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24 feet. That’s the length of living space our family of 4 is going to {attempt} to survive in this summer. A lot of planning, list making, research, then more planning is going into this adventure. It’s hard to anticipate everything you might need while balancing not bringing more than you need due to weight in the trailer.

Our summer road trip will take us from Northern California up through British Columbia via the Trans-Canada Highway and up into Alaska through Tok, onward to the Kenai Peninsula, Anchorage, Denali, and Fairbanks before we make our way back down again. Phew! That’s a long trip! Roughly 6,300 miles round trip!

Along the way, there are going to be places we can stop and get things if we forget them, and obviously to stock up on food, etc. However, as far as what we need for the trip within the trailer? That’s what I have been working on for the past few months. I think I’m just about there.

Our (new to us) trailer has a separate bedroom in the front which will be wonderful for some privacy. Our trailer came with a (small) bathtub, which is exactly what I was hoping to have with a three year old who is scared of showers.

The other thing I LOVE about our trailer is that the kitchen is in the back. Which means more counter space. And there is a pull out couch as well as the dining table which flattens into a bed. The slide is minimal, but just enough to make the trailer feel a little more roomy. All in all, we are pretty darn happy!

However, you may want to ask me about it again when the summer is over. Ha.

So, in packing up the trailer, I wanted to be a little more thorough than a typical weekend getaway. Since this will be our home, I wanted some creature comforts. I was also aware of the weather we would be heading into. Alaska isn’t known for being particularly hot, as our home is, so packing was slightly different. I started by “shopping” in our house. Definitely best to shop smarter – especially when you have extras already purchased! Next, we hit up yard sales and thrift stores. Finally, we purchased some items new, as they were either too difficult to find, or I preferred new for the trip.

I think it easiest to go over by each room or section of the trailer.

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  • A new foam mattress cover. I’m kind of a weirdo and get the heebie-jeebies sleeping on a used mattress, but we couldn’t afford a brand new one….So the compromise was a memory foam mattress cover, which also helps make for comfortable sleep.
  • New bedding for the trailer, including pillows. Since this is going to be our home, I wanted something nice. Good sleep is so important.
  • Flashlights for each side of the bed.
  • Clip on fan that runs on battery or power. Trailers can get very stuffy, and air movement is important in our family.
  • Small, pop up laundry basket. I wanted something that would fit in the corner that was small enough to not be in the way. We will stop and do laundry approximately every week, so this basket will serve as a place for dirty socks and underwear for the most part, as we will wear the same bottoms several times. It’s camping after all, not a fashion show :).
  • Dark curtains. Alaska summers aren’t known for their pitch black nights. In order to get some sleep, we will be adding some blackout curtains to our trailer.

Bathroom/Bathroom Area:

  • Toothbrushes/Toothbrush holders. I attached the holders to the wall of the bathroom to get them off the counter and covered, and save a little space!
  • Hand towels, bath towels, bath mat
  • Regular medications, over the counter meds (ibuprofen, children’s ibuprofen), toiletries, first aid kit, bug spray, sunscreen, bug bite cream
  • Feminine products, toilet paper, wipes (for kiddos if needed)
  • Hand soap, body wash, shampoo, etc. If your bathroom has the space, I would recommend something to attach to the wall or the corner of the shower to keep everything from rolling around while traveling.

Dining/Living Room:

  • TV/DVD/BluRay player. We don’t anticipate spending a lot of time watching movies, but with a 3-year old, sometimes we just need the opportunity to calm down. This will only work in places that have hookups, as our TV won’t run on the battery.
  • DVDs/BluRays. I bought a Case Logic 136 CD holder case/folder thing (like the ones we used to all haul our CDs in the car with!) and picked out movies for both Clara, and the rest of the family. They will now fit nice and tidy behind the TV and not take up room with all the cases.
  • Games/Cards. We are bringing along Scattergories and Taboo, along with some card games. The extra thing I’m working on for Clara is a plastic box that fits under one of the bench seats. As far as she knows, it’s empty, but before we leave, I will be adding a few toys and books that I have been collecting the past few months so she has something new and exciting to play with on the trip.
  • Books. Neither Chad or I have a Kindle. We should both think about it though, especially for trips like this. The idea of hauling a ton of books around is silly because they take up space and can be heavy. However, the idea of not having anything to read frightens me. So for this year, we will each be taking about 10 books with us. In the future, we may investigate other options.
  • Throw pillows/blankets/art. Yes, these aren’t necessary. But those trailer couches aren’t known for being amazingly comfortable. I love any excuse to add a homey feeling to a space and a pillow or two is a great opportunity for some color and personality. These covers I found were just too perfect for our “Wanderstead” lifestyle, especially en route to Alaska. We will be in it for a long time! Might as well make it comfy! The same goes for the art. I am not spending big bucks here. Just a few things to brighten up the wall. The blanket was a Christmas gift to Chad that I ordered from an artist on Etsy. It has an Orca (his favorite animal) on it.


  • Pots, pans, baking sheets, baking pans. Make sure your baking sheets are small enough to fit into your oven. Trailer ovens are notoriously small. I believe mine measures 17” wide. I am bringing several pans, a few pots (one big one for soups or boiling water), as well as a cast iron dutch oven for outside cooking (I’m SO EXCITED to use it!).
  • Small Crockpot. This will (obviously) only be used when we have power. I expect that we will be out exploring all day every day if possible, so I love the idea of setting the crockpot before we leave, and coming home to a ready-made meal. This is my choice at home as well, so I looked for a small crockpot specifically for the trailer.
  • Kitchen gadgets/Silverware. I love cooking. This is a known fact. I probably pack more than most, but because I am going to be gone for a significant amount of time, In my trailer kitchen, I have: peeler, can opener, serving spoons, spaghetti fork, hot dog roasters (for the fire), spatula, measuring spoons/cups, sharp knives, plastic scraper, wooden spoons for cooking, chip clips, bottle/wine opener, hot pads/gloves. *Oh, and about the knives. I made a magnetic strip using magnetic tape and put it across the wall above the stove. This way my knives (when not traveling) are up out of the gadget drawer. I had terrible images of Clara sticking her hand into the drawer and cutting all her fingers off, so this was my solution.*
  • Large mixing bowl (plastic) with a lid
  • Cheese grater and cutting board
  • Cups, mugs, plates, bowls. Also some paper plates for those nights when we don’t want to clean dishes or we are eating outside…or….multiple reasons. Oh, and my handy camping drink mixer
  • Tupperware. Not too much, but you never know when you will need it.
  • Tea Kettle – because life without morning tea isn’t worth living.
  • Foam rug in front of the sink – I want color! But also I want support for my tootsies. 
  • Foam dish mat/dish soap/sponge/dish towels (I brought 3). I opted against getting a small dish rack. I may live to regret that, but I hate them in my house (I feel like they clutter, but I understand their importance). My hope is that the dishes will just get dried and put away relatively quickly within the trailer.
  • Garbage can/garbage bags (small and large)/ziplocs/foil/heavy duty foil (for grilling)
  • Paper towels, napkins, lighters, matches, candles. Yes, the candles are important. I’m a candle junkie and have one burning year round. They are cheap and not very heavy, and they make me happy, so I am bringing a few to help calm and remind of home.
  • Food. Of course. Perishables will be purchased much close to our leave date. For now, I have shopped in our pantry, adding canned goods, spices (using small Ball Dry Herb Jars), applesauce, crackers, peanut butter, and a few (unopened) condiments.

Outside things:

  • Camping chairs and two small folding side tables (from our deck that we are bringing with us). We figured it would be nice to have a platform to set things outside if the campsite doesn’t have a table.
  • Small, 4 foot folding table for outdoor cooking/eating.
  • Small propane grill, sits on the table top
  • Outdoor rug to help keep down the dust and grassy mess.
  • Miscellaneous mosquito deterrents. We bought many and will report on their success rate once tried out.
  • Outdoor games like frisbee or ball for the kids to entertain themselves.
  • Docking station for the Sirius/XM radio to be played outside (when we have power).
  • Tie downs, bungee cords, tools. This is my husband’s wheelhouse. He will have to write his own post for getting a trailer ready for a trip, NOT about the inside materials.
  • Backpacking packs and backpacking materials. We are planning a few overnight backpacking excursions.
  • Lanterns for outside.
  • Maps. Lots of maps.


I suspect this post will be a “living” post for a while, as I remember some of the items I have packed and forgot to mention, as well as when I learn about things that will need to be included (or not included) for next time.

I call this pre-phase 1. The planning, lists, and more planning? I think they have paid off. We’re about to find out!

Stay tuned for our first post with the excursion underway!

Author: Erin

I'm doing what I can to provide the best life I can for my family. I love cooking & baking, homestead arts, DIY, and gardening {as well as coming up with projects for Mr. Wanderstead Husband!!}...but I love to explore the world around us too! We will figure out how to do it, and eat well while trying.

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6 thoughts on “Living in 24 Feet: Preparing For a Summer Long Road Trip in a Travel Trailer

  1. Sounds like you have it all well covered! It must be hard to try and figure out everything you need for such a long trip. But, like you said, the good news is you can pick up stuff along the way if you find you forgot something that you just can’t live without.

    Posted on June 4, 2017 at 10:50 pm
    1. Exactly! Here’s hoping I thought of it all though 🙂

      Posted on June 6, 2017 at 1:21 am
  2. Wow! This is SOOOO cool. I love the descriptions of the trailer and all the prep you have done. I like all the things you are remembering to bring and I am envious of your plan! You are amazing.

    Posted on June 4, 2017 at 11:53 pm
    1. Thank you 🙂 Time will tell if we were accurate with our guesses as to what we would need. A follow up post after it is all done will be needed to see what we really used and what we didn’t use at all.

      Posted on June 6, 2017 at 1:22 am
  3. Looks beautiful, Erin

    Posted on June 5, 2017 at 12:28 pm
    1. Thank you 🙂

      Posted on June 6, 2017 at 1:22 am