Loading and unloading the RV

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Tom

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A question for part-timers - folks who do not live in their RV full time, but rather take frequent short trips or several longer trips a year.

What do you load and unload every trip vs what do you keep on board? Do you, for example, keep a separate set of clothes on board?

We've wrestled with this subject numerous times over the years between boats, RVs and houses. No matter how hard we try to minimize effort, somehow it still takes a day or maybe two to load the coach and another day to unload when we get home.
 

Kenneth

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Nov 21, 2005
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Tom,

We keep everything on board ,sans clothing ,toiletries, medicine and of course the food.
When coming off a trip, we clean the coach front to back and wash the linens.

Pretty much, ready to go in 30 minutes or less! ;D
 

John From Detroit

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Davison Michigan
I too like to keep it more or less ready.  Clothing has to be brought in and washed but there are spare clothis in the rig, Food is brought in,  Most everything, includin spares of soap, shampoo and the like, stay in the rig.

The nature of life is such that being able to quickly move is a serious convience.  Though I'm not too worried about disaster hitting my house (Location, Location, Location, where I'm located is one of the safest (natural disaster wise) places in the US) I am a 1st responder disaster wise (You know how the Red Cross tells folks "We are the first to arrive"  well... Don't believe it,  they were talked into the scene by a Ham Radio operator who got there before the disaster in most cases)
 

BernieD

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Goodyear, AZ
We empty the refrigerator and medicine cabinet after after trip. Some cubbards are emptied, others left with supplies. We have a lot of duplicates between the house and coach; toiletries, bedding, coffee maker and wine uncorker ;D  Clothes vary, depending on the timing, length and location of the next trip. Marlene tends to pack the closet at the beginning of the year, I'll load less and empty the closet more after each trip. Of course, my wardrobe is a lot less extensive than hers  ;D ;D ;D

Our HOA limits on street parking for loading/unloading to 48 hours in a 7 day period and the coach is stored off site. We'll normally bring the coach over 1+ days before leaving primarily to plug in the refrigerator and cool it down. We've emptied the coach and returned it to the storage lot in as little as 1 1/2 hours after returning from a trip.
 

jozee

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San Diego
I have my RV set up with its own set of almost everything, including toiletries.  The kitchen is stocked with equipement, the pantry has dry and canned goods (to a certain extent), the bathroom and linen area in my closet has towels, toiletries, ands supplies.  My RV is parked at my home, which is not far from the beach, so there are always dry clean swimsuits, and at least one set of dry clothes (if only sweats and shorts) in the closet.  Also, since the rig lives in my driveway, it is easy to add items as I think about it through the week, so I don't have to load everything at once when preparing for a trip.
When we go to the beach overnight, we pretty much just take off.  If it is for more than one night, I have to load the fridge and bulk up the pantry, add a couple of extra outfits and we are ready.
jozee
 

BruceinFL

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Tom said:
A question for part-timers - folks who do not live in their RV full time, but rather take frequent short trips or several longer trips a year.

What do you load and unload every trip vs what do you keep on board? Do you, for example, keep a separate set of clothes on board?

We've wrestled with this subject numerous times over the years between boats, RVs and houses. No matter how hard we try to minimize effort, somehow it still takes a day or maybe two to load the coach and another day to unload when we get home.

We load most of the stuff each time since we keep the rig in a storage place. Here's what I can't figure out after all these years....it takes us two days to load up but only an hour to unload.  ;D
 

Carl L

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We keep trailer stuff on board and some tools and all of our housewares.    Clothing, perishable and dated foods, hobby junque, and light refreshments come in and out. 

We store the rig offsite.  However, I can pull the trailer into the driveway and leave it their with no real limit.  I have made peace with the neighbors by assuring them that the stays are strictly temporary and the damn thing goes away eventually.

Make ready includes loading the food and junque, filling the water tank, inflating tires, checking wheel nut torque, and chilling down fridge.  Any minor repairs usually get postponed until make ready time so they get included too.

 

DougJ

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Our rig is parked in our driveway, and plugged in most of the time.

We like to be ready to go on relatively short notice.  So, dry foods and canned foods are always on board--oh yes, wine and a little hard stuff ;).  If we are planning on going again within a week or two, we'll leave the fridge running.

Some clothes, linens, towels, that sort of thing, remain on board, but we load some additional clothes in the 2-hours it takes us to load and ready the rig for departure. 

So what else do we have to load?  Well, we have to get the cat and its pooper, special food and medicines (its diabetic, insulin twice a day)on board; there is the notebook and the extra CDs we may want for the trip--a basic set of about fifty CDs remains on board; get the water tank filled and do a "walk around" the rig;  I think that's about it.

Ciao,

Doug
 

BernieD

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BruceinFL said:
We load most of the stuff each time since we keep the rig in a storage place. Here's what I can't figure out after all these years....it takes us two days to load up but only an hour to unload.  ;D

It takes longer than 2 days to remember everything that you forgot to load ;D
 

John From Detroit

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DougJ said:
Our rig is parked in our driveway, and plugged in most of the time.

We like to be ready to go on relatively short notice.  So, dry foods and canned foods are always on board--oh yes, wine and a little hard stuff ;).  If we are planning on g

Sounds like a plan to me... I converted an old hole in the ground that was once a swimming pool into a parking pad

it has electric (20 amp service to a 30 amp outlet) sewer (3 inch to city sewer) and is only about 35 feet from water (Back of house)  In short, a full size camp site  So hitting the road, is a bit like moving site to site when on the road

I spent most of today in it in fact (Working on the cat cage)
 

Wendy

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Kenneth said:
Pretty much, ready to go in 30 minutes or less! ;D

You can load your clothes, food, and meds in 30 minutes or less?????????????? Please, oh please, tell me how !! I keep linens, kitchen stuff, most bathroom items (except meds), some clothes, canned food, books and more in the motorhome but it still takes hours to load up the clothes, frig food, meds and dog food and toys.
 

JerArdra

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Mar 3, 2005
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TOM,

We have been part timers since 1971 and have found checklists to be the best way.  We have a checklists for...

1.  The clothing we may take
2.  All the electronics, cables, PC, CDs, and so forth that we may take
3.  What to do to close down (secure) the house

As others have said we also have a COMPLETE second set of toiletries in the MH (I need only take by beloved electric razor).

This means list 1 above is much easier and shorter to load if the trip is to be only one week long as opposed to a 3-4 month trip.  Lists 2 and 3 take pretty much the same time no matter how long the trip.

Time wise choosing and loading clothing is a 3-4 hour task.  Loading food is 5-7 hours plus probably a trip to the grocery store.  List #2 above takes about 1-2 hours.  I guess it's about a 2 day job.

Being retired we do the loading over a 3 day period so it's an easy and fun (not a job) thing to do.

JerryF
 

Tom

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Thanks for the replies.

We keep all the basics that folks have mentioned in the coach (linens, towels, toiletries and even some clothes). But, unless we were able to do all the laundry before getting home, most of that stuff, except of course toiletries, comes out and has to be re-loaded. Other stuff like the DTV receiver from the guest bedroom, computers, printer, MP3 player, GPS receiver/plotter, etc, etc all add to my multiple trips to the coach.

Checklists do help and we use several. If you haven't seen them, click the Library button above and select Checklists.

The coach is kept at a remote storage location, but we bring it home and park it in the street a few days before a trip; No room at this location for a concrete RV pad at the side of the house and no room on the driveway. But I fail to see how the coach can be loaded in less than a couple of days. I should clarify that we don't spend two days continuously loading - I may, for example, be doing some pre-trip maintenance in between loading stuff.
 

Wendy

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We have done it in one day but it was a very long day, about 10 hours. Fortunately, most of the time, we can take several days to load it as it sits in an RV spot in the backyard. We do not use checklists but so far have never left behind anything important (me, the dog, the laptop and the Dish receiver).

The funny thing is, when we sold the 5th wheel and bought the class C, I figured we could jump in the motorhome at a moments notice and off we'd go....HA!
 

Kenneth

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wendycoke said:
You can load your clothes, food, and meds in 30 minutes or less?????????????? Please, oh please, tell me how !! I keep linens, kitchen stuff, most bathroom items (except meds), some clothes, canned food, books and more in the motorhome but it still takes hours to load up the clothes, frig food, meds and dog food and toys.

Years of practice ??? ;D

No really ,Cindy has everything RV (cloths etc.) In one section of the closet divided into two sections (winter/Summer) We have an actual first aid kit with everything imaginable sans prescription meds. Dogs are constantly "on call? ;D"? The trips are never long enough, everytime we get back from one Cindy gets everything ready for the next round.... ??? We vacuum pack most of the meat and freeze it when we buy it ,so when the need comes up all we do is grab what we anticipate needing and throw it in the fridge.
 

DougJ

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Tom said:
Thanks for the replies.

But, unless we were able to do all the laundry before getting home, most of that stuff, except of course toiletries, comes out and has to be re-loaded. Other stuff like the DTV receiver from the guest bedroom, computers, printer, MP3 player, GPS receiver/plotter, etc, etc all add to my multiple trips to the coach.

Regarding the dirty clothes--we unload those on arrival back home; they are usually washed the next day and replaced in the clothes basket which is promptly returned to the rig (and the clothes put away).  We don't have a DTV or MP3 player; we have about 50 CDs that remain in the rig--trip specific CDs are selected and are part of the load-up and unload; we have a Garmin on a bean bag (similar to the one you have for sale, Tom), but no plotter, and that goes in about the same time as the trip specific CDs;  We do have an HP1020 printer, but it belongs in the rig; if we're away for an extended period of time I'll move the dedicated picture-printing inkjet into the rig; the computer is a notebook and that travels with me regardless of the mode of transportation.

So yes, there are several trips to the rig in the load-up phase, but stuff gets moved out sitting in a large empty clothes basket.

Ciao,

Doug
 

Tom

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Hi Doug,

I only mentioned a few of the things we carry back and forth, but we must be taking a lot more stuff along. There's no way I make just a few trips between the house and the coach  :(
 

DougJ

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There's no way I make just a few trips between the house and the coach

With tongue in cheek I suggest either a smaller motorhome that holds less or tough it out with the trips between house and rig. ???

Doug
 

Wendy

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It seems to me, Doug, that you're doing your loading right after you get home whereas some of us are doing the loading just before leaving. I figure is you spend "x" hours putting things back in the motorhome in the days following a trip, that's the same as spending "x" number of hours putting things in the motorhome just before a trip.
 

Tom

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wendycoke said:
....you're doing your loading right after you get home whereas some of us are doing the loading just before leaving.

You have a point there Wendy.
 
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