We are in camping mode.
We used to tent camp/car camp when our kids were with us. We had some great times doing that. But when we decided to spend some extended time traveling, Rob wanted to go the RV route. I think it’s the boy scout in him…the fixer…you’re always fixing things on an RV…who loves a challenge. Some people buy boats or get into hunting or fishing. We own an RV. Or more correctly, our RV owns us, at least when we’re using it for travel.
We have a fridge and freezer in the RV, but we keep an ice chest going too, so we monitor ice. We monitor water levels, grey water and black water (if you don’t know these terms, use your imagination.) We monitor how much fresh water we have, if we’re not connected to water at a campsite. For the uninitiated, there are all sorts of campsites. You can have full hookups, which can include everything from water, sewer, electricity, up to cable and internet. Or you can do just water and electricity, or you can camp without any hookups at all, as long as you have enough water to supply your own needs. The generator runs off gas, so you can turn it on to supply electricity needs. The stove and oven operate off propane.
For purists out there who think this is all faux camping, let me just say: you’re right! No backpacking in over miles of trail for us, and no freeze-dried meals either. I’m sorry, the camping gene just barely made it on board, this is the best I can do. Well, I once could do tent camping, in my former life, but now I’m spoiled to being a turtle and having my portable house with me. I’ve done a pretty good job. I have my Bialetti coffee maker, my cutting board, some favorite knives, a pillow top mattress on the bed, and candles to go with dinner…among a few other comforts. Yes, part of the fun is re-creating a homey environment. But…in national park settings! How cool is that?!
One of the good things about owning vs renting an RV is that over time, we’ve stocked it with a lot of the essentials, like citrus reamers and beach towels…you know, the really important stuff! So when we take it out, we only need groceries and gas and we can be ready to go…providing it’s not been sitting for a year and needs new batteries…but that was yesterday’s post. Anyway, it can be pretty simple to launch.
The hardest part is remembering from visit to visit if we’ve left something in the RV for future use, or if we need to bring something on the next trip. I always think I’ll remember, and I never do. I sometimes make lists, but invariably, if I can’t find something at home, I begin to wonder, did I leave that in the RV? Or, the other question, do I need this for the RV? I’m finding, over time, that it’s easy to have duplicates of a lot of small items. Because if, for example, you find a kitchen gadget that you like for your home, you begin to think, “I could really use this in the RV!” Whether or not that’s true, that’s what you think. Because of course, camping wouldn’t be quite right without the gourmet tools you’ve come to know and love, would it?
Sometimes I just have to stop myself and repeat: We are in camping mode.