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Annual RV camping book

2921 Views 9 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  wooden bowtie
In the end of 2021, my family and I decided to upgrade our camping rig. After 10 years of loyal camping services, we traded our old Mitsubishi Outlander XLS 2010 with our 2000 Trail Lite bantam 17 feet hybrid RV for the Nissan Frontier and the Jayco Camper. It was a bet but a studied choice. For us, camping is all about compromise. We use the Frontier exclusively to tow our camper. We don’t need a truck apart from that. Same thing for the camper, all is compromise. And today, one year after the possession of the truck, we take time to put the Frontier to the test of our whole camping philosophy. Let me say quickly that we are totally happy of our set-up. The Nissan Frontier is a good and strong tractor to achieve that task. Right now, the camper is hibernating under a bunch of snow, but I already dream of the next summer when we will sleep in it. In the meanwhile, since our next season is already planned, I’ve wrote my 2022 camping season report:

  • 10 trips, 24 nights and traveled 3700 KM. 1250 KM was done on difficult forest paths;
  • Average of 230 KM per trip (one way), Weekends of two nights three days;
  • Highest altitude reach was 3300 feet, Max outside temp: 38C (without humidex).

We are two adults, two teens 13-16 y/o and one 14 y/o Labrador dog. During the recreative season, we camp mostly on weekends and go out every two weeks. During vacation time, we take 1 week and go visit the province further. Normally our season begins on May 15th (fishing) and ends October 1st (hunting). We use a special family planning to prepare each trip. We are experienced campers. We choose to do max 3h of driving to enjoy most camping time. We like fishing in remoted and wild places. We prefer National Parks and wildlife reserves. We like camping in total autonomy without services. ‘’No neighbours just nature’’. Small wild sites with no services are the best. Compact approach, tanks capacity and ground clearance are needed. I take highways to exit town, but I prefer to take off road trails to reach my destination. We can do 1h of hard trails in the bush, install the camper, and them take the Frontier to reach a lake 30 KM further where a boat is waiting for us for fishing. Sometimes the lake is just in front of the camp site! I have an Minnkota electric motor and a battery ready.

  • SEPAQ.COM: Visited 4 Wildlife reserves, 2 National parks and 1 Tourist establishment;
  • Closest National Park we have gone to, is only 86 KM from home, longest trip was 500 KM;
  • Rented 6 different lakes and fishing boat: for 9 days of fishing, we caught a total of 18 fishes (especially trout and some others).

It’s a 2008 Jayco Jay Flight G2 20BH. 20 feet floorplan, 8 feet wide, 22.4 feet total. Two axles. With a high ground clearance. It weights 4200 lb dry and 4700 lb loaded. The GVWR of this camper is 6000 lb. Frontal area represent 56 sq/ft. Yep with food and clothes we carry 500 lb of all kinds of stuff inside the camper. Most of stuff always stays inside, so we just need to add our food and clothes and we are ready to go! It’s a heavy and non aerodynamical camper, but well constructed and sturdy. Good quality here. The tanks and reservoirs capacity are enough to support a family of four for three days without missing anything.

  • We run with 2 x 20 lb propane tanks and one deep cycle gr. 27 12V battery.
  • Used a TOTAL of 25 lb of propane for coking, heat water AND heated the camper, when needed;
  • We never rant out of energy with the deep cycle grade 27 battery,
  • At 4700 lb camper represents 78% of the 6000 lb max tow capacity.

It’s a stock 2013 Frontier, Crew cab, SV, 4X4, long bed. I’ve weighted my rig on a truck scale, the two axles can support 6627 lb. Loaded with family and camper at max, truck weights 6226 lb; this represents 93% of max capacity for the truck. The weight of the duo is 10864 lb. It represents 97% of the 11112 lb GCWR capacity. I use a Curt WDH (trunnion bars) and anti sway system with a Prodigy P2 brake controller. I put 8 plies LT all terrain tires on standard size. The only modification I’ve done is add Sumospring blue cushions to help support the weight and improve comfort during the ride. I take my time and plan for the best route. I follow a hard preventive maintenance procedure.

  • When removing the front wheels, 4 adult bikes and some cargo can fit in the bed with the 6’ hard fiber shell tonneau cover closed;
  • When I put 200 lb of firewood + 150 lb of fishing gear in the box, I’m 70 lb overweight on the rear axle;
  • On Highways my Frontier consumes 10 MPG at 70 MPH, 3000 RPM. Transmission always runs on 3rd or 4th gear. OD off,
  • Best is on secondary roads at 50 MPH;
  • Stunning at 5 MPH on 50ish degrees slope with slippery rocks and sand.

I’m really impressed. We can go where we want to with pleasure and ease. Even if our camper represents only 78% of the max towing capacity, a fact is, for us, in our camping conditions, we reach the limits of the truck weight and the combined weight. Still, the rig Is stable and manoeuvrable. We feel secure with enough power and enough brakes. The truck can handle more, easily. The length and weight of our rig are great together. Two axles help on stability. We have traveled on highways, on secondary roads and offroad off the grid. Even with a big block of 4700 lb in the back plus the family in the cab, plus wood- bikes- fishing gear in the bed, the Frontier does a great job in all those situations. It can bring you far. Maybe we don’t cross states, but we use-it extensively during the season. The Frontier achieves that task with ease. I wish for more payload capacity and more room on rear seat, but I do not regret my purchase. It passes our camping test!! We will do it again next summer.

  • Lowest cost for a night on a wild site we paid is 23$. Maximum for a 2-services site cost us 57$/night,
  • Total season cost us around 1500$ for terrain and fishing, 1200$ for gas, 200$ for firewood, 300$ of munchies and too much money for alcohol…
  • Discoveries, family time and nature are priceless.


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The long wheel base of the Crew Cab Long Bed adds to the stability of your set up.
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