Before we get into logging trips, I suppose we should examine the rig… the truck and the trailer.

Well, Here’s the truck….
Here’s it’s own website, too…. It’s a 1998 GMC Safari AWD, with the Explorer Vans SE conversion package. At the time of the picture, it had 100,207 miles on it. All the toys. I figured, if I was going to trade in my little red sports car for what amounted to a school bus, I was going to have some FUN with it.

To the conversion, I’ve added quite a bit to it over the last several months in preperation for what I really bought it for; towing a substantial trailer.

Recent additions are;
New heavier brakes,
Updated axles,
New AWD xfer case,
New rear monoleaf composite springs,
(Got lucky, there;… got ’em off a wrecked ’03… darned hard to find, otherwise)
New Toyo tires,
K&N filters in modified air intake
Dynaflow HP muffler and Cat,
Splitfire sparkplugs
Class 4 Reese Rec’r,
Tekonsha Envoy brake controller,
Airdam on the Hood
Upgraded ECM chip
Replaced all axle and xfer case lubes with Royal Purple synthetics

Given I don’t know anyone with a two axle Dyno, I’ve no idea what the new ‘at the axle’ HP levels are, but it does seem to be working better. Also, the gas milage has gone up in rather dramatic fashion; without the trailer, I’m getting 21mpg, up from around 18 when we bought it.. must be breathing easier, at least.

With the trailer, we don’t really have enough miles to give an accurate reading… but in the couple hundred miles we’ve turned we’re getting 13 or 14 in the spot readings. I’m sure that’ll come down a bit as we gain some miles on the chart.

The truck in stock trim is rated to tow 5200lbs. Some of the modifications, such as the wheels themelves, have brought the curb weight down a bit, giving me around 400lbs of advantage, total. That helps with gas and with towcap, too.

Next, we have the trailer… a 2000 Jayco Kiwi 23C. We have actually been looking at this design since the day it came out, over five years ago. It sleeps 7. Has a fridge, A/C, Fridge, heater, water heater, shower, toilet, and a pretty fair amount of storage. Empty, it’s 3200lbs. Fully loaded weight is 4550lbs. It’s heavy enough, but certainly not too heavy for our Safari, particularly given the uprating we’ve been doing.

Per GM specs, we’re using both Reese anti-sway and Reese friction weight dist on the Class4. Rides well, handles without issue. I’ll post some detail pics of this setup in future postings.

So, now you know what we’re using for Equipment.

I’ll be keeping a log of all our travels with this rig, with an eye toward giving other campers ideas of places to see and go (and NOT see and go) as well as ideas I’ve come across for living with and in my trailer.

I hope I’m able to provide some good reading and good ideas for you.