We've officially been living in our RV for over a month.  I have to say that we are all loving it. I feel happier here than I did the entire time we lived in our rental for a year. I don't miss all our stuff, and I truly love being with all these people.

I wanted to share a few tidbits that we have learned so far along the way.

::Always keep a can of air freshener in the little bathroom that sits right next to the dinette where you eat food. Always.

::If you want to warm up your coffee in the microwave and the air conditioner is running, turn off the hot water heater so that you don't pop the circuit. Again.

::Don't forget to turn the hot water heater back on.

::Take the batteries out of the smoke detector if you are going to fry anything. Just do it, and don't be a worry-wart, but don't forget to put them back in right when you're done.

::Your slow-cooker is your bff.

::Stop shopping and cooking like you have all the room in the world to store leftovers and B1G1 free items in your fridge and pantry, because you don't.

::Plan on buying a gallon of milk every two or three days, because only one gallon fits in the fridge at a time. It's not a big deal. Just run in and grab the milk. Oh, and throw in 17 other things that you might as well buy since you made the trip to grocery.

::Spend the money and install the extra stabilizers. Big difference. You do not want to always feel like you are on a boat unless you are on a boat and like being on the boat.

::The fan/air conditioning unit is quite noisy. Husbands and wives, use this to your full advantage and be blessed. Enough talk about that.

::Prepare yourself for a change in euphemisms from your ten-year-old son. "I have to go empty my black tank, Mom" has nothing to do with the camper, and everything to do with last night's pot of chili and making sure he uses that can of air freshener you bought.

::Also, don't forget to empty your camper's black tank. Better yet, teach your sons how to do it, so you can quietly observe from the relative comfort of the living room sofa. Thumbs up, son!

::Laundry never goes away. Ever. Get $20 worth of quarters every week, and drag your dirties to the park laundry facilities. Watch them like a hawk so that you do not tick off smaller families who did not need to use every single washer. Do not do laundry on a Sunday or Monday, because everyone who just camped for the weekend is doing theirs on Sunday, and all the full-timers are doing theirs on Monday. Don't let more than two days go by without doing laundry, because you only had the kids bring four summer outfits, and the dirty laundry takes up lots of space and gets stinky.

::Plan on wiping the bathroom sink every single time you go in there and obsessing about every little drip of water that splashes on this mostly glued-together paper-wagon.

::Just forget homemade pizza night like you used to do it. The oven only holds one 9x13 pan which does not feed seven people pizza. Grab some pitas or other pre-made crust and make your pizzas in shifts. Splurge and just get take-out every so often, for goodness sake.

::I know you love the earth. But. Paper plates.

::Try not to think judgy thoughts about the very young couple that come outside in their underwear every day to let their dog out. Bless them. Also, stop harassing them in your mind: what are they doing? Why are they here? Do either of them work? Why are they living in an RV? Do they need money for pants?

::Understand the current dog/RV size ratio trend. The smaller your RV, the bigger your dog, and the more of them you have. Try not to shake your head in wonder at the family with three boys, two cats and one large dog living full time in their small travel trailer. What? How in world? Why??? Be brave enough to break the trend. Or not. Because they are probably wondering how in the world you are living with five kids in an RV. They can put their dogs in a crate. You do not have that option.

::When it's your turn to drive the camper for the very first time because your husband has to work and you have a repair appointment at the dealership, say lots of prayers, take deep breaths, and just go for it. When you are taking curves and flashing your brights as you travel the road called "Elbow Road" and then follow your GPS down the path that goes into a marina with water and boats around you, and you just know you couldn't possibly be on the right road, and there is no way you can turn around with your 37 foot home attached to your bumper, resist the urge to cry or cuss. Instead, roll down your window and ask the driver of the truck passing you if he knows where the RV service center is, and he will be so kind as to tell you that he is headed there, and you are going in the right direction. RV'ers stick together. You will want to hug him and cry with relief. Then do not nearly wipe out his truck with your RV when you pull in past him.

::At some point every day, you are going to sternly recommend that everyone get outside right this instant or momma's gonna blow. Old Faithful, right here. Resist the urge to lock the door, but relish the momentary quiet, like every other momma who just had to chase her kids out of her 2000 square foot house. I'm with you, brave momma. Solidarity.

::Try not to laugh when your child tells you he or she cannot find his or her _________.  We live in 200 square feet now, how far could it have possibly gone?

::Enjoy your teens and preteens never being able to get very far away from you or each other. No cave-dwelling in this family! If you've got a problem we are going to tackle it together! But if you need some alone time, go sit out under the awning in a beach chair with a book. It's a hard life.

::Make the most of your evening family time. Pile as many people on the little couch as possible and squish yourselves into the dinette for family movie night. Love the faces of these people around you and know how fast it goes by and how much you will miss these times when in a just a few short years they start stretching their wings and leaving your nest.

Take it from me. This is indeed the good life.

Cuddle couch. Upgrade: footstool storage from Target. A huge difference in comfort. Also, Rob has 14 million uniform items, so this helps him get ready in the mornings.

I always, always struggle with shoes. As in, we have so many feet in our family, and each foot comes with several shoes. This Walmart shoe rack fits right in the front hallway without impeding any of the doors or walkways. I'm always looking for shoe management ideas. If you have any that have worked for you, please pass them on!

Our little fridge still moonlights as an art gallery. And landing spot for sticky love notes. Swoon.

These were among the first holes we screwed in our brand new walls. All for fruit! But let me tell you, the apples and oranges all over the teeny tiny countertop were making me bananas.

Pasta night via our little cooktop. I can still bring it in the kitchen, baby.

This camper cutie was definitely an upgrade.


Sounds like fun to me! Love you all!
Summer said…
200 square feet? Did you say 200 square feet? I don't think I could live with myself alone in 200 square feet. Well, if you are happy I am happy. Maybe I will go lock myself in my closet, to see how long I could survive in 200 square feet (If I imagined that with 5 children, I would have a heart attack on the spot). Go you! Glad you are enjoying the smaller space to clean and mobility.
Sarah Hughes said…
I loved every.single.word. of this!!!!!

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