Thursday, December 12, 2013

Maybe I'm overthinking things

A couple months ago the S.O. and I bought a used motorhome, a 1989 Rockwood, so we could pursue my fantasy of becoming VIPs (Volunteers in Parks) now that we're both totally retired. Seemed like a simple enough plan: we'd buy a motorhome, we'd do some research and put in some applications, and then we'd hit the road. Except maybe it isn't quite that simple. The date for hitting the road is getting closer and of course I'm starting to obsess.

We're going to be living in that thing for several months at a stretch. Just what exactly do we stock it with? What all do we bring along to amuse ourselves with? Books, dvds, my knitting and quilting stuff, the laptop, . . . the list keeps growing. It has occurred to me that this might be the ideal time to invest in a tablet, something even more portable than the laptop, and that we can always buy e-books and movies, but I'm enough of a traditionalist to want a few real books around. With a hard copy of a book you never have to worry about batteries going dead. On the other hand, having a tablet would mean the S.O. and I would not be competing for the laptop, and that's a serious consideration. We tend to do our wandering around the Intertubes at about the same time of day.

The kitchen area has me mildly confused at the moment, too. Just what do we actually need when it comes to pots and pans and dishes? We're unlikely to be hosting any dinner parties so will the bare minimum (two plates, two cups, two cereal bowls) be sufficient? Depending on where we are, we might not have a whole lot of water so avoiding washing many dishes might be a good idea. . . but I also don't want to be using tons of paper plates and throwaway plastic forks. I wanted to have a real oven, which this Rockwood does have, so does that automatically entail muffin tins and pie pans? How much actual baking will I do when the "kitchen" has about two square feet of counter space? Is there even enough room to roll out a pie crust?

And then there's the clothing question. How many pairs of shoes? What about seasonal stuff -- it's going to be winter when we leave here, but we're heading South so I'll need high water pants and sandals before we're home again. We're going to be stuck relying on laundromats so just how much clothing should we try to cram into the tiny closets and minuscule drawers? Some of the stuff I wear actually requires ironing -- if I bring the iron, does that in turn demand a real ironing board? What about stuff like lawn chairs and a folding table for when we're set up at a campground with the canopy out and the faux patio with its patch of astroturf waiting to be used? I'm already having fears one thing will lead to another, and we won't so much cruise on down the highway as waddle.

Some of those questions would have been answered if we'd acquired the beast a little earlier in the year. We could have done a shakedown cruise of some sort, wandered off to spend a week or two camping here in the U.P. or northern Wisconsin and figured out what was going to work and what wasn't. As it is, when we hit the road in February, we're going to be learning as we go. It could be interesting.

At least one thing I shouldn't have to worry about. The S.O. should have no problems driving the beast, even with our car in tow. He has a CDL and used to drive over-the-road. If he could manage to maneuver a semi with a 53' trailer in to loading docks located in alleys not much wider than the trailer, he's not going to have any problems with this RV.


  1. Dishes.....2 plates, 2 mugs,2 forks,spoons,knives. 1 soup bowl. You can both eat out of it.
    a small frying pan,a sauce pan,
    Forget Iron. Take the sweatshirts,short sleeve no iron pull overs, jeans, sweats and shorts. 100 years from now no one will care what you wore. Believe me, they don't care after they meet you, cause DON'T remember. Computer thingy and tablet, good idea. There are always Flee Martkets for books, or library book sales. Just go, have fun and start a list for next year. Enjoy while you can. We knew a couple that were teachers here. Sold their home and for 30 years lived in a trailer and worked on homes, churches across this nation. Simple living BUT living. Hugs from down here in L'Anse

  2. You guys becoming snow birds in that thing? Ft Walton Beach is NICE...


  3. It will be awkward the first few days, where is this where is that, should have this should have that, about a week into it you and all that stuff become one zen thingey and it flows, then you start having fun.

  4. The wife and I spent our summers in Alaska in an RV (fifth-wheel smaller that yours) and enjoyed it. You are definitely over thinking it. Take the minimum. Don't use the oven: think stove top and microwave. You can still have great meals. You will have water at most sites and electricity. A computer is a necessity to explore new destinations. Lawn chairs strap to the back and extra gear can go in your car.
    the Ol'Buzzard

  5. Microwave pizza? Never!

    One of the reasons we did want the gas oven is a lot of National Forest campgrounds are unimproved -- they'll have a pad to park an rv or a camper but the services will consist of a couple of pit privies and a hand pump -- and given a choice between a premium campground that looks like the sales lot for an RV dealership and a rustic campground where we might be the only people there, I'll go for the latter most of the time. If we happen to be VIPs we'll have a premium site, of course, but we're not going to be VIPs continuously.

    The rustic sites also influenced the size we wanted -- lots of the older state and National Forest campgrounds are back-in only, no pull throughs, and limit camper size to under 30 feet.

  6. You can wash and rinse dishes on so little water that a gallon will do for a week, but I'm not going to tell you how again here when I have posted about it a number of times.

  7. Okay, I'll give you a hint, use a spray bottle or garden sprayer to rinse the dishes off. I use a garden sprayer cuz it's also handy for other things and is a back up fire putter outer.


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