What "essential" items turn out to be non-essential? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 09-27-2012, 09:38 PM   #1
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What "essential" items turn out to be non-essential?

Hi everyone,
I'd like to pose the question; "What "essential" items have turned out to be non-essential? What items do you consider "essential" that others may not? I suppose I'm asking this because during this the first year for ownership of my 13' Scamp I've wrestled with what is essential to bring only to find out I had not used some things during our trips.

Of course, if I only brought what is "essential" our trips would be rather stark. One of the advantages of having a little trailer is to embellish the camping experience with a tiny bit of "glamping". (Glamorous camping) I am BIG on decorating the interior (and sometimes the exterior) with a travel theme thereby making our travel experience more fun.

The small space does get cramped easily so it's important to balance what is essential, non-essential and "fun essential".

Among the "essential" items I have since removed from the trailer are;
a glass mug with screw-on lid that looks like a canning jar, (a novelty that we never used 'cause we have nifty mugs with screw-on lids for hot beverages and soup and tumblers for cold beverages)
an apple corer/slicer (A knife works just as well and is multi-purpose)
extra plates and bowls (One set of dishware for two people is plenty. We will probably never entertain, and if we do we'll ask our guests to bring their own. We sometimes use paper products, especially on chili night because the plates are difficult to clean.)
A beach umbrella with screw-in the sand holder and a "fill with water" stand (I am a shade-lover and we never needed it) We have a 10' canopy which came in handy in a light rain to cover our picnic table.
A broom with a long handle (a simple small camping brush with a dustpan is all that's needed in this tiny space)

What I consider essential to me, but may not to others. is my pie iron. I have so much fun trying out recipes in addition to pie including pineapple upside down cake and modified S'mores (made with Rocky Road candy bar between graham crackers, wrapped in foil). It's nice to know you can do some "baking" for two on the road without a conventional oven or Dutch oven.

I'd love to hear from others.
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Old 09-27-2012, 11:27 PM   #2
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Gilda, the problem is, what is essential for you won't be essential for others.......


All you can do is find out what is "essential" for you or your particular campout. Personally there are things I carry every trip, but some things I only add per trip! Works for me because I have the extra storage to pull things in and out of the trailer that are needed for a particular trip rather than carry a toaster for every trip. I throw it out of the trailer when dry camping. Makes no sense to carry such a thing if I have no electricity. As do with the crockpot etc. But when plugged in, I don't carry ax, shovel, etc................. You have to decide for you. Good luck!
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Old 09-28-2012, 04:19 AM   #3
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I'm constantly moving stuff in and out of my trailer. I find the essential stuff I need depends if I'm camping by myself, taking others, or camping with a group. For instance, I don't take a slow cooker when camping by myself.

The one thing I do agree with is to not take extra silverware or plates.
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Old 09-28-2012, 07:43 AM   #4
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I'm really attracted to those pie irons, but hate to add anything heavy. I wonder if REI sells a titanium version for backpackers.
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Old 09-28-2012, 08:58 AM   #5
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they do make them in aluminium thomas. but i never consider a way to make easy delicious food to be wasteful.

of course,,,that maybe why i am round.
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Old 09-28-2012, 04:42 PM   #6
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Around here those pie irons are usually called bush pie makers. We (and our adult kids) have tried several types but all agree that cast iron is the way to go, just like with frying pans. We are fairly careful about trailer weight generally speaking but always take our bush pie makers!
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Old 09-28-2012, 06:07 PM   #7
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I use to think my X-wife was essential. But know I know my new and improved wife is the essential one....HA,HA
Sorry I could not resist!!!!
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Old 09-28-2012, 08:21 PM   #8
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Thanks to everyone for your responses. Of course what is essential to one is not to another. I am using the term loosely. Perhaps I should have said what is your favorite luxury to bring camping. The pie iron, while relatively heavy is compact and fits nicely in the lower closet compartment next to the wheel. The joy it brings outshines what one might think is impractical.

My husband is all about the practical. If he were the only one to pack we would have few things beyond our backpacking essentials. I like to think that I bring some of the "niceties" that we both end up enjoying.

Because he is the one who loves cooking he selects the menus for the most part. For instance, we sometimes have sour dough pancakes for breakfast. I have to say we eat very well while camping and for that I am grateful.

Most times we prefer to boondock in a natural setting so we do not need to bring anything that requires electricity to run. If we want toast we heat bread on both sides in the frying pan. If we want a meal that require long-cooking we do it at home, freeze it and heat it at camp. We do not bring anything electronic such as cell phones, DVD player or TV. Our radio is battery/crank run. We read (books) and star gaze for entertainment. In the future I expect I might bring my tiny battery (or electricity)-run sewing machine to do some simple sewing projects.

As I mentioned earlier I like to decorate our trailer with my homemade sewing projects. This last trip it was done in an autumn/hiking theme. The picnic table had a plastic tablecloth with an all-over leaf print. We had a centerpiece sunflower arrangement in an old-fashioned watering can along with two little chickadee statuettes (they look like salt and pepper shakers). The spare wheel cover matched the tablecloth. Inside the trailer we had leaf-printed curtains and pillows with an all-over print of hiking boots (You have to see them to believe it!) In addition, I placed fall leaves made of fabric all over the rat fur ceiling (with Velcro), giving the effect of falling leaves. Unfortunately, I have no photos to show. None of the decorating is totally "practical" but adds greatly to the coziness of our camping experience and take up little storage room. After a full day of hiking it's just plain fun to come back to our camper.

So, I'll close by probing a little further. Do you have a favorite hammock, rocking chair, toy or pastime/hobby that you bring camping? I've seen that many people enjoy photography. Does anyone do artwork such as painting or sketching? Do you knit or crochet? Do you whittle or play the harmonica? I'd like to hear what pass-times you enjoy while camping.
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Old 09-29-2012, 06:49 AM   #9
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The absolute essential I have, no matter the circumstances while camping, is a comfortable chair for sitting outside. In my case, it's a Lafuma zero-gravity lounger if I'm staying for more than a couple of days. It's heavy, big and worth it!
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Old 09-29-2012, 07:33 AM   #10
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Camping essentials:
*Coffee & coffee maker
*My Knitting
*My headlamp for after dark knitting
*My husband's guitar
*Our pillows
*Hatchet & paper for starting a fire

Everything else is gravy.

(...but I am seriously considering buying a light-weight folding spinning wheel for camping... THEN my life would be perfect)
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Old 09-29-2012, 08:20 PM   #11
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NON-essentials:
Lawn chairs
BBQ
weinie sticks
basically any food-prep stuff other than coffee making supplies
Anything that implies we humans would be staying at/near the trailer while we are at (wherever)
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Old 09-29-2012, 08:33 PM   #12
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Sorry Dave,
2 chairs and a folding table let one boondock and enjoy the surroundings.
I agree with the weinie sticks and coffee.
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Old 09-29-2012, 09:05 PM   #13
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We carry folding lawn chairs with flip-out side tables. Never used 'em yet.

We have a BBQ taking up space in the "basement" It is new, 100% unused and has followed us around for a couple of years.

Not even sure if we still carry wienie sticks

What is REALLY ESSENTIAL is fresh coffee beans - a french roast with a bit of light roast mixed in, a grinder and a kettle plus Mellitta maker.

Otherwise - we arrive, set up, and go out for dinner. Next morning - coffee, then off we go, return to trailer to sleep at night.
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Old 09-29-2012, 10:42 PM   #14
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Luxury essentials for us are a good book, crosswords, and a cross stitch or tatting project when we are camping where there is no signal for our laptops. Good for rainy days or long evenings.
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Old 09-30-2012, 03:57 AM   #15
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Having moved into and out of 6 trailers in 4 years, my "stuff" expanded and contracted over the same period of time. Hopefully with the current trailer being the final one, I'm eliminating "stuff".
Coffee cups seem to have collected over the travels from each NP, I'm leaving those home and carrying 2 metal and 2 ceramic mugs. Coffee pots, one small electric and one campfire pot, with filters. One set of silver for 4, one set of 4 knives, 4 plastic glasses. One set of (3) stacking pots and pans with lids, one large skillet for out or inside cooking. Electric toaster over and 6" electric skillet. I do not carry extra linens but put clean on each trip, 2 towels per person. Three chairs, small table, and one 6x9 mat, one small bar-b-que outdoor stove with one (1 lb) canister for coffee and cooking outside. I carry extra AA & AAA batteries, weather radio, fuses, electrical adapters for various cg hookups. One extra blanket(12v) and 2 emergency stranded kits and first aid kit. Food and clothes, toiletries. This is my goal to keep my "stuff" limited rather than expanding. I estimate maybe 300 lbs of "Stuff"!!
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Old 09-30-2012, 05:09 AM   #16
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Hi: All...What is most essential is to ENJOY. A full tank of gas every day, sit back and enjoy the scenery. Left the two zero grav. comfy chairs at home "cause their heavy"...big mistake!!!
Alf S. North shore of Lake Erie
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Old 09-30-2012, 06:56 AM   #17
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Essentials

We try to figure out what's needed but the best test is to see what's used. We began with our first RV by parking in our yard in living in it for a month, bringing in what we needed. If we don't use something on a trip we leave it home next time.

Certainly the most important single thing is Ginny, she makes everyday a joy. Equally important is to bring an attitude of wonder, a joy in new places, food and people.

We are not transporting our former life to a trailer but seeking a new life. Some fellow travelers try to pack their former life, pets, hobbies, and clothes into their new RV life. There is a joy in living with less and focusing on each other. It's the closest we've gotten to the high school dating feeling from our teens.

In a sense when we were working we had separate lives for most of our work day. In our RV life we work to create a shared life, shared interests.

People are forever asking Ginny, never me, how she manages for 300 days in a space the size of most people's bathrooms. I always wonder why they never ask me. It's funny when we get home how we intially feel lost.

The trick to successful RVing is the attitude you bring, the other stuff gradually gets filtered down to what you need. After every trip we review our rig and stuff, trying to make it a little better.
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Old 10-01-2012, 08:33 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by honda03842
We try to figure out what's needed but the best test is to see what's used. We began with our first RV by parking in our yard in living in it for a month, bringing in what we needed. If we don't use something on a trip we leave it home next time.

Certainly the most important single thing is Ginny, she makes everyday a joy. Equally important is to bring an attitude of wonder, a joy in new places, food and people.

We are not transporting our former life to a trailer but seeking a new life. Some fellow travelers try to pack their former life, pets, hobbies, and clothes into their new RV life. There is a joy in living with less and focusing on each other. It's the closest we've gotten to the high school dating feeling from our teens.

In a sense when we were working we had separate lives for most of our work day. In our RV life we work to create a shared life, shared interests.

People are forever asking Ginny, never me, how she manages for 300 days in a space the size of most people's bathrooms. I always wonder why they never ask me. It's funny when we get home how we intially feel lost.

The trick to successful RVing is the attitude you bring, the other stuff gradually gets filtered down to what you need. After every trip we review our rig and stuff, trying to make it a little better.
What wonderful words of wisdom! My husband and I were just talking about this very thing--living in the Scamp as helping us to focus on what is most important and learn what is most real. We are not yet to the point of actually LIVING in our Scamp (but closing in on retirement), but we keep turning over in our minds the larger meaning of doing that. Thanks for your thoughts.
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Old 10-01-2012, 11:49 AM   #19
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Cherl,

What is most real is the two of you. To some this may seem silly but we have had the most marvelous time traveling about sharing and learning together. It amazes me that we are heading to a unity.

As to things, we have reached a similar place. Our home is too big, we feel that way when ever we return. It's primary purpose is to entertain freinds and relatives when home. Maybe in some sense it's a store house for pictures and momentos.

We find after 11 years of intense travel we have so many shared memories, continually surfacing almost simultaneously.

Once we moved into our front yard RV it became a shared adventure, together figuring out a new way to live, to live more closely, in even more harmony.

We wish you well in your adventure. It's never too early to start. I have never met anyone who says they started too early but plenty who say they started to late.
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Old 10-01-2012, 02:18 PM   #20
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Cheryl,

Norm and Ginny's advice is tops. I can't "top" that! I feel the same way. When hubby and I spend a month or so in our TT, it is all "quality time".

Non-essential items:
When we travel, I always end up taking too many clothes! I find that I don't wear half of the things I take "just in case"....

Essential: My Kindle, our laptops, and a Parchesi board! The only time we EVER play Parchesi is at night in the TT.
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