Roamin to Arizona

This past weekend I traveled to Lake Pleasant, AZ, to attend a sailboat regatta – the Wrinkleboat Ran-Tan that is part of the Arizona Yacht Club Birthday Regatta & Leukemia Cup.

This trip was done using my Ford Ranger with the Roamin Chariot in the bed and the sailboat, a Sage 17 named AIR BORN, in tow.  Why not travel with the Caribou Lite?  The company truck, Toyota Tundra, was needed for another task this same weekend.

stopped for lunch in rest area.  i at a sandwich & chips so i didn't open the top.  there is just enough headroom to sit in the camper when the top is down.

Stopped for lunch in rest area. I ate a sandwich & chips so I didn’t open the top. There is just enough headroom to sit in the camper when the top is down.

The Roamin Chariot is not a fancy camper.  Simple and light.  I really noticed the space difference after spending some time in my new Outfitter Caribou Lite. With all the items being carried for the regatta there isn’t much seating.  I didn’t spend much time in the camper as I drove 500 miles, cooked dinner, and fell asleep.  The next morning I drove anther 450 miles to the lake and then to the motel in North Phoenix.

Camper packed up, top down, for road travel.  just enough space to sit and stand with all the stuff i'm carrying.  That is my cat, Momma Kitty.

Camper packed up, top down, for road travel. Just enough space to sit and stand with all the stuff I’m carrying. That is my cat, Momma Kitty.

The only ‘amenities’ are lighting and the cab-over slide-out bed.  Cooking is done on a portable stove. Water is carried in jugs.  Heat on this trip was provided by an electric Vornado model VH101 heater run off an extension pulled into the camper.

Why a motel?  The Roamin Chariot is very simple and for the time I would be at Lake Pleasant the simplicity would become a challenge, mostly for my cat – Momma Kitty (more on her in another post). If I could have used the Tundra I would have stayed at the Lake Pleasant Marina’s campground in the Caribou Lite during the regatta.

The first day of the trip was spent driving I-25 to Albuquerque where I turned right and headed west on I-40.  I left Denver at the tail edge of some snow so the roads were a mix of wet, slush and ice until I was south of the city.  Until I entered New Mexico some of the higher country stretches would have wet roads and a little slush.

I spent the night in a very simple, though clean, RV camp called Blue Spruce RV Park in Grants, NM. For $19 this was a great stop – level parking, easy in-out pull-through spots, electrical hookup for the heater,and a nice & clean bathroom.  Overnight it was in the low 20s.  The heater did a good job of keeping the camper cool-comfortable.

A chilly night at the Blue Spruce Campground in Grants, NM.

A chilly night at the Blue Spruce Campground in Grants, NM.

My cooking setup is a Max Burton butane stove.  The cookware used is for backpacking, packs small and made by GSI.

My cooking setup is a Max Burton butane stove. The cookware used is for backpacking, packs small and made by GSI. Fresh water is kept in 1-gallon jugs and smaller bottles.

After breakfast I continued to Flagstaff, AZ, and then turned left onto I-17 and headed south to Lake Pleasant and Phoenix.  As I dropped down from the mountains into the Phoenix valley the temperature went from the 20s into the 70s.  Turn off the heater and turn on the AC!

Chilly morning west of Grants, NM.  There was snow on the ground an frost on the truck's hood. The Interstate was dry.

Chilly morning west of Grants, NM. There was snow on the ground and frost on the truck’s hood. The Interstate was dry.

The regatta was a lot of fun.  I sailed well and won third place for my boat class.  Details about the racing, along with photos are on the Wrinkleboat Ran-Tan site (click here).

I won third place in my boat class at the Wrinkleboat Ran-Tan.

I won third place in my boat class at the Wrinkleboat Ran-Tan.  I’m the guy on the left.

For the return home I reversed the route taken to AZ.  For the night stop I stayed at KOA Albuquerque North.  KOAs are more expensive but overall their quality is good – level spots, clean bathrooms, etc.  Not very cold overnight, just below freezing, so I turned off the heater for the night.

Nice level spot in a KOA just north of downtown ABQ.  Yes, the boat is different as the Sage 17 is staying in AZ for the next month.  The boat pictured is a Montgomery 15.

Nice level spot in a KOA just north of downtown ABQ. Yes, the boat is different as the Sage 17 is staying in AZ for the next month. The boat pictured is a Montgomery 15.

The next morning I drove into Denver and home.  I was just ahead of the rush hours in the greater Denver area and only experienced a few slow downs as I approached the city and drove the I-470 loop.

Was a great trip where the Roamin Chariot again showed its versatility along with the Ranger pulling well through high mountain country.

– Dave

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One thought on “Roamin to Arizona

  1. Pingback: New camper ‘shakedown’ weekend – day two | Adventures in a truck slide-in pop-up camper

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