What is sweeter for an insomniac than a great night’s sleep?
The both of us have our problems getting a good night’s sleep; different kinds of issues mind you, but the same net result. And the topic that comes to mind is very simple: getting a good nights’ sleep in an RV.
There are times when the pitter-patter of rain on the rooftop is just what you need to lull one asleep. Most of the time the sound of rain on the roof is delightful. Unless of course you happen to be having problems with a leaky roof (which we have not had) and the mere thought of rain sends you into paroxysms of fear. When pitter-patter becomes pounding it’s not fun anymore.
There is the question of mattresses. I have noticed a significant change in the quality of mattresses supplied with brand new RV’s over the years. When we bought our 2002 Winnebago the mattress that came with it was crummy. It took about 2 short trips in Journey before we were at the nearest IKEA store looking for a queen sized replacement for the Original Equipment mattress.
We lived with that solution for a couple years and then we had one of those “ah-ha” moments. You know… when it finally sinks in that we are full timing and this is our permanent, our only home. And we wondered to ourselves why we were forcing ourselves to live with so-so sleep when other options were available!
We investigated the Sleep Number beds and ultimately we ended up replacing the IKEA solution with a Sleep Number bed. We sleep much better now.
However — life in an RV is always about more than the obvious. It’s important to remember that we’re basically living inside our own, private, cocoon. And we’re subject to more than just the sound of rain on the roof. If you aren’t an RV’er at this point you may or may not realize that a major part of the environmental conditioning system is the rooftop air conditioning / heat pumps. You probably have noticed RV’s going down the road with multiple bump on the roof. Typically one of those ‘bumps’ a round 1/2 dome, might be a satellite antenna. Smaller roof mounted bumps might be ceiling fans (1, 2 or 3 of them). But it’s not uncommon to see longer coaches with multiple rooftop a/c — heat pumps. The example to the right shows 4 such rooftop units.
The thing about rooftop heating/cooling units is that when they’re running it’s like being in the same room with a household window air conditioner. Spell that “noisy”. Hooked up to a multi-mode thermostat (heat pump/cooling/furnace/fan) they can be programmed to blow only when the heating coils/cooling coils are working, or to blow continuously. Essentially you get a choice about how much you want the blowing sound. Because you’re in an insulated tin can the units will run a fair amount of the time. Because insulations values may not be as high as in a house they may run more often than you would hope because of higher heat loss to the outside. You get to choose whether you want to be bothered by the ‘noise’ of the blowing — or to use the ‘sound’ of the fans as ‘white noise’ that may or may not put you to sleep, or help you sleep.
As you can see, nothing about RV’ing is ever quite what it seems. As full timers we get accustomed to little things like these that might make some people crazy. We aren’t living in 3000 sq ft of custom designed space. Our heating and air conditioning are not located 40 feet away in an insulated basement — they are right overhead, or underfoot and they are not silent.
I’ve spoken about our choice to use induction burners for cooking. Part of the reason for that is that the propane cooktop in both of our coaches worked wonderfully well — but every time we turned on the propane cooktop the inside of the coach warmed up rapidly. Nice in the winter. Not so nice in the summer.
RV’ing is a wonderful way to see North America. It’s a wonderful way to live. But RV’ing isn’t utopia. There are good things about it. There are not-such-good things about it. Whether it’s the lifestyle for you or not depends in part on your ability to live with little details that might not be quite what you prefer. Can you put up with little annoyances?
WE love our home on wheels. We love the lifestyle. But it’s not for everyone. Thanks for stopping by, and I’ll be here again tomorrow to chat. Stop by!