We just got back from our first weekend trip in the PUP and I think the final score card was mostly positive!
The equipment worked well. The BAL leveler was amazing! There was a slope from side to side and front to back but both bubble levels were centered. The only modification I made to the BAL was to hammer two heavy duty metal tent pegs to the side of it since it slipped about 1/4" away from the tire when it was up off the ground. Never moved after that.
I tried lighting the water heater for about ten minutes before I realized I had not turned the propane on. As soon as I did that the pilot lit first time.
The fridge stayed cold on AC and the fan was welcome (although the DW only let us have the A/C on sparingly). It was in the high 80s during the day but cooled off nice at night into the 60s.
I cooked inside the first morning but did not like all the smoke and heat so moved my griddle to the sidekick grill after that. Much better - felt more like camping.
The Barker 10 gallon tote saw good service and needed emptying every 24 hours which surprised me. Glad I did not go with the 5 gallon. There was myself, DW, DD(10), DS(8), DS(5) and DD(10 months) plus two hounds.
The first negative was not really PUP related but we did not bring enough things to contain the baby. You forget how much floor time they have so most of the weekend was spent with someone holding her. Got to remember the pack n play etc. next time.
The big negative for me was the BUGS!
Now, I'm used to tent camping and the outdoors and my house backs onto woods and we live in Florida. We are no strangers to large, numerous and sometimes dangerous or painful insects. The first night we had most windows down to the screens and I was amazed at how many little bugs were inside. Dozens of no see ums, small moths and of course it is love bug season and the campground is in a heavily wooded state park. I was taking strips of rolled over duct tape (never camp without it) to remove them from around the only light we had on in the PUP.
The second night was even more exciting. The boys and I came back from a quick sunset fishing trip to find the ladies needing bug removal. My DW showed me the size with her hands that there was a large spider in the PUP and suggested it was not the type to be squashed by a piece of paper towel. Knowing how she tends to inflate the size of such things, I went to investigate behind the valance. Nothing. Looked in the shower. Nothing. Closed the shower door and saw a 4" wolf spider next to the shower door. Put the paper towel down, grabbed a shoe and smashed it. I dismissed it as a fluke, bot wondered how something so large got inside.
About an hour later, DW points out a palmetto bug (4" cockroach) on the floor. Even as I am killing this one, DS points out another wolf spider on the valance above. This one is about 5" with nothing solid behind it and these fellas are fast. So I knock it to the floor and eventually kill it with a shoe as well.
At this point the kids are freaking out and even I am now wondering how two large spiders like that could get in. I take a walk around the PUP in the dark and see a few more large bugs, but no more spiders. Aside from the little bugs, there were no more intruders but DS did have a nightmare at 2:30 about spiders.
I was taken aback by this since I have never had anything bigger than a skeeter in my tents but I am anal about closing the zippers. I can see where there are some small gaps where the velcro attaches, especially around the slide out. Obviously there are a lot of things that vent to the outside. I did not use the awning but after a search of the forum I saw someone said it helped (but they may have meant a screen room).
Maybe the time and place also had a lot to do with it, but in order to try and minimize the kids freaking out over this stuff, what are some active steps I can take to keep the PUP better sealed when in use?