So did we have a good time? Yes, we really did. There were some bumps in the road and we learned things we couldn’t have known about pre-trip.
As mentioned in Part 1 – there was the electrical cord issue but there was more. Here are some of the things I learned:
1) You may have to settle for less than 50 AMP service. Breezewood Proving Grounds only had 30 Amp service. On 30 Amps you can do just about anything you need, but you cannot run both of the trucks air conditioners. We found this out the hard way, of course trying to put it on. My son was using the garage to get into his gear, instead of the small bathroom inside the truck — and it was hot — so he turned it on. And blew the breaker! Of course, the air conditioner in the garage wasn’t necessary to run — and so we learned that unless we do have a full 50 Amp service or the generator on… we better just run one at a time.
2) You may not have to use your generator. It’s another choice we had with regard to the electrical power. We could have run our generator for the garage air conditioner, and even used it for the refrigerator, and other things, but we instead did without it. There will be times we will NEED to have it on…. for example, on longer trips because there is no air conditioning in the truck without the generator being on!
3) You can use Propane. We used the propane for heating the water and running the refrigerator and freezer. We also used the trucks propane for the grill, having bought the needed connections in advance. This worked really well, the propane made hot water in no time flat for dishes, or showers and we never had to think about the refrigerator or freezer. I love that most of our essential items will run on either the propane, the generator – or the electrical hookup.
4) Figure out the shower in advance. I had to go outside and get hubby to show me how the shower worked. It was funny till it wasn’t. I nearly ripped off the shower knob — thinking it had to move one way or another to turn on the water. Turns out the switch for that is in the handle of the shower head — I never would have found it, and he had a hard time finding it too. Something to think about before you are in there … and can’t get it to work!
5) Don’t depend on the campgrounds Wi-Fi signal. Breezewood has wi-fi — but it wasn’t sufficient for most phones, let alone our laptop or TV. We did have a Rogue Wave and wireless router. It advertises it can get you a signal for up to 7 miles – and we were able to “sporadically” hook up to Breezewoods’ signal — I even deleted 30 emails before it cut me off. The Rogue Wave might have to be — line of sight — to be at it’s best. In any case, Breezewood is in a valley between two mountains and that might have been part of the reason we had issues. It made us realize that we might not always be able to hook up to a wi-fi in our camping locations — use our phones and/or computer and that, like at Breezewood, we might just be able to have one TV channel to watch.
6) Bring Movie DVD’s – We brought kids DVD’s but we totally forgot the adults. This is one thing we are going to remember next time, especially if we can’t get a wi-fi signal to use — as we would have loved the option of a movie over the one TV program choice — The Stanley Cup Playoffs.
7) Make Lists – Make a written checklist of everything you need to check before you go. Each time till you get used to the routine, this will let you know if you forgot something. While not unplugging is a big one… which we didn’t forget to do, we did go home with the key to the electrical box! I called them and mailed it back the next day — but I am hoping that’s because we are still novices that we can remember to return everything before we leave next time! Other lists to make are things you didn’t remember this time that would make the trip better next time (like DVD’s, more snacks and coffee creamer).
8) You may need to play Musical Beds – Never having slept in a camper we knew there might be adjustments we might have to make. My husband and I snore. We had no clue how this would affect any of us. Neither did we anticipate that I would not be able to sleep in a bunk – which was from part claustrophobia, and part heated conditions (not enough air flow into the bunk). My son had no idea how “soft” the pull out sofa would be and that he would not be able to sleep on it. So the first night a few of us changed places as the night went on. Second night, we rearranged, and hubby and I loved the soft sofa bed and the kids loved the bunks – and they even said the snoring wasn’t as bad as they thought it would be.