Camping Rig

I have been working on this page for a while…adding stuff to it as I have time. Over the last few months of assembling this page on lunch breaks and when things are slow I realized that I must have a very addictive personality and jump in with both feet no matter what the obsession is at that given moment. Golf, Guitars, Cars, Jet Ski’s and now RV’s.

“Clarabelle” as Sam has named it, was purchased last year used from Midwest RV near Arnold Mo.  While it was technically used it was only a few months old…the mattress still had the plastic on it if that tells you anything.

2011 Coachmen Catalina 28DDS

Its a Basic Entry level Unit with all the comforts of home. A/C, Heat, HD TV, Hot water, Queen Bed in the front and bunk beds in the rear next to the bathroom. This model has a Super Slide…meaning a full wall slide in the living area that contains the Sofa and table having this essentially doubles the floorspace and makes for a much more comfortable living space.
Here is the Floor Plan:

A link to the 2013 Models( It appears they have discontinued our model) I like the replacement much better! Hmmm.

http://www.coachmenrv.com/products/traveltrailers.aspx

DIY Modifications:

1/4 turn ball valves on all low point drains
Flip Foot Jack on Tongue
LCI Electric Jack (Long story on why this was necessary)
Larger Fire Extinguisher at Doorway and in Forward Storage Compartment
Rain Sensing Fantastic Brand Fan in Bath
Fantastic Fan in Front Bedroom
Vent covers to allow circulation of air when its raining
Multiple LED Lights in storage Compartments
Insect Screens on all Appliances
RE-built sofa frame
4″ Mattress Topper (So So So much better than factory mattress)
Grab Handle on Entry Door
Carpeted Entry Stairs
Lexan Cover for the Screen Door
Telescoping Shower Curtain Rod
Battery Disconnect Switch
Wingman Antenna for better TV Reception

The beauty of an RV is being able to go when you want with little preparation if you properly stock it. That might be a bit of a mis-leasding statement because there is a fair amount of prep that has to go into a trip…but once you develop a routine it can be pretty quick. This is not counting the whole hitching, tire checks and safety issues before a trip. Still, without interruption this goes pretty quick in all.  Towards the end of the season I got to the point I didn’t even bring it home to load it up…turn the fridge on a day early (runs on 12V and propane) throw all the food and beer in the truck and load it in the storage lot. The whole affair has shrunk down from an afternoon to roughly 30 minutes. The main factor behind all this is having dedicated stuff for the RV. Pots, Pans, Towels, Soaps…essentially everything you have at home to exist for a few days you should, stock including games, books and other kids stuff. You also cant forget the emergency things such as a first aid kid, Tire changing tools, basic tool kit along with other things I cant seem to think of now!

On top of all the necessities is the gadgets and gizmo’s that come along with RV’ing. A popular store for all things RV is Camping World (www.campingworld.com). Its  shocking how much junk there is to fork over money for. Things like BBQ Grills, Lanterns, outdoor charis, Tables, Rope Lights….on and on and on. Oh, Don’t forget the flagpole and homemade holder for the racetrack. Really its endless.  Generator for existing off the grid? Check. A sidebar on the generator…if you are in the market for one and spend any time next to any other campers or really anyone please please don’t cheap out. Go for the nice inverter low noise units. Your neighbors will thank you and so will your wallet when it comes to fueling it.

Here is the one I have and it so far has worked great.

So as you can see above its a lot of work, time and money. Unless you do your homework and research everything as I have, this might not be for everyone. With that said, in my opinion, nothing can compare to pulling up to your spot next to calm lake lighting the fire and cracking open that first beer. It really has been a good way for us to check out of the world of TV, Computer, Email and all other associated things that have become every day life Monday to Friday. Something is just cool about waking up to clean, crisp air and skipping rocks across the water with a 4 year old.