Counting the days to our snowbird departure, we got really busy. The first order was to prepare our tow-van for the job ahead. 4 rows of bus seats had to be removed to make room for building a stow area for all the stuff we would never get into our 32ft trailer. Honestly, I don't have a clou how people travel for several months in a Class B or just a van.
So with the seats removed I built a 20" tall box measuring 70" in length over the full width of the van. The rear has an open area for our generator and a few other things plus 3 drawers filled with tools and utensils. On top of the box we have a mattress which can be used as a bed in an emergency, should we have to leave the trailer behind for a couple of days. Between the storage and the front seats there is plenty space for Dixie and her bed. Due to the seat mounting rails the floor of the van is somewhat uneven, so I covered it with plywood. Despite our stuff and the box in the van, the vehicle is now weighing less than with all the seats mounted. The remodeling kept me busy for 2 days.
We are also still carrying items over to the trailer. Besides of clothing for both warm and colder weather, I also went through our music collection of CDs. Can't live without music!
Our Weber BBQ is going to get a quick connect, so we can hook it up to the BBQ propane hose on the side of the trailer.
The solar panels have been safely mounted on the roof and sending their combined 600 Watts into our deep-cycle batteries out front. This I had done over a month ago and it has kept the batteries at full charge. A 3000W inverter takes that charge and provides 110W AC without us even having to run the generator. Quiet camping at its best!
The last evenings have been filled with plotting the best route and finding overnight stays along the road. From Lowe's via Walmart parking to Camping World, a State Park and BLM-camps, everything is possible. In the past we have stayed in truck stops but don't like them very much. The noise there can keep you awake more than you'd like. Good online helpers have been Google maps and the Campendium website. Campendium shows links to various kind of overnight possibilities and is seemingly covering the entire US. What I really appreciate with the Google maps are the street views. You can scout out parking areas at the big-box stores or even the next exit.
Before reaching the open plains, I like to stay close to the highway without making big detours. So much faster to get back on the road in the morning when you want to beat rush hour around the big busy areas. Once we are over in the midwest, traffic lessens and we can relax and also look for places some miles off the beaten path. Some folks like to choose a route off the Interstates, and that might be scenic, but having our destination far ahead out west, I think our fuel mileage will be better keeping a steady pace rather than having to grind our way through umpteen little towns and villages. Besides, we have heard horror stories about local law enforcement being eager to stop out-of state vehicles crossing through their jurisdiction.
So, it looks like the route is about 5250kms (3280miles) long. Yeah, it's a major road trip and it has us very excited. Just thinking of running down the road through the seemingly never-ending band of highway is plain fascinating.
Tomorrow the 24th, it will be just 18 more days.
Beach Grass and a dog-meet on the beach
But while we are waiting for the border to open, we are still enjoying walks on the island, now with full fall colours everywhere.