RV

10 Items to Make Full Time RV Living Easier

 

In this recent post, 10 Necessities for the First Time RV Owner, we covered the basics needed for RV living.

In this one, we will cover the extra things you can buy to make life easier while living in a RV (especially if you full-time). While none of these items are absolutely needed for a good time in a RV, they are definitely helpful. Here are the 10 items we have found helpful for the RV lifestyle

1.Water Splitter

Good for when you want higher water pressure than an outdoor (or indoor!) shower can provide. (Don’t install while someone is trying to use the water in the RV; ends in unhappiness!) 

2. Shower Faucet

Stock shower faucets aren’t great. Up your water pressure and extend your hot water with an upgrade.

3. Cover for Roof Vents

To keep water out so you can have airflow even if it rains.

4. Aftermarket Towel Hanger

Great for when you need to hang more than two towels.

5. Racks for Kitchen Cupboards

Doubles your cabinet space.

6. Storage Containers

We have deep storage areas under our benches in the bunkhouse (we have a dinette that can be converted into a bunk bed). It was not really practical to store anything under them. Two plastic storage bins that fit the space and we’re good to go! Easy access to all we need (we store toys under one and extra kid linens and dress-up clothes in the other).

7. Hangers with Wire Hooks

We originally started with cheap plastic hangers. I was surprised to discover that the hook part was so thick that they barely went over the bars in our little closet. We have since upgraded to coated wire hangers from Ikea. The wire hangers are about twice as thin as the plastic ones were and have made accessing our clothes much easier.

8. Command Velcro Picture Hangers

These have been invaluable for hanging our pictures and artwork around the RV. Nothing has ever shifted in our moves, yet I can still access our picture frames to change our family pictures. Plus, If I ever decide to change something, I can remove the hangings from the wall with no damage.

9. Dehumidifier

During the winter time, water condensation collects like crazy throughout the house. We learned this the hard way. With showers being taken, dishes washed, water boiled, food cooked and no ventilation, we had water collecting everywhere. I was wiping down exterior walls constantly and cleaning up mold and mildew on the underside of the couch, the kitchen cabinets and the window sills. If you’re going to live in a RV during the winter, a dehumidifier is so helpful! We bought this one and we love it!

10. Compact Cleaning Supplies

With no place to store full sized brooms, mops and vacuums, how were we going to keep things clean? This was solved slowly, with lots of research and looking. Most RV supply stores have compact brooms, so that was easy. Next was a vacuum. We finally found a hand vac that also had a head and arm extension to make a tiny vacuum cleaner that you could stand up straight and use. Last was a mop. My goal was to find one with a re-usable cleaning head, as we were mopping often!

In the end, these 10 items are very helpful to living full time in the RV. Each and every things is being used constantly and I’m glad to have them!

What items do you feel are useful to make full time RV living easier?

 

Recipes

Chocolate Shortbread Cookies

I love sugar cookies! They bring back memories of Christmas time in my childhood. So why am I writing about sugar cookies, when this is clearly a post about chocolate shortbread cookies? I’m glad you asked! You see, these cookies have evolved from sugar cookies in a very unlikely manner. I’m not the most creative cook in the place, in fact, I like following recipes to the “t”. One day, I had committed myself to making dessert for a gathering at my parent’s house. However, our RV was getting fixed and I had left my recipe book behind. Also, I had very basic ingredients to work with. My mom doesn’t have a lot of my recipes, as she doesn’t bake from scratch often. I had no idea what to do. My mind finally fixed on a recipe that has been in our family since I can remember…sugar cookies. Our family only makes them for Christmas though. Plus, I was really in the mood for chocolate. Did I dare try to change the recipe?

Well, I dared! I substituted some of the flour for cocoa powder and baked up a bunch. I was pleasantly pleased to see that they were edible and even looked halfway decent! When it came to tasting them, well, it wasn’t what I expected! Instead of a chocolate version of sugar cookies, I had come up with a chocolate shortbread cookie. 

If you like shortbread and you like chocolate, these are the cookies for you! Chocolaty, crumbly and in bite sized morsels, they are great for snacking or gifting. Eat them with a glass of milk or crumble them in vanilla ice cream for a decadent treat. Frost them with a buttercream frosting (how about some green for St. Patrick’s Day?) or dip them in a glaze…the possibilities are endless! 

How do you like to eat shortbread?

Chocolate Shortbread Cookies
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Ingredients
  1. 1 c. butter, softened
  2. 1 1/2 c. powdered sugar
  3. 1 egg
  4. 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  5. 1/2 c. cocoa powder
  6. 2 c. flour
  7. 1 tsp. baking soda
  8. 1 tsp. cream of tarter
Instructions
  1. Cream butter and sugar. Mix in egg and vanilla extract. Combine dry ingredients; stir in. Refrigerate 2-3 hours.
  2. Preheat oven to 375. Roll dough into 1" balls. Roll in sugar. Place 2" apart on a lightly greased baking sheet. Flatten slightly with a sugared glass. Bake for 8 min. Cool for 2 minutes on baking sheet; transfer to cooling rack. Cool completely.
Goldilocks Domesticated http://www.goldilocksdomesticated.com/
RV

10 Necessities for the First Time RV Owner

 

When I first got into this RV adventure, I had no idea what to expect. My thoughts were that I would buy a fully equipped house and that was that. While I did buy a full “house”, it wasn’t fully equipped. There are numerous things we’ve had to buy and more is on our list. Starting on a full-time RV lifestyle is NOT cheap! Even so, I do not regret our decision. I’m loving this lifestyle!

So the question remains, “What do you need to buy?” (This is also assuming that your RV came with some basics, like a sewer hose, water hose and water pressure regulator.) Also answered is why on earth is there firewood in the picture! Here are the 10 RV necessities for the new owner:

1. RV/Marine Toilet Paper

Necessary for the restroom. Do NOT try to use regular toilet paper. All you’ll do is clog the black tank and it’s not fun dealing with that! We use this brand.

2. Chemical Toilet Treatment

Helps keep down the odor and breaks down waste – helpful if you don’t want your bathroom to smell like a porta-potty. This is what has worked for us so far.

3. Leveling Blocks

Not every site you park at will be perfectly level. You’ll need leveling blocks to level out the trailer. Your slides won’t work unless the RV is level, plus you can damage your fridge if it’s running and not level. We use these ones.

4. Tire Chocks

Helpful as insurance, so your RV doesn’t roll away on you. However, as new owners, we just use some split wood. Actual tire chocks are far down on our list.

5. Stick on Levels

Once your RV is fully level (for first time leveling, you can get a level that you put in the bottom of your freezer), use stick on levels on the front and side of your RV (near the hitch jack). Now that they are accurate, you have an easy reference next time you move your RV, plus you won’t have to deal with trying to level the RV with a level in a freezer that is probably full! These white ones will blend in great with most trailers.

6. Hitch Lock

We have a travel trailer, which is pulled by a regular hitch on a pickup truck. We bought a universal hitch lock with a cam lock. The lock is so thick that most won’t even be tempted to try to cut it and a cam lock is near impossible to pick. Perfect for stopping people who might try to hitch to our trailer and haul it away.

7. Surge Protector

One of the worst things that could happen is to plug in somewhere, have a power surge happen and all your electronics get fried. That would end up being a very expensive fix (thousands of dollars). Instead, buy a surge protector to prevent that from ever happening.

8. Power Adapters

We have a trailer that runs on 50 amps. While most campgrounds have 50 amps, some only have 30 amp hookups. Then, there are times when only 15 amps (regular house power) are available. What do you do then? Well, you buy power adapters. We have a 50-30 amp adapter and a 30-15 amp adapter. This allows us to hook-up anywhere we need. In fact, we are currently running off of 15 amp power and are using both adapters.

9. External Water Filter

At first, I was convinced we wouldn’t need one of these. We were planning on buying a gravity-fed filter for drinking and cooking, so why did we need one? However, at our first site, the water available was coming through a hose that was buried underground, was rarely maintained and barely used. Water quality was a concern, especially with the landlords. For everyone’s peace of mind, we bought this one. We attached it to our water pressure regulator and then attached our drinking water hose to it. That hose was then attached to the RV. Just don’t forget the flush the filter first! Otherwise, your water will have a bit of charcoal in it.

10. Mirrors for your Tow Vehicle

If your RV happens to be a fifth wheel or a travel trailer, you’ll be towing your RV with a pickup truck. Stock mirrors just don’t cut it. You have two basic options – attachable towing mirrors that attach to your existing mirrors or replacing (upgrading) your existing mirrors for ones designed for towing. The first option is much cheaper and has the added benefit of being transferred easily between vehicles. The second option looks nicer, are not easily lost or stolen, and are great for the trucks that you know is going to be the permanent tow vehicle. When we got our trailer, we were towing with our truck that we knew we wouldn’t use for long. The attachable mirrors made more sense for us.

So there are the 10 things we as new owners needed for our RV. We bought all these as soon as we could when their need came up. We made many trips (often for only one thing) that we could have avoided if we had a list like this to begin with.