We've been on the road now for almost 10 months, and during that time, we have modified our space and our needs to make the situation "survivable" but I think we fell short of really "livable" in the terms of creature comforts. Finally staying in one place long enough to really get the feel of "living" in the RV has shown us that while we may still only have 250 sq ft of living space, it can really be fun and comfortable.
Here are some tips that I have gleaned over the last 10 months for making your space more comfortable:
- An outdoor rug -- We have an 8' x 10' rug that really defines the space right outside our rig as our personal space. I love that I can walk barefoot on it, without worrying about rocks, or thorns. I would list this as a "must have" item for RVing.
- French press coffee -- If you love coffee, or only like good coffee, I recommend getting a French press. Drip coffee is fine, if that's what you like, but when you really want to feel like someone loves you and that all is right with the world, you should get a French press. Plus, it takes up less counter space than an espresso machine.
- Get a good mattress topper -- I recommend memory foam of at least four inches in thickness. You spend a lot of time asleep in your bed, you should make that as enjoyable as possible. RV beds are designed with the occasional user in mind. People are willing to put up with a poor sleeping experience when they know they get to go "home" to their bed after camping. This is your home bed, act accordingly.
- Put a TV outside -- Most people don't watch TV while they are camping for the weekend. Some people will go for a week-long vacation, and not turn on the TV. I actually don't even really watch much broadcast television, but I do love a movie now and then, and playing video games. Putting a TV outside allows you to enjoy the outdoors, as well as building something awesome in Minecraft.
- Portable speaker (Bluetooth is a bonus) -- I have two different sizes of speakers that I use outside. One that I carry in my disc golf bag (because my life needs a soundtrack) and one that is larger that we plug the outside TV into. Nobody likes watching a movie with a crappy sound system!
- Ice Maker -- This is the newest addition to the wellness program. An RV refrigerator is usually pretty small, ours is 6.3 cu ft. Which means I can put a jug of milk OR a jug of orange juice in it, but not BOTH. We've gotten really creative with reusable plastic bottles, repackaging things to get them to fit, but there is no room in the freezer for food AND ice. Most people that are camping for the weekend just buy a 10lb bag and put it in the cooler. You only need a couple of days worth, right? Well, we live here and need ice all day, every day. Enter the ice maker! Looks like a bread machine and produces 1lb of ice every hour. All I'm missing is the umbrellas for the drinks ...
- Family -- This sounds like a no-brainer, like who goes off on a trip and forgets their family? But this week my very best friend in the whole world came to visit me. You forget how good it can feel to be around someone that loves you and accepts you and KNOWS you. Good times.
When we started this adventure, I was asked what the end goal was. Honestly, I didn't really have one. I was thinking that we would spend at least a year on the road and see where that takes us. Now that we are closing in on the end of the first year, I'm realizing that I haven't even scratched the surface of this whole thing. I feel like I'm actually doing a lot of growing up, and learning about myself. One of the things that I'm learning is that it is pretty nice to pamper yourself in some small but significant ways.
And now I feel more like I'm at home than ever.