I like to think of RV living as a tiny luxury. Hear me out. It’s a simple life but I really enjoy making the most of it. Adding a few things to your home always makes you feel good right? So why not enjoy a few small luxuries on the road.
Now, I have a feeling that when most people think about RV ‘s they imagine weekend recreation. Many probably assume that life is all about paper plates and plastic cutlery. Don’t get me wrong, I agree that there is a place for that simplicity and I myself love tossing out the dishes too, when it is appropriate.
I see RV living as a luxury for a few reasons. I can travel as I wish, live wherever I please, and I have been fortunate to take some of the finer things in life on the road with me.
To be clear, we have two RV’s. General camping takes place in our BigFoot cab-over camper, and we use our SunnyBrook travel trailer for the day-to-day living. Full time RV living is a temporary lifestyle that we are enjoying while we develop our property in Montana. Also, if you hadn’t already noticed, I wholeheartedly love this season in life.
The reason that I am giving up the details on how I keep my living quarters so sweet, is simply that I am hoping to influence someone, somewhere to take a leap of faith and travel more or jump out of your comfort zone and live with a little less stuff. RV living doesn’t have to feel like you are camping, therefore I am sharing a little insight on how I make the most of living in a small space.
A little background: the SunnyBrook has been around a long time. We purchased it new in 2006. Now let me explain, it doesn’t look fancy if you are comparing it to a model fresh off the show room floor in 2018, but trust me, it has it’s place.
At the time that we purchased the SunnyBrook, this was about the nicest travel trailer you could get in 2006. I’m not talking luxury fifth wheels or Class A rigs, simply comparing it to other trailers in the same size category. Many of the travel trailers on the market are built in Indiana with the purpose of weekend getaways. They come with press board cabinets, dinette booths, sometimes lack of insulation, etc. Don’t get me wrong, they have their place too. They are built this way often in an attempt to save weight and the manufacturer knows that these details are minor because they are simply made for light duty weekend getaways.
The SunnyBrook however is intended for full time living. Real wood cabinets, insulated basement and heated tanks, lots of usable storage, and most importantly (in my opinion) a full wall slide out with the ability to accommodate our Restoration Hardware sofa. That sofa was key to the whole operation.
The SunnyBrook was also appealing for a few reasons. The size was big enough to be comfortable but small enough to be manageable when traveling and reserving camp sites. The interior was simple but built well, and to be honest I rooted for it because it was brand new. There is something nice about that new car smell (or home) that you don’t get in the used market. Fast forward to modern day, I have realized that used can also be a fantastic option but I am still glad that we were able to purchase the unit new.
Looking back to 2006 when the trailer got delivered to us. It was only a matter of hours and Dusty had removed a window, pulled out the sofa that originally came with the rig, and slid our Restoration Hardware sofa into place. It was just something that we were not willing to part with. Still to this day I swear it ties to room together.
As you can see here, the space is somewhat tight. We can turn the table sideways and add the other two chairs, but it works well for us as is. I like a clean and simple looking space, but more importantly I enjoy that cleaning the entire house only takes ten minutes at most. Many mornings I will be sitting at that table, drinking endless amounts of coffee, and creating plans for our future.
The kitchen is great. It might not look big but it has plenty of room. If you have ever been to Camping World, you are probably familiar with the fun yet very gimmicky items that are available for RV kitchens. Although they are entertaining, they seem so dang silly to me. Honestly, I never downsized when we sold our house because I loved the items I had in the kitchen. Having nice cookware and dining wear that I enjoy is really important to me because it eliminates the camping feel.
My go-to cookware is made by GreenPan. My sister purchased a set for me from Williams-Sonoma and I have never looked back. I am almost due for another set and I wont hesitate to spend those pennies, knowing that the cookware is quality and works great.
Beyond cookware, if you open a drawer in our kitchen you’ll find that the dish towels are Restoration Hardware. In fact, all linen in our home is Resto. I am talking bath linen, bedding, rugs, throw blankets, you name it. I am not endorsed or sponsored by this brand but I feel so grateful they exist and provide solid products.
[Full disclosure, most of the items in my home that are of quality or look good came from my sister, Suzanne. I will save the details for another day but she rules. She is on point with design, advice, gifts, you name it. Thanks, lady!]
Back to the topic of Restoration Hardware: if you consider that a quality product may cost more, but remain solid years down the line, than you will have saved money over time. I’ve tried purchasing towels from Target or a super center and found that after a few washes, the ends would fray or the color would fade. You wont find that with a Resto product if you tried.
Now, I completely understand if that sounds a bit sassy, but this is real life people. I probably wouldn’t enjoy the RV life so much if my towels were falling apart.
So on to the basics… I love a good hand towel in the kitchen but I can also appreciate a good cleaning product. Mrs. Myers products are simple and have never let me down. I absolutely recommend these if you haven’t tried them.
You probably are not the least bit interested in what I have in my refrigerator but I want to show that you don’t need a large space to be satisfied. I feel more than grateful for the amount of room in this fridge, and I have never felt like I ran out of space. Shopping at Costco can create a little bit of a Tetris effect but it is very possible.
Side note: I typically have at least three pounds of bacon, three pounds of beef, and plenty of chicken on hand. Eating a fresh cooked meal takes the cake on fast food any day. Also, don’t forget the butter. I put butter in my coffee and on everything in sight. You can’t beat grass fed butter, it just makes your brain feel good.
Moving on to the bathroom, I am solid in my choice for linen (obviously) but really want to share these simple rugs. These have lasted three years so far, washed more times than I can count, and still look like new. You wont find a single frayed seam here. This is important because a clean rug is necessary for a clean home, and washers can be tough on rugs.
Our bedroom is a typical small RV space. Perfect, I think, because I don’t spend much time here. I don’t watch television in bed and cant sleep in past 6:00 AM anyhow. I am glad that this space is small because it means the living room can be bigger.
Although I don’t care much about the size of the bedroom, bedding is important to me. I love a clean bed. I love when linens look nice and are appealing to the eye, but lets be real, my sheets rarely match the duvet. Typically my sheets are grey and my duvet is white. Some how this week the grey duvet landed on tan sheets and it is less than pretty, but this is real and I wont pretend I have it all together. I typically throw the covers up over the bed in the morning but rarely make the bed. I got tired of taking the fancy pillows off of the bed, just to put them back on in the morning.
This particular down comforter just arrived in the mail. Unfortunately we left our other down comforter in Montana and we are currently in California for a couple of months. We realized that its a little colder than expected and Dusty did not hesitate to spring for a new set. If there is one item that I can recommend to you it is this. It is a duplicate of the one we have had for years and it has gotten well used throughout the winter season. Not a single feather will fly when you shake it and it still feels like new after quite a few years.
Honestly, I feel really good about where we are at in this season of life and having a few of these luxury items makes all the difference in camping versus living. I could sit back and pick apart a few things but I don’t have any reason to do so. In fact the trailers interior design is severely outdated but it serves its purpose well. I could also wish for a larger fifth wheel but I really enjoy being debt free and feel good about the space we have created.
I am thankful that after all these years this ol’ trailer is still living the good life, going on adventures, and making it possible to work in Alaska, build a home in Montana, and vacation in California. I couldn’t ask for more.