Much Ado About Travelin'
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?
9/6/2018 12:04:02 pm
Awesome update. I’d say there are no normal travel days:). They’re all an adventure any way you look at it..
9/6/2018 02:25:07 pm
Thanks, Kaki! We are the lucky ducks, that's for sure. Maryland has 7 campgrounds that are 10 or less miles away from I-95 only. Wow!
9/6/2018 12:53:29 pm
What a fun and interesting post! That sounds like a lot of work, but your family operates as a team to get it done! Tell Nate he needs to step up his contributions 😁 Love, Ashley, Marky, and Madison
9/6/2018 02:29:34 pm
It's funny that the omission of Nate's contributions was noticed by more than one person. :) Actually, Nate does contribute to the team. He places and takes away some of the leveling blocks, puts out the carpets on the stairs, brings out the welcoming mat, and more.
9/6/2018 01:02:52 pm
Love be the blog! Just wondering how long you typically stay at one camping spot (and I use the term camping loosely given that beautiful RV you have).
9/6/2018 02:32:58 pm
Well I guess we aren't camping, but it's still a fun experience. We will be staying in a single campsite for an average of about 1 week. Some might be two weeks, and we might stay only for a few nights (See the blog post One Crazy Week!).
Papa & Mama M
9/6/2018 01:35:40 pm
We enjoyed your very thorough post describing your routine of set-up and break down of your camp site. Very interesting. Its understanding why y'all want to be located in one camp ground for a week or two, using it as a base to travel about exploring all interesting sights in a reasonable driving distance. We were impressed with the team work of the whole family, especially how the supervisor (Nate) keeps everything moving along so smoothly. We assumed he must be the supervisior since there were no chores attributed to him. We are enjoying your blogs so very much, and are so happy your family is having such a wonderful time on your RV travel adventures. Love y'all
9/6/2018 02:35:54 pm
Thanks, Mama M and Papa. See the comments above to see what Nate does. He does do his part! Love you guys.
9/6/2018 02:08:26 pm
Awesome account Will !
9/6/2018 02:37:47 pm
We have really gotten good at leaving a campsite, and I think we are a great team! We love you.
9/6/2018 02:22:09 pm
Now that’s some interesting reporting, Will. I like learning about the tasks it takes for your day to day operations. Everyone has to do their part like a well oiled machine.
9/6/2018 02:39:22 pm
We do... Even Nate has his own jobs. If you look up to some comments above, you'll see what he does. Hope all of you are doing well.
9/6/2018 08:36:45 pm
Wow--had no idea the breakdown and set up at the camp sites takes so long. I bet you guys will get really efficient at it after a few times. Great update, Will--thanks for sharing such a detailed explanation of a unique experience. Keep 'em coming!
9/10/2018 03:48:26 pm
Thanks "Piten" Kaka. The whole process is pretty extensive. Hope you and Sanika Kaki are doing well!
9/7/2018 02:40:04 am
Finally in an area with reliable WiFi.
9/10/2018 03:49:36 pm
WIFI!!!! We can't do without it for long, can we? I enjoyed talking on the phone with you today.
9/10/2018 07:27:52 am
9/10/2018 03:51:34 pm
Hey, Tanvi Auntie!
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Will is 15, and enjoys running track, writing,