Nottingham is lovely! Tied as one of my two favorite campgrounds on Mt. Hood! No reservations and no water typically mean no crowds. The sites are huge and almost all are located directly on the bank of the Hood River.
We actually hadn’t planned on staying here. We weren’t prepared for dry camping…no generator, and we’d never tested out our new batteries. When we drove by and saw the beautiful site was open, we decided to just go for it and we promptly canceled our reservations at a state park in the gorge. We know how to conserve power and water. And, after having the Bambi, with just one battery and a combined black/grey tank, we didn’t think three days here would be a problem…..well…..
We pulled into a site that allowed us to situate the windows toward the campsite! That is a huge bonus. I think it’s unfortunate that the window configurations usually have the two big living room windows street side. This time we were able to place them facing the river…plus! We had an amazing view of the campsite and a nice breeze…plus! We had no neighbors…plus! The only downside – our batteries were a HUGE disappointment!
We arrived at the campground with our batteries at 100% They’d been charging for three days at our previous campground (and at home for two weeks prior) so that wasn’t a problem. Before we unhooked the meter read 13.7 (good). We unhooked and checked the volt meter which immediately read 12.5 (not good). That seemed odd but we weren’t sure how to read the new system. We had to drive into the nearest town so Todd could attend a quick meeting so we thought we’d read up on it while we had service.
When we left, nothing was on except for the green light on the water pump and whatever drain the fridge (no fan) causes. When we returned our battery read 12.2. We had used nothing. Since we didn’t have the generator, we decided to really be careful which meant hardly turning on a light and barely using the water pump. I should also say that although we had had record daytime high temperatures, the nights in the mountains can be cold, and it got down to 34!!! at night! No heat for us for fear the fan would draw too much power. Still, it continued to drop quickly. By the third morning, we had just enough juice to lift the hitch. It read 11.5 as we left.
Our Bambi with one battery always lasted several days. I even used to run the Fantastic Fan, use the water pump without reserve and I’d leave the two halogen lights above the stove on. We’re leaving for another dry camping adventure next week. We’ll have a third battery that we usually carry when we’re going to be without power for awhile and our generator, but the fact is the two batteries we had should have done the trick. We talked to the dealer and when we return from our next trip, we’ll have them look at it. We do know our trailer had sat on the lot for at least four months and maybe therein lies the problem!
So, basically we camped in a silver tent with a nice bed 🙂 Still had a wonderful time! I always carry candles and upon suggestion from Laura (Rivited) and Monica (Just 5 more minutes) I had a Fatboy Edison Petit Lamp! It saved the day. It was worth every ridiculously expensive penny I paid for it. So much so that I ordered a second one. This little lamp lights the entire inside. I found myself carrying it around like a flashlight! If you’re interested in one, be sure to order it from Fatboy directly. The little lampshades that are $18.00 on Amazon are only $1.00 on their site with purchase of a lamp!
Okay…and while I was ordering my lamp, I also found this…LOVE this and can hardly wait to get it! The little lamp also has three settings like its big brother and it’s magnetic so it will stay put on the tray!
Batteries aside, what a wonderful few days. A little bit of exploring, hiking, good food and a whole lot of relaxing!
We’ll see how our batteries work on our next outing…fingers crossed….