Good morning from blustery Kearney, Neb., where I’m sitting inside a toasty RV and waiting for my two passengers to come back from the showers. Never having spent any time at RV parks before this trip, I guess I didn’t give a second thought to what it would take to set one up. As you can see from the picture, it’s just a series of concrete slabs with electrical, water and sewer hookups. Add a building with some shower and laundry facilities, put in a wi-fi router, and drop the whole thing down within a mile of a major interstate. That’s all.
We had a nice long shower and a few minutes on the deserted campsite playground in Iowa yesterday morning before hitting the road. (Lindy helpfully reminded me to unplug the shore power cord from the RV before we drove off.) It was a beautiful day weather-wise, and we didn’t even turn on the windshield wipers once. Based on two fill-ups so far, we’re averaging just a little less than 9 (!) miles to the gallon. A fuel-sipper, this thing is not.
Yesterday’s drive was long and fairly uneventful. We made shorter stops thanks to a working toilet on board, played some video games at a truck stop and restocked our snacks. Made it to Kearney before dark as I’d hoped, and settled in for a nice dinner in the RV. I sprinkled some chopped baked tofu and fresh spinach on top of noodle bowls from Annie Chun and Dr. McDougall that need only hot water to prepare. We had microwave popcorn — a novelty, because we don’t have a microwave in our house! Then a bedtime story for the little one and off to sleep.
This morning, we will set out on our final leg to Colorado. Passing long hours on the road when you’re in an RV, once you get used to driving it, isn’t all that different from passing long hours on the road in a car. When you get where you’re going, settling in for the night is a lot easier though.
Keeping hyper-vigilant about putting things away, and staying in constant communication with the others who are with you, are key. You’re in a tight space together. It’s inevitable that one person will want to hang up clothes and another will be in the bathroom while the third is working in the kitchen. Keeping a sense of humor helps too.
A few of the things we brought along have served us amazingly well. I thought I’d highlight them.
- Prana pants. They’re quick to dry, water resistant, comfortable enough to wear all day or in bed, and nice enough looking to wear to a decent dinner. It’s more than I usually spend on a pair of pants, but these were a find.
- Quick dry towels. I originally bought one to use in the fitness center at work. It takes some getting used to when you’re drying off with something that feels more like a chamois than a towel. But these are really absorbent, and they dry really fast.
- Wenzel travel pillows. These stuff down very small for travel, but are quite comfortable.
- Headlight. This was a handy thing for finding my way to the laundry room, now that it has working batteries. (Thanks, TSA!)
- Spork. We bought four of these stainless steel fork/spoon/knife combo numbers, and they’re amazing. In addition to covering all of our eating needs while taking up little space, the sporks helped me cut up dinner and open a couple of stubborn packages.
In the next post, I’ll show you around the RV a little. Until then!
Also published on Medium.