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Old 07-31-2012, 09:43 PM   #1
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Best Practices for Less Stress Airstreaming

I'm always interested in hearing what best practices, ideas, thoughts that others implement in their Airstreaming lifestyle for opportunities that we can incorporate into our Airstreaming lifestyle. We are still employed and we are a number of years from retirement, so our camping opportunities are limited to weekends and planned vacations throughout the year, seldom any spontaneous trips.

Following are a few examples of some of our "best practices" (not necessarily "set in stone" ... but things we try to incorporate) we try to follow that seem to make our Airstreaming/camping opportunities more enjoyable and less stressful:

1. For every hour of drive time required to reach our destination, we desire 1 day off from work for the trip. For example, if it takes us 4 hours to reach our destination, then we want at least 4 days off from work. Otherwise it turns into a hectic and stressful weekend hurrying to and from the destination.

2. Never let the water hose connection touch the ground when connecting or disconnecting the water source at the Airstream ... we've seen some unbelievably nasty things people do with their sewer hose at their site and who knows what occurred prior to our use of the site we're in.

3. When the camping trip has come to an end, on that last morning, prior to "breaking camp" for our return trip home, the Airstream is cleaned and prepped for the next trip so we don't have a messy trailer to get ready before our next trip out. Then we hitch up and head home.

4. Our camping checklist and camping gear resides in one location in the garage to minimize overlooking packing something.

Do you have any "best practices" to share with the rest of us?
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Old 07-31-2012, 10:30 PM   #2
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Gee, that'a pretty high standard...
Our trips usually don't allow for 'rule 1'..we pretty much drive several days for a few hours at a location (4,200 miles in 15 days was our last outing)
#2...we usually are more concerned about what comes out of the spigot...
#3...oops...we still have a few pounds of dead bugs on the front of our 'stream from the last outing...I still haven't found one pair of shoes...they must be in the closet...
#4...we kinda leave the stuff in the camper so it's doesn't get left behind on the next trip...

Our #1 stress reducer...Visa Card...and..."the Lack of a plan assures the plan won't fail"

Seriously, we just kinda roll with it...
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Old 07-31-2012, 10:42 PM   #3
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Hey guys... Good points all around. We haven't done the "clean the trailer at the end of the trip" thing yet, but it's something we can strive for. I like your forumla for time off vs driving time...We try to take as much time as we can...we have a less restricted work-frame happily, so we usually build some extra days into our trip so that if we decide we want to stay longer we can (or go somewhere else)... We REALLY like getting the most bank for our travel...if, for instance, we are going to drive a long distance to get to a rally or event, we are very likely to add other legs before or after that event and go visit places along the way or back toward home "since we're in the neighborhood." We also believe in making the journey part of the destination, sometimes staying a day or two along the way if we feel like it. And oh, we hate to back-track...we'll take a different route home than we took going if at all possible.
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Old 07-31-2012, 10:47 PM   #4
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No offense intended, but If I had all those "best practices", I would not enjoy the trip.
These are our best practices.
Get ready a relaxed pace.
Don't worry about forgetting something. There's always a store somewhere.
Travel at a relaxed pace.
Don't set any goals
Stop when you feel like it.
Stop to smell the roses.
When at destination do what catches your fancy.
Start home in plenty of time to make it a pleasant journey.
Clean the trailer up when you feel like it.

Ken

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Old 07-31-2012, 10:54 PM   #5
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To relieve driving stress, I like to leave for a trip from my home base late at night or wee hours in the morning (before 2am). I avoid traffic in the Metroplex and make very good time. I stop when it's breakfast time, by then I'm several hundred miles away and truely on the road. No need to make pit stops for dogs or anybody with me during the first hours of the drive because they are all sleeping.
On the return trip, I like to arrive back in this area before everyone gets up and on the road for work.

Other than that, I follow Ken's (w7ts) advice.
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Old 07-31-2012, 10:59 PM   #6
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I like to second the idea of just rolling with it. We just returned from a 4400 mile two week trip and did not have one reservation. We just hit the road, our kids enjoy the lack of structure and we find that we enjoy this adventure. We boondock in unusual places, travel distances that we are comfortable with even though I have been known to do 800 mile days!

I love a clean trailer but wait until I get home to clean it on the outside, cleaning it on the inside as we go.

Never understood the folks that just sit in one place for two weeks...
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Old 07-31-2012, 11:09 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by HiHoAgRV View Post
Gee, that'a pretty high standard...
Our trips usually don't allow for 'rule 1'..we pretty much drive several days for a few hours at a location (4,200 miles in 15 days was our last outing)
#2...we usually are more concerned about what comes out of the spigot...
#3...oops...we still have a few pounds of dead bugs on the front of our 'stream from the last outing...I still haven't found one pair of shoes...they must be in the closet...
#4...we kinda leave the stuff in the camper so it's doesn't get left behind on the next trip...

Our #1 stress reducer...Visa Card...and..."the Lack of a plan assures the plan won't fail"

Seriously, we just kinda roll with it...
Uh....yup....but it takes practice.
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Old 07-31-2012, 11:28 PM   #8
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My best practice will be limiting my trailer occupants to two people. The last trip we went on we had three, two of who were barely getting along. We still had fun but it could have been much better

Or maybe I'll start travelig myself so the only expectations I have to meet are mine. That sounds much better.

Dan
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Old 07-31-2012, 11:40 PM   #9
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We take a day to set up the trailer and pack it (including the fridge).

Everytime we realize we need a tool or appliance on the road, we buy one for the trailer and leave it in the trailer even if it's a duplicate of what we have at home.

We leave early when possible (kids etc sleeping for several hours of the trip is great).

We buy Diesel at petroleum distributors (CFN network) and we have a 44 gal tank so few stops and no mini-marts at the fueling locations.

We take a day after the trip to clean / recharge the trailer before putting it back in storage.
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Old 07-31-2012, 11:49 PM   #10
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Frank and Mike,
We follow the same four guide which make our trips more enjoyable. A couple of other things we do are:

1. We each have our camping clothes (including nice clothes for eating out) and pretty much everything else needed which stays in the camper. After we clean the camper before breaking camp we place all linens, towels and dirty clothes etc. into a large hamper. Once home the hamper goes into the house, everything washed, then put back into their various places in the camper.

2. The day before a trip we buy all groceries, etc and place in the camper the night before so when we get home from work it is hook up and go.

3. If it is cold outside I have been known to turn the heat on in the camper when we stop at a restaurant for dinner so it is warmer once we reach our destination.

For me, planning and organizing is 75% of the fun.

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Old 08-01-2012, 12:07 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by w7ts View Post
No offense intended, but If I had all those "best practices", I would not enjoy the trip.
These are our best practices.
Get ready a relaxed pace.
Don't worry about forgetting something. There's always a store somewhere.
Travel at a relaxed pace.
Don't set any goals
Stop when you feel like it.
Stop to smell the roses.
When at destination do what catches your fancy.
Start home in plenty of time to make it a pleasant journey.
Clean the trailer up when you feel like it.

Ken

.
Next time we are on the front range we have to go out for dinner, we think so much alike

Frank&Mike I love that these things work for you but here is why they won't work for me and what does:

#1 is crazy, When we go places they are usually at least 6-12 hours away, and like bluto we leave around 3am that way no traffic and the kids sleep till seven or eight and then it's time to stop and get breakfast.

Going to Yellowstone over Labor day. 10 hours one way. Leave Thursday after kids get out of school. sleep in a rest area somewhere. get there friday. Spend 3 1/2 days having fun. Drive back Tuesday. If we followed your rule #1 we would have to spend 20 days there

#2 is a little to anal for me, I try not to let it hit the ground but don't stress over it. Most camp grounds we camp at don't have dumps at the camp sites. Plus I let it hit the ground to drain the water out by blowing down it..

#3 I'm still enjoying my camping trip on the last day and cleaning up is the last thing I want to do. Especialy after 4 kids I save that for when I get home. and then maybe a few days after I get home.

I also leave as much in the trailer as I can so I don't have to worry about leaving it behind next time.

#4 My wife tried to implement a check list, but like Ken I figure there are stores if I forget stuff, and why would I forget something, I leave it all in the trailer.

We have 4 kids, from 2 1/2 year old twins to 9 1/2 year old. My friend does too. He is way more anal than me and spends more time stressed out because of his kids than I do. His trailer has to be clean and organized and he spends to much time trying to keep it that way.

I have two rules. dirty clothes in the dirty clothes bin. and keep everything out of the walk way, thats it.

When camping, I don't want to have to worry about check list, cleaning up, driving times verses staying times. I want to get there, have fun getting there, and have fun when I'm there.

So here is how I stay stress free on a trip.

- As soon as I leave the driveway, NO MORE STRESS.. Well except what the kids cause
- Enjoy the ride.
- Stop when the kids need a break.
- Don't make to many plans, when they don't happen people get stressed.
- Pack clothes, camp fire wood, and food. Everything else should be in the trailer.
- Clean up when we get home, and don't worry about it till then.
- When a camp don't worry about anything except what we are doing there, should be having Fun.
- don't have to many rules, the kids will break them and stress me out

But this is just me. And your stuff works for you and keeps you stressless. It wouldn't for me. But thats the great part, we are all different. It would be so boring if we all did the same thing.
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Old 08-01-2012, 12:43 AM   #12
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"1. For every hour of drive time required to reach our destination, we desire 1 day off from work for the trip..."

That's great if you have the time. If we followed that formula on our cross country road trip, we'd still be on it. Unless we are going to a rally, we take our time and ramble around. Our kids tell us we're gone more than we're at home. Well, that's the idea...

I guess my best practice (should I have one) is that we only use our TV for towing the AS, so we keep it packed and ready to go. We add or subtract gear depending where we're going. It pretty much stays hooked up to the camper most of the time. When packing up, sometimes we prep it for the next adventure, sometimes we just toss it in the back and deal with it when we get home.
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Old 08-01-2012, 07:56 AM   #13
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Yeah, that first rule is a tough one. That said, driving more than 2.5-3 hours on a Friday night after work is a bit too much.

We find that it helps to mostly clean the inside of the trailer before we tow home. While I'm outside hitching up, my wife sweeps the floor, wipes the shower (with the used-up towel), and wipes off the countertops. All we need to do at home is take out the laundry basket, empty the fridge (and wipe it out), and carry out whatever food is in the trailer.

The rule we're working on is this: maybe it's too much to expect to go camping every single weekend of the camping season. Stuff needs to get done, both at home and with the trailer.

Tom
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Old 08-01-2012, 08:07 AM   #14
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Stress busting? Just remember this and you won't go far wrong:

"Everything takes longer than expected so allow more time than you think you'll need"
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