You’re preparing to hit the road full time, and you’ve read all about these gadgets that other RVers make sound absolutely essential – 12v fans, better sewer hoses, power surge protectors, leveling blocks, flying drones, LED projectors, fancy kitchen gadgets and more.
And of course, those are all important.
But what about that stuff you might forget to bring with you, but might come in handy down the road? Here’s some things that we are either glad we opted to bring along, or added back into our arsenal after hitting the road:
A measuring tape – A small measuring tape is something I always kept in my junk drawer, and frequently pulled out. And it’s been no different in an RV. In fact, I’ve had the same one for over 20 years now (I hope they don’t expire?). We use it for determining if a new ‘thing’ we’re contemplating will fit as well as keeping on track of our own body measurements for plugging into our FitBit tracker. It’s a silly little thing, but one we’re always happy we brought along.
- Printer – We have to print a document often enough that we’ve always traveled with a small printer. Things like our vehicle insurance cards now arrive electronically, and we have to print them out. Our current choice an Canon iP100 which is super compact, but pretty nice quality – even for photos.
- Checks – You’d think going mostly paperless and digital, that you’d need less of those old fashion checks. But we actually write more of them than ever before. Where? Self check-in campgrounds. We love staying in public parks, and many have an ‘Iron Ranger’ where you have to leave behind either cash or check. There are other uses on the road too, such as if you encounter problems with your credit card and need a back-up way to pay.
General Office Supplies – Even if you’re not running a small business from your mobile home, having some basic office supplies on hand can come in super handy. From scissors, tape (both the gift wrap style and packing style), sharpie markers, mailing envelopes, paper clips, paper filing organizer, notebooks and rubber bands. Binder clips in particular are extra useful and serve multiple purposes – organizing paper, bag clips and for temporarily attaching things. And we’re always thankful we have a few essentials on board.
- Basic Tool Kit – Even if you’re not super handy, having some basic tools on board can be a lifesaver. You just never know where you’ll be when something breaks or you need to tighten a screw.. and you’ll have to improvise. Make sure you have screwdrivers for the fasteners used in your RV, a hammer, pliers, duct tape, WD-40 and a good flashlight for peering into dark crevices.
- Basic First Aid & Medical Supplies – It’s always a good idea to have antiseptics, bandages and such around.. you can pick up a well stocked first aid kit at any pharmacy. You can self treat a lot of stuff in the field. But also think about the common ailments you might be prone to. Catching a cold, having an upset tummy or getting an allergy attack when you’re dozens of miles from the nearest pharmacy is no fun. We always make sure we have our go-to elixirs on board, and replace them before their expiration dates. And as my joints frequently give me problems, I keep braces for my knees, ankles and wrists around.
Flower vase – I just love fresh flowers. Whether we’ve (legally) picked wildflowers at a location, or purchased a bouquet at the store – we keep something around to hold flowers. In our Oliver Travel Trailer, we found a suction cup attachable vase to affix to our fiberglass walls. In the bus, we keep a good old fashioned glass vase, and a collapsable plastic one. Of course, a large drinking glass could also serve double duty if space is at a premium.
- Decorations – Nothing makes a place feel like home better than adding your own little touch. We keep a string of solar charged holiday lights for decorating outside, and we have some seasonal items to decorate inside the bus. We have some smaller items around the bus too that aren’t too much of a pain to take down on transition days. All small things that pack away easily, of course.
- Cooler – Even though we travel with a fridge and freezer these days (our first RV didn’t have one… we had to depend on a cooler), we still use a cooler regularly. Mainly to de-frost our fridge. We move all the contents to the cooler while we warm things up inside the ice box. It also gives us an option if we ever host a party and need to keep ice or lots of chilled beverages on hand. We also keep a small lunch sized insulated bag around for picnic adventures.
I’m sure there’s more we have on board that we didn’t originally think we’d need on the road.
The more important point is that in the rush of preparing to hit the road and assembling a bunch of new RVing specific gadgets, you remember the every day life stuff too that will help you turn an RV into a home.
Live Video Chat Announcement
Join us for our next Live Video Chat this Thursday evening…
When: Thursday, February 26 at 7pm MST / 9pm EST
Topic: Finding your RVing Peers on the Road
Where: Our Livestream Channel (you’ll need to setup a free account to join in)
One of the trepidations of hitting the road is leaving behind a local community – friends you’ve made over the years. In this video chat, we’ll talk about the thriving community of nomads on the road today, and how to find your like minded people. We’ll touch on social media (using RVillage, blogging, Facebook, YouTube and Instagram), caravanning and directing your travel towards places ‘your people’ might be more likely to be.
As usual, we’ll host a Q&A at the end – so bring your questions!