Some aspects to RV living are completely intuitive, like the space issue. You know you’re going to be going from 2,500 square feet of living space to less than 400. That adjustment is pretty obvious and, believe me, you notice. But there are also changes that are less obvious. For one, it takes a lot less time to clean 400 square feet than a full size house. My wife and I definitely won’t win any awards for housekeeping but we could clean our 318 square feet of living space, from top to bottom and end to end, in 30 minutes. Before the camper we could spend all day cleaning the kitchen. There’s also no yard work or being a slave to a poorly built box that you rent from the bank but still have to maintain.
You’ll have time for hobbies and entertaining. Ironic that when you had room to entertain, you had no time to actually enjoy it. Now that you have the time, you won’t have any room. All the same RV living is very social compared to what you might be used to in traditional housing. It’s not at all unusual to either have people over or be at someone else’s space or group event three or four days a week. Consequently, you’ll want to plan for being social before your wheels roll the first mile. Some of your precious storage space will go toward that end.
A Screen Room
You’ll want to put some thought into this one. There’s an informal competition between RVers as to who can came up with the most ornate and lavishly appointed screen rooms. We’ve been in screen rooms that had a television, refrigerator, a keg cooler and…I swear I’m not making this up…one that had a frozen margarita machine. One thing you’ll want to skip is a booming sound system which will just cheese off the neighbors. If you want to have music, then reserve the party room. Every campground and RV park will have one. That’s where you can make noise late into the night without keeping anyone else up. Many RV parks and campgrounds even have live music on the weekends. It’s great because you can drink and dance, then walk home.
A Big Cooler or Small Frig
Unless you’re going to boondock or free camp, it’s worth your while to get a small refrigerator or one of those big 12 volt coolers so you don’t have to take up your limited refrigerator space with beer and softdrinks. You also don’t want to be running inside every time you need another beer, that’s just going to track dirt into your camper. Another good investment is a portable ice maker because you’ll be chronically short of ice.
A Book of Card Games
If you don’t play cards, learn. Pinochle, poker, canasta, ucer and bridge are just a few of the regular card games you’ll run across at RV parks. Get a book of card game rules and learn how to play. Take your turn at hosting the weekly game and don’t be all that competitive. Gracious losers inevitably have more friends around the park than bragard winners.
A Small Crock Pot
The crock pot is for cocktail hotdogs, Swedish meatballs, cheese dip and other goodies when you have company. Become a crock pot side dish and dip professional. A small crock pot is perfect because it’s both cooking appliance and serving dish and will keep your contribution to the potluck warm on the golf cart ride to the big house. I have never taken a crock pot of cocktail wieners or meatballs in barbecue sauce to a potluck and brought home leftovers. The only thing to be careful about is crab dip. If you’re going to take a dish with crab or shrimp, be sure and label it. Some people are allergic to shellfish. Stick with spinach and artichoke dip for group events and you’ll always be on the invite list.
It’s the social aspects of RV living that will make the memories you remember and the friends you stay in touch with. A lot of seasonal RV parks have Facebook groups where you can keep tabs on all your friends when you’re traveling. The bulk of our friends, to this day, are people we met on the road.