Monday, March 12, 2018

Shakedown Cruise

We're going out for a short shakedown cruise this week before we head to Nogales next week to begin The Drive on US 89 from Mexico to Canada.

We've learned the hard way that short shakedown cruises are absolutely necessary before undertaking any really long Road Trip.  Call it a pre-trip checkout or whatever.  It's how you find out what you forgot or didn't think of.  No matter how many times you hit the road, you WILL forget something or fail to think of something.  It's just The Law of Road Trips.

When we migrate north or south, the bed of the pickup is chock full of stuff.  It's stuff we need to live for months in either location.  However, for this sort of Road Trip, the truck bed is mostly empty.  Very lean.

Here's what you're looking at (from left):

Black box on bottom hold sewer hoses fittings and stuff to dump the trailer's load now and then.  Blue box on top is all the other supplies for visiting a dump station.  Gloves, cleaners, etc.  The blue box also carries  a supplemental catalytic heater in case our battery goes dead or the heater decides not to work.

In the middle are three containers. The white bucket contains everything necessary to change a flat tire. No fiddling around wondering where tire-changing stuff is located.  When you change a tire, you want your tire changing stuff instantly accessible.

Behind the bucket are two black boxes.  The small one contains a high volume air pump that can fill a truck tire in minutes.  We check our tire pressures every morning before pulling out of camp.  You really need an expensive high volume pump to do the job right and quickly.  The larger of the black boxes holds all the trailer stabilization jacks and extra leveling stuff.  Behind those boxes are two solar panels we've owned for well over 20 years.  They still work great.

The cooler is a "just in case" thing.  It's empty and will remain so unless the trailer fridge decides to quit working.  In such a case, it's always a really good idea to have a back up. (If we were going into Bear Country, the cooler could not be displayed in such a blatant manner.  But where we're going this week there are no bears.)

The wood stuff at least is for leveling and also stepping into the trailer.  Ditto the stool at right.  And then there is a broom and a small rake.  You'd be surprised how often we need to the rake and broom to create a tidy campsite.

One of these days, we will get around to doing an inventory of all our electronic stuff we travel with.  Suffice to say it's one heck of a lot of stuff.