What we’re up to….
With our Florida plans up in smoke we have been hanging out close to home so Cathy can commute. Yes we are still looking for her a remote or traveling job but no luck so far. Anyway, or as my lovely wife would say ANTY-waze…. I had to consider what if anything to blog about while staying in campgrounds we are in often while working daily and keeping a fairly mundane schedule. Ie. not much adventuring going on.
As I sit here today, listening to “The complete (short) guide to absolutely EVERYTHING – Adventures In Math and Science”, I realized that there is useful information from the last couple of weeks. Cathy and I have been camping almost everyday since the last weekend in February. This is our second stint of 2+ month camping since we upgraded to the Grey Wolf.
What we are learning….
One thing we are getting good at is finding, mostly good sites on short notice. We literally decided to go to Harrison Bay while eating lunch 8 minutes from the campground on our way home from camping at Fooshee Pass. We decided to stay an extra week a day or two from checkout and went ahead a booked 11 days on two lots, 7 days on one of the best in the whole campground, at Chester Frost. Then about 4 days into that I booked another really nice site for 7 days after we get back from Stone Mountain and 420 Fest.
This is no small feat in today’s camping market. I’ll admit the site we are on for the last 3 days is not great but the neighbors are Crimson Tide fans so it’s not been all bad. ANTY-waze, the key is really persistence. Checking daily to see if the lot your currently on has a cancellation so you can stay and not move. You have to be willing to move. We actually stayed on a site for one night before we moved to Chester Frost. But, Hey! Beggars can’t be choosers right?
I’ll be the first to admit that this is not optimal. However, it is better than not camping. The upside is that all this…call it lack of planning or spontaneity…is that we are getting quite good at setting up and tearing down. It’s getting to the point that Cathy isn’t asking me what to do and I’m not having to offer much direction. There have been a couple of times where I had to move the camper on my lunch break. I can tear down, move and setup by myself in less than an hour. I’ll admit, that’s throwing stuff in the back of the truck instead of packing perfectly in it’s place, but hey, I’m just moving around the campground.
If I know we are going to have to move during my lunch we will secure the inside the night before or the next morning before I start work. So I only have to worry about the outside. That makes all the difference, but even if we don’t it only takes 10 to 15 minutes to do the inside by myself. I will add that how we store items, inside and out, has changed as we do this more. We have started picking up soft storage bins, totes and other containers. We will share some of these soon, with links in an article on equipping your RV. One tip now. Command strips are your best friend.
I’ve been wanting to get a better grill. One that I can connect to my campers propane with the provided connection. We have been using a Coleman grill I bought to fit in the popup that runs on the little green tanks you can buy everywhere. It’s gotten the job done for 4 years but I’ve been wanting a better one. One of my best friends has a Camp Chef, 3 burner with the grill and griddle attachments. I’ve camped with him and used it often and we even borrowed his camper as a trial before we bought the Grey Wolf. Psst. Secret here. I knew spending a week in it would make Cathy want to upgrade.
Anyway, I love the Camp Chef and they even have a pizza oven attachment now. They are not cheap but more importantly, a three burner, even though it stores flat with removable legs, still take up room. Then you add the grill, griddle and maybe the pizza oven. Well that’s a lot and we are pushing full in our storage area’s of the camper. My goal is to be able to keep everything except firewood in the camper in case we had to store the camper and drive or fly home.
Cathy will be the first to tell you that when I want something I don’t just go buy it. I study it, I compare other options. I look for the best price once I choose the one I want. I’ve been pondering this purchase since we decided to upgrade almost a year ago. Well when we headed out a few weeks ago I didn’t pack the old grill. I had cooked a couple of times over our campfire and that is what we have been doing for the last month and a half. We have added a Lodge skillet and dutch oven.
We cooked our first dump cake (apple) last week. So now I’m looking for a tri-pod for grilling and hanging the dutch oven. This is an easy and tasty way to cook and enjoy your campfire at the same time. I’m still looking for a grill but i’m re-accessing. I had already decided a two burner would work. Now I’m even considering a single burner or griddle like a Blackstone. We are also looking into an air fryer or Sous Vide. Now if you take your take your two kids, son-in-law, two grandkids, your two newest kids, your wife and your dad like one of my best friends. You should probably get the big Camp Chef it’s hard to beat for versatility and it’s great for tailgating also. But as far as what we’ve learned the take away is campfire camping and campfire brews are hard to beat.
Now I know you are thinking. How much can you learn. Well, we never quite learning…right? Clothes. We have too many! We probably have 5% of our clothes with us and it’s plenty. I did have to attend a funeral this week. Take away is to keep one nice set with you for such occasions or even an nicer night out on whatever town is nearby. But mostly a few shirts, shorts, bathing suits and a couple jeans will do.
Keep a bowl full of change and some cash on hand. Doing laundry at most campgrounds is still a quarter driven endeavor. I know most vending machines today take cards or NFC payments like ApplePay/GooglePay. But many campgrounds are rocking very old machines. Many times the firewood available to you is cash only so it’s good to have some. This has been a challenge for us as I have not carried cash in years. I’m a drivers license + 2 cards in my MagSafe wallet stuck to my phone kinda guy. In the last 5 years I have only gone to a bank to pickup checks to buy cars or campers that I applied for and closed online. The hard facts of mostly or full timing is you need to keep cash.
Speaking of firewood. There are rules about firewood these days and many campgrounds will not let you bring firewood in from outside the campground or they may require certain types of firewood. Always read the campground rules before you book and/or arrive.
Learned a hard lesson last week. Always check the tires on your tote tank aka turd hearse. I didn’t notice that I had a flat. Filled it up, hauled it to the dump station. By the time I got there it was shredded. Only OEM replacement was a whole four tire kit for $90 or so. Quick Googling produced a reasonable workaround. Two $8.99 tires from Harbor Freight. Works better than before less than $20.
We didn’t plan on full-timing until much later in life. However, the opportunity has presented it’s self. Well, we bought our Grey Wolf based on camping more but not working full-time from our camper. One of the things that Covid accelerated was remote working. Well, people are realizing that remote working doesn’t‘t mean from your house. Well we didn’t think about it because we thought we would have years before we were full time. Life’s full of surprises. The RV industry is already answering the call with office spaces in RV’s. Even private ones. We will blog about how to work around this until you can buy an RV designed for remote working and we will share some information on the best RV’s for remote workers.
Next up 420 Fest!