Maiden Voyage – Coachland RV Park in Truckee, CA

First trip out – four nights at Coachland RV Park in Truckee

My first adventure in the Expedition was only about an hour and a half away, in Truckee, California. Claudia and Bruce had booked four nights at Coachland RV Park and invited me to join them, so I jumped at the chance to try out the new trailer. We had adjoining spaces between some tiny home rental units in the park.

Coachland RV Park is along the eastern edge of Truckee, just off Highway 89. It is a convenient location for mountain adventures, including Squaw Valley, the north shore of Lake Tahoe and other lakes in the area. The RV Park has numerous sites with full hook-ups, an updated laundry room, restrooms with showers and a good-sized community room. Most of the other amenities were not open due to the Covid shutdown.


Our first morning began with what is becoming a tradition for us: scrambled eggs, bacon, pancakes and mimosas! After breakfast we ventured out (in separate cars) for a nice hike along Sagehen Creek Trail, just a few miles north of Truckee. 

Sagehen Creek
Fall colors

After the hike, we explored a couple of campgrounds in the area, as potential future destinations.

On our second day, Thursday, we drove the other direction along Highway 89, towards the north shore of Lake Tahoe. We stopped briefly at a roadside parking area to check out an old shack nestled among some aspen trees. 

We continued on, past Lake Tahoe into Nevada, to Spooner Lake for a short hike around the lake’s perimeter.

On the way back from Spooner Lake, we stopped at beautiful Sand Harbor Beach along Lake Tahoe’s north shore. This location is very popular and often crowded during the warmer months. Fortunately for us, it was a little later in the afternoon and most of the people had already come and gone.

Sand Harbor Beach on the north shore of Lake Tahoe
Beautiful clear water of Lake Tahoe
Claudia and Bruce at Sand Harbor

On Friday, our last full day, we had planned to stay at the campground. Around midday, I noticed an unusual number of fire and law enforcement vehicles gathering in the campground. Shortly afterward, a couple of police officers came over to the campsite and told me that we needed to evacuate the campground. A few spaces over, an individual had barricaded himself inside his RV and was threatening to turn on the propane. So, Claudia, Bruce and I headed over to a brewery for some lunch and cold beer. We stayed there a few hours, but still no indication that we could return to our campsites. We went back to the RV Park and learned the evacuation order was still in effect. We waited near the entrance for a few more hours until the “all clear” signal was delivered. No explosions. What an unusual way to end a camping trip.

All entries to the RV Park were blocked for several hours

Overall, my trailer performed well. I had some issues with the refrigerator. The first day or so it seemed to work fine, but suddenly it began to warm up. It was more drastic than just not cooling, it was actually getting very warm. I use two wireless temperature sensors to monitor the temps inside the freezer and fridge compartments. During the night, the outside temperature was 34°, the room temperature of my trailer was 44° and the freezer compartment was 56°. I knew this was a problem and turned off the refrigerator for the remainder of the trip. I had brought along an ice chest as a backup solution and put into service.

I knew I would be dealing with the malfunctioning refrigerator in the days ahead. I wasn’t surprised by the problem, the couple who sold me the trailer warned me that they had trouble with it; their solution was a Yeti cooler. 

With the cold temperatures overnight, it was cold inside the trailer. I used a small ceramic heater for heat at night and my sleeping bag kept me toasty, as long as I stayed inside it and kept it zipped up.
Otherwise, no complaints on the trailer. We headed back home for more tinker-time!

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