Category Archives: RV’ing

PLAN (PREP) PRAY

For once, Jim feels the truck and camper is completely ready. He worked tirelessly over the past several months making many alterations and upgrades. He’s excited about our new cell phone booster. Boy will be doing online classes again this year, so he will need the extra connectivity.

In addition to the booster,, he also installed shock absorbers for the axles to smooth the ride. In addition to the shock absorbers, he put two new tires on the trailer and new heavy duty axles. We had the horrible experience of the bearings burning and caused the axle to bend. This is not an experience worth repeating! So, of course, prior to this trip all wheel bearings were greased and lubed. On the lighter side he installed a poop hose holder, cleaned the ac and the vents, replaced the thermastat with digital.

We also did a complete bathroom upgrade. I noticed that we were having a lot of separation of the vinyl wallpaper. We have had that issue in the main living area from the time we bought it and then it showed up in the bathroom. I was concerned for moisture getting into the walls and causing mold. I removed the wallpaper (with a hairdryer) and applied 4 coats of really good paint. Jim installed a real (not plastic) water faucet and then he installed a stone backsplash (again, real, no press on stuff) behind the sink. This was done after he also raised the bathroom cabinet higher. He was tired of bumping his head everytime he brushed his teeth. New caulking, new shower curtain and a few pretty photos and voila, new bathroom.

Cooking prep has begun: hamburger for taco salads in a jar, hamburgers premade, rice cooked and frozen for cauliburgers. I make salads in a jar which gave us an easy healthy alternative for a couple of nights. They can be made ahead and kept for up to 5 days. I baked muffins and egg/sausage “muffins” for easy breakfasts. Freezer was packed.

Clothes were packed at least a week ahead. I told everyone to wear it twice if you have too! We did buy a few clothing items to have some fresh wear on the trip. I never had the chance to do that in my earlier years so I like to take advantage of summer buying and then again right before school.

All laundry is done! House is cleaned (no one wants to come home to a dirty house.) Dishes cleaned. Coffee pot emptied (believe me that is not cool to come home to!) Mail stopped. Lawn guy hired. This was a new one for us and hopefully it will be helpful to come home to a nice mowed yard and not a jungle. I’m sure the neighbors will appreciate it. Betty Deux (camper) gets washed and waxed. Bertha too. That’s our truck. You know because she has a big butt!

Then comes the last two days. That’s when it gets real. Gas tanks filled. Toiletries and meds in. Pillows and of course Boy’s blankies. Cameras, printers and computers go in. All those little things you couldn’t put in ahead of time. We also turn off the AC and the water heater in the house. I empty the fridge and we turn it off. My daughter laughs that she needs to keep some room in her fridge for my yearly purge! If you are going to be gone an extended time why pay for utilities that you aren’t going to be there to use. We do put a light on a timer. That helps for safety purposes and have someone check your house often or use securtiy cameras connected to your phone.

Prepping takes time and is best done over time. Don’t wait until the last minute. It will not be worth it. Use your list you created in the planning stages and check it multiple times. Have your partner check it too. We really followed the list well this year and it helped tremendously. I think when it came down to it we only forgot a couple of things. We forgot the drill for doing the levelers, but bought another one at Walmart. We also forgot my new sticker map. I was so sad about that, but I’ve been informed that we can just buy another one as it wasn’t that expensive. YAY! Can’t wait to start inserting all those places we have stayed on the new map. (Oh, and if you are wondering, we are from the “It’s where WE have stayed overnight” camp.)

Next step: Pray

(Plan) Prep Pray

Planning for a normal camping trip can be daunting. Planning for a two month adventure is beyond intimidating. So many things to do.

Months before a trip, Capt’n Jim will haul out the navigational charts (Google Earth and Allstays) and plan our destination. This takes hours and days, months even, of careful contemplation. Virtual field trips help kindle the fires. It was to be the Michigan shores of the great lakes this year. That is until covid 19 put a halt to those plans and almost to the summer. After much watchful consideration we decided to veer westward again, back to previously charted waters, Colorado.

The creation of list become a daily habit. Jim writes his on small pieces of paper or on the back of personal business cards created with him in mind. He writes , scratches off and adds more until departure day. His lists keeps him motivated and organized. My list takes place on excel. I have created a comprehensive checklist that covers everything from inside to outside. We even have a take-down and set-up list. Since we are gone for an extensive bit of time I have included a checklist for leaving the house. My list were combinations of list found online and tweaked for our type of camping and camper.

Making lists is an essential part of trip planning. I cannot stress enough to find your way of list making, whether it be on post-its or computer. Life will be much easier. There is such a sense of accomplisment when something is marked off as done! And, that being said, make sure you follow the list. We skipped that step a few times and regretted it, but that’s for another post.

Think about your trip, plan it out. Don’t just wing it. Have steps in place and allow for times that you can wing it. Even that is part of the plan. Know a basic direction you want to go. If you veer from that plan because, hey, there’s Cadillac Ranch or a cool yarn shop, it’s okay! Just get back on the path and enjoy the journey.

 

Cadillac Ranch