We’ve been travelling in Eddie (and living the Van Life) for two months already (where has the time gone?!) and thought some people might find it interesting to know what we look for when we’re moving to the next destination. We’ve definitely improved our “technique” for when we move to a new centre, but we’re always learning and adapting and trying to make the transition as easy as possible.
So here’s our list of the Top 7 Things we consider when moving to a new location in the RV.
1. Where to stay:
Usually, we look for a Walmart Supercenter for an initial landing spot, at least for the first night, then look for somewhere that might work better after that. We’ve adapted to a lack of 110V electricity, and we know we can get about 4 days out of our holding tanks (fresh, grey, black) so have been opting to dry camp whenever possible.
2. Where to get fresh water / RV dump / propane:
This is usually the second thing we search for when we travel to a new centre. Our holding tanks are pretty small, so by the time the black water is showing 2/3 full and the fresh water is 2/3 empty, we start to get a bit antsy. Some places have stand-alone RV dumping stations, often at a gas station or rest stop. Other centres will only have these services offered at an actual campground (most charge a nominal fee to use their dumping facilities only). Not all dumping stations have potable water, so it’s good to confirm this and pick one that does. If it doesn’t, it means you have to empty the black/grey tanks but cannot fill the fresh water tank and have to find somewhere else to do that (more stops, more hassle…).
3. Where to get food / groceries:
We like to cook so it’s always a bonus when we can find a decent grocery store with good-quality meat / produce. We’ve been to places where this isn’t the case, and we always struggle to feel at home when we can’t get the produce we want. This may not be an important factor for everyone, but it’s something we search for when we move to a new location.
4. Where to climb:
Given the name of this blog, finding a place to climb is usually the reason for traveling to a given destination! However, we don’t usually have a guidebook for that destination. Before we decide on a place, we look for online guidebooks, and check out Mountain Project online to see how much there is for us to do. When we get to a new place, we’ll head over to the local climbing-gear store and talk to the staff to figure out where to go on Day 1.
5. Where to cycle:
If we’re lucky, we’ll see lots of designated cycle lanes as we’re heading into town; this is good as we know getting out on our bikes will be a piece of cake! While this isn’t always the case, a bit of googling usually does the trick. We’ve found websites like Map My Ride, or searching for “Best Places to Cycle in XYZ”, are good ways to get us started with getting out and about. We’re always on the look-out for good cycling routes and once we’ve been in a place for a few days, we usually have a decent lay-of-the-land and can make up a few routes.
6. When to travel:
We’ve been trying to time the travel days to our “climbing rest days” in order to maximize our climbing time. We’ve found traveling in the evening or very early morning works quite well, as the traffic is usually lighter and is generally less stressful.
7. Best of…:
This is often the most fun part of a new place. Our “Best of” searches include: Where’s the best coffee shop, where’s the best bakery, where’s the best gastropub, etc. In our two months of traveling, we’ve found that these “Best of’s…” have often been the make or break of a centre. If the climbing is good AND they have a stellar bakery, the Pearson’s are in for the long-haul 🙂