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Old 03-22-2009, 01:15 PM   #1
Senior Member
Alpine Owners Club
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Vancouver, WA
Posts: 2,209
Smile Part or Full Time Travel Pre Load Check List

Hello All,

Provided I get a suspected buyout at work, we both are planning on retiring this year. Our goal is to travel down South and across the country during the worst part of winter in the Pacific NW. Our first trip will take us to Florida for RV repair College so I can augment my retirement and learn what it takes to keep this thing running along.

However, I am starting to think there are things I need to load in the coach for an extended traveling period I might forget to pack. So I have started a list, but with the vast amount of experience here, I thought I would ask the group what things you have on your travel list for a long trip.

For Instance, we like the coffee our Vancouver, WA Costco store has, and we are not sure it's available in other parts of the country, so we will buy a couple of extra bags (3lb beans) and carry those with us. It's called "Seattle Mountain Coffee" and I have not seen it in other stores. Additionally I grind the beans as needed and mix in some "Seattle’s Best Vanilla Bean" ground coffee to give it a hint of flavor. The better half likes this in her morning cup.

I am sure there are things I need to add to the coach, but not sure what. Your ideas are appreciated.

For instance, passing through California, the produce and fresh fruit is great and generally cheaper than other stores, so should we try to find a little chest freezer that might fit in the storage bay, so we can take advantage of this fresh fruit bonanza while we are there. We can freeze it and have it for our trips along the way. What things might be only available in our area we need to stock up on prior to leaving?

I have already received a larger tool box to handle additional tools I believe might be helpful, but am not sure about a drill, air compressor, and other power tools I might need. Your thoughts would be appreciated along this areas as well.

Thank you in advance - this could be a great topic to think about.

Monty & Janet - 2007 Alpine APEX 40 MDTS
S/N - 75715 - Retired - Master Certified RV Tech
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Old 03-22-2009, 06:39 PM   #2
Senior Member
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Manhattan Beach, CA
Posts: 563
Emike- Isn't this about the time you suggested I carry a "big, sweaty wad of money"!

Monty- The Sumatra coffee beans at our local Costco taste awfully good every morning. My wife enjoys it as much as I do.

Rick Coleman
'05 Alpine 36MDDS
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Old 03-22-2009, 10:40 PM   #3
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Join Date: May 2004
Location: Auburn, CA, Havasu, AZ & Mulege, BCS
Posts: 5,172
Thumbs down

1) Yeah, a big, sweaty wad of money. The bigger the better. Quantity of sweat is a personal matter, suit yourself.
2) Tools- choose carefully as they take up room & weight. I carry 18V battery powered tool set because they are handy all around, plus a compact right-angle (corded) drill for those tight places (corded cuz its a way better tool than the battery type and for those few times I need to get where no drill has gone before, I can live w/dragging a cord. 12 ton Craftsman jack, cuz the cheapos from cheena blow up at times you wish they wouldn't. I haven't found a good, lightweight set of jack stands yet but will pack them when I do. More than anything else, I use a volt-ohm meter, and the tool cache my wife calls the "man-purse" which consists of the odd variety of hand tools, epoxy, spray leak detector, mini-Machinery's-handbook, mini-torch (soldering, whipping poly or nylon rope ends...), mini-oiler, needle files, angled needle nose pliers, etc...., all of which is stored in the space tween driver's chair & ext. wall.
3) When stopping & choosing a campsite, always arrange a space where you can park between an HWH tech, and a helpful Xantrex employee who knows a lot about charging systems and solenoids. If you own an Apex, you can substitute either of those for a Silverleaf guy on vacation (none of them are old enough to retire). I've tried parking next to bankers, but they are not as helpful as one would hope with your finances. Don't park next to attorneys if you have AquaHot or really full waste tanks, or you'll get dragged into court & have to explain it to the judge and a jury of 12 people who have never RV'ed.
4) Get a decent, lightweight laptop that can store all the PDF files for the random assembly of junque parts we commonly refer to as a coach. And a good PDA-phone with caller ID and loaded with the whole ACA roster, so you know when to activate "Call-Thwarting." And some way to organize all the paper pamphlets, etc. that came w/your coach for those lucky enough to have received something passed off as "documentation." You will also need a nuclear accelerator of the type used in the movie Ghost Busters, for trapping & holding vaporous apparitions, like your WRV Warranty and the strange variety of semingly sincere promises from motorhome salespeople in your recent past .
5) Before retiring, make sure you have a good spouse. This is truly indispensable. Get one with an imperturbable sense of humor, and the patience of Jōb (since I may have gotten the last of those, you may have to settle for one with the density of a black hole, which on occasion can provide a manageable substitute). I've found it really helps when crossing the border into Mexico and the Customs (Aduana) officer threatens for 9 hours to impound your vehicle and the friend's trailer with the donated medical supplies you are towing (you can ask Ann about about how that works in the context of a healthy marriage next time you see her, but if there is a lerge vein still sticking out of her forehead and she is beet red , please defer that conversation till later).
6) Most indispensible of all is a sense of adventure and a willingness to rock & roll w/the punches
Baja-tested '08 2-slide 36'
Alpine: The Ultimate DIY'er Project
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Old 03-29-2009, 04:50 AM   #4
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Alpine Owners Club
Texas Boomers Club
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: United States
Posts: 1,282

Mike, THis makes me sooooo glad we bought an RV!
Michael (Home base Northern CO)
USED TO HAVE; 03 Alpine 40MDTS Now RVless
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Old 03-30-2009, 02:01 AM   #5
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Monaco Owners Club
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Dolores, Colorado
Posts: 809
Mike, very funny and oh so true!!!

We have a master checklist which I use each time we are setting off. It keeps getting longer and longer! A couple of stupid things we dont leave home without: super glue, velcro, duct tape, a fully stocked bar (I am totally serious!). Most important, a sense of humor!

Brenda, of...
Brenda & Tony, traveling with Chocolate Lab Cadbury and Cavalier King Charles Spaniels Rossi, Hayden, Millie, & Hercules... towing an assortment of motorcycles!
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Old 03-30-2009, 06:30 AM   #6
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Newmar Owners Club
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 2,027
Hey!, bsavage: Geeze, if ya got super glue, velcro, duct tape AND a fully stocked bar....in my opinion....yer set ta GO!! Old RV'er could learn alot from you and leave his fully stocked garage at home or in storage!!! Steve & Lynette

2014 Newmar 3103 BAYSTAR/Triton V10 w. Banks/05 Honda Element toad
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