Join Date: Mar 2014
Since our reason for purchasing an A-frame camper was to get out and see Colorado on weekend trips, we have pre-packed our camper (Rockwood A122) with everything but food and clothing. It sits in the garage, almost ready to go.
Night before, reconnect batteries, hook up AC power, turn on fridge, gas minivan. I will be adding a disconnect to make this easier, and allow choosing to operate the dual size 24 batteries in parallel (normal case) or singly. Transfer milk, juice to 2qt plastic containers for trip and refridgerate.
Early morning - check tire pressures (tow vehicle tires are cold), pack 2 small ice chests with food and drink, clothes, and put in van. Add folding chairs and EZ up for picnic table (case has stakes, tied downs, mallet). Switch fridge to DC, stow power cord, manually pull out from garage (due to narrow clearances on door), hook up, stow chocks and tongue jack wheel, go.
At campsite (assumes no hookups), switch off DC fridge first (want batteries full before disconnecting). Level side-to-side with the famous orange plastic blocks (I have a level glued on front of camper which is calibrated in inches, so I know how many blocks I need). Disconnect, level front-to-back, pop up camper, turn on gas at tank, start fridge on LP (sometimes difficult at high altitude). Turn on desired appliances in camper (water pump, hot water, furnace). Setup campsite (EZ up, cook stove, lantern, chairs). Transfer food, drink to camper fridge as desired.
Keep running list of things we should have brought, but didn't.
Return home. Unpack van, popup camper in driveway. Clean out fridge, top off (or drain) water tank and hot water heater. Review camper for items never used, or didn't work for replacement/removal. Review additions list to be sure we want to add those items. Replenish any consumables running low (paper products, plastic silverware). Put back in garage, with work list before next camping trip.
I keep a small tool set with only tools I actually use - short flat blade screwdriver to open fridge access panels, multi-meter, water filter wrench, wrench for battery terminals, Phillips #2 screwdriver for interior panels and exterior screws, 24" carpenter's level for fore-and-aft, lug nut cross, factory wrench for stabilizers. I also have spare stove lighters, matches, spare disposable propane tanks for camp stove and lantern, 12 gauge extension cord, leveling blocks, several LED flashlights, battery flourescent lantern (we like it inside the camper compared to the bright LED lights), LED reading light.
We have a frying pan (with cover), a pot (with cover), a cutting board, and a few cooking utensils (spatula, spoons, fork, knives). Use primarily paper plates and plastic silver, but have 2 plates, bowls, cups in case. Paper towels, cloth towels, 2 dish washing pans, dish drying rack (collapsible), scrubber, dish soap. A couple of books that we are reading during camping rounds out the stuff in the camper.
Will mod the external shower to easily access hot water for dish washing (done at picnic table, along with cooking).
The whole idea is to keep things as simple as possible because of our 2-4 day trips. I am sure I have missed a few things, but that's pretty close.
How you camp, how long your trips are, and what you do when you are there make a big difference. We had a specific goal in mind - now that the last child is going off to college this fall, we wanted to spend weekends that were previously devoted to kid activities (sports, etc) exploring Colorado. We try to go at least one weekend a month. Different goals call for different approaches and equipment.
2008 Hyundai Entourage (minivan)
2014 Rockwood A122