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RVing Tips and Observations 

Kitchen/Food

Knives:
Be careful with knives. It is easy to toss 'em into a drawer, and twice as easy to cut yourself on one when reaching in for something. We made sleeves for our knives by simply cutting a piece of cardboard to the right length, folding it over and taping it. 

Water:
We avoid "tourista" by using only bottled water for drinking for ourselves and our dogs. We keep bottles in the fridge ready to go when we go out. We keep gallons of backstock. 

Food tip:
When we are planning a trip, we like to brown some ground round with some onions and freeze it in freezer containers. Then when we are on the road, a meal of sloppy joes or spaghetti with meat sauce is mostly finished. We do the same with chicken, cooking extra and then stripping it off the bones and packing it into freezer containers. Instant chicken a la king!

Traveling
Transportation:Janee waiting for the train, Wash. DC
Public transportation in the DC area ROCKS! Get a transfer for the bus when you leave the train station. Get a transfer for another bus when you get ON the bus. 

This map case has been a wonderful thing for us.Map management:  Several years ago we found this map case at L.L.Bean (made by DeLorme Mapping Co, Freeport ME) and it has proven to be a great thing for us. It zips open and so we can use it to store upcoming maps, a highlighter, a campbook, etc.

Roads:
Consider getting off the interstates unless you are in a real hurry. And if you are in a real hurry, maybe even rethink that. Why are you in a hurry? So that you can have ten minutes more of sitting by the campfire? Not worth it in my estimation. Get off the interstate and let the people who need to use it for a living have it. 

Necessary Evils 

Michael spraying our hose end with bleachwater before hooking us upDivision of Labor

RV Travel is a bit more like "real life" than are other kinds of vacations, but in order to make it fun for everyone, there are some special provisions that we make. Division of duties is the main one. We each have little assigned jobs though we trade around and adjust as necessary. But, for the most part, the traditional she- does- the- laundry- and- the- cooking- and- the- cleaning division of labor does not cut it for us. Ladies, show him what is important to you in cleaning, if cleaning is usually your domain. Guys, if she is not used to doing your laundry, show her what is important to you. Then let the other person have the job. Don't nag if the job is not done to your "specifications" and, for crying out loud, do NOT say "if you can't do it right, then I'll just do it myself." For example, I do the laundry while Michael vacuums the rig and cleans the bathroom. This way we are both busy doing something for that period of time, it doesn't take long, and then the rig is clean and we have clean clothes! I'm out of his way while he cleans (I'm not around to notice if he does something differently from the way I would.) and I have some solitude while the laundry spins. 

Other divisions of labor that we use: whenever he cooks, I'll clean up and vice versa. I do most of the driving and make up the bed and he does the hooking up and dumping. (Yes, I know that I have the better end of this, but he insists on it; he likes me to like to travel.) Oh, and I handle the thermostat and the windows -open -windows -closed question. Michael finally figured out after 18 years with me, that if he leaves that up to me, not only is he comfortable, but we hardly ever quarrel at all!

Comforts of home.  I may be the only person who does this, but I have this little down pillow that I always travel with and RVing is no exception. In addition, I like to have a little robe and slippers, just because I like to have something cozy like that.  Don't forget your favorite hairbrush and your favorite sunglasses. And for heaven's sake, don't forget any medicines you take, even if only occasionally. There is hardly anything that can ruin a day more than being all hooked up in a primitive campground, the awning out, the chairs out, the fire going, and realize that you forgot your contact lens solution. Which brings us to.....

Hookups  Michael carries a plant-sprayer bottle of chlorine-water solution to spray on the campground water spigot just in case some passing dog has marked it. (ewwwww!) 

Michael carries a voltage tester and he plugs it into the electric hookup before hooking up the RV to make sure that the voltage and polarity and ground are all normal.

Michael always has a pair of heavy-duty rubber gloves tucked into an outside storage compartment for icky outside jobs, such as the sewage disposal detail.

Weather can certainly get in the way of even the most well-planned trip, but there are some things that you can do to lessen its impact. No matter where you go, or what time of year, take along a variety of clothing. We always bring a sweatshirt, long pants, swimsuit, sandals, a tank top and shorts. We keep an umbrella and two all-over hooded rain suits, in case we have to hook up in driving rain. We are always careful to keep the gas tank 1/2 full in cold weather, and we keep the LP tank topped off, too. "Throws" on the sofa can pull double-duty as blankets if it turns cold. We find it very difficult to pack for hot weather in the winter, and for cold weather in the summer, so we usually don't do this very well and have to go shopping. If you are planning shopping into your trip, leave some room for things that you may buy. I find that under-packing is generally better when I'm traveling with a suitcase, but overpacking is generally better when we are traveling by RV. 

Health Matters.   Especially when you are traveling, health can make or break your good time. All of the usual precautions about fitness and wellness count double when you are traveling. You will be outside more than usual, so be sure that you bring along (and use) your sunscreen. Carry and drink only bottled water. Traveling is not a good time to change your health routines. If you are used to jogging everyday at 6am, don't take a vacation from that too! Don't change your medicines now, unless your doctor has instructed you to, and is aware that you are traveling. Try to eat reasonably. If some food doesn't "feel" right, do not eat it. Better to be safe than to develop a case of unrelenting diarrhea. Ewww.. (do you get the feeling that we learned this one the hard way?) Try to keep your sleep-wake cycle close to what you are used to. Exercise more! We don't do this as much as we should, but every time you change drivers or get gas, you should walk around a bit and stretch.


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The Award I won from AT&T!
Travel Tales was awarded a spot in the AT&T Community Port Member Showcase for August 2000! Thank you AT&T!  

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Copyright 2000 by Janee,  all rights reserved
Last modified: October 20, 2000