Being brand new to RVing, there are some things I learned between my first camping trip over Christmas and my second one this weekend.
1. I am going to HAVE to screw my water filter and pressure regulator onto my garden hose and time how long it takes to fill a 1 gallon container. This multiplied x 20 would give the amount of time needed to fill the fresh water tank. (Both camping trips had us losing /using all our fresh water within a few hours of arrival. The first trip we ran the hose for 10 minutes on both the water intakes, for pressurized and unpressurized water. This time I timed it at about 10 minutes- but I also had the hot water tap wide open so as to make sure the hw tank filled. But I didn't plug it in- thank goodness! as we ran out so quickly)
2. With one cat, we produced a plastic grocery sack stuffed full of garbage every day. With 4 cats, I can see us producing 2-3 overstuffed sacks a day. Next comes the question, where to put it when the camper is in motion.
3. DH & I both need a yellow sticky on the dash saying "PUSH TOW/HAUL BUTTON. Sometimes it takes us 30-45 minutes after starting up to remember to push it. You can feel the transmission easing, just like me groaning when I start to move around.
4. I must remember to set up the cat haven AFTER we get in. We were on our way to camp at the airbase ( WELCOME TO THE FISH, WILDLIFE, AND OUTDOOR RECREATION PROGRAM - Home
) and I was afraid our Snoozy was going to bounce off the trailer hitch. It wasn't till we were almost at the camping area that I realized that we didn't have ANY weight- other than matting and padding and a litter box- on the tongue. Coming back we stuffed the haven full of two Strongback chairs, a toaster oven, a shade house, a folding table, stabilization jacks and 4 plastic grocery bags of trash.
5. Cats which are veritable Houdinis at escaping from your rig in a campground will go get in the trailer when you are loading or unloading it, looking over your shoulder and making querulous comments about your progress. They will complain when removed from said trailer so you can lock it up.
6. if you think it is going to cool down enough you might need to close up the windows
and start the heater at night, before you go bed GET THE HEATER OUT OF STORAGE and have it on the floor near the plug, ready to go as soon as you wake up chilled and close all the windows
. If you are cold and half asleep, anything extra beyond shutting 4 windows
and plugging in the heater makes the project too big to deal with and you just crawl back into bed (and make your partner crabby when you stick your cold feet and hands on them.)
7. 2 warm fuzzy fleecy throws do NOT equal a full/queen blanket. If you both go to bed with a throw, they will tangle up with each other and when you wake up cold and try to straighten out the throw that is partially on you, you'll discover it's your partner's throw and they get mad at you pulling it off them. If only one of you goes to bed with a throw, it will either crawl up beyond your pillow or down beyond your feet, for good measure they will slide out from their proper level in the bedding, which is OVER the topsheet but UNDER the quilt. I'm not giving up my gorgeous bear themed throws. But either I have to find someone with a sewing machine to sew their edges together, or I have to spread a queen sized blanket on that bed.
8. A truckfridge must be towel dried inside after turning it off, or it grows Science Projects on the shelves/wall and the underside of the freezer.
9. A sink must be towel dried after the last use, or a week later you find it full of brownish spots= sort of like a liver spotted Dalmation.
10. Use a checklist for the rations, or you will find yourself minus the long shelf life milk that figured in your planning for coffee and hot cereal. (Fortunately we had LaLechera, a bottle of sweetened condensed milk - for the breakfast coffee, and DH asked about diluting it for the cereal...unfortunately, we wound up short of water)
11. You need more than 1 gallon of water daily for 2 people and 1 cat, especially when you're a heavy drinker like myself. (I'm too old to try purifying that agricultural swill that passes as the Kissimmee River anymore. I did it in my 30s and my 40s, and I'm now waiting to see what the long term consequences of ingesting it will be)
12. If you are fixing two tomato based meals from 1 container, bring along a 6 oz can of tomato or V8 juice. Otherwise, one meal, usually the second, winds up a little scant on the sauce, and adding water dilutes the flavor as well as the texture.
13. Florida is mainly sand...or duff, or sometimes muck. Regardless, all of it wants to get INTO your camper, and entertain you by getting on the floor, in the bed, in your clean cups, et al. I thought we'd be cool by pretending to be Japanese, and I bought a little mat to leave our shoes on, just inside the door. But it was a royal pain and the mat was too small. I'm intending to get a runner carpet for the central aisle and a BIGGER mat, to be at the doorway, and a mat to be right next to the stepstool I use to go in and out, for our "outside" shoes, and a couple pair of scuffs to use in the snoozy. and maybe a small box to store the scuffs in next to the door.
14. When your generator
is running and neither plugged-in cell phone shows that it is charging, go check the electrical
connection from the generator
to the camper.
yes, sometimes the connection was not made...
15. Pack most everything the night before! I swear this is the only way to do it, and DH appears allergic to prepacking. What should have been packed in less than an hour Friday night wound up taking 3 1/2 hours on Saturday morning, and we were both anxious about it(with good reason, as it turned out). Same thing happened the day we left on our Christmas trip. I am about to get us another pair of battery
toothbrushes and inform DH these are ONLY for camping and he will then have no excuse for delaying on packing at least our suitcase.
Those who have been camping in RVs for awhile will doubtless be amused, Glad to have spread a little cheer about,
maybe some others, as new to RVing as we are, can benefit from our experience.