Got the Jeep loaded!  Now the RV Trailer…


Trailer hooked up, and ready to go!

Every year there is a Rally at the Kansas State Fairgrounds for like minded RV travelers who use Heavy Duty Trucks (HDT) for their tow rigs.  There is a fairly large group of people who use HDT’s as their power unit.  In addition the Rally is open to people who want to learn more about selecting, and building a HDT for themselves. It is a full week of seminars and training sessions.  Food events.  Exploration of the local area, and just an all around good time of meeting new people and having fun!  One of the highlights is people coming around to look at your rig, and touring other peoples creations.  The ideas you can get is enormous!

A lot of work on the truck needed to be done in a short time frame.  You know how it goes, departure time sneaks up on you.  Finally it was completed enough to make the trip!  Wow, I’m excited!  I had been working on getting the right truck for over 2 years.  Once I  found the Volvo, then the real work began.

Ok, everything is loaded up.  Final check was done of all connections, lighting test was complete, brake checks complete.  FINALLY!  Ready to roll!  Oh ya, fuel!  One stop in town first to get more fuel.

Fueled up, and rolling!  We headed north on FM 51 out of Springtown.  Through Decatur, and on toward Gainesville and the OK border.

The weather was nice.  Sunny, but quite windy.  As we headed north toward Gainesville I am being cautious, and decided to stop at the new Valero in Era, TX to check everything, and the wind was tossing us a little, oh not much but enough to make sure all was well.  I pulled off the side toward the back, got out and checked out all the connections, looked at and thumped the tires.  All was very well!

A trip inside the store for a rest room break, a new cold drink, and off across the parking lot I go.  As I am getting in the truck, a sprinkler system fired up and blasted me with the most foul smelling water I had ever had the “pleasure” of showering in!  I had already taken a shower thank you!  Seems they spray out their sewer water into the grassy area!  I moved the truck out of the spray, and then proceeded to clean up and change into clean clothes.  Oh what a mess.  No signs warning of a free shower in filth were seen anywhere.

So, if in Era, TX and at the Valero, DO NOT PARK near the grassy area near the curb!

Back on the road, and into Gainesville and I-35.  Once on I-35 it is a straight shot through OK and into KS.  Usually driving the interstate is boring.  Not this trip!  I was very interested in seeing the performance, and how well the trailer was towing.

The trailer was hauling ROCK STEADY.  No oscillations, no sway, and with the air ride hitch system, the trailer seemed to be riding on its own over bumps.  This is great!  Hauling with the pickup, the truck and the trailer seemed to work against each other, causing additional roughness.  Not so anymore.

The truck is governed at 73 mph.  Going up hills in the Arbuckle/Turner Falls area of OK in the pickup was always a slow ride.  The Volvo just kept on going, no bogging down, no problem.  Of course big trucks are designed to haul 80,000 lbs routinely, and here I am at a fraction of that.  It was enjoyable to not be slowed down by hills!

Approaching OK City was relatively traffic free.  It was time to stop and eat, and also get the truck washed.  I checked for a Blue Beacon Truck Wash and there was one just north of OKC on 35.  Yes, I wanted the Era water washed off the truck, since the odor remained.  We stopped for a wash, and after went to the Flying J for a bite to eat.  Its just after dark, and with all the lights lit up on the truck it looked great!  Dinner is over, time to ride again!

OK is not known for “smooth” roads.  As the trek continued north, it was a pleasure to have a smooth ride in the big truck as compared to the pickup.  So far I am not in much pain, and the trip is actually enjoyable!  Driving the pickup we would have had to stop by now for the night.  I am elated!

The rest of the trip to KS was uneventful.  Was a pleasure, and was done in one day!  I had not been able to do that in a very long time!  The trip home was totally uneventful, and again was a pleasure!

Avg MPG on the full trip: 9.8

Best mileage with the pickup on any trip towing the same trailer:  9.2

With a longer trip and more experience under my belt I know I will do better on fuel!

Till next time…