Our first trip with the van went pretty much as expected. We had fun, roasted marshmallows, played in the river and forgot pretty much everything at home. Well not everything, but we did end up going back to the house three times before we got to the end of our street and we still forgot so many items we actually needed.
Our first trip with “El Condor” was a very good reminder that we are in the process of breaking in our new home. Meaning, we wouldn’t have everything we need the first time, things would be forgotten. We had to recall what it was like to learn to travel in our two previous trailers. Rob and I backcountry and car camped prior to children. We had it down to an art. With the addition of child one, we upgraded to a luxurious Starcraft pop-up tent trailer. The first time we took it out I think we brought absolutely everything. Seriously, a new baby needs everything. Every. Thing. Once we figured out what we actually needed, our camping became a lot easier. Enter child two. The little tent trailer was okay as a family of four. It wasn’t great. Before long we found ourselves looking for a larger hard-walled trailer. We found “Terry”, a 24 ft Fleetwood bumper-pull, and fixed his ant infestation and rotten floor problem. Terry was good to us. It was hard to say goodbye last fall. However it was necessary, for the next stage of our road tripping adventures, to move on. Each time we’ve changed our travel home there has been an adjustment period. Both of us knew that we would forget a bunch of things, like a lighter.
“El Condor” is significantly smaller than both of our previous RVs. It brings a whole new set of challenges. Space is a commodity and we’re very much aware of how little space we have. We are being very deliberate about what is actually coming with us. There is, of course, the possibility of shipping some of our things back home. As we make our way North we’ll cease to use our cold weather gear. Maybe we swap cold weather gear for snorkels and scuba masks somewhere along the way.
Having a log book on this first trip was the best idea. We were able to remember random things we knew we wanted/needed in our rolling home, like paper towel. Whenever we went to grab something and it wasn’t there, we added it to one of two lists. “Things we forgot” and “Things we need to buy.” The “Things we forgot” list was substantial, with things like garbage bags and headlamps on it. Seriously, it was like we were going camping for the first time. Which again is kind of true, but this was also a bit ridiculous.
We took the van out this past weekend for our second mini trip. So glad we did this before our “Operation Shakedown” summer road trip next week (stay tuned for Trial and Error the sequel). At any rate, things are coming together. We’ll keep making more lists and getting more stuff done. Both Rob and I are starting to feel the pressure of what’s coming, and that it’s coming really soon. We just keep reminding ourselves that it’s going to be completely worth it.