Words of Wisdom: “In theory, theory and practice are the same. In practice they are not.”
Testing your camper
Successful dwellers plan ahead and learn how to problem solve. They know the time to learn how things work is before you need to use them. This applies to your camper, your gear, your own needs and preferences, etc. Practice with that 12v air compressor, stove, bucket toilet, etc, to see how they work.
The time for things to go wrong for the first is when you are near all your resources. Things going wrong in your driveway or near home are not failures, they are helpful information coming at the best possible time. It pays to be receptive to the lessons they teach. When you feel frustration or discouragement, remember it is much better to learn these lessons near people and resources instead of out in the boonies with no safety net.
Breaking too many things at once can be overwhelming, especially if the breakage occurs before we have enough experience to deal with them. To keep the process manageable, consider increasing the difficulty and time span of your tests incremental. Solve each problem at each level then scaffold up to the next layer off difficulty.
The following is one example of test camping that increases in intensity:
sit in your camper (or potential camper). Take in the space. Really look at it. Think about where you might put things, how you might use it.
take a nap in your camper to see how you might prefer to sleep. Elevated? On the floor? On a cot? In a reclined seat? Notice the headroom over you when you are laid down and when you are sitting up.
set up a temporary bed based on your napping and thoughts about the interior space. It is temporary now so you can move it around if needed.
camp overnight in your driveway. Prepare your meals and handle hygiene with items you have in the camper. Take things from (or return items to) your house as you notice what you really need. Repeat a few times until you get through the night without having to go to the house.
Start noticing what items are used [in]frequently and think about how to keep them available without clutter.
camp overnight in a Walmart or similar location; you can buy something you need there. Notice ambient light, noise, parking restrictions, etc.
boondock overnight away from resources. This can be stealth camping, state park, whatever. Just somewhere you don't have easy access to resources.
boondock a weekend away from resources. Sometimes problems more than one night to reveal themselves.
spend a longer time away from resources; an RTR is great for this.
hit the road for real!