It has definitely been a crazy first month of full-time RV living! The old adage what can go wrong will go wrong hit us a few times. But even with all the “Are you kidding me!” moments, we are still pleased with our decision. Despite all the “ugh” moments, we have noticed a lot less stress since moving into the trailer.
I hate ants!
Our first fun learning experience had to do with ants in the south. Wow. Our New Years Eve was going great, and we were looking forward to a relaxing evening after the past week of moving, cleaning, getting sick, and doing final walk-through on the old house. All while dealing with an annoying amount of rain and a muddy RV spot with 3 dogs.
Well, the little ants had a different plan! Those little creatures will get in wherever they can, which is a lot of spots in a trailer. Little man was given a box of cookies before Christmas, and me being a little overly tired from moving, just put them in the pantry. I didn’t put them in any container or a ziplock bag. Just tossed an open box in there.
SO MANY ANTS!
My pantry was invaded. I discovered the ants when I went in there to grab my bottle of rum to make myself a drink. I didn’t get around to doing that. The Mister ran out and got some ant spray while I tossed ant-covered food from the pantry and pulled out all the dishes and shelves to wash. He got back and killed them for me. Then I spent the rest of my evening cleaning the cabinets that were sprayed down to make them safe again. I may have been taking quick breaks for a shot of rum while mouthing every bad word in the book under my breath.
We got the ants out of our pantry, and I stocked up on ziplock bags.
I thought we had won that battle.
A few days later I noticed them in a long trail going down the wall from a window to under my dinette. Little man had dropped a piece of dog food while feeding the dogs. Seriously. More bad words as I removed the dinette cushion and wood boards and went out to grab the ant spray. I put little man and all the dogs in my bedroom and took care of that ant problem.
That wasn’t the end.
Laying in bed the next night I scratched my forehead only to realize I just squished an ant. On my forehead. An ant dropped off the ceiling onto my forehead. 😐 I jumped up and turned on my phone flashlight and start looking around without waking up the mister. He had to work the next morning, so I was trying to be nice and not wake him. At the headboard of my side of the bed was what I thought was glue residue from old blackout reflective shades. It was actually a batch of dead ants that other ants were coming in and taking away. UGH!
I clean up those, and thankfully it was only about a dozen. I slowly scan the whole ceiling squishing any little ant I saw. So at 11pm I go outside and am spraying down every window, crack and crevice of the outside of the trailer in the dark. I won’t lie, there’s still a little part of me that has some anxiety about ants falling on my forehead while I’m lying in bed. I’m sure that will go away once the Great Ant Invasion of 2019 is no longer so fresh in my memory.
I won the battle with the ants!
Thankfully that was the LAST invasion of the ants! We had a few stragglers here and there at first. Luckily I haven’t seen an ant in 2 weeks. (UPDATE: 5 months and not 1 ant in the house!) I take home defense outdoor spray and get every hose, stabilizer, tire, basically anything that touches the ground that they can use to climb up to my trailer on. We also pulled down the back vent for the fridge and hot water heater off and sprayed in there. After shutting them both off first. There was a disturbing amount of them in there. I also did an indoor spray to double up on keeping them out. I guess all that craziness is just one of the joys of full-time RV living. Lesson learned!
Muddy RV space + 3 dogs = Nasty carpets and tons of wet, dirty towels.
The rain hit the day before we pulled the trailer to the RV space and didn’t stop for 2 weeks. And we aren’t talking a little bit of rain here and there. So much rain! And of course, the Bassett Hound loved finding the mud puddles and jumping in them every time I took her out to potty. Also, getting a grown man to take his shoes off at the door before walking on the carpet wasn’t an easy task. I am very thankful that I decided keeping my little Bissel spot cleaner would be a good idea. Once the rain and humidity cleared up, using it to clean the carpets came in handy.
Being organized will save your sanity!
We no longer have the closet space or cupboard space that we did in a regular house, so I have had to get really good at organizing stuff. There are lots of things you can do to organize a small space, and Pinterest has some great ideas for that. Some I had to modify a little to work in our travel trailer. I have a whole other post coming up on ways to organize the small space and keep clutter to a minimum.
And we can’t forget having to house train a husband and a kid to put their shoes away. They both like to just take their shoes off at the door and leave them there for me to trip over. I’m still trying to figure out why The Mister has so many pairs of shoes at the front door. I give him leeway for one and his work boots. He has 5 pairs at the front door while I type this. Housebreaking husbands is not an easy task. Next housebreaking task for both these boys is how to put clothes in a laundry basket after taking them off. They both get the floor confused with a laundry basket. There are shock collars for training dogs, why not for training husbands?
Laundromats have a BIG bonus.
That is the one thing so many people thought I would have the hardest time with. Full-time RV living doesn’t come with a full-size washer and dryer. But let’s be honest, with the wash and dry cycles on home washing machines it took me about an hour and a half to do 1 load of laundry before. 4 loads would take 6 hours. At the laundromat, however, I did 3 in 1 hour! And had I put those clothes in a regular sized washer and dryer, it would have been 5 loads. I no longer spend 10+ hours a week doing laundry. I spend an hour and a half on one day if you include the time it takes to drive there and home. Laundry has always been one of the household chores I really didn’t like. Now, it’s not so bad.
We are both still happy with the Full-Time RV lifestyle change.
And that is the important thing. We went into this adventure knowing that there were going to be some learning experiences. That there were going to be habits we would have to change to make full-time RV living easier. Despite everything the first few weeks, we are still on board with this move. We are taking the next few months of staying in a friends trailer to really figure out what is important to us before buying our new trailer. Certain features you may have thought weren’t that big of a deal, you tend to change your mind about after living in a trailer for a bit. Borrowing our friend’s trailer also makes it to where we can sell ours before buying. Selling outright will give us more money towards the down payment than just trading it in. Plus, ours doesn’t have a bunkhouse, so that’s a big bonus for Little Man.
We have already started rethinking what’s important to us when it comes to the new trailer we buy. So it’s back to shopping around for us. The best part though, is we are still pleased with our decision to downsize and start RV living. The fun part of making it feel more like home is what is ahead for me in the next few weeks. And lots of organizing!