It's funny the things you learn when you live in a campervan on and off for eight weeks. At the beginning of my trip, I slept in the van for four to five days at a time and then took a break at someone's house for about three to five days. Then my Bf came to visit in Utah and we got to see Zion, Bryce, and Arches before heading to vegas where he would fly home. Once I got there I stayed with a friend for a few days to regroup. After that, I was on my own. From vegas, until I got back to Tennessee I was in the van for three weeks. Three weeks. At that time the van got disgusting and at one point I finally gave it a wash because it was so badly cracked in the dirt. The water was disgusting. Brown and full of leftover salt from the salt flats. I cleaned it as best as I could and then went on my way.
In terms of the inside, I had bought a small broom with a dustpan and tried to clean it a little bit every day. Between Lylah and I, we dragged so much dirt in the van that when we walked around in it I could feel the tiny grains of sand, dirt, and rocks as I walked around in that small space. It really was kind of frustrating but that's ok. We did the best we could with what we had. Trash and water were also two things I did my best with. Ya'll water is expensive. If you are trying to keep you and a dog hydrated it really does add up. Whenever we could we filled up plastic containers of water with the streams we ran into. Those were used for Lylah and to also wash the dishes. For the trash, we threw things away as we went. I had bought a roll of trash bags and I only have a few left. So much trash was thrown out on the entire trip.
I also realized that I will use as many clothes as I can before I pay for laundry. I have a mesh bag that I kept hanging on the side of the van. I put my laundry in it as I went and it was completely filled by a week and a half. With towels, clothes, and a show or two, it gets full quickly. At one of the campgrounds, we were staying at I paid for laundry but only because I ran out of underwear and warm clothes. So I did my best to get everything washed, including the dog's toys, and that was enough for me to get home. It also helped that at certain places I bought shirts on the way since I don't really have many long sleeves in the first place but even less in the van.
With the van not being converted space was also a problem for us. We had stuff everywhere and it seemed like I was reorganizing every few days, trying to find the best way to keep our stuff from becoming trashed. It was a struggle but a struggle I was ok with figuring out. By next fall the van will be converted and I now know what I do and don't need to make the trip easier on us and more comfortable.
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