Keep Calm, and Make a List

Camping lists.  I have a few of these.  I save them on my computer so I can look them up each year.  With our camping season only lasting from late May to mid September (if I’m being generous) there are many months of waiting and forgetting in between seasons!  I have a general packing list.  I have a food packing list.  I have a list of good camping meals (with their specific ingredients).  I recently (this past summer) added a list of “what’s in the camper”, because every summer when we pack down for the winter I assume I will remember that next year we need more coffee filters, or that I still have plenty of saran wrap.  And then, every June/July I sit in my kitchen packing and wondering what I still had/needed in the trailer.  (Remember, we store our trailer quite far from home, and can’t actually bring it down the 300km gravel road to where we live.)

This April I started a new list.  A ‘What do we need for the new trailer?’ list.  It reminds me of when we bought our first home.  Sure, there was the cost of the actual house…..but then came all the ‘little’ necessary costs like a lawnmower, curtains, washer/dryer.  (And a few more un-necessary, but choice, costs such as new paint for the basement/bedroom.)  Dale and I have been trying to collect a comprehensive list of needs/wants and then also deciding which items belong to each category (a want vs. an actual need).  And even among those ‘needs’, deciding which ones we should get immediately and which we can wait on to see how important they really are.

Anyways, we started our list from a few different sources.  The first was the dealership where we bought the trailers.  Sherri actually contacted our salesman and outright asked what the trailers would still need, and what sort of things he would suggest as necessities.  The second source for our list was the Winnebago Minnie Owners Facebook Group.  They have a list, compiled by people who regularly use our specific trailers, of what they consider necessities for first time owners.  (That, and simply being a part of the group, has given us a lot of ideas as to what’s working for other owners.)  Dale also follows another camping forum (I can’t remember which one off the top of my head….) where he sees discussions of various tools/equipment/problems/solutions; and has added a few items to our growing list because of it.  And finally, we’ve sourced ideas from simply talking to friends/family who own trailers!

In the end we ordered the following items from amazon.ca:

  • Progressive Industries HW30C 30 Amp hardwired electrical management system with remote display
  • Camco 5/8″  x 35 feet Premium RV Freshwater Drinking Hose
  • Camco RV Brass Water Pressure Regulator with Gauge
  • Camco 90 degree Elbow
  • Camco Rhino Flex Clear 45 degree Sewer Hose Swivel Fitting
  • Walex Bio-Pak Natural holding tank deodorizer and Waste Digester (50 pack)
  • 2 x Camco Wheel Chocks with Rope
  • 2 x Andersen Camper Leveler

Dale is also looking into the best option for ordering our tow mirrors, and then those will be purchased as well.

We have smaller items on the list of ‘need, but can wait for now’, or ‘think we need, but we’ll wait and see’.  Things like disposable gloves for use when emptying the black water (come to think of it, if I went searching I could probably find some here in our house.)  Grease for the wheel bearings, silicone spray for the rubber slide seals, chemicals for winterizing, storage solutions, hooks, etc.

My ‘want’ list is the one that’s likely to get ‘booted’ to another year and I’m totally okay with that.  I want a new kitchen tent.  When we put ours away last summer one of the metal poles bent.  We bent it back, but that point looks very weak now and I’m not convinced it will hold.  I’d like one of those clam style tents that go up super quick (seems pretty convenient if we plan to move around a lot!).  HOWEVER, I realize we can try to make the current tent work for now, as a new tent is just one more cost on an ever growing list.  I also want to make the inside of my trailer ‘pretty’ – curtains across the bunk beds, pillows for the seating area, etc.

I think my next list is going to be “Things to check on our trailer when we pick it up”.  Being part of multiple Winnebago/Camping/RV groups means we’ve heard of lots of different problems people have had, but didn’t realize until later.  Every time I read one of these stories I think to myself “oh, we should check for that”, and then I continue scrolling through the Facebook or forum page.  Time to write it down!!!

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