Part 2: Expectations Vs. Reality of RV Life

This week we continue our Q&A series by following up on last weeks topic – expectations vs reality of RV life. In this segment we’ll talk about stuff; stuff we didn’t need, stuff we didn’t know we were going to need, and stuff we use everyday.

Here’s the breakdown:

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I’m hoping most rookie RVers make as many mistakes as us! We thought we minimized our collection of stuff, but after our first few months on the road, we were still donating items to the local thrift stores.

Clothes

Despite getting rid of 60% of our clothes before we hit the road, we still realized we had too many. Our typical outfit is a shirt and jeans; all we need is a weeks worth of clean clothes and we’re good. As for shoes, we both have a pair of sandals and a pair of hiking shoes.

Tent Pavillon

This was a big purchase that has gone unused. The lack of a camper awning inspired us to buy this large tent. Unfortunately, we discovered that we’re not often in search of shade and its a hassle to set it up. We know some RVers love their outdoor living areas, but this item just didn’t vibe with us.

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Fire Cooking Tripod

This cooking device was meant to be used on a daily bases; it hasn’t left its home in the back bumper since we hit the road. Our concept of cooking outside was definitely misguided.

Pot, Pans, and Pitchers

When living in a sixteen foot camper, things that serve no purpose stick out quickly. Our fruit-infusing pitcher, cast iron griddles, and multitude of pans all had to go! We have a few work-horse kitchen items that can do all the cooking.

Axe & Shovel Mount

I admit it – when installing this awesome device, I doubted it would come in handy. We’ve never used the axe, and have only used the shovel three times. But, its at least worth a few cool points.

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Travel Guitar

I bought a new guitar with a light travel-case to take on the road. I thought it’d be nice to strum this beauty from the edge of the Grand Canyon or write an album from a desert boondocking site – none of these things have happened and it’s been grossly underused.

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GoPro Hero 3+

Olivia was set on buying an awesome camera to capture this adventure. We didn’t use it during our first six months on the road, and use it very minimally now. This could’ve been money in the bank.

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Generator

As we mentioned in Part 1, our solar set-up can’t keep up with the energy needs of our fridge. We scored this Honda 2000 generator from Spot The Scotts. It’s really played an essential role in extending the number of days we can boondock.

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RV Water Filter

This was a cheap purchase we put off for way too long. For a mere $15 we now have cleaner water in our tanks. The RV water filter is a must have!

Cell Booster

We didn’t realize what we were missing before life with a cell booster. Our WeBoost give us faster internet so often – especially when using our T-Mobile hotspot. It’s a steep price, but the added cell coverage can be priceless.

Sewer Elbow Connector

We still haven’t purchased this one yet, but our current sewage donut just doesn’t work well. We plan or making this purchase soon – even though we don’t camp at RV Parks too often, we want to look semi-classy when we do and have a proper sewer adapter.

RV Exterior Carpet

This is another item we’ve yet to purchase, but really need. We track in so much dirt and really need a big outdoor area rug to dust off before entering the camper. It’d also help out on rainy days.

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French Press

We love coffee and this is our favorite way to make it. There are a few easier-to-clean methods, but our French Press has become our most used kitchen tool!

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L.L. Bean Jackets

Olivia bought us these jackets before we hit the road. Being from south Alabama, our cold weather gear was nil. These jackets are light enough to wear in a mild climate, but also keep us warm on cold & windy days.

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Large Stock Pot

This pot is perfect for large meals that last multiple days. Chili, soup, lentils and more – we get use out of this pot almost every day. Even though its bulky, we can store it underneath our bed when we’re not using it.

Bluetooth Speaker

Music, movies, TV, and podcasts – we play them all through our bluetooth speaker. We like its portability; we can bring it outside during the day and use it inside at night. We’re currently on our third brand and hope this one proves to be a keeper.

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T-Mobile Hotspot

We purchased this the day before we left and its been amazing. Despite all the smack people talk about the coverage, we have found that T-Mobile’s coverage has exceeded our expectations. They have great customer service and pretty economical data plans.

Thanks for reading our blog. Help support our mission – to live freely and deliberately – by checking out our Etsy store or shopping Amazon through our link.

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16 thoughts on “Part 2: Expectations Vs. Reality of RV Life

  1. Deb

    Great information as usual. It’s a learning process, thanks for sharing.
    A question for another post is, what did you do with all your stuff? Do you have storage someplace for items that you couldn’t or didn’t want to get rid of? Sentimental family things, photos, special things that you can’t replace? I have always wondered about this.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Becky

    Where did you get that koozie-like cover for your French press? I have the same French press and hate how quickly the coffee cools down in cold whether, plus that would provide some extra travel padding.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We have never felt that way, but thats our preference. We know plenty of people that carry them. We honestly would feel less safe having one and we have never felt unsafe while camping. Especially not boondocking. The most unsafe we ever felt was at a KOA when our neighbors got into an altercation in the early morning hours. We use our instincts and if we don’t like an area we don’t stay there. When boondocking, there are just other families and folks camping, we usually meet our neighbors and many times become friends with them. They will then look out for our stuff and vice versa…and sometimes invite us over for a dinner.

      Like

  3. Jason Klingbell

    I’m a big fan, and I like reading about your adventures. I love my French press coffee pot too. Could you share some recipes? I have an oven, cook top, slow cooker, rice cooker, knifes and cutting boards. All I can figure out is tacos and hamburgers.

    I have to drive my tv thing for a living so although I don’t live in it, I spend a lot of time in it.

    Also, what do you guys do for tv?

    Like

    1. Thanks! We’re starting cooking videos so keep your eyes out for those! They are all plant based, because we don’t eat meat, but if you like beans you are still in luck! One of our favorite easy meals is Chili! For this you need – 1 onion, 1 bell pepper, spoon of minced garlic, sauteed in a little oil until soft, then add two cans of kidney beans and two cans of black beans, small can of whole kernel sweet corn (optional) and a can of diced tomatoes. Season with your favorite chili seasoning pack or you can make your own with lots of cumin, some chili powder, salt pepper and a little cayenne pepper. Cover with water and bring to a simmer, cook for about 5-10 mins then add a can of tomato paste to thicken your sauce. I wait to the end to do this because it will burn easily once its thick. If the sauce is a bit too acidic add a little pinch of baking soda and it will mellow it out. Then you can eat it with cornbread, rice, crackers or tortilla chips! If you have leftovers you can put some in a quesadilla (super easy) or make a burrito with some rice and veggies added to it. We’ve even eaten it for breakfast over grits! This is our favorite meal 🙂 Hopefully it can help get you started!

      Also, we don’t have a tv, we just stream everything through our computers on Netflix and Hulu.

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