The Second Bunk
Our Cricket came with one bunk installed. At the time of purchase, we ordered a second bunk. After several weeks, we contacted the dealer who said it was on backorder. We took our first couple trips using a hammock in place of a second bunk, which worked okay. We contacted Taxa who told us the bunk was no longer being produced. The dealer pulled a bunk out of another unit on the lot and shipped it to us. While this was kind and thoughtful of them, they shipped us a left bunk, we needed a right bunk, and we were unable to install it. We had to ship it back. Taxa agreed to build us the bunk we needed, which arrived just before our trip to Sanibel, Florida.
The first night using the new, long awaited bunk, had its own issues. We hadn’t installed it correctly, so it pulled away from one of the mounting brackets. We had to fix it with duct tape until we got home and could correctly reinstall it. Today we are pleased to share that we’ve had no further issues with the kids’ bunks.
The trip we mentioned above to Sanibel, Florida was our first using the portable air conditioner in the Cricket. We were confident the 10,000 BTU unit, designed to cool 350 square feet, could cool 70 square feet of a camper. We wanted to retain all windows in the Cricket, and had decided against the factory-installed air conditioner. This trip took place in late June and early July in southwest Florida: hot and humid all day. We decided to vent the air conditioner through the window. This meant that the flexible tubing stretched along the kitchen counter, taking up a lot of space. The tubing also kept the front of the camper hot – over 90 degrees at all times. We got some relief in the beds, but it was still far too hot and not comfortable. We suffered through the heat, only cooling off in the ocean or when eating out.
When we got the Cricket back home, we drilled a 5 ½” hole in the floor of the Cricket to port the air conditioner. We found marine ports with lids to close the port when not in use. This has resulted in reclaiming the window, the counter space, and, perhaps most important, cooling the Cricket on a hot trip.
Mystery Water Leak
During a recent trip to Branson, Missouri, we discovered water on the floor one morning. The source was behind the kitchen cabinets, which is where all of the plumbing is located. We tried to investigate at the time but couldn’t find the source.
After the trip, we continued to research the issue: we tried to recreate the leak, and asked the Taxa Trailer Owners’ Facebook Group. We got a suggestion to check our water pressure regulator, which we admittedly had got cheap one instead of a quality one. We ordered a new regulator, which can be adjusted down as low as you want and we have had no further water issues. We currently have ours set to 20 psi and it worked well on our most recent camping trip.
During our first few months of ownership, we used the Cricket a lot. Departing Illinois, we visited Florida, North Dakota and South Dakota, Arkansas, and eastern Tennessee. We also drove to a few local weekend trips to add more miles. We logged nearly 5,000 miles in less than six months. Prior to our next trip, we became concerned about the tires: they were completely bald. After consulting Taxa Owners’ Facebook Group, we saw a common theme in that the tires on the 2015 Cricket were of low quality. They were too bald to claim as a warranty issue with the tire manufacture, and Taxa isn’t responsible for tires. We replaced and upgraded the tires, and we are back safely on the road.
During our first trip in the Cricket, we were setting up camp near St Louis. We tried to open the toolbox and couldn’t. We discovered that something inside had shifted and was obstructing the lock. After some considerable effort and frustration, we got the lock to open. Reviewing the contents: hoses, chucks, toilet conditioner, an extension cord, and not much else, we determined that locking it was unnecessary. Problem solved. However if we do decide to lock the toolbox in the future, we will more carefully pack the hose and extension cord, as these were the likely source of the problem.
We read many horror stories on Taxa Owners’ Facebook Group about issues with the Cricket such as leaky roofs, faulty suspension in the roof and back door, bad water pumps and water heaters, etc. However one of the most common complaints was the door locks. Ours also failed during our Thanksgiving camping trip in Cherokee, North Carolina. The back door lock would not unlock and could not be opened, which posed a challenge for unload our gear for the trip.
When we got home, we ordered two Global Link locks, keyed alike, and replaced both door locks. The dimensions of the lock were slightly different so we had trouble locking the front door with the new locks. After some consideration and hesitation, we decided to drill new holes for the door latch to lower it. We were pleased to find this made the door work perfect, and keyed alike they are better than the factory-installed locks.
Having shared this, we still believe that the Cricket is the perfect camper for us. We already have about 40 nights planned for 2017 and look forward to each of those Cricket Camping trips!
Shane and Jessica
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