Brantley Lake, NM and Carlsbad Caverns

Our first RV weekend trip! We got a camping spot at Brantley Lake. It’s a state park which mean šŸ¤‘ low rates! The spots were spacious, there were great amenities, and it was near a beautiful lake. 

We camped with some friends who also made a recent RV purchase. We spent the day at the water and the night around the grill. 

As for the RV, it was great! And while there were no major issues, we did learn a few things…

1. When it’s very hot and you only have 30 amp service, it means only one half of the RV will stay cool. You can’t run both AC systems with 30amp service, and apparently it’s not something you can easily upgrade, so we just have to work around it. It made things like putting the baby down for a nap difficult. The back bedroom was an oven and it was too hot for all of to go sit outside, so we just had to deal with her crankiness. Wouldn’t be the first time. But for the time being, no desert camping in May. Or June or July or August and probably September. 

2. Arriving at night was not ideal. Pulling a 36′ 800 decibel RV into a sleepy campground at 10pm was not fun and backing it into our space was even less fun. From now on, we make plans to arrive at daylight. Easy enough. Nothing tragic occurred and it wasn’t hell or anything, but we know something we want to avoid when we see it. 

3. We need a new mattress. Holy smokes. I really have a hard time using the word mattress here. We ended up sleeping on the pull out couch on the second night because the bedroom “mattress” was so unbearable. And apparently RVmattresses are special sizes and not easily found. Of course. But that’s another post for another day. 

4. The biggest thing we learned…we love Rust Bucket and we love RV traveling. It may sound like I’m bashing Rusty a little here, but actually it was amazing. Fixing lunch for everyone and hanging out around the table after a day of fishing, I realized how much I love that this thing is our almost-home. And we get to take out almost-home with us wherever we go. It’s awesome. 

We also learned that mice running around your campsite means that there will likely be rattlesnakes shortly after. I stepped a bit too close to one for my comfort. It rattled nice and loud and was enough to make me swear off nature forever and ever. Nope. Nope nope nope.

Then, after the trip we learned that the Bucket was a little sick with a leaky fuel pipe. We had to send her in for a quick repair after a few days and a few extra bucks and she’s good as “new” and ready for her next adventure. 

All-in-all, the trip was a success. On our way home, we stopped at Carlsbad Caverns because it is a National Park which makes 2 for us! 57 to go! The park was AMAZING. We loved it. We didn’t even have time to see it all. We chose to hike down and take the elevator back up. You could do the opposite, but I suggest hiking down because the experience of literally walking into the cave was unreal. And if you come at dusk in the summertime, you can watch the bats fly out. 

Oh and did I mention it’s 56 degrees down there all the time? On a hot day, that is šŸ‘Œ. The walking keeps you warm, but if you chill easily, bring a jacket. And prepare yourself for some physical exercise. Just because you’re walking down doesn’t mean it’s always easy. 

So, go to Carlsbad. Check out Brantley Lake. See the Caverns. You won’t regret it. 

Wanna see more pictures from our adventures? Follow us on Instagram: @thesekidsbetrippin

Have you been to Carlsbad Caverns? What did you think? 

Until next time…

-Jessica 

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