Sunsets at the Badlands Inn

sunsets-at-the-badlands-inn1Last Wednesday was a moving day. I’m not sure how it works for other RVers, but for me, I never get anything productive done on a moving day except moving. It seems odd that the act of hitching and unhitching, which only spans about 45 minutes typically each way, can fill a full 12 hours of daylight, but somehow it does.

Well, actually I know why it does, it’s because the process is more complicated than just hitching and unhitching.

First I washed Cas’ exterior, dumped trash, did dishes, put up things that could bounce around while in motion, dumped tanks, put up hoses, hitched, double checked that eveything was secured (realized I was missing the lens for one of Cas’ clearance lights – d’oh), unplugged electric, threw my wheel chocks and levelers in the back of Bertha, stopped in the driveway of the campground to make sure everything was towing right and looked good, drove into the park to an overlook, took some pictures and video, came down Cedar Pass, stopped at the Lodge for lunch, took some more pictures in the parking lot (the parking lot at work is where that banner in the Rig page came from – this time I got one with truck and RV facing the other way), drove the rest of the way to Badlands Inn, lined up my parking job to get Cas exactly where I wanted him, tried unhitching and realized that even though Cas was level side to side, the truck wasn’t level enough to the RV to get my trunnion bar off on one side, so I lowered the jack back down, drove forward a couple of feet, tried again and it worked with a leveling block (this time Cas wasn’t level side to side, but was in better alignment with Bertha), wiped grease off and put away hitch, bars, jack blocks, and unused leveling blocks, hooked electric up and turned fridge back on, and then I begged a glass of ice water off of my coworker who has been managing the Inn this season. Did I mention the high was 97 that day?


After that it was hooking water up, and putting everything back out in the arrangement I need for living in it. Then it was supper time, and after eating I couldn’t do anything else until I’d had a shower. After that I could have done something else productive I suppose, but once you do all that physical work it’s hard to have energy left over for other things.


For all my troubles though, I was rewarded with a gorgeous sunset that night which I enjoyed from my camp chair while doing a few things online. The next night was a great sunset too, as was yesterday. This spot doesn’t have trees the way Circle 10 does, but the true prairie feel with the Badlands in the distance is great in a different way. The first few days at a new camp are always sort of magical for me as I see what the location has to offer.

sunsets-at-the-badlands-inn2What about you other RVers out there, how long does it take you to take down and set up on a moving day? Do you schedule other activities on moving days or keep it strictly to moving?

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  1. Paul on September 26, 2013 at 1:06 am

    Great photos Becky! It made me go back to look at some of our shots of the Badlands from this past May when we were there, and have you ever noticed that it’s so beautiful it actually looks unreal?? I mean, look again at that picture of your rig with the badlands in the background. You can almost convince yourself that your pickup and trailer are sitting on a Hollywood movie studio lot, and the sky and hills are just a painted backdrop. 🙂

    • Becky on September 26, 2013 at 10:18 pm

      Yeah it kinda does Paul. Like someone colored it in after the fact, or cut and pasted, haha.

  2. Pleinguy on September 25, 2013 at 8:53 pm

    I don’t think I’ve ever timed myself when breaking camp. But, since I have a small Class C motorhome with no toad, it doesn’t take very long. If I know I’m leaving in the morning I’ll do the house cleaning and put most items away the night before. A light breakfast of cold cereal, put the cutting board and fruit basket in the sink, make sure all doors are locked and toilet lid is down. Put fresh water and a snack in cab. Raise entry step in, then disconnect from electric, and roll off the leveling blocks and stow them. I’m then ready to go to the dump station on the way out. I never hook to shore water or sewer. If you count the dump time, then maybe a half hour to be heading down the road.
    Pleinguy recently posted..The LoftMy Profile

    • Becky on September 25, 2013 at 10:49 pm

      Pretty efficient Plein.

      I like to do breakfasts that involve no dishes on a moving day, I don’t like driving down the road with dirty dishes in the sink nor do I like to waste time doing them morning of, haha.

      I’d like to rely more on my fresh water tank, but I need to fix my shore water inlet first, water put into my tank will drain out there in a matter of a couple days because the valve there isn’t working properly.

  3. Carolyn DeLoach on September 25, 2013 at 3:37 pm

    For me the chore that takes the longest when unhitching is stowing. After living out of the motor home for a few months like I’m doing here at Campbellsville, KY while I’m at Amazon it will take me several hours making sure everything that needs to be stowed securely is. Otherwise I’ll find something broken, spilled or have something fall out of an overhead bin onto my head when opening the cabinet driving.

    • Becky on September 25, 2013 at 10:46 pm

      Yeeeah I’ve had a spill in the fridge once when I forgot to prop everything against each other. Stowing when I’ve been somewhere several months (including bringing in my chair and stuff like that) takes me maybe 1/2 hour the first time if I’m really spread out, I don’t have as much stuff as some people. But I’ll do the stowing process twice, once the day before and once right before takeoff for everything that needs to stay out till the last minute.

  4. Mike LeBlanc on September 25, 2013 at 7:36 am

    I can echo many of the above comments. Parking, connecting and disconnecting a Class C is much easier than a 5th wheel. For four months, I traveled with a circus as the school teacher and moving every day you learn quickly how to be efficient. As many of us have learned, it is always best to take your time and be thorough: especially when packing to move! Thank you Becky for a most enjoyable read!

    • Mick on September 25, 2013 at 8:20 pm

      Mike — What a great job to have.

    • Becky on September 25, 2013 at 10:43 pm

      I think part of why it takes me so long is because I refuse to hurry. I go slow and recheck everything – if I miss something, no one else will catch it and even something simple could have disastrous consequences. Thanks for reading Mike.

  5. Rob on September 25, 2013 at 12:50 am

    We’ve been here since early April & the last work day is this Sunday. I’m working on getting the motorhome ready to leave 🙂
    Rob recently posted..The move…My Profile

    • Becky on September 25, 2013 at 10:40 pm

      Good luck getting it all together! I have a tendency to start a few days ahead of time too, moving things around, making sure I’ll have enough travel food (when I’m moving more than 9 miles that is), and cleaning cleaning cleaning. I don’t know why but it always bothers me to move the RV when it’s not dusted and swept, etc.

  6. Dave on September 25, 2013 at 12:35 am

    Probably not an equal comparison….but we have motorhome and we tow a car. We take our time, and there are two of us. Marcia does most of the inside, I do the outside stuff. I’d say we average 45 minutes. As for the car, there have been a few times that I have had to disconnect it, back the motorhome up, and then connect again, and I have done this in less than 10 minutes total (that includes unhooking, moving car, moving motorhome, moving car back in place and hooking up again.) For those who don’t understand the reason….if you tow a car with all four wheels down, you cannot back up or you will break your tow bar.

    I have sure enjoyed reading about your adventures up there….we spent a week in Black Hills and four days in the KOA just south-east of your new park. We loved the area a lot, just wish you were working there last year so we could have said “HI”. Dave (Marcia and Bubba and Skruffy)
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    • Becky on September 25, 2013 at 10:37 pm

      Heya Dave,

      Luckily my fancy hitch still lets me back up without moving the trunnion bars, I save a bit of time there.

      I’ve heard that the KOA along 44 is really nice, never seen it myself though. Too bad we missed each other this year, but there is always next year. 🙂

  7. Misty on September 24, 2013 at 11:04 pm

    When I was travelling, it took me like 20 mins to set up or tear down. However, I don’t count the work I do leading up to the day I leave. I tend to start getting things prepped days ahead of time so that on moving day, I only have to hook up and go.

    I also had my trailer set up so that very little needed to be done to get ready to go, mostly because I’m too impatient to constantly be rearranging things every time I move. But also because when I first started out, I found that it was really a problem if I wasn’t “functional” while on the road. When I was driving, I was usually going far enough that being able to pull over at a rest stop and cook dinner or hang out comfortably made a huge difference in how pleasant the trip was!

    So after some trial and error, I found a set up that worked well both for traveling days and for when I was settled in at a campsite long term.

    • Becky on September 25, 2013 at 10:34 pm

      Thanks for responding Misty. My set up more or less works when I’m on the road: everything has a place when I travel anyway where I can still hang out in the RV, I pull my cushions and put them all on the bed, all my lose things in the bathroom: floss, toothpaste, brush, mouthwash etc. need to get put away somewhere where they won’t fly around. Remembering to prop things in the fridge so they won’t go flying when I move is important, haha.

  8. Jack Mayer on September 24, 2013 at 7:58 pm

    Generally, if we have been in a place for some time it takes us about 2 hours to pack/hook. On a normal stop for just a couple of days it only takes less than an hour to get going. To set back up takes about half an hour for everything. We’ve been fulltiming for 13+ years, and at this point we do not have much “clutter” in the rig. So it is easy to keep things “ready”.

    • Becky on September 24, 2013 at 9:18 pm

      Yeah, I’d been at Circle 10 for almost 4 months, a lot more spreading out happens when you’re in one spot for a while. It took less time when I was say staying at state parks for a few days on my way to Amazon last year. I’m still no where near your times though Jack, I have some practicing to do. 😉 I think being solo makes a difference too, you can’t split the duties.

  9. Kim on September 24, 2013 at 5:30 pm

    Fabulous photos!

    My answer may not be enlightening because I don’t full-time. But …… it takes me about 10 minutes (if I have hook-ups) to get my van ready to pull out. Without hook-ups maybe 5 minutes. But then I travel exceedingly light – 1 chair, one rug, one table.

    I unplug from electric, turn the key in the ignition, and take off!

    Then I have to pull over because I forgot to secure the bathroom door.

    Cas is looking good!
    Kim recently posted..Fall Trip PlanningMy Profile

    • Becky on September 24, 2013 at 9:13 pm

      Heya Kim, Cas is in desperate need of a re-waxing actually, but I’m taking photos that don’t show off the fact that he only gleams in the sunlight in some spots and not others, haha.

      I kind of figured a motorhome that isn’t towing a toad would be quicker to get moving with, it’s definitely an advantage that kind of RV. And I hear you on securing the door, I’m still short one storage cabinet door because it never stayed closed in transit and the screws pulled out of the cheap particle board it was mounted in.

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