Saint Petersburg Travel Blog› entry 2 of 2 › view all entries
My mother was so worried about me moving into a trailer. Having always rented apartments and had maintenance people to fix things, she worried that I would not be able to keep it up. The truth is I have the same problems, maybe slightly different, as I would in a house, and more to the truth, it really helps someone who's always rented prepare for living in a house. It's improbable that a person living in trailer even for a short time would not pick up some familiarity of electricity, fuel, power tools, physics, fuses, and structural maintenance. She was also worried about telling her friends that her daughter was living in a trailer, probably down by some river.
Then when she saw it, was impressed. My house is clean, roomy, and modernly decorated. It looks like a house. "Mom," I told her, "In this 27x8x8 space, I have what's important to me. Moreover, I *know* what's important to me. If it's worth carrying around, it's necessary." So many people spend and spend on items that clutter their lives then move to bigger houses to hold all their stuff. George Carlin fans know what I'm talking about. People spend on things without thinking about if it impacts their life for the better or the worse. I can happily put aside catalogs and walk through megastores without feeling the urge to impulse buy things I don't need.
With younger siblings in college, I also expressed to her how much better off I would have been going to school in one of these. The thousands of dollars in rent that I'll never see again and the headaches of roommate accountabilty would have been irrelevant. By the time I graduated, I would have had a house to live and move in and good credit. I could have used it to pay off student loans and be able to get a new one. Or not. The options are what's important.
For the record, the people I've met and had as neighbors in trailer parks are *good* people. I consider some a blessing to have met. A large majority of road travelers are retired folk looking to see the country. Friendly, quiet, helpful, and full of good stories. I have hopes for new and improved stigmas surrounding the trailer life. Mom agrees.
Some necessary things I pack:
- crock-pot. mm-hmm. that's right.
- cast iron skillets, dutch oven
- wine glasses
- flower vase(s)
Things I wish I knew about my first travel trailer:
- Plumbing: The water line that runs the length of my house is a tunnel big enough for critters to get in and my cats to get out. It doesn't *look* like it. Trust me on this. Keep outside compartment doors locked--always!
- Refridgerators: For a year I didn't realize my fridge had a temperature control in it. The sliding thing on the metal thing is the control.
- Truck/axle ratios: Learn it. Live it.
Specifically from the moment of packing up to the moment of setting up, these are the things I'm glad for:
- swaybars (top of the list for a reason)
- hydraulic jacks
- wheel chocks!
- ratchet set
- trailer brakes
- duct tape
- access to the bed, kitchen, fridge, and dry clothes
- Wal-mart parking lots
- magnetic hidey-key boxes
- cig lighter cell phone charger and wi-fi hotspots
- NOAA weather radio
The main things to know when pulling:
- How much room you'll need to stop.
- How much room you'll need to turn and change lanes.
What I wish everyone else on the road knew:
- I need sooooooooooooooooooo much room to stop.
- I need room to turn and change lanes.