Hoff's Aliner Travels
A Travel Blog for US and Canadian Parks with Geological Notes

Tips August 30, 2019

Many of these tips may be obvious to experienced campers but I thought some of this might be useful to someone.
Of course, I own stock in anything I suggest by brand name and I will make a fortune if you buy it. (Just kidding.) Many of these suggestions become more applicable the longer and further you are away from home.

Some of the Tips for Beginners may be useful if you have less than 10 camp grounds to your credit. Or even if you have more.

If it has been cold and rainy, you can hang towels inside your vehicle and they will dry faster as you travel than in the camper. Heat or AC will dry them even quicker.

Finding the location of a camp ground on the road
Find the camp ground on Google Earth and write down the GPS coordinates for the entrance for the camp ground. You will find that at least 10% of camp grounds have vague addresses that the GPS can only get you close to. This works best at home because a strong enough Wi-Fi signal may be hard to find on the road. My car GPS can use GPS coordinates – I suspect that many can. I have found this to be a big help.

Cooking and Cleaning
In the morning, picnic tables can be covered with dew. I carry a knee pad for gardening to sit on. It is comfy and keeps you from sitting in the dew.

Scrubs are great for washing dishes. They are little pieces of soap saturated paper that are slightly scratchy. I can clean a frying pan, a dish, a bowl, silverware, and a mug with one scrub, 6 paper towels, and a quart of water. Two or three of the paper towels can be saved for the next meal to clean off most of the food before washing the dish. I found out I was actually getting the items cleaner than I was with my original method of two tubs of water (one with soap, one for rinsing) which used over 3 gallons of water. It also avoids all that grey water.

Boon Docking
I recommend Aqua Paks for carrying water. There are filters that can be used for natural fresh water sources but I have never used the one I carry. I save it for emergencies.

Use Scrubs to save water – see above.

Buy a charger pack or two for tablets and cell phones. You really only need a generator for an air conditioner or a C Pap machine. Nothing ruins camping for me more than the sound of a generator. Well, maybe blackflies.

Aliner Specific
Chain hooks at Tractor Supply are better than the ones that come with the Aliner. I have had the Aliner hooks pop off my car more than once so I replaced them.

Lower the fantastic fan and lock it with the lever before you hit the road.

When the air conditioner breaks, which it will, replace it with a portable one. Then you can replace it if it conks out on a long trip. Having gone through two, that is just my two cents.

Trailer specific but not Aliner specific
Uncle Norm’s Never Miss Hitch works well as a hitching aid. To add it, you unscrew the ball from the bottom, add the vertical piece, and screw the bottom nut back on. I used a pipe wrench. When you use it for hitching, you slip the yellow flat pieces on to the vertical piece temporarily while you back up the car and they help guide the hitch over the ball. It works great when you are by yourself and may keep you from banging the back of the car with the ball.

The Ultimate Trailer Jack works well to add height on sloping sites. It is easy to install. Prop the front of the trailer on blocks, remove 3 bolts, take out the old hitch, put in the new hitch, put the bolts on to hold the new hitch, crank up the front of the trailer and remove the blocks.

As you stuff the electric cord back in the camper, run it through your hand to remove moisture, dirt, grass clippings, tardigrades, etc. This prevents a buildup of a miniature ecosystem that may allow fungi and small critters to flourish in your camper

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