When downsizing from our 2400 square foot home to an RV, there was little room for extras. Each item brought in was scrutinized as to if we really needed it while traveling. Most items didn’t make the cut and were either sold or given away. A few items were placed into storage and at my parent’s home for safekeeping.
Some things we had purchased specifically for the RV, well let’s just they were completely useless and caused more frustration than they were worth. Take for example, I bought two school desks for the kids for homeschool thinking it would a) give them their own space to work and create and b) keep the kitchen table clean for eating and working and game nights. We found ourselves totally frustrated after months of packing these desks up and putting them on the bed for safe transit each time we would move, which is about every two weeks. They also just ended up as catch-all spaces for things as we brought them in. And, the table didn’t stay clean despite having these desks. Needles s to say, they ended up at a Kid-to-Kid store in Idaho and we purchased 2 plastic lap desks in their place that seem to be working just fine.
Over the course of fulltime RV living for almost a year, we’ve noticed there are several go-to items that we use almost everywhere we go. They do help us in a number of ways. Now these are things that are either stored in our closets, in our cabinets or underneath the RV. They are not technical, not tools, not mechanical RV must-haves. They’re things that help us get through the day to day living and adventuring of our family of four.
Without further ado, here goes! (Please note, affiliate links are being used. They help us to keep the creativity flowing for you)
10. Essential Oils
We have been using essential oils for health and wellness for years, recommended by our pediatrician. We love that we have been able to support our immune system and other body systems, our emotions and have kept harsh chemical cleaners out of our tiny home as we travel. There’s enough junk in our world, we can at least do a few things to help, right!?
Here’s just a few of our favorites:
Young Living Thieves, Oregano Oil, Citrus Oils, Lavender, Stress Away, Peace & Calming, Slique, Ningxia Red, Savvy Minerals Makeup, Insect Repellent, Sunscreen, Lavaderm After-Sun Spray, Thieves Household Cleaner and finally
Diffusers for each area of the RV
Young Living Website
9. Good Pair of Hiking Boots
We travel to National and state parks often on our trip. We tried bringing our bikes and a bike rack but found that they were just one more thing that had to be packed up and loaded each time we moved. And in the first 8 months of travel we didn’t use them at all. But, we do hike and walk through some rough terrain.
Hi-Tec Boots are reasonably priced and are for light to moderate hiking. We do not go crazy when hiking but these boots have been with us from day 1 of our travels. One thing I love about the Hi-tec boots for kids is that they have a removable liner to extend the life of the boot as kids’ feet grow. We’ve had them since last year, and believe it or not, with growing feet and all, these boots still fit both kids!
8. LED Bulbs
I’m sure many new RVs may have LED bulbs; however, we bought our Sweet Sally the Winnebago Sightseer used and she did not come with LED Bulbs. Lighting was dim when we first started out. I’m so glad Tom convinced me to invest in simple bright white light bulbs. On those dark nights or rainy days, we can have some bright light when we stay in.
LED RV Bulbs
7. Good Pair of Sandals
The Kids Wear Crocs and I have Croc Flip Flops that look cute, not Croc-like that I wear almost daily. So far they’re the easiest to wash and slip on and store for our family. I was against them at first, but they really are the only shoes we’ve been able to keep clean in our dusty, dirty RV traveling life.
Girls Mary Jane Crocs
6. Ninja IQ Blender
A full blender would not fit in our RV, but breakfast shakes, smoothies are essential to our lifestyle. We keep frozen berries in the freezer, spinach, kale and avocado in the fridge and protein powder in the cabinets. Surprisingly those items don’t take up a lot of room and we’re able to have healthy breakfasts no matter where we are.
Ninja IQ Blender
5. Shark Stick Vacuum
A great vacuum is a necessity in our tiny home on wheels. When travelling every two weeks, we accumulate a lot of dust and dirt and cheerios and snacks on the floors. Tom is great about grabbing the vacuum often and doing a quick clean up, which is much appreciated. If only we could have him do the dishes too…lol! We had a Shark vacuum in our previous home and we loved it. We handed it down to my parents when they moved to their new home. We bought a cheap Bissell vacuum from Wal Mart when we were just starting out and it worked for all of a couple months and then it got the burning belt smell every time we’d vacuum. We’ve had our little rocket since January, and it is wonderful!
4. Portable Propane Fire Pit
While not quite a necessity, this is one frivolous purchase that has made for some great family time around the campfire. It is small and compact and fits easily underneath the RV. Enjoying a fire at night is definitely a perk of fulltime travel and we love the opportunities to spend time together as a family or with new friends at the RV park.
3. Coleman Tailgater Grill
Grilling is a great way to eat healthy on the road and during the heat of summer,
it’s no fun to cook inside. Having a grill that can be easily set-up, easily used and
easily cleaned is a must for the fouralifetime crew! We grill at least two to three times a week, which makes my job inside keeping the kitchen clean a whole lot easier.
2. Instant Pot
When I first saw all of the fulltime RV blogs and vlogs talking about the Instant
Pot, I told myself that there’s no way I’d purchase something like that for the RV.
Besides, I had a Crock Pot. But then, I had some points saved up and
there were a few times I had to make dinner after being out all day, and had to relinquish cooking to fast food restaurants so I decided to go ahead and give it a shot. It was so intimidating at first, but as soon as I tried it, I too fell in love. I use it often. And with the sauté feature, I can make a true one-pot dinner in less than half the time of a crock-pot.
1. AT&T Mobley and Good Backup Sources
While this is a technical item, it is certainly the one thing that keeps us going when RV park wifi is spotty, which has been more often lately than not. With more people getting on park wifi and streaming, it makes it difficult to get work done. This is definitely a huge one for us since Tom works a corporate job throughout the week to support us. We have found that our Verizon Unlimited Plan is a bad word in our house because of the throttling after 10 Gigs on the Jetpack and the management which often seems like throttling on each of our lines. The little AT&T Mobley Device has been a God-send as we travel. Now, the bummer, is that it doesn’t work in Canada so as of right now, Tom takes vacation days when we cross the border.
We will also be looking at purchasing an alternate plan with T-Mobile in the near future.
Mobley Device (requires set up with AT&T)
Mobley Adapter (for use inside the RV)
Ultimately, all we really need is each other and some basic necessities; however, the above list helps us to maintain our quality of life!
I look forward to seeing what things we see as necessities after two years of travelling, but we’ve had fun looking at what are the must-haves and the I don’t needs as we settle into our fulltime lifestyle. Again, most things have been sold, given away or stored and it feels so nice to be travelling light!