As I plan our fifth Airstream trip to the Southwest, I again have been fretting about the first three legs, when the trailer is winterized and when few RV parks or state parks are open. The first leg usually involves a very early launch from an icy driveway, a very long drive into Pennsylvania, and a cold night in a Walmart parking lot.
You can imagine an aluminum trailer hauled through below-freezing temperatures at highway speeds, is a bit cold when we stop. Sure, we have heat but it is a labor just to get the interior comfortable and there’s little insulation – it’s an ice box. I installed a propane heater in the front – and the dog loves that, but the rear of the rig is igloo-cozy.
The next night, usually in Virginia, is a little better but with no water in the trailer, it’s a little more “roughing it” than we need at age 74. The third night, often in Tennessee, is borderline but doable in the Airstream.
The other night I had what is really an obvious idea: “Why don’t we see about staying a few nights in motels?” So I’ve been spending a lot of time looking a motel web sites, finding out that “pet friendly” usually means dogs no bigger than 25 pounds (Penny is more like 60), and that there’s always an extra charge.
Now, we have some options for places to stay, where there might even be warm rooms and showers, and likely will be adjusting our plans accordingly. Once we get into Mississippi, we can find parks with power and water and get into our regular routine.
Already, the apprehension that I always have for weeks before departure has dissipated and I think we’ll wonder why we never considered “abandoning ship” on chilly nights before. I’ll let you know how it goes.