After lots of procrastination and an aborted trip in August, I finally took my teardrop on the road. With a friend following (he was worried I'd break down), I drove from Albuquerque into the nearby Jemez Mountains, home to the Valles Caldera, third largest supervolcano in North America.
My 4-cylinder Subaru Outback easily pulled the trailer which handled like a dream due its sub 900 pound weight. No trouble keeping up with traffic on US 550 at 70 mph and the climb into the mountains was a breeze. We stopped at Soda Dam, a travertine dam across the Jemez River formed by adjacent hot springs.
After a short drive to the top of Fenton Hill, we took a forest road north until we found a nice secluded campsite. We set up camp and enjoyed a campfire and a starry night before turning in to bed. My friend elected to sleep in the bed of his pickup but didn't sleep well because he forgot a sleeping bag thinking that a couple of blankets would be enough for a cold, Autumn night at 8,000 ft. I was toasty in my teardrop under a down comforted on an 8-inch thick foam mattress. Now that's the way to camp!
The next morning I was up at dawn and started a campfire while my friend got in the cab of his truck with the engine and heater running to warm up. After he warmed up, we hung out for awhile before heading back to town.
Only issue of note was some scratches on the trailer sidewalls where the fenders rubbed, likely due to larger tires that may have pushed the fenders up on the bumpy dirt road from pavement to our camp. After I patch the divots, I'll put a rub plate on and raise the fenders to prevent trouble in the future. I'm looking forward to more adventures with my teardrop.
BTW I started building the trailer almost two years ago in October 2014 while I was performing at-home kidney dialysis. Since I received a kidney transplant in January 2016 my wife admitted she no longer wants to go camping (she is 60 years old and entitled to comfort I agree). I hope my children can also use and enjoy this trailer in the future.