A Stinky Nissan Titan Trial? First Time Tent Trailer Family Camping

Our 2018 Nissan Titan long-term test vehicle has endured test after test during our “Nissan Titan Trials.” Everything from heavy hauling, off-road torture and long distance efficiency runs have been thrown at it. This time, it’s family camping with a 3,500-lbs Coleman E3 tent-trailer (with a toy-hauling deck) and about 1,000-lbs of extra weight in food and supplies… for a three day camping trip.

Doesn’t matter, I’m gonna rock it as a dad!

Scroll down and enjoy.

Pulled up towing a rental Coleman E3 Tent Trailer with our Nissan Titan long-term tester. Kids flipped out. “She-who-must-be-obeyed” (Spouse) said, “I thought it would be smaller closed.” Me too. Trailer weight before loading, approximately 3,000-lbs.

… “She-who-must-be-obeyed” packed.

After packing bikes for a family of four in the Titan, along with firewood, extra coolers, toys, games, balls and more. The deck of the Coleman E3 Trailer (usually reserved for an ATV or motorcycles) was loaded with sleeping bags, folding chairs, food coolers, duffel bags and god knows what else! I yell, “Honey, do we need this much shi..” She glares. I silently continue to load.

We FINALLY depart. Two hours later – we arrive and immediately try to erect the tent. Fortunately, the instructions given by the renters gave me just enough information to finish the job in less than an hour.

It should take 15 minutes.

The extra slide-out for the dining truly opened up the interior – and added an extra layer of complexity. The Nissan Titan had no problem towing it , but the truck sure shifted a lot while pulling such a light load.

I take a stand.

I point to our toilette/shower and say, “See this? There is NO reason to use this toilette! Unless you have an emergency – DON’T do it!”

I get glares and eyerolls. Later on…

The Nissan Titan’s loading step helps A LOT. Even my 9-year-old can scramble up to and helps. He volunteers! “Dude – I kick ass as a dad!” Then the boy sees the local toilette (a “squat-and-drop”) and refuses to go potty. Crap…

Mr. Truck shows up in his awesome toy-hauler and the family rejoices – he has a full bathroom.

He reminds me, “You should get a REAL trailer.” Spouse and kids agree.
Thanks Mr. Truck

The next day.

Capitan Andre (Командир Андре) at the helm as we enjoy a day of boating at Horsetooth Reservoir.

Rockin’ it as a dad!

Found time to fish a bit with the boy. Later, we spotted a (very) dead snake. Added that baby to my fishing tackle box – for later.

Fun was had by all. We return.

“Boy! Don’t mess anything up. I’ll be there in five minutes!”

Five minutes later…

Oh man…

Final day comes and we try to get an early start. This should be easy….

Nothing goes where it should and the half-hour job becomes a hot mess. Damn-it! Adding to the dilemma, Mr. Truck and Andre are being highly entertained. I’m sweaty, tired and short-tempered. This is bad, She-who-must-be-obeyed is becoming vexed. She begins to take over as the giggling-duo lend a hand.

Bad mojo:

Fingers are getting smashed. Keys vanish and reappear. Kids vanish and forget to reappear. Nathan is losing his cool.

After try-and-fail-and-try-again tactics fail, we make headway. The trailer is finally folded and I am left with the notion that I couldn’t fold a tent trailer on my own.

It becomes clear, to master the tent trailer, one must fold and unfold it several times. It (the trailer) has its own idiosyncratic way of doing things and you have to learn to roll with it. I’ll have to keep that in mind.

Finally, we’re heading home. At a brief coffee stop, I think I smell something.

No, no, no, NO!

Oy the SMELL!! Did they NOT listen to me?! Did I not make myself clear?!

I “man-up” and pull the cassette to the toilet. I have no place to dump it, so I begin to panic before I realize – the sewage tank is bone dry. No one used it!

– But what the hell am I smelling?!

Remember that part where I, “Found time to fish a bit with the boy. Later, we spotted a (very) dead snake. Added that baby to my fishing tackle box – for later.” – Yep.

Sometimes I kind of suck at being a dad…

Easily amused by anything with four wheels, Nathan Adlen reviews vehicles from the cheapest to the most prestigious. Wrecking yards, dealer lots, garages, racetracks, professional automotive testing and automotive journalism - Nathan has experienced a wide range of the automotive spectrum. Brought up in the California car culture and educated in theater, childhood education, film, journalism and history, Nathan now lives with his family in Denver, CO. His words, good humor and video are enjoyed worldwide.