We Have All Been There…
Everyone was an RVing newbie at one time and we are all still learning new things every day. Here are our top 10 helpful tips and tricks to make your RV life a little less stressful! We have been LOVING this lifestyle and happily RVing, full-time, for almost a year and a half; these are just some of the things we have learned along the way.
Our Top 10 Helpful Tips for RV Living
1. Less Is More
After our first 6 months of traveling full-time, we realized that less is more. We packed up most of our books, knick-knacks and extra clothes, stuff we didn’t even look at the first 6 months and put them into storage. After constantly “packing up” breakables, every time we moved the RV, I’d had enough. 🙂 Not to mention all the extra space we gained by getting rid of unneeded items. Starting out we were sure we couldn’t live without every single thing we packed in the RV. Turns out, less really is more.
2. Never Enough Containers
Stackable containers are a plus for dry goods. They keep mice and bugs out of your food and keep your pantry looking beautiful! We use them in the kitchen pantry for spices, bags of rice, oats, etc. We also use containers in the bathroom for medicines or anything that might “fly” out of the cabinets after a bumpy ride. Baskets are great too and work really well for the medicine cabinet and drawers.
Space is VERY valuable when living in an RV so we use Zip Lock Space Bags as an excellent way to save space. You can store more with less space. 😉
It is not fun, at all, to be smacked in the face with flying objects when opening cabinet doors. Tension curtain rods work great in the refrigerator and cabinets to hold things in place. I use them to hold back the containers shown below.
3. Document YOUR Journey
Of course, you don’t want to forget all the amazing places you’ve visited because after time those memories will start to fade. Take photos, videos, start a journal or scrapbook your adventures. Keep note of favorite RV parks, restaurants, and side trips. One great advantage of documenting your journey is being able to share with others. Our friends and family really enjoy traveling vicariously through us.
4. Make a Reservation
Summer is generally peak travel time and the most popular campgrounds will fill up pretty quickly. We’ve really come to enjoy staying in State Parks and using our Thousand Trails membership but these can fill up fast as well. We know plenty of full-timers that seldom make reservations but if you have your heart set on a specific campground or area it’s wise to book ahead.
Pro Tip: When planning a visit to a “First Come, First Served” campground plan your arrival on a Sunday. Most of the locals will be leaving in anticipation of the coming work week.
5. Slow Down
The quicker you move from one place to the next the less you’ll be able to take in. We typically stay in the same place a week at a time. This speed of travel usually works well for us but there are times we slow down even more.
The attractions in a particular area generally determine how long we stay in that area. We also need to recharge a little longer at times or simply love a location too much to leave. Boondocking at the Grand Canyon, in the fall, is one of those magical places we simply love to be.
Don’t worry, you’ll soon find your pace, those special places you’ll hate to leave and life long friends you’ll meet along the way!
We met the greatest couple this year on our travels!
6. Use a Checklist
Everyone was an RVing newbie at one time and we’ve all made our fair share of mistakes. No one wants to repeat a mistake so we use checklists. Checklists ensure we remember to check things like storage compartment doors, put the RV steps up, bring the RV antenna down, check fluid levels and tire pressures, etc. The longer we travel the less we find ourselves actually using the checklists as these things become second nature. But starting out with a checklist or two will really prevent mistakes and train your brain to follow the same steps every time.
7. Time, Space and Energy Saving Appliances
Cooking in a tiny RV kitchen is pretty much the same as cooking in a home kitchen, only smaller. In our sticks and bricks home we had all the gadgets, most we didn’t need or even use! One energy-saving appliance we use in our tiny kitchen is our Instant Pot. We love using the Instant Pot and also like the fact that when boondocking it saves time and energy. Our Instant Pot has since replaced many of our small appliances.
Another great appliance is the Pizza Pizzazz. You simply plug it in, throw on a frozen pizza and in 20 minutes the pizza is done. No more heating up the oven and the RV. The Pizza Pizzazz is versatile we love using it to cook quesadillas.
Our newest outdoor addition is the Blackstone Griddle which makes outdoor cooking a breeze using propane. No more cooking bacon indoors! YAY!
8. Getting Mail
We use a mail forwarding service for regular mail and have it delivered via “General Delivery” to any local post office. Intercepting your mail may take a bit of planning ahead but it works very well for us. We wrote more about how we get our mail over here.
9. Handy Supplies
Command Hooks: use them to hang your cooking utensils, towels, coats or just about anything else you can think of.
Earthquake Putty: This stuff is pretty amazing, it holds lamps, clocks and other items and they never move!
These handy supplies will quickly become your best friends.
Items seen above really do stay put using our handy supplies..
10. Remain Flexible
Along with this journey, our motto is “Flexibility”. If you are resistant to being flexible you are going to have frustrating times ahead. You never know what might be around the corner and remaining flexible will go along way to preserving your sanity. No matter how long you’ve been traveling plans can change and that’s okay. Remain flexible and your travels will go much smoother.
Feel free to share your helpful tips in the comments below! 🙂
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