Teddy and I took the camper up to State College on our third camping trip (and our third weekend in a row). His family had tickets to the White Out game where Penn State played Minnesota. We were able to snag a spot at the KOA near Bellefonte for the weekend which was ideal. We are pretty sure we ended up getting someone’s canceled spot but it worked out great for us.
To get to State College from the Lancaster area, the most efficient way goes up through part of the Appalachian Mountains. If you’ve read my blogs on our trip up Hyner View in Pennsylvania or our drive up Mount Washington in New Hampshire you’ll know I don’t like steep mountain climbs in a car. Thinking about now towing a travel trailer behind our truck over Seven Mountains on the trip had me worried. We had only ever towed the trailer about an hour or so before and this trip would be about 2.5-3 hours.
We would have liked to weigh our trailer on a CAT Scale prior to travel but they aren’t located that close to our house. We already knew our payload and what our truck and trailer could carry weight-wise but going up the mountain we wanted to be extra cautious. We took out everything we didn’t need for the trip out and put it in a bin in the garage to just be aware of weight. Extra hoses or cables or decor that we didn’t need would stay home this time. We also had Teddy’s mom join us this time and Bailey came along too. We carefully distributed weight in the cab, the truck bed, and the trailer for the drive.
I prayed a lot before our trip that we would get there safely and to calm the worry surrounding the trip. I’m happy to report that we made it both up and back down the mountain just fine. Yes, the truck was working to take us up and down but it did a great job. We also got the benefit of beautiful fall foliage along the route which I enjoyed.
Teddy and I have come up to Penn State for both football games and just to explore quite a few times in the last two years. You can read about some of our favorite hikes here and here and things to do in the area here. This time we got up there in the later evening before sunset, with just enough daylight to get camp set up. We planned in advance to not bring groceries up with this since we’d likely eat out with his family for meals and keep leftovers in the fridge.
For dinner Friday night we ordered pizza from in town and brought it back to eat at camp. Breakfast Saturday was an adventure as we initially planned to go to Millheim to a coffee shop about 30 minutes away but they were closed during business hours so we made the further drive to David’s Awesome Cookies since we were out that way. We skipped out late breakfast and just picked up lunch at Bonfatto’s in Bellefonte. We had lunch and then hung out for a bit before Teddy, his dad, and I headed into the stadium for the 7:30 PM game. We ended up getting back to the campsite where his mom and Bailey were around midnight. This was the first time we had 4 adults and a dog sleep in our camper and it worked out great. We have a queen bed, and then a dinette that converts to a one person sleeper and we have a sofa that reclines but you can have one person sleep on it like a regular sofa. It worked out well.
We got up the next morning and got everything prepped so we could checkout by 11 AM. For the most part, I take care of the inside while Teddy handles the outside. For me that includes sweeping and vacuuming, cleaning surfaces, getting everything secured in a bin, cabinet, or basket so nothing tumbles during our drive. Teddy handles dumping our tanks and then we both handle the stabilizers, and hooking the truck up.
We only had some minor issues on this trip. Our sliding door between our bedroom and bathroom came off the track during travel. This has happened twice before but usually I can get it back on in just a few minutes. This time I tried for about 30 minutes to get it on while standing on the bed with my head up in the air vent trying to see the top and why it wasn’t working. I gave up and thankfully Teddy got it hooked back on in just a few minutes. Super minor but we want to make sure that it does come off again in transit because it’s heavy and could swing around which wouldn’t be great. On our return trip, I put some heavier items in front of it and a towel to secure the side in place so that should help.
The only other “issue” I guess you could call it would be the temps. We check to make sure the overnight temperature wasn’t supposed to get to freezing. Both nights it showed above 32 degrees but when we got up it was 32 degrees. We don’t run our heater because we don’t want to use propane but we do run our electric heater until we go to bed. I’m just fine in the trailer without the heat running as long as I’m in the comforter but it can get cold inside. Teddy just checked each morning to make sure our water hadn’t frozen which it luckily had not.
This isn’t really a “new” issue but we noticed our one-screen door isn’t fitted to the frame exactly how it should be. We think the stairs were too high one weekend and pushed the screen door up so it’s a little bent in the corner and makes the door a little harder to close. Not a big issue but it is something we’re aware of and will figure out how to fix if possible.
Last year after the white out game, my dad, Teddy’s dad, and then Teddy and I all stayed at a hotel because the game is over so late. I think it was about 1 AM when we got to the hotel. This year, it was nice to be able to have a campground nearby and be able to bring Bailey along. We stayed at the KOA in Bellefonte and of the 3 campgrounds we’ve stayed at so far, we liked this one best. We ended up with a site that had a patio which was nice and we weren’t too close to anyone else. The one side has the larger trailers spread out pretty far which was great. They also have a nice pool and we appreciated the options in the camp store. Since it’s so close to PSU I’m sure we will be staying at this campground again in the near future.