Packing up the trailer to go to Flagstaff
Every so many months we pack everything up in a trailer and drive to the next destination. We usually budget at least 2 days to pack and a similar number of days to unpack, although we can usually do it in less than 2 days. Our landlords expect that we will meet the letter of our rental contract, and we respect our contract arrangements, so we work hard to meet the letter of the contract, leaving on or before the time set for leaving the house, and leaving it in the state defined in the contract.
We have to pack up our clothes in suitcases except for what we will need in an overnight bag fro the trip. The materials in the bathrooms need to be put into two storage tubs. The materials in the kitchen that we bring along with us needs to go into 3 storage tubs. Different landlords have different equipment in the rental house kitchens, so we need to have a number of items to fill in the gaps, plus we like certain items regardless. The food and spices from the pantry needs to go into two storage tubs. The refrigerated and frozen foods, of course can't be packed up in a cooler until the last moment, on the morning of the road trip.
We assemble our computer workstation / desk to use while we're at each location. This furniture and the computing equipment must also be disassembled before the packing can commence, so we leave our sandi's laptop and my tablet and our phones and chargers while we disassemble everything and pack it in boxes and tubs.
Although we prefer to stay longer at each location, this contrasts with our desire to see as many locations as possible, constrained by the finite amount of time albeit undefined, that we have remaining in our lives. Longer stays mean fewer packing and unpacking cycles, shorter stays means the opportunity to see more places and things and people.
Having the need to transport all of our items from place to place means that I needed to become familiar with trailer considerations, and towing considerations. Our first trailer was a 6 x 10 trailer that seemed ok, and was big enough but it seemed to have a lot of air drag, so we wanted to get a smaller trailer with a lower profile and less drag, which we later did, when we bought a 5 x 8 trailer. Also the first trailer had inexpensive and inappropriate car tires not designed to carry as much weight as was being carried in the trailer. So we had two blowouts one with each tire on the trailer in the middle of the desert in New Mexico, driving from Tucson to Kansas City. I realized that I made the mistake of believing that nobody would sell a trailer with tires that were ill suited for a trailer. I now believe that some people will do almost anything to other people without regard to the potential consequences to the other people, still naive at 63 I guess. When we got back to Kansas City, I researched trailer tire needs, and decided that I wanted overspec'd tires. So I bought truck tires with a "D" rating, which is an 8 ply rating, capable of carrying 2,500 pounds per tire, which is about twice the tires would ever need to carry. As a result of this move, we haven't had any issues with tires since, and after 40,000 miles, the trailer tires look like they're still new.
Life on the road has been quite a learning experience. It's all about the journey, not about the destination. I hope I never stop learning until I die.
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Last Update: June 30, 2015
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