Handling it alone

This is where the gals can have their very own discussions...

Postby rebapuck » Wed May 12, 2010 9:35 pm

I find the hardest part is planning a menu. I don't want to have to store(keep cool) alot of things, or pack alot of cooking implements, then bring half of it home because I only ate abit of the now opened package.

Seems I do with alot of sandwiches. Which okay for the most part. I like sandwiches. And there's very little cleanup. Always a good thing.
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Postby gypsy97 » Wed May 12, 2010 9:41 pm

I agree with you, Judy. I had a sandwich for supper tonight because I was out this afternoon and just didn't feel like cooking anything when I got home.

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Postby SandyD » Thu May 13, 2010 11:26 am

Now that the kids are all grown and it's just me at home ~ I swear I live off of sandwiches and soup ~ life is just so much simpler.
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Postby Arne » Thu May 13, 2010 12:24 pm

Same here... I eat salads and other simple things to make. I shop at Sam's, and freeze and take it out as needed.....

Trying to eat simple and healthy can be a chore..... chicken pot pies come to mind...
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Postby steve smoot » Thu May 13, 2010 12:31 pm

We are on a diet...the wife will not eat it if it has red meat... :o

We eat high fiber cereal for breakfast. I like a banana with mine.

I buy lots of fresh fruit on Sundays and chop up enough to have fruit salads from Monday to Friday for lunches.

We just snack for dinner, if it's too warm to cook, or we go out for a salad.

The doctor told me to loose no more than one pound per week. So far, I have lost 3 pounds in three weeks. :applause:

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Postby gypsy97 » Thu May 13, 2010 12:33 pm

My problem is that I've always cooked everything from scratch. I make a dynamite chicken pot pie, from rolling out the pie crust to cooking all the chicken & vegetables, to making a white sauce to hold it all together. It's the way I've always eaten and I just can't change at my age - although sandwiches and once in a while nachos seem to be on my menu a lot.

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Postby gypsy97 » Thu May 13, 2010 12:35 pm

Congratulations, Steve. Way to go! Just stick with it and you will see those pounds roll away.

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Postby Shadow Catcher » Thu May 13, 2010 4:29 pm

With a good wheel on the front tongue jack you should be able to move the trailer, or recruit a bit of help ;)
Remember you will not be handling a multiton fifth wheel. Depending on the weight of your trailer the tongue weight will be less than a hundred pounds.

One of the best things you can do would be to come to one of the teardrop gatherings and talk to folks, What do you like, how does it work, what would you do differently, (we love to do that). Check out the Tearjerkers forum (see link above) this will give you the locations and dates and join in the fun.
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Postby gypsy97 » Thu May 13, 2010 4:34 pm

Thanks, I plan to do that before long. I'm already added to the Norcal group, and I think I will try to go to a gathering even if it means taking a tent for the trip.

There is so much that a person can research on the internet, but seeing it right there and up close is what I need to do before I make a decision.

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Postby oklahomajewel » Thu May 13, 2010 4:40 pm

Hey gypsy ... someone on the Lady Teardroppers threads there's something about camping alone and safety.... good hints!
I've camped at a COE park one time alone, and had no problems. Also only once did I stop overnight at a Walmart parking lot for a long nighttime "nap" not really a full nights sleep.

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Postby gypsy97 » Thu May 13, 2010 4:48 pm

Untill just recently I've lived alone (with my dog) in my 5th wheel trailer, and covered over 10,000 miles. I was never afraid, although I didn't stay overnight at any rest areas or Wal Mart parking lots. I would expect to feel more vulnerable in a teardrop, especially since I would be able to maneuver roads that wouldn't handle a large RV. That said, I have been following the lady's section very closely, and am open to any and all suggestions.

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Postby Gaelen » Thu May 13, 2010 9:16 pm

Hi, Gypsy. I'm another vote for the hitch-buddy. I like mine so much that it never leaves my Jeep, even when I'm not towing. The last campout of the fall in 2009, other people at the campground watched me backing uphill and to left to hitch up my trailer on a site that was on a slight grade - and after I hitched up in one try, four neighbors borrowed the HitchBuddy for their own hookups (used on rigs from a small 15 foot popup to a ginormous 5th wheel.) Mine was a bit more than Arne's - I think it was $14.99 at Walmart. Worth twice that in saved time and frustration. ;)

To your first question - what is the hardest thing to do alone?
Well - backing my Sunspot into my storage garage, which has a short roadway in front of the doors and is also slightly uphill, is kinda tricky for me. But I'm getting better. Plain old backing up into a site I practiced in an open parking lot aiming for a spot between two traffic cones until I could do it with a minimum of swearing and without taking out one of the cones.

I think the hardest part for me was getting practiced at not overpacking - the less I bring, the less of an issue it is to set up and tear down. So I work hard at paring down.

And in the paring down category, although I've themed out my Sunspot in vintage 70s Tupperware and other stuff, I decided that the first place I needed to pare down was my camp kitchen. When I pack, I have to constantly remind myself that I.am.ONE.person! I travel with two dogs and a cat. I so do not need a camp kitchen that can feed a dozen people!

So my camping cast iron collection is limited to a frying pan, a grill grate, a mini-hibachi, and 3 dutch ovens: 6qt, which mostly stays home, 3 qt - the perfect size, and 1 qt which is too small even for one and is more of a novelty that stays at home. Instead of a kitchen full of DOs, I bring pie irons - perfect for one person.

I have a double and a single square cast iron Rome pie iron, and two antique round steel pie irons. When separated, they are great mini-frypans. Used as a traditional pie iron, I've made everything from homemade pot pie (for one) to grilled veggies to breakfast burritos to hamburgers. They're very versatile, relatively light and strong, and very portable. Really cuts down on the cooking equipment I need. And I plan my menus to take advantage of small amounts and cooking for one. I use a small 28qt marine cooler that neatly holds a block of ice in one half and the food I need for 3-5 days in the other half. I repack into smaller containers and really try to stick to my planned menu - which I cook from scratch as much as possible. My concession to camping is that I do use small (4-6) rolls of biscuit or crescent roll dough for pot pies in the pie irons, and frozen low carb tortillas for breakfast burritos.

I tried out a few different kinds of camp canopies. I ended up with the TailGator, which attaches to either my rig or my Jeep Patriot with a gigantic magnet and bungee cords. Sly and Terry from Ontario had them on their tear last year at the TearUp in the Adirondacks, and I liked it so much I bought one. It's easy-peasy to set up. My other shade while camping is a plain old tilting patio umbrella with a weighted umbrella base. Opens or folds up in a minute, and provides just enough shade or shelter without too much cost in setup time or weight.

I think the easiest thing for me to make my time in my tiny travel trailer enjoyable was keep things small and simple. The less stuff I haul, the less work I have to do and the more time I have to just enjoy camp.

Hope that helps!
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Postby gypsy97 » Thu May 13, 2010 9:33 pm

Thank you for your extremely helpful post I believe you are right about paring down - I don't even own a TD yet, but have been making lists of things I would need to take in one - I guess I'm just an obsessive list maker :lol:

I got spoiled with having a 34ft RV all to myself, and now I'm having a heckuva time finding room in a small apartment for my stuff. I will keep your advice in mind, and try not to bring things I probably won't use.

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Postby robertaw » Wed May 19, 2010 10:22 pm

Gypsy, have you ever considered a mini motorhome or van conversion rather than a trailer. It seems either would fit your needs well. It would eliminate the need to tow anything as they are small enough to drive around town and fit in a normal parking spot. Just a thought. :)
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Postby gypsy97 » Wed May 19, 2010 10:30 pm

I have considered just about everything there is in the way of RV's. After living in a 5th wheel for nearly 1-1/2 yrs, I realize all I ever wanted was a teardrop - it still comes back to that. Plus, to get a mini Class A, Class B, or whatever is more money than I'd like to spend. I bought my current rig before prices took a dive, but I should come out of it with enough for a TD plus a bit left over to save. My truck will easily net me enough for a good used SUV, also with a little left over.

Being retired and on a fixed income I just don't want to go into any debt at this point. I guess if the right vehicle came along though . . .

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