Travel Log

Date:  November 27-29, 2015

Journey – Blue Creek Trout Hatchery, Cowlitz River, 165 Osprey Lane, Toledo, WA.


  • General – Expand knowledge of 36LA, gain experience dry camping
  • Piscatorial Pursuit – Attempt to catch winter steelhead.
Segment Enroute Return Journey
Date 11/27/2025  11/29/2015 11/27-29/15
Depart Time 11:00  10:30
Begin Miles 3484  3556 3484
Arrival Time 13:00  13:30
End Miles 3556  3636  3636
Leg Miles 72  80  152
Fuel Amt  32.307  32.307
$/Gal  $2.19  $2.19
Total Cost  $71.04  $71.04
MPG 4.77 mpg  4.77 mpg
Comments Hvy Traffic – Ft Lewis, Olympia, & construction near Chehalis  Stopover at Cabela’s, then detour thru Nisqually due to traffic  Fuel consumption incl @ 8-10 hours of Gen usage.

Lessons Learned:

  • Battery Life while Dry Camping is much shorter than I’d been led to expect.  I had concerns about the residential refrigerator power consumption and they turned out to be well-founded.  Details in the post.  I need to gather more data about what voltage level gates there are for particular performance.  For example, I learned that the inverter, which powers the refrigerator and entertainment systems, turns off at a higher voltage level than the heater shuts down.  But the heater DOES shut down!  If it does, it’s likely that you won’t have enough amperage left to start the generator.  You’ll need to start the vehicle, charge the coach batteries for a bit, THEN start the generator.
  • Fresh-water tank capacity is adequate for a 3-day weekend if we don’t get carried away and don’t do laundry.  Washing rice does use a lot of water, as does Darling-Darling’s process for washing dishes.
  • Grey water tank (sink and shower) capacity is adequate for a 3-day weekend.  I have a designated waste-water garden-style hose and the correct fitting on a sewer hose cap to accommodate that.  I could have used it if necessary, but it wasn’t required.  Some places you can use it, some places it’s not feasible for any number of reasons.
  • Black water tank (toilet) capacity is much more than adequate for 2 people!  Over 3 days, the tank was barely full enough to empty.  Don’t wanna empty it if there isn’t much in there because you need enough volume flow to ensure you flush any solid material – especially if you’re using a dump station (like those at Washington State rest stops) that doesn’t have facilities to hook up a hose to the tank flush valve.
  • Propane capacity is pretty iffy for extended-stay situations in cold weather.  I went down there with @ 1/3 tank propane, plus a spare 7 gallon portable tank I’d had leftover from my travel trailer days.  One of the first things I did after getting the new coach was to install an adapter to allow me to hook up an external propane tank.  GOOD MOVE, and strongly suggested for anyone who uses their rig in cold weather.  By afternoon of the second day, I was well below a quarter tank on the house propane.  I hooked up the spare tank and ran that ’til we left on the third day.  I’m going to get a second 7-gallon tank so I can run off of those for extended stays and just swap them out as they get low, then refill them like I used to do with the travel trailer.  The spare tank was full when I started, and below half when I switched back to the house tank.

May you never stop learning and may your journeys always lead to new and exciting destinations!