Overthinking. . . .and loving it!

Don Cohen Don Cohen  |  09.30.2016

I know what you’re thinking.  So what does the above picture mean?  It’s an illustration of “RV Think,”  the ideas big and small that all RV owners come up with to make a house a home.

Let me stipulate to the fact that I am not an anal retentive.  Nor am I an impossible to please perfectionist.  However, I am always thinking (but not stressing) about optimizing our RV living experience.  On a scale where clueless is a “0” and and PhD in engineering is a “10”, I’m probably somewhere around a 7.  Well, maybe closer to a 7.499.

Let’s start with the hanging water filter.  Going back to our first Navion four years ago I quickly learned that after disconnecting our hose and water filter from a campground that the filter would continue to drain.  To keep things tidier when storing I figured out that the yellow hose fitting wedged easily between the rear body cap and access panel.  As a matter of practice I always hang the water filter here when winding up the hose to give it time to empty.

Moving on to the dump hose.  Early on in our RV life I wanted the least amount of hassle for dumping the holding tanks.  I bought a Polychute tube which is probably one of the most expensive ones out there, but convenience – not money was the object.  Now you might think tubes are tubes, but the Polychute is way more durable and has features (like see-thru acrylic sections on both ends) that any designated dumper will appreciate.

That led to the plastic bin.  The Polychute came with it’s own sized-too-tightly bin.  It was a hassle to get it back into the original bin and required an extra strap to hold the lid on.  After a couple of years I had enough with that so off I went to the Container Store for a larger, easy to put the tube in, locking bin.  Sure I gave up about a half-a-cubic foot of storage space, but now my RV dumping regimen is about as easy as it could possibly be.

I think it’s often overlooked in the RV experience that some of the fun of ownership is truly making it your own and solving problems in sometimes some very creative ways.  In my ebb and flowing quest for tweaks and improvements here’s some of the terrain I’ve trod over.

It’s the best I could find at Walmart.

Many of us have been there a time or two before.  Parked at the edge of a Walmart lot we’re inside searching for that perfect paper towel holder that could fit exactly above the sink cabinet.  Of course all our hardware is brushed nickel, but the only one that’ll even come close to working is in cheap looking white plastic.  So white plastic it is until something better can come along.  And of course we did find a good looking one at another Walmart somewhere on the road to Raleigh months later.  On the upside, this cycle of buy twice (or thrice!) to solve once, helps us provide reliable inventory to our local thrift store.

Buy it now, you may not find it later.

Right after we got our Navion that sleek looking dinette table was not only sleek, but slick.  Our Corelle plates would skitter around during dinner and our plastic placements slid right along with them.  In a Publix supermarket outside of Bonita Springs, Florida, Terry found grippy placemats but, for a reason we can no longer recall, didn’t buy them.  Regret set in about fifty miles down the highway and throughout the rest of the trip and for another 6,000 miles of travel we’d look in every grocery store or big box we happened to be stopped near.  Nothing.  Finally, of all places, we found them at the Grand National Rally store.  $.99 cents each to boot!

Everything’s smaller in the store until you bring it into your RV.

If football is a game of inches, then RV planning is a game of millimeters.  More than once (uh, a lot more than once) I’ve ordered or bought the “perfect” item that I’m convinced will “perfectly” fit.  Of course, when ordering on line you get no real sense of size and often the spec measurements aren’t just quite right.  In a store the item of your desire seems that it will be small enough to work, until you find that it’s a whopping 1/2” of an inch too wide.  In a recent quest for a back of the cabinet shelf I took a picture with my iPhone of the cabinet with a tape measure. That little plan ahead moment made my trip to the Container Store a successful one-trip-and-don’t-have-to-return-for-a-refund mission.

shelf-measurementTo paraphrase the credit card commercial tag line:  what’s in your rig?  If you’ve got a device or modification worth sharing let us know, we’ll help spread the good news.


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  1. David Karol Posted on 04.22.2017

    Thanks for sharing some of your experiences. That is what makes RVG so great!

  2. meme wagner Posted on 04.22.2017

    Correction: water in the tub is chest high

  3. meme wagner Posted on 04.22.2017

    I have a Winnebago tour with a semi circular big shower. I purchased a folding plastic bathtub that is 75 cm tall and wide. Because of the upright PVC supports of the bathtub and the fact that the water inside it gives the bathtub it’s shape I am able to put this tub in my irregularly shaped shower and take a sit down soaking bath with water just tie. In a bigger shower this would be even easier to do. You just need to make an accommodation to not block your floor drain so you can drain the water out. I manage this with a rigid plastic container that has slits cut in the sides so the drain is never blocked. These containers are commonly used to organize cosmetics in drawers And medicine cabinets. I place the plastic container over the drain before I put the bathtub in the shower

  4. meme wagner Posted on 04.22.2017

    I take pictures of all the items in our medicine cabinet, bathroom drawers and pantry at the end of the trip. That way I know what’s been left in the camper and on the next trip out I won’t duplicate items and lose storage space due to redundancy. It’s also a good idea to take a picture of what’s in your closet that way if you’re looking for that clothing item that you just can’t find at home you’ll be able to reference your photo and know that you left it in the RV

  5. Pete Miller Posted on 03.25.2017

    Bought a 2015 View last November to upgrade from a popup. Following sound advice, I bought a 50 to 30 amp adaptor. Second trip out, the 30 amp receptacle at our site was inoperative. Plugged in the adaptor and didn’t miss a beat. Also bought a in line surge protector to protect the electronics of my Winnie. Small investment to avoid a potential major expense from bad power surges.