My friends this is the next to last Saturday morning that I will share with you. It’s been a good run. I’ve watched you come and go. There’s been comments, likes and waves. I’ve so enjoyed the time I’ve spent here with you. But as the song says it’s time to “Turn and face the strange”
As I sit here at the picnic table on a slightly cool Alabama morning. It’s time for a change. The last two weekends here at Blue Heron are upon us. It’s time to face the strange. Packing up! After several years every other weekend pop up trips, a year plus of near full timing and full timing. Moving every few weeks during that time. We have been in one spot for 4.5 months. Packing up feels strange.
Normally, we would stabilize everything inside the night before, usually 15 minutes of work. Yes, when you move a lot you get good keeping stuff in it’s place. Then the next day it would take about 30 minutes to pack up, disconnect and hookup.
That’s not the case when you have been parked in one spot for 4.5 months. Stuff gets out of it’s place, you accumulate a few new things. You get things like winter clothes out of there totes etc. On one hand it’s been nice to feel a little settled and on the other it’s a puzzle to get everything back in place and ready to travel.
The camper is in desperate need of a bath, truthfully the truck too. Here’s a semi-pro tip. Most campgrounds don’t let you wash your rig. When you find one that does, even if you have a pay a few dollars, be sure you take advantage of it. I’ve been procrastinating waiting on a sunny day when I was off work to wash it. Well now I only have a few days left. The good news is we will leave in clean vehicles.
Of course with me being a planner by nature I’ve been visualizing these last 8-10 days for a few weeks now. I totally unloaded the belly and repacked it two weeks ago. While sitting here writing I just spotted a supplemental heater I forgot to pack and I had it all full. This is life on the road.
I will say that we travel way lighter than most of the folks we have camped with this winter. We’ve been pretty adamant about something comes in, something goes out. I had extra space before we got here and now I don’t. Well, that’s not entirety true. We picked up some stuff from Cathy’s work to do a festival and it gets returned in a few weeks when we land back in Chattanooga, so I will have most of my extra space back.
Speaking of the campers storage space. I’ve changed my packing strategy a few times. It takes some trial and error to get the things you need where they are easily accessible when you need them. This also changes with long stays. Your beach chairs need to be accessible when you’re 8 minutes from the beach, but not so much when you are in the mountains. So I normally repack to some extent, based on our next destination. I think I’ll post some short videos of this on the Gram. I know it seems like common sense but maybe y’all will find it helpful.
I know this sounds like work but it really doesn’t take long or much effort. It’s more about working a puzzle than anything physical. The other thing I would say is that I have a goal to keep this lifestyle simple and operate in such a way that it never feels like work. I think it’s one of the reasons we can get on the road so quickly on move days. Another semi-pro tip here. Totes are your friend. Be sure you get the ones with foam that seal tight. Otherwise you will have creepy crawlies and dead bugs in your totes.
One last thing to share. When you are moving often there’s lots of things that get regularly checked, greased etc. Much of that doesn’t happen when you are parked for a while. So I have a list. Check the tires, check the air pressure, take the hitch top off and grease it, WD-40 other parts, check all the lights, check the brakes, check the oil levels.
Again, this sounds like work and you may be saying wow! Maybe the RV life isn’t for me. I can absolutely tell you that full timing in an RV is less work that living in brick and mortar. No grass to cut. No weed eating or those various other choirs you have with a home. I’m not saying there is not regular maintenance but it’s far less than we had with a house.
So ten days of cleaning, packing, washing, and maintenance and 6.5 hrs on the road and we will be back in Chattanooga for a short but busy stay.