Over the past ten days, the LX470 had its first trip as a camper van. The trip was about 3100 miles overall--Portland to Las Vegas to the Utah parks then back to Las Vegas and back to Portland. I generally took the road less traveled, though in much of Nevada and Eastern Oregon, even the significant roads were pretty empty.
The best thing about the rig turned out to be the underlying vehicle. I knew that it was a good highway cruiser, but it turned out to be excellent beyond expectations. I'd planned on a quiet ride with good handling, but was a little surprised to get better than 17 mpg given the terrain, some serious headwinds and an average cruise around 70 mph. I know that's not Prius competition, but given the form factor and road-hugging weight, I was pleased enough. This was a good trip to remind me that you may be doing a few hundred miles of off-roading and slow sightseeing, but if you have to travel 1200+ miles to get there, it's best if you do it in a cushy vehicle.
The camper part of the equation worked pretty well. All the electrical and plumbing performed as expected, and the overall design turned out to be just fine. Plenty of room for sleeping comfortably, and more than enough room for the things I wanted to carry. There's a little fine tuning to do, and I haven't come up with a good plan for window coverings, beyond camping without anyone else around.
To wit, I camped by myself down by the Snake River south of Twin Falls, ID on the first night:
A lovely spot, though the bugs were a bit thick:
Got a nice sunset out of it. though:
Camped the next night on some BLM land in the middle of nowhere south of Ely, Nevada:
And then started in on the usual Southwest Utah suspects:
A pretty place to be sure.
The truck turned over 100,000 miles on the trip, and for that mileage and going on 8 years old, it's almost just like new. Still tight with all of the materials wearing well, and Paul's work didn't add any creaks or rattles to the quiet interior.
All in all, a good trip in the new Mall Crawler Camper and I feel really good about the design and execution of the work that Paul and I did.