In the last entry we looked at the RV specific supplies and equipment you will need for your first RV outing such as toilet chemicals, non toxic hoses, etc. In this installment we will look at household items. Since your RV is basically a home on wheels, you will need to outfit each area or “room” accordingly. The three most intensive areas will be the kitchen, bath and bedroom. Now you could load and unload your RV with household items from your home before and after each outing, but I can guarantee you this will be the number one reason you don’t use your RV on a regular basis. Just the thought of loading the RV with pots, pans, utensils, bedding and toiletries for a spur of the moment outing will put the damper on any spontaneous RV trips. To assure you get the maximum use of your RV, keep it equipped with the household items you need just like you would a vacation cabin. Now you are thinking, that is a ton of stuff how can I afford it after just buying a RV? Here are some tips:
1) Think through what you really need and what you don’t. Do you really need a food processor when you go camping? Only buy the basics that you will likely need every trip.
2) Remember these items are going to be bounced down the road, taken outside at the campsite, left behind, etc. The odds are sooner or later they will be damaged or lost, so don’t fret about dents or dings in pans, matching place settings etc. Remember you go camping to have fun and relax, do you really care if you are the Martha Stewart of the campground?
3) Are some of your kitchen items ready for an upgrade. Buy yourself a new set for the home and put the old set in the RV.
4) Thrift stores are a great source for outfitting the kitchen in your new RV. Pots, pans, kitchen utensils, place settings, mugs, etc can be obtained very inexpensively. Buy non-breakable items when possible.
5) Dollar stores are a great place to outfit the bathroom. Buy inexpensive combs, tooth brushes, small shampoos, soaps, etc just for the RV.
6) Garage sales are another terrific source of items. Watch Craigslist and be ready to pounce when you see older couples exiting the RV lifestyle and selling off their RV stuff.
7) For the things you don’t want to buy used, consider a visit to IKEA. They have everything you could ask for in household items at bargain prices. We purchased a small knife block with knives that fit perfectly behind the stove in our RV for $5. It’s also a good place to pick up sheets and pillows for the bedroom too.
Now when you get the urge to head out on an RVing adventure at 4 pm on a sunny Friday afternoon all you will have to do is throw your clothes and some food in the RV and you are off to who knows where!
In the next installment we will look at where to go in your new RV. Those of us that live in Western Washington are blessed with a plethora of diverse geographical areas to visit. You may have a difficult time deciding where to go first.
Dave Helgeson’s many roles in the RV industry started before he even had a driver’s license. His grandparents and father owned an RV dealership before the term “RV” had been coined, and Dave played a pivotal role in nearly every position of an RV dealership. He and his wife Cheri launched their own RV dealership in the Pacific Northwest. The duo also spent 29 years overseeing regional RV shows. Dave has also served as President of a local chapter of the Recreational Vehicle Dealers Association (RVDA), worked on the board of advisors for the RV Technician Program of a local technical college, and served as a board member of the Manufactured Home and RV Association. Dave’s reputation earned him the title of “The foremost expert on boondocking,” bestowed by RV industry icon, the late Gary Bunzer (The RV Doctor). When he’s not out boondocking, you’ll find Dave in the spotlight at RV shows across the country, giving seminars about all things RVing. He and Cheri currently roam in their fifth travel trailer, with Dave doing all the service, repair and modifications to his own unit.
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