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Thursday, February 13, 2014

How Do We Ready For Transit Mode?

When it comes time to move, certain things have to happen first. While Nic is outside handling his stuff, getting ready to hitch up, disconnecting hoses, retracting the awning, picking up all our chairs, toys, etc. to go into the truck bed and more, I am inside getting the interior ready to go. I do this by working my way through the place. For some reason, I always start with the bathroom. It is more or less always ready for transit mode, as we don’t leave a lotta stuff out. All the bottles of shampoo & what not get closed and placed in the tub with the laundry hamper “lied down” at an angle over top. The remaining things like toothbrushes, mouthwash, contact stuff, etc. goes into the medicine cabinet or underneath the sink. Everything else stays out. That means that my jewelry, hair accessories, trash can, toilet paper holder, step stool, Cindy’s potty seat & our mini-broom don’t go anywhere…and they typically don’t leave their spots either.

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I do make sure all my jewelry is actually INSIDE the jewelry holder first, then I flip it around so the jewelry faces the wall.

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All this stuff stays put exactly where you see it.

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Everything is stowed away.

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The next easiest place to tackle, believe it or not, is the girls’ room. We always begin by getting out our clothes for the trip (in the case of Virginia to Arizona, there were about a week’s worth of outfits) because once everything is in place for transit mode, MHG’s dresser is no longer accessible. The top 1 or 2 drawers are, however, so the outfits just get stored in those free drawers. Once this is done (in this case it was unnecessary as we were only moving across town), the bins from the shelf above MHG’s dollhouse get Tetris-packed into that corner of their room. The electric heater in the basket that hangs below the shelf, is zip-tied permanently to it so we don’t have to worry about it flying out while driving. (The 1st pic is from a couple months ago, but all the bins remain, so it gives you an idea of how we stuff them all into 1 corner.) I should also mention, that if we were CONSTANTLY over the road, this method wouldn’t work. Even without that happening, it’s still kinda a pain in the butt, so Nic and I are currently scheming to make something better for the bins & books so that they can remain on their shelves always.

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Here’s the corner of her room that all the bins get tucked away in.

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Next, we tackle all the books on the shelf above Cindy’s side of the room. In the past, we’ve just packed them into liquor store boxes, but this time, there was enough free room under the girls’ bed to accommodate them. They all fit under there nice and neat and didn’t budge during the drive.

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Here’s all the books (including curriculum) stowed away rather securely under their bed.

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MHG’s bike and Cindy’s “truck” coming into their room is probably the biggest highlight of them readying their room to hit the road. It just blows their minds that they can have those 2 things inside their room, lol. There’s not quite enough room for MHG to ride her bike around, but there is more than enough for Cindy to propel herself around in Truck. I let them goof off a bit before I finally bungee bike and truck to the lattice on their bed.

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Naturally, the dollhouse must be emptied out. Nic is thinking of a way to make a hinged door(s) to attach to it so that she won’t have to keep doing that, but in the meantime, this is how we roll. A couple items, stay put under the dollhouse like the car and horse and such.

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Cindy’s stuff gets stowed away as well. The white tower thingy next to the wall used to hold cloth diapers, but now it holds her smaller books & play food. To the left of that, are her “toy bins”. They get bungee corded into place. I sewed through the base of one of the larger green bins, permanently attaching it to the white wire rack it sits on. Inside of it, I placed another green bin, that way everything in it isn’t going to go anywhere when we hit the road, yet when we’re stationary, the girls can just life the top green bin out of the other one and they don’t have to take the toys out one by one.

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The play kitchen houses her larger books, the mystery machine van and her bucket of Mr. Potato Head from Auntie Tiger.

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Her puzzle rack gets flipped around so that none of them can slide out. It sits perfectly nestled between her dresser and her play kitchen.

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Lastly, in their room, we take the guitar off its wall hanger and it sits on MHG’s bunk. The moon gets placed in Cindy’s dresser (it’s an automated moon that goes through the moon cycles…very cool-by “Uncle Milton”), and since the dressers both have these child-proofing locks on them, I don’t have to worry about the drawers vibrating out of the dresser and leaving me a huge mess once we get parked somewhere! (P.S. Those locks come with crappy sticky backings that are supposed to just stick to whatever. They don’t. I had to hot glue them onto the fronts and sides of both dressers…even still, sometimes they still pop off.)

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Next is the kitchen. That’s pretty easy, but I just save it for right before we leave, because there’s always last minute dishes to wash and stuff to put away and what not. I basically just stuff everything into the pantry cupboard, the kitchen drawers under the sink, and the cabinets above and below the sink. That also goes for the shelves above the stove. That stuff gets stuffed into the aforementioned places as well. I used to go to the trouble of actually “packing” the breakable items like spices, butter dish, random glass containers, etc., but now I just space them out so that no two glass things touch, with the exception of the spices. (They’re containers are so thick that I place them right next to each other and nothing’s broke yet.) The only breakable items that actually DO get packed are my 3 whopping mugs. We used to have 4, but sadly, MHG’s Capricorn mug didn’t make the trip from Virginia to Arizona in one piece (even being packed). Now I’m extra diligent about keeping those safe because cool zodiac mugs are hard to come by. For our dishware, we use round all white Corelle plates and bowls and all of our cups are plastic. I picked the all white Corelle, because I can replace the individual items via Wal-Mart should something ever break. (I doubt that’ll happen though as I’ve never broken anything Corelle in all my 28 1/2 years!) I do despise plastic stuff though, so I’m trying to save up to buy either wooden (preferably bamboo) or stainless steel drinkware…but that stuff isn’t cheap! I make exceptions to the “I hate plastic” rule though with our Progressive International collapsible large bowls, measuring cups/spoons, storage bowls, mixing bowl, colanders and dish strainer. That company seriously has to be in the business of inventing awesome kitchen stuff for RVers. If you haven’t gotten some of their stuff, whatchya waitin’ for? (Side note, you can get it a LOT cheaper off of Amazon instead of purchasing it from Camping World!)

My wall adjacent to the sink/stove houses lotsa goodies that just stay there for the trip. This wall consists of a non-dry erase whiteboard from IKEA that I spray painted with black chalkboard paint. Because it’s magnetic, I have a couple of pen holders that hold pens and our lighter. I drilled holes in the bottom of it so that I might screw in some hooks. Those hold our collapsible red measuring cup and our collapsible food strainer. I drilled a hole into it so that I could attach a small calendar to it via screw and I drilled holes into the front of it so that I could install an upside-down drawer pull to act as a chalk holder. The only thing that gets removed is the collapsible measuring cup. Everything stays put. Above that, I have my apple slicer, cheese grater and a coat rack that holds my cooking utensils. I tied kitchen twine through the holes of all of them so that they can hang from it. It also typically holds my avocadoes and Progressive International veggie slicer (although that gets put in the cabinets while we hit the road). All of that stuff stays put. The other thing that stays put is all of our knives. I have them stored on a magnetic knife holder on the wall behind the stove. I have never taken them down and they have NEVER even budged. It’s a great product. Once everything is packed away, all the cabinets get ziptied shut. My closet and the pantry have a mug hook screwed into them right next to their handle. I wind a hair tie around the handle a couple times and hook it over the hook (that way I don’t waste more zipties.)

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Everything on the shelf above the slide gets stored away in the pantry or the kitchen cabinets. The grapes on the ivy is included in that. The coats to the right of the slide are removed only to bring the slide in, then they are hung back up, or if I’m really ambitious, I might hang them up in my closet…but not always. We always make sure to clear the way under the slide and beside the slide, then we bring it in. I then put the stuff back under there that was there before. Items like shoes and what not…nothing fancy.  The clock stays put as it is hanging on a mug hook and not a regular screw. Here’s a couple pics of the slide pulled in and ready for action.

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Our bedroom, despite all its crap, isn’t hard at all to prepare! I just unhook the stuff (hdmi cables, component cable, and the other assorted cables) AT the TV itself. The cords just hang down. I do this, because I used to go to the trouble of actually packing up the Xbox and dvd player, but that’s unnecessary…you’ll see why. The Xbox and dvd player (Nic doesn’t wanna tax out the Xbox by watching movies in it, that’s why we use a dvd player, and the computer’s sound quality sucks for some reason while playing movies on it) just stay in their little corner above the computer. I use a tension curtain rod to hold them in place and nothing goes anywhere. Once again, the electric heater is ziptied permanently to the wire basket hanging on the shelf that the Xbox sits on. The computer tower and printer get strapped together (attached at the wall behind the curtain) and they just stay on the desk.

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Everything gets ziptied or hairtied shut.

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Last but not least, the TV gets removed from the desk, stand and all, and get placed on our bed under our comforter. The comforter gets tucked back in and we’re good to go…inside at least. Usually by now, Nic’s almost done with battening down the hatches outside.

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It might sound like a lot of work, but we timed ourselves. With a whole lotta screwing around and distractions, we got everything stowed, tucked away, bungeed, and ziptied in about 3 hours. I suppose if there were an emergent situation where we needed to get out fast, we could throw caution to the wind and just secure really important thing, but 3 hours getting our home ready to hit the road isn’t bad at all…at least we don’t think so. Like I said before, we’re always thinking about ways to improve that time, by making some things more permanently road ready, but in the meantime, I’ll take it!

I should mention that I also close all the blinds after making sure all windows are shut, close all ceiling vents, make sure antennae is cranked back in and down, I empty the cats’ water bowl. More than once I’ve forgotten to do that and we walk back in the RV a few hours after being on the road to a super wet and slippery kitchen floor, lol! I shut all doors and verify that the fridge has switched over to auto-propane after Nic disconnects from the electricity. I also shut off the heat/AC, water heater and water pump (if we’ve filled our fresh tanks). We always both do a onceover on separate occasions to make sure someone didn’t forget to do something (typically I’m the someone, haha).

Simultaneously, as I ready the interior, on the exterior of our home, Nic is draining the black and grey tanks one more time. He disconnects hoses and stores them away in the bed of our truck. We have recently purchased an air compressor, so he uses that now to make sure our tires are filled up properly. After that, the electric cord gets detached and stored away. All our outside stuff, i.e. table, chairs, toys, lingering tools and a couple totes, gets stored in the bed of the truck as well. The awning gets retracted and locked back in its place near the top of “Hope”. Once he’s hitched & hooked up to our truck, a walk-around inspection is done via he and I to make sure our brake lights and blinkers are all in working order. On more than one occasion we’ve had something not work and we have to replace it real quick. I would strongly suggest you always carry spares with you, cuz making an unexpected last second trip to an auto store is no fun. Once we pull out, I do one more walk-around of our site to make sure nothing got left behind that might’ve been under our trailer. (This most recent trip, Nic hitched up without my help…and he did it faster than ever before…I’m not sure how I feel about that, lol!)

The very last few things to happen are as follows: lie to our kitties yelling “tuna” so they come out of their hiding places (in order to load them into their cages), load them into the truck, load the girls into the truck, do that last walk-around I just spoke of and head to the office.

Once there, we check out at the office, make sure we don’t have any lingering mail, turn in keys, take a couple pics of us before we leave our most recent destination, dump a bag of ice down the toilet to break up any residual “stuff” lingering in the black tank while it’s sloshing around from driving and finally…

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…we’re off!!!

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Goodbye Destiny bw timeline

That’s how we get “Hope” (our home-on-wheels) ready to roll out. If you have any more questions, please feel free to ask! The best way to reach us is through our Boho Hobos facebook page: http://facebook.com/BohoHobos, but you can also contact us via email at: zoe.the.stitch.witch@gmail.com. Have I forgotten anything? Is there something you do different? I always welcome new pointers or different perspectives, so feel free to leave a comment below or on our FB page! Thanks for reading! Happy Trails everyone!!!

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