Prepping to Move after a Long Stay

Normally we start packing up the day before we leave a site, and lately we’ve gotten so good at it that we pack the morning we leave. But here, after six weeks in the Keys, it’s a different process, so we started three days early.

Of course, we’ve received a kazillion Amazon orders that we need to find room for. Plus we’ve gotten everything we own salty and sandy, including important gear for the road. Rust has formed on hitch hardware, and all our stuff needs washing.

Here’s the rundown, if you’re curious.


We washed the salt off the kayaks, inside and out. Then we rubbed them down with some protective spray that makes them almost impossible to hold onto when loading them on the truck. I’m sure that its main purpose.

We also washed all the kayak gear and let it dry in the sun, then stowed it in each kayak.

More gear. More and more gear.


This is our famous (or infamous, depending on the day) ProPride hitch. Tracy used some kind of high-powered brush device to get the rust and corrosion off the moving and essential parts, then painted it all again with rust-proof paint and oiled up the hitch receiver.

He did the same for the stinger and reattached it to the truck; we’d had it stored under the trailer to reduce the truck length, since parking here is so tight. All back on now though and in working order (we hope).

Tracy also checked the bolts on the front bike rack (which we’d also detached) and lubed that connection.

He checked the tire pressure on the four Airstream tires, and he lubed the stabilizer jacks. (There’s a lot of lubing going on.)


When the bike rack is installed up front, we move our real license plate to the rack, so we have an empty plate holder on the bumper. Thought we’d fill it this way. Maybe we’ll lure deadheads into saying “Hey now” at campgrounds? Or at least scare off all the folks who might not like hippies.

Tracy also loaded all the rinsed snorkel gear into the container that gets stored way at the back of the truck bed. And he cleaned the grill (bless him) and will stow that in the bed of the truck once all the gear for back there is ready.


I did the last load of laundry (here the small washers meant four loads), which made me so grumpy I just couldn’t stick around to dry everything completely. (It was all the asshats who left their laundry sitting in the few washers plus the extra asshats who came into the laundry room without masks.) So our neighbors had to put up with our full-time ways of hanging laundry out to dry.

I remedied my mood by sitting in the ocean for a half hour. It was like laundry day never had happened.

Inside Prep

I’ve been tinkering inside the trailer, putting away our hanging decorations and finding storage spots for new inside purchases, like an electric popcorn popper. Our stove-top crank popper got burned on the bottom one too many times, and now that we have solar panels and lithium batteries, we should be able to plug this one in. We’re really glamping now!

I’ve charged the walkie-talkies in case I have no cell signal where we’re going next (which I hear is the case), because we have to be able to talk to each other as we back the trailer into the next campsite, and yelling doesn’t do the trick.

I’m downloading a few TV shows and podcasts, plus making sure recipes I’d like to follow are available offline.

I’ve had my last margaritas for this trip so I stowed the liquor bottles, and I made the final batch of boiled peanuts and stowed the Instapot.

Everything inside gets a thorough cleaning, too, as I believe we have no water hookups at the next site. Believe me, even the inside of the trailer is coated with that sometimes-beloved, sometimes-hated mixture of sand, salt, and sunscreen.

Speaking of which, we’re both showering today. Although there is no dirt here to make us dirty as usual, the above mixture takes a few showers to remove.

Final Items

It’s supposed to rain on and off on our final day (go figure), so we packed up the tent early. Our new friends, Roberta and Steven, who are also new Airstream owners, came over to watch us tear that down because they’re interested in one, too (every camper either has one of these or wants one).

So we went from this mess (above) to this (below) in about five minutes.

All that’s left to stow is the stuff that sits on top of everything else in the back of the truck, and then for me to work through the trailer inside, back to front, stowing everything for safe travel. I do that the morning we leave because we always need something a soon as I pack it away. Of course!


From here we wander around Florida until April, hitting state parks and visiting more friends and family. Yay! Of course I’m sad to leave this beautiful location, but as always, adventure awaits.

(And FYI, my clickable map is now working! Find it in the menu list at the top of my home page or on the sidebar.)

If we can enjoy the Keys any on this last, grey day, I’ll certainly post pictures. If not, I’ll check in from the mainland.

You guys stay safe. See you soon, I hope.