Sunday, March 24, 2013

Getting Ready for Our Next Trip

Within a week of returning from our trip in January, we decided our next trip would be in April to Casa Grande, Arizona, for the National Alfa Rally. We are still in the learning phase of using and owning an RV. Do you ever stop learning? Craig has found the Alfa forum very interesting, and hopefully has learned how to fix a few things without ever having them break!  He is looking forward to meeting some of the people he has been chatting with on the forum. 

After that we are going to visit my brother in Surprise Arizona for a day, and then go on to the Grand Canyon.

To get there, we will be driving across country we have traveled before, so it will be a couple of long driving days without much stopping. Not that that is bad. I like just riding and driving along in the Alfa. We plan to do our first Walmart boondocking. 

Our daughter bought us the Rand McNally navigation system for Christmas, and one feature is that you can have it show all the Walmarts, Sam's Clubs and Rest Stops on your route with notations of which allow overnight parking. I'm not exactly sure where we will stop, but I know what the alternatives are.

We have worked very hard on house project for over two months. I had a wish list of things I hope to see finished before we went out again. Many of them have been completed. Some things were done that were not on the list, but the one big project, the bathroom downstairs, will not be finished. That makes me sad because with that rolling over into the month after we get back, it is unlikely we will get the house on the market this summer. Craig gets really mad at me when I say that. He is far more optimistic than I am. I really wanted to have it ready by early summer because I think this house will show best in the summer months. People will appreciate the wonderful decks and cool family room more on a hot day than in the winter. There are also many more accidents on the nearby highway in rainy winter weather. It's funny how people tend to forget about that during the summer months. For me a classic example comes from Craig himself. Years ago, when we lived in Wisconsin, he was offered a job in Texas in July. He said no because Texas was too hot. He took the job in October or November, and I sat alone with a country house for sale in rural Wisconsin through the winter. 

I'm at loose ends right now. I don't have a project that I can work on that will make me feel like I am contributing to the goal of getting the house done. Just about everything I need to do involves Craig, and I don't want to take him away from working on those %*@x  bathrooms. Somehow I thought two months would be enough time to do one, but we have had some set backs.  

Next week I will be shopping and packing for our trip. I'm not sure what groceries to take because the week of the Rally will include a number of dinners, lunches and even one breakfast.  No sense in carting around food we won't need for a week.  I figure on shopping in Williams before we go up to the Canyon.

We finished our taxes yesterday, and now I have the use of the dining room table back. It is my trip-packing "staging spot." I have a long printed list and will be filling the table with things for the trip.  I know that if I put something in the Alfa, I will probably need it in the house, so most loading is done on the last day. I don't leave much of anything in the Alfa for the same reason. As I pack I try to think like we are leaving for our full time life. If I'm not putting something in that I will want to take along then, I am either leaving room or really evaluating if I will actually need it. I think this time when we get home instead of rushing around putting things away, I will put most of it back on the table and evaluate what we left behind. It would be a good time to fill some large boxes with things we can get rid of.  

One nice thing about having my list on the computer is that I can reprint it and make changes or additions with each trip.  In addition to what to pack, I list where in the Alfa everything is put. If I decide there is a better place, I simply correct the list. By the time we are full time, I should have a master list!  Of course it will continue to change, but I can try. 

My next post will be about a few little innovations I have done in the Alfa. Little fixes for little problems!


  1. I'm trying to make a list of where everything is in the RV. With my recent renovations in the RV a lot of stuff was moved around. I think it is real important in such a small space to know where things are, since many things are packed in behind something else.

  2. No, I don't think you ever stop learning about your rig.

    Do you have a listing agent yet? Can you put the house on the market as is? It seems that you would save yourself a lot of work and frustration by just moving ahead to sell.

  3. I was going to ask the same thing. Can't you put it on the market as is and save yourself some money and work. If our daughter doesn't decide to buy ours we are not doing anything, sell it like it is. We did enough work when we moved in. If we have to take less we will. That way you could get on the road sooner than later.

  4. You sound a little down. Hang in there. It will all work out sooner or later. In the meantime use your trips in the Alfa to regenerate your soul and spirit!

  5. Way excited for you. Where are you staying at the Grand Canyon? We have reservations at Trailer Village on the south rim...but now have found out that the MH will have trouble getting there. Any suggestions?

    I agree with Tammy...sell as is!

  6. Think of all you have accomplished on your house. It seems like DH is always hard at work in every post. Perhaps you should consider selling as is or at least talking to a realtor about the most critical fixes before you become discouraged with each other over the house.

  7. I'm glad you can boon dock in the Walmarts on your trip. Most of the ones in Oregon and Washington it isn't allowed. It's not an issue with Walmart. It's city ordinances. Which is really too bad because I'm sure a lot of RVers leave a lot of money there with their purchases.

  8. Hang in there...enjoy every moment, you're making memories while enjoying life, and planning for your future!

  9. This morning, I sure wish I had a list of where I put the darn pancake mix! We did a major search this morning looking for the stuff and then finally found it in the place I thought it was all along!

    I think unexpected delays are par for the course in trying to prepare a house to sell. It sounds like you're doing well, but I agree, spring or early summer is supposed to be the best time to market a house.

    Can't wait for your next trip to the Grand Canyon!

  10. If sounds like things are (mostly) moving well ahead,but some delays are to be expected. It is too bad that you don't have anything that you can work on yourself as being at loose ends can surely affect mood. Planning for your trip is good, but can you find something else? I'm sort of at loose ends these days and it isn't good...

  11. Nice that you are going on another trip. Need to get away from the project every once in a while. Have a wonderful time.

  12. You sure are ahead of where we were when we traded up. Of course, John had been sick and the move from one rig to another was "thought to be" organized, but now I see it was....Put it wherever there is a space. I envy your ability to do things in an organized manner.

  13. My husband is an optimist, too. Always more positive about timetables and cash than I am. And, hey, sometimes he's right! Enjoy your trip, and take good care of yourself!



Leave a comment, or send an email.