4 weeks in
It’s been a month or so since we’ve started our RV living adventure. And while we have a lot more to learn — and I mean a lot more to learn, we have figured a couple of things out through trial and error. Mostly error.
1. Keep up with your chores. Now this sounds simple but it’s more evident the less space you occupy. Everything has a place. The peaceful operation and dwelling in the RV requires that things must be put away. Whether it’s dishes, toys or clothes, nothing can stay out of place for very long without the RV turning into a big mess. So, the childhood lesson remains: put your things away after you’re done using them. The rule still holds true — especially in less than 400 square feet.
2. Simpler and harder. Life is more simple in the RV but it is harder as well. Chores like washing the dishes is easier with a dishwasher in the house. It takes more time to hand wash everything in the RV. Sweeping the floor can be done every 3-5 days in the house but in the RV it can be 3-5 times a day. It’s easy to track in dirt from the outside because you’re in and out way more often than you are in the house. Using the bathroom in the house was very simple in the house. You didn’t need to worry about it once it was flushed away. In the RV the whole process involves watching tank indicators, adding chemicals and pulling levers to release the bathroom waste into the campground’s septic system. Skipping any of these steps means trouble.
3. Protect your eyes. Indoor jobs in the great outdoors. Working on the computer as a graphic designer I spend a lot of time looking at the computer screen. In our house the design studio was deep inside with some windows around the room. In the RV I’m surrounded by windows, giving me the sense that I am mostly outdoors with indoor equipment. My eyes are constantly adjusting to sunlight and the computer screen — especially if I am needed to go outside and help with any family needs. So getting good sunglasses to block the UV rays, blue light with a little polarization is a good thing. Most of the people I have met who work outdoors for a living have great sunglasses to protect their eyes. Since most of our time is spent outdoors this is a natural next step.
4. Watch your tanks. Whether it’s the propane or the holding tanks keeping an eye on the levels is very important. We ran out of propane in the middle of the night on an evening which was dipped below freezing. Not only were we cold but I didn’t want the water lines in the RV to freeze and burst, making a huge costly mess in the basement of the coach. We misread our black tank status, getting our front and rear bathroom tanks confused, and had it back up and spill all over the floor. Since then we know which tank belongs to which bathroom and we’re on top of it. We purchased gauges which help us get an idea how full or empty an LP tank is so we don’t have midnight surprises.