Frugal Ways to Clean and Pack Your Camper

I love camping but I will be honest, I do not "rough it" very well. No tent and sleeping bag for me, I prefer a camper. But camping in a camper can be very expensive. I work hard to keep it frugal. Several years ago we purchased a used camper that a fellow lived in for a bit. We knew it would take a lot of work and good old elbow grease to get it the way we wanted it but the price was low enough to make it worth our while.

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The probes in the dirty tanks did not work and the tanks had a horrible odor. There are several ways to clean these, one of them requiring a visit to a camper dealer. I did some research and decided to try the cheapest ways first. Before we left for a weekend camping trip I filled the tanks, by my estimate, about a little less than 1/2 full of water. I added 1 cup of Calgon water softener and 1 cup of laundry detergent. Then, I poured 1 ten pound bag of ice cubes down the camper toilet. My hubby thought I was off my rocker. It took two camping trips, then a miracle happened, the probes started working and there was no odors from the tank!

I don't like paper plates so I hit up a yard sale to find a complete set of dishes for only $2. To make sure they traveled well during towing times I went to the Dollar Tree and purchased several rolls of non skid shelf liner. I cut them into squares and put them between each plate, saucer, and bowl. It works like a charm, no broken dishes!

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I keep the camper stocked with personal hygiene and cleaning items. During tow times I place a clothing basket in the bathtub and store the items there. They are not flying around the camper in transit, and if by accident a lid came off, the mess is contained.

The camper, for some odd reason, did not have a light switch in the bedroom area. I purchased a cheap lamp to use in there and became tired of having to removed it during tow times. So I placed self stick Velcro on the lamp and the laminated built in night stand. It worked. The lamp stayed put.

I hit up yard sales and thrift stores for linens, towels, flatware, everything I would need and stored them in the camper, too. When we planned a camping trip all I needed to add was food. :-) After every camper trip, upon our return home, we would wash and repack linens and clean the camper, ready for our next getaway!

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April 16, 20120 found this helpful

If I were to go camping it would be this way or not at all. Once I went camping at the beach. I slept in the car while DH and kids slept on the ground. In the day light I made the kids wash after playing, before eating, breakfast / lunch etc. They didn't want me to go with them from then on.LOL

Goodie for me, Camping is great for those that love the outdoors. I will do a day trip but I want to be home in my bed at night. Enjoy GG Vi

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April 16, 20120 found this helpful

Really good ideas, Beverly! I find that a lot of people give up on camping because they leave the cleaning until they are getting ready to go again, and because they have to move so many things into the camper. With the camper clean and ready to go, you can take off when you want to. Not to mention the fact that your camper will stay in good shape a lot longer if you maintain it.

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I used to love tent camping, but I couldn't do it now. Going in a camper is like taking a little bit of home with you. No using public restrooms, which can be real nasty. No spending on expensive, unhealthy fast food or restaurants. Campgrounds are a LOT cheaper than hotels. Camping is so much fun. Thank you for the good advice!

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