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.


Top 5 Accessories For Your RV

These are the top 5 accessories for your RV that can make your travels easier. Because sometimes it just takes a few accessories to make your life either. During our travels we have found a few must-haves to make our travels easier.

 

Top 5 Accessories For Your RV

Shark Genius Hard Floor Cleaning System

We wanted to find something that would clean our floors without having to get on our hands and knees and do a great job. After some research, we bought the Genius Steam Pocket Mop.

 

Steamer in action

 

This steamer isn't the cheapest, but it's pretty reasonable around $120. It came with 2 mops which is really nice, and it's easy to buy more if you need them, like this six-pack for $30. What we love about this steamer is you can just throw the pad in with your wash once it gets dirty, keeping cleanup to a minimum. It also has 3 levels of steam, depending on how bad your floor is. If you have some really bad spots on your floor, just flip the mop and hit it with steam directly. Pretty cool!

shark genius steam mop

Water Pressure Regulator

We thought a water pressure regulator was kind of a nice-to-have, but we took ours off for a few days to test an issue with our icemaker. What a mistake! The PEX connection in our master bath started leaking, causing water to get all over the floor (and even worse, under the tiles). The cold hard truth is you NEVER know what kind of pressure you are going to get at a RV park, and your RV is not equipped to handle high pressures (even worse than a house for sure). You can get a decent one here.  Check out our in-depth article for more information!

 

 

 

 

 


Our Full Time RV Story

People have many reasons why they go full time in their RV. This is our story!

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z-YjlILQtAA

Our Full Time RV Story

Dreaming of Full Time RV

Many years ago, we somehow stumbled upon RV videos on Youtube (thanks Google!) - and quickly discovered Gone with the Wynns, Technomadia, the RV Geeks, Nomadic Fanatic way back in the day (like 2015!). Over the years we found RV Love, You me and the RV, Changing Lanes and KYD (and many others!). We dreamed of doing this ourselves - the thought of downsizing, simplifying, and enjoying experiences instead of "things" really appealed to us.

Full Time RV Becomes a Reality

For many years this was just a dream for us. But in 2019 this all changed. Christy had been at UPS for 30 years, but could not retire until 55 (which was still 5 years away). But UPS unexpectedly decided to outsource her entire customer service department to Guatemala.  They laid off her entire department, which was horrible for the junior people, but turned out to be a blessing for Christy and our dreams of living a full time RV life!

She came upset with this news, and I told her "do you realize we can go full time in an RV now, right? Since she got a good severance package, she could actually retire at 50 if we managed our expenses well.  I was still working, but I knew if I could work another year or so I would be in the same position. So at the beginning of 2019 we decided that in one year we would start the downsize process and hit the road!

We spent most of 2019 planning our adventure, and starting to seriously think about what type of RV we would get. Our thoughts wandered all over the place - one week we figured a motorhome made the most sense, then the next week it would be a 5th wheel. And sometimes we think we need to REALLY downsize and thought we could live in a 25 foot travel trailer or airstream. I spent a huge amount of time researching and we came up with a list of nice-to-haves:

  • King bed - Knowing the beds are already smaller in an RV, this seemed a must
  • TV layout - We wanted the TV to be across from the couch (not on the other side of the kitchen table or above the windshield)
  • Aquahot - the advantages of having infinite hot water and a relatively quiet furnace seemed very worth it!
  • 10K towing - Towing our Jeep
  • Bath and a half - Having a small bathroom would allow us to have a compost toilet
  • Induction cooking
  • Dishwasher
  • Washer/dryer - We didn't really want to be hitting laundromats every 2 weeks.
  • All-electric - Having one less fuel on board would make things more simple
  • Side radiator - Everything we read made us feel a side radiator coach would be superior

All of these definitely started pushing us toward a motorhome. Additionally, we wanted to not have to get ANY paid-for storage for our stuff. So we needed to downsize a 2800 square foot house into our new RV!

The summer of 2019 we found a 2015 Entegra Cornerstone for sale up in Ohio - the price was just too good to ignore.  We flew up to see it, and ended up buying it!  I had to get back to work so we drove all the way back to Atlanta almost 800 miles in 24 hours. We had never driven a motorhome before, and now we were driving a 45 foot, 50,000lb beast. Talk about some serious stress. Now we were committed!

Full Time RV Solar - Going Big 

Even though we had never done it, we knew we liked the thought of boondocking and having a RV that was somewhat independent of being hooked up in a campground. So we started making plans for a solar build on our new-to-us motorhome - This turned into quite the major project, and $15K in expense (before the solar tax credit). The cool thing is we can now power ANYTHING in our coach off our our new battery system and solar.  We added 2680 watts of solar panels, and a 14KW lithium battery bank.

 

Full Time RV - Downsizing Here we Come!

2019 ended a little differently than we thought it would - Garrett's company laid him off unexpectedly in December, which allowed us to focus even more on the downsize (he had planned to quit in a few months anyway, so it wasn't the end of the world).  We started 2020 focused on getting rid of everything and prepping the house for sale. Little did we know this would be a full-time job for 10 months! Add in a quarantine in the middle of everything, and it was a crazy year. We went through house renovation, 3 contracts, and hundreds of Craigslist/Marketplace/Letgo sales to get to the finish line.

Full Time RV - Finally!

We finally hit the road in October 2020.  After a few few Passport America campgrounds along the way, we are now in Tampa, Florida. We had planned on making it to Quartzsite this year, but thanks to the pandemic we hunkered down at Bay Bayou RV resort in Tampa. We are looking forward to heading to Savannah in April and finding out what awaits on the big road adventure ahead!


Top 5 Kitchen Gadgets for RV Living

Our kitchen gadgets for RV living aren't too much different than the ones we had in our house. But there are some nuances - the smaller kitchen means that we have less of everything. Gadgets that can do multiple tasks are high on the list. Big bulky appliances are a harder sell - if they don't make the cut they get quickly dispatched (We're looking at you, air fryer). Here are a few of the things we just love in our RV!

Top 5 Kitchen Gadgets for RV Living

Kitchen Mama Electric Can Opener Kitchen Gadget

We just recently bought this hands-free can opener and really loved it! You can open your cans with a simple push of a button. No more sharp edges and it's battery operated. When finished, it removes the top for easy disposal with no mess! When you have 7 cans to open for our Instant Pot chili, this device is killer!

Instant Pot Duo 7-in-1 Electric Pressure Cooker

For us, we just LOVE our instant pot to make some of our favorite meals. There are so many things you can cook in an instant pot. Garrett makes the best Instant Pot chili and I like to cook our oatmeal groats for breakfast. You can also boil the perfect eggs and steam veggies very quickly.  Perfect tiny living appliance.

 

 

The Original Hotpop Microwave Popcorn Popper

You would not believe how good the popcorn is from something so simple. This Hotpop Microwave Popcorn Popper is simply a silicone bowl with a silicone lid. And we find it super easy to use. Here's the steps we do:

  • Add popcorn - We usuallyput anywhere between 1/3 cup to 1/2 cup of kernels in the bottom. We really like Orville Redenbacher popcorn in the 8 pound container. It is cheap and tasty!
  • Add Oil - We usually spray a little bit of no-calorie olive oil, or pour in some real olive oil (adds calories, but the corn is even juicier!)
  • Add salt - Grind some salt on top of the kernels
  • Shake the Kernels up!
  • Microwave on High - We found that 2:30 was the sweet spot in our old house microwave, but it takes 5 full minutes in our crappy Samsung microwave in the RV. It also wastes almost half the kernels for us in the Samsun (that did not happen with the Whirlpool we used to have). Still tasty either way!
  • Add more salt - We throw in a bowl then put a bit more salt on the top. We like salt!

 

Brita Water Pitcher with 1 Filter, Large 10 Cup

We decided to buy this Brita Water Pitcher with filter for an extra water filtration system even though we have water filters in our coach. This BPA-free Grand water pitcher with filter holds 10 cups of water. Love my Brita!!

 

 

Command Traditional Plastic Hooks

We bought these command hooks to hang our kitchen towels so they would be out of the way. They are easy to install and are damage free hanging on the wall. They come in a variety of different sizes and colors. We purchased the brass nickel one.


What To Do in Clearwater Florida

When we get our motorhome in a new area, the first thing we do is figure out the best places to go hiking, hit the beach, and maximize our fun. So of course, when we arrived in Clearwater, we did some research and found some pretty cool hiking and biking trails in the area.

 

Upper Tampa Bay Trails 

 

R.E.Olds Park  

 

Honeymoon Island State Park


ZonePerfect Protein Bars

We take our diet pretty seriously - especially as we get older. Even though we work out at least 5 days a week, as the old saying goes, you can't out-exercise your diet. Calories in/calories out always applies.

 

Protein Bars 

One of the tools in our toolbox is protein bars. Even though they have a fair amount of sugar in them, they make a good bridge between real meals (which we try to have as much as possible!).

ZonePerfect Protein bars are a good source of vitamins, protein and nutrition but are they really good for you? Well, we like them a lot. They are a great snack in between meals or if you want to get some protein before a workout or hike. What we also like about ZonePerfect protein bars is the variety of flavors and taste of them. Some of our favorite flavors are Oatmeal Chocolate Chunk, Chocolate Mint, Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, and Fudge Graham.

 

Fudge Graham

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough

Chocolate Mint