Our First Trip In Our Winnebago Travato – McDowell Nature Preserve, Paul Thorn and JJ Grey

Lynn and I picked up our new Winnebago Travato 59K on Wednesday, drove home and then headed out on Thursday for a planned trip that was wrapped around seeing concerts by Paul Thorn and JJ Grey. We camped at the McDowell Nature Preserve at Lake Wylie and then hopped in the van to do all of our site seeing and shopping. Having just purchased the van we spent most of the time taking advantage of all the great shopping around the Charlotte area.

Here’s a link to the video:

We had several Travato-specific issues to solve, the most important of which was solving the bedding and sleeping. The first night we tried sleeping with lightweight quilts and sheets. That kind of worked but the rough fabric of the beds was noticable so I suggested we at least try sleeping bags. So off we went to Dicks, who happened to have camping stuff on sale. We bought regular sized bags.

They worked ok but both of us had a hard time keeping them under us.

So we went back and exchanged them for oversized square bags.

They were just too heavy. So then we decided making up the bed was actually the way to go. Having the dimensions in hand it looked like we could buy one queen quilt at Sams and cut it in half and it would fit the beds perfectly. It did. Finally we got a perfect nights sleep. BTW, the next one we buy and cut will be a King size so it leaves more room on each side. This one works but it is close to not working.

One of the best storage solutions we’ve seen is converting the hanging wardrobe area to drawers by adding Elfa shelves shelves from The Container Store. So off we went to find the right ones and install them… and return the big sleeping bags now that we’d solved the bedding situation.

JJ Grey and Paul Thorn Concerts

There’s nothing like a live concert. And on this trip we got to see two of our favorites. First it was Paul Thorn at the Neighborhood Theatre. Then we parked/camped by the stage at NODA Brewing and got to see JJ Grey and MOFRO for the first time. Both were great and fun times.

McDowell Nature Preserve Campground

Our one RV site for this 5-day trip was at the McDowell Nature Preserve on Lake Wylie. Man, you can see from the video the sites were paved, smooth and BIG. They were not level but they even warn you of that on their website. It was $30 per night for the site. The bathrooms were good… not super clean but OK. They had those push and keep the water on for one minute showers. There were many trails to hike that took you into the woods or to the waters edge. We never ran out of places to explore and never had to leave the park to find something to do with our time, well other than go out to eat and go shopping.

So, our first trip as camper van folks was actually pretty comfortable and exciting. We’d love to hear of your experiences with smaller campers like this too.

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