March 17, 2016 (by Angela)
Some of you who read the blog frequently might wonder whether or not I’ve had enough traveling of late with trips back and forth to visit or help family, but this is not the type of gallivanting I have in mind. On April 6, 2016, we will have been in one campground for an entire year while Jim’s been working the same contract. His current contract ends the first of July, and even if he gets extended for a month or two, as he might, we are moving the first weekend of July and heading north.
Since last fall, we’ve had our reservations made to attend our first Escapade, though it is the 56th such gathering, in Vermont. Not only will it be our first Escapade, but we will be able to camp with the subgroup of Escapees known as Xscapers, which is especially cool since being tied to a site-specific job, we could not attend the first gathering of this still-working, somewhat-younger group of RVers. The last full week of July essentially will become our vacation should the hubby still be on contract. If not, then it’s just a fun trip we want and get to make.
Why am I so excited? Let me count the ways.
First, we get to travel again soon, which means seeing new things and meeting new people. Next, Vermont is one of the five states to which I’ve not been yet, based on my way of “counting” states, so I get to mark another off the list. In addition, we get to add more states to the map of states in which we have traveled and camped in the 5th Wheel. This trip will challenge us as it will be the longest trek to date. Mapquest indicates that the fastest route is 1,220 miles, but we may not adhere to that as it could be that we choose a bit longer route to avoid mountainous roads or because we want to see something slightly off that route; only time will tell. Also, this trip will only be the second one where I have not followed in the car. Assuming we don’t have a contract site to which we must get quickly, we’ll park the car at my Dad’s house, and Jim and I (Chewie, too) will be able to travel in the same vehicle for this journey. Finally, we’ll get to spend some quality time with like-minded folks and get to learn tons of cool stuff related to our lifestyle choice.
Now, that tells you about the “gallivanting” part. What about the “gearing up” part? Like anyone, when stationary, stuff seems to “grow” and expand in wherever it is you’re living. I want our 5th Wheel to be lean and mean for this long jaunt. Though the camper is our home, it became obvious only two weeks into this lifestyle that we did not need everything we loaded into the RV. I purge items every few months, but the current purge in process has to be a bit more brutal.
For example, there is absolutely no reason to be moving cabinets filled with boxes and cans of food or a frig/freezer stuffed full of perishable items. I’m a pack rat by nature, so this desire to cleanse and free myself of “stuff” is relatively new. Although I don’t know why, I’ve always wanted to make sure the pantry and refrigerator are well stocked, but it is counter productive to have too much in the RV when moving. Thus, my goal is to have the cabinets and frig/freezer pretty much empty before we leave Green Acres Resort RV Park the first of July.
Of course, there are always maintenance issues to address, but these become even more important when preparing to literally hit the road. For example, Jim and I are going to purchase new tires for our 5th Wheel and have the brakes checked. Inspections of the roof and outside caulking and key components in the camper like the water heater, AC, etc. should be completed, and we’ll get this done before we leave by someone we know and trust, Shelby Mobile RV Service. We’ll renew our roadside assistance memberships that we let lapse while parked in one spot. The tow truck will be serviced and inspected also. In short, Jim and I will do everything we can in advance to ensure we have safe and drama-free travel while knowing all too well it is not “what” but “when” an issue will arise, as we were warned by a very wise man, my Dad.
The thought of being on the road and traveling again is both exciting and a bit scary – both for a same reason: the unknown. Yet, I’m looking forward to it as we begin the count down to a new adventure. We hook up and move in 15 weeks plus one day from today.