We have officially been RV living for 9 months! I can’t believe how fast it has gone by. We truly love our tiny lifestyle and I honestly don’t think I could ever happily live in an apartment again. In our 9 months, we have experienced both full-time travel and being stationary. We have work camped, found regular jobs, and been jobless bums (our favorite haha!) Today I wanted to share 9 things that we’ve learned (or came to accept) in the last 9 months.
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RV living isn’t for you if you care that everyone ALWAYS knows when you’re pooping.
It’s true. You live in a small space so if you weren’t already, learn to get comfortable with this fact. Sometimes someone will literally be less than a foot away from you while you do your business. If you can’t accept that then maybe RV life isn’t for you. Also, the vent fan is your best friend. Make sure yours works well.
Always make sure your black tank valve is open when you turn on the tank flusher.
We made this mistake once and never again. Basically, your tank will fill up and it has to go somewhere…Like on your floor. Pay very close attention to anything that has to do with your black tank. Trust me.
It’s possible to have personal space.
Our trailer is 30ft and that seems to be plenty of space for us, but sometimes you just need to be alone. I like to read in peace and Nathan enjoys taking naps. Being able to close a door between the bedroom and living room is a must for us. Granted, we can’t close the door entirely or the cat will lose his shit. But it does create enough separation to give you a feeling of personal space. As a bonus, we have a curtain that separates the bed from the bathroom area. We use this to block the light if one of us has to get up early or if we have company stay over. Surprisingly, just that curtain does wonders for making you feel like you have some privacy.
Winter takes work.
We did it backward. Most RVers head south for warmer winters. We decided to move to Washington. Right up by Canada. And while it hasn’t been a terrible winter (we’re on an island that doesn’t get much snow, just lots of rain) it has taken a bit of work. Nathan is amazing and I honestly don’t know how I could do this without him! He has done so much to winterize our trailer and it has made a huge difference. But there is also ongoing maintenance. The humidity builds up so we constantly squeegee the windows. And anytime we have a dry, sunny day we try to air everything out. Our water line has frozen a couple times so we always keep the tank full just in case. And we have used a ton of electricity and propane to stay warm. As with everything so far on our RV living adventure, it has been a great learning experience. I just hope it warms up soon. 😉
Walmart camping isn’t that bad.
My own issues with Walmart aside, staying overnight in one of their lots is actually not bad. We took advantage of their lots on our way up to Washington. It’s great when you don’t need the luxuries of hookups. Just a place to sleep safely before hitting the road. Even though we were next to a busy road it wasn’t that loud, security cameras provided a small sense of safety (even if it’s all in your head,) and it was handy to have the store right there if you needed something. It’s obviously not a long term spot but if you find yourself needing a place to rest your head for free, give it a shot.
Get a good vacuum and use it often.
Between our hair, the dog’s, and the cat’s that would be enough. Add dirt and grass from outside (even though we don’t wear shoes inside) dust, blanket fuzz from the thousands of blankets I keep everywhere and you have an ongoing job. I think they do it on purpose but the carpet and linoleum is a color that masks the dirt. You think it’s ok and then you step on a bunch of grit… No good. We still don’t vacuum every day, but it would probably be best if we did. So get a good, small vacuum and prepare to use it often, especially if you have pets. we love our Shark! It breaks down small and is super easy to empty.
Two words. Fleece. Sheets.
Seriously. If you live anywhere cold, get some. They are so warm and soft! And I swear it has cut down on our heating bill.
Invest in a good cooler.
t’s a fact of RV living. The fridge and freezer are teeny tiny. For the most part, we make it work. But Buddy’s food is kept frozen so it takes up most of it. We invested in an awesome cooler from Cabela’s as a backup and it is really worth the money. We needed a cooler for camping anyway but now if we intend to travel I can stock up on Buddy’s food and know it’ll keep. If you feed your pets raw or like to keep beverages on hand (we also use it to hold beer. We keep a couple in the fridge and the rest outside to save space.) having a good cooler is awesome!
Cast iron is your friend.
We got rid of most of our cooking vessels when we moved in but one thing we were adamant about keeping is our cast iron skillet. It has earned it’s place and is well worth the weight. Clean up is a breeze so it saves water. We can use it on the stovetop or on the grill (Nathan likes to cook bacon on it outside.) We use it multiple times every single day. It is so versatile and will last forever. I definitely recommend it when downsizing your kitchen.
This is by no means an exhaustive list, I feel like we are constantly figuring out new things. And like I said, we love RV living and all the weird things that come with it. It is definitely worth it.