It's been three months since we ditched the stationary lifestyle and moved into our RV. There have been setbacks and a learning curve, to be sure, but neither of us would ever be satisfied sitting still in a house again. Wanderlust is a real thing and we've both always had it.
Since April we have stayed in 13 states: CO, NE, SD, WY, UT, KS, MO, IL, MI, OH, PA, NJ and MA. That's over 8,000 miles, 14 parks (4 of these were Thousand Trails resorts, 2 moochdocking visits (friends and family) and numerous boondocking stops, including Walmarts, city parks, a Cracker Barrel and a marvelous 3-night stay on the cliffs overlooking the Badlands.
I keep getting the question, "What has been your favorite place to camp?" By far, for sheer serenity and solitude, the Badlands has been our favorite stop. There's something about not only being in the middle of nowhere surrounded by nature but having such a panoramic view of the isolated region from your doorstep ... well, it was special.
Several of the items we purchased for full-timing have worked out well. Our generator has been extremely valuable, as has been the lower-power portable air conditioner (that runs off the generator). How the humidity on the eastern Midwest and the eastern seaboard itself affects the heat index cannot truly be appreciated until you live in it. In a couple of the parks we actually used both air conditioners to dry out the air in the 5th wheel as much as possible. We decided early on to purchase a washing machine that was a smaller version of a regular home-style washer and the Giantex machine is great, running in the shower and stored next to the dresser in the bedroom when not in use. I even made a Y connection in the shower so we didn't have to disconnect the shower head.
The air fryer has been a hit, unlike the disastrous purchase of the Instant Pot, as have the portable ice maker, the dual-burner induction stovetop, the ice cream maker and the manual K-cup press. The recent purchases of the MORryde steps and the additional awning screens have also worked out much better than expected.
Electronically, we've got a pretty nice set-up, with the new Wifi Ranger pulling double duty as our Wifi booster and our internal network router. Along with the WEboost and our unlimited Internet from our AT&T Mobley device, I can't imagine how we could have worked on the road as well as we have been. The omnidirectional TV signal booster from King Connect has been useful, but when we haven't had any signal to boost, our Amazon Fire devices have worked well to stream Sling, Netflix, CBS Full Access and YouTube. In addition, I installed two 12v Lithium Ion batteries to replace my lead acid pair and added a Victron battery monitor that is accessible on a cell phone via Bluetooth.
I also recently organized my basement to 1) increase my usable storage space and 2) make accessing my stored bins and items much easier. I not-so-simply added two shelves from door-to-door across the rig's primary basement, and time spent on set-up and put-away has been reduced greatly. I'm thinking now about installing a locking generator box on the back bumper of the 5th wheel to free up some space in the front basement compartment and to make it more convenient to use the generator when needed.
Last month our TPMS (Tire Pressure Monitoring System) sure came in handy. We installed a PressurePro PULSE and had it running when a bolt punctured a tire on the driver's side. The alarm allowed me to pull over before any further damage was done, and the tire itself was able to be repaired.
We have spent thousands of dollars on our rig getting it ready to full-time in, and there have been far too many important purchases to list them all in one post. You can find some of those reviewed in my Product Review section and several are listed on our Amazon Affiliates page, RV Products.
Jack Huber is a novelist with 7 mysteries published, along with several books of poetry and photography. Now retired, he and his wife, Nadyne, are free to travel the country in their 32' 5th wheel and 1-ton Ford pickup.