Tuesday, May 14, 2013

How Is Living In A RV Different Than A Sticks and Bricks House?

The biggest adjustment that most people face when deciding to go full time in a RV is learning the difference between living in a RV and living in a traditional "sticks and bricks" house. Many things will be the same, but the issue of space and mobility make living in a RV just slightly different.

Let's look first at how to describe what side of the trailer or RV you describe so that there is no confusion. In a travel trailer, front refers to the tongue that attaches to another vehicle for towing. In a motor home, it refers to the front of the vehicle where the driver's seat is.
For the sake of this blog, I will be referring to the sides of the travel trailer as if it is hooked up to a tow vehicle. That gives me front, rear, driver's side, door side (where the entrance to living quarters and the awning is attached.)

Another thing to keep in mind is the size of a trailer. I have all of the outdoors available for sitting and relaxing with others. My trailer is 8' wide as opposed to many that are 7'-7.5' wide. This makes a big difference in how livable the unit is and means that i can live comfortably without slideouts.

RVs will have some odd or quirky shaped storage spaces. I have a wedge shaped cabinet in the front of the trailer. it is over the front window and takes it's odd shape from the aerodyning of the trailer. It is very handy for storing a few cleaning supplies, and some things i need handy while sitting in the dining area.

When moving the trailer, it is important to have a procedure to secure and put away any breakables. Most people don't remember to secure the coffeepot. Most coffeepots will secure very nicely in the sink. I put a kitchen towel in the empty sink and a washcloth between the carafe and the burner. I complete securing the coffeepot with pot holder and dishcloth padding so that it doesn't move around when traveling.

cabinet doors can often come open in traveling. one of two methods work great for securing the doors. if the cabinet handles are round knobs simply slipping a strong rubber band over two of them will hold most of the doors.

Pictures should be taken down and placed in a folded blanket on the couch. 

A piece of 1x4 cut to size can act as an edge in the cupboards, preventing canned goods or plates from falling out during travel.

I don't have any traditional plates, cups, or glasses. I have found that paper plates are available at a reasonable cost. My preferred drinking glasses are old canning jars. I have one pretty coffee mug for morning coffee, the remainder are covered travel mugs that keep bugs out and coffee warm longer.

I use a small stick broom vacuum that can also be used as a handheld Dustbuster. I prefer a good whisk broom and dustpan to a traditional broom. instead of a mop, i use a bucket and cloths to wipe up the floors. I also store my supplies in different places than i would in a traditional home.

We have added a small built-in under the sink to hold a small standard wastebasket. We use an office type wastebasket rather than the traditional plastic kitchen wastebasket. by attaching a U shaped wood holder on the under sink door, it frees up wasted space under the sink. Storage is important in a RV, and making effective use of space allows me to live better in a small unit than in a larger unit or a house.

I'll be adding more blogs on tips and tricks to living comfortably in a RV or Travel Trailer whether parked in a RV park or dry camping in a dispersed camping area. 

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