February 07, 2004

Moab, Utah- May 2003

Once a month Dan and I have a weekend off together. Last weekend was one of these rare occasions, to celebrate we loaded our camper and headed off for Moab, Utah.

This was a test run of sorts. Soon after purchasing the camper we realized that our hobbies would require the addition of a rack system to the roof of the camper. We called around but it seemed no one was in the business of installing racks onto campers such as ours. Not to be dismayed we decided we would do it ourselves. We called Lance and asked if they could send us instructions, we were informed that they did not recommend the addition of a rack to our particular model, seems they hadn't thought of the need for roof top storage until the 2001 models. My resourceful husband asked them to send us the schematics, and off to non-recommended camper additions we go.

Installing the rack system was a very stressful undertaking. It required our drilling multiple holes into the roof of the camper and four holes THROUGH the camper. The measurements for these four lag-bolt holes required an advanced engineering degree, unfortunately Dan's degree is in Biology, and my business studies went out the window after I couldn't hire anyone to do it for me.

We managed to drill all of the holes so that they came through to the interior inside of the cabinets. Only one time did we have to re-drill, which wasn't too bad given all of the obstacles in our way, namely the air-conditioning unit, duct work, wiring, and the refrigerator vent. With our new rack system installed we loaded up our kayaks on one side and a rocket box filled with kayaking gear on the other. Then we were off. As if to provide us with the ultimate testing grounds for our new rack, the winds started to kick up, soon reaching 50 mph. The rack passed this brutal test with flying colors.

Moab, for those of you who have never been, is located in eastern Utah. Moab is in the desert and is a mountain bikers Mecca. We spent two days riding and one day kayaking the Moab Daily section of the Colorado River. I cannot recommend Moab enough. It is a town of friendly helpful people, who happen to live in one big playground.

Traveling to Moab: Try and go in the spring or fall, Moab is hotter than the surface of the sun in the summer, which makes strenuous outdoor activity a bit rough. The winters are lovely, and sort of a hidden secret since the warmer months are definitely busier. Camping in and around the town is plentiful, if you get there early enough you can score a spot in one of the BLM spots for $5-$10 a night. We spent a night on the river in a free BLM campground near Fisher Towers, (no fee = no toilets). There are many private campgrounds too, for those of you who like a pool or a square dance.

This trip was our first to a warm climate and thus the first time we'd really been able to have running water in the camper.
Lesson #4: the holding tanks. Our camper can carry 33 gallons of fresh water. The black water tank (read as the crapper) holds 10 gallons. The all important gray water tank (all used water except for crapper water) holds 11 gallons, or roughly 1/3 less water than a really short shower requires, after you have washed the night's dishes. This lesson was learned the hard way. Resolution: use the outside shower and covet the gray water space as if it was the only thing between you and a septic system back-up. Oh wait it is. Lesson #4 learned.