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Sheryl M 05-13-2019 08:43 PM

Not full timing, but longer vacation trip... need packing tips
 
Hubby and I are headed out this summer on a 4 week adventure, from Georgia to Maine (Acadia for a week), then over to Mt. Washington and Lake Placid, before heading back south. Most of our camping up until now has been 4-7 day adventures. We are realizing that everything we've taken in the past (at various times) won't all fit in the camper and TV (1994 Scamp 16 and 2003 Ford Expedition).
I'd love to hear your ideas on packing light, especially from those of you who already living lite.. (otherwise known to us as 'making it all fit').
We're now discussing what needs to be considered essential, and what we might consider a luxury (do the folding bikes need to go? what about the inflatable kayak? and those zero gravity chairs, or the clam shelter to put them in...) Thanks.

thrifty bill 05-13-2019 08:52 PM

Part of it depends on the length of the stops. The more you keep moving, the less you need.

Our standard trip is one month, no longer and no shorter. So the further we travel, the shorter the stops and the longer the hours per day of driving. We carry enough clothing for one week, so laundry is part of the plan. Realize if you forget stuff, there are Walmarts everywhere. You can also rent stuff.

We never take a second shelter, we do use our awning quite a bit. Second shelters are incredibly bulky. Generator only goes with on trips where we won't have hookups for an extended period, like our trip to Alaska. Cut our TV storage in half by replacing the pickup camper top with a tonneau cover.

Our next month trip will be the end of this month. No generator, will take two bikes, two chairs, small folding table.

Before we left for Alaska, we completely unloaded the trailer. Its a good exercise to see how stuff has crept in. Then we repacked. Of course, we forgot our electric box heater, so we bought one on the road.

OCJohn 05-13-2019 10:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sheryl M (Post 741975)
I'd love to hear your ideas on packing light, especially from those of you who already living lite..

I spent a whole summer on a motorcycle once. Asked a lot of people for advice before hand. The best answer I got Ė take half as many clothes and twice as much money. Spot on.

Dudley 05-13-2019 10:40 PM

We have done 2 longer trips with the Casita 17 and it is different than short local trips. Last year was 7 weeks camping from Edmonton to Cape Breton NS and almost back, with a lot of stops in between. We reinstalled the awning(left the add-a-room), add 2 50 watt panels and left the genny at home. Really cut down on the clothes and went thru what extras we were carrying. No axe but tools for repairing the truck and trailer if needed (and I did). Spare bearings and seals! Only trouble was a bad hot water heater controller and I lost a brake caliper bolt in Quebec (NAPA had it shipped in for the next morning and I installed it). Also make sure your health insurance will cover you across your trip and watch out for that "preexisting condition clause" (emergency surgery in Timmons Ont. on the way home and the insurance would not cover the airfare or hotel bill). Brother and sister-in-law flew up and took the rig home for us. Don't forget to take the path less traveled and take in some of the small towns along the way. We meet all kinds of great folks along the way, including one guy that chased us down in a gas station just to see the Casita (he owned a Scamp).

EricAllyn 05-14-2019 12:57 AM

We are on our second extended trip (first was 45 days) and I would say take what you really plan of using, not "we might do this." I think it works best for us to take less, wash clothes more, buy food more frequently, and live with what we took and enjoy the trip regardless. Just my thoughts.

steve dunham 05-14-2019 06:56 AM

We’ve made several 4 to 8 weeks trips . One thing we’ve learned is that you can’t bring everything you think you might need . You will go crazy trying to think of every possibility , you will forget something , and you don’t have enough storage space to bring what you do remember . Two things to remember , is that cash works everywhere , ( checks & credit cards not necessarily so ) and nothing you have at home can’t be bought on the road .

mary and bob 05-14-2019 07:27 AM

Sheryl; time of year may affect what you take. Maine and northern NY in June can be very buggy. Mosquitos and black flies in the Adirondacks can be horrible. If you have a screen room I would definitely take that. I would not take the kayak as there are places to rent them. Bikes, maybe if you had room for them. Make reservations and decide what services you want in a campground, like water or electric. Why Lake Placid, we usually camp a little to the west of there at a State Park, Fish Creek Pond. Lot of rain here in upstate NY now, and it seems to always rain when we camp in the Adirondacks. You'll need clothing for various temperature ranges, cool to hot. We usually vacation to Georgia in the winter, actually spent several winters on Jekyll Island. You may pass right by us on your trip.

honda03842 05-14-2019 09:23 AM

Full time
 
Our longest trip in our Scamp 16 was 310 days, an extended loop of the USA. We've been traveling for 19 years averaging over 7 months a year. the last 12 years in Scamp sized trailers, completing 4 loops of the USA in small trailers. In that period we've learned to minimize what we require.

First we extended the ability to store items in the Scamp. We added more storage space, adding four additional drawers. one under the front cabinet , two under the dinette and a third in the sink cabinet. We eliminated the hanging closet, folded clothes only. We expanded the opening of the hanging closet and shelved the entire space. We built an overhead cabinet over the dinette for our bedding and jeans. We also built a deep four shelve cabinet over the bathroom end of the couch.

Outside we added storage space, adding a bumper box to the rear bumper and 4 under the Scamp storage locations, two are large and on slides that attach to the floor under the dinette.

We try to minimize what we carry in our tow vehicle. Of late we have carried a 1000 watt generator and a gallon of gas, but mostly we carry stuff we use when we're out exploring, rain coats, snacks, hiking back packs, sweaters, hats, ....

We do not supplement our 2 cubic foot fridge, we have learned to live with it. Bikes were for the early days of our travels, when we had a motor home, mostly we hike or walk.

We do not carry screen rooms or the like. We travel when the creatures are not around. For example, people talk of mosquitoes and black flies. We used to stop at Assateague NP every year in our trips south, writing about its wonder all the time. Friends stopped and hated it because of the summer mosquitoes. We always stopped in the spring and fall. no or insignificant flying creatures. Of course we always carry Deet.

We carry one mild dress outfit, are not concerned about being fashion plates. We follow the rule that if you don't use it on a trip, outside of potentially necessary tools, it doesn't come on the nest trip.

As a simplification we usually carry only two pairs of foot wear.

My niece took a month long trip to Europe one year, she was a 3 outfit girl when she spent time with us, however she managed t easily and happily live out of the backpack.

Many of our friends, mostly people with really larger rigs can not imagine that we can standup or cook in our Scamp. This is our 19th year on the road and love our Scamp.

Wayne Collins 05-14-2019 10:19 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sheryl M (Post 741975)
Hubby and I are headed out this summer on a 4 week adventure, from Georgia to Maine (Acadia for a week), then over to Mt. Washington and Lake Placid, before heading back south. Most of our camping up until now has been 4-7 day adventures. We are realizing that everything we've taken in the past (at various times) won't all fit in the camper and TV (1994 Scamp 16 and 2003 Ford Expedition).
I'd love to hear your ideas on packing light, especially from those of you who already living lite.. (otherwise known to us as 'making it all fit').
We're now discussing what needs to be considered essential, and what we might consider a luxury (do the folding bikes need to go? what about the inflatable kayak? and those zero gravity chairs, or the clam shelter to put them in...) Thanks.

The best advice I ever heard: Make two lists; one list of all the clothes you will need, and a second list of all the money you will need. Then, take half the clothes and twice the money.

Adirondack Anthony 05-14-2019 10:41 AM

We recently got back from a 10 week southern trip, 17' Casita and Ford F150 tv with a tonneau cover. Pretty similar to your Expedition. We carry very little in the Casita, mostly bedding and cookware, a few things in the closet. Bikes on a rear rack, every thing else in the back of the truck in labled tupperware containers. Clam (actually a Gazelle) fits in truckbed lengthwise along with clothes, footware, tools, grill etc. You'll have some cold nights so be prepared. No generator, you'll not need ac so unless you have a cpap or watch tv a lot you won't need one either. Few northern campgrounds have power except the private ones. Did not take my kayak but could have, your route will have plenty of kayaking opportunities so take it if you can. I agree that a screenroom of some sort is nice for summer in the north as bugs like it here.

You've planned a nice trip

widgetwizard 05-14-2019 02:28 PM

Take exactly what you would take on your 7 day trips. Launder on day 7. Repeat.

Lisa in Michigan 05-14-2019 02:47 PM

About a weeks worth of clothes sounds good, with the addition of layering pieces for warmth. But I always take two weeks of underwear & socks. Hubby wasn't to thrilled when the campground I thought had a washer didn't, so I hand washed his underwear & socks and they were waving in the wind outside the camper until they dried. (Socks take a long time to dry.)

Jann Todd 05-14-2019 06:00 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Dudley (Post 741981)
We have done 2 longer trips with the Casita 17 and it is different than short local trips. Last year was 7 weeks camping from Edmonton to Cape Breton NS and almost back, with a lot of stops in between. We reinstalled the awning(left the add-a-room), add 2 50 watt panels and left the genny at home. Really cut down on the clothes and went thru what extras we were carrying. No axe but tools for repairing the truck and trailer if needed (and I did). Spare bearings and seals! Only trouble was a bad hot water heater controller and I lost a brake caliper bolt in Quebec (NAPA had it shipped in for the next morning and I installed it). Also make sure your health insurance will cover you across your trip and watch out for that "preexisting condition clause" (emergency surgery in Timmons Ont. on the way home and the insurance would not cover the airfare or hotel bill). Brother and sister-in-law flew up and took the rig home for us. Don't forget to take the path less traveled and take in some of the small towns along the way. We meet all kinds of great folks along the way, including one guy that chased us down in a gas station just to see the Casita (he owned a Scamp).

For about $100 or less a year you can buy travel interruption insurance that covers flight for life, emergency flight, return of RV to your home, pays for spouse or other person to help you get home or will fly you home. Check it out at Good Sam's and other RV clubs.

Sheryl M 05-14-2019 07:57 PM

Thanks for the tips on the black flies and mosquitos. I had forgotten about the black flies, even though my daughter in law mentions them every summer. We will actually be camping at Lake Eaton (NY) for 5 days (with our son and the inlaws), and want to visit Lake Placid. We've been to visit Maine many times (hubby's parents are still living in S. Portland) but we've never camped up there. We've got our reservations for all the nights (except for Vermont)... now to make everything fit. Yesterday, we measured the bigger items going into the vehicle, to see what will fit where, and how it will all work. I'm sure not all of it will go.

Quote:

Originally Posted by mary and bob (Post 741995)
Sheryl; time of year may affect what you take. Maine and northern NY in June can be very buggy. Mosquitos and black flies in the Adirondacks can be horrible. If you have a screen room I would definitely take that. I would not take the kayak as there are places to rent them. Bikes, maybe if you had room for them. Make reservations and decide what services you want in a campground, like water or electric. Why Lake Placid, we usually camp a little to the west of there at a State Park, Fish Creek Pond. Lot of rain here in upstate NY now, and it seems to always rain when we camp in the Adirondacks. You'll need clothing for various temperature ranges, cool to hot. We usually vacation to Georgia in the winter, actually spent several winters on Jekyll Island. You may pass right by us on your trip.


Sheryl M 05-14-2019 08:13 PM

Thanks to all for your suggestions.... I know I've read about many of Norm's adventures. I think you're the packing king, with finding new ways to make things fit. Friends who have done long camping trips advised us to get out the clothes we planned to take, and lay them all on the bed. Then, before they go in the camper, put half of them back. This is definitely sound advice! I know I still have clothes (clean) in the camper from our last 4 day trip, just waiting to go camping again this weekend. I guess I need to clean out the camper and pack lighter.

We're also planning to take our 'quick drying' clothes, but I'm not sure I have socks that fit in that category! If you camp in Acadia this summer, I'm sure you'll recognize us by the laundry line hanging off the back of the camper! :-)

Mitzi Agnew-Giles 05-17-2019 06:34 AM

Hope you enjoy your trip!
I was wellknown as an ultralight backpacker before I even started as an assistant Scoutmaster with DS's troop.
We went to the Northern Tier High Adventure Base 4 times and I loved every minute. We were restricted to the amount of gear we could bring on a trip-It all had to fit in a 5 gallon bucket, including sleeping bag and mattress.
My local Goodwill carries silk items. I had 3 outfits skin sox, skivvies, bras, top, slax, and one waterproof jacket. I had found a silk shirt at Goodwill for $3.59 I slept in that and a pair of skivvies. Silk packs up really small and dries really quickly, plus the shiny silk is too tightly woven to allow a mosquito proboscis thru. I always 2 or 3 huge books to read, and managed to fit my folding Shakespeare fishing rod in too.
Now that I am camping with DH I try to keep us to 3 outfits apiece. Laundry can be done by hand if necessary. I carry these for laundry- www.WashEze.com and this to think about silk socks www.wintersilks.com We do a month at a time, and sometimes the souvenirs we pick are Tshirts- extend our wardrobe as needed. And I keep us to 3 towels. One fresh towel for who evers towel is still sopping wet.
We just came back from a week at DS and we had packed 5 outfits apiece. I only wore 3 of mine- old habits die hard. As far as I was concerned the other outfits were not necessary and just made the suitcase too full to pack our toiletry kits in.
Anyway have a great trip!

Mitzi Agnew-Giles 05-17-2019 06:36 AM

Hope you enjoy your trip!
I was wellknown as an ultralight backpacker before I even started as an assistant Scoutmaster with DS's troop.
We went to the Northern Tier High Adventure Base 4 times and I loved every minute. We were restricted to the amount of gear we could bring on a trip-It all had to fit in a 5 gallon bucket, including sleeping bag and mattress.
My local Goodwill carries silk items. I had 3 outfits skin sox, skivvies, bras, top, slax, and one waterproof jacket. I had found a silk shirt at Goodwill for $3.59 I slept in that and a pair of skivvies. Silk packs up really small and dries really quickly, plus the shiny silk is too tightly woven to allow a mosquito proboscis thru. I always 2 or 3 huge books to read, and managed to fit my folding Shakespeare fishing rod in too.
Now that I am camping with DH I try to keep us to 3 outfits apiece. Laundry can be done by hand if necessary. I carry these for laundry- www.WashEze.com and this to think about silk socks www.wintersilks.com We do a month at a time, and sometimes the souvenirs we pick are Tshirts- extend our wardrobe as needed. And I keep us to 3 towels. One fresh towel for who evers towel is still sopping wet.
We just came back from a week at DS and we had packed 5 outfits apiece. I only wore 3 of mine- old habits die hard. As far as I was concerned the other outfits were not necessary and just made the suitcase too full to pack our toiletry kits in.
Anyway have a great trip!

ZachO 05-17-2019 07:42 AM

One thing is for sure, you'll learn this time how to pack for the next trip. All good advice and it'll put you ahead of the game, but until you do it, you just really don't know. It seems most people, myself included, manage to fill all the space they've got. And it's enough. Whether it's a 5 gallon bucket or a 30' 5th wheel.

ssatkinson 05-21-2019 10:07 AM

One thing that helped us with space on long trips with the Casita was using microfiber sports towels-2 for each-and a couple of microfiber hand towels. They dry quickly and pack small! I made a 2-tiered pouch to hang them in the bathroom, heavy duty suction cup hooks worked well. Also used packing bags for our clothes, kept them organized and easy access from overhead bins. Plus I made pouches with pockets to hang on the walls with drapery hooks for small items like glasses, my Kindle, etc. Enjoy your trip!!

Jane P. 06-21-2019 12:46 PM

Let me pass on a lesson l learned the hard way: pack enough for 6-10 days. Use only one travel case. Bring lots of quarters & laundry soap-I highly recommend tide pods. Plan to go to the laundromat once a week.

Last year, my husband spent 4 weeks camping. We brought way too much clothing & packed in separate travel bags. Didnít need to pack that much as we found ourselves at a laundromat every Saturday. Fiberglass trailers have limited space, and you simply donít want to deal with an extra suitcase or shirts & pants you will never wear.

Just Sayín.

honda03842 06-21-2019 01:00 PM

Many Campground laundry do not permit pods, only liquid detergents.

Glenn Baglo 06-21-2019 01:23 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by honda03842 (Post 746201)
Many Campground laundry do not permit pods, only liquid detergents.


Any idea why?

Jon Vermilye 06-21-2019 02:16 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Glenn Baglo (Post 746202)
Any idea why?

While I use Tide pods & have never been told not to, I suspect the problem is locations that have very soft water. I have noticed that the soap from a pod doesn't always rinse out during the rinse cycle when I use pods & soft water. Makes for itchy underwear!

As to packing, I travel for the entire winter - 6 - 8 month journeys, and try for 10 days worth of clothes. I do OK, except for "T" shirts. I end up purchasing 20 - 25 each trip (I collect them & my excuse its it helps support the state & national parks). Other than that, if I wear something out it is usually no problem to find a place to replace it.

Now, let's not talk about tools! I had to buy a new truck just to hold them...

gordon2 06-21-2019 03:27 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Glenn Baglo (Post 746202)
Any idea why?

Maybe the Tide Pod Challenge... https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/...ats-a-bad-idea

John in Santa Cruz 06-21-2019 03:27 PM

we bring a smallish bottle of All Clear or similar liquid laundry detergent, and yeah, tons of quarters, and figure on doing laundry about once a week, if you go too long, you just have to do more loads and take longer, many campground laundromats are small and only have a couple machines... I don't mind wearing the same jeans for a week, and the same pair of socks for a couple days, long as I have clean underwear and T shirts every day!!

Raspy 06-21-2019 09:49 PM

We go to an organized RV park about once a week, or so. There, we can do laundry, dump the tanks, fill up with fresh water, have a leisurely shower or two and re-charge the bats. Some of those things can be done out in the wild, but all of them can at the Park.

Laundry always seems like the most boring chore of all. But wait!, the new HQ19 has a washing machine! I want to see just how useful it really is, and it may be really good if it doesn't use too much water.

What seemed at first to be the most decadent thing imaginable, may turn out to be very practical.

John in Santa Cruz 06-21-2019 10:19 PM

That HQ19 Black apparently has this washing machine, https://www.amazon.com/Giantex-Porta.../dp/B07HKXVQYC

does 7.7 lbs of laundry (not very much) and uses 16L to 30L of water per cycle (so minimum 1 wash cycle 1 rinse cycle with a full load would be 16 gallons (60L). uses 240 watts of electricity, so if its on DC, thats 12V at 20 amps.

Raspy 06-21-2019 11:55 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by John in Santa Cruz (Post 746244)
That HQ19 Black apparently has this washing machine, https://www.amazon.com/Giantex-Porta.../dp/B07HKXVQYC

does 7.7 lbs of laundry (not very much) and uses 16L to 30L of water per cycle (so minimum 1 wash cycle 1 rinse cycle with a full load would be 16 gallons (60L). uses 240 watts of electricity, so if its on DC, thats 12V at 20 amps.

Yeah. It uses way too much water to use while boondocking without a water source. But it may be useful with full hookups. They seem designed for apartment living. I've seen some wall mount, front load machines and they might be more economical with the water. It might be OK for National Parks where there is a spigot that everybody shares, but then getting rid of the wash water would be a problem. It doesn't seem very promising.

There are two water tanks, besides the grey and black tanks. One is 50 gallons of general water and the other is 16 gallons of drinking water. The General tank is designed to be filled from streams, or other sources of water that is good for general use, but not for drinking.

Glenn Baglo 06-22-2019 12:07 AM

Love to see a picture of that thing in a full service RV resort, with laundry hanging on the power lines to dry. :D

Jim Bennett 06-22-2019 06:38 AM

For clothes we pack what would last us with very minimal change for two weeks, and typically find somewhere to do laundry every 10 to 14 days. As long as clothes are relatively clean I continue to wear them unless going somewhere special in town then wear nice clean stuff. If you find yourselves running out of any underclothes they are super easy to wash at the campsite, though this is a rare thing.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jon Vermilye (Post 746204)
Now, let's not talk about tools! I had to buy a new truck just to hold them...

And haven't I made good use of this two years in a row at Quartzsite? A drill bit last year and an MC4 crimper this year. I would never complain about your toting along of lots of tools, just when I do it. :)

Sheryl M 06-22-2019 07:51 AM

We're getting close! We leave on Monday. We've been stocking up quarters, packed the detergent (pods.. and hope we get to use them, if not we'll be buying on the road). I plan to lay out my collection of clothes, and have DH proceed to tell me I have too many. Like a friend advised.. get out all the clothes you're taking and lay them on the bed. Then, before you pack, put half of them back. I'm sure I'll have more advice for everyone else once we finish this trip! :-)


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