Lately on our Facebook page (http://Facebook.com/LongLongHoneymoon) we’ve been talking about RV storage space. We love our 25-foot Airstream Classic travel trailer. It’s comfortable, cozy, and has been a wonderful home on wheels to us in a variety of adventures. But one thing it’s not… is spacious. We don’t have a lot of storage space.
Forget about measuring storage space in terms of square feet. We need to talk about square inches. Maybe even millimeters (if you can stomach the metric system). Every little bit matters.
What’s the secret to making the most of the space on hand? This is a pressing topic for most RV travelers, especially those who go on extended long term trips.
First of all, it’s important to only pack items that you need and/or will really use. This is harder than it sounds. In fact, this is one topic that has (gasp!) created some husband/wife relationship friction in our RV travels. We’ve made some memorable mistakes in the packing department. I dare not go into too much detail here, else our website may be renamed Short Short Marriage.
Suffice to say that we’ve both been guilty of bringing items on our trips that ended up being unnecessary. Some large, some small. Even after years of taking our Airstream on long term journeys, we still make mistakes.
The problem is that it’s hard to determine exactly what is necessary until you get out there. Every trip takes on a life of its own. Sometimes we do a lot of biking; sometimes the bikes go unused. Sometimes I use certain camera gadgets and tripods; on other trips, they spend most of their time stuffed under the bed. If you’re camping at a local park, it’s not a big deal. If you’re camping 2000 miles from home, it can be a pain.
The “use it or lose it” analysis must apply to every item on board, from food, to clothing, to electronics, to toiletries. Don’t really need and/or intend to use it? You probably should leave it at home. At the very least, you don’t need to bring many duplicates of items. It’s all too easy to overpack.
The problem of overpacking is not simply one of added weight (more weight on board the RV is bad), but also added clutter. Once you exhaust the available storage space, items end up lying on the couch, stuffed behind the couch, scattered on the and floor, and wherever else they may find a home. It makes for a less pleasant living environment.
What about closet space? We have two closets, and they range in size from small to smaller. It stands to reason that we can’t pack too much inside those closets. We can either bring less stuff, or bring smaller stuff. If we find a way to gain any space advantage in the packing process, we celebrate.
Case-in-point: we now have our Airstream closets stocked with ultra thin “no slip” velvet clothes hangers. These fall into the “bring smaller stuff” category.
At first glance, it may seem a little silly to worry about the size of clothes hangers. But we are talking about an RV here, and every millimeter matters. The thin flat hangers are a nice upgrade over the usual thick round plastic hangers that are now in fashion.
These hangers serve two purposes. First of all, they are indeed ultra thin – like 1/5 of an inch thin. So you can stack 40 or 50 of them together into a small space. It’s a modest but significant improvement.
Second, these hangers are “no slip” because they’re covered in some sort of grippy pseudo velvet. This is a wonderful feature for an RV, because clothes typically get bounced and jostled when the RV is traveling down the highway. If hangers are not “no slip,” inevitably some of the clothes slip off the hanger and onto the floor. It’s a bummer when all of your clean clothes are lying amidst your shoes at the bottom of your closet.
There’s no magic solution to the RV storage space quandary. It’s an ongoing battle against weight and clutter that we all must fight. If you can find a product like “ultra thin no slip clothes hangers” that gives you a space advantage, it makes sense to utilize it.
Now, if only they made ultra thin bicycles and barbecue grills…
We presented our computer seminars at 8 different rallies this summer, and at each one, we asked for a show of hands of how many people were using Facebook. We were astonished to see a consistent majority of hands go up.
At the last rally, The Escapade, we noticed a lot of Facebook activity amongst our own friends who were there. They arranged happy hours and meetings during the rally, and even some get-togethers after the rally was over. They were able to do this because a large group of them were all friends on Facebook.
by Brian Brawdy
I like to think of it as my “Just in Case Place.” Balanced between wanting to boondock or needing to bug out, the SRMR (Self Reliant Mobile Residence) has multiple functions.
From the moment I began RVing, I realized the duel purposes of recreating on the one hand and evacuating on the other. There is no better way to bolt to somewhere or from something. Family vacationing emergency vacating, your home away from home can be a perfect base camp, wherever you find yourself. In a few short weeks I will be launching 3 videos here on RV.net highlighting the engineering and building of the SRMR. Read more
You’ve heard of the snowball effect right? Well, when it comes to Facebook, we have an avalanche. Facebook started in 2005, but it hit a point somewhere in 2008 I think, where the avalanche started consuming even the most casual Internet user.
by Geeks on Tour: This isn’t exactly RV related, but Twitter can be used to keep up with the RVing community. So many people ask me about Twitter, it must be time for an article. I like to explain by example, so let me show you how I’m using Twitter. I just visited my Twitter home page, and this is what I saw:
I feel like I’m walking into a room where there are lots of people milling about and talking. The cool part is that these are all people I’ve chosen for one reason or another, it’s my special party room. And they aren’t too talkative, just a few words about what they’re doing or what they’re thinking. In less than a minute of glancing at my Twitter home page, I’m up-to-date with all the people I’m ‘Following.’
Let me introduce you around. The first person you see at my party represents Public Earth. These are people we met at The Rally. They are launching a special website about places. You can find and view these places using a Google Maps interface, store your places in your Public Earth account, and download them to your dashtop GPS for directions. I think it’s something I’m really going to like – and I won’t forget about it because I’m following their ‘tweets.’
Next comes GypsyJournal – this is Nick Russell, a fulltime RVer, and a friend. I usually follow his blog, but that takes a lot more time than just seeing him at my Twitter party! Because of this post, I see that he’s getting ready to go to the Escapades – and we’ll see him there.
Now you see Charlene Li – I’ve never met Charlene. She is an author and a speaker; a recognized expert in the new Social Media and what it all means. I value her opinion. She liked the new Star Trek … I’ll bet I will too.
EMasie is Elliott Masie. I know Elliott from back in the 80s when he produced the Computer Training and Support Conferences and I was a speaker there. He is a top thinker and trendsetter in the education field and I love being able to see what he’s up to in such an easy, quick, unobtrusive way. I’m sure I’ll enjoy his tweets from India.
If you want to start your own party, just go to Twitter.com and sign up for a free account. Then you can find other people who are on Twitter and click the ‘Follow’ button below their names, voila! instant party. If you also start writing some of your own tweets, you may find that some people start following you. If you have a business, this can be used for marketing. My latest tweet was about how I was looking for membership site software for my latest website … within minutes, I received an email that a membership site software business was now ‘following’ me on Twitter. That means that I’ll show up in their party room, but they’re not in mine unless I follow them.
Do you need to be on Twitter? Of course not. But, if you’re already spending time online visiting people’s blogs and otherwise browsing – you may actually find that Twitter saves you time. The RV.net blog can be followed on Twitter – see the link at the top, far right. Once you’re looking at RV.net’s Twitter page, you may want to check out who’s at their party! See who RV.net is following, and you may want to follow them too. It is so quick and easy to fill your party room with people you enjoy.
So, what’s the difference between Facebook and Twitter? Facebook is a lot more complex. I haven’t figured out Facebook yet. Twitter is nice and simple – at least so far! It allows you to write short snippets (tweets) about what you’re doing or thinking, it allows others to follow your tweets, and you to follow others.
If you’re interested in learning more about the phenomenon that Twitter is becoming, you can watch this video by the founder of Twitter, Evan Williams.
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Yes, we’ve gone and done it… joined the ranks of the Facebook fanatics. RV.net now has a page on Facebook!
If you’re on Facebook already, please become a fan of RV.net, and interact with us and other RV.net fans. And if you’re not yet a member of Facebook, you may want to give it a try! It’s no longer just for college kids anymore; here’s a quote from eMarketer:
“…women ages 55 and older are the fastest-growing demographic group on Facebook, with membership numbers up 175.3% since the end of September 2008. The number of males in that age group grew 137.8% in the same period.”
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