Living full time in our motor home allows us to be Ready To Go. . .on to the next adventure!

Golden Gate Bridge - San Francisco Skyline as seen from the Marin Headlands - California

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Full Time RV Living - Don't get rid of everything

If you have sold the house, and are now moving lock, stock, and barrel into your Recreational Vehicle, good for you. The question now is, where do you put all of the stuff, and the only answer to that is, trial and error.


First off, let me say to you, don’t get rid of everything like we did. I know you are thinking, oh I’m never going to need a blender, or a food processor in the RV. Don’t decide that so quickly. Keep in mind, this is not a vacation trip…this is going to be your life, and if you have always enjoyed cooking, that is not going to change.

I know you may be thinking, oh, we are just going to eat out all the time. Trust me, that gets old, and you will find yourself really, really wanting a home cooked meal, so even if it means getting a small storage shed while you make your final decisions, then that would be the thing to do.

I sold my Kitchen Aid mixer in our Estate/Garage Sale, and I have always regretted it. I love making home made bread, and cinnamon rolls, so I would have used it. I also got rid of most of my electric appliances, and have replaced almost all of them.

If you are parked at the lake, and you have an ice maker aboard as we do, the blender really comes in handy for making a wonderful fruit slushy. Can you imagine anything more glorious on a hot summer day, than sitting in your lawn chair, overlooking the sailboats on the lake, and sipping a divine, icy drink that you were able to whip up yourself in a matter of moments.

Don’t skimp on your pots and pans either. We owned a very nice set of waterless cook ware that I refused to let go of. Great decision. The RV stove is temperamental enough to cook on, without also having inferior cookware. In addition to great cook ware, an electric pressure cooker is a wise choice. When you are cooking at altitude, there are things that do not get done, such as rice, beans, and pasta. Voila, the magical pressure cooker solves all your problems.

If you hate using paper plates, utensils, and cups in your real life, you will hate it in your RV’ing life. It only takes seconds to wash the real dishes, and it makes it feel like home, rather than being on a perpetual vacation.

I could go on, and on about kitchen issues, but surely you get the picture. This is life, when you are planning, think of it as life, and act accordingly. Of course, you can’t keep everything, but be very judicious in what you weed out. If there is a question, hang onto the item. A few months down the road, when you have decided you are never going to use that again, donate it to the local thrift store, or women’s shelter.

Now, just as there are questions with what to keep for the kitchen, tools also fall into the category of “I may need that someday.” Yes, you may, and a well stocked tool box is vital, because you may not be somewhere that help is readily available, so you may be dependent upon the tool decisions you have made.

With that said though, you must keep in mind, this is a Recreational Vehicle, and there are “weight” issues, so you simply cannot take it all. Try to choose multi use tools whenever possible, and attempt to weed out duplicates. You know what type of repairs you may be making, so plan your tool kit accordingly.

We do our own RV maintenance, and most of our own home improvements, so it was important to us to keep our cordless drill and circular saw set. Inside the RV we keep a Black and Decker combo tool kit, the kind you buy at Walmart that has just a miscellaneous assortment of everything, and each one has it’s own nifty little slot that it fits in to.

Inside the truck, we have a larger assortment of mechanics type tools, a complete electronics repair kit, on board we also have supplies for plumbing repairs, a tree saw for overhanging branches, a nifty fold up shovel, which we haven’t used yet, but you just never know, and a few other nifty items that I can’t let go of yet.

On to clothing issues, and shoes. Now here is the place to be relentless in pairing down. How are you going to live your RV lifestyle? Will it be a very casual life, or will you continue life as you know it now? Only you can decide what type of clothing you plan to live in.

We knew that we would continue attending church services as we traveled, and since we believe God deserves our best, we “dress up” for church, therefore, we kept a few “dressy” outfits. Now it’s only a couple of really dressy outfits, because I figure if I am attending a different church every couple of weeks, who is going to know that I am wearing the same outfit over, and over.

You may only need t-shirts, shorts, and flip flops, so whatever you decide is fine. There are malls, discount stores, and thrift shops everywhere you are going to go, so you can replenish anything you may be missing, or you can donate anything, and everything you decide you can live without.

Wow, now that you have it all loaded, there is one last “REQUIREMENT.” Drive your rig to the nearest truck scale, and “WEIGH IT.”

This is an absolute necessity for so many reasons, safety being number one! If you are overweight, it affects everything, absolutely everything. Being overweight could cause you to have a blow out, because your tires simply can not support the load. If you are towing a trailer, and the trailer is overweight, or too heavy for the tow vehicle, you may not be able to get stopped in an emergency situation.

The first time we weighed our rig, I went in to absolute panic mode. The trailer itself was not overweight…it was fine, but the loaded trailer was way over the recommended tow capacity for the vehicle we had at the time.

My number one priority at that moment became finding an adequate tow vehicle. Did you know that if your trailer is overweight for your tow vehicle, your automotive insurance could be void in the case of an accident?

Verify everything. You can never be too careful when it comes your safety, and the safety of others.

Full Time RV Living – Packing and Organizing the Recreational Vehicle for Life

Written by: Janice L. Evans

Please feel free to comment or ask questions. I will make an attempt to answer each and every one.