I can’t believe one year has already passed since I moved into Nellie. In those 365 days I have discovered the things I don’t want to live without, and tossed out the things that didn’t make the cut. Even after downsizing from a 2,400 square-foot house, I kept purging all year long; at tax time I had charitable donation receipts from 10 states!
Here are the things I love for the RV:
This inflatable ice bucket takes up very little room until you need it, and is unbreakable. It can be used for ice or to chill wine, or get creative and use it to hold fruit or dominoes or something, but not needles!
In a small space, forget storing all those bar tools. This is the only bar tool you’ll ever need.
I have written about these cocktail glasses before, but they bear repeating. These martini glasses are made of stainless steel and have gel inside their insulated walls. Keep them in the freezer for unbreakable, super-cold Martinis and Manhattans. I swear by these guys.
Copper mugs won’t break, will impress your friends when you make Moscow Mules, and are equally good for all cold drinks, alcoholic or non. The metal conducts the cold and keeps everything nice and chilly.
RV STUFF/GENERAL ORGANIZATION
I have written before about Museum Putty, and I just can’t say enough about the stuff. I use it to keep items in place on countertops and behind hung artwork so it does not swing on the walls. For example, Museum Putty keeps this lightweight, collapsible three-tier bowl on the kitchen counter at all times, even when I’m driving down the road. I use the bowls for fresh fruits and vegetables.
I couldn’t live without refrigerator storage bins like these. I use them in the cabinets too. Small items fly around when you’re driving down the road, and you need to corral them. In the refrigerator there just isn’t enough room in the doors for all my sauces and liquids and condiments. The bins fit nicely in the the refrigerator and hold everything in place.
And speaking of holding everything in place, tension bars like these and these and these are indispensable in the refrigerator, the kitchen cabinets, and the bathroom cabinets. As the airlines say, contents may have shifted during your trip, and these bars keep things from falling on your head or toes at your next destination.
Wall-mounted shampoo and conditioner dispensers are not just for hotel rooms; these dispensers by Simplehuman work great in an RV shower, and no bottles to fly around when driving!
For the closet, nonslip hangers keep your clothes from crumpling to the floor in transit. They really work.
A sofa arm organizer frees up precious vertical surfaces and wrangles all the remotes and/or electronics. For me it also keeps track of my dimestore readers!
In extreme hot or cold climates, this RV roof vent pillow will either reflect the sun away or keep in the heat. When not in use, it doubles as a sofa pillow when the white side is showing.
I cannot have too many clip fans. They stay in place while driving, help circulate the air, and are essential after a long walk with the dogs.
This folding grabbing and reaching tool is compact and great for reaching under the rig. I used it when my gas cap rolled under there at a fuel stop. I often use it to pull the water hose or the power cord under the rig when the hook ups are on the opposite side.
Accordion-type sewer hoses contract for compact storage. No more wrangling a smelly, unruly hose!
At the RVing Women convention in Oklahoma last year, I pooh-poohed all my friends who were buying $400 surge protectors. Then, my transfer switch burned out in freezing temperatures at the Grand Canyon. Guess how much it cost to repair? This surge guard protects against open neutrals, under voltage and over voltage. It has caught a few bad power poles, which pays for itself in no time.
I live by my Garmin RV GPS. I programmed Nellie’s dimensions and weight into the unit, and it warns me if height or weight restrictions are up ahead. The screen is nice and big and the verbal directions have good volume, even if “Lola’s” voice sounds a bit developmentally challenged!
This Coleman camping table can be configured as a dining table, tall back bar, buffet, or even a coffee table. It’s the only camping table I kept from my FiFi days. It’s remarkable.
A propane campfire is allowed during burn bans, is great for ambience, and puts out a fair amount of heat on a chilly evening. I had special fittings added to my onboard propane to run my little campfire. It’s a bit of a propane piggy, so I don’t use the campfire when I am boondocking and/or using the propane to heat water or run the furnace or refrigerator.
I spent a lot of time researching making coffee in the rig before I moved in. I am very pleased with the Nespresso Pixie and milk frother, and I also use this pitcher to make cold brew. The Pixie uses proprietary coffee pods, which I order through Amazon Prime. Whichever blends you choose, Nespresso coffee is dark and rich with a good crema. For the cold brew pitcher I use Café Bustelo, an inexpensive pre-ground coffee that makes excellent cold brew in the refrigerator in 24 hours.
I thought I could live without a toaster oven. I figured it would take up too much counter space, and I needed to use the convection oven/microwave that came with the rig. Well, after waiting and waiting for the oven to reach maximum temperature, and too many biscuits like hockey pucks, I finally purchased this little Black & Decker jobbie. It’s small enough to leave on the counter. It reminds me of an Easy Bake Oven! In transit, it stores in the microwave. It heats up instantly and is great for frozen pizzas, reheating food, broiling, and making toast. It’s also a great secondary cooking device when the microwave/oven is in use for other things.
I chose Corel dishes for the rig. I bought this City Block pattern. They are lightweight and do not break easily. (I put pieces of non-slip shelf liner between each piece.) They do not scratch and stain like melamine dishes, and some melamine is very heavy! There’s no use adding to the weight of the rig if you don’t have to.
This silicone dish drainer is all I need for drying dishes. I tried one that fits in the sink, and another more standard one that sits on the countertop, but I absolutely love the way this one drains and its super low profile. (For larger items like pots, I wash in one sink and drain in the other.) The mat doubles as a trivet for hot food, and I can roll it up and stash it away, but usually I just leave it on the counter. It does not slide around while driving.
Dogs drink more water when the bowl is at eye level. I had breakable tall bowls in the Atomic Abode. This stainless steel elevated chalice bowl by Unleashed Life does the trick. It’s heavy enough that it does not tip over in transit.
This retractable dog tie out helps minimize tangling at the campsite.
I keep a lot of these dog towels and mitts for cleaning dirty paws.
A top entry litter box minimizes tracking, keeps the litter in the box while traveling, and keeps puppies away from delicious “Kitty Rocas.”
In my opinion, this is the best pet fur remover you can buy for upholstery.
This silicone vase won’t shatter or leak and can be folded into different configurations, including a wine chiller, candy dish, and serving bowl.
This serving tray by Bob’s Your Uncle not only serves appetizers in unbreakable style, but doubles as an objet d’art; I display mine on the dining table.
A compact, faux fireplace heater like this one lets the RV park pay the heating bill, or use the fireplace feature only for a little ambience. (Be sure to use a GFCI outlet for any space heater, never use an extension cord, and never leave a space heater unattended!)
ENTERTAINMENT AND TRAVEL-RELATED ITEMS
I just couldn’t get rid of all my vinyl, and I love shopping for $.99 LPs at thrift stores. This portable turntable has a small speaker or will broadcast on two FM frequencies. It runs on batteries or electricity. And it’s so compact!
This umbrella by Coolibar will shield you from rain, of course, but its reflective silver surface will also protect you from the sun’s harsh rays.
Evaporative cooling towels are a great way to beat the heat.
For my rubber floors, the Swiffer Sweeper Dry Sweeping Cloths and Swiffer Sweeper Wet Mopping Cloths are the best! The swiffer pole is also great for cleaning the dashboard, and I slap on a paper towel for cleaning the inside of the windshield.
This expandable broom is compact but a good size and weight to get the job done.
I owned a Hoover Linx Stick Vacuum at the Atomic Abode and I brought it with me to the RV. It has a removable battery that is rechargeable without plugging in the entire unit. Great suction and extremely compact!
For a buggy windshield, I use a telescoping pole with interchangeable cleaning heads, and a 75-foot, collapsing water hose. (Don’t buy one of those “Pocket Hoses” you see on TV; the cheap fittings cannot withstand water pressure when the tap is turned on but the hose is in the off position.)
I hope you enjoyed my list of must-have’s for my RV!