‘Ten Things’?! What randomness is this? Wait, it must be Tuesday! For your reading pleasure, I present an (increasingly) rare Ten Things Tuesday post…
Believe it or not, in my first week here I’ve already learned Ten Things about living in an RV. Trust me when I say that while I did about eight months of research, there is still some “trial by fire” involved for this newbie in embarking on the full-time RV lifestyle.
1. If it’s not nailed down, it will move when you try to drive. Trust me on this one and nail it down. Whatever it is, just put a nail in it so it can’t move. How did I learn this? You know those little bottles of cooking extracts like vanilla, orange, mint, or almond? They fall and roll when in a moving vehicle. No, really, they do. Individually they smell intoxicating. Mixed together as a puddle in the bottom of your cabinet? Not so good.
2. There are four, yes, FOUR possible power sources for appliances: House batteries, generator, propane, city power/hookups. Generally, an appliance is able to use two of the four sources, but it also depends on the conditions at the time. As my memory is about as good as that of a goldfish (Once around the bowl and I’m saying ‘Oooh, that rock is new!’), I can’t be expected to remember which is which and when.
3. If you want hot water for your first shower in your new RV, you have to turn on the water heater. It’s only a little rocker button conveniently located inside. Coincidentally, near the shower. Just remember if you want your first shower to be a hot one turn on that button.
4. Bugs like lights. Especially when you’re in a rural area, and nearer to the ground than your suburban second-story apartment used to be. (I can hear a chorus of ‘Duh’ out there.) This may seem obvious to some, but having lived on the second floor in the suburbs I got used to not having many bugs in the house. Now? I’m getting un-used to not having any bugs in the house.
5. It’s much easier to keep a huge house clean, as opposed to a small one. This may seem counter-intuitive, but consider this: Take an average person and their average amount of daily or weekly dust and debris, tracking stuff in, making food and dirty dishes, cat hair (because this average person has a cat), etc. First, take that amount of dust and debris and spread it around a large 6,500 square foot house. You can hardly see the dust and debris. Now, taking that same amount of dust and debris, put it in a 250 square foot motorhome. Yeah, kind of concentrated, isn’t it? Cleaning daily is very important.
6. After loading all my stuff into my RV, I learned I need to take it to one of those big truck scales and have it weighed. I wish I had known this BEFORE shoe-horning in every. item. I. possibly. could. (When I go to the scales, I’ll try to take pictures of the event for you. Keep your fingers crossed that the RV is well under the weight limit.)
7. Even though this is a small space, you can still lose things in it. And then spend hours looking for the missing item, opening every possible storage space and cubby hole. Hours. Not kidding.
8. If you take something out, you have to put it away as soon as you’re done with it or you will trip over it. I just don’t have the kind of room in here to be as
messy casual as I used to be. Sadly, my childhood ballet lessons were a waste of my parents’ good money. Graceful and sure-footed I will never be.
9. Boondocking: The act of overnighting in your RV at a place without water, electric, and sewer hookups. This can be anywhere from a national park, to a Walmart parking lot. Mine, like most motorhomes, is fully self-contained (a survivalist’s dream) so this is no hardship.
10. When you smell something funny coming from your RV, and suspect it might have something to do with your sewage holding tanks, your neighbors are VERY willing to help you discover the source of the smell and eliminate it. So, there was this smell, right? Not too hard to figure out it might be sewer tank smell. (Yeah, I’m super smart like that.) I look around and see no leaks, but knowing I know nothing I get help from a neighbor. Seems as I was supposed to leave the gray water tank valve open so it could flow into the sewer system. Oh. Not a big deal, as the tanks are made to hold the black and gray water when you’re boondocking, but I’m not boondocking. I’m just blond.
All in all, I couldn’t be more thrilled! One other thing I’ve learned: It’s so freeing to jettison all but the essentials (‘essentials’ includes extra clothes and shoes). Living in a fully self-contained, beautiful mobile house makes me feel spoiled. And I’m now free to move about the country!
UPDATED: I have since learned about the fine art of boondocking, the “blond” way. Don’t learn the “blond” way, read Ten Things: Lessons in Boondocking.