First trip!

Discussion in 'Let me tell you about my trip' started by WalksOn2Wheels, Oct 3, 2016.

  1. WalksOn2Wheels

    WalksOn2Wheels New Member

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    Finally got a test run in the new to us camper. I took my 4 and a half year old girl with me at nearby Ray Roberts State Park. Then my wife brought our baby boy out in the morning to hang out. She's still a little nervous about camping with him at this age. Maybe in the spring. But everything went great. To my surprise, we slept quite comfortably in the mid-50's having only light flannel sheets and a fleece blanket.

    The one big thing I learned is that even though it's only a 20-30 minute drive from the house, camping on a Friday night is AWFUL if you get off work at 5. Just way too much running around despite all the previous prep I had done. This kiddo's bed time is normally about 8 and I think it wasn't until after 8 that we finally had camp set up, a fire going and dinner started.

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    Yes, I know, I forgot to cover up that one lift arm.
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  2. PopUpSteve

    PopUpSteve Administrator

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    Good to see you got your first trip under your belt. Every trip is a learning experience. I'm at the point where I take at least a day off prior to a trip and sometimes the day after as well. Always one more thing to do before leaving and it always takes longer than planned.
     
  3. sierrapup

    sierrapup Active Member

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    awesome, looks like the kids had fun..
     
  4. Mally

    Mally Member

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    Looks like you had a great time! The kiddos sure look like they did at least.

    I usually have to leave work at 5 just like you. And then I head home to get everything before heading out. Here's a few tips that help me.
    That being said, I don't have kids so I can't add in any time related things based upon them. [LOL]
    If these aren't possible for you, or they don't apply, then just ignore me. [LOL]

    1) Load up as much as possible into your Tow Vehicle the night before. (Any bedding, clothes, toiletries, etc etc.)
    2) Pack the cooler (if you bring one) in the morning before you leave for work. Go ahead and fill it with ice, but leave it inside if possible. If your cooler doesn't hold ice very well, this may not work for you. I do this and fill with ice in the AM. I leave it inside so by the time I get off work, hardly any ice has melted. If you can't do this or need to keep things in the fridge at home, then keep them in grocery bags. That way you know you just need to grab the 4 bags, instead of looking through the entire fridge to make sure you got everything.
    3) I use a plastic tub to carry any food that doesn't go in the cooler. I pack this the night before as well. And depending on weather, I will throw it in my TV in the AM with everything else.
    4) If your camper is stored in a place that makes it difficult to hitch up, move it into your driveway the night before. (or onto the curb, or anywhere that is easier to hitch up to when you finally get off work. I store my camper behind the gate in the side yard of my house. It is a very tight squeeze for the truck. So the night before I tent to move in into the driveway, so that way hitching up before I leave is much easier.

    Basically, you want to make it to the point that when you get off work, you throw a handful of pre-packed and ready things into the TV, hitch up, (grab the kids! I almost forgot! [LOL]) and head out.

    And the three most important things in my opinion:
    5) If you can store it in the camper, then do it. The less you have to load and unload at the end of every trip, the better. I still tent camp occasionally so I have to find a happy medium of what stays in the camper vs what doesn't. But every single item helps. Folding chairs, cooking supplies, etc. As much bedding as possible, maybe get a second set of toiletries to keep stored in there. (Obviously anything that might draw insects should be sealed or maybe removed depending on how often you camp and where you store the camper)
    6) If you find yourself packing things that you never use, then don't pack them. I am not the best at this, I will admit. My favorite saying is "I would rather have it and not need it, then to need it and not have it." [LOL] That being said, I have a tub in the garage of "Gear" that I no longer bring because it takes up space and I never use it.
    7) You get to camp!! Relax. Sometimes you are gonna run a little late. It happens. Take it easy. Know it's all gonna be worth it.

    Other things:
    8) You don't have to set every aspect of camp up on the first night. Set the camper up, any other "Requirements", and pack a very simple meal for the first night. You can always finish up other set up in the morning the next day.

    Also, if this was your first set up, it will get easier every time.
     
  5. WalksOn2Wheels

    WalksOn2Wheels New Member

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    So true. This was my first full set up and I learned that I am AWFUL at backing this thing in. [LOL] Definitely need some practice there.

    I did pack as much as possible the night before, so after getting off work, it was mostly just throwing stuff in the car, but there were some unforseen (kids) things I couldn't plan for.

    Next time around for short weekend trips, I think I'll just go all by my lonesome with the camper in the early morning, get my site, set up the camper and just come back later with kids, etc. That will work for this park anyway as it's super close to home.
     
  6. jmkay1

    jmkay1 2004 Fleetwood/Coleman Utah Gold Supporting Member

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    As what was said above. It will get easier and the more practice backing up the better. Leaving after work is always hard and stressful. Some days I leave work a tad early or the same time the kiddo gets out of school. Have the car prepacked so all you have to worry about is the kids and cooler. Grant you, that alone does add time especially that age. Soon though they will also get the hang of it as well and what is expected of them. Just wish that last potty before a trip would be easier. [;)]. I can now back up to the trailer to hitch up almost on one swing so it doesn't take that much longer any more. Some days...I'm just not that lucky. It's like the trailer has a mind of its own too. [:D]. Point is, it will get easier and as the kids grow they will be able to help more. My little side kick is 12 now. So much easier with somethings. But at the age where she rolls her eyes if you ask for help. [}:)]
     
  7. WalksOn2Wheels

    WalksOn2Wheels New Member

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    Oh man, I have to say the biggest thing I learned about this trip was how much my 4 year old can surprise me. I was so focused on taking care of every little thing so that she could have a good time, but with just me and her there, this sometimes meant me having to work on something while she had nothing to do. I know she had fun on the trip, but I asked her afterwards what she enjoyed most and she said "sleeping." [LOL] If asked whether or not she had fun, she would say no. Puzzled, I asked her why she didn't have fun and she said, "Because you did all the work. I didn't get to do anything." [?:~{] [:!] So I told her I would give her plenty of jobs next time and I would buy her her own headlamp to wear at the camp site as well.
     
  8. ScoobyDoo

    ScoobyDoo New Member

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    One thing I did, that will not work for all. (really not many) Leaving on Fri? Pack everything you can, and hook up Thursday night. Tow the camper to work. DW always got off a couple of hours before me, she would put the cooler in the car, pack it, (can't lift when full) grab the little dogs and meet me at my work. Coming home, stop get her car...
    Winter, and after I retired, I would take her to work Friday, get everything loaded, then pick her up in tow...
     
  9. rjhammetter

    rjhammetter Husband, Dad, Engineer & Camper

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    Thanks for sharing the story and pics. Nice setup. Looks like a good time, especially for the kids, which is the most important thing!

    After spending our first year with the PUP and having done a Fri-Sun trip, we won't do those anymore. At least not with our kids (4 & 2) coming along. Friday ends up being an afternoon of setup/cooking between 3pm and bedtime at 8pm, one day of "camping," and one morning of breakfast/teardown so we can drive home during nap time.

    It's just not enough time for us. By the time we feel relaxed, it's already time to go home. The whole PUP packing/setup/teardown process for us is about 2 hours. Your idea to get the kids the next day is a good one if you're close. Our parks are 2-3 hours away from home.

    There's only so much packing/prepping that can be done beforehand. The 3pm check in/out at WI state parks limits us. Setting up sooner on Friday isn't an option because site may be occupied until then. So we won't go shorter than Thu-Sun anymore (take Fri off).

    I'm also impressed by how well the PUP stays warm when it gets cold outside. Mid 50s is about perfect for sleeping weather around mid 60s inside without needing the furnace or space heater.
     
  10. silverfz

    silverfz Active Member

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    Some one who camps with kids some ideas.
    I usually get a local pizza joint number online and call food as I enter as usually it's late and kids are hungry.
    Pack as much as possible before hand as other suggested .
    I do not over pack especially food as pizza and breakfast eggs and bacon will pack easy.
    I also get a bundle of wood too.
    Pratice makes you decide what is important and what is done. My wife camps more with kids solo.i want to go once but the wife is pissed when I say I am leaving her home while camping.

    It is alot of work when you back to back weekend camping due to setup. We have moved in to a TT. Now setup is like 10 minutes between me and wife . Plus our kids are 5 and 9 much older than our pup days.

    Sent from my XT1650
     
  11. Old Fat Farmer

    Old Fat Farmer New Member

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    Hey there Walks on 2 Wheels, Thanks for sharing your experience and the great photos! We also just completed a Fri-Sun campout and all I can say is "Ditto"! Even though the campground was only 25 min. from home, by the time we set up and fixed dinner it was 10 pm and the rangers were coming around to let us know it was "quiet time" LOL!! I learned a lot from the sage responses given to your post. We are headed out again this weekend but this time I'm headed home from work at noon so we have time to set up and enjoy a leisurely dinner and campfire. Happy camping!
     
  12. sea-piner

    sea-piner Member

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    Hey! Great to see others getting out with the little ones. We took our kids camping when they were 4 months old and they were fine. Now they are 6 and 4 and they LOVE to go in the "camp-out." Having your wife there to help key. If the little one is sleeping through the night no problems. If not (ours didn't), my wife would sleep next to/with the youngest and I would sleep next to the oldes. the three most important things with kids is extra clothes, extra clothes and extra clothes.

    Hopefully to make you feel better: one time we were doing the leave after work program and when we get to the site 3 hours away and in the dark, my wife and I both looked at each other and say, "where are the kid's clothes?" Fortunately there was a surf shop in town that was still open and we bought a bunch of oversized sweats they could where. Now I am lucky and work 4 days a week--Wednesday through Saturday, so we get the benefit of being able to get campsites easily, less traffic (California can be really bad) and 21/2 days at the site.
     
  13. Gjburkey

    Gjburkey Member

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    Always give the children jobs that they can handle, and let them help you, even when they make it take longer. It will pay off in the long run, in both camping and relationships. At least, that's what I tell myself! Our children are about the age of yours and love to help.

    Sent from my XT1080 using Tapatalk
     

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