Saturday, July 17, 2010

RV Living

Day 18 - July 17, 2010

I wanted to write about what it's like living in an RV -- 18 days so far. First there is the storage. We have 4 people living in the space of what is about the size of a small bedroom in our house. The shower is 2 feet by 2feet -- smaller than the doormat we have in our laundry room. The powder room is about the same size, toilet to the right, tiny sink and room for one person to stand. We have all our toiletries -- what is normally stored in 5 double-door cabinets at home in 3 separate bathrooms -- are now all stored into a tiny cupboard of 4 shelves and a small undersink cupboard. This includes all shampoos, soaps, toothbrushes, etc, shaving stuff, creams, makeup, brushes and hair accessories, bathroom cleaners, first aid supplies and toilet paper. To organize this, I have 4 baskets from the dollar store -- 1 for my stuff, 1 for Tom's, 1 for the kids to share and 1 "communal" basket for shampoos, brush, floss etc. Each basket just fits into each shelf of the bathroom cupboard and keeps things from "mixing" around during the drive.

I have 1 clothes cupboard for Tom and I. At home we have a walk-in closet, and 2 clothes chests, plus part of the spare room closet. I have another smaller cupboard for Jessica and Sophia's clothing - at home that's 2 closets and 2 chests worth of storage. There is 1 overhead storage for extra towels and sheets and 1 for swimming gear and coats/hats/mitts.

Under the bed is mostly taken by the BBQ, stand, 2 outdoor tables, life jackets, fishing gear and extra paper plates, plastic cutlery and cups.

The kitchen -- we have made some fantastic meals here and I really have everything I need. I just forgot a soup ladle but used a teacup as substitute. The fridge is the size of our fridge freezer at home and the freezer is the size of my vegetable drawer in my fridge at home.

I have one above counter cupboard, 1 short one under the stove and 1 skinny one under the sink plus 4 drawers. In these are 3 pots, 2 frying pans, muffin tins, mixing bowls, a basket of spices, the coffee stuff, tea, sugar, crackers, canned food, oils and vinegars, wine and pop, cutlery and kitchen utensils, BBQ utensils and batteries, candles, etc.

There is one storage area under the bench seat for the toaster oven and vaccuum. There are 6 overhead cabinets for (1) cereals, pasta , (2&3), mugs & glasses and plates, (4) audio/video storage, (5) games, arts & crafts and (6) chips and snack food.

I use the microwave to store bread when I need extra counter space (I have about 5 sq. feet of counter space plus the stove when the lid folds down and 1/2 the sink when the cutting board is on top, plus a tiny "flip-up" extension next to the sink).

The kids have so many toys at home but here it's limited to what can fit into a laundry basket -- and they are not bored by any means.

We have a few books and rely a lot on our 2 computers. All the maps and guidebooks are with us as well as the 2 laptops, 2 cameras and 1 video camera. I brought 2 cookbooks but so far have not needed them. Tom BBQ's a lot or we make simple meals.

Tom has a few outside compartments for tools, RV gear and the folding chairs and pool noodles and balls. We put the bike helmets, beach toys and rubber boots/umbrellas in the CRV trunk.

In the main bedroom there is barely room to walk around the bed but we have our laundry fold-down hamper on the floor for our dirty clothes, plus the drinking water containers store on the floor.

And that's all the stuff we have with us. It could all fit into our foyer closet at home and it's all we need , and we are living really well with just a fraction of our material possessions. It's actually liberating to have so little "stuff". It is frustrating sometimes...things get messy quick and I'm spending 10 min a few times a day "tidying up" -- sometimes it feels like we are living in "mess central". But once everything is in its place then it feels roomy again. It only takes a half hour or so to vacuum and clean and we have a sparkling clean home. It takes Heather, who cleans our home, 4 hours each week to clean our house plus the in-between cleaning and tidying I do each week.

You have to put things in smart places because after the driving, things shift around and when you open the cupboard doors something could fall out onto your head or foot. Those sticky rubber mats help and opening the fridge a tiny crack first , ready to catch something is a good idea. Canned food and heavy things go on the bottom storage areas. Light things go overhead and breakable mugs, plates or glasses are stored so they are relatively secure.

This type of living does take some adjustments in attitude and compromises. Sometimes we get annoyed with each other, but that is quickly forgotten at the next scenic or fun destination or after a great dinner or trip to the pool/hot tub. We walk a lot more here, get more fresh air and spend 80% of our time outdoors. We also spend more quality time together --we have real conversations, we discover things together and it feels like each day is full of memories that will last for years to come.

Our home is small here but our backyard is constantly changing and it's always big --- sometimes there is a mountain or two in the background, sometimes a big playground for the kids, sometimes we are under 100+ year old trees, and tomorrow there will be the Pacific Ocean. For all the minor stress of not having enough room --- it's more than worth living this way.

Post-Script: We have had 17 days x 3 meals/day = 51 meals on the road. Of these, we ate out 4 dinners and 2 lunches. We made the other 45 meals ourselves. Also this is like Day 20 for me not having done any shopping of a frivolous nature. The only shopping has been at Wal-mart for necessities and the the odd souvenir. While I miss the mall and lure of department stores.....I'm doing OK without it. :-)

1 comment:

  1. Sunita, that is a terrific post!! You should send it to an RV magazine or to a newspaper. Our lives are much the same at the moment, without the moving around. You have hit the nail on the head with this post! Well done!!!