We were so excited about camping and visiting local sites that booking the fourth of July kind of got away from us. Even though we knew better I waited until 2 weeks ahead and unfortunately most of our first choices were booked. We have a four-day weekend and wanted to go a bit farther afield, so ended up at the KOA in the Catskills. Even though we hadn’t visited the KOA in advance, the nice thing about KOA is you can have a certain expectation, so we were glad when they had an opening.
Finally we felt like we had a routine so Lee went to the camper the night before our trip to turn on the refrigerator. Unfortunately the marine battery was totally dead. It’s brand new so it was unclear what had drained it, but he unhooked it and brought it back to the house and put it on a charger and we hoped we wouldn’t need to fork out another $100 for a battery. (The culprit is the clock in the stereo/DVD player, and a few other minor things that pull a constant low voltage. After three weeks, it had drained the battery. – Lee) It’s important to me at this point that costs kind of settle somewhat. The whole reason we decided to do this was for inexpensive weekends, but thus far with all the one-time purchases we have spent quite a chunk of money. Luckily when Lee woke up (he’s a VERY early riser) the battery was charged and he was able to take it back to the camper and start the refrigerator. Even though the refrigerator runs off propane it requires an electric spark to get it going, but it all worked out great and the refrigerator was cool by the time we took off.
The next important thing was the grocery store. I had been clipping recipes for a week or so and had some things I wanted to try but didn’t wan’t a huge grocery bill…again with an eye towards inexpensive. I “stole” liberally from what was in the house and came up with a relatively short list of items needed and was absolutely thrilled when we only spent $80. Before you judge, food is expensive in New England and we regularly spend $200 at the grocery store so $80 was a bargain…although I can still remember many years when I fed a family of 5 on $80 so I can’t call it a total victory 🙂
Hooking up the trailer went great. We used walkie- talkies which worked MUCH better thank yelling obscenities back and forth at each other…plus I got to say cool stuff like “Copy that” and hitching up the trailer was a breeze. We also managed to avoid the big killer rocks on the way out. Perkins for the win!!! The campsite is three hours away and for the first time it was mostly freeway driving so we were excited to see how that would go. Not so great, unfortunately. It was very windy so Lee really had to focus on his driving and the gas mileage was terrible. We have a brand new Ford 150 XLT with an Ecoboost engine and we were only getting 6.9 mpg. It took an entire tank of gas (about $125) to get us there which was a bummer. One great thing was we found a Cracker Barrel for lunch. The meal was fantastic and we found a place to park our truck and trailer relatively easily. Cracker Barrels generally have HUGE parking lots. The food was great and thus fortified, we continued on with our journey.
Once we arrived we were pretty disappointed. The sites we could use are more less pretty stacked right on top of each other, with no trees between them, but at least they are staggered which was a bit of a benefit and it was HOT! 95° and about 95% humidity. Setting up went flawlessly but we were both drenched by the time we were done. Luckily the campground has a nice pool and we threw on our swimsuits and walked down. An interesting side note…Lee doesn’t like pools particularly, but he gave it a try and found it really refreshing. (People pee in the pool. ’nuff said. – Lee) Cooled down…with the AC on inside we started a fire and I started to make dinner. I’ve been trying out new recipes and many are duds…you won’t see those in here, but this was fine and it was quick (only 20 minutes) and filling. Sitting outside with our hair messy and full of good food, we were pretty content and definitely relaxed so overall it was a very nice day.
- Disconnect the marine battery when finished camping so it doesn’t drain down while the trailer is sitting
- Walkie-Talkies are a must have for communication
- Pulling on the freeway does NOT give you better mpg than 2 lane highways
- Cracker Barrel is a great place to stop and have lunch in an oversized vehicle
- Don’t forget your bathing suits
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