Thursday, November 30, 2006

Things to Stock in a Travel Trailer

bed linens

matches & lighters
cooking pots
baking pans
melamine or corelle plates
melamine or corelle bowls
acrylic drinking glasses
plastic containers for leftovers
foil (line baking pans with foil so you don’t have to wash them!)

coffee mugs
sharp knife
can opener (Make sure it works before you go! Ours didn't!)
serving spoon(s)
wire whisk
pot holder(s)
paper towels
ziploc bags
dishwashing liquid
Dobie pad/scrubber
2-cup measuring cup
salt & pepper
coffee filters
trash bags
trash can
tablecloth clamps (for outside)

cutting board
measuring cups
measuring spoons
kitchen towels
ice cube trays
ice cube bin
hand-held mixer

Bathroom and Cleaning
1-ply toilet paper
all-purpose spray cleaner
toilet/tank chemicals
fly swatter

air freshener spray
vacuum cleaner or Dirt Devil

Trailer Use & Upkeep
3-ring binder w/operating manuals & warranties
campground directory
duct tape
leveling blocks
wheel chocks
bungee cords
freshwater hose
graywater hose
spare bulbs & fuses
extra power cord

18 volt (or more) cordless drill
gardener’s knee pads
electric space heater
propane space heater
electric fan(s)
5-gallon water jugs

first aid kit
insect repellant
bath towels
hand towels

sewing kit
travel alarm clock

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Looking Back

All the places I've camped:

Bad Durkheim
Rhein-Main Rod & Gun Club

Circle Pines KOA, Williams
Flagstaff KOA
Mather Campground, Grand Canyon National Park
North Rim Campground, Grand Canyon National Park
Williams/Grand Canyon KOA
Woody Mountain Campground, Flagstaff

Big Bear MWD Campground
Black Rock Campground, Joshua Tree National Park
Boulder Basin Campround, near Idylwild
Camp Pendleton Campground, Oceanside
Dorst Campground, Sequoia National Park
Green Valley Lake Campground, near Running Springs
Heart Bar Campground, near Angelus Oaks
Jumbo Rock Campground, Joshua Tree National Park
Lake Isabella KOA, Weldon
Lassen Pines Campground, near McArthur
Lone Pine Campground, near Lone Pine
Mojave River Forks Campground, near Hesperia
Oh! Ridge Campground, June Lake
Paha Campground, near Bridgeport
Paradise by the Sea RV Resort, Oceanside
Rivernook Campground, Kernville
Ryan Campground, Joshua Tree National Park
San Gorgonio Campground, near Angelus Oaks
Tuolomne Meadows Campground, Yosemite National Park
Upper Stony Creek Campground, near Sequoia NP
Wawona Campground, Yosemite National Park

Alexander Lake Lodge Campground, Grand Mesa
Aspen Glade Campground, near Antonito
Big Blue Wilderness (backpacking)
Bogan Flats Campround, near Redstone
Boyd Lake State Park
Castle Pines RV Campground, Lake City
Colorado National Monument
Difficult Campground, near Aspen
Durango North KOA
Echo Park Campground, Dinosaur NM
Grand Junction KOA
Gunnison KOA
Highlander RV Park, Lake City
Lakeview Campground, Taylor Park
Newcastle KOA
Ouray KOA
Palisades Campground, E. of Creede
Priest Gulch Campground, near Dolores
Steamboat Springs KOA
Sugar Loafin' Campground, Leadville
Vallecito Campground, north of Bayfield
Vallecito Resort, north of Bayfield
Weminuche Wilderness (backpacking)
West Dolores Campground, near Dolores
Winding River Resort Campground, near Grand Lake
Woodlake RV Park, Lake City

Idaho Falls KOA
Monroe Creek Campground, Weiser
Montpelier KOA
Valley View RV Park, Island Park

Dillon KOA
Hardin KOA
Sula Country Store & Campground, Sula
West Yellowstone KOA

New Mexico:
Bloomfield KOA
Carlsbad Caverns NP
Pecos Wilderness (backpacking)

Palo Duro State Park

Beaver KOA
Broken Bow Campground, Escalante
Bryce Canyon NP
Cannonville KOA
Cedar City KOA
Escalante State Park
Fillmore KOA
Flaming Gorge KOA, Manila
Hill Air Force Base FamCamp
Nephi KOA
Oak Creek Campground, north of Boulder
Provo KOA
Warner Lake Campground, near Moab
South Campground, Zion NP

Antelope Flat Campground, Flaming Gorge NRA
Colter Bay Campground, Grand Teton NP
Fremont Lake Campground, near Pinedale
Grant Village Campground, Yellowstone NP
Gros Ventre Campground, Grand Teton NP

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Movin' on up

I call this post "Movin' on up" because we just took delivery of a 2007 Thor Wave 27' travel trailer, a definite move upward from our popup. We've been camping together for 26 years - since before we were married; it's been a dream of mine to keep on camping the rest of my life.

Our first camping trips were in tents-we started at Garmisch, Germany, and found a few other places such as the Rhein-Main Air Base Rod and Gun Club. (Situated at the eastern edge of Frankfurt International Airport, we dealt with the low-flying jets that came in for landings every few minutes. Sleep could be had in the wee hours of the morning, before the early flights started up.) After we married and had children, the camping trips continued, and it wasn't until around 1995 or so that we bought our first popup. It was an old Coleman, and it lasted one year, I think. we traded it in for a '79 Grasshopper, a rare rear-entry trailer similar to a very small toy-hauler. I can't believe that all four of us slept in that thing! Theresa and me on the bed, once we dismantled the dinette, Kenny on the narrow bench sofa, and Don on the floor. One summer later, we traded it in for a brand new Coleman, one of the larger ones. Don decided after one year that it was too big, so it was traded in for a smaller Venture. That Venture has been hauled to Montana, Wyoming, Utah, New Mexico, Colorado, Arizona, and Nevada, as well as all over California.

Last week, at the beginning of our Thanksgiving break, Don and I decided it would be nice to go look for a fifth wheel or trailer that we could tow with our F150. I had resisted looking at newer trailers, because I hate looking if I can't buy. It makes me depressed and envious! But for some reason, Don felt the time had come, and without any argument from me, we drove down to Banning Discount RV Center.

Tim Perkins was our saleperson, and after we told him of our wishes and showed him the truck, he took us around the lot and educated us on why we didn't have enough power for a fifth wheel, but did have enough for a good-sized travel trailer. The third one he showed us was the one I fell in love with.

We knew that we needed to do some more shopping, to make sure we'd made the right choice, so we visited several other dealerships. Nowhere did we see a trailer that was as nice, as light, and as affordable. The only one that came close was a Rockwood, but it didn't have as much kitchen storage space, and cost several thousand dollars more. Another one at a very large dealership in Colton that was fairly comparable in features cost $28,800. The Thor Wave was on sale - $15,995. We drove back to Banning and made the deal, and took delivery two days later.

When you step into the door of the Wave (the door closest to the rear of the trailer), you step in to a rear kitchen. Not many trailers come with a rear kitchen, and that feature became one of my favorites. The door closest to the front opens into the bedroom, which has a queen-sized bed, two closets, and two large cabinets, plus access to the large pass-through storage area underneath the bed.

My kitchen has all the comforts of a great kitchen: 3-burner stove, microwave, oven, refrigerator, freezer, 2-basin sink, 10 drawers (!), and tons of cabinets and shelves. Our "living room" has a dinette that makes into a bed if we have guests, a sofa that makes into a bed, more cabinets, and a place for a tv. The tv can work off the antenna that came with the trailer, or we can hook into cable tv if a campground has it.

The hallway between the living room and the bedroom has more drawers and cabinets, plus a large closet in which to hang clothes. This is also where the bathroom is–with a toilet, sink, and a roomy bathtub/shower. There's even a medicine cabinet, and more drawers and storage. (I'll never fill up all the storage!)

We're taking the Wave out on a shakedown trip this coming weekend. We were able to get sites at Lake Perris State Park - a very large campground in Moreno Valley, about 15 miles from Yucaipa, where we have it parked in a friend's back yard. Lake Perris is a place we've camped before several times, and during the winter it's wonderful. It's much quieter than in the summer, and much cooler, too. I'll be close to March Air Base and the commissary/BX in case there's something I forgot to get, and Don will be able to fish the lake all weekend.

I'll be sure to post photos!