I like to keep my eyes open for new things to toss in the trailer by seeing things on the ol’ interwebs, in a thrift store or dollar store, or the closeout bin. There are a lot of great ideas others have come up with so I’m going to try a few out.
The last few weeks I have been going through more RV “upgrade” videos and found a few new interesting things as well as some clever hacks to check out closer. I try to stick with the basic necessities as most gadgets I have seen are just a waste of money and take up valuable real estate in my 15’ trailer.
Most of the ideas I am interested in are storage related. Storage in a small trailer can be challenging and it takes some thinking outside the box. I have most things figured out that are useful in making things easier but I have found some new ideas others are using.
In one of the videos was an over-the-door hanger from one of those dollar places. Honestly it’s too flimsy to hang anything on…except a roll of paper towels or a few rolls of TP. A great hack. It’s perfect for that and frees up space in the cabinet for other things. I also picked up two flexible cutting boards (actually they are more like cutting sheets). Saves space and weight in the trailer; it may seem silly, but the little things do add up quickly to take up space and add weight.
One thing I found in the closeout bin was a one-slice toaster half-off for $6. I only picked up one for the trailer and wished I had gotten one for the house. Just so happens right after that score I found another one for the house on super duper clearance for $3! Of course I had to try it out and it works great. It’s the most basic of toasters but does what I need.
The toaster is only one of those things that is nice to have in both the trailer and the house. It’s nice to have most everything you need already loaded up and the trailer ready to go – plates, cups, flatware, etc. You don’t really want to pack and unpack anything more than necessary; you just have to toss a few groceries and some clothes in, shut the door, and scoot. I even saw one woman talking about she leaves everything in her rig – even her clothes. I don’t have enough clothes to do that!
Thrift stores are perfect places for things like camping dishes, utensils and cookware. You can get good stuff cheap and if it gets damaged or broken you are not out much money. Plus you can almost always score some interesting items.
Over the last few months I found a few other things at some thrift stores. One was an outdoor shower stall that hangs from a tree, a stand…whatever you can buy, find or make. After that I found the other part I needed…the Solar Shower itself – a black vinyl bag that you fill and leave in the sun to heat up. It has a shut-off valve and a plastic shower head. You hang it up (with or without the enclosure) and take a warm/hot shower. Both were brand new in the boxes & never used. They were a fraction of the price of new ones. A good score and perfect for the off-grid camping that I prefer.
I usually start out trips by bringing a few frozen meals I prepared and portioned in those cheap disposable plastic containers to put in the freezer or cooler. It not only gets me a head-start with something ready to eat but also helps keep other stuff cold. Plus, I wash and reuse the containers for leftovers during a trip. They are inexpensive, lightweight, don’t (usually) break, and – if they do – toss it out and buy some new ones. The ones I use I have had for a year or two so I am getting a lot of use out of them.
And, regarding the cooler, I always keep it inside the truck especially on hot travel days; it helps keep things cold longer (I usually leave it in the truck year-round). For safety reasons you shouldn’t use propane unless you are stopped and my fridge doesn’t work on 12v so I have to use a cooler anyway. The fridge is for stationary use. When I stop for a hike or eat I fire it up to try to get it through a bit longer. The cooler is also useful to eat out of during travel so you don’t have to open the fridge.
Another thing I picked up a while back was a stovetop heat diffuser plate. I bought it to use on the propane burners in the trailer and on my propane camping oven. I figured it would be very handy for cooking outdoors in the wind. It will also heat a pan more evenly.
To go along with that, today I ordered an induction cooktop burner to use in the trailer and house. These are big energy savers; they put off less heat and there’s no carbon monoxide. They heat the pans using electromagnetic energy. It works only on magnetic pans so the aluminum pans I have won’t work on it…unless I use the steel diffuser! It will heat the diffuser and that in turn will heat the pan, which will heat whatever is in the pan. Basically it will act like a normal stove burner but with even heat. But save some energy.
My knee is finally starting to feel better. I’d still like to know what happened to it but will probably never know. The area around my MCL still hurts to the touch but the swelling has calmed down somewhat. It’s still swollen in my knee but no longer in my calf or foot.
This knee has to calm TF down soon; I’ve got things to do plus sitting on my ass so much isn’t good but I’m trying to get it better. I need to get some grass cut and I will have to try to get some cut despite the knee. I was able to get the electric weed whacker out and trimmed up around the front a little. The knee feels about like it did when I started so I figured it was a great time to stop and I still got a big area trimmed.
It looks better but my biggest concern is actually insects & rodents. I don’t really care about a finely-manicured lawn. I mow what I use and the rest I call “wildlife habitat”.
It rained yesterday so it’s just going to really take off. I definitely want to stay ahead of the grass, but I also have a lot of other things I need to do if my knee would just calm down.
Been cooking up some really good stuff the last few days: stir fry with chicken, toasted ravioli, salmon burgers, air-fried Brussels sprouts & carrots, and vegetarian tacos just tame a few things. Cooking nearly every meal is giving me just enough leftovers for variety but not filling the freezer. It’s also keeping me busy trying new recipes.
I’m going to the grocery store a bit more often now with all the cooking I’m doing. I have cut back buying so much, but now I go more often and get smaller amounts. My food is always fresh and doesn’t go bad so less waste. Being more conscious like this has really cut back on my garbage but also my grocery bill. Next place I need to find is a bulk store so I can buy small amounts of spices and staples instead of, say, a paint can full of chili flakes or rice.
That all for this post. Thanks for reading.