Friday, August 22, 2014

Boat to Trailer

We’ve spent the last fourteen years primarily spending our time navigating the Pacific Northwest with a boat. These have been good years spent anchored in quiet inlets or docked for another crazy summer weekend at Roche Harbor. The marine world has its own version of campgrounds and RV parks, they just use different accessories and yes, there’s always some annoying jerk that uses his generator late into the evening. There are tipsy people on the docks and folks comparing dinghies. If you are a camper who travels with trailer or RV this might just sound familiar.

Selling our boat filled a room in our house with all manner of things. From dishes, pots and flatware to downriggers, flotation devices, fenders and tow ropes. It’s been a challenge to figure out how to downsize and think as a camper instead of a boater.

As a boater, I always wanted to be prepared for just about anything. Whether it was having six people sleeping on board for two weeks or feeding a small army of marauding teenagers, I had the supplies to do so. The first aid kit was created for the amount of hours it might take the coast guard to get to you. There was enough non-perishable food onboard to last us weeks. Every old towel for the last ten years had been relegated to storage cupboards.  I had no idea how much stuff had been stashed in our boat until I started cleaning out all the drawers and cubbies.
It’s pretty obvious that this little trailer of ours isn’t going to be pulling the same kind of duty. Campgrounds just aren't that far off the beaten path and most towns have markets and fuel.

There are RV’s out there that rival the boat we had in luxury and size – but that’s not what we’ve chosen for our land adventures. Picking a trailer that is basically a glorified bed with some limited storage and a small water tank is a running leap into a very different direction.  As with boating, how you choose to be “out there” dictates a particular style. Cruising and sailing are very different styles of being on the water. Choosing a fifteen foot teardrop trailer over anything larger – or smaller like a tent – was a choice on how we want to camp and travel.
And so I’ve been picking through all of the boxes of supplies from the years on the boat to see what can fit into much smaller spaces and cabinets. What’s necessary, what’s overkill. Don’t need flatware for twenty or a dozen wineglasses. I’ll keep the kettle and find a home for the small electric drip coffee pot.  We’ll be cooking on an outdoor stove, sitting in a living room called a campsite. There are some luxuries in this trailer that still feel odd. Who needs an air conditioner or a DVD player? The solar panel plug seems pretty awesome though.

Andy’s spending a lot of time upgrading and customizing the trailer.  He knew our boat inside and out, worked on most of the systems and understood how and why it all worked together. I suspect its – dare I say – been fun to figure out the best ways to manage the limited systems on the trailer even if I do think the 120 watt solar panel is overkill.

To be continued…

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