RV dwellers know secrets the rest of us don’t. Full time RV living is a bit like boat travel. Every item and tool must be close at hand, perform double-duty and be easily secured from rig shaking vibrations. Whether you’re renting an RV, borrowing one, or even thinking about becoming a full-timer. You’ll want to remember these clever tips for getting the most out of your next journey.
Hit The Road With These Full-Time RV Living Tips
Keep in mind that there is more than one magazine dedicated to RV living, and that tens of thousands of Americans are currently living on the road full time. That 10k number doesn’t even include van dwellers. So, you can rest assured that these tips are time-tested and proven. We broke up the tips into two categories, which will cover the most crucial aspects of RV living: safety and kitchen/storage.
RV Safety Tips
RVs create projectiles out of the stuff you own, most of which (I’m assuming) was never meant to fly. Therefore, battening down the hatches is essential. This skill evolves over time as you witness which toiletries, kitchen items and other objects start hitting the floor. Use hooks, command strips, and container bins within cabinets (“lockers”) to stash away those loose bits and pieces.
Storage bins can be purchased very inexpensively at large retail stores, thrift stores, & online from Amazon or Ebay. You almost cannot have too many bins of all sizes when living the RV life. Keeping gear stored securely increases your overall safety, limits the amount of time spent cleaning up fallen objects, and saves you money by not having to regularly replace broken items.
RV Kitchen and Storage Tips
The kitchen should be treated like a series of high school lockers. In order to avoid displacement of plates, bowls, cups and bottles of wine, the key is to install tension rods within kitchen cabinets (aka “lockers”). Newbies to full time RV living will quickly learn that nearly everything you own will move, fall, and roll around like marbles while you’re driving. Therefore, built-in tension rods should be put at the top of your priority list. They are guaranteed to save you time, money, and worry. Don’t RV without them.
Most RV set-ups have tiny kitchens, obviously, which means three or four drawers at most. To use your drawers efficiently, don’t automatically assume that you’ll put certain items in your RV drawers just because you usually keep them in drawers at home. A perfect example of this is silverware; it can be more space efficient and secure to store these wrapped up together in baskets, cups or sleeves.
The third kitchen tip is to create dedicated, yet temporary, surface space. This is a strategy that will be familiar to the campers out there. Folding camping tables are an ideal solution, but in an RV, a larger folding table may work just as well. This will give you prep space for cooking, extra eating spots, and then it can be folded up and stowed away when not in use. As with all RV items, whatever you choose should be able to hold its own by performing at least one other function. Multi-use containers that fold up and offer surface space in a pinch, are excellent options for efficient full time RV living.
For additional storage, use walls and employ command strip hooks. These adhesive strips can be purchased cheaply online or at any hardware store. RV cabinets tend to be a bit more flimsy than the cabinets you’ll get at home, because it helps save weight. So, we do not recommend drilling screws or pounding nails into these surfaces. You’ll probably do more harm than good.
Lastly, have a “camp kitchen” that can be stored fully set up, so it’s ready to use in a moment’s notice. This includes a folding table and gear for three stations: food prep, as well as dish washing and drying. The ability to cook outside is a huge bonus when you are RVing. It helps keep your place cool and lets you create designated areas for cooking, eating, and clean up. Compact camping stoves and dishwashing and drying gear is essential for full time RV living. Avoid full size items whenever you can, it will make your RV less cluttered and your RV life more enjoyable.