R V Life – Tips for when you’re moving down the road

Here’s some RV helpful hints I’ve been reading about as well as some things we’ve discovered on our own through our travels that I think you’ll find helpful when your RV is moving . These are good for both travel trailers and motorhomes.

On TV, or in the movies, you may see people traveling down the road moving around or cooking in the RV. There’s a famous scene in the Lucille Ball and Desi Arnez film called the Long, Long Trailer where Lucy is cooking in the travel trailer while Desi is driving. As expected, she ends up with more food all over her and the trailer than on their dinner plates. And you may see a scenes on TV showing Dad driving down the road and Mom gets up, opens the refrigerator and starts making sandwiches. In reality, this will not work. EVERYTHING moves around when you’re moving down the road, so it’s a good idea if you don’t move around too much.

Usually when we’re driving we try to just have sandwiches ready and CAREFULLY open the refrigerator and grab them out before everything else falls out. Refrigerator handles have push buttons on them that you have to push before you can open the door. That keeps them from flying open and everything flying out. It’s too dangerous to even think about using the stove while we’re moving. We turn off the water heater, but we do keep the refrigerator on so everything stays cold and nothing thaws out. I read recently where some people set their plugged in crock pot in the sink and dinner is cooking while they’re traveling. I think I’ll try that the next time we on a trip.

Things in the refrigerator will move around too. When we buy eggs we usually buy either a 6 pack of eggs or cut a 12 egg carton of eggs in half. By doing that we can tuck the eggs in next to something else and keep them snuggled up tight so they don’t slide around. We place items in the door trays close together so they don’t move around and bang into each other. And we try to fit as much as we can in the drawers.

I wanted to put in some pictures of things we’ve done and some of the products we use in the motorhome. Since most of them came from Amazon. I put in the link for the products we use. The disclaimer is that if you click on the link and buy something we may get a referral fee.

When we get ready to move, Dave usually gets everything unhooked and secured outside. Meanwhile I’m securing everything inside. We use velcro or command strips on anything we have hanging on the walls so it stays tight. We have velcro on the edges of our curtains so we can velcro them to the edges of the windows to keep them from swaying all around. I used command hooks to hang up a shoe holder that we use to hold all kinds of small items.

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Full-time RVing- What’s it like?

We moved to Milton in 2003. Before we became house parents in Live Oak and Tallahassee, we lived and worked in Milton, Florida.

We went full time RVing and Workcamping in April 2018

Since that time we worked 5 months in Virginia, a short time at a site in Florida, 3 months in Savannah, spent a month in North Carolina with our oldest son and his family and now we’re back workcamping at a campground in Milton. Our younger son and his family live here in Milton.

We get a lot of questions about full-time RVing. I thought I’d answer a few of them in this post

The most frequent question is “Where do you put all your stuff?” If you think about it, most of us don’t need all the stuff we have. I can definitely say the closets and the basement ( the compartments beneath the RV) are not big enough. Before we took off, we had several garage sales and sold things on facebook and craigslist. And, we have a storage unit in Milton. Most everything we have in storage is stuff we need to keep. We have tubs full of photo albums, memories,Christmas traditional items, some household items, clothes we change out seasonaly and a few things we could probably get rid of but I want to keep.

We keep rearranging things in the RV thinking to better utilize the space. We’ll eventually get it, or we’ll find more we can do without.

Our R V has a set up bunkbeds. I moved the top mattress to the bottom bunk and put my computer, a file cabinet and my printer on the top and use it like a stand up desk. On the bottom bunk we have a couple baskets that we use for temporary storage for different things. This has been a great use of that space.

Our bedroom closets are small, but we’ve found, especially when we’re workcamping, since they usually supply us with shirts to wear, we tend to wear a lot of the same things over and over. We’ve been able to weed out some more clothes and donate or store them. It’s easier to not buy new clothes when we know there’s no place to store them. As far as laundry goes, we have a dirty clothes basket in the hall between the bedroom and bathroom. Most campgrounds have a laundramat on site and a housekeeping washer and dryer. Workcampers usually either get a laundry allowance or free use of the housekeeping washer and dryer.

Food storage is also limited. We do have several kitchen cabinets and drawers and we put some canned and boxed goods in a tub in the basement of the RV and it works out pretty well.

Some RVs have full size refrigerators and freezers. Ours does not. Here’s a picture of our fridge. We were making frequent trips to the grocery store. We’ve slowed down on our grocery trips to the grocery store since we purchased a new 100 quart cooler that is supposed to keep ice 8-10 days. So far it’s working. Since we’ve only had it a few days I’ll let you know later how it works out and I’ll give you more information on it in case you want to get one. That pretty much covered the storage questions we get.

Another question we’re asked is “How can you live in something that size all the time?” We don’t live in the camper, we live out of the camper. I admit there are days we spend most of time inside either because of heavy rain, very high or very low temps. We have lawn furniture outside and usually enough to do around the campground or in the area that we don’t need to just stay in the camper.

We’ve always looked for dog boarding places wherever we are so we can visit people or explore the area without having to get back to take care of him and resenting him for cutting into our time away.

Rarely have we found a place that Sarge didn’t like. He’s almost 11 years old so he’s not as active as he used to be so he’s ok napping in a kennel or in the R V for longer periods of time.

And, the last question for today. “What’s workcamping and what do you do?” Workcamping means you camp at different RV resorts, campgrounds, state or national parks and work while you’re there. They’re all different. We base where we go by what we want to do in the area, what’s the weather usually like during the time we may be there?, is it a paid position or vounteer work?, what is the work exchange for the site? – which means how many hours do you need to work to cover the site . What are the paid hours? Are there laundry benefits? And, what if any, are the other benefits?

I know there’s other questions about how we get our mail, do our banking etc. Since this post has already become a little lengthly I’ll address those things in another post.

See you later – Enjoy today!

Here watch this.

Want to Boondock?

What’s boondocking? Boondocking is also called Dry Camping, Off Grid Camping and on Federal Lands it’s called Dispersed Camping. Basically, it’s camping with no hookups in a non-campsite area. Usually, it’s in a Wilderness or Public Land area such as a National Park or Forest.

You’ll also find that places such as Casinos, Wal-Mart stores, Camping World, Bass Pro Shop, and some truck stops will let you dry camp on their property. There are more places that will let you camp in their parking lots, but just make sure you ask permission.

Harvest Hosts, http://harvesthosts.com, is a membership required organization that has a network of places that you can camp for free as long as you are self contained. Some of the places in their network are farms, wineries, museums, orchards, etc. You can check out their website for more information.

Some RVers, that I know, will usually stay in a Wal-Mart or some other parking lot if they’re traveling across country to a specific location in as short a time as possible. If you’re not in a hurry, maybe some place like HarvestHosts would be for you since they’re usually off the beaten path and in relaxing locations.

If you’re Boondocking, you won’t be hooked up to any utilities, so it’s probably a good idea, before you travel too far from civilization, to check out a few things. Find out how long you can last without hookups.

Since, you’ll be carrying your own water, figure out how long it will last before you have to fill your water tank. Maybe camp at a location with hookups but don’t use them until you run out before you’re ready to leave. Then you’ll know, for example, that you carry just 4 days worth of water. This, of course, all depends on the size of your R V and the size of the water tank. So if you’re going to be out for a week, have a water use plan if you only carry 4 days worth.

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TOAD… WHAT’S “TOAD”?

If you want to have a vehicle available to drive when you’re parked at a campground or boondocking there are a few options. If you’re pulling a travel trailer or 5th wheel, you just unhook your RV and you’re good to go . If you’re driving a vehicle separately from your motorhome; no issue, your vehicle is right there. If you’re in a motorhome like we are, you’ll be towing something to drive. That vehicle is the “Toad”.

We prefer not to drive our car separate unlike our friends at http://www.modernmountainlife.com. They prefer to drive their vehicle separately as a chase vehicle.

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R V – Random

I haven’t posted for a while. We’ve been busy.

Savannah has a huge St Patrick’s celebration. Second only to Chicago. Every hotel, big or small, and every campground, big or small has been booked solid since this time last year. The hours at CreekFire have been extended and the CreekFire to Savannah shuttle has started running. It now runs 3-4 times per day. The extended hours and the shuttle running means they need more people to work more hours. They’ve added a couple more work campers and some more employees so that helps some but since they’re new they are just learning and getting used to everything now. One work camper is leaving in a few days and since he is really knowledgeable he’s going to be sorely missed. It’s only going to leave Dave here who has maintenance experience until the others get up and running. I’ve driven the shuttle into Savannah a few times and took a couple of the new people in so they know the route and the pickup/drop off location. I found out that on the day of the parade most of the streets will be shut down and on that day, CreekFire is adding a few more shuttle times and renting a second shuttle to use. Since all the shuttles and buses going into Savannah will not be using the normal route and drop off location, we have a new route to learn. Should be interesting!

During the business of working a few more hours, we noticed our shower had a leak under the drain. What Dave said should have been a 5-minute fix took about 3 weeks. Good thing there are really nice showers here at this campground and they’re not too far from our site! Our motorhome and most of those built around the same time all used abs, the black PVC plumbing materials, instead of a white PVC. We needed a new ABS p-trap. After traveling to Lowes and Home Depot, several camper stores, several mobile home suppliers and ordering parts online we still couldn’t find the ABS p-trap and size adapter we needed. We understood that you could not mix black ABS products with white PVC ones because the glue that has to be used won’t hold both plastics. We talked to a retired plumber who told us they could be mixed now and Dave even called Coachmen to see what could be done. It took a couple calls to Coachmen to get through to the right person but when he called back he was helpful. Dave finished the project using both ABS and PVC. It was so hard for him to work on this in a small R V bathroom with about an 8 inch opening under the drain. But he persevered and got it done.

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River Street – Savannah

River Street Old Town Trolley Tour Stop

Stop 10 on the Old Town Trolley Tour is River Street.  Appropriately named since it’s the street beside the Savannah river. This was probably the first street built in Savannah since it was used to deliver commodities to the city from the ships that sailed up the river from the Atlantic ocean. The Atlantic is only 18 miles from Savannah’s River Street.  The city sits up high with a significant drop off to the river.  This created a major problem for the sailing crew to get their products and supplies from the ship to the city above.  Because it made a good look out point for the military Savannah was built at this location

Originally, they tried to carry supplies up the cliffs to the city. That failed. Another attempt was to make some sort of a hoist system with ropes and pulleys. Because of the sandy soil, everything kept coming loose and that failed also. They couldn’t get any leverage to carry anything up.  One solution was to dig a tunnel which worked and I’ll write more about that later. Another solution was to use the stones they had used for ballasts on the ship and make a road up the hill.  The pictures below are ones I took showing the ballast road, some street views and some of the steep crooked steps.

This street now still has most of the original buildings and consists mostly of gift shops, souvenir shops and restaurants.  You can also get on one of the river cruise ships here. They offer dinner cruises and sightseeing cruises. I believe the tour guide said originally the river was about 14 feet deep, but now is 42 feet deep and there is a plan to make it deeper. It is now the 5th busiest port in the U. S.

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We’re here now. Where’s the…?

We arrived in Savannah at the new work camping site. As you may already know, our 10-year-old Weimaraner travels with us. Since we don’t want to miss out on exploring the area, one of the first things we do is look for a dog boarding place. This is helpful to have so we can enjoy the new location, use daycare if we’re going to have a long day or if we want to go away for a few days.

There are several places we actually start looking for and in no particular order. But, the first two things we needed to do was get the laundry done and get some groceries.

The laundry was easy since there’s a laundromat on site. Google searches are great when you can just say “grocery stores near me” or “dog boarding near me”. I kind of like Food Lion grocery stores and there happened to be two nearby. We also got a list of dog boarding places to check out by doing the google search for boarding places near me. Let me tell you, most of them look a lot better in the pictures! I think we spent 2 hours driving around looking at kennels. We found one that seemed ok. We checked it out by taking Sarge there for a few hours of “doggy daycare” while we checked out a little of Savannah. Sarge played outside the entire time we were gone, got a little muddy, they cleaned him up, dried him off and everybody was happy. So, that’s the one we’re going to stay with.

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We’ve Arrived at the Creekfire RV Resort

 This is the site we left in Florida on New Year’s Day. We gave ourselves 2 days to make the 8-hour drive to Savannah so we didn’t arrive grumpily and at night. It didn’t take us too long to tear down, get loaded up and leave Florida. We were trying to beat the rain. We arrived in Florida in mid-October and I think it rained almost every day! The day we left the ground was soaked and big puddles everywhere.

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New in 2019

Most of us have read or heard part of it. My guess is most of us don’t know all of it.

So here’s the full Serenity Prayer.

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change.

Courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

Living one day at a time; Enjoying one moment at a time; Accepting hardship as the pathway to peace.

Taking, as He did, this sinful world as it is, not as I would have it.

Trusting, that He will make all things right if I will surrender to His will.

That I may be reasonably happy in this life, and supremely happy with Him forever in the next.

Amen

I thought this would be a great way to start the new year. Make it your best!

#serenityprayer