Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Linda's Top 10

Damn. I probably should have gone first, because I'm not as thoughtful or philosophical as Steven. I mean, you won't read my list and deduce that I have zeroed in on the essence of full-timing. Nonetheless, to me, my list is paramount to my ability to live in an RV full time. So here goes.

1. Place items thoughtfully, so you will remember where you put them.

We haven't been in Scoopy enough to really fill her up with stuff, and according to Steven, we may never. <hahahaha...> Still, I managed to lose things. For example, I brought along a packet of Stim-u-Dent toothpicks. On the first day, I put them somewhere. I don't know where, but somewhere I could find them when I needed them. I spent the next week periodically searching for them, practically accusing Steven of moving them from the very spot I was SURE I had placed them. On our way out the door after successfully driving Scoopy into her storage spot, I found them. Right by the door. Who puts toothpicks by the damn passenger door? (I'm even more convinced Steven moved them.)

No, I didn't - SD
2. Be aware of phantom power draws.

Ah, the perils of 30 amps. I thought I had everything that sucked serious power turned off before I powered up my hairdryer. But I was wrong. Damn that hot water heater! Damn that furnace!. And damn whatever else eluded me! I seriously popped the fuse and it took us a while to figure out how to fix it. The important lesson here is to be aware of power draws, and YAY! we fixed it!

3. 10 Gallons of hot water is not as much as you think.

In the BAH, we had two 75-gallon hot water heaters. That was so excessive, we ended up turning one of them off forever, and we still never ran out of hot water. And at that time, we had five people in the house. In our new house, we have one 75 gallon hot water heater, and we have still never run out. So I figured 10 gallons would last a while, considering it is mixed with cold. I was wrong.

We are figuring out a way to bring along our 75-gallon water heater (not really).
 4. Shampoo first, condition second, and rinse while you can.

Yeah, this is kind of related to number three. The first time I showered in Scoopy, I left the conditioning part until the very end. Brrrrrrr. I did not make that mistake again. In fact, after my first shower, I got the hang of things. I learned not to turn on the shower full force. I learned to get all my "stuff" done early and fast. Then, I could linger until the hot goodness ran out. Lesson learned after one cold shower.

Say it with me: Shampoo - Condition - Rinse - Shampoo - Condition - Rinse!
5. Do not cook odiferous foods minutes before guests arrive.

I suppose this is a bit self explanatory. And I already knew it. But apparently I forgot. I whipped up a batch of cauliflower and broccoli right before Kris and Glenn arrived for their first ever visit to Scoopy. I mean, this stuff stinks. There's no way around that. Our kids remind us of this all the time. Still, when you're in an itty bitty space, it's worse. Just don't do it. Ever.

6. Always carry a First-Aid Kit. With various sized Band-Aids.

This is important. On our week-long journey, I had three -- count 'em -- three serious injuries. I sliced and diced the pads of my fingers on the foil seals of three wine bottles. Folks, we are not talking paper cuts here. Close, but worse. A band-Aid would have been very helpful.

7. Water. Water. Water. . . . . in the Potty.

Remember I commented that our potty backed up for "no immediate reason"?  By that, I meant no one did any one immediate act that caused our potty to back up. Of course, I was the only one "home" at the time of said serious back-up, so I felt kind of like the kid who says, "it wasn't me! I swear, it wasn't me!!" We eventually figured out that just because it's out of sight, doesn't mean it's really and truly gone. And I'm talking about paper products. Sure, we were using the "right" kind of paper, but no matter. If you don't put enough water down there to really move it along, it gets stuck. Just out of sight. And then just when you think everything is going down, it suddenly isn't. It's coming up.

8. The passenger seat is a part of your living room. Don't get used to it.

The idea that you're actually sitting in your living room chairs while you careen down the highway is kind of hard to wrap your head around. At least, it was for us. Putting things down on the floor next to your chair in the living room is no big deal. Putting things down next to your passenger seat can have horrible, expensive consequences. Nearly every time we took a break from driving, Steven would set his iPhone, iPad, camera, or some other expensive gadget down on the floor to the left of the passenger seat. And no sooner had he done that, I would get up out of the driver's seat and step on it. We haven't lost anything yet, but until we break that habit, it's only a matter of time.

Luckily this only happened in Photoshop.
9. Pump up (or down) the volume.

Since I am the driver, I almost always get to choose the music. If I need something to keep me awake, I need only say so and Steven will search high and low for my exact request. If I need quiet, he'll find that, too. As I've mentioned, Scoopy has an amazing sound system including six house speakers from front to back. Whether we are moving or stationary, as long as Steven can access his Spotify account, no song is out of reach. Even without Spotify, he has a decent music library stored on his iPhone. With the proper connection, Steven can connect his iPhone to said house speakers, which means Scoopy can rock AND roll down the highway. But, when we stop for a rest, it is important to remember to turn down the volume. "Ice Ice, Baby" doesn't sound as good while one is sitting on the potty at a rest stop as it does at 60 miles per hour.

10. Never, ever trust voice-command lady.

Ever. 'Nuff said.


  1. I heart newbies. You gave me some serious giggles here.

    I do have a suggestion though regards hot water and showers. Exchange your shower head for one by Oxygenics. Available at Camping World. We just got one and it is AMAZING! You hardly have to turn on the water at all to have a good strong flow. So you use very little water but it feels like a regular shower. You won't run out of hot water.

  2. Jo, I have read about those type of shower heads! We'll look into it, thanks for the tip! And thanks to you and Fred for being so supportive of our newbiness. :)

  3. Somehow Juanita must be related to Steven...she loves messing with my head by changing the location of commonly used items. I guess she thinks it keeps me young. Wrong!

    Love both top 10 lists!!!!


  4. Linda, Jo, and others, We've had the Oxygenics shower head since 2010 and I would never be without it. Really. It creates amazing showers -- as only an RVer can understand. :-) We are planning the remodel of a stix bathroom and we've discussed that only an Oxygenics shower head is acceptable.

    Linda, our dearest RV friends have told a story that on their first day as RVers the liquor cabinet spilled all over the floor (We'll never tell the identity of those dear friends.) Every day that I pack up the inside of our RV for travel, I fondly think of those dear friends -- and never forget to ensure that the liquor cabinet is safely secured (think baby-locks on the door and a bungee cord to hold the handles). I bet that they appreciate the fact that I remember them on every single travel day! Yes, perhaps that is what makes RV friends friends for life.

    Wishing you a wonderful journey with your RV adventures.

  5. you did a fine job on your list too, just a different perspective!
    as for the potty trouble? we always had a rule~ 'if it's brown flush it down, if it's not put it in the pot..meaning the bathroom garbage can! worked for us..and of course the 'lots of water' rule for those 'big jobs'
    I was going to suggest the oxygen shower head but I see that Jo already mentioned it. I will just second her opinion, they are worth getting!!

  6. Glad we are not the only ones who made some mistakes.
    A rule of thumb we use in 30AMP is "2 big appliances" at a time. Big appliances are the air conditioner, the electric hot water heater, microwave, toaster, coffee pot, hair dryer, vacuum, anything that uses more than 3AMPs. For us this seems to work, leaving computers, TV, and the fridge running. A couple places with low voltage we have had to revert to 20AMP rules of thumb. On 20AMP the rule is "1 big appliance". On 50AMP the rule is "you can't use more than 30AMPs on the inverter", which means don't run the microwave and hair dryer at the same time.

  7. Linda, thought of you today in the shower. Ok, I know that sounds creepy but I was enjoying my luxurious HOT Oxygenics full-on shower spray. Fred was reluctant to replace a shower head that was working fine, but I was adamant and it became non-negotiable. So glad I did.

    Thought of another tip. When we are both going to take showers back-to-back, I flip on the gas water heater switch along with the electric. Seems to heat the water back up much faster, even while still in the shower.

    Leslie, so happy you think of us so often. Go ahead and name us. We're proud to have survived that liquor cabinet fiasco on our first DAY on the road. Miss you.

  8. Great blogs guys! You are doing WONDERFUL. When you get a few more trips under your belt you'll be good to go - until something new pops up. :) And there are probably dozens of things you'll do "just once" and then you learn quickly.