The Bill and Kit Excellent Lessons learned
- Our 22 foot trailer suited us perfectly; much smaller and it would have been tough to live in for 4 months…..much larger and it would have been difficult to maneuver into some of the spots we wanted to explore or camp.
- The trailer had no slideouts…..which made it easier to use on the street or camp in areas where we didn’t want to draw attention to ourselves. In addition we used the trailer frequently while on the road as a tag along rest stop for rest, food and…..you know. A retracted slide out would have made using the trailer on the fly difficult.
- The consistent use of a pre-underway checklist paid big dividends.
- The laptop with a 12 Volt to 120Volt Converter and a Broadband Air Card allowed internet connectivity most everywhere we traveled…..even while driving down the road. It really helped in researching what was ahead and where there might be camping opportunities.
- Have lots of quarters on hand for laundry day.
- The added a second trailer battery and A-B switch which extended our dry camping limit to 7 days.
- We purchased a Honda 2000 Watt generator which further extended our dry camping limit to 14 days. Now limited by holding tanks capacity.
- A small battery powered LED camp lantern works great for interior illumination and helped prolong trailer battery life during dry camping situations.
- Using an old fashioned stainless steel percolator for coffee worked great….and it made great coffee!
- The one item we brought and used only once….was a television, which surprised us both.
- A small ceramic heater and a small electric fan were useful when we couldn’t or didn’t want to run the trailers heater or air conditioner.
- If you suffer from allergies, consuming locally gathered honey will help you become tolerant to the allergens in that area.
- Two 25 foot potable water hoses will allow connection most any where.
- A 25 foot garden hose can serve to drain grey water into a suitable receptacle and can also be used to wash the truck and trailer when needed.
- Two 25 foot 20 amp extension cords proved handy when dooryard surfing to allow electrical connection to any convenient garage outlet.
- A plastic water pail with a plastic grocery bag in it worked great as an in truck trash can….in addition the pail can be used when washing the rig.
- Each one of us having a cell phone helped stay in contact when we went our separate ways….in addition the phones worked well as communication devices between driver and spotter in backing situations.
- Limit clothing to about 10 days worth. If more is needed a Goodwill store is assuredly located in the next town.
- If keeping a travel journal a spiral bound notebook is great to keep in the truck for making notes as you travel along. The notes can then be used later to create the journal on the laptop.
- Stock some canned goods so you will always have something to eat if your re-supply opportunities are not convenient.
- We bought an inexpensive battery powered clock/inside temperature/outside temperature gadget and found it useful.
- The one seemingly useless gadget that turned out to be very useful was a truck-trailer alignment guide for un-assisted hitching up.
- Cetaphil, waterless shampoo and baby wipes kept things pleasant when showering was not possible.
- If traveling the back roads…..never let the gas tank drop below 1/4 full.
- Carry a tire inflator that will run off 12 volts…..check truck and trailer tire inflation frequently.
- Rotate you trailer tires every 5,000 miles or so to even out wear.
- Have wheel drums removed, brakes inspected and bearings repacked every 12,000 miles.
- Carry a hydraulic bottle jack and lug wrench to facilitate changing the flat tires.
- Always trust the GPS. Unless your traveling companion contradicts the GPS’s instructions….then pay attention to the human; even if she may be wrong.
- About once a week take a “down day”. Stay in one place and basically just veg out.
- Always use a water pressure reducing valve when connecting to an unknown water tap.
- Four wheel chocks come in handy to stabilize the fore and aft movement of the trailer when disconnected from the truck.
- A set of leveling blocks are handy but most trailer leveling can be accomplished with the tongue jack and the four corner scissors jacks.
- Avoid staying at Interstate travel plaza’s that service both directions of the Interstate from the same facility….they are sure to be crowded and noisy.
- Only stay at Wal*Marts that are open 24 hours and provide parking lot security.
- Flying “J” Truck Stops are RV friendly with overnight parking areas and dump stations.
- If staying at a roadside rest area and there is not a suitability level spot, park the rig so that the head of the bed is on the incline. Also parking in the last spot with the door facing away from the buildings affords the most privacy.
- After traveling down a particularly rough road, water in the drain’s “P Trap” is likely to have siphoned down into the holding tanks allowing gasses to come up into the trailer. Pull over and pour a few cups of water down all drains to reseal them.
- Go with the flow…..you’ll have much more fun and discover more interesting locations and people.
Web sites we found useful:
Bill and Kit