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Preparations for the American tour

Preparations for the American tour

If I could show photos here, they would all be of myself sitting at my computer, surfing the internet for YouTube videos about RVing in all flavors; solo, by Airstream, with dogs, as a woman, full time, and what to take.  I knew that I wanted to stay out as long as I could, making a circuit through Indiana to Seattle, Washington, Oregon, Northern California, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Illinois, Ohio, back to Maryland.  I wanted to spend time dry camping at national parks and state parks.  I would need to be prepared for that.  I enjoy my computer and having internet.  I would have work to do on two weddings.  My small travel trailer would need to contain clothing for multiple weather conditions, art supplies, a computer and all the paraphernalia for editing the weddings and videos that I would be taking along the way.

I researched solar panels, generators, heaters, RV-friendly gadgets, how to store everything, how to stay warm in cold weather, what to do with dogs, etc.

The last few days before leaving for my trip were used to await deliveries and to plan at least the first couple of days of my journey.

One of the first things I ordered was a Weboost to boost the cell signal in the trailer so that I could use my Verizon JetPack to have WiFi internet on the trip.

I bought a Goal Zero Yeti 400.  It has 400 Watts, which should run a couple lights and my laptop.  It’s a solar generator and I also bought a suitcase solar panel kit to charge the generator, which can also be charged with a normal outlet.

Two other purchases were for heat.  I got a small cube of a heater from Broan.  I can use that one when I’m hooked to a power.  It does a great job.  I keep it up on the stove, with the cover down.  I like to turn it on at night.  It doesn’t use up my propane and I like the trailer cool during the night anyways.  When I’m in the trailer, working on a project or watching a movie, I like to feel cozy and comfy.  The propane furnace does a great job at that.  When I don’t have electric power, I can use a small propane heater that efficiently uses small one pound propane canisters.  If I keep the heat on low, one canister should last six hours.  I purchased eight canisters.  That pretty much covers my need for electricity and heat.

I watch videos made by a couple that have a video production company called LoLoHo (Long Long Honeymoon).  They have great advice about Airstream life, as they have a twenty-five foot Airstream.  I’ve learned a lot from them.  They recommended ways to make sure you get good sleep in the Airstream.  I did a lot of research on the top mattress toppers.  I have a lot of joint pain, lower back pain, and hip pain.  The joint pain started suddenly on August 8th.  Its pretty constant.  The other things are occasional.  I found a mattress topper that is four inches thick and specifically made for the issues that I have.  Its been very comfortable.  I got a great mattress pad and sheets for a short queen mattress.  I tried using some from home, but they were so much bigger than the mattress they slid all over and bunch up.

My Airstream is wired for panels on the roof, but that will have to wait until next year.  I’d also like to have an insulated water hose.  An electric blanket might be nice, too.  It doesn’t use as much electric as the furnace and I could turn it on a while before I go to bed.  No more getting in and having shivers from a cold mattress.

A small item I ordered that has been awesome is my little Moka Pot.  It’s an Italian espresso maker that would make six tiny cups of espresso.  I use it to make one nice sized cup of regular coffee.  It uses no electricity.

These are some of the things that I researched and ordered so they would be delivered before we left on our long, long adventure.  The solar generator and solar panels didn’t arrive until the last minute.