A place for everything

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Yesterday we arrived back in the Glamour States. We tried Walnut Woods State Park but it was full.

Tired, we gave in. We reserved a spot for a week at the Des Moines West KOA. Basically an expensive RV parking lot. It’ll do. After the dash to New Jersey and back we need time in one spot to get our act together, get some things from our house and do laundry.

So, after four nights in the Airstream, what have we learned? Here are ten things:

1) Working, while traveling, while learning a new home, is very stressful. What a week. There have been moments of panic. There will be more. Like anything, this experience is what you make it. Looking forward to time to relax this weekend and catch up on overdue work.

2) Airstreams are beautiful but not perfectly built. Very good by RV standards, but not Audi good. We need to schedule a few small repairs.

3) A place for everything and everything in it’s place. Obviously these are tight quarters. It is absolutely necessary to (i) have the right things; (ii) have a place for those things and (iii) be disciplined about tidiness. A dirty towel thrown over a sofa is now half the living space gone. We’re still figuring out where things live so right now the place looks like a garage sale. We’re going to use this week of downtime to get organized.

4) The floor gets dirty quickly and continuously. There are the same number of you but with a much smaller floor to take all your grime. It shows. Having a daily – or more – routine of vacuuming & swiffering is important.

5) Water is not as big of a deal as I predicted. I haven’t run out of hot water while showering. That’s a relief. The toilet works. Another relief. Emptying tanks has not yet resulted in anything worthy of a Robbin Williams impersonation.

6) Power is not as big of a deal as I predicted. A/C is the power issue but otherwise I think we could go off battery power alone for a while (with the fridge/water heater on propane). That opens some possibilities I hadn’t thought too much about.

7) Internet is a bigger deal than I predicted. I am now accepting that as a rule campsites with wifi don’t really have internet. They have a wireless link to “loading…” So it’s down to your hotspot, which is the second problem – cell service. So far just one night completely off the grid (Cowans Gap State Park, PA).

8) We have become very good at setting up and tearing down camp. Our first full setup was a two hour affair. We’re down to about 20 minutes. I would pay a lot for an aftermarket auto-levelling system.

9) This country has no-messing-around toll roads. I never really knew. Not $2.50 on the Kansas Turnpike. But tolls of $50 and up. We spent hundreds in tolls to New Jersey and back. These tolls must rival state income tax in revenue generation.

10) Good weather and nice surroundings make for better glamourstreaming. Campgrounds have lots of dogs. It helps if your dog likes dogs.

– Anthony, Adel, Iowa

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