10 items that make my life in an RV easier

Life in an RV isn’t more difficult than living in a house, it’s just different and just takes a little adjusting to get used to. And there are a few items out there that can help make life on the road a little easier. I’ve come up with a short list of some things that make my motorhome life more enjoyable. By no means are these things must haves or apply to everyone. It’s just a few things that I like and thought I would share, so here they are in no particular order:

KindleKindle / E-Reader:
I’m a reader, put a book in front of me and I’ll read it. I love fiction, non-fiction, new, old, how-tos, whatever. And when it comes to weight and mass, books don’t receive good marks for storing in an RV. Space is precious, we have a hard enough time storing clothes and food, let alone books. That’s when I picked up a Kindle. It stores hundreds of books, weighs nothing, and gives access to all the reading material that I’ll ever need. Buying books on the Kindle are generally cheaper than buying dead tree books at a brick and mortar and you can also pick up a lot of classics for free. Libraries are now allowing you to “check out” books on your e-reader. You check it out using your library card and they give you a few weeks to read it before it disappears off the device. I still have a library card while we’re staying local, but some libraries charge a fee to non-residents. It’s not too much, I’ve paid $10 for a card when we were in Hill City for 5 months. The Kindle is easy to read and operate. You can read on a tablet if you’ve got one, but staring at those backlit screens can cause some eye strain. I can read on the e-reader for hours and be fine, it’s just like reading on paper. And now you can pick them up at the sub-$100 level, a good investment if you’re a heavy reader.

Shower space in most RVs is laughable. I feel like I’m packing into a clown car when I try to move around our shower. If you’ve got a curtain instead of a glass door in your shower, a curtain extender definitely gives more room. It’s got two joints in the pole that allow it to swing out and give considerable more arm room when in the shower. And when you’re out of the shower you can swing it inward to give more room in the rest of the bathroom.

zipvac bagsZip Bags:
A little while ago we got sent some Zip Bags to try out. You’ve seen something like them on TV I’m sure, you put clothes or blankets in these bags and use a vacuum or pump to suck out all the air and compress the contents. Comes in handy for storing winter coats or comforters that don’t get used all the time.


Okay, you can’t put a Redbox in your RV, but normally there’s not one too far away. I’ve always loved movies – I’m a film student for crying out loud! Movies, like books, can take up a lot of room, especially if you feel the need to hold on to the cases. If you ditch the cases and keep them in a DVD wallet, you’ve saved quite a bit of space. But buying movies aren’t cheap. That’s why we get our movie fix by renting from a Redbox. You could use to get a movie for a buck a night from a Redbox, but they’ve recently upped the price to $1.20. The process is pretty simple: pick up a moive at a box, watch it, drop it off at the next box that you come across. The selection of movies and video games is mostly limited to recent releases, so I have to keep some of my staples on hand: The Back to the Future Trilogy, Into the Wild, and anything from Mel Brooks.

iphone43G internet/iPhone:
Yeah a lot campgrounds have internet, but it can be sketchy and unpredictable if it’s going to be available or not. We rely on the internet for our income, so sketchy won’t cut it, that’s where the smartphones come in. I have a iPhone with Verizon and Jessica has an HTC EVO with Sprint. We both have “tethering” plans that allow us to use the 3G or 4G internet from our phones on our computers. It’s not lightning fast or anything, but it let’s us check our email and jobs.

A simple item I know, but when you live in a tin box with someone else full time, headphones can be invaluable. If one of us wants to work, listen to music, or watch a movie without disturbing the other, a good set of headphones can be vital in getting some alone time or keeping the peace.


clear sewer elbowClear Elbow for Sewer:
Sewer, not the prettiest subject, but a necessary part of RV life none-the-less. Before we got a clear elbow for draining the tanks, the stuff moving through that hose was a mystery… actually it probably would of been better if it stayed a mystery…. But the elbow gives a clear picture of what’s going on and when it’s “really” done draining. Plus, the elbow has a hose hook up so that you can back wash the tank, that way you can see when you’ve really cleared it out. Enough of that talk, let’s move on.

folding-camping-chairFolding chair:
Folding camp chairs, might not be the first thing that comes to mind as a favorite item. But the folding camping chair has this weird sense of community to it. When meeting new people or neighbors at a campground, when someone offers to bring out an extra folding chair for you to sit in, there’s a good chance you’ve might of just made a new friend. It’s like offering a olive branch or a peace pipe or something. We’ve spent countless hours in those chairs sitting around campfires sharing stories and a few beers with people we’ve just met.

flashlight hatFlashlight Hat:
A fashion statement, these hats are not, but they serve their purpose. You really get a good sense of their true value when you’re using both hands to fix something on the side of the road, in the dark, while it’s raining.


Stick lighterStick Lighter:
Another essential for us! Gotta light a campfire, grill, or pilot to light? I need not go further.



Like I said these items aren’t really necessary or preferred as key items by everyone, just me. Most RVer’s aren’t really materialistic, but just a few choice things can make all the difference. So what are the things that you can’t be without while on the road?

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  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_Z7IH2KXDAIURAFKFCM3IJMLVMA T

    Good advice, thanks. Please do a few vids on workamping, the ins and outs…for newbies. Maybe also share some personnel experience regarding how to work on the road using your computer/internet jobs.

  • Eileen White

    My favorite “must-have” is a good extension cord with a small fan.  The background noise and the moving air guarantee a good sleep, regardles of temperature and sound level.  We’ve become some of your biggest fans, and even put a link on our new travel blog so others can find you.  Keep it comin’…..!!  The Whites     camphosting.blogspot.com

  • Eileen White

    We found out about workamping the hard way.  We started a blog recently because so many people asked us about it and how to become a came host.  We love hosting, as it’s so fun (and energizing) to interact with campers…but workamping is tricky.  You really have to know what you are doing.  If you want to check us out we’re at camphosting.blogspot.com   


    My list when we finally get into the RV: Food Steamer,Crockpot most of what u have on your list,scooter thats all I can think of right now.

  • http://www.TravelingOnTheOutskirts.com/ TravelingOnTheOutskirts

    lol I didn’t even think about the fan – Duncan cannot sleep without one! ;D  Definitely something that makes life a little easier while on the road :)

  • http://www.TravelingOnTheOutskirts.com/ TravelingOnTheOutskirts

    We had a little electric scooter while we were in our popup in Sarasota. When it was either a 10 minute walk to the bathhouse or a quick ride on the scooter, that scooter was worth it’s weight in gold. :)

  • geust

    an electric skateboard is good for traviling around cloud 9 ranch in west plains arkansas

  • Domnic pizimenti

    hey howdo you connect your rv freshwater

  • http://www.texcynlife.blogspot.com/ TexCyn

    One of my things is an electric skillet. I’d prefer to use it when cooking bigger items & save on the propane while plugged into shore power. Of course, you already figured out the use of a toaster oven ;-)
    And did you know that you can also start your burners on your stove on a dead flame lighter? The spark of it will still start your burners!

  • E5342 EB

    I would love to be a Full Time Rver but the kids are still not old enough, 13 and 17. I’m not the person who wants to home school. My husband does not want to do it full time, maybe only in the summer. Any advice on changing his mind, I got 7 years to try? Do you have a used RV? Are there more trouble to take care of? I would like to get a small RV c or b class. Is your RV insurance too high?

  • Sean McCloy

    I just finished all your videos I am a former road warrior but I did it in a truck talk about small size. My transport was a bike I had a bike I could take apart no tools get on it and be out away from that truck. Get back to the truck stop get a shower and go to bed in the bunk. Slept in the sleeper if I was in a climate that allowed I let the fresh air blow if not the Truck ran with AC. To keep from using heater I had a 12volt electric blanket and sleeping bag I was very warm if I got cold I woke to reset and had warm for another hour.(safety to prevent draining batt) I used a coleman fridge for food got small meals that fit my burton oven. Frozen tv dinners stay well over a week if you keep them cool in Coleman fridge. The best trucker I saw out there had a sportster on his truck he would park the truck and ride off.

  • Sean McCloy

    If you got 7 years I say get a wrecked prius chop that sucker and redesign it to be a popup camper and practice with it. It is bound to happen someone is going to do it they already have a prius camper it looks really strange but it looks like it would work. If you ever showered at a gym and feel you can live that way I say sleep in your prius an get your showers at the health clubs. Trick is finding a health club that is everywhere you have to be. There are portable structures you can errect to shower in. All I can say is get out a calculator and crunch numbers what it would cost for fuel and you will start to go in another direction other than a RV. If you go it alone there is a ride you can build called a tuk tuk motorhome(TTMH) insurance is super cheap it is classified as a motorcycle not a car my car insurance liability $1200 a year 2 cars $75 for my motorcycle big savings there? I saw 2 types TTMH one was like a small pu truck the sleep unit can detach the other was monolithic and it was genius in design each would work when you get out there you do 55 mph it is all you need it is the majic speed for economy and to reduce ware on your machine. There are ways to shower using solar paint a 2 liter black and it will get hot in the sun I have tested this and it is super hot. I use to use 2 gallons per shower and was very clean. Practice conservation now and you would be surprised how well you can do study those that do on you tube. You can cook on the engine or solar cooker that saves tons of energy sunbaked taters sun heated tv dinner it all works if you build a solar cooker. Some have seen the country stealth camping and riding bicycles I am way too old for that handicapped too so I have to have at the min a hammock serta or sleep number bed. I saw a man in Alabama that would ride his bicycle that had a motor installed he went 15mph would eat buffet once a day smuggle some for later pitched a tent he would ride all the way to Vegas. Not legal on interstate but highways fully legal 100mpg. Or just get a old toyota install a tow hitch and a popup camper take it easy do a good pretrip watch for wind weather reports you should do fine keep 2 extra tires in popup. Look in my favorites on youtube I am CDLTPX you can google each subject I have mentioned and cull through the information. I have read books on choosing RV I highly recommend reading it so you can weigh all your options in advance. The more complex your set the more it is going to weigh and more likely you will experience a malfunction. Sometimes the simplest solution is exactly what you should do. I wanted to develop a shower that was insulated heated so one could use it in the coldest of weather. Put a heater buddy in it. It is recommended you practice everything if you go economy it might be more than you can bear. Go to a truck stop shower see if you can handle that some can’t. I Wear one piece rubber slippers in the shower FYI. Some are so dedicated they wash their clothes in the shower. See Andy the hobo traveler he pretty much travels the world but he is the most economical I have ever witnessed and has been EVERYWHERE. As a Katrina witness it is my belief that we all should have some sort of portable living system if it is as simple as a hammock and portable shower system but we all need to know how to pull up stakes and make it. The beauty of the hammock is it can fit in a pocket and keep bugs off you with its netting.

  • Sean McCloy

    Google solar oven most days you will get a well cooked meal if the weather will be partly cloudy cook some other way, I have cooked this way the food was choice. If you like baked taters you can cook them solar and chill them fridge do your majic to turn it into a awesome meal. There are too many ways to make a baked tater a great meal.

  • Sean McCloy

    There is work whee companies cover your expenses as long as you go so far away from where you claim you live. They call it perdium they pay it weather you rent an apartment or tow a camper. These jobs are in plant shutdowns some are skilled others not so much. There are requirements to be met not everybody can get there. I would say earn big money while you can but if you can do away with certain debts do. Then there is the trusty old trucking company driving is less freedom but you are not on the hook for all those expenses that are going to be there. Insurance tires etc. Trucking tires is a huge expense. PM is too. A bit of training is required it will be a year until you make any money after 2 years you can expect great money possibly earn better as an owner operator and know your favorite route possibly having more control over where you go. I say get a prius with a popup and use the prius to deliver pizza or hotshot items from place to place. IDK any companies that would use a prius to expedite things but it is possible maybe you could start that company?