A&A 10 Things We Didn’t Know We Needed for Full Time RV Life
Updated: Jan 13, 2020
End of Week #16
Canyon View RV, Spanish Fork UT > East Zion Thunderbird Lodge RV Park, Mount Carmel UT
Miles traveled since last week’s post = 249
Total miles traveled to date = 2617
Utah has been … AMAZING. There is no other way to describe it. If you haven’t been to Utah you should get your butt out here ASAP! There is so much to explore it’s stressful, ha – there just isn’t enough time, even for a full time traveler. I have a lot of different travel reviews I’m going to do on this whole southern Utah area, and I’m going to stick to posting traveling reviews on off days, meaning not on blog day Monday. I will keep blog day Monday for other kind of updates since this is what I share consistently for family and friends. If you want to be sure to never miss one of my travel reviews you will want to ‘follow’ the blog!
Today’s end of week 16 post comes on September 16th – which is also Bengal boy Roscoe’s 7th Birthday! In cat years he is a 44 year old man today, and I can’t help but remind him of that all day long. As he had the trailer to himself all day with Rahja, I can only imagine he did a lot of sleeping and eating. He has had to go through so much in the last 6 months to get to this point of his life as an adventure cat, and I’m so proud of him (& Rahja) for all their adjusting … if you want to call it that.
It has been so nice to be parked in one spot for almost a week now – I love it! We have just one more week in Utah (SAD FACE), and then we will be moving onto Colorado – our first stop being Grand Junction. We are bringing our RV in to be looked at by a Grand Design dealer while we are there. There are some things we have noticed that are under warranty and we want looked at before they would cause any problems. We are always doing everything we can to improve this lifestyle and find new ways to make things easier and more manageable for us, our cats, and our mobile home on wheels.
10 Things We Didn’t Know We Needed for Full Time RV Life
I like to think we prepared pretty well for what it was going to be like full time living in an RV. We stocked up on supplies for months while still living in our townhome and working our full time jobs. We watched hundreds of videos, read tons of forums and looked into an exhaustive list of options to prepare us. But regardless of how much time you spend preparing for anything in life, other things always come up that you had never even thought of. In our case, I have a list of our top 10 things we never knew we even needed, until we were already on the road! Thank goodness for Amazon two-day delivery, and the ability to have things delivered to RV campgrounds.
1. Pool Noodle …. (Let me explain!)
It might come as a surprise to you, but a pool noodle came in quite handy for us, and not for reasons you would think! For some less than interesting reason, our awning on our travel trailer comes down onto the top of our slide in a less than fitting way, rubbing against the slide. It gave us a lot of fears that it would rip or puncture a hole in the awning, so we tried to brainstorm ideas as to how to cope with it. Hence the pool noodle! Cut to the right fit, taped in a special ‘l-shape’ form – and it’s the best tool we could possible have for this kind of problem! Adam even drew a fun face on it, and it sits in the house when we aren’t using it.
2. Mini Fan
We had fans in our “old life”, in fact I was always the one who NEEDED to sleep with a fan on every night, just for the white noise. I am completely conditioned to sleep with some sort of background noise (NOT TV), and the fan has always been my first choice. When we moved out of our townhome though we got rid of our fan, assuming we would move on without one. After the hot summer months in Wisconsin, we quickly realized we needed something to help cope with indoor heat, regardless if we were using the AC or not. We found a perfect miniature sized fan at Walmart for dirt cheap, and now keep it plugged in the bedroom when we have electrical hookups, to serve both for white noise and for added air flow in a tiny space!
Conserving water is super important in an RV – not just for environmental reasons, but because you either have a limited supply of water in your holding tank, OR you have a limited amount of room in your grey tank to hold all the water you do use (and that goes down the drain). Even more of an issue – when you go to take a shower you first have to get the water temperature right, then you have to get yourself wet, turn the water off, and then lather up with soap… Well the problem with that is that then when you go to turn the water on again to rinse the soap off, you’ve already lost the perfect water temperature and have to sit and adjust it again, thus wasting more water. It’s a whole process that is hard to explain or for you to truly understand unless you are doing it – but needless to say it was super amazing to get a new shower head that has both BETTER water pressure (also super important) and that has an on and off switch. Now when we “pause” the water to lather up, we don’t have to readjust temperature and pressure again when we turn it back on. Literally life changing!
I had never heard of these devices before, primarily used to jump start your vehicle should you need it – but also serve as a way to charge your laptop, cell phones, and sometimes even your refrigerator! A great invention for the world of boondocking and having no electrical hookups, that allows you to also not have to whip out your generator just for some extra charge. We have already used this device a few times and we each were able to get a full cell phone battery charge, more than once, before it died. Super handy for life on the road! I hope we never have to use it to jump start our van, but just in case – we are prepared!
This might seem really silly to you, as it seemed silly to me at first too. The RV came with a toilet paper roll holder that you can install in the bathroom, but you would have to drill holes in the walls and that was something we were really trying to entirely avoid. We would just set the roll on the bathroom counter but then sometimes it would get wet from the sink or fall down or in general, it was just annoying to have it there. Then I found a super cheap adhesive holder on Amazon while we were staying in South Dakota with family and had it delivered to my grandma’s house – awesome! The little things you guys, they make the world of difference.
Another possibly odd thing to consider here, but where else are you supposed to put your toothbrushes? We were keeping plastic holders from Target over them and just setting them willy nilly on the counter, and I really hate clutter if it can be avoided so I was looking into other options. I came across an adhesive COVERED toothbrush holder that allows them to stand upright and stay COVERED from germs in the bathroom. Score! (P.S. Please don’t ever just leave your toothbrush uncovered in the bathroom… SO many germs can get to it that way! Especially everytime you flush the toilet… gross!)
The last of what might seem odd to consider – but totally necessary! We never had a paper towel holder in our “past life”, in fact we never even had paper towels. (We were totally that couple that took handfuls of napkins everytime we ate fast food – like Chipotle – and used those until they ran out.) Prior to venturing off full time, we bought a huge stock of paper towels from Costco and needed a proper place to set them so they wouldn’t get wet, get in the way, or fall on the floor over and over again like they were. Thankfully I found a super cheap holder on Amazon that we could use to keep things tidy on the kitchen counter. When you live in such a small space you have to use every kind of resourceful measure possible to keep things neat and tidy!
Just delivered today, and Adam immediately put them in. We have regular stabilizers, built into the travel trailer, but there still has always been a slight wiggle-wobble to our home, no matter how flat or level of a surface we are on. It happens most when Adam walks through the trailer, ha – but it is something that should be able to be more stabilized with x-chocks. We see a lot of other rigs with them and hope they will make us feel more even-keel, as sometimes I am outside of the trailer and still feel like I am slightly wobbling. We do call it the wobbly box afterall!
9. “Air Bag” Rear Air Spring Kit for Frank the Tank
Also delivered today with our x-chock stabilizers – and we will be having this installed within the next week or two. Unfortunately while towing with Frank we encounter a lot of bounce and an effect that is called “porpoising”. Its extremely annoying to deal with and extra bouncy on our RV and well, our cats! Adam has been doing a ton of research to look into ways to fix it and a lot of options we could do to our express van would cost megabucks and we don’t ultimately even know if it would solve the problem. This option for putting in rear air bags is a lot cheaper to try and we have talked to a handful of people who have agreed it should help things out. Thankfully, we came across a “last check” from Adams previous job that more than covered the cost – as if it was meant to be! More to come on if it solves our bouncing problems.
10. An Extra Battery for the RV — *IN PROGRESS*
Our rig comes with a battery, of course – but we think we need another one! When we are boondocking places, or even in campgrounds without electricity, all of our internal power runs off this battery. What we have found during extended stays in Wyoming is that this battery is not enough to last for several days in a row. While camping near the Grand Tetons we actually ran out of juice to power our lights, our fridge, our furnace (brr it got cold at night!), and that is a huge problem! We were able to pull out our generator and use that to charge things up – but that is a hassle within itself and also did not hold the charge for the rest of the weekend, so we had to do it again. Having another battery would solve problems for dry camping for extended periods of time, and is something we don’t have quite yet … but it’s on our list for next!
These things might all seem simple or useless, but small improvements of this sort can make drastic positive changes on your tiny / mobile home living experiences. And I’m all for anything that makes my life easier and more enjoyable!
We are hitting our 120 day milestone on Friday the 20th of September, and in honor of the post regarding challenges that we did 60 days into our journey, we will do another one now 120 days in! What’s changed? What new challenges have we encountered and how have we handled them? How are they different than they were at 60 days into things?
Future Updates: Lots of travel reviews coming!! I will be posting travel reviews on off days, instead of for Monday updates – so make sure you follow the blog so you don’t miss any of them. We are heading to Arches National Park and Canyonlands National Park later this week so we will have so many travel adventures to share.
We plan to launch our Nomadic Newsletter ASAP. I hate to say it again, but this will be delayed until September 2019, due to high amounts of adventuring and low amounts of a 4G connection. I swear I’m just still getting into my groove of things – this delay will not continue!
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