Bought an Inflatable Kayak

Karen and I decided to brave the Labor Day crowds at the local state park to try out our new inflatable kayak. Having a portable hobby will be nice while we travel as it will provide yet another way to explore. Paddling should also be a great way to exercise.

I spent loads of time researching inflatable boats and accessories such as life vests and water proof bags. Here is a link to my notes if you’re interested.

The boat dealer suggested we inflate the kayak overnight to check for any problems before we took it to the lake.  Of course, photos were in order even if it’s at dry dock (our basement).

Although the Sea Eagles FastTrack 385 is rated for class two whitewater, we plan to stick with open lakes while we learn to paddle. Fortunately, there are two lakes within 30 minutes of our home. I found a nice map with descriptions of places to kayak at

Sea Eagle FastTrack

We left the camera in the car so we did not get any photos while on the lake. The boat performed like a champ! Took 20 minutes to set it up and then another 45 minutes when others at the dock wanted to look the boat over before we could got it in the water. We were amazed at how fast we could go with two people paddling.  We were also able to quietly move up to a few birds who were busy fishing which was awesome.

If you have any questions, please post them in the comments. We are totally new to kayaking and would appreciate any suggestions you can offer.

RV Batteries – An Update

I had forgotten to report what RV batteries we might go with once we get our rig. I had mentioned this within an earlier blog post. Shawn at, recommended we start off with two batteries which is what we will do.

Here is a link to my notes on batteries if you’re interest.



20 thoughts on “Bought an Inflatable Kayak

  1. It’s going to be fun for now and in the future!! And if you want to you can fish from it! Great idea. My hubby has a single pontoon with a small motor. I know it will be a great investment!


  2. Hey Mark, Thanks for the cross link. I am sure you will love your Sea Eagle. We love ours. We are leaving in the morning to do our first overnighter together. I did a three day on the Buffalo river in Arkansas earlier this year with a group. We are even going to leave the RV and camp in a tent on the river tomorrow night. Wish us luck!


    • Shawn – sounds like a good time, wishing you luck. Figure we will retain some of our camper gear for the same reason. I spent seven nights backpacking the Buffalo River trail with my brother, the river would have been much easier LOL.


  3. I see a career in boat modeling for both of you!
    What a cool new toy! I can only imagine the stir you caused at the boat dock! I have several friends who are avid kayaking guru’s who would love to see that!
    Russ received his giant paddleboard the same time your boat came. (I wonder if they make ‘those’ inflatable). Hmmm….not sure it would keep a person upright if so…lol
    I showed him your pics..he’s jonesing now.
    Can’t wait to see the live version. Perhaps I will finally learn to swim by our next Hawaii trip..that would ensure me signing up for a kayak trip as
    As usual Brother…your research paid off! Looking forward to seeing it in October, when I head that way for ABMD!
    Love always…your sis.


    • MF, don’t tell Russ but they do make inflatable paddleboards. I told Karen about a possible future in boat modeling, she laughed and also asked why I put that terrible picture in there. It’s the one she sent me! She really enjoyed the time on the lake yesterday. I thought we would put the boat in and float near the dock, learning how to use it. Nope, she started paddling directly out to sea.

      The boat we ended up with has a more ridged floor and a claim you can stand up and paddle. Have to give that a try sometime, when no one is looking and I’m in deep water so I don’t bust my head open.


  4. I replied to your post on the RV Dreams forum regarding a PFD. As I mentioned, we purchased a 385 Fast Track which arrived last week. We set up our new boat to get familiar with it, but have not tested it in the water yet. Looking forward to doing that soon! You both look comfortable in your new kayak – happy paddling!



    • Barb,
      Thanks for the replies on RV Dreams regarding the PFD (personal flotation device) recommendations. Karen ended up having me purchase the same one I bought for myself, just a smaller size. The one she is getting is not specifically built for girls. We met a lady who was fishing when we tried our boat out. She said not to worry about Karen needing a PFD built for girls.

      Hope you enjoy your new boat as well. I noticed a YouTube video where Howard and Linda at RV Dreams have the same boat as one of their fleet of three.


      • Mark,

        We saw Howard & Linda demonstrate the 385 at this year’s RV Dreams Rally in Tennessee. We saw how easy it was to set up – and they assured us the 385 tracked way better than their other SeaEagle model. I’m glad I found your blog – lots of great information. I would urge you to attend the RV Dreams rally well before you make your RV purchase. Howard and Linda gave us so much great information to prepare us for our Landmark 365 purchase.



      • Barb, we are planning to get into an RV Dreams rally, probably before we get a trailer. The Landmark 365 is high on our list. Do you guys have an opinion on going with 8,000 pound axles, disc brakes and H rated tires considering the cost?

        Comments would be appreciated.


  5. Hi Mark,

    We researched 5th wheels for quite a while and found the Landmark brand because of a post Howard Payne wrote earlier this year on “what RV would we buy now”. He listed RV features that were essential to him, and commented on other features that he and Linda could live without. He also listed many of the luxury brands, mid-level brands, prices, pros and cons of buying new vs. used, etc. It turned our RV research in an entirely different direction.

    After Howard published that article, I started researching the Landmark 365 line and fell in love with the Key West floor plan. We found a dealer that carries the Landmark line in Knoxville, TN (RV’s for Less). Coincidentally, RV’s for Less brought a group of 5th wheels to the RV Dreams Rally in May. So we had the benefit of attending that rally and having Howard’s expertise, along with being able to feel and touch the Key West. During our time there, we found out that the Landmark was discontinuing the Key West model after 2016. Since we could not order a new Key West, we bought the rig on the lot at RV’s for Less. The Key West was loaded with many options that we are happy to have and we received a very, very good price. I think the 8,000 Dexter axles are standard as well as the H rated tires. I’m not sure about the disc brakes – I can’t recall right now and I am not at home to check.

    If you are interested in researching the Landmarks, visit the website – They sell only new DRV’s and Landmarks – both luxury lines. They also sell pre-owned rigs. We dealt with the owners – Butch and Karen – who were very, very helpful answering all of our questions. They are rated as one of the top selling DRV and Landmark dealers in the nation. When we picked up our rig a month later, we spent two nights on their lot going over the rig inch by inch to make sure we understood how everything worked. Then they gave us two free nights at River Plantation RV Resort in Sevierville to work out anything else that needed attention. We are not connected to RVs for Less in any way – we live in the suburbs of Chicago – and found them by Googling Heartland Landmark.

    We are going back to the RV Dreams rally again next spring. I want to take a driving lesson while there (offered at a discount through the Rally), plus we will be going back to RV’s for Less to get a Truma water heater installed. We had the best time at the Rally and met many wonderful, knowledgeable people.

    Please let me know if you have any other questions.

    Good luck with your research.



    • Wow, thank you for the great information Barb. I’m getting a lot closer to deciding what would be our final trailers to consider as a future home. I’ve been watching the Landmark for the past two years as I was impressed. I recently learned they updated something like 45 items on the up coming models. I went to the Heartland Forums, where I’m not a member, and was unable to download the PDF with the upgrades listed. Maybe I’ll join their forums. I’m hoping it will help narrow our selection down once we decide what price point to look at. Off the top of my head, I’m sure the Augusta Ambition would be at least one to compare against the Landmark. We are even closer to narrowing down a floor plan which will also help narrow down the brand list. Then we will decide between new or used based on our budget. Thanks again for all the information!


    • Barb, I just watched a video about your Landmark Keywest. Very innovative ideas in terms of storage and access. I know Heartland RV is known for innovation and listening to what customers have to say. Do they measure the trailer length from the outside dimensions or inside? We are trying to stay in the 35 to 40 exterior measurement ranges (from the front cap to rear ladder).”


      • Hi Mark,

        Generally speaking, posted 5th wheel lengths are interior dimensions. Add about another 12 inches to get closer to external length.

        Our Key West is 42’11” external length. So far we have not had any trouble camping in state and county campgrounds – we just need to do research to make sure we will fit. I found an app for my iphone that is worth every penny I spent on it “Allstays”. You can search for campgrounds under different categories including state, federal, corps of engineers, private, city/county, walmart, etc. it also includes gas stations like Flying J and Pilot and much more. This app has opened up a whole new world of possibilities for us. It is driven by maps – just put in your location and your filters (campgrounds, gas, rest stops, etc.) and you are given names of campgrounds and the type of camping, length of campsites and overall rating.

        I thought we would have trouble finding places to fit our large rig, but we have not had a problem so far. I am in the process of planning a trip to Nashville, Charleston, and Savannah and easily found places to camp at those locations and on the way.

        As always, happy researching!



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