When we were preparing to hit the road, we knew we needed WAY less stuff. We got rid of almost everything and embraced a minimalist lifestyle, which has been great for RV life. Some of our ideas about what RV life would look like have ended up being different than the reality. So, what things did we truly need and what could we have done without?
This is Part 3 of a series. Make sure to check out Part 1 on Kitchen gear and Part 2 on Organization.
If you’ve poked into our archive of renovation posts, you can tell we felt pretty strongly about making our RV home. We gutted and redid the interior to really make it our own. So, like any home, there are a lot of things we included inside to make the RV feel homey and clean. Or, in rhyming terms, a lot of things we included in the way of decor and chores. There have been some clear successes and a few misses.
Rugs of course tie a lot of the decor together, and with a small space, we didn’t need to invest in a huge area rug. The biggest benefit, though, is that RV floors get cold! Unless you have wrapped skirting around your rig, the underneath is exposed. That means our floor is really cold in the morning many days. Rugs have helped a lot. We have a doormat to try and keep the dirt contained, a bigger blue & white rug from Target that matches the curtains, a squishy kitchen mat, and a small faux sheepskin rug in the back.
Ok, you could categorize this as a rug, but I’m not going to! This mat is so amazing. It lets light and dirt through so it doesn’t get too dirty and it doesn’t kill plants you put it down on. It keeps the dirt we track inside to a minimum. Mostly, it makes me feel at home when we arrive somewhere. I call it the “patio.”
Nik’s grandmother Tina custom made beautiful curtains for us that are hanging throughout the RV. They of course provide privacy and insulation, but they are hands-down the single thing that most makes the RV feel like home.
These are SO GREAT! They are extra large, quick dry, and hang from a loop. We have three and might get more because they are so absorbent. Seriously, I don’t think we will ever go back to normal towels after these.
I’ve raved about Quakehold before, but I don’t think I’ve ever fully explained its magnificence. This stuff is putty, basically, that you ball up and place under stuff to keep it in place despite movement caused by earthquakes or homes on wheels. People in California know all about it, but it was new to me! It allowed us to bring in some small decorations and to secure some bigger things that needed to live on the counter. It comes off cleanly, so you don’t have to worry about messing up your counters, walls, frames, or whatever.
Here is a small selection of the things we have stuck down using Quakehold. They haven’t budged in six months, despite about 5,000 miles of driving, washboard country roads that have shaken screws loose, and tilting the RV enough to have it towed on two separate occasions.
Dyson Vacuum Cleaner
We received a slightly older model of this Dyson vacuum cleaner as a generous gift a couple of Christmases ago. I thought in the small space of the RV we may be fine with just a broom and dustpan, but we actually use this vacuum cleaner almost every day. It’s been so useful for cleaning in tight corners, picking up after big spills, and even hands-free bug hunting. We have it mounted in the corner where it’s out of the way but still in easy reach.
Scrubba Wash Bag
This is such a great product. It’s a little dry bag with nubs inside. It fits several small items of clothing (like a summer running outfit, for instance) or one bigger item (like a pair of jeans). It’s honestly perfect for people who either have more fresh water or who are doing something slightly different, like backpacking around Europe, for instance. When we hit the road, we anticipated that we would have fewer clothes in general (like 1-2 sets each) and that we would just wash the essentials with this bag each night. We ended up not needing to pare our clothes down that far, and we also had less water to spare than we anticipated. We do our laundry at laundromats the majority of the time.
I’m still glad we have this bag for the random red shirt that needs to be washed separately, or if we need to wash something in particular right away. I also think it will be really handy for any hotel-based trips (e.g., international travel) we take in the future. But it’s not the everyday workhorse we expected for our particular needs. In the meantime, it packs down super small.
We chose latex coated fabric rug liners from IKEA to keep the rugs from slipping. It’s not the plastic-y bumpy stuff you usually see for the job, but it’s supposed to do the same thing. It worked great until it got dirty (which, in an RV, was about a week). Now it does absolutely nothing. Boo.
So, just like in a sticks and bricks house, we have put a lot of work into making our RV feel like home. Unlike camping or vacation, we actually clean (gasp!) and we like the feeling of being at home wherever we are. I think making it our own made a huge difference. 🙂
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