It had only been a few days when we started to realize what was staying, what was going and what we needed. As you know, we spent a year and a half doing trial runs trying to figure out what would work for us. For the most part, we have been on point…but some things we were way off or hadn’t even thought of. In month one, here are the things that we have loved, ditched or purchased!
These are the things we got right! All of these things we specifically purchased or had on our wishlist and we were gifted for full-time living.
NuWave PIC – We use this multiple times a day. Using the gas range creates unnecessary heat in the RV and uses up our propane. The PIC works great with the tea kettle and cast iron cookware.
Tea kettle/French Press – once you go French Press you don’t go back. Enough said…
Vornado 660 Fan – we would die without this. Seriously. We run it 24 hours a day. It’s perfect. Set it at either end of the RV and it circulates air through the whole interior. We use this more than anything in the RV. Best gift we could have ever asked for.
Beach Wagon – we had this for a year before we launched and NEVER used it. We found it invaluable moving into the RV and now we use it every day at the campground . We take drinks and chairs to friend’s houses and we use it for laundry. The real key to purchasing a beach wagon is fat wheels. Don’t get one with the little wheels because these bad boys go through sand and mud! The only dislike for this cart is that it’s REALLY FREAKING LOUD on concrete. We’ve even considered putting some kind of rubber coating on the wheels.
Zero Gravity Chairs – The comfort level of these bad boys is out of the world. They are a pain to take to a friend’s, but I figured out how to lay them across the beach wagon and bungee them. We are really happy that we purchased these chairs. The little tables are invaluable and the chairs themselves are easy to fall asleep in!
Outdoor Rug – We have always loved our rug and continue to love it. Florida is sandy and has lots of ants. The rug makes a nice chill out area.
Soda Stream – it doesn’t take up much space and saves us from having to tote around cases of canned soda and sparkling water.
Cast iron lodge combo – Bear has been cooking with this set daily. The 2 pieces work separately or you can put them together as a Dutch oven. It’s been super useful!
Brita water pitcher – We use this every day. We still buy drinking water from the store, but if we are in a place with decent water we will run it through the Brita for coffee, dog water, cooking and soda stream. At Peace River the water smelled like butt so we didn’t use it as much. We started off with a smaller pitcher, but it fell off the counter and tumbled down the steps and cracked. We upgraded to the Max and keep it on the counter top. It’s convenient to make our own filtered water, but I think eventually we will upgrade to something more heavy duty like a Berkey. We drink entirely way too much water to buy water from the store. We’d have to go to the store every other day.
The following items ended up on the swap table at the campground. We found very quickly that we did not use them and they were taking up much needed space!
Cast iron griddle – it was heavy and didn’t really fit on the grill well. We just did not use it as much as we thought we would and would rather have the extra wiggle room for weight.
NuWave oven – We love the oven in the RV and we grill most days. We can even use the lodge combo set like an oven so we saw no need to keep this.
Printer/Scanner – it was too big. It was in the way and the scanner worked like crap anyway. We still need to scan things so we will be purchasing a small, lightweight one.
Clothing – There was a disconnect on the amount of clothes vs amount of underwear. Less clothes and more undies! One thing we did do right is bringing clothes that were a little tight. With all the walking, they fit great now! We will be purging a lot of clothes over the next month. It’s weird because we have so much space for clothes…must drawers are only half full…but we just aren’t wearing them.
It was an expensive first month realizing what we had missed the mark on. Right out of the gate we knew there were creature comforts that would make full-time living a bit more comfortable.
Doormat – We realized on Day 1 we needed a good doormat that scrubbed our shoes as we came in. Not just for us but for the dog’s paws. We tracked so much mud in the first day or two!
Dirty Dog Door Mat– We were searching for a solution for the dog slipping coming in and out and this was another game changer for us. Our friend Cassandra gifted us with this kick ass door mat. The dog LOVES laying on it and it catches ALL the dirt we track in. It’s awesome and easy to wash.
Anti-Slip Runner Rug – We had two cute rugs from Walmart that were colorful, but they were sliding all over and we were tripping on them. We relocated those rugs in front of the passenger seat and another under my desk chair and bought this really awesome runner rug. It DOES NOT MOVE. We have it in front of the kitchen area and it works great!
Swiffer Sweeper – We had the swiffer vac and it was just a piece of crap. This is the 2nd one and it’s already failing again so we decided to just get a regular swiffer and then sweep up with a little hand held dust pan.
Trash cans – the wire door hanging one sucks. I’m going to smash it. It keeps ripping the bags and then you can’t get the damn bags out. So we bought a large metal step can for inside. Now I don’t have the take the trash out every single day. We also bought a smaller metal step can for outside for the dog poop bags. We realized quickly that not all parks have doggie trash stations, or even dumpsters conveniently located. We looked pretty trailer parky with a pile of poop bags outside!
LED Rope Lights – we have had the same ones a while now and we didn’t realize they pull over 10amps until we hooked them up to the inverter so that we can turn them off with the inside switch. Yikes! New LED lights it is!
30oz RTIC cups – 20 was not enough. 20 is great for coffee but it sucks when you go to Bingo or the pool and then you have to go back to the RV for a refill.
Last but not least, the crowning glory of purchases…
Awning Screen – This was the game changer! We purchased this from a local company near Clermont, FL called Beasley’s. Beasley’s makes custom shades, but you can also buy them from Camping World or Amazon in standard sizes and colors. The small top section rolls up into our awning and the bottom 3/4 clips on and then we stake down the ends. It cools the RV and keeps the porch nice and shady, plus gives us much needed privacy. We knew as soon as we had our first Happy Hour with Kim and Ryan of Sort of Homeless that we needed one, too! Not only has it made life more comfortable…but it makes us look so much prettier!
That about covers it. What we loved, what we ditched and what we cracked open our wallet for in month one.