2009 And then it was ours...

So...a little update. Turns out that the adventure was so much fun, we ended up wanting our very own Alto. Renting it for a vacation was a great opportunity to really experience the Alto first hand. We placed an order when we got back and waited for delivery. On Nov 7th, we met our sales rep Pierre in Hudson, and it became ours.

Now how do we get it into the garage?

Kneeling Alto 
One of the first things we had to resolve was the issue of getting the Alto into a garage for the winter.  As we ordered the optional 13' wheels, we were a little concerned that this would raise the overall height of the trailer enough that it would not be able to fit through a standard garage door.  Our delivery date was early Nov 2009, and in anticipation of storage for the winter, we had already rented a private garage space.  We were told that the overall height of the Alto with the 13' wheels was almost 86" high, where a standard garage opening was 84".
What to do?

Giving it some thought, I realized that I could take advantage of the Alto's teardrop shape.  If one was to really lower the tongue as much as possible, you would also be lowering the overall height.  A quick test proved this theory, knocking almost 3" off the height.  Now there was the problem of moving the trailer with the tongue lowered.  Wandering around Home Depot, I happened upon this little guy...

a little 3 wheeled dolly, probably intended to place under furniture pieces so they could be moved around easier.  This would be perfect.  I added a 2" pvc end cap to ensure the jack post would stay in place while the Alto was being pushed.  All this of course being theory until we got the Alto and actually put it to test.

Did some tests in the driveway before putting it into storage.

You can actually see that it is lower, so we were quite confident that the theory was valid. And it was.  The Alto was easily wheeled into the garage on the little dolly, with lots of clearance.  Anyone notice the big tape measure sitting on the ladder...

2009 Vacation Day 15 - Lost in Longueil...AGAIN!

So this is the last day of the Been There Dumped That blog. All posts earlier than this one chronicle our first trip in the Alto... a 2 week excursion to Cape Cod, in a rented Alto. All posts after this one are under a new blog called Route Alto 80... which is where you are now. 80 is the production number of our very own Alto.

What to hell is with this...granted, I did miss the exit...which was not entirely my fault as the signage is the shits...however, going one exit further should not land you in what may as well have been another planet. Now, my internal compass is pretty good, but in Longueil, all it seems to take is a few blocks of travel on what is definitely totally disjointed urban planning to throw me right off. Crazy.

So we arrive back at the start point and drop the Alto off. The end of an amazing foray into the world of travel trailers.

We saw a lot, talked to a lot of great people, the little Alto attracted a lot of attention and through the whole two weeks we had a lot of fun. Pretty much sums up this vacation.

2009 Vacation Day 14 - Odd...Very Odd

Off to the top of Lake Champlain today. We want to be very close to Montreal for a short drive tomorrow. Once again hopped the freeway as the scenic route originally planned would have been really slow. Really not much in this area at all...but there is a campsite. So we pull into the little office/store and there is no one around. Peeked in the windows...not much activity at all...the "store" had literally two lonely Cokes in the fridge and the usual assortment of kids camp toys...although they could have been here since day one. The whole place was definitely odd feeling.

2009 Vacation Day 13 - Are We in Niagara Falls?

Big drive today...from the very tiny NH coast line to the very large Lake George. Given the distance, we had to hit the freeways...our normal scenic route would have taken us all day. One thing I have noticed is that travel time while towing a trailer is about double. Although I am doing the speed limit or slightly below...it all just seems to take longer. There were some fabulous vistas coming across NH & Vermont...long rolling roads.

2009 Vacation Day 12 - Walking the Beach

Not a cloud in the sky when we woke...tons of sun, but it was a little cool to start. Wanted to check out the shower facilities. They are housed in a complex near the beach...we had heard from other campers that the showers were only cold water...no biggie...it's the summer...how cold could the water be? Nice and clean, individual little shower rooms...all very civilized. I have noticed, more times than not, that the pressure in these showers is generally pathetic...sufficient, but certainly not what one would call invigorating. Having been lulled from past experiences, I naturally expect the same.
So I give the tap a healthy twirl...and am immediately greeted with a firehose worthy blast of ICE cold water...pounding out of that little shower stall and drenching my previously civil little change space. Damn cold water. Mountain spring water...with nary a mountain to be seen. I am now officially wide awake.

2009 Vacation Day 11 - Shoparama?

Hit the road relatively early...need to use the freeways to skirt around Boston. Was planning to use 495, but discovered through conversations over the weekend, the 95 will be much shorter and is not the "urban" freeway we assumed it was. We did not want to get into an congested city traffic type situation. On the 95, you could think you were anywhere...pretty much connected surrounding little cities outside Boston through the forest. Good drive, definitely what you want to be able to say when you are pulling a trailer.

2009 Vacation Day 10 - Exploring

Little cool this morning...fired up the heat pump to put a little warm air in the place and suck some of the humidity out. All the comforts of home in this thing...even the kitchen sink.

Went to a brunch at Mimi & Peter's then did some exploring of Chatham...which really means wandering around looking at shops and people. Rained hard again most of the day, but thankfully it cleared late in the day...well not really cleared, more stopped raining...fog now rolling in...gotta love the dampness. Steve, Rachel and Alex came over for dinner and a bonfire...Alex made up a bunch of excellent smores. Started to pack away some gear in prep of heading out tomorrow morning.

2009 Vacation Day 9 - Two By Two

Have I mentioned yet that it is raining? Real rain...not a drizzle, not scattered showers, not a "chance" of rain, not "it's just spitting"...but real serious rain...loud rain, pounding is the word I would use. Pissing down rain is also good, but just does not really capture how much is coming down. Oh, did I mention it was this way ALL day. I don't really think I've seen this amount of rain ever. We've had some dandies in the past few years, but those were cloudbursts...minor league really...this is the bigs. If this is what the edge of a tropical storm produces, little wonder the damage created when a hurricane hits land.

2009 Vacation Day 7 - PTown

Took a run up to Provincetown...figured with Obama doing the Martha's Vineyard gig, things would be a little extra slow getting over there. We were only about 45 minutes so we decided to head there for the day. PTown is right at the very end of Cape Cod. Over many years it has become a mecca for the gay community...a summer haven for many...permanent home and business for many more. It is a wonderful town based around one long street along the shore and wharfs...and it is certainly unique. You see pretty much everything in PTown.

2009 Vacation Day 6 - Gin Soaked Rants

OK...rants go first...we have all been driving along when we spot a car towing a travel trailer about to make a turn in the direction we are going...now admit it...your first thought is...Shit, I gonna be stuck behind that damn trailer my entire drive, I'm not gonna make "good time" because of this stupid family and their damn travel trailer...what to hell are they doing on the road anyways. Nailed it on the head didn't I. I'm guilty of this...as are the rest of you.

2009 Vacation Day 5 - Up in the Trees

Great weather here...nice change. We discovered a treetop walk at an outdoor museum in Worcester...about 45 minutes from here. Decided to check it out. In Worcester we saw this neat art park, lots of interesting permanent installations...

2009 Vacation Day 4 - The Dreaded Dumping Station...

Today was the day...the dreaded, much anticipated emptying of the tanks. Have given this some thought along the way, and picked a few brains to get any salient experience I should not be lacking. Not to get too detailed, but the expression "fill your boots" is somehow appropriate...and from a physics point of view, makes sense.

2009 Vacation Day 3 - Amazing Site

So we pulled out today and headed for Newport NH. Got all hitched up again, with the help of super keener John...he eats this stuff up. Lots of good pointers also...especially for Dale on how not to get run over when helping with trailer guiding. Dale seemed to be all ears...

2009 Vacation Day 2 - Settling In...Checking Out

Great sleep. We bought a 4 cup coffee maker before we left...who can do without a cup of joe in the morning???...and some amazing Peruvian beans from Bridgehead...the aroma is outrageous...literally cannot keep it in the trailer as we would already be wired for sound even before our first cup. Just kinda poked around a bit...rustled up a bite to eat and put on another pot.

2009 Vacation Day 1 - Lost in Longueuil...

So we get away a little later than expected, totally not taking into account the usual Montreal traffic. Work our way into downtown on the 20...then totally blow by the Jacques Cartier bridge while looking in amazement at the giant clock on the Molson building. Finally get on to the bridge, after an extended tour of the neighbourhood, then proceed way to far on the 134 into Longueuil. You know the feeling you get when one is driving along and you know something is screwed up, but you keep going, just hoping it all sorts itself out...which it never does. So we do quick exit of the 134...into absolutely nowhere.