Free activities and how to get around Washington D.C. in an RV.
Well, we finally made it to the Washington D.C. area. The roads are not very RV friendly (or large truck friendly for that matter). So prepare yourself and take an extra dose of patience before entering the greater D.C. area.
We are staying at a great KOA Campground right out side the D.C. area (about a 40 minute commute into downtown). KOA has become our campground of choice. They have RV hookups in both 30 watt and 50 watt. They are also very dog and kid friendly. The ones that we have been to have had an awesome playground for the kids and also a dog agility course for our furry child.
As far as taking the RV into downtown, I highly advise against it. In fact, I also advise against taking any vehicle into greater downtown. There are plenty of commuter options available. But, if you are like us and not familiar with metro transportation… then you might wonder what to do. We drove our truck into town and parked up by Union Station and walked.
There are several parking spots near Union Station that accommodate large vehicles. The parking lot we chose was $8 a day. However, be prepared to pay double if you are an over-sized vehicle and need two spots. You can also choose to park over at Arlington National Cemetery and walk. Parking is a little more over there for day parking. It is also a long walk, so I would advise against it if you have littles.
After 6:30 p.m. the street parking of Washington D.C. along the Washington Memorial and Smithsonian open up. Once we left Union Station and Capitol Hill, we parked down along the Washington Memorial and walked to the White House and Lincoln Memorial. It was about a 1 hour walk in total, but we took a little longer while we waited at the Lincoln Memorial for night lighting to illuminate the area. Well worth it.
Oh, did I mention that all this activity was FREE! That’s right! Our tour of the Nation’s Capitol Building, visit to Washington Memorial, and Lincoln Memorial… all FREE. The only thing we paid for all day was the $16 for parking (because we were over-sized) and any souvenirs / food that we wanted. In fact, many of the buildings are free to the public.
All in all, I would say that it was a great learning day. The kids learned a lot about government and presidential history. Later this week we will dive into the world of the Smithsonian and hopefully find “The Thinker” statue so our oldest can cross an item off her bucket list.
But until then, remember that no matter where you go and what you do… Home is where you park it.
Testing our RV storage skills. Top 5 methods of securing items in a RV.
As we made our way across I-10 in Louisiana yesterday, our RV packing skills got the ultimate test. Our ears cringed with every tha-thunk, tha-thunk, tha-thunk that we rolled over going down the highway.
If you ever traveled I-10 between Lake Charles and Baton Rouge, you know what we are talking about. The constant bumping of the uneven road is worse than the washboard effect you get on dirt roads after a long period of no grading.
In any case, our inspection on the interior components of our RV revealed that we have some more securing strategies to come up with. So, in honor of that… our top 5 methods of securing…
- Make sure all items are tied down. This mainly refers to any heavy electronics. Luckily we had ratchet strapped our TV in place so we had no issues.
- Make sure shelving has a ledge to keep things from sliding off. We had installed some shelving outside of the normal factory shelves. Part of our movement preparation is to bring all items off the shelf and place on the bed or couch area for securing.
- Make sure counter-tops are clear. All items are subject to sliding on the laminate counter-tops. We usually secure things by placing in the sink or a cabinet.
- Bungy cords work well. We have a bookshelf full of items for our homeschooling activities. We initially placed the books on the shelf and hoped they would fair well… wrong… We ended up installing a screw at each end of the shelf to hook a bungy cord to. This method worked a lot better.
- Don’t over stack cabinet areas. Initially we stacked items, like can goods, in the cabinets as high as they could go, keeping like items stacked together. We ended up with several single items near the front of the cabinet. Initially, it made the appearance that we had plenty of storage space, which is an awesome feeling… Later, however, it makes you feel like a you are in a war zone as you dodge missiles that fly from the cabinet when you open the door. Our method (for now) Make sure cabinets maintain a low profile AND DUCK AND WEAVE when opening any cabinet after travel.
For now.. we are still learning. But we will always remember that home is where is you park it.
How our family of 6 begins our adventure in RV living.
The famous book by Dr. Seuss comes to mind as we start our adventure. “Congratulations! Today is your day. You’re off to Great Places! You’re off and away!” (Dr. Seuss)
Some might think we are crazy. Other’s might think that we are insane! I mean who in their right mind sells off everything they have, packs their entire family of six into a travel trailer with a cat and a dog and heads out for a nomadic lifestyle…. We do.
We started this journey a couple of months ago by pulling our children from public school and deciding to homeschool over the summer. It was pretty harmless at first, the only thing at risk was a few learning opportunities during summer break. Then, we tacked on a week long summer trip to California. We spent a week traveling Route 66 through the Grand Canyon and up to Yosemite National Park. IT WAS FABULOUS! The next week, we traveled to Florida. That’s right back to back… coast to coast. The kids loved it.
Once we settled into Homeschool life, it was amazing watching the kids learn and grow. We were hooked. That’s when we decided to go full force and dive into full-time rv living.
The journey has not been easy. We have had to rethink the way we do everything from taking simple showers to grocery shopping. We have had to retrain our minds.
And now we come to the critical point… Launching. Go or no go… Take a leap of faith or turn and walk back to our safety nets… When considering all the little ones involved, it is a pretty daunting decision.
But, faith has guided us thus far, and faith will continue to show us the way. Believing and trusting in God’s plan is a must.
Will we succeed?… According to Dr. Seuss “Yes! You will indeed! (98 and ¾ percent guaranteed.)”