Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Travel day to New Orleans

Day 3

Yep! It's late.  Bet you thought I was going to miss a day.  Nope!  Today was a travel day, so we were up and at em early this morning.

Soo, since it was a travel day, that's the subject tonight.  Some have asked me a few questions about our checklist, how many miles we travel in a day and how we pick where we go and where we stay.

Today's travel was a little unusual as we travelled farther in a day than we usually do or like to do.  Usually Dave likes to stick to around 250 miles or less.  Today it was about 340 miles or about 7 hours worth.  Of course that includes a half hour or so for lunch and two bathroom/walking breaks.  But, on our first leg, he drove 3 hours because, apparently, there is only one rest area between Shreveport and Opalousas and it is just OUTSIDE of Opalousas!

Opalousas Rest Area

Anyway, back to the beginning.  Because we were driving farther (longer) than usual, we wanted to get an early start.  Early meaning 8 or 830.

Wait, wait.  Let me go back a little further....how we find places to stay.  Dave starts by looking for Military bases with FamCamps in the area we are going to.  he uses this website.  There doesn't happen to be one close enough in the New Orleans area with a FamCamp, so then he starts looking here.  Also looks in his RVND GPS website for the area we want and then narrows it down by price and by looking at the pictures on the rv park website.  Some places are more expensive than others and some types of campgrounds are more expensive.  KOA's usually always more expensive, but in our case for today it was the best choice.

I'll just say that we are full hookups kind of RVers.  We can do without sewer sometimes, as we did at Benbrook lake and for a night or two without water, but really really hate doing without 50 amps.  So we usually always look for full hookups, unless we want to stay at a Corp of Engineers park and then we are weighing price against hookups.  We have the America the Beautiful pass and that gets us 50% off of camping there.  Most COE campgrounds do not have sewer.

OK, so we settled on the KOA in Kenner, LA just outside of New Orleans.  In this case part of the decision was to get us close enough to position ourselves to moving on site on Thursday at the festival we will be working at, which is IN New Orleans.

So, we decided to set the alarm....don't do that VERY often anymore...for 6:30am.  I'm usually up at 6 or 630, but he didn't trust that I would be..probably right.  Sometimes I don't get up til around 7.  ANYway, I did get up a few minutes before the alarm went off.  My usual morning routine is to take the dogs out for about 20 minutes ooorrrr until Dave gets up, but this morning was the 20 minute routine.  I came back in and jumped in the shower...Dave claims for 40 minutes...I think 20 for the shower and another 20 to brush my teeth, do my hair and hmmmm other things.  Once I get dressed, I make the bed and get the bedroom ready for travel.  While I'm doing that Dave is finishing his 2nd cup of coffee and putting things away in the living room. When I come out of the bedroom, he gets in the shower and I start putting everything in the kitchen away for travel.

Once he is done in the bathroom, he puts away anything laying around, secures the medicine cabinet and the shower and gets dressed.  When he comes down he heads on out to start the outside work.  Putting any yard stuff away, starts draining the tanks, flushing the black tank and then unhooking the black tank hose and the water hose.

In the meantime I am finishing up inside; making sure the sliding door is secured open, running the faucet to get all the water out of the lines, making sure we got everything secured, double check the locks in the bathroom and getting us something to drink for the road.  I collect the dog leashes and the water bowl and take those, our drinks, my purse, our phones and my latest book to the truck.

When Dave is finished outside, except for the electric cord, he moves the chairs to their secure position, brings in the satellite dish and the bikes.  Once he does that we make sure, one more time, that the sliding door is locked open, the medicine cabinet is secured and the fridge is locked.  I then put in all the slides.  As soon as I'm done with that, then we start the trailer hook up process.

While he is backing the truck into position I bring up the rear jacks and raise or lower the front ones to get the hitch into position.  He backs the truck up, locks it in and then I raise the front jacks.  He pulls the electric cord in and then the last thing is the walk around to lock all the hatches and make sure the running lights work.

Back at about the 2nd  step the dogs have already figured out we are leaving and pace nervously because they are always, ALWAYS afraid they are going to be left behind.  As soon as they see a chance they sneak out the door and head for the truck...by this time Dave has already left the truck's back door open and they just hop on in.  No danger of them jumping out and running around because, as already mentioned they are always, ALWAYS afraid they will be left behind.  Silly girls!

Dave tests the trailer breaks and we are off!

Somewhere in the process we have breakfast.  Usually before I get in the shower, but this morning since we wanted to get going earlier than usual we just had a bowl of cereal and a banana as we were working.

Now, this whole process can take anywhere from an hour to an hour and a half, depending on if we had done anything the night before, how long we had stayed there and how much stuff we put out in the yard.  Not sure how long it took this morning, but we didn't make the target of 830....it was 845, so still not bad.  On regular travel days when we don't have 7 hours ahead of us, we take it slow, have a nice breakfast and take our time.  On those days we'll usually get on the road somewhere between 930 and 11.  We like to be at our next RV park by 3 in the afternoon.

Dave likes to make reservations ahead of time, unless we are staying at a FamCamp that doesn't take them.  He gets nervous relying on "just showing up".  Hasn't bit us in the butt yet, but only a matter of time I'm sure.  We haven't had any problems the 2 times we had to change the reservations, but it did cost us  $10 to make the change in dates at the last COE park we stayed at, so I guess that's a little "nip".

So there you are.  Maybe a future post will be about arriving and setting up.

SHOUTOUT: to Don Catoe, whom we met at the Barksdale AFB FamCamp.  We both lurk over at RV-Dreams.com and he happened to notice the sticker on the truck and stopped to say hello.  Good luck on your purchase of a motorhome and getting your house sold.  Hope to see you on the road again!!

1 comment:

  1. I loved hearing about the process! Its really interesting to me. It sounds like you guys are settling into a nice routine. xoxo


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