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Old 09-04-2015, 10:47 PM   #1
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Location: Southern California
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Packing for Extended Trips

Even though the DW & I have been avid RVers for well over 20 years, we have never camped for more than 10 days in a row. Our busy careers would never allow it. My wife joins me in retirement next week and the week after that we are heading to Utah for our first extended RV trip...yeah! We will be gone almost a full month.

With this in mind, I'm almost embarrassed to ask this, but those of you who frequently take extended RV trips, how much stuff do you pack? I'm speaking primarily of food and clothing. We normally take enough clothes for our entire trip and pack food around a meal menu, but a month is too long to stick to this plan. I'm thinking we should pack a week's worth of clothing and rely on CG laundry rooms, and plan just a few basic meals, but take condiments and fixings that we could use for a wide variety of meals. We have a residential fridge inside and a mini fridge in our outside kitchenette that I use for beverages, so refrigerator space is not a major concern.

Thoughts, recommendations?



2005 Fleetwood Providence 39J
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My wife does all the driving - I just hold the wheel...
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Old 09-04-2015, 11:12 PM   #2
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DW & I do 5 1/2 months in the south , before we got our washer/dryer , she would have about 3 weeks of clothes, on board , because she hated laundry rooms. Now she still has 2weeks on board, because the W/D took out one closet.
Food , I think you have the plan, mostly what you need to prepare the meal and shop for the main course for a few days at a time.
A little bit depends on the proximity of good shopping. Are you staying in one spot or touring for the month?

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Old 09-04-2015, 11:54 PM   #3
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We carry 10 days of clothes, with some of them for warm weather and some for cold, depending on where we are going.

As far as food, we take bare minimum because we like shopping in the various stores along the way. Every location is different and they have different foods that the locals like and grow.

We've used our stove maybe five times in 10 years. Salads, soups, local bread, etc.
Keep it simple.

Other than medications we don't worry about it if we forget something. There is a Walmart just about everywhere in the country.

Don't forget to call the credit card companies and let them know you are traveling.
2004 Monaco La Palma 36DBD, W22, 8.1, 7.1 MPG
2000 LEXUS RX300 FWD 22MPG 4020 LBS

Don't know where I'm going, spose I'll get there anyway.
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Old 09-05-2015, 12:24 AM   #4
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This did not enter our minds until we experienced it. At the time we had a 26' TT. We left home once in the middle of February heading to FL. We encountered cold, sleet, then snow and finally rain. It was cold and windy. We made it to southern AR late in the evening. There was an awful blowing rain. We couldn't even see exactly where we were going as we entered the CG. We just picked a spot to camp. I got out and had to walk through 18" of water to hook up. The wind blew all night and the next day. As we made it farther south eventually it got somewhat warmer until we hit Pensacola, FL. With the ocean, wind and cool rain it was not what we thought. It got down into the low 40's. When we finally made it to our destination we did have 70's and high 80's. All the wet clothes we had to find some place to store but first to get them dry. Eventually we got out the shorts. However FL still had some cool and wet days and nights in March.

The point is potentially on these longer trips you can run into 2,3 and even 4 different seasons just in one trip. That means having clothes for the seasons including wet gear. If you have plenty of storage it's not to bad. At that time we didn't. Yes you can buy clothes as needed but you still have to put the off season stuff away. Some aspects of camping do change the longer you are away from home. It's always an experience.

Enjoy the retirement
TeJay Auto Instructor/4-yrs USAF/ Liz: RN/ WBGO 2014 Vista 30T/ F-53/CHF/5-Star/Koni * Bella & Izzy * Golden /Cocker mix/ Louie The Cat* All Retired
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Old 09-05-2015, 05:43 AM   #5
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We have W/D so laundry is the easy part. Always plan for different weather conditions!! And one or two nice outfits. (Sunday's and nice restaurants).

As to food we take plenty of hamburger, roast, steaks from home as we butcher our own beef.

Anything else is just a Walmart away.

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Old 09-05-2015, 06:48 AM   #6
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We just did our first extended for five weeks. As for food I cooked soups, chili, pulled pork and other items ahead of time and froze them in two serving size bags. That worked great and of course we had the usual sandwich makings and condiments. We to did some shopping in the local stores and bought produce along side the road, which was very good.
We did discover we packed far to many clothes. Next trip it will be thinned down to easy wash and wear.
We always keep rain gear and jackets on board stored under one of the seats.
Relax and enjoy your trip! Keep a log of your travels it's fun to look back at it.

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Wonderful Life
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Old 09-05-2015, 06:59 AM   #7
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Our TT is relatively small since we like out of the way places. We keep most of our clothes on a hanging bar in the pickup. We do have to think about seasons since we like high country and can have a lot of climates in a trip. We do plan on dressing in layers. I personally don't mind nice laundry are, and I will search an area to find a nice one. Very seldom is the one in a RV park the nice one!

As for food, like a previous poster, I like shopping local. I like to cook, so we have a pretty good selection of spices, basics (good oils, flour, sugar, yeast), and lots of not so basics like hoisin sauce, Worcester sauce, etc. I bring cook books too. I usually start out with 3-4 days of food, then buy more on the road.
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Old 09-05-2015, 07:11 AM   #8
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For long trips, we fill the freezer and the closet. We list the stuff in the freezer so we know when it its time to replenish. If we pack away clothes in a box or compartment, we often list that too, else we may forget where that other pair of shoes or sweater are. We shop local for perishables and keep some canned goods for unexpected situations. We use laundry facilities whenever there is a load or two. We usually take laundry detergent in a condiment or dish wash soap container. It is easy to pack and a good squirt in the machine is quick and easy. Utah can have wide weather swings, but you probably knew that already.

Congratulations. Get out and enjoy yourselves. Utah Rocks!
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Old 09-05-2015, 07:16 AM   #9
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Craig, there are stores in every town. No need to over pack unless you're looking for a remote spot. We fulltime and that is pretty extended.
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Old 09-05-2015, 07:57 AM   #10
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As for clothing it's called layers. You will easily find laundry facilities everywhere you go. Taking about 7\10 days. Unless you have to wear a clean pair of blue jeans everyday this doesn't amount to much. Unless you know you have a need, leave all dressy stuff at home. A pair of Hikers/tennis shoes and sandal will likely be all you you need.
As for food. Take your basic such as your favorite spices etc. There is no reason to load up your cupboards with canned goods and other foodstuffs that you can purchase at every grocery. Even as fulltimers I carry very few canned goods. We usually have about one weeks supply on hand.
Put all your stuff put then cut it in half

A great example:: we were at a dinner party while visiting friends.because there were guests we didn't know the dinner discussion eventually turned to our lifestyle and what we had available to cook on and with. A guest who is an amazing chef was aghast when I stated I carry 1 skillet, 2 small saucepans, a 4 qt soup pot and a saucier. And that I used a 3 burner propane cook top along with the Micro/conv oven. His stated " well I guess you don't prepare any gourmet meals but just simple stuff". Our friends all laughed and told him he should come have a nice dinner with us. ��.
So less is more
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Old 09-05-2015, 08:31 AM   #11
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Craig, I think you have the right idea! Annette has always gone overboard about taking WAAY more clothes and food than we need!

I think she's finally learned that the W/D works and grocery stores are still in business!

Good luck, happy trails, and God bless!
Joe & Annette

2002 Monaco Windsor 40PBT, 2013 Honda CRV AWD
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Old 09-05-2015, 12:53 PM   #12
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So you'll be hitting Utah toward the end of September. For that I'd definitely pack so you can layer clothing leaning more toward long pants rather than shorts. Take a fleece jacket and light nylon rain jacket. With that you could do 4 layers if you need - a t-shirt, long-sleeve shirt, fleece jacket and the rain jacket. Or you could use each separately depending on the temps.

Take 2 weeks of clothing (underwear, socks) and there's no harm wearing the same outer wear over again. No one will see you.

If taking pre-made meals is what you normally do, then you could do that, especially for the first big traveling days to get 'there'. Also put in your freezer some items to BBQ if you take a grill. That makes for a fast meal.

Upon leaving pack the refrigerator section with things you normally eat with meals and include lunch fixins and breakfast items. You can always replenish as you travel.

Take only a few condiments/spices that you always use. Don't take your whole pantry! You can rough it by keeping it simple. Don't plan on baking cakes or desserts and you won't have to take stuff for that. Don't plan complicated casseroles or meat preparations.

Keep in mind that you'll want to eat in local restaurants, too.

Don't overplan......you'll have a better time! That includes reservations, too. Some places you might want to stay longer and some you'll want to leave as soon as you pull in!
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Old 09-05-2015, 01:15 PM   #13
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we have done a sixty day run the last 2 years. we have a 25' Winnebago that we have put 36K miles on in 23 mos.

I pack 3 pair underwear, 3 pair sox, couple of undershirts,3 pair walking shorts, 2 pair Levis, 3 or 4 wrinkle resist button down shirts, 5 or so t-shirts (long & short sleeves) Sweatshirt(2 when cold) ,Jacket, rain garment. 2 pair tennis shoes, Pair of Nice Boat Shoes And, a pair of dress slacks.

The trick is: when you shower ( we usually shower in the campground) wash socks, t-shirt, shorts, underwear as you shower. Usually just 1 item or so when I shower. I then put the wet item in the bike basket to dry as we travel. I have hung the wet item(s) in the shower to dry. My wife will wash when she needs to wash (at a campground) but because we both wash our undergarments by hand-we only have to go to the laundramat a few times in 60 days.
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Old 09-05-2015, 01:22 PM   #14
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You need the basics for food and the basics for clothing.

Lots of food stores out there and many will have local products for your consumption.

Pack clothing for the season of the areas you are planning to go to. If the weather is not as expected you can always top up your clothing at a local store.

Does not seem to matter what we pack. We never use all of what is packed and find things we should have left home and other things we should have taken along.

Gordon and Janet
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