Glad to see all the research paid off!

Oh yeah, I hate when they do the tiny spigots. I have small hands and if I have to struggle, it's pretty much useless!

Here's a pic of my first camping trip (last fall).
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Was out again Memorial Day and soon we will have it out for Labor Day too!
 
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