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Old 04-22-2003, 02:56 PM   #1
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Maiden voyage completed

This past week, I completed my 750 mile round trip maiden voyage with the Silvertwinkie.

In all, I can say that the Caprice pulled like a champ. The lower thermostat really paid off. The car did not get above 174 degress while pulling in 85 degree weather. I did some towing up a 1/4 to 1/2 mile hill and the Caprice did it well, but I could tell it did not like it. The car did heat up to 188 degrees on the upward pull.

I did not have a trans temp gague installed, but I can say that based on the touch of the external cooling lines that on the Interstate the trans was plenty cool at speed. Going up the hill and in stop and go, it really got hot. I am not sure how hot yet, but I am hopeful that it was not above 225 degrees. I converted to synthetic ATF and hopefully some of that "extra" heat was dealt with well by the synthetic ATF fluid.

Testing temps on the Interstate (mostly flat) with the A/C on drove the temp up to 191 degrees. I could easily see it able to hit 200 degrees in even warmer weather with the A/C on. Without A/C on however, it stayed pretty much at the 174 degree range.

The Prodigy braking unit worked beyond what I ever could have hoped for. It is truely a fantastic piece of equipment and I would very much suggest getting one over the Voyager every day of the week and 2x on Sunday. Combined with the extra cooling I added from the cop car Caprice parts bin and keeping the cars brakes at or above spec, stopped the car and the twinkie on a dime and got me a nickle change.

The cargo coils combined with the W/D 1000lb bars kept the car very near it's stock stance. The friction sway control did manage the sway with a 25-30mph cross wind. I was very pleased with the Reese hitch, sway and W/D bars. In normal weather, they performed at or above par. In the high winds, the sway did happen a bit, but not anywhere near the point of unmanageable.

Fuel econ was a steady 11.38 mpg towing. Better than I have seen when I pick up the A/S and better than I expected. I had expected 10mpg.

All in all, I believe I was at the high end of the envelope with the Caprice. It was solid and performed well, but I am very glad I did not get the 6300lb gross Safari, nor the International at 5300lbs (gross). The Bambi and the Caprice are truely a good match, however, I would also suggest making a few mods from the GM police package parts bin to extend the margin of error and saftey.

Regards,

Eric
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Old 04-22-2003, 03:41 PM   #2
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HI Eric, I was eager to hear how your trip went. We are still hot on the trail of the perfect tow vehicle, so I wanted to know how the caprice did 'in action'. Sounds like it was pretty good. So, how did you enjoy finally getting to stay in the Bambi?
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Old 04-22-2003, 05:17 PM   #3
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It was very, very comfortable. My girlfriend flew down for the weekend and we drove back together yesterday. Her niece and nephew joined us (they live nearby ages 5 and 9) and they fit very well on the dinette bed.

They both kept saying, "this is really neat! I'm so comfortable!" Then they raided my cereal stash (the mini boxes)! As long as they both stay about 5'5 they should always fit well up there. The rear bed was perfect and very comfortable. We have a king at home, so it was a bit of a change, but it was all good.

Bambi was an all around 9 out of 10.

The only gripes I have are the door, it just didn't want to open or close real nice--been like that since I picked it up. It seemed worse when I leveled off the camper with wood under one tire. Also I noticed that some of the caulking around the rear sink and shower enclosure seems to have seperated a bit. The caulk is not that big of a deal though.

Those two things aside, it was a 10 out of 10. So I guess that makes it a keeper!

I will say though there were a few times when the fantastic fan would have done wonders and I will add it soon as I can, but it was just really great.

I did notice while I was away that you pick up a beauty of your own. I'm very interested in hearing how your first trip goes as well. I looked at your photo album and I have to say, it looks like it is in mint shape. A real winner!

Eric
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Old 04-22-2003, 08:58 PM   #4
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Thanks so much, I think our new toy is a real treasure! I can't wait to take it out camping. I was out in it last night, with the windows open listening to the crickets and frogs outside, thinking how neat it's going to be. Now, if we can just get a tow vehicle...I've had a couple people look at the Bronco, but no takers yet. I've called on all the Caprices, and they were sold, or the people don't return calls, or the numbers are disconnected. No luck there. I'm looking into an older suburban for sale here locally (in our small rural town). The guy sounds nice, it might be a good deal. I hope we find something soon, I can't wait to go travelling.

Glad your Bambi worked out so well for it's first trip, and with 4 people too!
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Old 04-22-2003, 09:33 PM   #5
 
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listening to the crickets and frogs outside, thinking how neat it's going to be
We too, are longing to hear the crickets & frogs.

Right now, every night, their sound is drowned by the "beautiful" singing of the whippoorwill.

Did I say "beautiful singing?". Sorry. I meant the unbearable screaming of the whippoorwill. It must sit most of the night 10 or 20 feet from our trailer. This is a sound that makes you long for the sound of a jet engine. Or a shot gun blast.

Then, early morning: it's mocking bird time. This one must sit a few feet from the trailer. Sometimes on top of it.
I must know all the songs about whirppoorwill & mocking birds. These people had a lot of imagination.

Enjoy the peaceful sound of nature while you can, soon, you will meet nature. Hope you won't change your mind.

Just kidding. I take an army of whippoorwills anytime, over the sound of junkies under our windows in Philadelphia.
Now, hunting dogs, that's another story.

Nice trailer, congratulation.
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Old 04-22-2003, 09:45 PM   #6
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There were some fantasic sounds coming from the woods I was in this past week. Some very neat and 1 or 2 that sounded like a wolf fight....

At any rate, to me it beat the sound of car alarms, horns, and traffic hustle and bustle of city/suburban life.

Left my cell and electronic equipment home (except for my iPod--MP3 player). No pagers, no cell, no way to reach me....life was good!

I rather enjoyed it all and can't wait to do it again soon! Camping in the driveway was neat, but I had forgotten how really special it is to be "out there" in nature.

Eric
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Old 04-05-2004, 05:51 PM   #7
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Way to go Twink! Sounds like a nice little trip, indeed. I'm so envious...

We boondock whenever possible. Just something about being "out there" that we really like (that and the fact that I snore ).

Been raining in Santa Fe. We've had about 3" of rain since April 1. Considering last year our total accumulation for the year was somewhere around 8", this is great. Still too cold for the frogs - might be too dry for them too, in general. Can't wait to sit out in my driveway... or anywhere for that matter.

Lucky rascal!

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Old 04-05-2004, 07:04 PM   #8
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Talking

Eric,

Congratulations!

It sounds like you had a very successful voyage. This shows the color of my envy . We won't be taking our first "camping" trip for another 2 weeks.

Regards,

Dennis
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