Lee and a curious calico crisscross the country in a RV, living simply and sustainably.

So glad I chose to spend my first few days of RVing at the Camping World service center. The fellow who did my trailer walk-through took spent a good deal of time answering my first timer questions and going over start-up purchases. I asked which products he thought necessary right away, those that could wait, and those I could do without. When he was done with his list, I pulled out the list I’d put together after reading other RVer’s blogs over the last six months and compared notes. We shopped at the camp store and crossed a dozen items off my list. Then he came back to my complimentary campsite and showed me how to hook up the water pressure regulator, water filter, and hose. Plus sewer lines, leveling blocks, wheel chocks, and other helpful items. Because I was prepared and knew what I would pay for these things online, the Sales Manager discounted the highest priced item, a resettable 30 amp surge protector, to just about match the lower price. Then I used my store coupons and Good Sam discount and saved a total of $154 on all my start-up items.


I’m not one to spend money without a lot of forethought and comparison shopping. I didn’t grow up knowing how to budget, but learned how to balance finances with quality of life by reading books like “Your Money or Your Life”, “Rich Dad, Poor Dad”, and “The Millionaire Next Door”. My thinking and actions concerning saving and spending gradually shifted. It doesn’t put me into a panic anymore to spend large amounts on wise purchases. And it doesn’t cause me distress to wait for a bargain, buy used goods, or pass up “normal” purchases that don’t make sense to me. I’m not what you would consider rich, but I am now debt-free and content. And that is priceless.

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One recommended item that I decided not to buy was an attached awning above the super slide to keep leaves, dust and debris from accumulating under the slide. Rather than wait a week for a service appointment and pay almost $650 for the product and installation, I went to the local DIY store and described what I envisioned to the fellow working in the plumbing department. Within 15 minutes, we had put our heads together and assembled a tool to sweep off the slide. It’s constructed of two lengths of PVC pipe, three PVC fittings, a little super glue, and a soft, washable mop head. The components cost $20. Total savings = $630.

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I super glued the elbow joints to both ends of the shorter PVC pipe, and the mop handle screwed into the elbow joint. However, I left the longer length of PVC pipe unglued so I can easily disassemble and stow it in the storage compartment. This particular mop head can be removed for easy washing, and it soaks up any rainwater on top of the slide before closing it for travel.

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In future GR&L blogs, I’ll share my research into RV’s, tips and tricks, travelogues, and anything else I think will be useful to full-time RVers, part-time wanderers, or vicarious wannabes. If you have comments or suggestions for a topic, please let me know.

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