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Old 10-01-2019, 11:21 PM   #1
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Simple camping tips

I'm not sure if we have a thread like this. If so, I will move this.

We were one of those who bought our trailer pretty much sight unseen, and having never towed or camped with a camper before. In the 4 years since then we sure have made some mistakes and learned a lot in the process. I've been thinking it might be helpful to others for all of us to share some of the little things we've learned along the way. So this is a thread where we can store some of the little things we do that may not cost any money, or require any technical expertise or tools, to make our experience better.

Please be sure to respond to this thread with any tips that you think may benefit others.

To get the list started...

1. The tubs that your dishwasher pods come in fit perfectly in the wheel wells. I use them to store my olive oils and vinegars and other heavy things that could spill if toppled. They're also good for toiletries etc.

2. I store all my tableware in one cabinet. When traveling, I stuff my decorative pillows on top of it all so nothing moves out of place.

3. We camp in the desert sometimes where that sun can get intense. When not in the trailer I put reflectix in the trailer windows, and it does a great job of keeping out the heat. I'm sure it would help in cold too. I also use it in the truck windows.

4. I keep a document for each trip which has all my reservation info including campsite number, hookup into, travel distances etc. While on the trip I update the document with comments about the campsite, which sites are better, in case we want to return etc. I also have a section for restocking that gets updated as I'm thinking of things we need for next time. And note any other campgrounds or side trips etc that we should consider on a return trip. This document also has ID info like Sam's Club, Truck and Trailer license numbers etc. Oh, and I also record good gas stations that have easy access.
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Old 10-02-2019, 12:07 AM   #2
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Excellent suggestions, thanks!
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Old 10-02-2019, 12:40 AM   #3
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when camping out in the open (something I often do at star parties), I setup with the trailer tongue pointed due north, so the sun rises on the curb side, and sets on the street side. I fully extend the awning, and put up a sturdy commercial 10x10 popup bumped right up against the awning, and hang a banner or something on the east side of the 10x10 to provide morning shade. the popup is securely staked to the ground, and if its particularlly windy, I add a few guy lines to the NE and SE corners, and run bungie cords from the Carefree awning on the Escape to the SW and NW corners.

and yes, I tape Reflectix outside the windows to keep the heat of the day out, and my night lights in.

you can see my setup dead center in this 360 'photosphere'...
https://photos.app.goo.gl/kbNPydo9N7i64C4r8
(its the only Escape on the field).

At night, I use amber LED candles inside to provide night lighting so I don't need to turn on the way-too-bright Escape LED lights. I also put a relatively bright amber 'candle' in the bathroom on a suction cup soap tray for middle of the night visits.
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Old 10-02-2019, 07:10 AM   #4
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John,
Your reflectix is on the exterior of the trailer? I have only seen it on the inside, but outside makes more sense?
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Old 10-02-2019, 07:31 AM   #5
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Quote:
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John,
Your reflection is on the exterior of the trailer? I have only seen it on the inside, but outside makes more sense?
I have a piece pretty much permanently on the inside of the window next to the bed. I put pieces on the outside of the rear dinette windows at that astronomy site to keep out morning sun and heat.
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Old 10-02-2019, 07:59 AM   #6
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Iíll add a couple.

We pack a small container with a roll of quarters that we occasionally refill. We use it for laundry and never have to worry about getting change.

I use a simple app on my phone called Trail Wallet to track expenses while traveling. Itís the simplest, easy to use app I have found.
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Old 10-02-2019, 08:04 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jill View Post

3. We camp in the desert sometimes where that sun can get intense. When not in the trailer I put reflectix in the trailer windows, and it does a great job of keeping out the heat. I'm sure it would help in cold too. I also use it in the truck windows .
I would caution against using reflective or similar windshield sun visors on the inside of dual pane windows. The high heat can break the seal between the panes. On the outside is best.
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Old 10-02-2019, 10:58 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Viajante View Post
I would caution against using reflective or similar windshield sun visors on the inside of dual pane windows. The high heat can break the seal between the panes. On the outside is best.


Good to know!!! Whatís the best way to attach it in the outside? Painters tape applied to the glass?
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Old 10-02-2019, 12:05 PM   #9
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The only tip I can contribute is look before you pull in. Make sure you scope out any gas station or other stop before you commit to pulling in, need to make sure you can get out.
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Old 10-02-2019, 12:11 PM   #10
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One thing I do before unhitching at a campsite is get in and check the views! Sometimes angling a few degrees cuts out the view of a neighboring campsite or adds some more enjoyable views.

Also, after backing into a narrow site after dark one night, I purchased 4 small LED popup lanterns which in the future I can set at the four corners of the site before trying to back in in the dark.
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Old 10-02-2019, 01:24 PM   #11
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re: backing into a space in the dark... I've been toying with rigging some sort of little laser pointers on magnetic bases to shine down at the ground next to the rear bumper so I can tell how far back I am via my rear view mirrors....
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Old 10-02-2019, 01:34 PM   #12
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We use these flexible plastic cutting board mats on the countertops. Keeps the mica from getting scratched by metal pots, tin cans, etc.
Put one on top of the range cover for the same purpose. Keeps the black paint looking nice for longer.

https://www.amazon.com/Extra-Thick-F...s%2C171&sr=8-7
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Old 10-02-2019, 01:44 PM   #13
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For non-skid material to use in drawers, cabinet bottoms, and such, we use the non-slip rug underlay pad like this.
Very effective and very economical.

https://www.amazon.com/B-PRIME-3x5-F...9&sr=8-16&th=1
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Old 10-02-2019, 02:24 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EdColorado View Post
We use these flexible plastic cutting board mats on the countertops. Keeps the mica from getting scratched by metal pots, tin cans, etc.
Put one on top of the range cover for the same purpose. Keeps the black paint looking nice for longer.

https://www.amazon.com/Extra-Thick-F...s%2C171&sr=8-7
I love those too but get a 3-pack from the Dollar Store.
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Old 10-02-2019, 03:56 PM   #15
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Smile

Hitching up.
1) A lot of newer vehicles have a backup camera. Very useful in hitching up for when you have no one helping with the final direction. I painted the end of the trailer hitch white. I find it makes the hitch much more visible.
2) For whatever reason, and I’m probably the only one who doesn’t know, Escape puts one level on the rear of the trailer and the other by the entry door. The two most inconvenient places for the driver to look when leveling up. I wind up taking Multiple trips around the trailer. I attached a simple T level on the hitch. Used double stick tape and then toothpicks as shims to get it to match the Escape installed levels. Now leveling up is really simple; just a glance at the level.No trips around the trailer.

The other picture is of a infrared thermometer. Good for shooting the wheel bearings , checking the temp of the air coming out of the A/C unit, or just to settle my curiosity about how hot or cold something is.

Enjoy.

Ed
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Old 10-02-2019, 04:15 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EdColorado View Post
2) For whatever reason, and Iím probably the only one who doesnít know, Escape puts one level on the rear of the trailer and the other by the entry door. The two most inconvenient places for the driver to look when leveling up. I wind up taking Multiple trips around the trailer.

Last time I was out at ETI, I had them mount levels front and side on the driver side.
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Old 10-02-2019, 04:20 PM   #17
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Last time I was out at ETI, I had them mount levels front and side on the driver side.
Now we know for sure, Glenn really is on the level.


A few pieces of 2"x4", around 8" long or so, can be handy to have in case one needs an extra couple inches under a wheel, or another wheel chock, or something under the jack.
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Old 10-02-2019, 05:04 PM   #18
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Another camping help

I carry a full-sized shovel when I boondock. The shovel isn't necessarily for the Escape. It's for digging out the truck wheels if the offroad isn't friendly to tires.
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Old 10-02-2019, 05:16 PM   #19
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A good assortment of heavy duty tools: American Express, Visa, Mastercard. For everything else, a multimeter.
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Old 10-03-2019, 12:28 PM   #20
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level!



tools... hah. my truck carries a very heavy duty set of pure copper jumper cables, a Viair compressor, a toolbox with sockets and wrenches, another toolbox with strippers/cutters/pliers/crimpers/screwdrivers/allenkeys/etc mostly electrical stuff. The trailer toolbox has a framing and an engineer hammer, a nail puller modified to pull big tent stakes, a 1/2" drive breaker bar with the socket for the wheels, and the socket for the water heater anode.
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