Good Sam Club Open Roads Forum: Anybody else have trouble packing for camping
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 > Anybody else have trouble packing for camping

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Posted: 11/22/19 12:35pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Back when we had the fold down, we kept it stocked with everything except food and clothes. Now, with the 5th wheel, we keep it stocked with everything except clothes and food. It basicly means keeping two households going.

We still have some trouble packing, but it is only on the food side.



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Posted: 11/22/19 12:43pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I've read the comments that everyone posted on here, and I think everyone who stresses over this part has really "missed the boat", sort-of-say, and I feel for you all.

I guess our approach to RVing, Camping, Glamping, whatever you call it, is much bigger than just getting to the campsite, chilling out, and having fun.

The "thrill" of the entire experience begins the moment we decided to get a camper (actually, back then, it was a tent).

Instead of being a dreaded chore, purchasing, learning, and equipping the RV was... well... really ... a lot of fun! It was exciting and the anticipation was great!

Packing for the trip should be just as much "fun" and exciting and venturing off on that new hiking trail. It's part of the experience. Rather than dreading it, "embrace" it. With each item of clothing, each item of food, plan the visualize in your mind what you will do with each item. Anticipate the happy looks from others in your party when think about them putting on clean clothing, or sinking their teeth into a juicy watermellon. Packing should not be dreaded, it should be embraced, have fun doing it. Don't make it a chore.

Same is true for the actual "journey" there. Hitching and driving / towing, actually are my favorite parts of the "adventure". I thoroughly enjoy driving and towing and seeing things along the route. Once at the destination, the "journey" is over.

Once we arrive, there is the challenge of getting into the campsite, navigating backwards, setting up and finally stepping inside with the satisfaction, "We made it! Safely too!"

Oh the dreaded job of dumping the black and grey tank. No... not dreaded... it's part of IT. Make the best of it, embrace it. It's only as bad as you make it in your mind. If you think positive about this part of the camping experience, you'll find the satisfaction doing this job too. Make it enjoyable. When waiting in line at the dump station, go say hello to the folks in the rig behind you. You'll be amazed how much people love to talk about themselves.

And once home, there's always the job of maintenance on our RV's. This also should not be a "chore" or a painful job. Actually, it should give each of us a lot of pleasure. Think of it this way, we HAVE an RV to wash and maintain. Think of all the jealous people who have green-eyed envy at us. They want one, but are not willing to invest the time, effort, or money to upkeep and maintain one. Be grateful you have a good brain and can figure out how to fix and repair things yourself, or remodel, or upgrade, or change, or swap out yourself. Not everyone can do that. But we do! Then, when the job is done, we can have a certain element of satisfaction ... "I did that!" and be proud of it. This also adds to the joy and fun of the overall experience.

So, that's my words of philosophy for the day. As the Good Book say, "In all things, be content." Don't stress over the packing process. Instead embrace it ... and ... if you forget something ... well ... we've all done that ... you simply learn how to compromise, use your head, and either do without or substitute a work around solution. And even that is an enjoyable experience?

Flat tire? It's probably going to happen to 99.9% of us sooner or later if it hasn't happened already. Don't panic, reach in the refrigerator (first) get a cool drink, relax, say to your self, this will all be over with soon and we'll be on our way. And think yourself out of the wet paper bag. But, rather than stress over it, might as well have fun in the process. This actually happened to us this year, and rather than stressing, we laughed and joked and talked and have more fun waiting on Roadside assistance than we did at the campground the entire week.


Mc Pherson KS USA

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Posted: 11/22/19 12:51pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Short answer no not a issue. I keep the RV ready to go except for food. I usually just pick up food when I get to or close by my destination. When I get back I wash all the clothes and bedding and put them back in the camper.


Washington, IL

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Posted: 11/22/19 01:07pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

My issue is spring time. When we winterize in late Oct/early Nov, we take certain things out of our camper...mostly all the food. We also bag up beddings, pillows, stuff like that and put in the attic (mostly just in case Mickey comes for a visit in the camper). Point spring, it's exciting yet a "task" to re-stock toiletries and food stuffs.

But, like most have said, normally, we just throw a few pieces of clothing in. For food, we do a list, stock the unit, and we are off. Not a big deal.

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Windsor Ontario

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Posted: 11/22/19 01:13pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

food and clothes are all we need to pack. all equipment stays in the camper. in the before time when we had a popup or tents we used same idea but the stuff lived in totes to it just had to be grabbed.

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Fayetteville Arkansas

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Posted: 11/22/19 01:14pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I really like DuchmenSport's comments. I, too, enjoy the adventure of every trip. Even the problems are just a part of it. We are taking the fifth-wheel to a state park for Thanksgiving and the weekend. Yesterday, I checked the trailer (always a good idea to do that several days in advance) and discovered that the front jacks would not operate and one tire had a slow leak. A bit of a worry at first, but hey, I discovered that I could operate the front jacks manually (something I had read about now and then on this forum), and the tire store where I had purchased the tires found a small nail and fixed the tire for no charge. Today, my wife and I are going over the menus and starting to do some of the cooking -- all part of the adventure.



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Posted: 11/22/19 02:11pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I don't have a pop up ... but most of the stuff I usually keep in my RV could be kept in duffle bags. Worth a thought. My checklist is down to simple stuff - does everybody have jackets/clothes/shoes/boots etc ... and what's missing from the fridge so we can make a quick stop on the way when we pickup gas.




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Posted: 11/22/19 02:14pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I always enjoy the planning portion (which includes packing) of a trip.

Some ideas that might make it easier for folks:

1. Packing cubes. These are great to pack clothes in. Each family member can have their own color. They fit a lot in a small space. And when not in use, they take up no space. A week or two before the trip, give each member their cube(s). They lay it out in their room and start adding clothes. Each person should have everything they need in their cube three days before you leave. At that time, you can review the kids' clothes to make sure they didn't skip the undies or such. If something is missing, you have time to do a load of laundry, etc. without rushing the morning of the trip.

If everything is good, the cube gets zipped up and moved to the "loading zone". Once in the loading zone, no one but you touches it.

2. For little kids, make them a list of what to pack for clothes. If they can't read or count, use pictures or stickers of shirts, pants, shorts, etc. If they need two pairs of shorts, have two pictures of shorts. When they see a picture of shorts, they add a pair to the list, then X off that one picture. If there is a second picture of shorts, they add another pair and X off the second photo. This gets them doing the bulk of the work and you just need to verify everything is there.

3. Keep an extra set of toothbrushes, toothpaste, combs, brushes, etc., in a travel case for the family. It is only used for travel. If you can't leave it in the camper, then store it in the linen closet. When it's time to travel, pull it and place it in the "loading zone".

4. Give each kid a packing cube for toys, electronics, etc. Whatever you let them take. Within your rules, they can pack whatever they want in this cube. But, if they forgot their game boy, that's their problem. Thy can do without. This puts responsibility on them with repercussions - yet doesn't leave them without undies or a toothbrush. If the trip will have specific activities (e.g., swimming pool, snow, etc.), let them know so they can add stuff made for those activities.

5. Embrace online shopping. Make your meal plan several weeks out. Try to coordinate so you use up everything you bring. Once the plan is made, go to the online shopping site of your grocery store and add everything you don't already have to the cart. The week before the trip, go through the cart and make any necessary changes. Order for delivery/pickup the day before you leave. When the groceries arrive at home, immediately load them in the camper, cooler, etc. Then load any food you are pulling from the house.

6. Filling water tank/jugs, getting gas, etc., should all be done at least one weekend before the trip. Exception is if you tow vehicle is your daily driver - in that case, fill up the afternoon before.

7. The "loading zone". This is the space in the garage/house allotted for camping supplies that need to be loaded. No one but you is allowed to add or remove anything from this spot. Major items (bedding, etc.) can be put here as soon as you have it ready. Personal gear (each member's packing cubes) are only put here once you've verified the contents. These are moved into the camper as soon as everything is accounted for. This eliminates the "did I already load that".

For me, I like to have everything loaded and ready by the weekend before the trip, with the exception of food. This way, I can relax the last 2-7 days instead of stressing. Food gets picked up early the day before and immediately loaded. If a food item is out of stock, I can make a quick stop at another store to pick it up before the trip without adding a lot of stress.

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Verde Valley

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Posted: 11/22/19 02:33pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

As kids we were always excited....Mom/Dad looked forward to it BUT they had to deal with the prep/packing etc All done in secret.

See my brother would get SOOOOooooooooo excited he would make himself SICK.
Physically SICK.
So Sick we wouldn't get to go

So Mom/Dad had to do everything on the down-lo, late at night or when us kids were gone.....and then on that fruitful morning wake us up EARLY, pack us in the vehicle and finish all last minute stuff,
Then off we went.

Camping trip, vacation trip, overnight trip to relatives etc.
Didn't matter.........if we were going it was a SECRET.

Is it time for your medication or mine?

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Bermuda & Maryland Eastern Shore

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Posted: 11/22/19 02:52pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Preparing for the next trip starts before the current trip is over. A current shopping list is always on the go. Clothing is always onboard. Tools, spares anything else is always onboard.

That just leaves food. What can be packaged & stored, is. Weeks before the end of a trip the DW is planning meals so that by the last day very little perishable food is left to be disposed of.

First CG coming out of storage has a Walmart & a big box market literally less than 5 minutes away. It is drop trailer in the CG, make sure everything is turned on & working, grab shopping list left from last trip, add perishables to it, & off to the markets.

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