June 26 2008

1970 Terry 23′ Travel Trailer

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It have a pressurized water system, a large metal tank that you pressurized with air to provide water pressure. It had a compressor that operated automatically, or you could add air via a compressor at the gas station. A front gaucho that was a combination double and single bed, plus an overhead that could sleep two kids. Had a bath, kitchen, and a small refrigerator, nothing like the modern trailers of today, but adequate for the time.

In Arkansas, I installed the trailer hitch and got the car ready to go, installed air shocks (big mistake for Alaska, lost them the first winter) and WDH. I had a 1974 Chrysler Town and Country station wagon at that time, 440 cubic inch engine, plenty of car to tow a trailer. I started off from Arkansas heading for Yellowstone National Park, never having pulled a travel trailer in my life. I didn’t get 25 miles down the road before I was stopping and making hitch adjustments. But other than that things seemed to go well and the learning curve was not too severe.
We did have an incident in Colorado, just outside Denver, in heavy winds and blowing rain, I lost my awning. while driving down the Interstate, I noticed my awning flapping out the driver side mirror. It had opened up and blown all the way over the trailer. I pulled over, but in the high winds and cold rain, along with the dodging flapping canvass and support poles, all I could do was cut it off and leave it beside the road. We continued the trip sans awning.

While camping at Yellowstone, I met a camper coming off the ALACAN. You knew them back then due to the 1-2 inches of dirt accumulated on the vehicle. He had manufactured a shield to protect the front of his truck from rocks and gravel during the trip. I talked to him about the trip and decided to copy his grille guard. When we stopped at Great Falls, Montana, just prior to crossing the border, I had a local welding shop make me a grille protector based on his pattern. On top I mounted a piece of plexiglass about 6 inches high. the device used expanded steel grid to protect the grill and radiator from stones, the plexiglass created a wind dam that caused other debris to fly over the top of the car, rather than hit the windshield. It worked great. I covered the camper windows with either plywood or cardboard and we were ready for the trip up the longest gravel road in the world.

As we crossed the border and headed for Dawson Creek, I did not fully comprehend the adventures that were before me in the next 2 weeks, much less the next three years. See my story of the ALCAN in another post on this site.



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Posted June 26, 2008 by Tom Martin in category "Camping and RV", "My RVs

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