When we married our first two apartments had natural gas space heaters — complete with 6” vents to exhaust all the byproducts of combustion. (it wouldn’t do to kill ourselves, eh?) Unlike the old example to the right both of them also had solid pieces of cast iron on top — as if you could use them as hot plates. The top surfaces never got hot enough to actually COOK anything; even though they were hot enough to put a sizeable tray of water which became our first married household humidifier!
Being of the genteel sort (yeah, sure…) we soon discovered that the top of the space heater also served as a dandy plate warmer! No pretense on our part you say! But seriously, it’s much nicer eating a HOT meal off of a warm plate that aids in keeping the food you’re about to consume at the temperature that you served it!
Nowadays we have no hot surface we can put our plates on. Oh, we do have that toaster/broiler that we bought a couple years ago but it’s a waste of energy to turn that on just to warm our plates. And I can’t use the induction hob to warm plates on — our Corelle dinnerware isn’t magnetic!
So, I was tickled the other morning when I looked up and saw Peggy warming our breakfast plates next to the space heater. It warmed my heart as well as my plate! Talk about a reminder of days gone by!
Just because we live in a small space doesn’t mean we have to live like uncivilized creatures. 🙂
But you know, thinking smarter while RV’ing is a good thing. Trying to find efficient ways of living life just as comfortably when you don’t have acres and acres of space to spread out in is both challenging and rewarding. I think we take more delight in some of the simplest tricks and labor saving discoveries than we do in the big, fancy purchases we makeThe other day I mentioned that I bought several personal fans. Well, I started using them and I discovered something very nice. We have had larger fans in the bedroom and being larger they made a lot of noise. We often sleep with our Fantastic Vent Fans running – at least one or two of them — to aid in keeping the bedroom from feeling too warm in the early evening hours when I (in particular) am falling asleep. They too are noisy — not terribly, but still more noise than I’d like if I had a choice. One of these little fans moves enough air around in the room that it prevents stagnancy which is the real culprit when it comes to feeling comfortable while trying to fall asleep.
You may remember from two years ago — before we bought Serendipity — that I’d been fighting to find a place where I could compute that felt comfortable. Our old coach had a dinette and that wasn’t feeling right. Then I tried using the driver’s seat, swiveled back with a table that couldn’t be brought close enough to rest my back against the seat back because the legs of the table were too narrow to rest outside the width of the seat. A little work with a hand-man and we found a way to make that table work. And then we sold the coach — oh well.. sometimes you win and sometimes you don’t.
Recently I talked about re-organizing the inside cabinets and wonder of wonders we found out that by putting all of our pots and pans in the curbside overheads and moving everything else out we never had to worry about anything falling out of the cabinet while I was reaching in and hitting anyone else (like Peggy) in the head while sitting on the sofa.
Little things like these mean a lot when you live in a small space. I have mentioned that every time we visit an IKEA store we always have to stop at their Small Space/Apartment Demonstration Rooms. These have been wonderful thought starters for us about how to more efficiently utilize our approximately 300 sq ft of living space in Serendipity. Seeing how you can pile function upon function within the same space inspires me.
Even our recent choice to scrap the old bamboo utensil tray that formerly sat on the ledge alongside our dining table proved to be a really good change for us. The new vertical storage not only lets us keep a second place setting for 4 easily accessible, it also stores them vertically so that twice as many utensils occupy less space than formerly. That of course allows us to display on of the few family pictures that we carry with us right on the sideboard instead of having to store it and display it every time we move. And, with a good air suspension, everything rides in place whenever we travel. (Perhaps if we ever take the AlCan Highway we might have to secure things a little more carefully but thus far nothing has fallen off.)
I’m really not all that handy — I mean I used to tease about my woodworking skills by saying that “I cut it three times and it’s still too short.” But projects around the RV don’t have to involve major remodeling. In fact major remodeling seems to me to be a waste of resources. After all — we bought an RV that we liked. We looked at lots that we didn’t and settled on what to us was the best compromise. And we’re still paying on it. It would have been nice to have this second coach free and clear but by the time we made the change we knew we’d be doing this for a while and we were willing to put some of our month income into buying something that suited us better than what we had.
Yes — we have plunked a bunch of money into the coach — the biggest expense for us was adding solar panels and more batteries, and replacing the small sofa with a recliner. But for the most part we haven’t changed the insides. Even the micro/conv oven that we have to replace we opted for one as much like the original as possible.
At some point in the future we’ll have two projects to do internally. The carpet will have to come out at some point. Our throw rugs disguise the worst of the soiling but after 11 years they’re just showing their age. Peggy has also started worrying about the upholstery on our driver’s seat. It’s nothing that needs doing right now — but with pulled seams and a couple spots of deteriorated faux leather the writing is on the wall…. or should I say on the seats. At some point we’ll have to do more than think about them. And yes, we replaced the mattress with the Sleep Number bed — that was a physical improvement but you don’t ’see’ anything different.
Things like the Satellite receiver that just died — are to be expected. Living in an RV is not a light duty experience. Things have to be well constructed and well designed to survive all the bouncing and banging they get going down the road. And things you take for granted in a sticks & bricks home you can’t take for granted on the road.
Electricity for example. From time to time we find we have no power; or that the power is unreliable. I shared with you while we were on the Forest that the 50 amp service was seriously unbalanced; the voltage on the two legs varied by almost 20% Not good. And when the power goes out it’s not all that uncommon for the outage to be accompanied by a voltage spike. electronic components don’t like those. I protect some of my electronics on the other side of a uninterruptible power supply but still, stuff happens.
RV’ing has been a really good way of forcing my brain to stay on top of ‘things.’ It keeps me alert to changes — in our equipment and in ourselves. It forces me to look for solutions. Often to problems I didn’t know I had. Until something changed.
This isn’t the life for everyone. But for those of us who love it it’s exhilarating, it’s challenging, it’s maddening, and it’s wonderful.
Thanks for stopping by, and I’ll talk with you tomorrow.