The global Coronavirus quarantine got you down? Is cabin fever consuming you? Then consider this (I can’t take credit for the idea. It came from a Facebook group of fiberglass trailer enthusiasts): #Campdriveway.
Here’s the idea: Let’s have a huge, cross-country, cross-continent Pod Rally. We can name it CAMP DRIVEWAY. Anyone who has their camper at home, let’s do a sleep-in on Saturday, March 28. We would have the potential of being the biggest rally ever! (For those who don’t have their camper at home, join us anyway!)
It will be so much fun to post pictures of you and your families on social media enjoying this nationwide, continent wide event.
We’re home after a two week adventure. We headed west from our north Florida home without an itinerary and just wandered. What fun! We revisited old favorites, like Joseph’s in Santa Rosa, but mostly picked out destinations new to us.
First new stop was Hot Springs, Arkansas. We hadn’t spent time in Arkansas, just traveled through, and decided it deserved some love. Beautiful state. Check out our photos page.
After a stop in Oklahoma and the Texas Panhandle, we spent about a week in New Mexico, truly deserving of its nickname Land of Enchantment.
Thank y’all for following us on our latest adventure. I hope you enjoy the photos in the Pages section. Don’t miss our last page from our “abduction” in Roswell!
Storage in the Dixie Pixie is limited, so it’s important to utilize every square foot of space efficiently. That’s where baskets come into play.
We didn’t spend a fortune at IKEA to compartmentalize our belongings. Walmart, Amazon, or Dollar General carry all we needed to create modular storage.
As our Dixie Pixie bounces along behind us on the highways, her contents can shift, roll, and fall. Baskets not only offer storage solutions but keep our belongings reasonably secure. I even bought small baskets for our refrigerator. We will probably add baskets or reorganize as we travel, but we feel ready for our upcoming trip.
In 1983 we took our first vacation out west, traveling from our home in Jacksonville, Florida, to Arizona. As much as possible, we drove US 66 (Before it was decommissioned in 1985). We saw legendary tourist sites like the Wigwam Motel in Holbrook, Arizona, and Cadillac Ranch (before it was relocated farther west) in Amarillo, Texas. Since that trip, we’ve been captivated by the history of the Mother Road.
Route 66 isn’t just an old highway. It represents a way of life in an era when folks were starting to experience automobile road trips. It was immortalized in song, movies, books, and a television series. Did you know that the Pixar movie Cars was originally titled Route66?
I researched Route 66 history for a couple of novellas I wrote for an anthology, Romance on Route 66. (If y’all read romance, the ebook is still available on Amazon. But this isn’t shameless self-promotion, just an illustration of my affection for all things Route 66.) I have my sunroom decorated with Route 66 fabric and curios. My friend Dolores recently gifted me with her set of Route 66 diner style stoneware. Butch and I wear Route 66 souvenir T-shirts. So, yeah, it’s a passion.
Even as we plan for this year’s vacation, we are choosing to follow roads designated “Historic Route 66.” It’s well worth the occasional detour off the Interstate to enjoy the onion burger in El Reno, Oklahoma, or visit the hotel in Oatman, Arizona, where Clark Gable and Carole Lombard honeymooned. And don’t miss Santa Rosa, New Mexico, home of a number of great Mexican restaurants.
The Casita is suited for taking the roads less traveled, and we intend to take advantage of it. If you see Dixie Pixie at a campground during your travels, be sure to say howdy.
Traveling with pets is one of the advantages of camping. We RV with Nova, our one-year old Shihtzu, and she’s a good traveler. We have a Kurgo pet seat in the cab of the truck, complete with safety belt to attach to her harness. She sits high between our two seats, which gives her a good view. She has enough room to curl up for naps, too.
She also has a Nylabone chew and a stuffed toy in her Kurgo. ( Kurgo products are available on Amazon.com.)
I carry a large bag, sort of like a diaper bag, complete with treats, food, baby wipes, plastic gloves for picking up poop, a Tupperware bowl filled with drinking water, and any medicine she might need. The bag goes with us to the Casita when we set up camp.
Dogs love routine, so we keep to her regular schedule as much as possible. We bring her crate from home so she’s sleeping in the same bed at night.
It’s important to observe common courtesy and safety rules, including:
Keep your dog leashed unless in a fenced dog park or run.
Keep your dog secured with a safety belt while traveling. A loose dog may be a dead dog in a crash or sudden stop.
Always pick up dog poop and dispose properly (many parks, campgrounds, and rest stops have designated areas for dog waste disposal.)
Never leave your pet alone in the vehicle unless you leave air conditioning running, and then only leave them briefly.
Don’t leave your dog tied up outside your RV.
Give your dog water frequently, especially in warmer weather, to avoid dehydration.
Don’t leave your dog unattended for long periods. It’s not fair to the animal or your neighbors, especially if your dog is a barker.
Obey all campground pet rules. Don’t try to take your fur baby into buildings that are off-limits to animals.
Some attractions offer dog kennels for visitors, althoughwe haven’t used those. A growing number of stores allow you to bring your dog. Also some fast-food restaurants offer outdoor seating where youcan take your dog.
I hope you enjoy travel with your petas much as we do.
Last year, when we traveled to Texas to take delivery of our trailer, we had to pack judiciously for both the hotel stops and our camping. We were limited to the cab and bed of a regular cab pickup truck. We had 1000+ miles to travel … with a new puppy. Preparation was key to a relaxed, fun journey.
Dixie Pixie’s first campsite
Rockin’ “A” RV Park, Vernon, TX
Before the trip, Butch installed a cover for the pickup bed to protect items from the weather. This cover increased our storage so we could transport chairs and plastic storage containers for our camping necessities. We tried to think of everything we’d need on our first few days of Casita ownership.
Alas, we made numerous trips to the Vernon, Texas, Walmart for the items we didn’t pack and for groceries we couldn’t bring. Fortunately, the Walmart is located next door–within walking distance–of Rockin’ “A” RV Park and the Walmart trips enabled us to earn steps on our fitness trackers.
Here’s a list of what we brought and wished we brought. We have more on board now. These were bare essentials for starting out. I hope the list helps newbie campers. (If you don’t travel with pets, you can ignore our dog items)
Clothes for 5 days
Pet food, water, toys, treats, and crate
Essential medications and toiletries
Tools (Butch keeps basic tools in his truck’s toolbox)
RV toilet paper
Paper towels, plates, cups, and napkins (at least enough for a week)
Flatware (stainless. I don’t like plastic utensils)
Kitchen tools (i.e. spatula, can opener, knife, vegetable peeler)
Teakettle for boiling water (we’re tea drinkers, both hot and iced)
Two large bath towels, two hand towels, and a dishcloth
2 sleeping bags (our preference. Take bed linens if you want)
Whisk broom, disinfectant wipes, baby wipes
Small bottles of hand soap, dish soap
A zippered storage bag of laundry pods and dryer sheets.
Holding tank treatment
Our electronics and rechargers
Two folding lawn chairs
*I have a small set of stainless steel cookware perfect for RVs that nests for storage. It also has a griddle that doubles as a toaster. Although I added a 3 quart mini Instant Pot and an air fryer since that trip, this basic set enabled me to cook well-rounded meals.
Rice, Texas, at the Casita factory
I didn’t include grocery items. We picked up salt, pepper, butter, and food for meals during our first Walmart visit.
If you have suggestions to add to the list, please leave a comment.
Those who know me as author Cheryl Norman, know that I write cookbooks as well as fiction. I wrote a cookbook called Hasty Tasty RV Meals, but that was published during my motor homing days. Unfortunately, some of my advice from that book doesn’t apply to the tiny kitchen in my Casita. I don’t have a microwave oven, I don’t have room for a Vitamix, and my tiny freezer barely holds a bag of ice. Lately I’ve been thinking of writing a new cookbook specifically for those of us who travel in eggs. Perhaps I’ll title it Hasty Tasty Dixie Pixie Meals. LOL
Preparing meals in tiny spaces is challenging but rewarding. We save money and calories to compensate for our occasional visits to local restaurants. Part of the fun of travel is sampling the local cuisine.
I’m still adapting to Dixie Pixie’s kitchen, so I’m not ready to share tips. However, I welcome your advice. Any tips on cooking aboard my Dixie Pixie? Please share a comment.