You’ve purchased your family's first RV, Travel Trailer or Toy Hauler…NOW WHAT?
You've made the exciting decision to hit the wide open road for some good clean (or muddy) old fashioned fun! And while the thought of unplugging and spending so much quality time with your family sounds absolutely wonderful, You might also be feeling a sense of anxiety and claustrophobia.
It may seem utterly impossible to maintain your sanity in a small space for an extended amount of time, but I promise you, IT’S NOT! It just might take some time to get your system for maintaining a Happy Campsite down to a science!
Back in 2013, my family made the decision to purchase our first trailer. It was the best decision ever! So many amazing family memories were made in that trailer. We had a lot of trial and error while we mapped out our system. Lots of late night arrival’s to our destinations, lots of frustration while trying to set up camp and our trailer. Lots of cuss words, and lots of necessary anxiety relieving beers. I will never forget our first trip, we were so excited! But we were also a bunch of newbs out there! It was a shit show, quite literally!
Here are some tips that I wish I had known before we hit the road.
DO A COMPLETE TRAILER WALK THROUGH
Make sure you do a thorough inspection of your trailer. Even if it is brand spanking new like ours was. Check the plumbing, check the thermostat. Check the dump valves. Check it all! We discovered that our water heater was not working on our first night out. We had gotten the babies ready for their bath but soon discovered we couldn't get hot water! Thank goodness for friends who let us bathe our babes in their tubs!
Remember when I said that our first trip was a “shit show”? Well here’s why… After our weekend of fun we stopped at a dump station to empty the black tank. My poor husband! You guys… Literal shit came pouring out as he opened the valve to put the hose in. The valve gate that keeps the water in while you attach the hose was missing! VERY important piece! Black water was everywhere! It was horrific, the stuff of nightmares.
GET YOUR TRAILER READY BEFORE YOU HEAD OUT
Always make the beds before you head out for the weekend. There is nothing worse than having to make a bed when all you want to do is have fun! Pro tip: upgrade your basic mattress and bedding. We chose a mattress from Off-Road bedding and we’ve never been happier! Their mattresses, bamboo sheets and pillows are the stuff that dreams are made of. Check out offroadbedding.com and make those upgrades!
And if you have a husband who snoring sounds like a chainsaw, then maybe you might want to invest in a hammock!
We always make sure our refrigerator is stocked before we leave as well. Cabinets are stocked with all the junk food that we will need to survive 2 days in the desert. And all of the meals have been decided and prepped, making it easy to pull out ingredients and get dinner going quickly.
KEEP IT CLEAN
Clutter gives me anxiety, it drives me to my breaking point! And clutter in a small space, forget about it! Come up with a cleaning system that works for everyone in the trailer. Assign jobs, just like at home. For example: trash duty, dishes duty, bathroom cleaning duty and sweeping. Get rid of that unnecessary anxiety by delegating!
We are an off-road family, so there is always sand or dirt in the trailer! ALWAYS! Riding boots and gear stays outside in a plastic tub. Make sure you have a broom readily available. Pro tip: get a compact leaf blower for your trailer. Super helpful for getting rid of that pesky sand!
Keep the air clean in your trailer by diffusing some essential oils. My favorite clean smelling combo is lemon, lavender and peppermint! And as a bonus, your trailer will smell like a relaxing spa and not a bonfire!
Finding your zen through the chaos of first time camping is possible!
Cheers to making memories!