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Old 07-21-2008, 09:02 PM   #1
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Lighten Your Load

A comment in an RV forum a couple months ago made me think how much extra weight I could do without when I take the trailer on the road. The writer asked TT and MH owners to look in their RVs and decide if they could do without some items, weigh them and report back to the forum.

This weekend I cut off the receiver tube/crossbar that was used by the PO to mount a bike rack. The wider than bumper 4" PVC pipe came off next. I went through the trailer today after work and found 78 complete sets of silverware, an extra rivet gun, parts, parts and parts. Lets see how much this all weighed:

receiver tube/crossbar: 35 lbs.
PVC pipe 16
Extra parts/rivet gun 25
Extra utensils 4
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Weight taken off 80 lbs. of which 51 lbs. was on rear bumper

I probably travel with another 250 lbs. of hunting gear during hunting season but remove this when making a non-hunting trip.

I still use Chinet paper plates/bowls but still have 4 complete sets of white Corel large plates, small plates, large bowls, small bowls and 4 coffee mugs. I rarely use disposable cups, preferring to drink out of heavy clear plastic cups with a rubbery knurled gripping surface (never dropped a Wild Turkey and Coke yet). I cut the forks, spoons, knives down from 7 sets to 4 sets plus 2 Boy Scout sets I've had longer than I care to admit.

What have you removed lately to lighten your load and maybe get a little better gas mileage?
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Old 07-21-2008, 09:41 PM   #2
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I noticed on last week's trip to Minnesota how much "stuff" we've accumulated that goes unused. I packed out 3 jeans/3 shorts plus t's plus long sleeved shirts plus jackets for two people. Little was worn since humidity/sweating is so reduced there compared to our Missouri, so I've vowed to CUT the clothes. Jeans and jackets are weighty, so that will help. I've multiple frying pans, pots, platters, and so on, so I'm reducing to two fry pans and one pot, all we really need. I could go on, but Craig, your point is well taken, and we for one Airstream, are hauling all the "stuff" back to the house to lighten the load before our fall trips. I'll weigh the overload like you and report back in a couple of weeks. Good thread...I hope you hear from lots of folks who also decide to reassess what they pack into their 'streams. ~G
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Old 07-21-2008, 09:58 PM   #3
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Last year I got tired of hot spots in my thin aluminum pots and pans. I ordered a set of Cuisinart Chef's Classic Hard-anodized pots and pans from Amazon.com and received a bonus sauce pan. They may weigh more than what they replaced but they sure work better on the propane stove than anything else I have tried, even stainless steel bi-metal pans.
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Old 07-21-2008, 10:37 PM   #4
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Interesting observations. I think it would be useful to unpack everything in the trailer once a year and start over. We did this a couple of years ago - but stuff accumulates. I guess it's time again - sigh.
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Old 07-21-2008, 11:21 PM   #5
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Since we go out every couple of weeks, there are times when I know we are not going to use certain things...so a lot of the "stuff" that might otherwise stay in the trailer being heavy and waiting to be used, we actually store in the garage between trips... then I only take with us what we really plan to use. For instance...when campfires aren't allowed, we don't take charcoal grills, fire wood, etc...and when we know we are going to use charcoal grill only, we don't take the gas grill and extra gas to run it... We plan our meals for the most part, and don't load down the frig with stuff that will not be eaten...and we STILL end up bringing food home. Another area we are still working on getting down to what we need is clothes...seems we always take too many and end up just hauling then around. I go through the exterior storage areas about every 2 trips and eliminate what's not being used on a regular basis...it can be stored int he garage with the other stuff and taken on a specific trip if we know we are going to use it. If we are going to be somewhere where we can go buy soda or other "staples" we don't take enough for the entire trip with us because we know we can get it there when we run out...that way we don't have to haul it there...

It amazes me how much stuff we can eliminate if we just think about it.
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Old 07-22-2008, 12:30 AM   #6
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Make room for more stuff?

Hi, funny you say this, but my wife just said we need to lighten up. Well, I lost 20 lbs. but that is not enough. We will start with chairs; we have two bagged chairs, two folding steel tube chairs, two aluminum chairs, and two folding wooden chairs. We will decide which six chairs not to take with us. I will sort through my tools. I try to keep one socket set, one wrench set, two [different] pliers, one pocket screw driver, one phillips screw driver, and one straight [or flat blade] screw driver. I won't list all the tools but I feel the need to have them, but I will try to reduce as much as I feel safe with. We really don't have too much excess, but I now have to carry a 70 lb. generator and possibly a tandem bicycle. Some of the stuff that will be eliminated will be from the tow vehicle too. We pre-cook some meals at home so we do not need to bring our little/portable barbeque and propane. For stuff I don't want to cook or heat up inside of our trailer we have a little burner that weighs about one pound. Good timing and we are glad you brought this up.
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Old 07-22-2008, 07:43 AM   #7
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as i get older and have more stuff and less memory, i find an inventory is very helpful.
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Old 07-22-2008, 07:58 AM   #8
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Last week Sam went to Connecticut for the weekend. She left me at home. That saved some weight.
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Old 07-30-2008, 03:08 AM   #9
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more useless weight

Being a full timer, I don't have anywhere to store stuff I won't be using this trip. My MH has an 80 gallon fresh water tank. I save gas by dumping waste tanks & fresh water if I know I'll have access to water where I'll be staying next. Just keep 3 milk jugs of drinking water for us & our dogs. they can be refilled as needed along the way. Who needs 2 complete sets of Craftsman wrenches in 1 tool box anyway?
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Old 07-30-2008, 06:29 AM   #10
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200 lbs removed from a 14,000lb rig would be a reduction of 1.4% in weight. What would be the savings in fuel? I don't believe it is that much. Is there a mathamatical formula to determine the savings.
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Old 07-30-2008, 08:42 AM   #11
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Part of this issue concerns state of mind. If we are concerned about weight issues with our Airstreams, then we probably are mindful of weight and efficiency in other issues that might be called "green" in this current world of ours. For example, if we are doing remodels, as we provision for trips, and so on. I suspect this is bigger than just lightening a load, though that is important and a great beginning point. ~G
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Old 07-30-2008, 10:46 AM   #12
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As one who strongly prefers to fly with a carry-on only, packing light makes a lot of sense to me. There's a lot less clutter that way. And a modern CCD interior wouldn't look nearly so attractive with stuff scattered about.

My in-laws like to say, "Take half the clothes and twice the money!"
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Old 07-30-2008, 12:34 PM   #13
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As soon as I start taking things out, Liz sees the "extra" space and starts filling it again. At least I'm taking out heavy crap and she's backfilling with lighter crap. I did draw one line in the sand - I get to determine what rides in the back of the 'burb! If I can't get to the jack and spare, whatever was blocking the way don't go in there. I refuse to have a pile o'stuff on the side of the road while changing a tire...

She's not as bad as my mother though. Back in the late 80's, my folks had a 24' class C MH. Mom would pack enough to last a rifle platoon for a month - all for a 2 person 3 day weekend.
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Old 07-31-2008, 03:56 PM   #14
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Hey we just got rid of 250 lbs of crap from the RED SOX, BYE MANNY
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