Our first winter south is over. It was a fun learning experience. There are things that we will continue to do and things we will change. Here’s our retrospective on what we needed on our trip.
What Is Truly Important?
It is true that living in 200 square feet changes your perspective on what is important and what is not. When we packed we tried to think about all the possible scenarios of we might need or what might happen. We were frugal in our planning, but we found that we definitely over packed.
- Clothes: We had to pack for 3 seasons – winter, spring and summer. Even though we were strict on what we would pack, we still packed too many clothes. Ended up being able to do laundry frequently and didn’t need so many t-shirts or shorts/pants. We would pick up t-shirt souvenirs along the way too. Definitely didn’t need all the shoes. Don’t over pack clothes.
- Alchohol: We took 6 bottles of wine and a mini bar. But we never opened some of the liquor bottles. In the future, we’ll take only the alcohol that we really think we will drink (which for us is what is needed for margaritas and mai tai’s). We can always pack a few of the smaller airplane size bottles if we need to make a drink for a guest. Don’t need to overpack wine. Publix has an exceptional wine department (much like our nearby Krogers).
- Food: Before we left, we fully stocked our pantry with canned goods, etc. Didn’t need to do that. A few cans of soup and some taco makings is about all we really needed. For anything else, we could run out to Publix or replenish what we used.
What did we Need and didn’t Have?
There were a few things that we ended up purchasing along the way.
- Dehumidifier: When the inside humidity got above 45% and it was only in the mid to upper 70s outside, we knew we would be in trouble later on. We had small portable table top models (two in bedroom and one on the dinette), but they could not keep up. Off to Home Depot for a smaller floor model. The first night it filled to capacity within a couple hours. Here is the link to the one we bought GE Dehumidifier
- Tire Covers: Many of our spots were in direct sun with no shade. The blazing sun does bad things to RV tires. We bought a set of tire covers (wrong size), bought a second set (wrong size) and ended up with a set that fit perfectly by the time we hit the keys and the weather was hot hot hot. Here is the link to the ones we ended up getting: Dual Axle Tire Covers
- Bug Spray: We had some onboard containing DEET that we use infrequently in the Michigan summer. But after Barb got eaten alive by the Noseeums on Pine Island, we went online and bought some natural repellant, since the frequent use of DEET didn’t appeal to us. Avon makes an awesome repellant – AVON Bug Repellant
- Blender: We debated about taking a blender. Ours is so big, we decided not to bring it. But we missed our smoothies. Finally, we gave in and bought a blender that was smaller but able to crush ice like we needed. We ended up with the Aicok Blender) that made our morning breakfasts a little healthier. It crushed spinach so that you didn’t know it was there aside from the green tint.
The other thing we learned is that Amazon is a god-send. We had numerous times where we had items shipped – like Ralph’s coffee (Illy) and Dude Body wipes (a definite need for our long trip home: Dude Wipes) Our cat food is one thing that is easily shipped to an upcoming campground, since it is not available through supermarkets.
A few things we decided we need require work to be done by our dealer. This means enhancements to Stella before our first trip North in June.
- Sun Shade: Boy does it get hot in south Florida. You can’t always plan on the door and patio facing North to get the shade from the trailer and awning. When the set up had the curb side facing South, we roasted. Even our awning didn’t always provide the shade needed because of the sun’s angle. We bought a Sun Shade from ZipDee Awnings and will have it installed. Zip Dee Solar Shade
- Side Tables: Our sofa is great and we love the recliners, but we do not have any place for “stuff” and cups. We have asked our dealer to install two folding “tables” that match the corian counter tops. They will fit in a space that serves no real purpose and because they will be on hinges, they will be out of the way when not needed.
- TV Antenna: OK, so yes, we are supposed to be enjoying the great warm outdoors. But sometimes it is raining or cold and sometimes we just want to watch some TV (Ralph got hooked on an old western channel in Alabama). Our current antenna doesn’t cut it. We are upgrading to the King Antenna.
We are happy with our choice in the Airstream Classic. She’s a beautiful home away from home.