Thoughts on our road trip after a few weeks out.

Wrap-up post


Jill had a spread sheet and kept track of expenses as we went, so we could compare costs of this vacation to a flying vacation.

Some interesting items were fuel, at only $300 for the trip.  Not bad at all considering the odometer read 4505 km when we parked.

Lessons Learned

As we went along, Jill and I tried to keep track of things that went well and things that didn’t pan out as planned.  The idea being that this will improve future road trips.  However, we thought followers of the blog might be interested as well, in case they feel brave/foolish enough to take on a road trip.


  1. Trillium organized with shelving and a place for everything.
  2. Having a clothing allotment, one box per person.
  3. Dirty laundry bag.
  4. Small table for outside Trillium door for miscellaneous stuff.
  5. Nancy’s art kits (stickers, crayons, little food shaped erasers, paper).
  6. Dining out for lunch, in for other meals
  7. Servicing car immediately before leaving (makes for less worry, thanks Campbell River Auto Centre!)
  8. Assortment of books and toys for girls in car.


  1. Thought 5 hours of travel in a day was possible, on winding coastal highway.  It is possible on the I-5, but induces craziness and barf on the 101 and highway 1 (Though we only had 1 barf at the end of a very winding day).
  2. Going out for dinner with the kids.
  3. Driving faster when kids are upset. (Barrrffff!!!)
  4. Change up clothing for all, brought too much for the girls, more so, too many jackets.

Things we figured out

  1. Front bunks should just stay up.  Storing all bedding there makes for faster tear down and set-up times.
  2. Children’s schedule is key to a good day.  Must have a post breakfast, pre drive run/play.  4 hours is absolute max for a good day, on curvy roads.  We made up to 411 miles (661 km) for 7.5 hours of driving, 9 hours on the road on the I-5.
  3. Campground amenities are worth a little extra, at least every second day or so.  Playgrounds being key.
  4. Have a Safeway club card, almost every town has a Safeway.  Saves serious money on wine.  Maybe food too.
  5. Get cash back when grocery shopping to avoid ATM fees.
  6. Just because you have never heard of the brewery, it doesn’t mean the beer is good.
  7. Kids get on better with no TV in car.  Tough for first day, but much better after.
  8. Need to try audio books for next trip.
  9. When staying at a Walmart, go for a “Super Centre”.  They are open 24 hours, which makes one feel safer, and they also have groceries.
  10. Box for shoes just outside door beside the welcome mat.  Easier to keep inside of Trillium clean.

Changes to Trillium to make better for trips

  1. We had one bunk collapse, there may be a need to make hold downs.
  2. Need new plumbing for water hook-up. (Installed with great success in Pismo.)
  3. 12v power for charging laptops and phones, or an inverter.
  4. Some means of charging Trillium battery from car would make remote camping easier.  7-pin plug, perhaps.
  5. Outside lights attached to awning.
  6. New/better awning.
  7. Better way to run the BBQ.  2×20# tanks on front?  Smaller, re-fillable tank for the BBQ? secondary line off of main tank? (Found the perfect fitting at  Cabela’s to allow use of one tank.)
  8. Change to car:  better sound system to work with computer
  9. Peep-hole for camping at sketchy Walmarts, so we can look out and see if we need to dial 911.

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