About three weeks after we picked up our RV, we took our second camping trip. Similar to our shakeout trip which you can read about here, we booked a campground within about 35 minutes of our house. There were a few things on our first trip we either didn’t have or accidentally left at home so below are our additions from our first trip to our second trip.
- Bins – We have four very narrow cubbies on the right of the shower so most boxes or baskets don’t fit for storage. The only thing I found that worked for a fair price was in the Dollar Spot at Target and intended for dog supplies(there’s a picture of a little bone stitched on one side). Since the bins fit perfectly, we got a few so we could put them 2 deep in the cubbies to store things like toilet paper and bathroom products.
- Keurig – I found an awesome deal at Target for a single cup Keurig that retails at $99 and with the sale and additional Cartwheel coupon, it was only $35 before tax. While I prefer iced coffee, having a nice cup of hot coffee without leaving the campground in the fall temperatures is so nice.
- Bath Mats – I took a bathmat we had from downstairs in our home initially and put it in the bathroom. It was okay but the sizing wasn’t ideal for where the doors are so I found one at Homegoods and then we got another small bath math that we use under the dog dish so when our labs slosh it all over while drinking it, the whole floor isn’t soaked.
- Throw Pillows – We shopped our house for throw pillows for our dinette but decided to buy two for the sofa at Target.
- Bed Pillows – We again, shopped the house for bed pillows but only found 2 and since we normally sleep with 4-5 total on the bed, I got the cheapest ones at Target and cheap pillow cases to use in the RV. I slept on them and they’re incredibly comfortable for about a $20 total investment.
- Insulated Dog Bowl – We have a large dog bowl at home for the pups that I got at Homegoods a year ago and they had another one in stock when we went so I grabbed it for the RV for $20.
- Hatchet – This we had but just forgot at home so we made sure to pack it this time for cutting firewood.
- Halloween Decor – Halloween isn’t really my thing but since the campground we’d be at had trick or treating we got a few decorations (skeletons + pumpkins) that we plan to just put in a box and use every year for decor.
- Recliner lounge chair – I’ve wanted one of these chairs for years since we had one growing up on the porch that I loved to reline in. The one I got is perfect to lay back for a nap and was a great deal on Amazon.
- Marshmallow Skewers – We have skewers but not the long ones for marshmallows which became slightly dangerous and involved using an oven mitt, so I found the cheapest ones on Amazon for under $10 to get.
I think that about covers any additions we’ve made since our first trip. We tried to be intentional when starting to shop our house, garage, Teddy’s apartment items from grad school and my dad’s house (thanks Dad for all the free tools!) for items for the camper. Because we invested in quite a few necessities to start (hoses, leveling items, cords) we didn’t want to spend a lot on the inside. We’re very lucky though since the inside itself is already very nicely finished.
This time we stayed at a KOA near Hershey and our first weekend we stayed at the Hershey Road Campground. They’re in the same general area so I thought it could be helpful to share some differences we noticed. This isn’t an exhaustive list and we may not know about some amenities at some of them, so do your own research.
- There are tent options, cabins, seasonal RV sites, and other RV sites. They are intermingled throughout the campground. Some of the sites face directly into your neighbors.
- There are more wooded sites for RVS than Hershey Road but it has a very large hill in the back to some of the sites.
- Firewood delivery to the site or at camp store.
- It may depend on your site, but a golf cart escorted us to ours which was back down a hill because it could be a little confusing.
- I think it’s under a flight path to the Harrisburg airport, so you’ll hear and see helicopters as well as planes throughout the day though it’s not too bad.
- Overall it seemed newer and more updated
- The campground itself was smaller so it was easier to walk to where you were trying to go
- The layout had all the RVs parked the same way so you had a more clear yard area without feeling like you were staring at your neighbors.
- It was right off 283 and an easy drive to get there without back roads.
- Pull through + back in sites
- Full hookup options
- Dog run
- Mini golf
- Picnic tables + fire rings at the site
- Food truck or market visits you could purchase from
- Events on the fall weekends
- Camp stores
- Community activities
Because we figured out setup and about how long it would take us the first weekend camping, it was a little faster for us this time. Instead of planning for pizza on Friday night, we planned to actually cook burgers on the grill and have some s’mores which worked out great. Saturday for breakfast we planned on grilled sausage, egg, and cheese sandwiches on leftover hamburger buns with a side of hashbrowns. We also stopped at the donut truck on site for mini donuts. For lunch we had porkchops and then for dinner we did marinated chicken on the grill followed by s’mores. Since checkout was around 11:30 Sunday, we figured we’d eat any leftovers for breakfast before packing up and heading out. Overall, we enjoyed all of our meals and love the grill we got for camping. Even for eggs and hasbrowns, we just have used a lodge cast iron on it to make things you can’t put directly on the grill. It’s been so handy (and I haven’t set off any more smoke alarms).
The only real “issue” we had was that our hot water heater leaked on Saturday morning. Luckily Teddy noticed right away where it was leaking outside and was able to take off a cabinet covering and tighten some fittings and it was back to normal.
Our next trip is further away and over some mountains to get there. This is the trip I’ve been most nervous about. My prayer is that everything works out and that the fears I have don’t become reality. But if they do, I also have the confidence we will figure things out. So stay tuned to hear how that one goes!
Highs, Lows & Overall Thoughts
Highs – The leaves changing in the campground. They were just beginning to turn the reds and oranges, and along with the 70-degree weather in PA in October, it was a beautiful weekend for camping. We also were able to bring Bailey(our 6 year old lab) with us this trip. Overall, it was just a really relaxing weekend
Lows – The hot water heater issue thankfully wasn’t a big deal. But at the moment we weren’t exactly sure if we’d be able to fix it or need to get someone to do it. Bailey is a wonderful pup, but we have to work on her barking at other dogs when she wants to play with them. With some she’s totally fine and others not so much. So just managing that throughout the weekend at a campground with a lot of dogs was a bit of a low.
Overall, we really had a great and restful weekend. Comparing our first and second trip locations, there are pros and cons to both. I personally liked Hershey Road a little more because of the layout of the RVS, especially with a dog who can get distracted by any other dog that goes by, and the employees were just incredibly nice. But truly, both have been great “first” camping experiences for us and we’ve met great people along the way.
Stay tuned for our next adventure!