I get a lot of e-mails from new RVers and wannabe fulltimers asking all kinds of questions, from what kind of RV to buy, to whether or not to buy a campground membership, to dealing with family members who are not happy with their decision to hit the road. I always try to answer to the best of my ability, based upon our own experiences and those of fulltimers we know well.
One thing that comes up over and over again is couples debating what to take and what to leave behind. It seems like a lot of guys feel they must take an entire machine shop with them when they leave home. I’ve heard from fellows who want to carry a fully loaded toolbox, plumbers’ tools, a bench grinder, a chainsaw, and even a Rototiller. Now it’s well known that I have no business using tools, especially power tools, but who the hell needs a chainsaw or a Rototiller on the road?
And, of course, a lot of women (and some men, too) want to take all kinds of kitchen gadgets with them. The two most popular items seem to be bread making machines and KitchenAid mixers. We know a lot of folks who carry both with them, and Miss Terry has a commercial size KitchenAid she would never let go of.
What somebody chooses to take with them or leave behind is a personal decision, but one thing I do know is that you can’t take it all. There’s just not enough room! I don’t care if you’ve got the longest, widest, mega-coach on the road, with umpteen slides and three acres worth of storage in the bays down below, sooner later you have to just accept the fact that there is a limit to what you can carry.
But that doesn’t mean that a lot of people still don’t try! We met somebody once who must have had five years worth of old RV magazines, huge plastic bins full of nuts and bolts and screws, and even a couple of post hole diggers. He just couldn’t seem to part with anything. He was a hoarder before they had reality TV shows about it.
Most of us start out with a lot more than we will ever use or need, and over time we whittle away at it and reduce our load. Every year so Miss Terry and I go through our bays and unload a lot of stuff. The common belief is that if you haven’t used something in a year, you don’t need it. But somehow or other, it doesn’t take long before more stuff starts creeping in to fill the space you just made. It’s true, nature abhors a vacuum.
For Terry and I, books are one of our weaknesses. Even in this age of e-books and e-book readers, we still buy printed books. Now that we both have Kindles, we don’t buy a lot of printed fiction anymore, but Terry is always looking for new cookbooks and recipe ideas for her Miss Terry’s Kitchen column in the Gypsy Journal, and I buy a lot of reference books about places where we are traveling to help me research and find things to write about. I also have a lot of books related to things like forensics, police investigative procedures, body trauma, character and personality traits, and other things that I refer to a lot when writing my mystery books.
You have to set your own priorities. If tools are important to you and you use them a lot, it makes sense to carry that fully stocked toolbox. If you love cooking and baking, why not take along that bread making machine or KitchenAid mixer? Just because you’re now traveling doesn’t mean that you stop being you, or stop enjoying the things that you did in your sticks and bricks house.
Thought For The Day – To succeed in life, you need two things: ignorance and confidence.