LOL My husband thought that I wrote this. Some details are off, but otherwise it was enough to make him read it a few times to be sure!
We are also heading off on vacation in our new-to-us RV. We've taken many weekend trips, just to get used to it. Some things that we have done is made sure that we are able to boondock with the same creature-comforts, like coffee inside! We bought a percolator, and have been trying to use it in the house. It will also work for tea and cocoa. I'm sure that sounds silly to some, but we've all got to start somewhere!
Our fantastic comes-with-everything-but speakers!!! in the house just adds to our "need to buy before going on a long trip" list. We have a large library of CD books and stories, and it's hard to share with the back seat. I'm still looking for something that won't break the budget - ipods are a bit pricy, and I don't know how Bluetooth speakers might connect and work. Then there is the battery issue of whatever I hook up. Suggestions are welcome.
We thought of running speakers throughout the house, but were warned that the resell value might be affected. I'm not sure who wouldn't like them, but maybe that's me.
I am heading out today to buy a new battery to make the house lights last longer, along with all the hook-ups.
I bought some small tubs to help little legs not to dangle under the table. Previous trips indicate some knee and leg soreness.
I plan to double the tubs as storage for books, road activities, etc. We have previously stored such extras overhead, which makes it hard to get another book, etc. I have also used a foldable laundry tote to store said books, tissues, etc, but as it is foldable it gets bent around pretty easily, and the small tubs will work good for both storage and footstools.
For the bathroom, I keep baby wipes for when we don't want to use the water pump to wash our hands. It's also handy for a quick wipe down of whatever - sponge bath, counter tops, dirty feet, etc.
I love the ideas for laundry - put dirty laundry in a small tub (like above!) with water and some soap, and let the road do the agitating. I plan to buy something for the shower to use as a drying rack. I thought about an adjustable curtain rod, as I see that there is a bit of an edge in the shower I can hang it on. One of those nifty bamboo drying racks would be handy too, as I could move it outside when I need to, but unless I can find one at a yard sale they are crazy high priced. I did see a few links here, like kaboodledotcom, etc. I will use the folding laundry baskets for dirty laundry in the wardrobe area - makes it easier that garbage bags for stuffing and storing.
I appreciate someone's advice to take all food items out of original packing, if possible. The extra boxes mean extra space and garbage. Granted, if camping pits are available, the boxes make great kindling.
Yesterday Amazon had a free kindle book on foil-wrap campfire cooking. I plan to read it, after getting done with irv.com forums. (I might be reading on the road!).
For the kiddos, I plan to make sleep sacks with feet holes. Sleeping bags can get a little confining, especially for long trips and temperature fluxes. They can easily be used for travel warmth too. I keep slippers for everyone just for the RV.
I use my cell phone to play music all night. Even in a paradise, sleep doesn't come easy when not in one's own bed. Familiar music playing softly helps block out road noises and camping squeaks.
We walked around the our first campsite and looked at everyone else's set ups. At first I thought that the lights on the awning were visual extras, but every time I nearly bonked my head on my own awning I made a mental note to buy some too!
I also saw that most had area rugs outside their doors, and now keep one in the trunk. We use a very thin and cheap Walmart 8x12 rug, as it is light and easy to sweep. It has made a huge difference on the amount of leaves and dirt that makes it's way inside.
We bought leveling blocks, but have yet to use them. We need to practice at home before attempting at an inclining camp site.
!!!!!Keep your black tank valve closed until ready to go, or full. We've made that mistake and it's... gross! Won't do it again! I watched a video where they put dishwasher soap in the gray tank, to get swished around while driving to clean. I plan to do that for both gray and black tanks.
I will post a new thread about driving suggestions. My trips have been under five hours one way, and our upcoming will be several days long. Make sure that the driver gets to stretch their legs more frequently that they think they need. A National Park pass will help give motivation for checking out a new visitors center or quick loop trail. Don't let other drivers push you around on the road - if they want to drive badly, don't let pride or nerves ruin YOUR vacation. One long drive home through the Sisku pass, I was thankful to put in the extra time and drive at midnight. There were only a few big trucks on the road, but no cars, and I was able to drive comfortably until I reached a rest stop just outside of the pass. We got enough sleep, made coffee in the morning before hitting the road, didn't have to drive up and down hills with the sun in my eyes, and it was one of the best trips that I had taken in my many years through there.
Overall - have fun! That's what ya bought it for, right? An in-flight potty, complimentary kitchen and service with a smile, everyone cozied up at night in the rest stop/box store/camping/boondocking site. Build family memories, not blocked arteries. Go home happy, ready to do it again.