Carolina: Cruising Past 70: WOW: Traveling Light, in an RV?

Monday, February 4, 2013

WOW: Traveling Light, in an RV?

our roomy interior, decluttered, with a huge picture window!
In my last post, a friend commented that I should write more about each one! So I tackle 'travelling light' in this post. By definition, you cannot travel light in an RV! How can you travel light when you are, in fact, taking your whole home with you! But that leads us to what traveling light really means when cruising with an RV! It is all the more reason to just have the bare necessities in your moving bedroom, kitchen, and bathroom!

When I came to America, I had completely downsized to just two suitcases. When Bills second marriage ended, he downsized to a singles condo. When we got married, we both downsized our two singles condos to one. Soon after he sold his business and retired, we sold most of our stuff on craigslist and three garage sales and then packed all that we needed in Star and left the rest in two storage locations, DJ and Trishas garage and the storage unit of the condo we shared. But when we bought MA turn and the membership into Thousand Trails, we transferred all that we owned to the big rig and gave away the rest!

Now we just have to manage what constitute bare necessities. For one, clothes can be a creeping culprit. Bill always says Ive got too many shirts when I see one hanging on a rack that looks like it would be great for him. Recently, when I found out that tight pressure and extreme temperature, whether hot or cold, causes a flare-up of hives, I changed my dress size to Large! I had to give to Goodwill a lot of my stuff before I could buy any new ones
Second, paper can also add a lot of weight!  So, as much as possible, we no longer carry books and magazines and store/subscribe to them on Kindle instead. Most of our files are also electronic, except those original documents that need to be presented like passports, birth and marriage certificates, divorce/annulment papers, etc.  Even Bills health records are all electronically held in MyChart of the MultiCare Clinics where his family doctor practices. That is one reason I had shifted to the same doctor!

Third, the kitchen and dining area can be the heaviest room. We have service for four and no more! When we have more (the RV seats 10) we use plastic ware. Wine glasses come in glass-like plastic. Cooking pots are just 3, small, medium, and large; frying pans just 2, small and medium. But we do have a bread machine and a slow cooker, small ones though! Bill makes do with a French Press since a coffee machine would be too big and heavy. The small pantry also loads only the bare necessities. And the refrigerator, though two-door, holds only a weeks worth of food. The microwave and convection oven are all in one, too! But we have to get rid of some beverage mugswe have 8!  And my drawer of spices is too full!

However, we also carry the following on storage bins under the RV:  a portable fire pit (for sitting out even on cold nights), a barbeque grill, an outdoor table and four chairs, 2 suitcases and 2 carry-alls for short trips elsewhere, Bills fishing gear, and a ladder. For entertainment, we carry: a DVD player, a Ziller karaoke system, 32-inch and 15-inch TVs, a satellite dish, iPod player, a laptop, and a Tablet.  We also have a space heater, an electric fan, and a vacuum cleaner. Not to forget, we also added a washer/dryer combo!  Come to think of it, we have to get rid of the icemaker that no longer makes ice!

May I hasten to add, however, that I have not been good with our bathroomespecially my cabinet! It has grown with a soap, shampoo, conditioner, etc. supply of maybe 2 years! I have to stop collecting those things from motels, hotels, and condotels we stay in! Bill, on the other hand, keeps to the minimum toiletries. But our linens and towels are good for only four people, Bill and I and a couple of guests!

In short, the principle in traveling light in an RV is this: travel with your home, if you must, but keep your home to the barest minimum! Our home is about 350 square feet of living space. We try to keep it from looking so overstuffed and adding much to the 20,000 pound weight of the RV. I must admit, we have been pretty good at it, even if we can do better!