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Old 01-17-2019, 08:29 AM   #1
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What else is needed or just more of?

Hello Escape world, I hope 2019 is off to a positive start .
I plan to camp more nights this year then I've ever been able to, unfortunately many of these trips will be with out my better 1/2 since she still has to work full time but most of what I have planned is not more than 4 nights.
Not sure we will ever be true nomads just living on the road but we do plan on spending as much as 2-3 months on the road once she can do that. My question is this what else is needed or just more of the same stuff when you go on longer trips? Like food, clothes, getting prescriptions figured out that sort of thing. Is their anything you really need because you are going to be gone that long?
Always get good advice from members so THANKS in advance.

Enjoy the journey.

Steve
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Old 01-17-2019, 08:35 AM   #2
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Money. For ME, I have a bucket list of things I want to see and do. A lot of those activities cost $$. A number of people are perfectly happy just camping, and that's okay. But, if I'm in an area... probably where I've never been before and won't be back, I want to experience as much as possible. YMMV.
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Old 01-17-2019, 08:54 AM   #3
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A credit card. That way you can buy anything else you might need while on the road.

We plan one day out of every 5 as a “down day”. We use it for laundry, grocery shopping and rest. We typically don’t take extra clothes or other things.
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Old 01-17-2019, 09:13 AM   #4
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Money. For ME, I have a bucket list of things I want to see and do. A lot of those activities cost $$. A number of people are perfectly happy just camping, and that's okay. But, if I'm in an area... probably where I've never been before and won't be back, I want to experience as much as possible. YMMV.
Hi: Donna D... Me too, me too. "The only scarce commodity is time". There's lots of low co$t activities around every site IMHO, but more money never hurt. Alf
escape artist N.S. of Lake Erie "Searchin' for my lost shaker of salt".
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Old 01-17-2019, 09:50 AM   #5
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You'll need to consider arrangements for getting your mail and paying bills if traveling for multiple months at a time. Some people use a mail-forwarding service, set up automatic payments, or use a friend or family member to deal with this issue.
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Old 01-17-2019, 11:47 AM   #6
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At this point I'm a veteran of several months-long trips in my Escape. I travel alone. Here are some of the habits I've developed:

- I take along two weeks worth of clothes and wash them at a local laundromat every other Wednesday morning. Two weeks' worth since that's all I can carry in my big duffel; Wednesday morning because that seems to be the least-busy time at a laundromat.

- Take clothing for different climates. You might visit the Olympic rainforest, a snowy mountain range, and the Sonoran desert all on the same trip.

- Use a mail forwarding service, as has been mentioned. I have my mail forwarded every two weeks to a post office near where I'll be when it arrives. I have had only one problem with this, in Maryland, where the Arnold post office said they would not accept forwarded mail for General Delivery. It's probably better to forward to the main post office of a medium-sized city near where you think you'll be in a week's time.

- I suggest using a national pharmacy chain for your prescriptions. I use Walgreens since they seem to be everywhere in the U.S., and since my prescriptions are in their system I can fill them at any Walgreens. Try to get 90-day supplies if you can, and have them refilled just before you go into Canada. I've noticed that my blood pressure goes down in Canada anyway, except for visiting Jasper (grizzlies).

- You might want some kind of small drain tank to drain away part of your gray water if you intend to be in one spot for more than several days. I'm not sure how long the gray tank will last with two people camping.

If I think of anything else I'll post again.
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Old 01-17-2019, 12:05 PM   #7
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Good stuff above, mail, bills, drugs.

We use 8 or so days of clothes and wash once a week (we take lots of quarters along).
Mail is forwarded to my sons, he sends me a text of bills, I pay online. Most stuff is autopay on the CC, the CC is on autopay with the checking. I move 3-4 months of cash to the checking ahead of time and use my CC for pretty much everything.

Drugs, I take along 3 months worth. Don't know why but it seems I always have way more at home then I really need, the 90 day auto refill mail order CVS uses would seem to be a little out of control.

Make sure the trailer and TV are up for a long journey. I usually have to get an oil change somewhere mid journey.

Figure out how to close up the house so you're comfortable when traveling, maybe a temp or water sensor system, someone to stop by once in a while and someone to cut the grass or plow the driveway.

Take along whatever you need for hobbies or some such to kill any down time. Long rainy periods, early evenings in the winter, those types of times.

There are so many Walmarts and such out there that getting supplies is never an issue.
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Old 01-17-2019, 12:10 PM   #8
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Check your home insurance. Mine requires somebody to look in on the house every four days.
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Old 01-17-2019, 12:16 PM   #9
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Oh yeah, about banking-- I think by this point many people do much of their banking online, so you need a laptop. I think laptops are more secure than the banking apps for phones and tablets, but that's just a hunch on my part with no evidence.

Also, take two credit cards, not one, in case you leave one at a gas station or if your bank cancels one because they see it being used at an unfamiliar location and you had neglected to notify the bank beforehand that you would be traveling out of your area.

Finally, read the many forum threads about wifi and cell service on the forum to see which arrangement will work best for you on the road.
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Old 01-17-2019, 12:22 PM   #10
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Check your home insurance. Mine requires somebody to look in on the house every four days.
On the flip side, Amica doesn't require this so you do need to check.
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Old 01-17-2019, 12:31 PM   #11
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We have been traveling for years, 18 on our sailboat from Mexico onwards. We did not return home for 4 years, and after that were only in the US for 6 months a year. We set up a bill pay with our local credit union. We were notified electronically of bills coming in, we would electronically approved the bills, and the credit union took care of the rest. Some payments like property taxes we'd have to go to the local assessors website and figure out real due dates and how much was really due on each due date. But normal utilities and insurance were easy to pay via bill pay. All our payments "in" are via direct deposit. We also have a brokerage account, we linked the credit union to the brokerage acct so we could move money both ways. We need to get to an internet cafe or wifi hotspot at least once a week to check on things. The brokerage acct sends us weekly summaries of asset values, we can trade online if we decide to buy or sell stuff from anywhere we are located. We also monitor my husband's father's accounts in another state as he is blind. Again, that is done via websites. We do have a bit of a scramble when credit cards are issued as they go to the address of record. Credit union will issue us an instant card when we are back in the city of our mailing address (a P.O. Box). The brokerage account is not as nice. Friends collect our annual mail, we'll annually pick it up and then activate the new credit cards. Once, when our credit card was compromised in a Foreign location the brokerage company overnighted us a new card as we were still months away from returning to the US. We have recently sold our sailboat but still travel 4-6 months at a time, more US based but excursions over both northern and southern borders. Because we have friends in a US city where our PO Box has been located for 32 years, we have them collect our mail until we are back in the area. We tried a mail forwarding service, it was untimely and expensive. You can also link a family member to your checking account, much as we do with my father in law.
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Old 01-17-2019, 12:33 PM   #12
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I am usually on the road for 7 - 9 months of the year, and other than Quartzsite for the middle of winter, usually moving between locations.

I carry far too many tools & parts, but I just need to be able to fix something when it goes wrong, or when someone else needs help. I suspect most could get away with far less - my truck is currently carrying a payload (including the 21's tongue weight) of 1415 pounds, most of which I don't really need, but somehow can't live without. I did do a solar system for a neighbor yesterday, and had all the stuff necessary to install it.

As to clothes, I do carry 3 season's worth, and usually too many of everything, particularly "T" shirts, of which I am an avid collector. I start with 7, and by the end of the trip have 20 or more...

I have the Post Office's Informed Delivery service. Every day they email you photos of the envelopes of that day's mail (their sorting machines take the pictures). While you can't see inside, it is still useful. If I see a bill envelope from a doctor or other organization that I expect one from, I call them to find the amount.

I use my bank's "Bill Pay" service for all my bills, and direct deposit for my retirement checks. A bit of a pain to set up, but once it's working, it is easy to pay bills. Pick a bank that will exist - Mine was bought out, and I had to do all the bill pay addresses & account numbers, etc over again. While I use a home town bank for my bill pay & checking, I also use Capitol One for a checking account & credit card. The advantage is 1.5% cash back on every purchase on the card, and free cash withdrawals (they even pay the ATM fee). They also have a good exchange rate when in Canada.

As to drugs, I use a national chain, but rarely get refills. Refills have to be approved by the pharmacist that did the original fill, even with national chains (at least with Rite Aid & CVS). It is usually easier & faster to call my doctor(s) and have them fax a prescription to a local pharmacy. This works with non chain pharmacies, which often are the only choice in some of the areas I'm in. You will need the address of the pharmacy where you plan to pick up the order - your doctor's office will have a book that lists every pharmacy (even the mom & pop ones) that they use to FAX the order.
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Old 01-17-2019, 01:31 PM   #13
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I have the Post Office's Informed Delivery service. Every day they email you photos of the envelopes of that day's mail (their sorting machines take the pictures). While you can't see inside, it is still useful. If I see a bill envelope from a doctor or other organization that I expect one from, I call them to find the amount.
Jon- How does the USPS handle your mail since you are gone for more than six months? They won't forward to a temporary address for more than six months. Do you just continue delivery to your home in New York and have someone pick it up for you?

I'm planning a really long trip for 2020 and this is one thing I have to resolve.
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Old 01-17-2019, 01:37 PM   #14
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Jon- How does the USPS handle your mail since you are gone for more than six months? They won't forward to a temporary address for more than six months. Do you just continue delivery to your home in New York and have someone pick it up for you?

I'm planning a really long trip for 2020 and this is one thing I have to resolve.
My son lives at the house & gets the mail (and, of course, makes sure the heat is on, etc.). He is terrible at forwarding mail, so I just let it pile up. If I'm expecting something that must be forwarded, I have a friend stop by & send it to me General Delivery where I am or where I'll be. For some items, an emailed photograph of the bill or letter works.
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Old 01-17-2019, 02:29 PM   #15
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Bring the stuff you can't live without. Most other stuff you can purchase somewhere along the way. I'm on a low FODMAP diet, so I have to bring lots of those foods with me, such as salad dressings, BBQ sauce, beef jerky, energy bars, etc that aren't in the stores (they're made without garlic and onions and other ingredients that aren't safe to eat). I get kind of annoyed at how much I have to bring, but it's better than pulling over every 20 mins or so!


I keep them in labeled bins inside the trailer. Speaking of which, know where all your stuff is and labels help quite a bit. That way you won't tear the place apart finding what you need.



As you're using the trailer now, start thinking of where she's gonna put her stuff. Already doing that for when Dirk starts to travel on long trips with me.


Bring your own laundry soap as the public ones may have brands you don't want; plus it's cheaper to use your own. If you don't use scented soap/dryer sheets at home, you'll want to bring tons of clothes with you as the public ones will be saturated with the scented stuff that most folks use. That stuff kills my sinuses!



For your excess seasonal clothes (or just extra if you're not able to do laundry on the road), label the container/bag/whatever so you know what's what.


Extra blankets! I learned that the hard way when a liquid container leaked all over the bed after I put the bag it was in on the bed when I came back to the trailer. By the time I discovered it the water had leaked through 2 layers of blankets and in a big enough area I wasn't able to sleep under it. Not fun trying to dry them out so I could go to bed later on.


Does your wife craft? I make cards but that's too much stuff to bring with me, so I pre-stamp the images and color them during my trips with Copic markers. I like to sit outside with a small table and color (weather permitting). That way I can stop if someone comes by that wants to yak about whatever.


If you like reading an actual book you can bring some with you that you don't want to haul home and leave them in the public laundry areas, a library area at the campground or look for a Little Free Library in your area. And you can probably find books in them as well to read.


And make sure your phone has the latest Amazon app! The newest version will tell you when your package has been delivered, which is great!
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Old 01-17-2019, 03:00 PM   #16
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You should also consider a debit card. Not every store takes credit cards (eg WINCO which is very common in some western states). Also Costco can be choosy about which credit cards it takes, but will always take debit cards.
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