There is both a sense of excitement and a bit of nerves when moving from one campsite to another. I look forward to exploring the new place, but it does mean I have to pack up literally everything and that is a lot of detail right there. So if you’re interested in details and how things work (for me) when moving from Point A to Point B, you’re in luck, this blog post is for you. If not, you can stop reading now 🙂
The day before I move is a combination of planning the route via the Garmin (RV version that lets me say no weird roads), checking mileage to estimate travel time, and departure and arrival timing (when do I have to check out here and when can I check in there). For a lot of this research, connectivity is a big factor, so I get on early in the day when the local cell tower is relatively unbothered by sleepy campers.
If the next place isn’t close to civilization as far as shopping options go, I might do a grocery run or other errands that will let me stay at the next place without bothering to find new stores. One of the not-so-exciting explorations in a new place is finding the grocery (and then the specific items in that store), the laundry, the library, free wifi places, etc. so I prefer to make a last run in the known place before heading out.
Other stuff I do the day before, just to break up the chores:
- After my errands are done and I’m at the site for the night, I take off the big Brahma wheel lock and stow it in the car. I’m learning how to manipulate it, but it’s still a heavy beast to work with and I feel a palpable sense of relief when it comes off the wheel without an excess of swearing on my part.
- Fill the fresh water tank if there isn’t any water hookup at the next place, then unhook the hose and stow it under the car for easy loading the next day.
- If I’m not using the grill, stow it in the wayback of the Subie, then pile the hoses on top of it. Otherwise, this is a “day of” activity.
- Clean up the inevitable clutter that has descended on the inside of the trailer. Mostly this is concentrated on the front settee where I am not sitting (opposite side of the table). If I’ve been doing some reshuffling and curating my small collection of things, I put the goodwill bag in the car and the trash bags into the campsite’s bins.
And then I try to get a good night’s sleep. This is easier than it used to be. The first several times I had to move camp, I was so nervous I could barely sleep. I kept saying the trailer hitching steps over and over, interspersed with “don’t forget about x” and “Oh, no, I don’t have y on the list” thoughts. Last night, I slept well, so I think I’m getting the hang of this somewhat.
Morning starts with a solid breakfast. Given that checkout times are usually around noon and then I’m moving to the new place, I often end up not eating lunch and having an early dinner after arrival and setup at the new place. If I have electric where I am, odds are good that this breakfast will involve waffles.
Then it is clean up time: get dressed, wash the dishes, wipe down the counters, put stuff away, stow the things that would break in transit. I like having some little knick-knacks on my counter, so I have a little sterilite container to keep them in when in transit.
Now comes the heavy lifting:
- Stow the chair and footstool in the car.
- Put the patio rug in the car.
- Take down the awning and stow it in the car. That 10-word sentence does not begin to explain how much work this task is.
- Take down the cell antenna (bye, fast internet…) and stow it in the trailer
By now, Bella’s back seat is looking pretty interesting. I catch a break traveling solo because I don’t have to worry about crowding passengers with stuff or trying to secure it all inside the trailer. As a side note, it is AMAZING how much stuff can move around in a trailer after just a short drive. Things fall off hooks, pillows move from one side of the bed to the other, plastic containers shift just enough the kitchen door won’t slide open… that kind of thing. So it’s just easier to put big stuff used in setting up camp into the car where it can’t slide around.
Next up is the trailer stuff:
- Inside the trailer, make sure all the stuff is secured, the closets are locked, and the fridge is locked, then lock the door and stow the front step. Then unlock the door, pull out my daypack, and lock it back up 🙂
- Outside the trailer, close off the propane tank, unhook the power and water and sewage stuff, and stow them away.
- Crank up the stabilizers (the little legs that keep the trailer from moving when I’m walking around inside it).
- Take off the BAL leveler (the last thing to go in the car)
Ok, ready to hitch Breeze to Bella and hit the road. I store the hitch stuff (locks, weight distribution bars) in the wayback, so everything I need to hitch up is there. The whole practice of hitching trailer to car is a process still under construction, but it basically involves me backing the car as close as possible to the hitch and then using the Caravan Mover (CM) to move it the last few inches if I can’t hit the mark. Or if the trailer is not facing outward because the site had a better view facing in a different direction, then the CM is what I use to set up the hitching.
Hitch up the trailer to the tow vehicle, or as I like to say every time, “Breeze, it’s time to hook up with Bella and hit the road!” Put on the weight distribution bars (so that the weight of the trailer is spread across the axles better and not all on the hitch area), plug in the 7-pin so that I have lights and all the good stuff on the trailer, check that the lights actually work (the plug might not be all the way in, it’s happened…), make sure the propane tanks are off, the chains are attached, the hitch is locked down, and then check it all one more time. I might be a little obsessive about this right now, but I’d much rather be obsessive than sad I forgot something and then something bad happens.
One last look around the campsite to see if I’ve forgotten anything, and then we’re off to the next adventure.
Now you understand why cereal is a perfectly acceptable dinner on moving day 🙂