I watched a presentation on quick repairs you can do yourself on motorcycles when you are stranded beside the road. Usually, when something happens on your motorcycle, you are far away from anything and anyone. This is the same with RVs because that is one of the reasons you head out in an RV – to get away or explore someplace new.
When the presenter said you could use ANYTHING at your disposal, he was not joking to make a repair. I was impressed when he said he used a Slim Jim to grease a bolt so he could get a nut back on. Talk about thinking outside the box! Let’s see what you have around the RV you can use to fix everyday problems.
Problem: Avoiding chemicals in sink or toilet
SCRUB with SUGAR
A lot of us are concerned about using chemicals getting into our RV tanks because it can mess with the balanced bacteria. A quick way to scrub your toilet or sink is to sprinkle sugar around the inside of the sink or bowl and use a scrub brush to move it around the basin. When you are done scrubbing, just rinse the sugar away with no chemicals involved. (Sugar is a part of a homemade treatment to keep your tanks in a healthy bacterial state – good bacteria which break down the sewage and keep plumbing clear).
Problem: Small space stains
DAB HYDROGEN PEROXIDE
When you live in a small space it is easy to have spillage when you bump your way around tiny areas. If you are full-time in your rig, a small space is quicker to dirty up. If you spill something without noticing, it can attract a lot of dust, bugs, and more.
When you notice a stain or have created a spill that will stain, use hydrogen peroxide on it. Just rub it in, let it sit for a few minutes and then rub with a dry brush or rag. It may take a few tries but if the stain is new, it usually pulls it right up. If you are concerned about the stained area’s reaction to peroxide, test a small out of the way or hidden spot before applying it to an open area.
Problem: Constant sweeping
KEEP TWO PAIRS OF SHOES
When you go from one location to location, you may not know what to expect from the landscape but be sure there will probably be bugs, dust, dirt, rocks, mud, and more involved and any combination of those listed and more! The simplest solution is to keep two pairs of shoes.
Use an outside pair for walking around the park, hikes, picnics, whatever adventure you are taking advantage of. Return and at the front door, have a basket, or on the door have a shoe holder where you can place your outside shoes. Put on your inside shoes and you are done. A better option is to go barefoot inside but you may prefer shoes, or it just may be too cold to go without.
Problem: Defrosting the fridge
USE A COOKIE SHEET
It would be nice to have the automatic defrost freezers like the ones you have at a brick-and-mortar home but I’m guessing this is more complicated in an RV. So, we become geniuses and come up with our own solution!
At the back of your refrigerator freezer, place a thin sheet of metal or plastic. This can come in the form of a cookie sheet, cutting board, etc. I even spray mine down with cooking spray and the ice seems to fall off easier. When you go to defrost, leave the freezer open and when it has warmed up some, take a butter knife and pull the sheet away from the back of the fridge. You can lift most of it away to the sink. What falls apart in the freezer, pick up the clumps and let them melt in the sink. If you really want to recycle, let these pieces melt in a bowl and water your plants.
Problem: Keeping cool or keeping warm
SET UP AREA FANS
When it is warming up outside, the heat seems to settle in your RV no matter what type of cooling you have. Try sitting a tray of ice cubes in front of your fan and letting the cool air blow directly on your feet, or neck area for a quick cool-me-down.
On the opposite end, when you are getting too chilly, try putting your fan and pointing it straight up towards the ceiling. Warm air rises and you can help push it back down and circulate it better. If you happen to have a fireplace in your RV, put a fan in front of the vents to help blow it around your room.
Problem: Items staying in place while moving
FOCUS ON PLACEMENT
There are a lot of ideas out there about keeping things in your rig from moving around but here are a few you may not have heard of yet (tell everyone you learned it here first!).
Try placing rubber drawer liners under items. The rubber not only keeps items from moving around in your drawers, but you can also use it under heavy items or large items. It is just enough to keep them from shifting during a move.
You can also try placing items on their side to keep them from moving around.
Problem: Keeping the area around your rig debris free
USE A BLOWER
One quick easy to use tool that is handy to have around is a blower. We use ours to blow items off the top of the RV, clean bugs off picnic tables and blow leaves from around the rig. We have even used it to help get fires going!
They are lightweight, so you don’t add much to your rig’s weight. Get a blower that has a rechargeable battery, so it is easy to move around and eco-friendly. Just make sure you only use it during regular camp hours!
Problem: Trash bins are far away
PLANT A BEACH UMBRELLA
A beach umbrella is colorful and decorative to put outside your rig and no one has to know there is trash under it. Use small grocery store bags to gather trash and use the handle to hang them on hooks under the umbrella. When you are ready to make the long trek to the trash bins, grab several bags. Hanging the bags also keeps most critters away (know your area!).
Problem: Transporting items
USE ORGANIZED TOTES
Whether you are going back and forth to the showers or trying to get groceries from the store to your rig, using organized totes can be very helpful. Organized totes come with special pockets, zippers, and separate compartment areas.
If you are headed to the showers, you can organize all your bathroom needs in one easy-to-carry tote and keep it ready to go all the time. Heading to get groceries? Put them in your shopping cart. This will not only make it easy to carry to your car and into the rig, but it will also help you keep track of how much grocery space you are taking up when you get home.
Problem: You can’t do it
ASK SOMEONE ELSE
It takes a genius to realize that sometimes you don’t have the skill, knowledge, or license to fix some problems. So be smart – call the right person and have them come out and fix that common problem if you can’t or shouldn’t. No problem is worth injury or life.