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Old 01-10-2010, 05:47 PM   #1
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Basecamp at seven months....a reflection

Hello All,

Been watching the forum for some time now and figured it was about time to post my own thoughts on the Basecamp after about seven months of ownership. Bottom line, we absolutely love the Basecamp. Since we bought it, we put about 8,000 miles on it on multiple trips, mostly on the East Coast. As some have already said, we are campers, not RV'ers....at least not now. The Basecamp is a delightfully simple trailer that encourages us to get out and explore rather than loaf in the comforts a larger RV would provide. Still, at the end of the day, we are off the ground and out of the weather. We especially enjoy National Parks and so are used to the dry camping lifestyle. Thus far, we've visited Great Smoky Mountains, the Everglades, and a few state/local parks in South Carolina and Florida. On other trips, we visited Land Between the Lakes NRA, Truman Lake in MO, and the Washington DC area. Suffice it to say, we have a wide range of experiences with the Basecamp and recommend it to anyone. We get lots of looks on the highway and always give tours at the campground or even some gas stops.

We have experienced some problems, however. Our rear door seals let water in after nearly every rain/snowfall. There is also a leak somewhere in the front windows, but I haven't been able to isolate it yet. Our floor is bubbling up in spots, a speaker is blown, and there are a few rivets popped. There is also a substantial amount of rust-looking stain coming out of the roof rails--still not sure what's going on there. We are taking it in for service next week--it is still under warranty--so hopefully this will all be fixed by this coming traveling season. While we're happy with the AC (in campgrounds we have power) a factory installed furnace that ran on propane would have been nice. We also wish there was a better option for a refrigerator. Despite some of these issues, we consider them fairly minor and do not really detract from our enjoyment of the BC.

We have the tent and really enjoy it. I can't imagine not using it. I'm a bit concerned about what to do when/if it gets destroyed. Interestingly, most of the time, we've been camping on concrete or asphalt pads. Obviously we cant stake the tent into asphalt, so we don't. I've bungee corded the bottom of the tent to the frame and used the contents to hold it in place, and this seems to work reasonably well so far.

As many of you have already observed, the BC tows great. We used a HEMI Jeep Grand Cherokee as the TV, but recently traded it for another Jeep Grand Cherokee with the 3.0L diesel engine. We are hoping for better than the 11-12 MPG we were getting with the HEMI. Time will tell and I'll let everyone know the results.

In our setup, we bought a 12x12 Kelty screen house. We also use the Coleman Camp Kitchen and Coleman propane hot water heater. I can't emphasize enough how much we enjoy this setup. The water heater/ Camp Kitchen combo works great for cooking/dish washing and even taking an emergency shower when you don't have hookups. It keeps everything outside and works well for us.

In all, this is nearly the perfect trailer for us. It was not cheap, but tows great, gets us places a larger rig can't, fits all our gear (we usually travel with mountain bikes), and even helps us move our larger household items when we need to. It's a great conversation piece and always draws a crowd wherever we go.

Thanks to all on the forum for your help/expertise that was useful to us when making our decision to buy. We hope to contribute to the small knowledge base already building here. Take care and Happy Airstreaming!
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Old 01-10-2010, 06:26 PM   #2
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Nice trailer! You might want to check the heavy duty fridges at compactappliance.com the Landcruiser expedition guys use them for camping out of their rigs and swear by (not at!) them.

FP430 Compact EdgeStar Portable Refrigerator Freezer
Marc
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Old 01-10-2010, 07:33 PM   #3
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It's nice to hear your review of the basecamp and how you use it and it sounds like a great way to enjoy camping. I think they look super sharp! It's no wonder people chase you down for a peek!
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Old 01-11-2010, 07:29 AM   #4
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Roof Rail Stains

I had the same issue with the roof rail stains. Took the BC to Colonial Airstream in New Jersey and they fixed it right up! Have your Airstream service manager get in touch with Tony Cursi (the service manager at Colonial and a good guy) about what he did - the number there is 800-265-9019.

Regarding your window leak - what year is your BC? Mine is a 2007, and I thought I had a front window leak, but it turned out the unit lacked a "pan" under the AC. This allowed water to collect and then slosh into the trailer (even if the AC has never been used). This was also taken care of (under warranty) by Colonial.

My BC came with the Kelty tent, but I found it too much trouble to put up/take down and it is way too fragile; it is a given that the top edges of the door will rip the tent. I now use a 10 x 10 by Caravan, which is great and fits into the tent "groove" on the top of the trailer.
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Old 01-11-2010, 04:33 PM   #5
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I have an 08, and the water collects near the 110v outlet just below the window. So, I'm not sure if the AC would effect it. What kind of Caravan tent do you use? I did a search and found some canopies made by them. The look like the go up really easy. Setting up the Kelty tent does take some getting used to, and we already broke one pole. It takes us about 10 minutes. How well do the Caravan's hold up in the wind?
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Old 01-12-2010, 04:35 AM   #6
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I agree that your leak is too high to be caused by the pan (or lack thereof) under the AC; probably is the window.

The 10 x 10 Caravan canopy is what I have - takes 2 people about 2 minutes to put it up. I bought it at elitedeals.com for $300, and it included the heavy duty red top, rolling case, plastic side panels, pegs, and free delivery.

Haven't been exposed to much wind yet but my guess is that, like most others, it could go flying under the right (wrong) conditions!

BTW, I ordered the Coleman Hot Water On-Demand w/hose and shower head attachments yesterday - thanks for the heads up.
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Old 01-12-2010, 12:58 PM   #7
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Thanks for posting up. I've actually spent a lot of time researching overlander type set-ups (trailers and trucks) to help me get the Basecamp to where I want to be with it. One of my first issues (as I'll be full-timing in this for a while) was having to have either a freezer or refrigerator as most of the boxes seem to work at one of those 2 modes--but not both. I ended up coming up with this refer/freezer. It's expensive, but you're getting a lot more for the buck.

I didn't get a tent (I am the second owner), but I'm looking at making a modification to the roof rails to allow for a tarp tent to be extended out using the BC as the primary attachment point and either staking or tying off the tarp's opposite ends. It won't be 4 wall, but it'll extend a bit more shelter and allow the doors to go in/out.

Unfortunately I did discover a bit of a puddle this week in my trailer around the stairs. I'm assuming there's a bad seal in there somewhere and I'll have to spend a little time figuring out where the strip is weak.
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Old 01-12-2010, 04:41 PM   #8
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Thanks for the tip on the frige/freezer unit. I'm going to have to put that on my list of things to buy. It looks like it would suit us perfectly!
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Old 01-12-2010, 05:21 PM   #9
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BTW, Rhyder, you'll love the Coleman propane water heater on demand. A great little unit. Thanks for the info on the Caravan tent. Looks like a good idea.
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Old 01-12-2010, 06:07 PM   #10
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What a great write-up! Thanks. I enjoyed reading about how you set up camp. I agree that a furnace should have been included. I love Basecamps and was so disappointed when I learned they are out of production. I'm sure it'll be a collectible. Happy trailers, and thanks again for your evaluations and detailed introduction to the trailer!
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Old 07-25-2010, 09:11 PM   #11
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I was curius about how your repairs went on your B/C ? did they get everything resolved?
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Old 07-26-2010, 05:35 PM   #12
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you know, I had it in the shop for a while over the winter. They fixed most of the problems, but some came back. It's back in the shop now, hopefully for the last time. However, we're pretty close to trading it in for a 16' Sport. We love the basecamp, but are excited about the a better-equipped unit.
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Old 04-25-2011, 02:53 PM   #13
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does anyone have any information on the Coleman water on demand shower?

Ironically, I have a Diesel 2007 Jeep GC to pull my BaseCamp. Gets great mileage and we use bioDiesel in it whenever we can find it.
happy camping!
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Old 04-26-2011, 05:18 AM   #14
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We have the Coleman water on demand shower and really love it! What would you like to know?
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