First Few Weeks in the RV – Settling In

by Karen
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Our RV parked at a campsite, dwarfing our Nissan leaf

We have been in the RV three weeks. Somehow, it feels a lot longer, not sure if that is due to all the issues we have had or if its just because we feel at home.

It took a few days to fully move all our stuff into the RV, all the essentials, toys and personal items. Surprisingly, we have not filled every draw, cupboard or lock to the max. We are still finding things we need and buying them as we go but there is still space.

Modifications/Purchases

We are really starting to feel settled and are gradually making modifications and buying a few items to help us feel more at home and enable life to be easier. My brother put his amazing building skills to work and made us an extra shelf for the larder, Lego table for Olivia, shelf for over Peppers bed, and built a new cover for the hob which gives us more space for preparing food.

Joseph and Joseph Drainer

One of my favourite and most helpful purchases has been our Joseph and Jospeh fold away drainer with plate rack, cutlery cup and drain. It folds away nice and small, is easy to set up and drains away nicely into the sink.

As we have mostly been on campsites and using electric hook up we have brought a great electric heater which has been doing a amazing job of keeping us warm even when it was -4 outside and the water to the site was frozen.

Our new dehumidifier is amazing, not only does it stop a lot of the condensation around the windows it has a fantastic laundry mode. We have brought a slimline airer that we set up in the shower, point the dehumidifier at on laundry mode and within about 5 hours the washing is dry. Not sure what we will do when we are free camping but its great for when we are on electric.

Another purchase that we are experimenting with at the moment is a bench cushion that we are using on our main bed as a headrest. Our window is an emergency escape, with big red handles (which are painful if you head-butt!). So we wanted something we could use as a headrest, which can be quickly and easily removed in an emergency. So far it is not too bad, but it does tend to fall down behind the mattress, so we need to find a way to hold it up and out a little from the wall.

Issues

We are unfortunately experiencing some issues with the RV. The second night the door lock broke leaving us trapped inside (story for another post); we have bought and fitted a new lock. The hot water tank leaks so we have had to bypass it and live without hot water; the windscreen and main slide leak in heavy rain; the reversing camera stopped working and a few other minor issues. These are all things we hope will be sorted now we are back at the dealer.

Installing 4G Antenna on the Roof of the RV

Internet

Internet has not been as easy to sort as we had hoped. We have had to buy many SIM cards on different networks. While it’s just about fast enough to work and google things, we still can’t get it fast enough to stream TV. This is something we are trying to resolve.

Cooking

Learning to cook with only one oven, hob and microwave has been fun and led to some interesting new meals. We have now bought another shelf for the oven so we can at least put two things in at once now. We have managed one roast but had to leave the chicken to rest while we cooked the potatoes so it took a lot longer than expected. We’ve also had a fair bit of chilli and rice as its just easy and nice and we’ve invested in a spatter guard which is great for stir-frys.

Weather

The weather has not really been that kind to us, first week we had snow and temperatures down to -4 and the second week saw lots of rain and high winds. The snow and cold was not too much of an issue, but the wind did cause a few sleepless nights, getting used to all the noises and we learnt that anything over 30MPH we should bring the slides in, to stop the really loud flapping and to ensure the slide toppers are not ripped off. We have managed to stop the mud guard from making the most annoying noise by using a little piece of velcro.

Tanks

We are getting used to how and when to fill the water tank properly after a few mistakes. We have also learnt what not to do when emptying the black and grey tanks (post coming soon for those laughs).

Pepper

Pepper’s Favourite Spot

Pepper is making herself at home, likes her new bed, loves being on the sofa and looking out of the windows. She is getting used to having to have her harness and lead on every-time she goes out and having her feet dried when she comes back into the van. She is definitely liking all the extra walks she is getting.

Olivia

Olivia is settling in well I think. she sleeps well in her bed, all snug and warm, with her name in lights at the end of her bed and her star and music box she would fall asleep to at home. It took a little while for her to get use the the noise and the way the toilet flushed but she actually commented today that it was strange using a normal toilet now.

She enjoys the little play area we have created for her in the bottom bunk. We removed the mattress, added some thick yoga mats, her lego drawers and a table my brother amazingly made. The other end is Peppers bed with a shelf over top, giving Olivia further toy storage. We also have a few useful boxes with toys in that we put in the gap for travelling and then move onto her bed during the day.

Opposite her bed, we removed the third TV and made the space into a book shelf for the few books we have brought with us. Under that she has a little shelf for odds and ends, hair brush and light. Olivia’s tuff tray was a must for us to bring which fits amazingly in a locker along with her giant box of Schliech animals and scenery for small world play. We are getting into a routine of doing maths and English in the morning which allows the rest of the day to explore the local area, go for walks, play, draw, paint, do some science or xbox.

Conclusion

I think considering the weather, and problems we are having with the RV we have actually settled in really well and are getting used to RV life. I am certainly not missing the house and really enjoying seeing such lovely wildlife and being outdoors more, even in the mud.

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