Ways To My Heart….

My wonderful husband accomplished this one.  I don’t know really how he did it.  Maybe it was just his sweet Midwest charm or how he makes me feel special everyday even on my worst of days.  I really don’t have a clue of what it takes to win me over, but whatever he did worked and I couldn’t be happier.

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20 Facts About Me…

  1. I was born in New York
  2. I’m in my mid 30’s
  3. I’m an insurance agent
  4. My kids are a decade apart
  5. I have an obsession with tiny houses
  6. My husbands younger than me
  7. I’ve never purchased music (CD’s or itunes)
  8. I make my bed every morning
  9. I’m an Ebay seller
  10. I don’t know how to drive a stick
  11. I can’t ride a bike
  12. I love veggies
  13. I only wash my hair 2-3 times a week
  14. I love to camp
  15. I love to travel
  16. I get over excited for many thing
  17. I arrive late to everything
  18. I love craft beer
  19. I prefer pants over dresses
  20. I watch all the Real Housewives shows

Six Things I Wish I Thought About Before Our First Camping Trip

It’s true I love planning and not to toot my own horn (but you know I’m going to anyways), I’m pretty good at it.  My family raves about how I plan everything almost down to the second.  It’s more of a love/hate thing with my husband, whom doesn’t understand why I need such detailed structure.  I guess it’s just my personality, I always need a plan.

Before our first camping trip I had our site booked, arrival and departure time coordinated, our set up and take down plan ready to execute, all meals planned, wardrobe packed, and all the RV necessities I thought we would need already stowed away in the camper.  I thought I did some pretty through research on everything we would ever need, I guess I needed to find out first hand what was really necessary for our family to have a comfortable camping trip.

My top 6 items that I wish I would have thought of before our first camping trip:

  1. Cleaning The Air Filter:  It never crossed our minds to clean the filter before heading out to camp, we were really just excited to know that our 11-year-old camper still had a functioning AC.  Little did we know on our first night of camping in the middle of July, when the temps were above 90 degrees that an uncleaned filter can cause your AC unit to freeze up and come inoperable.  Needless to say it was a rough and uncomfortable first night.  The first thing we do when we arrive home is to remove the filter and wash it with soap & water and let it air dry before replacing it.
  2. Interior Temperature:  I also had no idea how little things can affect the interior temperature within the camper.  For instance, the camper had the old incandescent bulbs and those things put off some heat!  Realizing that those types of lightbulbs can really effect the temperature and possibly even be a fire hazard we quickly ordered a set of LED’s from LED KINGDOMUS on Amazon.  I do not suggest purchasing them from a camping supply chain because the prices are ridiculous.
  3. Trash Receptacle:  It’s true we went on our first camping trip without trash bags.  Thank goodness I planned for picking up doggie doo and brought a ton of plastic shopping bags.  It’s funny how something you use everyday and is necessary in every place, is pushed back on the side burner in your brain.  We improvised with what we had and it seemed to work pretty well.  We purchased the Camco pop-a-bag hanger and Camco pop-a-bag dispenser and that seem to solve our trash problem.  We also purchased a small pop up trash can from Camping World to keep outside trash in and to toss the filled bags in until we can take it to the dumpster.
  4. Towels:  I brought just enough towels for us to use for showers and at the pool, but I absolutely didn’t think about spills or other accidents and mishaps.  Most campers probably don’t have this problem but since we have a residential toilet installed in ours, there tended to be some leaking issues.  I’m sure there could possibly be some other water or liquid issues that arise, so I’m pretty sure its just a good idea to keep an extra stash of towels in your camper.
  5. Entertainment:  We planned on our first weekend being tech-free…..bwwhhaaa (I’m still laughing hysterically).  We weren’t going to install a TV in the camper and we asked the kids not to bring their tablets.  By the end of the first night when it was absolutely scorching we stayed inside most the night with not much to do, we all went to sleep extremely early due to boredom.  I now make sure that there is a set of board games and we recently installed a small TV for if the campground offers cable.  I still like the idea of being tech-free but sometimes the weather just doesn’t cooperate for the most fun time.
  6. Storage:  I still haven’t mastered this yet, but little by little everything is finding its place.  Storage cubes have been awesome to store the kids water toys at the bottom of the closets.  I also use another cube in the bathroom to store all those towels and wash cloths.  I still need to make better use of the closet space, I’m thinking of purchasing locker shelves, not sure yet.

Needless to say without these items you will still have a fantastic camping trip.  And in most cases a store is probably right up the road.

Ghosts & Camping (Yemassee, SC)

Our very first camping trip was in the small Lowcountry town of Yemassee, South Carolina.  It’s true that we live in South Carolina but we have never been to Yemassee, we didn’t really know what to expect.  Quite to our surprise we were extremely impressed.

We stayed at the Point South KOA for 2 nights, and I’m pretty sure that we didn’t see everything they had to offer.  We ended up being stuck in rush hour traffic on the way down on the interstate and were extremely exhausted when we arrived.  We ordered a pizza at the check-in desk and they delivered it right to our camper.  I couldn’t believe the hospitality, the staff was just absolutely amazing.

The next morning after breakfast we ventured out to do some sightseeing.  I read about The Sheldon Church ruins which were only a few miles up the road.  The Sheldon Church was built in the 1700’s and beholds a vast amount of American history.  Not only is it historical it is an amazing sight to see.  The Lowcountry itself is absolutely beautiful but to set your eyes upon the glorious ruins within the low hanging southern trees hung with moss, the sight is almost breath-taking.

I didn’t tell my family that I also read that the ruins were haunted because I did not want to scare the children.  I feel like I caught an image of Ann Bull Heyward, a young mother who passed in her 30’s believed to appear near her tomb.  You can decide for yourself, my husband didn’t seem to see it even after I sketched the outline of it.

 

After our adventure we headed back for lunch and hung out at our site for most the evening.  We did attend the wine tasting that the campground offers – let me tell you they are very generous in their tastings for the small fee of $7 plus they provided us with a small cheese pizza for a palate cleanser.  While we were tasting the children colored bookbags and played board games that the campground also had on hand.

The next morning we were sad to go.  We certainly became fans of KOA because of the way they make everyone feel like family.  This was our very first trip and we didn’t know much of anything; parking, setting up, rules and guidelines – not only was the staff available to help but if we didn’t have something it was available in the campgrounds store.  It was such a wonderful trip that we look forward to visiting it again.

The White Beast

2005 Gulfstream Cavalier

I’m finally getting around to sharing the newest member of our family…our travel trailer in which I dubbed “The White Beast”.  This beaut is 31 feet long and weighs 4500 pounds, it was quite the bundle of joy we were looking for.

I do believe this may have been a FEMA trailer, made specifically for the victims of Hurricane Katrina.  I’ve read that these particular models were getting a bad rap for making the individuals whom lived in them very sick.  Come to find out Gulfstream was manufacturing them at such a fast pace that the trailer didn’t have time to air out the chemical fumes from the adhesive that was used to build it.  That being said it’s not the highest of quality but it definitely served its purpose.  The biggest reason why we think this is a FEMA trailer is because there isn’t a holding tank, this particular model was made to be parked and hooked up at all times.

Now that you have somewhat of a brief history come take a look inside.  We’ve tried our best to make it homey without making any changes

2005 Gulfstream Cavalier dining

 

This is our dining area, this is what you immediately see when walking through the door.  It converts into a bed and supposedly sleeps 2, we haven’t attempted that yet.  There is also really great storage under the seats but it is kind of a hassle to move the cushions and the boards to access it.

 

2005 Gulfstream Cavalier couch

 

Our “mother-in-law” accommodations include this luxe couch which converts to a twin bed.  And when my mother isn’t traveling with, it becomes our dogs bed.

Storage can also be found under the couch unlike the dining benches it can be accessible a little easier.  Currently we don’t store much of anything in either compartments, but I’m sure during the winter months bulky clothes might be hidden here.

2005 Gulfstream Cavalier kitchen

 

Across from the couch is a FULL SIZED fridge.  This makes planning for meals and storing leftovers incredibly easy.  Living out of a cooler, even just for a weekend, is messy and very inconvenient.  Having a large fridge is a big plus for our family.  The trailer also includes the normal camper range and we have a microwave too.

 

2005 Gulfstream Cavalier bunks

 

 

One of the main features we were wanting from a RV was a bunkhouse.  Bunkhouses in newer RV’s are incredible, some even have a separate room with bunks specifically made for large families.  Those are absolutely amazing and one day I hope we can acquire one of those.  But for now since were newbies in the RV camping world I’m pretty stoked just to have ours.

 

 

 

Theres not too much to say about the bathroom.  It does have a residential toilet, which we’ve been told we really need to switch out, before in cause a problem such as leaking and causing structural damage.  Since we don’t have a holding tank I’m really thinking we should just get a composting toilet, but those are around $1000 so that won’t be anytime soon.

 

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Here’s the full length view of the trailer from the bathroom.  It’s pretty spacious for 2 people when all 5 of us are in there moving around it can become a dance form of art with lots of communication.  It takes a lot of patience to manuever in such a tight spot but it only brings us closer as a family.

2005 Gulfstream Cavalier Bedroom

At the opposite end of the trailer is our “master” bedroom equipped with a full size bed.  There is a good bit of storage in this room with a floor to ceiling closet and some small storage above.

This little piece of heaven might not be much to others, but to us it has really been a great pleasure.  We’ve already been on 2 weekend camping trips and looking forward to 2 more planned weekends this year.

DomesticatedMomster