What We Can’t Live Without In Our RV

In April 2018 we got rid of most of our possessions, sold our house and moved in to a LMTV / Bliss Mobil RV. Letting go of the accumulated stuff in our home was scary and painful. Now that we’re settling in to the “minimalist” style of rvlife, we’re realizing how little we need to survive and be comfortable.

Minimalism is relative. We can still carry quite a bit of stuff, relative to a backpacker or bike traveler, for example. But compared to our house, we’ve dramatically downsized. Shedding possessions is a continuous process. I met a full-timer who has been on the road for five years and he said he’s still donating items he doesn’t use to charities.

RV Minimalism ≠ Martyrdom

Our version of RV minimalism allows some creature comforts. For example, most camping furniture is a compromise between weight, size and comfort. Since we had the room and budget, we added some glamping furniture from Snow Peak.  The Snow Peak products are comfortable, high quality, durable and look great. It makes our “outdoor living room” a nice place to work and relax. (I have no affiliation with Snow Peak…)

Outdoor Living Room
Outdoor living room

Outdoors

Most of the outdoors stuff is stored in storage/tool boxes attached to the Bliss Mobil subframe, a pair of Pelican boxes on the cab roof rack and Sterilite dust-proof storage boxes, of various sizes, stacked in the Bliss Mobil garage.

Description Use? Notes
Honda EU2200i Portable Inverter Generator O Not needed in full sun but when boondocking for long periods under trees or clouds it’s handy. That said, the truck engine is also a “generator”. If we drove more often, or ran the truck engine for a bit while parked, this item could be omitted.
Tri-Lynx 00015 Lynx Levelers – 10 Pack F For the most part, these have held up to the weight/abuse of the truck.
Tri-Lynx 00018 Wheel Stop/Chock, (Pack of 2) F Unattended rolling downhill is not an option!
Snow Peak Pack and Carry Fire Place, Large O For both charcoal cooking or burning a wood campfire that leaves no trace.
Snow Peak Unisex Low Chair Brown One Size F Our go-to outdoor chair. Low to the ground and very comfortable – too low for comfortable use with a normal height dinner table.
Snow Peak Folding Chair-Red O We pull these chairs out when we set up the large Snow Peak table for dining and working.
Snow Peak Single Action Beach Table O Good height for working or eating. We use the folding red chairs with it.
Snow Peak My Bamboo Table F Fits perfectly between the low chairs.
Outdoor Mat F We love this large mat which fits perfectly under our awning and prevents tracking dirt/sand in to the RV.
EverStart Plus 60108M 25A Smart Battery Charger with Start Aid F We frequently boondock a week or longer and our wifi modem will slowly drain the truck batteries. I set this up on 2A trickle charge to keep the batteries topped off. Plugs in to Bliss habitat solar/batteries or shore power if available.
Xtend & Climb 770P telescoping-ladders 12.5 ft Yellow/Gray O Our truck is 12 ft tall!
Yamaha XT250 O Mostly a grocery runner but also for scouting roads.
Milwaukee 2720-20 M18 SAWZALL Reciprocating O For campfire wood or low-hanging branches.
Milwaukee 2763-20 M18 Fuel 1/2-Inch High Torque Impact Wrench O Surprisingly powerful.
Milwaukee M18 Brushless Cordless 1/2 Inch Compact Drill/Driver O General purpose.
Snow Peak Hozuki Lantern F These throw a nice light and can hang anywhere.
ThruNite TN42 2000 Lumen CREE XHP 35 Hi LED Flashlight O In place of a spotlight on the truck cab. Amazingly bright and shines 1550 meters.
Mini Shop Vac F In addition to the Bliss Mobil vacuum that we use inside. This is for the cab, Bliss Mobil garage, etc.

F = Frequently, O = Occasionally

Also Outside

Things we either use or feel necessary to have (e.g. for emergencies):

  • Full set of tools including sockets, wrenches, crescents, pliers, screwdrivers, hammers, clamps – correct sizes and units for the vehicle (metric/imperial – the LMTV is metric)
  • Recovery straps, snatch blocks, shackles, etc sized for the vehicle
  • Knives, hatchet
  • Heavy-duty shovel, axe and pick
  • 20-ton bottle jack
  • Tire chains x2
  • Ratchet straps of various strengths, zip ties of various lengths, rubber bungees
  • Misc: fasteners, hose clamps
  • Small door mats ($3 @ home depot)
  • Broom
  • 5-gal jerry can for gasoline (generator / motorcycle)
  • Misc grease, lube, wd-40
  • Extra fluids: engine oil, transmission fluid, coolant, distilled water
  • Safety triangles, vests (road repairs)
  • Separate hoses for fresh, gray and black water dumping
  • Camco RV water pre-filter – connects to fresh water hose
  • LMTV spares – filters, extra CTIS
  • Bliss Mobil spare parts kit
  • Spare Donaldson air filters
  • Small outdoor blankets for cool weather
  • Numerous pocket-size flashlights
  • Beach umbrella
  • Exercise mats
  • Hydrating backpacks (hiking, biking)
  • Bicycle helmets x3
  • Motorcycle helmets x2

Indoors

Description Use? Notes
Instant Pot 6qt pressure cooker F One of Lily’s favorite kitchen items!
Magma 10 Piece Gourmet Nesting Stainless Steel Cookware Set, Induction Cooktops F Very compact but have all needed pan sizes. Extremely efficient on induction stove.
AeroPress Coffee and Espresso Maker F Used every day.
Coffee Gator Pour Over Kettle – Fixed Thermometer for Exact Temperature (40floz) F Used every day.
Oster Blend-n-Go Personal Blender F Perfect size for our tiny home.

F = Frequently, O = Occasionally

Also Inside

  • Clothing (we’re each assigned two upper cabinets), hats, jackets
  • Toiletries, First Aid
  • Personal belongings (we’re each assigned one “drawer”)
  • Plates, bowls, cups
  • Silverware, cooking utensils, knives
  • Mixing bowls
  • Stackable food storage containers
  • Cutting boards
  • Pantry items
  • Small toolkit
  • Portable printer
  • Portable scanner – could maybe do without; alternative is to take photo with phone and print with printer
  • Bathroom scale (monthly weigh-ins)

So far, that’s most of what we feel we can’t live without! But it’s constantly changing in the “less is better” direction. Feel free to ask questions in comments!

5 comments

  1. Do you take mountain bikes with you (I see that you carry bike helmets) or just rent bikes when you want to bike around? Part of my expedition RV dream is to hang out in a cool location for a week while doing some mountain biking. But that adds a lot of stuff – a couple mountain bikes on the back, helmets, shoes, some bike tools, etc. And raises a security concern – a decent mountain bike is $4 grand these days, and two on the back…

    I love your posts! And envy your adventure!!!

    Keep having fun out there!

    1. Good question. Indeed we do carry three mountain bikes on the back of the motorcycle lift – see this post. These are NOT $4k mountain bikes but not cheap either. And they’re prime targets for theft – we’ve accepted the fact we may wake up one day and find them gone. Not only that, the current setup requires me to take all the bikes down to get to the motorcycle. This prevents quick-n-easy scouting out roads on the motorbike. On top of that, we really haven’t used the bikes as much as we expected, especially in Mexico. We’re casual bikers, not hardcore. So for us, we’d be better off finding a place to cram a couple of fold-up bikes inside and call it a day. Or not even bring bikes and, as you mention, rent them. We ditched a kayak with same rationale – in most places you’d want to use it, you can rent one. So, in my humble opinion, if you’re hardcore, you should probably bring your bikes. If casual, consider alternatives. By the way, anyone in Baja Sur who wants a great deal on three bikes, hit me up!

  2. I’m considering getting a couple of the Snow Peak Folding Chairs. We’d probably go with the regular height, not the lower ones. I see that Snow Peak has two versions of these Folding Chairs in the regular height. One is the Red version and the other is the Grey version. The Grey is described as being Aluminum Alloy and the chair is much more expensive than the Red version, which is described as being Aluminum. I’m looking for a chair that will be light but definitely durable.

    I’m wondering about the long-term durability not only of the aluminum alloy vs. the aluminum. Also, wondering about the durability of the joint connectors—they look like they could fail.

    What is your opinion on the long-term durability of the Snow Peak Folding Chairs?

    Thank you.

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