By Russ and Tiña De Maris
Having an RV is almost like having a second home. You have a kitchen, bathroom, bedroom, living room, etc. Unless you crave the thought of toting stuff back and forth though, you’ll need to “fit it out,” for your RVing trips. Is there a way to handle outfitting your rig without busting the bank? Most assuredly!
Start in the galley: While paper cups and plates are “easy clean up,” there are certainly times when they just don’t “make it.” We’ve found having “real” dishes in the RV is great. But what about the weight–and what about breaking stuff? You’ll find plenty of RVers who swear by Corelle brand dishes. These things look and feel a bit like china, but they’re lightweight and it takes a lot to break them. Drop ’em on the floor, they just bounce. The great thing about Corelle is that it’s been around so long you’ll find plenty of it second hand.
Which leads us to the point: Fitting out your RV doesn’t mean you need to buy everything “new.” Outfitting the RV galley is a snap with a visit to a thrift shop or by combing through a few garage sales. Take a look at your kitchen in the house, note what you regularly use, and make a list. You’ll soon find you’ll have just about everything you need for a fraction of the price of buying it new. With those gadgets installed in your RV galley, you’ll never have to worry about forgetting something you need for a road trip.
What about those other things you’ll need? We’ve found that when outfitting the rig with linens, it’s best to buy new, but hit the bargain linen joints. Why new? We like everything in the rig to match in color–and in a color we don’t use at home. It makes it easy when returning from an RV trip to simply toss it all in the wash, and when it comes out, sorting is a snap. In fact, we have a laundry bag for the RV, and when we’re done with the washing, we just put all the RV linens back in the laundry bag to tote back to the RV.
The family repair guy has a similar plot. We keep a few tools in the travel trailer in our “junk drawer,” including screwdrivers, a few wrenches, hammer, etc, that have a frequent call. You could put hit these with a shot of colorful spray paint to identify them as “RV resident” tools.
We also keep the rig fitted out with cleaning supplies so we don’t have to trot back and forth to the house with them. A broom hanger keeps the sweeper in the corner of the shower stall (ours is deep enough that it doesn’t get wet with the shower). A used Dirt Devil vacuum cleaner that we picked up for three bucks at a garage sale hides away in the corner of a closet. Small, powerful, just the right size for the small area of carpet we have in the bedroom.
Since we work on the road, we even dedicated a computer printer to the travel rig. We built a plywood shelf, stained and finished it, and mounted it under the dinette table on the wheel well. The printer lives on the shelf there, out of the way, but close to where we work when using our laptops. To complete our “office” we bought a high school “locker organizer” that has multiple pockets for pens, stapler, note pads, etc. We hang the organizer on the wall by the dinette, next to a cork board where we can pin lists.
Are you a music lover? We installed a new automotive-type stereo system to replace the old cassette/radio unit in our rig. The new one allows us to play music recorded onto USB flash cards. We simply build out own “mix” of music from our CDs at home and carry the tiny flash cards in the RV loaded up with our favorite tunes.
Household living suggestions are a favorite topic around the campfire. Next time you get a chance, ask your neighbor RVer their tricks for the rig.
All photos R & T De Maris