Bambi and friends

I cruised up the Grapevine making my way toward some NorCal destination. Not really knowing where I’d camp for the night.  I wasn’t feeling too confident about “boondocking.” This is going off the grid…where you set up camp somewhere remote. I didn’t feel confident about doing this (yet) and felt I needed more training/experience to boondock.

So I searched for a campsite via “Allstays Camp & RV” App. There were hundreds of campsites listed all over California. Some had resort-like amenities, others were State Parks.

I stopped at Pyramid Lake, CA and shot some photos as I contemplated my route.  After all, this would be my first real trailering experience so there was a lot to consider

There is not much along I5.  Lonely trucks, smaller cars speeding past, and gas stations every 20 miles or so.  Pulling Bambi in the Touareg felt effortless.  And it was easy to forget I was hauling a 4500 pound trailer.

You know those signs that read, “Autos with trailers 55 MPH?” I had to remind myself that I was an auto…with a trailer.  There were times when I reached 70 MPH.  I decided to set the cruise control to 60 MPH to avoid any mishaps, i.e., encounters with highway patrol.

I stopped at an IHOP. Why on earth would I stop for IHOP? That particular location catered toward tour buses and truckers, meaning, their parking lot was pretty large.  And I was grateful I could take up two parking spots. Touareg is 15 feet and Bambi is 19 feet.  So there is a lot of pre-planning involved to maneuver both.  Another important consideration is the weight distribution hitch. This apparatus has two bars that hang pretty low – about 5-6 inches from the ground. So that means, as you go over a large speed bump or drive out of a parking lot, these bars can scrape the concrete.  I was told, I need to drive like the low riders do…take driveways at an angle, never exit a driveway straight on.  Lo and behold, it worked!  No scraping!  (See how low those bars are?)

The other good thing about stopping at IHOP was I spent some time searching for a campsite.

“Casa de Fruta.”  House of Fruits?  Sounds good to me.

I headed North, toward this orchard with Internet.  Situated off of Highway 152.  And like the Grapevine, 152 had lots of dips, curves and hills.  Great practice for a newbie.  In fact, the drive from Los Angeles to Hollister, was trailer-driving bootcamp.

We arrived at Casa de Fruta, close to 4:30 pm.

Butters and I pulled into our designated site and I heard one of the camper nearby yell, “Hey, it’s an Airstream!”  Our first camping experience.  We were not sure what the night would bring.

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