After our first & fabulous Maiden Voyage to Pescadero State Beach with Sani-Dump at Half Moon Bay State Beach Campground we started to outfit the rig, feeling fully committed at this point — she’s running well, emptying well, time to get down to business, eh?
Yay — what girl doesn’t love playing house and shopping, right?!?
First, I did some research and found out that in a Caravan you want to store your heavy things, like drinking water and beverages, canned foods (wait, really, canned foods, ewe!) and such should be stored in floor areas of your rig, for obvious reasons (weight ratios are vital to fuel economy and keeping heads bump free whilst opening hatches & having items bounce out).
I read that it’s essential to keep on hand food items that can be creatively combined to make up dishes — for instance, carry a can of beans that can be used to make up chili, on a salad, in a soup, etc. rather than a can of chili, make sense, no?
A recon at CampingWorld and another to my old stomping grounds West Marine left us shell-shocked and our wallet screaming in potential pain — ouch, this outfitting is looking pricey!!! We retracted and decided to drill down on the requirements by first sorting out comfort and operations, then we’d work on making her “fancy”.
Starting with the bedding — after that first nap at the beach we realized a memory foam cover for the bed would make our older backs happier — and then the list started to grow, we needed a duvet cover for said foam & king sheets (which we’ve since decided we don’t need as it’s just too much work) & a cover. After a shopping excursion to Bed Bath and Beyond, Hubby threw in that old sleeping bag he’s had knocking around for a bit, I grabbed some extra guest pillows (we don’t have a guest room any longer) and viola = bedding, done!
When the bed is in dining mode, the rolled up memory foam and sleeping bag turn into giant lean-on cushions to read, watch the tide or tv, & the pillows & extra cover stow in a cupboard above – easy peasy!
Next Up: the Galley (we’d call it a kitchen at home)!
I read up and learned some folks were saying (as did His’ parents) that it’s just better to have stuff you leave in the RV = less likelihood of forgetting something vital to your trip. So, we decided that would be the best route to go and started shopping on the cheep at places like Ross Dress for Less, The Dollar Store, and IKEA for items needed…
We found some things at these shops that we felt we could get on with — like dishes from the Dollar Store — didn’t go so well (grease sticks and they break quick) so we knuckled down & invested in longer-lasting higher-quality plates in two sizes, acrylic wine glasses from West Marine & a spice rack w/spices from CamperWorld. Another “investment” we made was a folding dish pan and drying rack from Bed Bath & Beyond, luckily I get that 20% Off Coupon once a month to help & we also found we needed a couple of heavy-duty fry-pan from World Market.
IKEA provided cooking utensils, cutlery and plastic drinking glasses for a good price — our budget was happier with that — Ross rounded out the remaining utensils such as folding colander (space is king), dish towels, cutting boards, hot mitts and what-not. Whew, almost done…
Keeping in mind that ideal of it’s best to have duplicates of everything, I invested another chunk of change in the bathroom — soaps, deodorant, toothbrushes, etc. All so it’s handy as needed — so far so good. Towels came from the existing home supply, because, who needs new ones when your ‘roughing it’?
A lesson in TP — not all are created the same! So, it turns out, you want to be gentle and kind to your black water tank, as there’s sensors in there and essentially you want to have everything “flow” out, nicely. No harsh chemicals, no Charmine or Fresh-Wipes, just good paper that breaks down quickly! We found that most people recommend Scotts, good to know as it’s in almost every grocery today, but I also came upon a test for your personal brand of TP: get a clear jar, fill w/water, add a couple sheets of your brand and wait 10 minutes. If you shake and it’s broken down into tiny bits you’re good to go.
If not, try again with another brand! Meaning? Our Favorite Brand – the pink one by Trader Joes – works just fine.
I added some food to the pantry — beans in boxes, tomato paste, canned fish, polenta, packaged mac & cheeze (vegan, gluten free & dairy free of course) crackers, nuts and such and set out to pack it all up. This seems to be a ritual, as each run leads me to finding new groovy ways to pack in order that clanking is minimized, I’m getting it! I try to bring a mix of snacks and non-perishables to last us when we start boondocking — things that we can be creative with and yet cook up simple. On this, I’ll keep you posted!
I am getting better at packing to avoid clanking, shifting and the horrible open-up-the-hatch-see-what-pops-out events…
I’m getting better at this! One simple thing that really helps: spring tension rods; I’m using them everywhere — to hold in socks and hold down cans and even pin up coffee cups! Brilliant — CamperWorld sells them in a fabulous oak finish, but I got mine half off in white at BB&B… it never hurts to shop around!
Later, we found that WM carries cute little folding drink holders & catch-all racks that fit fabulously in the bedding / dining area allowing us to stow a drink off the table or bed and tuck his wallet + flashlight handy when sleeping. Worth the price!
Another splurge was in LED lights for all the internal sockets, they are brighter, last longer and take way less energy! And a new Garmin Sat-Nav, too many times off the beaten path with no cell service has trained us!
Okay, over thinking about the money we’ve put into outfiting — it’s time for more adventure!
See you down the road…
She & He…
& Rosie, too!