Travel days. They happen every week or so in the RV, so I thought that it would be good to mention them. I'm sure most, if not all of you know what residential travel days are like, but you probably don't know what RV travel days are like. (It's like you guys are anti-nomadic...) Basically, you're picking up the entire house. And you're emptying your sewage. And disconnecting the water. And changing your power source. (Not to mention attaching the house to the back of a truck and securing it.) RV travel days are significantly different than "normal" travel days.
Starting from waking up, it normally takes us about 3 hours to completely prepare the RV, hook up and go. After breakfast, my mom starts picking up the interior of the RV. This includes putting away loose articles, strapping down chairs, securing cabinet doors, and more routine jobs. Also she prepares our on-the-go lunches. Unfortunately, the RV won't fit through a Chick-Fil-A drive thru.
Meanwhile, my dad and I are working on emptying the sewage tanks. This normally takes between 30-45 minutes, depending on how full the tanks are. We also flush out the black tank (the tank connected to the toilet) by connecting another hose to a pipe which leads to the black tank, and sprays the sides of it. This makes sure the sensors aren't being blocked by anything. The sewage is probably the hardest part of our departure.
Following (or during) this process, I will climb the ladder leading to the roof, and check for broken seals around the edges of some "up-top" appliances and hatches. I also sweep the top of the slide outs to keep major debris from jamming the slides when they contract.
Normally, by the time I am finished with the roof inspection, my dad has completed the sewage dumping. Not that I purposely avoid him... Simultaneously, my mom is usually almost finished preparing the interior. This leads into retracting the slide outs, the stairs leading into the RV folded up, and the door locked.
The last part of leaving a campsite is hooking up to the truck and RV. The RV has to be at the right height for hitching up. So, we raise or lower the front jacks until the RV's the perfect height. Then we back the truck up into the hitch. Once we secure the arm, the jacks are retracted, giving full weight to the truck. After a family prayer for safety and contentment during the trip, we start the journey. Our average trip is about 3.5-4.5 hours. During this time, my dad is looking at his mirrors every 8-10 seconds, checking for "young hoodlums disturbing the peace". My mom is our navigator, and is also looking around for dangers in the road. Nate and I, well, let's just say we're the leisure loungers of the truck. We'll listen to audiobooks (We have about 5-6 apps for them), or do something else quiet. I will sometimes work on school work.
Every hour or so, a stop is made at a truck stop (We technically count as a truck) or rest area, and we'll go to the restroom, fill up on gas, and, if necessary, put air in the tires.
After the long ride, the campground slowly comes into view, audible sighs are heard, and then, after a moment of quiet, we all pile out. Once we've checked the campsite for low lying limbs, broken glass, and other hindrances to tires, slide outs and such, the level in the basement storage is consulted to see whether or not we need to back the RV up onto some leveling blocks. Following this process, we go through a fairly complex process to unhitch from the truck. It's basically what we did departing, but reversed. Following this procedure, we auto level the RV to really make sure it's level. This takes about 2 minutes to complete, and once it's done, the interior setup is a go. This doesn't take long, and after it's done, it's time to relax. Pass the lemonade from the left hand side!
Mr. Reinhold, that was an 80's reference, right?
Will is 15, and enjoys running track, writing,