Hue Light Vornado Fan? 5 Things We Should Have Brought for Full Time RV!

Now that we've been on the road awhile ( we went full time RV in late 2020), we realized that some things just should have made the trip with us instead of being gifted to the big Goodwill or sold on Craigslist. We tried to make the best guesses on what we really needed, but sometimes you just have to get on the road to figure it out!

Top 5 things we should have kept for full time RV

Extension Cords

The first item on our list is extension cords. We did a good job balancing the amount of outdoor extension cords, but we really underestimated the amount we needed for the inside of our coach! Mainly power strips and those 3-way prong things.

extension cords

Keurig Coffee Maker

Christy just LOVES her coffee - we make a big pot every morning. But sometimes we liked to have a single cup and loved our Keurig Coffee Maker for just that. The downside of it (and the reason we didn't bring it along) is it takes a fair amount of counter space, and that is limited (even in our 45 foot coach!).

Keurig Coffee Maker
Keurig Coffee Maker

Hue Light Bulbs for Full Time RV

We LOVED our home automation when we were in a sticks and bricks - having all the lights voice-controlled was super handy and we quickly became dependent on it. Most our our automated lights came from Hue - while hue bulbs are the  most expensive, they are also clearly the best. Unfortunately we sold ALL of them (except for a strip and one lucky color bulb I missed!).

 

Hue Light Bulbs

Now we realize using AC lights in a big coach is not a big deal! While we don't have a ton of fixtures, we did add one additional color strip in the master bedroom and

Full Time RV Silverware

Silverware you say? You didn't bring silverware? Well of course we did silly! BUT we got rid of a lot more sets than we should have. Christy was in "camping mode" when she downsized what we had, and it turns out we are not really camping, but essentially living in a small apartment! We ended up buying 4 more settings of silverware to fill up the drawer. Part of the reason for this is that we love our dishwasher, and we wanted enough silverware to not run out before the dishwasher was completely filled up. If you wash your dishes immediately after a meal, this won't be a problem for you!

Don't forget silverware!

Vornado Fan - Keeping Cool While Full Time RV

We had a lot of fans throughout the house, and really liked having them as a supplement to the air conditioning (or on their own when it wasn't as hot) - but we figured in the coach we wouldn't need that many. So we ditched everything except one old box fan (which gets a ton of use by the front door in the coach). We also purposely bought a Dewalt Jobsite fan:

dewalt fan

The theory was that a fan with a battery would be great to use inside or outside (although the bright yellow industrial look of the Dewalt is hilarious in our coach! As it turns out, this fan sits in the window sill of the master bedroom (and is controlled by an Alexa-enabled plug)

So at this point we had a box fan for the front, and the Dewalt in the back bedroom. What was missing was a small fan that could pull air in from the side window - not as obnoxious as having the big box fan in the front that we trip over, but enough to get some airflow in the coach. Unfortunately we had the perfect fan for this and got rid of it when we sold the house -  Vornado fan:

 

These fans are quiet and move a lot of air for their size. So we had to buy a new one. Since we had good luck with our old Vornado, we went with a small tabletop version for the coach:

Vornado tabletop - best fan for full time RV

This fan has been great! We also have it on an Alexa plug (we went with Kasa, and they have been super reliable). So now, all we have to do is say "Alexa, turn on front fan" and we get a nice air flow through the coach. And this Vornado fits the decor of our coach well, and doesn't stick out at all.


Clear Kayak Tour and Fort Desoto

Clear Kayak Tour and Fort Desoto

We have never done a clear kayak tour until now! We started our day at Fort Desoto, which is south of Saint Petersburg. After spending the day running around Mullet key, we grabbed dinner at Billy's Stone Crab. Then we did a clear kayak tour at night see-thru glow kayaks - they had multi-color LED's that lit up the water - Come join the adventure! The clear kayak tour at sunset is highly recommended also. And Fort Desoto Camping is a must-do if you are in the area!

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4KRZw4DW1C8

 

Fort Desoto

We started our day at Fort Desoto - not a bad drive from Bay Bayou RV Resort. After paying a couple tolls to get onto the key ($1.75 in total), we then had to pay $5 to enter the park, which is actually a long key with a nice road that gets you from end to end:

Fort Desoto Map

The Fort was built to protect the entrance of Tampa Bay Harbor during the Spanish-American war, but I don't think it ever had to fire it's guns in anger, which consisted of eight 12 inch mortars and two 6 inch Armstrong guns. The main area of the fort that houses the mortar batteries is still well-preserved, and a few of the other buildings still stand. Of special note is the museum, which has a ton of interesting artifacts from the era. This brochure has a bunch of facts if you are planning to visit.

 

Fort Desoto Fishing Pier

We also made it to the Fort Desoto fishing pier - a very large t-shape pier perfect for doing some bay fishing. It is very long and wide, and when we were there the crowds weren't bad at all. Off to the right is even a beach area that you can hang out in.

 

Fort Desoto Beaches

Fort Desoto is rightly known for insanely beautiful beaches - the sand goes for miles and the beach is one of the widest we have seen. Kayaks and SUP's are definitely the way to go to explore the area if you have one (or rent one). The sand is clean and smooth and the breeze coming off the gulf is perfect.
Fort Desoto Beach

Camping at Fort Desoto

The county maintains a pretty large RV camping area, with 236 sites. Full water and hookup are available. The cost is pretty reasonable (for Florida) and can accommodate large rigs. They allow you to stay up to 14 days in any 30 day period. We would highly recommend staying in this area if you can, especially if you like the beach! 

Billy's Stone Crab

We had dinner over at Shell Key, at a place called Billy's Stone Crab - and the food was great! We think we met Billy himself, and had a great time. The restaurant is kind of funky - one side is more outdoorsy, and the other has the main dining room. On top of the main dining room is an open long bar with seating facing the water. They had live music up there and that was fun. The only challenge was the late-day sun coming in off the gulf - tough problems to have!

Clear Kayak Tour

Christy found us a tour to take - a night clear kayak tour! This tour group has see-through kayaks with LED lights mounted in them, so they light up the underneath area of the boat. Get up and Go Kayaking is the company, and they have tours set up all over Florida. The kayaks were fun, but seemed a little less stable than the standard 2-man kayaks we have used in the past. 

clear kayak tour

The tour guide was great and we got to see a horseshoe crab up close! Our only complaint was the tour was only 90 minutes, but advertised as 2 hours. She must have had a date, because she hauled ass back to the launch area - we were kayaking full-speed for the last half of the tour. That wasn't cool!