Trial Run – Sunday

Trial Run  –  Last Day

Sunday morning came and with it the realization we needed to depart by noon.  (This is another one of those weird things you would never think of, but it’s just like a hotel. They need to clean the…..dirt ground, I guess, for the next camper. – Lee) It had taken forever to get set up so we weren’t sure how long it would take to tear down. (It ended up taking less than 90 minutes, not bad for our first time).  After some brief discussion we decided to pay for an extra day. This would give us an unlimited amount of time to pack up and finish organizing and would give the kids a chance to visit and see the camper.   Another really good decision.  I think it cost us an extra $48, but at this point it was well worth it.

(At some point during the day, Trace called to me from inside the camper “Something’s wrong.” in a tone that could only mean a spider had somehow gotten into the trailer, or the grey water tank had filled up and was starting to back up into the shower stall. It turned out it was the water in the shower stall thing. Really disgusting smelly water. No big deal, though, I had purchased a sewer hose kit at Camper’s World the day before. But I hadn’t hooked it up yet, because I figured we wouldn’t need it until it was time to drain the tanks when we were ready to leave. Apparently, we use a lot more water than most people, because we had filled that sucker up in just two days, without even using the shower!!! Or, it could be that it wasn’t empty when we started. Hard to tell. So, I hooked it up. Word to the wise, even if the valves are closed when you take off pipe cover, a little of that water is going to leak out. Onto your hands. It is not pleasant. If you have a small child, ask them to take off the cover. Or wear gloves. I washed my hands off, and then set about hooking up all the pipes. The good news is, it’s pretty easy. The bad news is, however much hose you have, you need more. I strolled down to the office/camp store/ice cream parlor/craft center and sure enough, they had a fine selection of the stuff RVers need. I bought another hose kit, and hooked everything up. Once the tanks were drained, the shower smelled better. – Lee)

My oldest daughter stopped by on her way to work and parked her car in our drive.  There were signs stating visitors had to register, but since it was going to be a very quick visit I didn’t think they applied.  Not 2 minutes after she pulled up, a roving campground employee stopped and politely told her she had to move her car to the main office parking lot, and sign in at the main office.  I was surprised, because folks had largely left us alone and I didn’t think anyone was paying attention. At first I was a tad annoyed, but then I thought about it and it makes sense.  The seasonal folks are there all the time and the temporaries like us probably bend the rules all the time.  It’s quite an investment for them, like a summer home, and I don’t blame them for protecting their environment.  Needless to say when our youngest daughter came, we had her park at the office and went down to get her. A quick word about the office/store.  They have a great selection and the prices aren’t that bad.  Toilet paper in particular has to be a special kind and you can’t find it anywhere but a camping store or Walmart.  Obviously there are certain things you do not want to run out of, so pay a little extra and get what they have for the convenience.   Also wood.  I didn’t know that you can’t bring out-of-state wood to a campground.  Because we were close we brought some of our own, but I didn’t have enough small pieces.  Lee got tired of seeing me struggle and bought a bundle.  It was $8 a bundle and very dry, but I still need to look for a solution to that problem.

I want to talk a minute here about division of labor because I think it is very interesting.  Because it is a small space, you are on top of each other unless you divide up the jobs.  We naturally gravitated to the things we were best suited for which in our case tended to be very traditional.  Basically I took care of the inside and Lee took care of the outside.  (I would like to point out the inherent unfairness of this. Assuming your reading this inside, take a look around, and get a feel for the size of “inside”. Now go “outside” and compare. Outside is much, much bigger than inside. Seems unfair to me, I’m just saying. Also, there are less mosquitoes, and dirt and gunk and stuff inside. And it hardly ever rains inside. -Lee)

I found this interesting because in our everyday lives, Lee and I have always shared the various household roles.  When he had a job where he traveled, I took care of the kids, cooking and sort of doing the cleaning 🙂  When I started traveling a lot, the roles switched and he took the primary role with the kids and house.  It’s worth mentioning that Lee is a better housekeeper than I could ever be and has organization in his DNA, but I do think I was a more inspired cook when I was taking my turn in the early years.  Because he is a master organizer, I left organizing inside of the cupboards to him and I think you will agree that the results were fantastic.   Having a husband who can do a little bit of everything is really a huge benefit. (It doesn’t hurt that he is also clever, and handsome, and manly. – Lee)

Lessons Learned

  • Pay for the extra day if you feel you need it so you are not rushed with your first time packing up.
  • Check the fill level on the Grey water tank and Black water tank regularly to avoid unpleasant surprises
  • Wear gloves when messing with the sewer hose (yes we actually had to learn this lesson)
  • Divide the duties based on what you are best at and try to work as much as possible in separate physical spaces during the tear down.
  • The visitor rules are for real; follow them.
  • You can’t bring out-of-state wood to a campground.
  • Make sure the trailer is firmly on the block of wood when you park.


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