Learning to Drive a Travel Trailer

We left California Wednesday, for the 10 1/2 hour drive to Portland to pick up our new travel trailer. We hung out for a few hours while they installed the load balancing hitch with anti-sway bars to our SUV. I must’ve forgotten how long this beast was, because once they hooked it up, it looked massive.

The thought of maneuvering that beast down the road scared me.

Passport 28 foot ultralight travel trailer

I almost let my husband do the driving, but at the last-minute decided to woman up and just do it.

Morgan vest by Cynthia Ashby

I traveled in my Morgan Vest by Cynthia Ashby from Artful Home, ponte knit pants from Eileen Fisher and some super comfy sandals from PIKOLINO’S.

Extra suction cup mirrors help see along your travel trailer

I quickly learned everything needs to be done in slow motion while pulling a trailer. Lane changes, curves, and corners are the scariest. I’m happy to say we arrived at the coast of Oregon with no sideswipes,  curb crashes or other disasters.

I let my husband back it into our campsite on the Oregon Coast. Luckily this campsite had a park host who talked him through the whole process. No mean feat for a 28-foot trailer you can’t see behind.

Passport Ultra Lite Travel Trailer

A selling point on this trailer was the large picture window in the back with two swivel rockers. Hokey perhaps, but as we sat in those chairs, listening to the waves crash, we felt pretty happy with our choice. By the time we hooked up all the lines and had it leveled, it was too late to make dinner, so we settled for a snack. 

Chalk Hill Chardonnay with cheese and crackers is perfect for dinner after a long day driving

Our little adventure has begun with predictable surprises all along the way. I brought no spoons, no towel for a wet dog, no soap and no boots for the beach.

We awoke to rain, but unlike last weekend, could stay cozy and dry in our little trailer, enjoying tea, coffee, and breakfast and stay nice and warm.

Have a great day!

xo Jennifer


  1. What a wonderful way to vacation. Sounds idyllic. I really love that pretty top you were wearing for the trip. And well done for the driving – the biggest thing I ever drove was a large van to take my son and all his belongings to his digs when he left for uni. That was scary coming back on the motorway in driving rain, crying. 🙁

    1. Oh Gilly, that would be scary alone, in the rain!!

  2. Your camper looks wonderful! They can be a lot of fun. I think I always forgot something every time! 🙂

    Set up and take down get faster each trip. You will have it down in no time!

    The only time pulling the trailer really scared me was in heavy rain with strong winds. No fun!

    Can’t wait to hear more about your adventures. Enjoy!

    1. It does take a long time Linda! I drove south through some very windy areas yesterday and if was very freaky. Not fun 🙂

  3. How fantastic! Enjoy! We’re heading to Astoria tomorrow!

    On a side note, with my previous comments I’ve ticked the box to receive emails when my comments are replied to, but it isn’t happening so I have to search back through posts. Has anyone else mentioned this?

    1. Thanks for mentioning it, Robin! I will see what I can do about followup comment emails.

  4. This looks amazing! I love the one you chose!
    It looks so inviting! I enjoy reading your honest accounts of how it is all going!
    Happy traveling!

    1. Thanks, Alison…this is an adventure.

    1. They were for us! Thanks Rosemary.

  5. Debbie Z. says:

    Your new trailer looks amazing. What you wrote reminded me of the old Lucille Ball movie, “The Long, Long Trailer”. Have you seen it? So much fun. I loved your “woman up” comment. Enjoy your stay on the beautiful Oregon coast.

    1. I’m going to have to see that movie! It sounds like a riot. It’s cool and gray on the coast right now, but beautiful,

    1. Thanks, Leslie! There’s so much to learn but it’s cozy and fun, so far.

  6. I hope you fare better than I did. My husband of 25+ years came home one day with the idea that we could take a 6 mont5h leave of absence from our jobs, rent a Winnebago, and travel North America. My immediate reaction was that I could not tolerate his company in a small Winnebago for 6 months. The thought process went on to “could I tolerate a month in a Winnebago with him?” Absolutely not, was the immediate answer. Well then, “could I tolerate a week in a Winnebago with him?” Absolutely not, was the immediate answer. You can see where this was going. I left him and the past twenty years have been so much better. His sister says he still doesn’t understand how a Winnebago could destroy a 29 year-old marriage.

    But I wish you both well.

    1. Wow!! Close quarters are a challenge but I’m glad you figured that out! Phew, sounds like you made the right choice.

  7. How fun , what a good lookin trailer , happy to hear you decided to conquer and drive the machine

    1. I refused to let it intimidate me :). After all, we can always call a tow truck.

  8. So much fun for us east coast, stay-at-home, still working folks to live vicariously through your adventures!!!

    1. I hope I can keep you entertained :). It’s lots of work too!

    1. It’s an adventure. And adventure which helps keep life fun! I recommend it.

  9. Debra Bartels says:

    Can’t wait to follow along on your new RV journey. The RV bug has just hit my husband also. With one child in Nevada and the other in Sourh Carolina he thinks it’s the perfect solution. After you get a few trips under your belt please report on the pros and cons. Have Fun!

    1. Will do Debra! Be sure you’re involved in choosing your rig. I learn something new every hour.

  10. Congratulations on your new RV and the glamping lifestyle.

    1. Thank you Jeann! I’m making it as much glamping as possible. Living life well, is so enjoyable.

  11. Your rv looks cozy and comfy! Safe and happy travels to you!

  12. Woman up. I love it! Well done. Happy vacationing. The ocean will be magnificent!!

    1. It is magnificent! I’m enthralled, Jen.

  13. Why do you need boots for the beach????

    1. The surf is cold and pretty rugged here in Northern Oregon. Nothing like Hawaii or California. Boots are a good idea, trust me.

  14. You might start wishing for rain, at least at night. Nothing quite as therapeutic as falling asleep with the rain pounding on your roof. Even better if followed by morning sunshine with your coffee.

    1. It rained last night so we slept to the sound of rain mingled with the crashing surf and local fog horn. Bliss!

  15. Jennifer, You make us all Proud.. Go Girl..!!!! Enjoy!! If you ever get to the coast of North Carolina let me know. I would love to meet you and I’ll fix you and your hubby dinner, southern style.!!
    Patricia (NC Coast)

    1. That would be so fun Patricia!! I would love that, thanks.

    1. Thanks Barbara! It is tiny compared to yours 🙂

    1. Thanks!! It’s got a sardine can quality to it but it is fun.

  16. Great attitude. Well done driving anything through Portland. All those bridges overwhelm me.

    RVing can be addictive. Roughing it was fine in my youth. Nowadays I enjoy the comforts. These units are so well designed. Although your young family don’t need them, you know they’ll be spending lots of time in your rig.

    Those few items you forgot isn’t bad for the first time out.

    1. LOL, there have been a few new discoveries of things forgotten. We’ve started a big list! I see how this could be addicting.

  17. I’m so impressed you’re willing to drive (pull) drive that huge trailor. Way to go girl????. The only time I volunteer to pull our boat is to back it down the boat ramp and I hate every minute of that drive, haha.
    Your new toy looks beautiful and you’re right the window would have sold me too. I sure hope you enjoy all the adventures that lie ahead with this.

    1. Thanks Trina! The window is so important in a small trailer. It opens the world for you inside a small space.

    1. Thanks Pam. I hope we get down to see you soon.

  18. Oh, this looks like a Slice of Heaven on Wheels! With a good partner to share it with, dog at your feet, a new vista when you get the urge, the world is pretty much your oyster!????

    1. Yes and I’m loving it Deb:)

  19. Linda Robertson says:

    You look great. You make it seem like pulling a trailer is a piece of cake! Liked your dinner too.
    Keep us in the loop with your adventures.

    1. Thanks Linda! It was scary but I just blustered through:)

  20. OMGosh, Jennifer! I love the look of your new suite on wheels! I am going to show Mr D this post. The swivel chairs and that picture window are amazing!

    You look as chic as always, my friend.

    (Have you every watched the movie “The Long, Long Trailer” with Ricky Ricardo and Lucille Ball?)

    Have fun trippin’ down the coast!


    1. Thanks my friend, you’re so kind. I have not watched it, but I need to. I always loved that pair.

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