It's The Small Things
Our one-year, full-time RV living anniversary is right around the corner, and I’ve started to think about all the things we didn’t know before we started this amazing journey. And it isn’t really the big things that we didn’t know, it was little things that just make life easier and more comfortable for small, RV living. So, I decided to put a list together of 8 random and small things that we have found make our RV life easier. Hold onto your stabilizers, this is going to be interesting!
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So, if you’ve been in a RV you know that the kitchen is not big, even if you have a newer, larger RV, it still isn’t the biggest cooking space. We’ve had plenty of cooking moments where we are bumping into each other, spilling things, and juggling plates on other surfaces. When we got the griddle, it suddenly became easier to cook, especially when it is warm outside! We can place the griddle on the kitchen table or outside on the picnic table, and we have room to cook and move! So, invest in a griddle! They aren't very expensive and have multiple sizes depending on your needs. You can send your husband outside to cook the bacon and sausage in the morning, while you keep the kitchen and RV clean!
Long Stem Lighter
I know we are not the only RVers that have had problems with our propane stove and oven. I’ve read and talked to plenty of RVers that have issues with their stove top lighting up or their oven pilot not firing. We finally learned to not waste the money on getting someone out to check on it or replace any parts if it is something as simple as the spark not catching quickly or immediately, but to just use a long stem lighter to light the oven and stove when needed. Sometimes it is just the striker not working completely, and the lighter makes things easier and quicker! Please, always be careful with propane, and get your stove/oven checked if you are smelling propane or having major issues. We are not responsible if you blow yourself up (I hate that I have to write that), and just want to share this tip that makes our lives easier.
Ok, stay with me for this one. We have an older rig, with a small shower and a tiny hot water heater. In the beginning of our trip I tried to shower in it, but after several times of having soap still in my hair and no more hot water, it was decided that I needed to use RV park and campground showers. So, that means that I am sharing showers with other campers, and the showers aren’t always clean every time I go in to shower. I mean, it’s hard for the maintenance people to keep up with a busy restroom! That is why I finally decided, after several wet, dirty floors, nothing to dry my feet on moments, that I needed my own bath mat to carry with me to the showers every time! It’s one of those things that seems obvious, but I never even thought about it until we started showering in campground showers. They are also nice to have in your RV so you don't drip all over the floor!
Vacuum Seal Bags
These bags are life savers! We all know that RVs have limited space, so anything that saves space is top on our list (or number 4 on this one). We LOVE using these vacuum seal bags for under our bed. We put our winter clothes, extra blankets, and additional gear in these bags. We then stack them under our bed and have room galore to put other things if we need to! I couldn’t be happier with these bags, and recommend them to save you space!
Auger Anchors & Ratchet Straps
It is unbelievable how many wind storms we have been in since we’ve become full-time RVers. And it has always been in places where we are staying for a few days or weeks, and have our camper awning out. On Cape Hatteras the wind was so bad, I thought our RV was going to flip over, but I knew our awning would keep us on our wheels! My husband puts two auger anchors into the ground at each end of the awning and connects ratchet straps from the top of the awning, down to anchors. With the winds we’ve been through, we’ve seen other RVer’s awnings rip off and fly in the wind, but ours barely budges. So, strap down your awning down the right way, and it, or your RV, will never fly away!
3-Drawer Plastic Containers
Our 28’ C Class does not have a ton of drawers or closet space, so we had to improvise, especially for the kid’s clothes. We grabbed two of the 3-drawer plastic containers, stacked them on top of each other and bolted them to the wall so they won’t fall when we drive. We use these as the kid’s dresser, and it makes life so much easier! We also have an additional 3-drawer container that we keep toys in, which has wheels so we can move it around and secure when we pack up to drive.
Between the dog and kids, the amount of hair, dirt and grass that accumulates in our RV ON THE HOUR EVERY HOUR, could build nests for every bird on this beautiful planet. I swear, I could sweep the whole RV and ten minutes later it looks like I’ve never swept our RV, EVER! We have a small Bissell, 3-in-1 vacuum that is small enough to store away easily and vacuum all the little nooks and crannies in a RV. I don’t care what brand you get, but make sure you have one with you! I’m thankful I don’t have a whole house to clean anymore, but you don’t realize how much dirtier a small space looks! Protect your sanity, get a mini vacuum!
RVs are not built to have someone live in them full-time, but we do it anyways! Newer rigs are starting to be built better and more insulated, but those of us with older rigs know that the insulation sucks, or is non-existent, and, especially in winter or high humidity areas, you’re going to have moisture! We purchased a small dehumidifier and it has worked wonders. If you have a larger rig you will probably have to purchase a bigger dehumidifier, but you need to get one, and get one BEFORE you see a moisture problem!
These are our random items that we don’t know how we would live without. Full-time RV living is incredible, and you learn so much along the way, but sometimes it is helpful to be prepared before you hit the road. We hope this list, and others on our site, help new RVers be better prepared before they hit the road! As always, contact us if you have questions, and always follow your adventure!
I am a mother and stepmother, fierce slayer of mental illness, writer and traveler. I love the constant change of the road, and the experiences it brings our family. We have learned so much being full-time RVers, and love the freedom this lifestyle gives us.